True Crime Historian

True Crime Historian

United States

Stories of America's scandals, scoundrels and scourges from historic newspapers in the golden era of yellow journalism.

Episodes

The Bathing Beauty's New Hammer  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels, and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The Brutal Murder of Alberta Meadows ____ Once upon a time, 1922 to be exact, Clara Phillips, a former Hollywood bathing beauty and chorus girl, decides she wants to have a chat with a young lady whom she believes is canoodling with her husband. She stops and buys a brand new hammer on the way. Yeah. That’s not gonna end well. This episode is filled with a lot of poignant stories of the incident from a variety of points of view, including a daring escape from justice. The Bathing Beauty’s New Hammer Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ____ bit.ly/1922phillips

A Tale of Two Wives  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... A Double Dose of Arsenic When Edith Carew, an English society woman living in the British expatriate community in Yokohama, went to trial for poisoning her husband, the press couldn’t help but compare it to the case of Florence Maybrick, which took place in Liverpool a few years earlier. And after her conviction, Mrs. Carew was sent back to Britain to serve out her sentence and was placed in the same cell as Mrs. Maybrick. Very interesting... There’ll be a compare and contrast quiz later, so pay attention. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun

Sunday Magazine #3  

True Crime Short Stories -- As I do my research in the dark dusty archives trying to find exciting stories of the scandals, scoundrels and scourges of the past, I often come upon feature stories about interesting crimes and criminal personalities in Sunday magazine sections. They’re not enough for an entire episode, so I’ve strung a few of them together for you. The first two are of a piece: -- Murder for $2.45, which tells of how a newsboy finds the clue to solving a professional, sorta, murder, while ... -- The Waitress and the Death Row War Hero ties in the murder of a theater tycoon with a bit of romantic intrigue. -- Following that, Love and the Counterfeiters is an exciting tale of counterfeiters and double-crossers in the old school Italian mob. -- The next article is titled, When The Ouija Board Spelled “DADDY MUST DIE”, the tragic story of a teenage girl falling into her mother’s web of betrayal and murder. -- And finally, from the classic pages of Master Detective magazine, I give you comes Phantom in the Window: The Murder of Mary Louise Stammer, a heartbreaking tale of another teenager. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun I’m True Crime Historian Richard O Jones signing off for now

A Hatchet In Her Handbag  

PULP NONFICTION -- A reading from the pioneers of true crime... The Murder Of The Butcher Pops Wagner ___ This episode Sweet 16-year-old Lena Theresa Neinstedt, known as Terry, a pretty eighth-grade dropout with a habit of stealing government checks out of neighborhood mailboxes. A wild child of the streets of New York, young Terry also had a habit of carrying a knife -- to keep the wolves from pawing her, she said. When she lost the knife, she discovered a small hatchet around the house that fit nicely in her patent leather handbag. Yeah, that’s not gonna end well. This story comes from the pages of the classic Master Detective magazine, April 1946. ___ If you’re looking to make the perfect hire, visit www.ziprecruiter.com/first and place your ad for free. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1945wagner

Assassination of a Gambler  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty... The Corruption of Lt. Charles Becker ___ This episode is about the story of police corruption in New York’s Tenderloin District, so named by the police because there was so much graft to be made, that they stopped eating chuck steak and started eating tenderloin. The trouble starts when the gambling house operator Herman Rosenthal gets double-crossed by his business partner Charles Becker, who also happened to be a police lieutenant. Rosenthal is so upset, he decides to name names in front of a grand jury. Yeah. That’s not gonna end well. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ bit.ly/1912becker

Under The Haunted Oak  

UNSOLVED -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring history’s most baffling murder mysteries... The Brutal Murder of Gussie Pfeiffer ___ This is a baffling case indeed. The body of a young factory girl who had been missing for three days is found “brutalized,” as the euphemism goes, before being murdered and her body dumped near a historic tree in the Bronx. How long had she been there? How long had she been dead? With few clues to go on, police head to the mountains upstate, and to the sea, and who knows where else to find the elusive man the press called “a human gorilla”. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun

Mother Chose Murder  

PULP NONFICTION -- A reading from the pioneers of true crime... The Cleveland Kaber Conspiracy By Marjorie Wilson ___ Back in the golden ages of newspapers, it was common for them to publish serialized novels of romance, adventure and intrigue, but true crime serials were not quite so common. But here is a novella-lenght story published in 19 chapters in five parts by newspapers in 1921 when Eva Kaber was standing trial for leading a plot to murder her invalid husband. It’s a crazy, crazy story of Italian assassins, fortune tellers, and Pinkerton detectives conspiring with amateur spies to bring an elaborate murder plot to light. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ____ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1921kaber

A Ladder At The Window  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty... The Lindbergh Tragedy ___ Here at True Crime Historian, we take kind of a perverse pride in bringing you stories of some of history’s forgotten scandals, scoundrels and scourges. But since I’ve been asking for listener requests, several people have asked for this, one of the rare cases that really earned the title “Crime of the Century.” As you can tell by the introduction, the baby Lindbergh, son of an American aviation hero, the little eaglet, was one of America’s most-loved babies of his day, and that helped make his short life one of legend. So the newspapers went over every little detail of the case and assigned their ace reporters to cover every aspect. I always hesitate at doing stories involving the murder of children, and there’s a particular passage in here that gets a little graphic in its details, so if you’re sensitive to such things, you might want to fast forward through that part. But if you stick with it, you’ll encounter a remarkable description of a mother receiving the most horrible horrible news imaginable. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Incidental music by the Marine Corps band courtesy of museopen.org and Chuck Wiggins Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories. Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ Bit.ly/1932lindbergh

The Mad Pastor of Rattle Run  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... Bloody Murder Among the Pews ___The inside of the Battle Run Michigan Methodist Church was smeared with blood as if it had been the scene of a battle to the death, and charred bones discovered in the stove were presumed to belong to the missing pastor, Rev. John H. Carmichael. But then, the town roustabout also turned up missing, and the game is on to figure out who killed who. This gruesome story plays out in less than a week, and ends with a chilling confession. Gave me the willies reading it. Hope you get ‘em, too. Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1909browning

The Mystery of My Husband’s Body in My Trunk  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism.... Madame Bessarabo’s Explanation ___When the body of a missing international businessman was found in an unclaimed trunk in the train station at Nancy, France, his wife, the French dramatist and poet known as Hera Mertel, and his step-daughter were immediately suspected, but it took two years to end their legal ordeal. Mysteries remain, such as how the two petit women managed to truss up the body and carry it around in the trunk, Mme. Bessarabo was convicted of the crime. Today’s episode focuses on an epistle she wrote from her jail cell as she continues to proclaim her innocence, even denying that it was her husband’s body in her trunk. Yeah, right. ___ If you’re looking to make the perfect hire, visit www.ziprecruiter.com/first and place your ad for free. Theme Music by Dave Sams Incidental music by Dana Boule from her album Songs for Paris Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1922bessarabo

The Philadelphia Trunk Murder  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The True Crimes of Edward F. Keller ___ This episode follows the criminal career of one Edward F. Keller, who makes national headlines when he is arrested for murdering his business partner and burying the body in a trunk in the basement of their leather shop. But his trouble doesn’t stop there. You’ll want to stick around to the end to find out how karma accomplished what the justice system could not. ___ Theme Music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1915keller

Girl Buried in a Barrel  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty... The Awful Fate of Mary Ann Rheinhardt ___ This episode explores the heinous crime of the scoundrel Edward Reinhardt of Manhattan and Staten Island who got tangled up with two women, got them both in trouble, and apparently, had to pick a favorite. Yeah, that’s not gonna end well. And when they find the barrel buried on the shore of Silver Lake, all sorts of scandal comes tumbling out. ___ Research Assistance by Anna from AGP Stories Media management by Sean R. Jones Production assistance by Emily Simer Braun That’s Dave Sams on Guitar ___ And don’t forget, you can post your job openings to the entire internet, more or less, with one click and for free when you sign up at www.ziprecruiter.com/first ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1878reinhardt

Shot Dead on Deadline  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The Trial of Miss Edith Colby, Girl Reporter ___This episode tells a sordid little tale of a battle between a small-town female newspaper reporter and a politician who impugned her dignity by calling her a “red light woman.” When she brought a gun into the newsroom, the editor told her that if she was going to shoot the man, to do it before the paper went to press, as it would be good for sales. Yeah, that’s not going to end well. ___ Theme Music: Dave Sams Research Assistant: Anna Priestland Media Manager: Sean R. Jones ___ www.truecrimehistorian.com/1916colby

The Prosecutor Stands Accused  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- A reading from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism... The Mysterious Murder of Harriet Moss McDaniel ___ In the midst of a campaign for re-election, the prosecutor of Buchanan County Missouri becomes the defendant, on trial for the murder of his wife. He says it was a home invasion by his political enemies, or maybe someone he had sent to jail. The state says it was because of a love affair with his wife’s best friend. Pay attention to that part of the story, because that’s not gonna end well either. ___ Theme Music: Dave Sams Media Manager: Sean R. Jones Research: Anna Priestland ___ truecrimehistorian.com/1916McDaniel

The Duke’s Dubious Double Life  

PULP NONFICTION -- A reading from the pioneers of true crime. Edmund Pearson’s ‘The Curious Druces’ To ring in the New Year, we return to one of our favorite pioneers of true crime, Edmund Pearson. A librarian by profession, Pearson moonlighted as a true crime writer and his stories are filled with cheeky humor. In this tale, he provides his own sarcastic post-mortem on a bizarre case of extortion in which the descendants of a shop owner lay claim to the estate of the Duke of Portland.

Singer Buried in the Cellar  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty... This episode crosses the Atlantic Ocean a couple of times as the little American Dr. Hawley Harvey Crippen flees his London practice with a young stenographer at his side and the body of his wife left buried in the cellar of their posh home. This case has has historical significance in that it was the first time the wireless telegraph was used in tracking a fugitive from justice across the sea. __ Theme music by Dave Sams Research Assistance by Anna Priestland

"The Pretty Imposter" & "Granny Knot"  

A pair of short true crime stories. Theme music by Dave Sams.

Star Spangled Soundrels  

YESTERDAY’S NEWS -- Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism.... Imagine a high-ranking government attorney being shot down in cold blood, in broad daylight, in front of the White House. It happened in 1859 when New York Congressman Daniel Sickles had received an anonymous note detailing his wife’s affair with the U.S. Attorney of the District of Columbia, who happened to be the son of Francis Scott Key, lyricist of the Star Spangled Banner. He made her write out a confession, then loaded his guns. Yeah. That’s not gonna end well. ___ Music by Dave Sams

For Betsy's Sake  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty -- The Heinous Crime of William Showers ... The small farming village of Annville, Pennsylvania, is scandalized by the sudden disappearance of two orphan children who were being cared for by their elderly grandfather. William Showers was by some accounts an alright fellow, but he was lonely and craved the company of a woman who would have nothing to do with the young children. Yeah. It’s gonna get ugly. ___ Music by Dave Sams www.truecrimehistorian.com/1888showers

British Dude Stuffed in Trunk  

AN EYE FOR AN EYE -- A special edition of Yesterday’s News exploring the criminal justice system at its most extreme: Inflicting the Death Penalty.... The Preller-Maxwell Murder of St. Louis This episode spans three years and three continents as a pair of British dandies meet on the steamer ship coming out of Liverpool and make a pact to travel together across the United States and on to Auckland, New Zealand. One of them only makes it as far a St. Louis before his body is found packed in a trunk in a hotel room and his partner gone with all of his traveling money. The case, the chase, the trial and the final reckoning all make national headlines and a celebrity out of the murderer, but that’s not going to make this end any better for him.

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