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Category Archives: Clews

The Trentonian, August 3, 1995. The Lindbergh baby is America’s answer to the lost Dauphin of France: Over the years there have been any number of nuts and hustlers claiming to be the kidnapped son of aviator and Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindbergh. But unlike this candidate, most such pretenders have tended be be blond, blue-eyed and male. I was planning to attend this press conference but I slept in or something, thus missing the chance to consider this lady’s evidence. I guess we’ll never know.

Chicago Daily Tribune, October 31, 1889. Your average false arrest of a Bender suspect is a pretty prosaic affair: Some unlucky schmuck or schmuckess is in transit through a hick town, and a random resident of the latter spontaneously decides That’s John Bender! (sometimes senior, sometimes junior) and/or That’s Kate Bender! and/or That’s Almira Bender! An arrest or arrests ensue, and the newspapers triumphantly report that the long-sought criminal or criminals have been arrested at last and for sure this time, and no mistake about it. Often the coverage simply stops there until the next round, though sometimes there’s a sheepish follow-up item to the effect that, uh, perhaps the rock-solid Bender identification had been a bit premature after all. This one, however, is a bit more complicated. Read More »

Clews1AChicago Tribune, September 22, 1934. Ravinia is a park and performance venue built in 1904 that has long served as the summer home of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and hosts an eclectic annual summer concert series. But in 1934 the site fell derelict during the Depression–hence the reference to the “old Ravinia Opera House,” a Prairie Style structure since restored to its original glory. Read More »

clewaChicago Tribune, April 23, 1925. I find a lot of people tend to assume that horrors like this are signally modern, but take my word for it: the further back you look, the more such mayhem you’ll find. Don’t even get me started on the 19th century. Anyway, persons of delicate sensibilities should stop reading here, because the details get a whole lot hairier after the jump. Read More »

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