Forgotten Darkness

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

September 27th, 2018    

10 - The Crimes of George Taylor

A different kind of mud-slinging in the nation's capital - the bizarre story of George Taylor, AKA 1893-1894's Jack the Slasher, is recounted.  Not a jar of molasses or goose-down pillow was safe.  Also, the White House is visited by a "pestiferous crank."

“A nest of tramps,” Washington Evening Star, November 21, 1893.

“After the president,” Troy (AL) Messenger, November 29, 1893.

“Another slasher outrage,” Washington Evening Star, January 22, 1894.

“Astonishing vandalism,” Elwood (IN) Daily Press, December 2, 1893.

“Attempted burglary,” Washington Evening Star, March 8, 1894.

Boyd's Directory of the District of Columbia, 1897.

“Claiming insanity,” Washington Evening Times, April 10, 1894.

“Gathering proofs,” Washington Evening Star, March 21, 1894.

“Given thirty years,” Washington Evening Star, April 21, 1894.

“Guarding the White House,” San Francisco Examiner, November 19, 1893.

“Held for examination,” Washington Evening Star, January 23, 1894.

“Hid under a tree,” Washington Evening Star, March 24, 1894.

“Hunt silver thief,” Washington Post, February 13, 1911.

“Jack the cake slasher,” Alexandria (VA) Gazette, December 23, 1893.

“Jack the slasher,” Salt Lake City (UT) Herald, November 20, 1893.

“Jack the slasher,” Washington Times, March 23, 1894.

“Jack the slasher,” Washington Evening Star, April 9, 1893.

'Jack the Slasher' terrorizes Washington,” https://blogs.weta.org/boundarystones/2015/07/02/jack-slasher-terrorizes-washington

“Police confident,” Washington Evening Star, March 20, 1894.

“Probably the man,” Washington Evening Star, March 13, 1894.

Reign of terror,” Washington Evening Star, November 20, 1893.

Segrave, Kerry. Police Violence in America, 1869-1920: 256 Incidents Involving Death or Injury. Jefferson, NC: McFarland & Co., 2016.

“Slasher guilty,” Washington Evening Star, April 12, 1894.

Still hunting him,” Washington Evening Star, November 17, 1893.

“Strange burglars,” Washington Evening Star, November 6, 1893.

“Surely the slasher,” Washington Evening Star, March 23, 1894.

Terry not held,” Washington Evening Star, October 12, 1894.

“The Terry case,” Washington Evening Star, May 21, 1894.

“The slasher again,” Washington Evening Star, November 30, 1893.

“The slasher held,” Washington Evening Star, March 27, 1894.

“The two suspects,” Washington Evening Star, November 28, 1893.

“Twice told tales: the story of Jack the Slasher,” Washington Times, October 18, 1919.

Washington's own terrifying 'Jack the Slasher' finally caught in 1894,” http://househistoryman.blogspot.com/2012/06/washingtons-own-terrifying-jack-slasher.html

Will probably die,” Washington Evening Star, November 23, 1893.

 

 

September 20th, 2018    

9 - The Murder of Old Suss

A 1934 murder of a supposed witch in Schuylkill County, Pennsylvania is recalled, as is a 1949 case of a supposed curse near Claysburg, Pennsylvania which reads like an episode of Supernatural.

“1934 valley hex murder charges dropped,” Shenandoah Evening Herald, March 10, 1976.

“Aged prophet of Bedford hills tells how faith heals,” Altoona Tribune, March 9, 1949.

“Aged woman of North Union Township victim of assassin's bullet,” Pottsville Republican, March 19, 1934.

“Another arson case in valley,” Shenandoah Evening Herald, December 1, 1976.

“Dead GI's body exhumed to break spell on widow,” Altoona Mirror, March 4, 1949.

“Hex house burns down,” Shenandoah Evening Herald, November 9, 1976.

“Hex killer insane, says Dr. W. Bowers,” Mount Carmel Item, March 26, 1934.

“Hex slayer sleeps well, believing he has broken spell,” Harrisburg Telegraph, March 23, 1934.

“Hex slayer to escape trial,” Danville Morning News, March 27, 1934.

“Hexed nine years, slayer of woman tells detectives,” Sayre Evening Times, March 23, 1934.

“Man re-enacts slaying woman who hexed him,” Lebanon Daily News, March 23, 1934.

“More under spell of woman killed by victim of hex,” Harrisburg Daily Courier, March 25, 1934.

“Mountain hex slayer may be sent to state hospital for insane,” Pottstown Mercury, March 26, 1934.

“Powder mill explodes,” Pottsville Republican, July 6, 1910.

“Recall murder near Nuremberg,” Hazleton Plain Speaker, November 30, 1943.

“Reuben was a good boy, mother says,” Altoona Tribune, March 8, 1949.

“Seek to free suspect in valley hex murder,” Shenandoah Evening Herald, March 21, 1969.

“Slayer of widow is contented in Pottsville jail,” New Castle News, March 23, 1934.

“Vet's body exhumed to chase hex,” Pottstown Mercury, March 7, 1949.

“Victim's life story checked,” Altoona Tribune, March 24, 1934.

“Will stand trial for '34 slaying,” Lebanon Daily News, January 10, 1976.

“Witch lore motive for killing,” Pottsville Republican, March 22, 1934.

Find a Grave: Albert Shinsky. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/98667816/albert-shinsky

Find a Grave: Pvt. Reuben C. Rock. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/119132235/reuben-c-rock/photo

Find a Grave: Susan Fuhrman Mummey. https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/62218671/susan-mummey

St. Mars, Augustus. “The famous witch of Ringtown Valley,” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, February 4, 1942.

 

September 10th, 2018    

8 - The Strange Case of Clara Coffin

The tale of Clara Coffin, a well-to-do Jersey girl who in 1903 vanished - and reappeared days later, halfway across the country, telling an unbelievable tale.  Also: a man claims to have gotten married while in a hypnotic fog, another man claims to have stolen a woman's jewelry under the hypnotic command of a whiskey-drinking, gun-toting man, and a young girl claims to have cut her hair short and dressed like a boy while hypnotized.

“A sensation,” Arkansas City (KS) Daily Traveler, February 21, 1896.

“Cast spell over him,” Alton (IL) Evening Telegraph, November 27, 1900.

“Clara Coffin arrives home,” New York Sun, November 15, 1903.

“Clara Coffin's story doubted,” New York Evening World, November 7, 1903.

“Girl in boy's dress found at Coney,” New York Tribune, July 11, 1905.

Girl tells queer story,” New York Times, November 7, 1903.

Her eyes hypnotized,” Waterloo (IA) Courier, November 9, 1903.

“Hypnotic fog did for him,” Los Angeles Times, November 26, 1900.

Hypnotism,” Owensboro (KY) Messenger-Inquirer, November 8, 1903.

“Is searching for a missing girl,” Richmond (IN) Item, November 6, 1903.

“Miss Coffin better,” New York Sun, November 8, 1903.

“Mother seeks missing girl,” New York Evening World, November 5, 1903.

“No trace of Miss Coffin,” New York Sun, November 6, 1903.

“Oil magnate's daughter lost,” New York Evening World, November 4, 1903.

“Other side is heard,” Daily Inter Ocean (Chicago), October 28, 1897.

“Rev. C.O. Brown's startling story,” San Francisco Examiner, January 1, 1896.

“Said she traveled alone,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 8, 1903.

“She may be in California,” St. Louis Republic, November 6, 1903.

“Sticks to hypnotism story,” Lincoln Nebraska State Journal, November 10, 1903.

“Taken into court,” Anaconda (MT) Standard, December 31, 1895.

Bartholow, Roberts. “What is meant by nervous prostration?” Boston Medical and Surgical Journal 110:3 (January 1884).

Cobb, Ivo Beikie. A Manual of Neurasthenia (Nervous Exhaustion). London: Bailliere, Tindall and Cox, 1920.

Gunn, Selskar M. Letter to Frederick Russell, January 15, 1921.

-----. Letter to Wickliffe Rose, March 1921.

-----. Letter to Frederick Russell, November 1925.

Van Deusen, E.H. “Observations on a form of nervous prostration (neurasthenia), culminating in insanity.” American Journal of Insanity (1867).

The Blue Book for the Oranges, New Jersey. New York: Dau Publishing, 1908.

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