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Category Archives: Gun violence

Chicago Tribune, September 15, 1897. Veteran Hope Chest readers will surely recall the notorious Bender Family of Kansas, whose frontier depredations set the contemporary bar for homicidal family enterprise. This here Staffleback crew strikes me as small potatoes in comparison–murder seems to have been less their “trade” than a sideline–but their operation was not without a certain Gothic panache. Abandoned mine shafts are always good value. Read More »

National Gazette and Literary Register, August 4, 1825. Yeah, he sounds pretty genteel and agreeable in manners.

Chicago Herald, June 2, 1891. The victimological gamut of “merchants, mechanics and laboring men” establishes that the perp is an equal-opportunity wisenheimer and not some filthy workshy Iowan anarchist targeting the haves and sparing the have-nots. “Mechanic” here is being used in the wider 19th-century sense of a technologically-skilled worker quelconque.

Statistically this was a very strange week here at THC. I can never anticipate which items are going to grow legs and which will not, but on December 7th traffic on this site suddenly spiked from the normal range of 1,000,000 hits per diem to 5,000,000.* To my surprise, the big rainmaker was this. Which was odd because mince, while good for generating comments from the front of the class, has never been a popular favorite. Though it’s 3D celebrity pron when compared to the poor unloved BGN, whose poison extends to the box office.

*Above numbers may differ from reality by several orders of magnitude.

whiskyKansas City Times, May 3, 1918. She was all like, “Single malts are for the birds,” and he was all like “To blend is to adulterate,” and things just escalated from there.

gunPhiladelphia Inquirer, March 3, 1889. It strikes me that Judge Snead’s little prodigy might well be getting away with murder here. Exactly how many shots were fired before he concluded that dad’s hand cannon was loaded? (Also: did the black kids ever get a turn playing police?)

ruinedKansas City Times, May 18, 1889. I’m guessing this one never got to court.

afireSalt Lake Telegram, June 3, 1922. Is it because Salt Lake City is a faraway foreign capital that I cannot make heads or tails of what should be a straightforward bit of scandal-mongering? afire2

She fainted while her underwear was on fire. Sheesh, what a mystery are the autonomous functions of the human body! But how odd that her dainties should catch fire and not the rest of her clothing. (Is silk particularly flammable, compared to other pre-synthetic fabrics?)
Then again, perhaps she was wearing only her underwear at the time–that would help explain their exclusive and limited combustion.
Or maybe she wasn’t wearing them at the time: She might have built a symbolic bonfire of her knickers on the hotel room floor before shooting the dude and herself.
The questions multiply the mysteries. . .
Anyway, I’m guessing “hotel attaches” are to house dicks as sanitary engineers are to garbagemen. Or maybe “attache” applies only to house dicks small enough to fit through transoms. But now let’s proceed to the intriguing literary aspects of the story.

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AC 10 14 99 Atlanta Constitution, October 14, 1899. An inoffensive negro you say? Oh, the humanity!
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shotgunAtlanta Constitution, November 27, 1929. It had to be mince pie, it could only have been mince pie. Had she been making pumpkin, banana cream or shoofly pie, she would have lived to watch Murder, She Wrote.

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