Forgotten Darkness

Strange things are lost and forgotten in obscure corners of the newspaper.

January 20th, 2019    

Death Rides the Rails, Part Three

Some speculative crimes that may be by the same killer.  Three crimes are described, the murder of the interracial Casaway family in San Antonio, TX; the Hills in Ardenwald, OR; and the Cobles in Rainier, WA.

Photo Gallery:


San Antonio

Claims he is innocent,” Austin American-Statesman, August 14, 1911.

Five in family killed while asleep,” San Antonio Express, March 23, 1911.

House in which tragedy occurred appears gloomy,” San Antonio Express, March 25, 1911.

M'Williams held in jail,” Houston Post, August 17, 1911.

Mystery deepens,” Victoria Daily Advocate, March 27, 1911.

Official Guide of the Railways and Steam Navigation Lines of the United States (1908).

Person crazed,” Victoria Daily Advocate, April 1, 1911.

Ruby B. Casaway.

Says he killed Casaway family,” Victoria Daily Advocate, May 30, 1911.

Texas news,” Austin American-Statesman, August 10,1911.

Two brothers located,” San Antonio Express, March 31, 1911.

White suspected,” Victoria Daily Advocate, March 25, 1911.

With a smiling face defendant hears evidence,” San Antonio Express, August 15, 1911.



A reign of terror at Ardenwald,” Salem Capital Journal, June 16, 1911.

Attorneys admit Harvey employed them after crime,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 21, 1911.

"Fiend uses axe to murder family of five,” Oregon Daily Journal, June 9, 1911.

Harvey family record bad; case of state in brief,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 20, 1911.

Much evidence against Harvey not yet divulged,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 21, 1911.

Mulatto may be murderer of 4, belief of police,” Oregon Daily Journal, June 10, 1911.

Murder and suicide,” Salem Statesman Journal, June 12, 1890.

Nathan Harvey is dismissed; will be rearrested,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 26, 1911.

Nathan Harvey may be Barbara Holtzman slayer,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 21, 1911.

Neighbors recall strange actions of Nathan Harvey,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 21, 1911.

Posse on trail of man seeking an unused road,” Oregon Daily Journal, June 21, 1911.

Reward of $2875 for conviction of Hills' murderer,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 20, 1911.

Series of crimes for 20 years in Harvey's family,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 20, 1911.

Stories agree up to about an hour before murders,” Oregon Daily Journal, December 20, 1911.

Thatcher, George A. Why Some Men Kill: Or, Murder Mysteries Revealed. Pacific Coast Rescue and Protective Society, 1919.



Did insane man slay couple?,” Tacoma Times, July 12, 1911.

Fiend confesses,” Roseburg (OR) Review, July 25, 1911.

Rainier butchery proves parallel to that of Hills,” Oregon Daily Journal, July 12, 1911.

Sheriff Mass of Clackamas to go to Rainier, Wash.,” Oregon Daily Journal, July 16, 1911.

Slain with axe while asleep,” Seattle Star, July 12, 1911.

The Cathey boys in limelight,” Corvallis (OR) Weekly Gazette-Times, July 21, 1911.


Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


January 8th, 2019    

Death Rides the Rails, Part Two

The infamous Villisca murder, the convoluted clues and divisive aftermath, when a charismatic conman came to town.

Photo Gallery:

“Axe murders claiming 31 victims during the last 4 years probed,” Green Bay (WI) Semi-Weekly Gazette, July 20, 1915.
“Confesses Blue Island murder,” Princeton (IN) Daily Clarion, July 19, 1915.
“Family and guests murdered in sleep,” Bayard News, June 13, 1912.
“Farmer is a suicide after killing two,” Webster City Freeman, September 17, 1912.
“Four are victims to mysterious axe,” Dixon (IL) Evening Telegraph, July 6, 1914.
Getting the Axe.
James, Bill and Rachel McCarthy James. The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery. New York: Scribner, 2017.
“Ricks is not the man,” Marshalltown Evening Times-Republican, June 14, 1912.
Taylor, Troy. Murdered in Their Beds: History and Hauntings of Villisca and the Midwest Axe Murders. Whitechapel Press, 2012.
“Thinks slayer knew family,” Waterloo Courier, June 12, 1912.
Villisca Ax Murder House.
“Whole family brutally slain in their home; accused man, jailed, in peril of lynching,” Tacoma (WA) Times, December 7, 1910.
“Wrong confession by death's head,” Keokuk Daily Gate City, January 23, 1910.

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.
Closing music by Soma.


January 1st, 2019    

Death Rides the Rails, Part One

Before the infamous Villisca murders in Iowa, there was a series of other, eerily similar, axe murders across the Midwest indicating that that crime may not have been as isolated as is often thought...

Photo Gallery:

Getting the Axe.

James, Bill and Rachel McCarthy James. The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery. New York: Scribner, 2017.
Taylor, Troy. Murdered in Their Beds: History and Hauntings of Villisca and the Midwest Axe Murders. Whitechapel Press, 2012.

Colorado Springs
“Arrest is made in wholesale murder,” Anaconda (MT) Standard, September 22, 1911.
Arthur J. Burnham (1871-1912).
“Burnham released,” Leadville Herald-Democrat, September 24, 1911.
“Burnham involves another man,” Elk Mountain Pilot, September 28, 1911.
“Burnham lived in Leavenworth,” Leavenworth (KS) Post, September 21, 1911.
“Discovery of gory ax,” Leadville Herald-Democrat, September 29, 1911.
“Finger mark best clue,” Leadville Herald-Democrat, September 22, 1911.
“Finger print on ax examined by expert,” Leadville Herald-Democrat, September 24, 1911.
“Former suitor is now suspected in killing of six,” Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times-Leader, September 22, 1911.
“Ghastly crime; six are slain,” Princeton (IN) Daily Clarion, September 21, 1911.
“Inquest being held,” Montrose Daily Press, September 30, 1911.
“Italian is held for wholesale murder,” Butte (MT) Miner, September 22, 1911.
“Italian nabbed for the murder,” Montrose Daily Press, September 22, 1911.
“Searching dumb evidence,” Leadville Herald-Democrat, September 27, 1911.
“Six killed with axe by unknown,” Trenton (NJ) Evening Times, September 21, 1911.
“Six murdered in Colo. Springs,” Salida Record, September 22, 1911.
“Suspects detained by police,” Lincoln (NB) Journal-Star, September 22, 1911.
“Two families murder victims,” Anaconda (MT) Standard, September 21, 1911.
“Two families not slain by an insane murderer,” Buffalo (NY) Times, September 23, 1911.
“Two families with heads split open,” Montrose Daily Press, September 20, 1911.

“Axe murder case,” Oak Hill (KS) Gazette, March 25, 1915.
“Killed with ax while sleeping,” Rock Island Argus, October 2, 1911.
“John Knight to prove that he was working,” Monmouth Daily Atlas, January 29, 1918.
“Lovey Mitchell, colored man, is held, charged with Dawson murders,” Monmouth Daily Atlas, March 22, 1915.
“Lovey Mitchell given freedom this morning,” Monmouth Daily Atlas, September 23, 1918.
“Mitchell is given freedom,” Monmouth Daily Atlas, May 6, 1915.
“Murder is baffling to officials,” Monmouth Republican-Atlas, October 2, 1911.
“Murder trials to commence next Monday,” Monmouth Daily Atlas, January 16, 1918.
“Three of family slain with ax while asleep,” Moline Dispatch, October 2, 1911.

“Charles Marzyck caught in Canada,” Topeka Daily Capital, May 4, 1912.
“Family of five murdered in Kansas,” Boise Idaho Sunday Statesman, October 17, 1911.
“He reaches Ellsworth,” Lawrence Daily Journal-World, May 16, 1912.
“Showman family of five murdered,” Ellsworth Reporter, October 19, 1911.
“Showman murder clue has blown think officers,” Wichita Daily Eagle, June 29, 1912.
“Slayer of family of five friendly with watch dog,” Wichita Daily Eagle, October 18, 1911

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.
Closing music by Soma.


December 18th, 2018    

The Presque Isle Incident/The Morristown Monster

A reading from “New Landing and Creature Reports" by John Keel, appearing in the Flying Saucer Review for November/December, 1966.

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


December 11th, 2018    

The Drummer of Tedworth

The story of another poltergeist, this one from Puritan-era England.  Account from Joseph Glanvil's Saducismus Triumphatus (1681).  

Claude Lecouteux:

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.



December 11th, 2018    

Forgotten Darkness - Revised Promo


December 5th, 2018    

The Devil of Glenluce

An account of a talking poltergeist or demon which afflicted a weaver in Glenluce, Scotland in the late 1600s.  An excerpt from Elizabeth Lynn Linton's Witch Stories (1861).

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


November 29th, 2018    

The Toledo Clubber

I'll look at this almost forgotten serial killer who terrorized Toledo, Ohio in the 1920s.  Then we'll examine other attacks in Toledo in elsewhere attributed to the Clubber, the fires he supposedly set, and suspects in the case (and by necessity, the murders of Beulah Purvis, Grace Loomis, and Dorothy Sielagowski).

“6th woman victim of club killer,” Salem News, November 20, 1925.

“A giant negro,” Seymour (IN) Tribune, February 15, 1927.

“Akron Clubber comes to grief,” Coshocton Tribune, November 24, 1925.

“Alleged assailant of Toledo woman is held,” Marion Star, November 15, 1926.

“Alonzo Robinson,”

“Another girl is victim of club maniac,” Coshocton Tribune, November 12, 1926.

“Another suspect in Toledo,” Wilmington News-Journal, November 28, 1925.

“Another Toledo woman clubbed,” Kentucky New Era, January 20, 1926.

“Another woman slain by clubber,” Washington (DC) Evening Star, January 19, 1926.

Arrest of negro may clear up Toledo Clubber mystery,” Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, November 5, 1926.

“Arrest two in Toledo charged with being clubbers,” New Castle (PA) News, January 20, 1926.

“Arrested for digging up woman's body,” Huntington (IN) Herald, October 5, 1926.

“Attacker of Toledo girl identified,” Benton Harbor (MI) News-Palladium, December 17, 1925.

“Believe two maniacs at large in Toledo,” Hamilton Evening Journal, January 21, 1926.

“Bloodhounds to be put on club killer's trail,” Coshocton Tribune, November 23, 1925.

“Cincinnati prisoner is not Toledo Clubber,” Portsmouth Daily Times, January 8, 1927.

“Cleveland man held as Toledo Clubber,” Delphos Daily Herald, February 5, 1931.

“Club killer may be one of seven suspects in jail,” Salem News, November 23, 1925.

“Clubber active in Norwood,” Portsmouth Daily Times, December 1, 1925.

“Clubber may be pyromaniac,” Indiana (PA) Gazette, November 23, 1926.

“Clubber suspect dies and thwarts police,” Mattoon (IL) Journal-Gazette, March 19, 1927.

“Clubber, victim at death point,” Ironwood (MI) Daily Globe, March 19, 1927.

Cobb, James C. The Most Southern Place on Earth: the Mississippi Delta and the Roots of Regional Identity. New York: Oxford University Press, 1992.

“Detectives at Croy funeral,” Hamilton Evening Journal, October 28, 1926.

“Failure to catch Toledo Clubber stirs citizens,” Coshocton Tribune, December 1, 1926.

“Fear Toledo Clubber at falls; LaSalle girl victim,” Buffalo (NY) Courier, December 2, 1925.

“Fiend assaults and murders 7-year-old child; search begun,” Coshocton Tribune, May 29, 1928.

“Fire damages Toledo's largest auditorium,” Kane (PA) Republican, May 28, 1925.

“Grave robbery charge held,” Hamilton Evening Journal, February 14, 1927.

“Hoppe confesses series of crimes; clubbings in Toledo cleared up,” Coshocton Tribune, July 7, 1928.

“Girl's death may never be solved,” Huntington (IN) Press, October 24, 1926.

“Identity of clubber near, police believe,” Marion Star, October 28, 1926.

“Insanity to be defense of murderer of Toledo girl,” Wilmington News-Journal, May 31, 1928.

“Iron bar used in slaying,” Hamilton Evening Journal, October 27, 1926.

“Jack the clubber,” Cincinnati Enquirer, February 26, 1904.

“Loomis jury selection is slow process,” Benton Harbor (MI) News-Palladium, May 24, 1927.

“Maniac who wields club still lurks,” Zanesville Times-Recorder, November 21, 1925.

“Michigan officers link gruesome find of heads with Turner murder,” Greenwood (MS) Commonwealth, January 14, 1935.

“Mutilated body of teacher found,” Washington (DC) Evening Star, October 26, 1926.

“Murderer of Beulah Davis a black fiend,” Circleville Herald, January 4, 1927.

“New attack of mystery killer stuns police,” Marion Star, January 19, 1926.

“One is clubbed to death, other killed by bullet,” Circleville Herald, October 27, 1926.

“Organize reat man hunt for girl's slayer,” Olean (NY) Times-Herald, May 29, 1928.

“Pocketbook of victim clue to Toledo Clubber,” Zanesville Times-Recorder, October 28, 1926.

“Slain woman is identified,” New Philadelphia Daily Times, August 21, 1925.

“Slater may hunt Toledo Clubber; another woman slain last night,” Marysville Journal-Tribune, October 27, 1926.

“Slayer of Beulah Purvis is found criminal insane,” Coshocton Tribune, January 22, 1927.

“Slayer of policeman and murderer of child die in electric chair,” Zanesville Times-Recorder, December 1, 1928.

“Stephenson fails to rush big suit against the Klan,” Marshall (TX) Messenger, May 19, 1925.

“Suspect arrested as Toledo Clubber,” San Bernardino (CA) Sun, December 20, 1926.

“The Toledo Clubber – unsolved mystery of the Kuschwantz,”

“Thousands hunt for maniac who attacks women,” Harrisburg (PA) Evening Times, November 21, 1925.

“To ask death for man who lured women,” Belvidere (IL) Daily Republican, September 8, 1926.

“Toledo aroused by club killer,” Salem News, November 19, 1925.

“Toledo clubber of women starts his work again,” Pittston (PA) Gazette, January 19, 1926.

“Toledo Clubber is sought by police,” Piqua Daily Call, February 4, 1931.

“Toledo Clubber may know fate this evening,” Wilmington News-Journal, July 11, 1928.

“Toledo Clubber still murdering; body parts found,” Coshocton Tribune, November 27, 1926.

“Toledo co-ed is seized near school by man,” New Castle (PA) News, December 11, 1925.

Toledo Complex,

“Toledo police hunt slayers of two women,” Mansfield News-Journal, October 27, 1926.

“Toledo police scour city for club killer whose fourth victim flees,” East Liverpool Evening Review, November 17, 1925.

“Toledo visited by disastrous fires,” Portsmouth Daily Times, June 4, 1925.

“Two women murdered in Toledo, Ohio; teacher was assaulted, belief,” Decatur (IL) Herald, October 27, 1926.

“Victim of axe attack won't tell police,” Ogden (UT) Standard-Examiner, May 28, 1925.

“Who killed Mrs. Grace Loomis?” Rushville (IN) Daily Republican, March 17, 1927.

“Woman eludes maniac killer,” East Liverpool Evening Review, November 4, 1926.

“Woman is beaten by men; may die,” Coshocton Tribune, December 8, 1927.

“Woman victim tentatively identifies him,” Lancaster Eagle-Gazette, November 28, 1925.

“Women fail to identify Toledo man as clubber; Norwood girl attacked,” Hamilton Evening Journal, November 30, 1925.

“Young teacher is found with head crushed,” Mansfield News-Journal, October 26, 1926.

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing musc by Soma. 


November 21st, 2018    

The Mysterious Death of Joao Prestes

A man in Brazil dies mysteriously, ostensibly burned by a UFO, in 1946.  Also, a number of Chupacabra encounters; other Brazilian UFOs; people burnt as if by radiation in 1887 Venezuela; a "luminous cloud" over Pascagoula, Mississippi; and purple lightning in Maine.

Broadus, Don. “A weird American phenomenon of 1874,” Flying Saucer Review 35: 3 (September 1990).

Carrión, Felipe Machado. “The terrible death of João Prestes at Araçariguama,” Flying Saucer Review 19:2 (March/April 1973).

Luce, Cynthia N. “Brazilian spooklights,” Fortean Times 49 (1987).

Mauso, Pablo Villarubia. “The incredible saga of Joao Prestes,”

Pratt, Bob. UFO Danger Zone. Madison, WI: Horus House, 1996.

Suenaga, Claudio Tsuyoshi. “Phenomenon that defies time,” [translated from Portuguese via Google Translate]

The burning man of Brazil,”

Turner, N.M.H. “UFO and radiation damage in 1887?: curious phenomenon in Venezuela,” Flying Saucer Review Case Histories 2 (December 1970).

Unusual weather: ball lightning in a February thunderstorm down east in Maine,” Weatherwise 29:2 (April 1976).

Opening music by Kevin MacLeod.

Closing music by Soma.


November 13th, 2018    

3X, The Man Behind the Gun

Queens, 1930.  A serial killer shoots two men and sends bizarre coded messages to the press, nearly 40 years before the infamous Zodiac. 

“3d parked car shooting laid to holdup man,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 20, 1930.
“Another victim for New York's mystery slayer Thursday night,” Albuquerque Journal, June 20, 1930.
“Deny harming balky witness in Nassau jail,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 10, 1933.
“End of murders promised in new note by maniac,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 21, 1930.
“Escaped L.I. inmate arrested in Phila. as maniac suspect,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 20, 1930.
“First arrest made in hunt for crazy killer as third man is dying,” Canonsburg (PA) Daily Notes, June 20, 1930.
“Girl is jailed as witness to grocer murder,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 16, 1930.
“Gives final warning to seven more,” Belvidere (IL) Daily Republican, June 19, 1930.
“Hunt killer as he looks for third victim,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 18, 1930.
“Innocent man slain in robbery joke,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, November 11, 1930.
McQueen, Kevin. New England Nightmares. Bloomington, IN: Indiana University Press, 2018.
“Mad slayer keeps Gotham police agog; 2 more dead,” Dubois (PA) Courier-Express, June 20, 1930.
“Madman sought as chief pirate in yacht attack,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, September 14, 1931.
“Make new arrest in 3X case, then let prisoner go,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, July 10, 1930.
Morrow, Jason. Famous Crimes the World Forgot. Tulsa, OK: Historical Crime Detective, 2015.
“Murderer tells cops he will strike again,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 10, 1937.
“Necker killer eludes metropolitan police,” Kane (PA) Republican, June 21, 1930.
“New York police fear red circle killer will return,” Eau Claire (WI) Leader-Telegram, October 6, 1937.
Newton, Michael. The Encyclopedia of Unsolved Crimes. New York: Facts on File, 2009.
“Police suspect radio maniac as 3X slayer,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, October 23, 1931.
“Sister of mad killer's victim ignores threat,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 22, 1930.
“Suspect is held in recent murders near New York,” Corsicana (TX) Daiy Sun, July 9, 1930.
“Suspect named by girl as Whitestone killer,” Brooklyn Daily Eagle, June 14, 1930.
“Youth admits he may be red circle killer,” San Mateo (CA) Times, October 11, 1937.

Opening music by Soundeyet and Kevin MacLeod.
Closing music by Soma.


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