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Category Archives: Gun violence

New York Times, August 5, 1878.  Yes: cartridge placement would be key here. Standard operating procedure among ghouls was not to expose the whole coffin, just the top half. Then the lid would be prized up with a bar and/or hooks. The soil pressure on the lower part of the coffin helped lever the lid upward. Then the smallest dude in the crew would get down in the hole and run a rope under the armpits of the deceased, who could then be extracted with a quick heave-ho. The best of the trade took pains to restore the grave to an ostensibly undisturbed condition–leaving a mess was bad for repeat bidnis, see? Sometimes mourners would leave small tokens on the grave–a stick or a stone–as a quick way of determining if the site had been disturbed, but the ghouls knew about this trick too and did their best to anticipate it. Anyway, this torpedo gizmo apparently found a market and sometimes worked, judging from this prior post.

P.S. To those who like this sort of thing, may I recommend this excellent book.

Chicago Tribune, January 1, 1908. I assume these are national statistics, not municipal. I must do some research into the matter of electric swings and scenic railroads. It was tough luck for that lone victim of the discus.

Harper’s Weekly, April 16, 1904.I can’t quite put my finger on it, but there’s something subtly disturbing about this ad.

Grand Forks Daily Herald, November 28, 1909. I think we’ve tracked down President Taft’s missing mince mega-pie. Read More »

Grand Forks Herald, November 28, 1909. Story anticipates what one researcher has identified as the world’s funniest joke.

Columbus Inquirer, September 24, 1908. “Possessed of unlimited resources for the gratification of his pleasure”—hot dog! This is another item ripe for adaptation for a handlebar-mustache version of Law & Order. The episode would cold-open with an Italian balloon vendor stepping into the bushes to relieve himself and tripping over the murdered monsignor, natch. Read more.

New York Times, May 20, 1908. I don’t recall Yahweh signaling His opposition to May-December matches in Scripture, but in this instance He ostensibly sided with George Sterry Jr. against Sterry Sr.’s desire to take a second, younger bride. Read More »

Atlanta Constitution, January 31, 1907. “Undersized,” hey? Well, you never know who the Big Fella is gonna deputize to serve His mysterious ways. And someone was definitely looking out for Harry Howard when that angry mob came knocking. Shooting four guys and burning down the billiard hall would have been a pretty strong case for ol’ Judge Lynch in Wild West Virginia circa 1907.

I’ve just published a piece about killer prof Amy Bishop at the Chicago Reader. Technically this is Bad News From the Present, I know. So sue me.

Chicago Tribune, May 11, 1875. This kind of thing happens to me all the time–other bloggers try to provoke me into throwing a punch so they can pull out a hand cannon. Old media, new media: what’s the difference?
I’m not familiar with an opera or operetta called Deborah. Anyone know of it?

I’ve never seen “nerve” as an adjective before, but I kinda like it.

“Downing’s carrying a pistol was regarded by everybody as a joke”–ouch!