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Category Archives: Mariticide

Chicago Inter-Ocean, August 11, 1874. It was strongly talked of, see? It was not the passing subject of gay badinage and persiflage, nor something obliquely alluded to in a manner that went over the heads of most. The talk of lynching was strong.

ADW aug 13 34Atlanta Daily World, August 13, 1934. I’m not sure how these slayings add up to a poignant demonstration of the evils of common-law marriage. All of these couples could have parted ways without a divorce. Neither does this seem like a particularly “weird” assortment of murder weapons. I mean, what are you supposed to use to kill your non-husband? Read More »

sfc 9 23 21San Francisco Chronicle, September 23, 1921. So like a woman: having married the slob, she sets about to change him.

Chicago Tribune, March 7 and 8, 1914 [click on images to enlarge]. The cartoon is by John T. McCutcheon, same guy who drew this one. He seems to have had an enduring interest in the phenomenon of the unprosecutable female murder defendant. The defense attorney’s contention that a female jury would be easier and not harder on Stella C. is not supported by this previous posting on the subject. But who knows?

kill citykill city2 Chicago Tribune, September 7, 1919. Trib cartoonist John T. McCutcheon touches on some of our favorite themes. But why no vampire autos, I wonder?! Read More »

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San Francisco Chronicle, August 19, 1920. As we noted in earlier posts, Jazz Age wives could pretty much murder their husbands with legal and social impunity by copping what’s now called the abuse excuse. Our correspondent here is the rare individual who didn’t find this funny. I don’t see much hope for his plan of redress though. I’d sooner expect to see NOW campaigning for women’s right to register for the draft.

chargeaDetroit News, May 26, 1931. Serial murderers work so hard at what they do, but most of them simply fall down the memory hole regardless. As we shall see, this Margaret Summers gal was ultimately credited with at least a dozen killings, but who now remembers her name? Ah well, sic transit gloria mundi.

A few years ago, I wrote what I still think is a pretty funny profile of a bogus profiler of serial killers for the Chicago Reader. I thought I was scuttling her barge, but I still see this nutjob crop up in the media as an “expert” from time to time. Read More »

crossa Detroit News, April 28, 1931. Basically I think the judge is telling her to go through the conventional legal channel of killing the old bastard and having a jury set her free.

atheista Detroit News, March 25, 1931. Strikes me that the deathbed statement of an atheist should carry more and not less legal weight. The guy was sticking to his godless guns while staring eternity in the face, no?
Note that the “Negro” appended to Laura Wright’s name is intended to contextualize the whole scene. Had Wilbur not also been black, he would have identified as white. It was journalism’s equivalent to the “one drop” principle.

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Detroit News, April 4, 1931. Mariticidal humor enlivened by reference to our “Bridge Widow”, Myrtle Bennett. Nevada had recently lowered its residency requirement for divorces to six weeks, the national norm being one year. That’s why Reno becomes Mecca for divorce-seekers. God knows how many husbands unwittingly dodged a bullet thanks to this vital social safety valve.

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