Forgotten Darkness

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

November 27th, 2019    

58 - The Maniac of Beekman Hill, Part One

On Easter Sunday, 1937 the bodies of model Veronica Gedeon, her mother, and a man named Frank Byrnes were found dead in an apartment on East 53rd Street in New York City. Suspicion quickly falls on the father – but did he actually have anything to do with it?

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Opening music from "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (
Closing music by Soma.


“Artist's model, mother, and male roomer murdered in Manhattan home.” Nassau Daily Review-Star, March 29, 1937.

“Divinity school student sought in Gedeon probe.” Nassau Daily Review-Star. April 5, 1937.

“Gedeon's reaction watched as he views bodies of slain.” Nassau Daily Review-Star, April 1, 1937.

“Private Larry O'Toole's fine tribute to Chief U.S. Grant.” Potsdam Junction Commercial Advertiser, April 7, 1942.

“Slain girl's father wears out police as they grill him on triple murder.” Washington Court House (OH) Record-Herald, April 2, 1937.

“Small piece of cloth found at scene of triple murder may link father to crime.” Ogdensburg Advance-News, April 2, 1937.

Schechter, Harold. Psycho USA: Famous American Killers You Never Heard Of. New York: Ballantine, 2012.

—. The Mad Sculptor: The Maniac, The Model, and the Murder That Shook the Nation. New York: Little A, 2014.

November 14th, 2019    

57 - Montie the Monster and Others

In November 1945, the rural Sheep Hill district in northern Chester County just south of Pottstown, Pennsylvania was prowled by a mysterious beast capable of gigantic leaps and screams. And in March 1973, another animal appeared and killed animals at Ringing Hill in Pottsgrove Township. Also: the Wild Man of Chestnut Hill, the “Jersey Madman,” the Dorlan Devil, and the Coatesville “Roof Rabbit.”

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Opening music from "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (
Closing music by Soma.


“All around the town,” Pottstown Mercury, November 15, 1945.

“All around the town,” Pottstown Mercury, November 17, 1945.

“Body of fox solves mystery.” Pottstown Mercury, November 7, 1945.

“Buzzing.” Pottstown Mercury, April 3, 1973.

“Casualties mount to four as mystery animal continues to evade posses at Sheep Hill.” Pottstown Mercury. November 14, 1945.

“Creature quiet, no sightings are reported.” Pottstown Mercury, March 20, 1973.

“Dorlan's devil cuts up didos.” Pottstown Mercury, July 30, 1937.

“Evidence of creature is found.” Pottstown Mercury, March 19, 1973.

“Expert says creature belongs to dog family.” Pottstown Mercury, March 30, 1973.

“Game protector declares 'terror' has moved away; far, far away.” Pottstown Mercury, November 21, 1945.

“Hunt for Montie the Monster outdoes Gettysburg battle, says alarmed Sheep Hiller.” Harrisburg Evening News, November 5, 1945.

“'Jersey Devil' is captured and proves silver fox not much bigger than tom-cat.” Harrisburg Evening News, August 21, 1937.

“Man believes 'The Thing' is his lost dog.” Pottstown Mercury, November 17, 1945.

“Mangled rabbit found in borough.” Pottstown Mercury, April 6, 1973.

“Monster cause of excitement in New Jersey.” Shamokin News-Dispatch, January 23, 1932.

“Montie the Monster object of search near Pottstown.” Dunkirk (NY) Evening Observer, November 15, 1945.

“Mysterious animal is finally seen.” Pottstown Mercury, November 9, 1945.

“Mysterious beast is sought in Chester Co.” Lebanon Daily News, February 15, 1939.

“Mysterious creature believed back in vicinity of Ringing Hill.” Pottstown Mercury, March 29, 1973.

“North Coventry mystery still unsolved.” Pottstown Mercury, November 8, 1945.

“Posse of 40 men fails to locate 'crying cat.'” Pottstown Mercury, November 10, 1945.

“Strange animal is roaming in North Coventry.” Pottstown Mercury, November 6, 1945.

“There's a glowakus loose down in Coatesville; durn thing has foot-long neck and screams.” Reading Times, February 15, 1939.

“Turkey lures Norco animal, cries heard.” Pottstown Mercury, November 19, 1945.

“Two persons injured on 'panther' hunt.” Pottstown Mercury, November 12, 1945.

Binder, John K. “Game protector and police act to prevent hunting of beast.” Pottstown Mercury, November 15, 1945.

—. “North Coventry mystery animal may be a puma, resident says.” Pottstown Mercury, November 13, 1945.

—. “Search for mystery animal is spurred on by fresh tracks.” Pottstown Mercury, November 16, 1945.

Kessler, Barbara. “Creature sightings, incidents increase.” Pottstown Mercury, March 16, 1973.

—. “Mystery beast stalks Pottsgroves.” Pottstown Mercury, March 15, 1973.

—. “Speculation grows: what could creature be?” Pottstown Mercury, March 17, 1973.

McCloy, James E. and Ray Miller, Jr. Phantom of the Pines: More Tales of the Jersey Devil. Moorestown, NJ: Middle Atlantic Press, 1998.

Pitchford, Charles. “Creature changes location, attacks poodle.” Pottstown Mercury, March 24, 1973.

Renner, Timothy. Bigfoot in Pennsylvania. CreateSpace, 2017.

November 4th, 2019    

56 - The Disappearance of Ambrose Small

Ambrose J. Small was a wealthy theater manager who disappeared without a trace on the evening of December 2, 1919 near one of his theaters in Toronto, Ontario. There was no shortage of theories and possibilities as to what happened. Was it the long-suffering wife? The obsessive, clingy mistress? The secretary who had robbed him? Or someone else?

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Opening music from "Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (
Closing music by Soma.


Lethbridge Herald, January 14, 1925.

“$65,000 was set aside to trace Ambrose Small.” Montreal Gazette, November 13, 1922.

“Allege effort to blackmail in Small case.” Regina Leader-Post, June 5, 1922.

“Ambrose Small case confession called forgery.” Winnipeg Tribune, November 25, 1936.

“Ambrose Small not man found by detectives.” Montreal Gazette, August 16, 1921.

“Arrested when he bared his head.” Boston Post, December 5, 1920.

“Bares torture in kidnapping of Canadian.” Santa Ana Register, August 15, 1921.

“Believe Small is alive.” Ottawa Citizen, November 25, 1920.

“Doughty and detective are on their way.” Montreal Gazette, November 25, 1920.

“Doughty says absconded when panic stricken.” Vancouver Sun, December 31, 1920.

“Doughty sent up for trial, theft charge.” Ottawa Citizen, December 31, 1920.

“Ex-janitor and wife to testify against Doughty.” Montreal Gazette, November 26, 1920.

“Excavation of dump for Small body planned.” Winnipeg Tribune, November 14, 1928.

“Former Small maid gone from asylum.” Ottawa Journal, December 19, 1924.

“Hoping arrest of Doughty to solve mystery.” Ottawa Citizen, November 25, 1920.

“Hotelman would see detective.” Montreal Gazette, June 26, 1922.

“Is Small in bay?” Saskatoon Daily Star, April 5, 1922.

“Lost millionaire dead to world but legally alive to law.” Spokane Spokesman-Review, April 22, 1923.

“Man exploited as lost millionaire unknown cripple.” Des Moines Tribune, August 16, 1921.

“Mystery gives way to strange acts of sleuth.” Salt Lake Tribune, November 4, 1928.

“New Langsner move in Small case expected.” Winnipeg Tribune, November 16, 1928.

“New Orleans opera house, scene of glorious triumphs, now a mass of ruins.” Musical America, December 13, 1919.

“Not Small, declare Sackett and Hogarth.” Des Moines Tribune, August 16, 1921.

“Nothing overlooked by police searching for Ambrose Small.” Vancouver Province, December 3, 1920.

“Only vague chance.” Montreal Gazette, November 26, 1920.

“Paris knows nothing of Ambrose J. Small.” Ottawa Journal, August 13, 1920.

“Permission for probate given.” Winnipeg Tribune, June 5, 1923.

“Prof. Langsner to attempt to solve disappearance of five-year-old Julia Johnson.” Winnipeg Tribune, November 1, 1928.

“Prof. X's mind slowly clearing.” Camden (NJ) Courier-Post, January 12, 1920.

“Reward of $50,000 starts new international search for Small.” Buffalo Times, May 28, 1923.

“Reward offer of $50,000 to expire Sept. 1.” Des Moines Register, August 15, 1921.

“Search for Small's body in Montreal.” Ottawa Citizen, January 19, 1921.

“Small's body is found in dead house.” Regina Leader-Post, August 13, 1920.

“Small fake is exposed – newspaper hoax bared by Register.” Des Moines Register, August 16, 1921.

“Small named defendant in $52,500 suit.” Windsor Star, May 5, 1922.

“Small thought buried near ravine.” Windsor Star, March 9, 1922.

“Small will not genuine, according to an aunt.” Winnipeg Tribune, March 22, 1924.

“Suspected of being Ambrose Small, he resents detention.” Vancouver Sun, December 3, 1920.

“Think Ambrose Small may be alive and in hiding near Kemptville, Ontario.” Calgary Herald, February 5, 1921.

“This clue doubted.” Windsor Star, June 24, 1922.

“Thought he was Small.” Montreal Gazette, February 21, 1921.

“Thought man in Des Moines may be lost magnate.” Freeport (IL) Journal-Standard, August 15, 1921.

“Toronto detective, returning with Doughty, declares only part of Small story is known.” Ottawa Citizen, November 25, 1920.

“Toronto studies Langsner claim in Small case.” Winnipeg Tribune, October 6, 1928.

“Trace missing millionaire.” Nebraska State Journal, August 15, 1921.

“Vienna's Sherlock Holmes unknown to police world.” Winnipeg Tribune, September 13, 1928.

“Visit to bank vault.” Montreal Gazette, November 26, 1920.

“Witness avers Doughty of kidnapping.” Montreal Gazette, March 23, 1921.

“Witness says signature on will forgery.” Ottawa Journal, November 19, 1936.

“Woman friend of Small in Toronto.” Montreal Gazette, May 25, 1922.

Allen, Robert Thomas. “What really happened to Ambrose Small?” Maclean's Magazine, January 15, 1951.

Daubs, Katie. “Toronto's scoundrel of the century.” Toronto Star, September 7, 2019.

Dominion Law Reports, vol. 64 (C.E.T. Fitzgerald, C.B. Labatt, Russel S. Smart, and A.P. Grigg, editors). Toronto: Canada Law Book, 1922.

O'Leary, Dillon. “Small: foul play or did he run out?” Ottawa Journal, November 23, 1974.

St. John, Jordan. Lost Breweries of Toronto. Charleston, SC: The History Press, 2014.


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