Forgotten Darkness

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

October 28th, 2020    

81 - The Demon of the Belfry

San Francisco, 1895. One of the more notorious trials of the 19th Century was that of Theo Durrant, "the Demon of the Belfry," for the murders of two young ladies in Emmanuel Baptist Church.

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

Closing music by Soma.



A Bloody Shoe is Found in the Church.” San Francisco Call, April 21, 1895.

A Dreadful Affair!” Boston Globe, May 24, 1875.

A Horrible Tragedy in a Church.” San Francisco Chronicle, April 14, 1895.

A Murderer Hanged.” Morrisville (VT) News and Citizen, June 1, 1876.

Alleged Expose of Theo. Durrant.” Spokane Spokesman-Review, August 21, 1895.

Blacker Grows the Cloud Over Emmanuel Baptist Church.” San Francisco Call, April 15, 1895.

Blanche Lamont's Ring.” Downs (KS) Times, September 26, 1895.

Blood Stained Coat Found in Berkeley.” San Francisco Call, April 23, 1895.

Durrant and His Girl Companion Traced Beyond Church Gate.” San Francisco Chronicle, September 18, 1895.

Durrant Rode With A Bundle.” San Francisco Examiner, April 21, 1895.

Durrant Will Hang.” Fort Wayne Gazette, May 16, 1897.

Durrant's Story Ended.” Topeka Daily Capital, October 12, 1895.

Five Years of Undetected Crimes.” San Francisco Call, August 7, 1898.

Flimsy Yarn.” Xenia (OH) Daily Gazette, October 28, 1895.

Fluegel is in a Fix.” San Francisco Chronicle, January 3, 1895.

Forging the Chain.” Vancouver Daily World, April 17, 1895.

George King to Testify To-day.” San Francisco Chronicle, September 18, 1895.

Her Aim Was Bad.” San Francisco Call, June 9, 1891.

Martin Quinlan's Victim.” San Francisco Examiner, September 16, 1891.

Missing From Home.” San Francisco Chronicle, April 10, 1895.

Planning Alibis for Durrant.” San Francisco Examiner, October 29, 1895.

Press Privileges.” Champaign (IL) Daily Gazette, October 4, 1895.

Quinlan Pugilistically Inclined.” San Francisco Call, August 5, 1891.

Rev. J. George Gibson Pays His Respects to Eugene Deuprey.” San Francisco Chronicle, October 1, 1895.

Secretary McCoy of the Y.M.C.A. Is a New Figure in the Durrant Trial.” San Francisco Chronicle, October 2, 1895.

She Tried To Keep Her Secret.” San Francisco Examiner, September 14, 1895.

Slayer of M.D. Foley Becomes a Bride.” San Francisco Examiner, January 5, 1899.

Still After Gibson.” San Francisco Call, April 26, 1895.

Taken Into the Mission.” San Francisco Examiner, September 17, 1895.

The Durrant Trial.” Chilliwack (BC) Progress, October 2, 1895.

The Missing Lady.” Anaconda (MT) Standard, April 11, 1895.

The New Witness Against Durrant.” San Francisco Examiner, August 17, 1895.

Theo. Durrant's Double.” Saint Paul Globe, August 3, 1895.

Think He is Insane.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 25, 1895.

Adams, Samuel Hopkins. The Great American Fraud: Articles on the Nostrum Evil and Quacks. New York: P.F. Collier & Sons, 1905.

Jackson, Joseph Henry and Lenore Glen Offord. The Girl in the Belfry. Greenwich, CT: Fawcett, 1957.

Peixotto, Edgar D. Report of the Trial of William Henry Theodore Durrant. Detroit: Collector Publishing, 1899.,Gibson%2C%20resigned%20his%20parish%20in%20Scotland%20in%201887.

October 10th, 2020    

80 - The Smallest of the Small

Caroline Crachami, "The Sicilian Fairy," was one of the earliest identified cases of primordial dwarfism known.  She was barely a foot and a half feet tall.  The Mexican Lucia Zarate had a similar condition.

Podcast Site:



Part of the Straight Up Strange Network:

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

Closing music by Soma.



Little People Make Mark On History.” Binghamton (NY) Press and Sun-Bulletin, February 5, 1978.

Two Human Wonders.” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, November 10, 1876.

Bondeson, Jan. A Cabinet of Medical Curiosities. New York: W.W. Norton, 1999.

Wood, Gaby. “The Smallest of All Persons Mentioned in the Records of Littleness.” London Review of Books 19:24 (December 11, 1997).


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