Forgotten Darkness

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

December 26th, 2019    

61 - The Case of George Edalji

Small-town politics and old-fashioned racism come into play when the household of an Indian vicar in Great Wyrley, in Staffordshire, England is targeted for harassment. In 1903, a series of animal mutilations and maiming afflict the area and the vicar's son, a solicitor by the name of George Edalji, is convicted.

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Opening music from "Giant Wyrm" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (

"Dark Child" by Kevin MacLeod ( License: CC BY (

Closing music by Soma.


“A stupid hoax.” London Standard, July 26, 1895.

“Cattle-maiming – fresh atrocities at Great Wyrley.” The Guardian, August 28, 1907.

“Cattle-maiming – the new situation at Great Wyrley.” The Guardian, August 29, 1907.

“Edalji is restored.” Washington Post, December 1, 1907.

“Extraordinary hoax.” Essex County Standard, August 24, 1895.

“Labourer sent to penal servitude.” London Times, November 7, 1934.

“'Poison pen' letters.” The Guardian, November 7, 1934.

“Strange persecution of a clergyman.” Birmingham Daily Post, January 20, 1893.

“Strange persecution of a clergyman.” Leicester Chronicle and Leicestershire Mercury, April 1, 1893.

“The Edalji case – a mysterious letter from Walsall.” The Observer, January 20, 1907.

“The Edalji case – prisoner to be released this week.” The Observer, October 7, 1906.

“The maiming outrages – an arrest at Wolverhampton.” The Guardian, September 6, 1907.

“The renewed Wyrley outrages.” Manchester Guardian, April 1, 1904.

“The Staffordshire maiming outrages.” The Penny Illustrated Paper, November 14, 1903.

“The Wyrley outrages.” The Guardian, September 7, 1907.

Costello, Peter. Conan Doyle, Detective: The True Crimes Investigated by the Creator of Sherlock Holmes. London: Constable & Robinson, 2006.

Doyle, Arthur Conan. “The Case of Mr. George Edalji.” New York Times, February 2-3, 1907.

Risinger, D. Michael. “Boxes in Boxes: Julian Barnes, Conan Doyle, Sherlock Holmes and the Edalji Case.” International Commentary on Evidence 4:2 (2006).

Weaver, Gordon. Conan Doyle and the Parson's Son: The George Edalji Case. Cambridge: Vanguard Press, 2006.

December 18th, 2019    

60 - Fire, Devil, Bat

Charles Fort related the story of how an elderly couple named the Krings were murdered and their house burned, and a number of mysterious bodies found nearby. Discussed here is the story of what actually happened. Also: unreported facts in the cases of the 1909 sightings of the Jersey Devil in Bristol, PA and a possible other interpretation of the famous Houston Batman.

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


Austin American-Statesman, June 19, 1953.

Bucks County Gazette, July 4, 1901; January 30, 1902.

Perkasie Central News, July 2, 1908; April 22, 1909; November 25, 1918.

“Attacker of 12 women believed held.” Brownsville (TX) Herald, October 14, 1953.

“Beautiful ex-model said suicide victim.” Waco Tribune-Herald, July 4, 1953.

“Bellaire mugger strikes again.” Odessa (TX) American, February 26, 1953.

“Bellaire phantom suspect caught.” Mexia (TX) Daily News, October 14, 1953.

“Bristol dealers are acquitted.” Bucks County Gazette, May 22, 1908.

“Bristol liquor dealers arrested.” Bucks County Gazette, February 28, 1908.

“Cambria County mysteries.” Altoona Tribune, February 4, 1892.

“Death in the flames.” Altoona Tribune, January 29, 1892.

“Democrats to have censors for candidates.” Bristol Daily Courier, March 9, 1915.

“'Devil prints' in Bristol.” Bucks County Gazette, January 22, 1909.

“Houston area love bandit is sought by dogs.” Waco News-Tribune, May 21, 1952.

“Houston girl fights off night attacker.” Lubbock Evening Journal, February 5, 1953.

“Lynn pleaded guilty.” Bucks County Gazette, February 28, 1908.

“Man eludes pair in chase.” Lubbock Evening Journal, May 21, 1953.

“Mysterious 'Batman' seen by five persons in Houston.” El Paso Times, June 19, 1953.

“Phantom prowlers sought by officers at Dallas, Houston.” Lubbock Morning Avalanche, September 30, 1953.

“Purse snatcher is sought at Houston.” Lubbock Evening Journal, October 23, 1953.

“Slashed with a knife.” Bucks County Gazette, January 23, 1902.

“Suspected mugger held in Houston.” Mexia (TX) Daily News, March 9, 1953.

“The borough conventions.” Bucks County Gazette, February 11, 1892.

“Two horses killed.” Bucks County Gazette, November 6, 1908.

“Woman foils bold attacker in Houston.” McAllen (TX) Monitor, June 11, 1953.

Fort, Charles. The Complete Books of Charles Fort. New York: Dover, 1974.

Gerhard, Ken. Encounters With Flying Humanoids. Woodbury, MN: Llewellyn, 2013.

Kernell, Samuel and Michael P. McDonald. "Congress and America's Political Development: the Transformation of the Post Office from Patronage to Service." American Journal of Political Science 42:3 (July, 1999).

McCloy, James F. and Ray Miller, Jr. The Jersey Devil. Moorestown, NJ: Middle Atlantic Press, 1976.

December 7th, 2019    

59 - The Maniac of Beekman Hill, Part Two

The net closes around Robert Irwin who, it turns out, is far more volatile than anyone knew. His is actually a rather sad story of mental illness, criminality, and someone who was essentially doomed to lead the life he did before he was even born.

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


“Comb city for 'mad slayer' of model.” New York Daily News, April 6, 1937.

“Cops think Gedeon killer made mask's of model's face.” Long Branch (NJ) Daily Record, April 8, 1937.

“Eagle crime tipster used Irwin's alias.” Brooklyn Eagle, April 7, 1937.

“Guilt of Irwin found in check of fingerprints.” Brooklyn Eagle, April 7, 1937.

“Hunt queer-acting man at Woodstock.” Rutland (VT) Daily Herald, April 7, 1937.

“It's a cinch! Amateurs find Irwin in 5 places.” Brooklyn Eagle, April 6, 1937.

“Killer carved soap statue in model's home.” Des Moines Tribune, April 8, 1937.

“New clue places murder suspect on M&M liner.” Rutland (VT) Daily Herald, April 7, 1937.

“Ronnie's fiance sleepless, fearing death; going abroad.” Brooklyn Eagle, April 6, 1937.

“Sculptor confesses to Easter triple slaying.” Quad-City Times (Davenport, IA), June 27, 1937.

“Student wore masks, Gedeon informs police.” Brooklyn Eagle, April 6, 1937.

“Thinks Irwin is suicide.” Wilkes-Barre (PA) Times-Leader, April 9, 1937.

“Triple killing suspect seen in mountains.” Brooklyn Eagle, April 8, 1937.

Reynolds, Quentin. Courtroom: The Story of Samuel S. Leibowitz. New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1950.

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


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