Author Topic: Classic Cases From The Past Up Until The End Of The Gilded Age ; For Comparative Purposes  (Read 691 times)

Howard Brown

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As with virtually every case of murder or other noteworthy crime, there are similarities between the Brown Murder and other cases of homicide throughout history.
Nothing new under the sun as they say....I thought these two cases might be of interest for those interested in Manhattan murders, prior to and after the Hotel Murder.

Here then are two from New York.....one because of the public interest it received ; the fact that there was a dispute over the verdict ; and that the press played a significant role in being more than a case of  just a prostitute being murdered

Helen Jewett (born Dorcas Doyen October 18, 1813 April 10, 1836) was an American prostitute in New York City who was brutally murdered. One of her regular clients, Richard P. Robinson, was tried and sensationally acquitted of her murder. Jewett's murder and Robinson's subsequent trial was one of the first sex scandals to receive detailed press reporting, notably in the New York Herald. Public opinion was divided between those who felt that Jewett had deserved her fate, and others claiming that Robinson had escaped justice through powerful connections.
-Wikipedia-

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_Jewett

****************************************************************************************************************

The other case also featured a disproportionate press presence ( the Hearst-Pulitzer press 'war'), the coverage of which dwarfed that of the Brown Murder (and even the Whitechapel Murders) in New York.  The East River gets a nod or two in the case and despite it not being about the murder of a prostitute, it did have a sexual component.

The Guldensuppe Murder 1897

Edmund Pearson in Vanity Fair, 1934
https://archive.vanityfair.com/article/1934/2/the-guldensuppe-murder

Peter Levins The American Weekly 1949 ( in PDF at bottom)
« Last Edit: September 25, 2022, 07:48:28 am by Howard Brown »

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Howard Brown

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No study of Gilded Age murders is complete without the most celebrated crime of them all :  the Murders of Andrew & Abby Borden on August 7, 1892 in Fall River, Massachusetts.

This is Edmund Pearson's seminal 1924 book, 'Studies In Murder' which has a comprehensive treatment of the Fall River murder and Lizzie Borden's role in that case.

https://archive.org/details/studiesinmurder1924pear/mode/2up?view=theater

Fall River, in 1892, was an important city in the US & to a far greater degree than it is today.  It was the textile capital of America.
However, just imagine had the murders occurred 16 months earlier in Manhattan and at the same time the Hotel Murder occurred.

The underwhelming interest in the Hotel Murder would without a doubt attract even fewer interested persons had the Borden Murders occurred earlier in New York.
« Last Edit: September 25, 2022, 08:49:56 am by Howard Brown »

guest5

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I think only the Helen Jewett murder rates a comparison, if you're just talking about the crime itself. The other examples are domestic crimes and, although they feature axe jobs and the severing of bodies, it's not really comparable, unless you believe in Primacy of M.O.

They do that in Ripperology - mixing in everything and/or classifying just based on mutilation and body severing and weapon used regardless of victimology. To me, it's a smokescreen or periferology. I wouldn't even rate post-mortem mutilation in the same classification as torture mutilation.


guest5

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This case looks very comparable.

Leo Frank

Leo Max Frank (April 17, 1884 August 17, 1915) was an American factory superintendent who was convicted in 1913 of the murder of a 13-year-old employee, Mary Phagan, in Atlanta, Georgia. His trial, conviction, and appeals attracted national attention. His lynching two years later, in response to the commutation of his death sentence, became the focus of social, regional, political, and racial concerns, particularly regarding antisemitism. Today, the consensus of researchers is that Frank was wrongly convicted and Jim Conley was likely the actual murderer.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leo_Frank

This is the Mary Phagan murder. Am I nuts or did a black man murder a factory girl and then try to frame another black man for the murder, and then the authorities used him to frame a Jewish man for the murder and make it look like the Jewish guy was the one trying to frame the second black man, and then the Jewish guy was lynched, and the real murderer got away?

Howard Brown

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I think only the Helen Jewett murder rates a comparison, if you're just talking about the crime itself. The other examples are domestic crimes and, although they feature axe jobs and the severing of bodies, it's not really comparable, unless you believe in Primacy of M.O.

The Guldensuppe Murder and Borden murder were comparable in terms of how sensational they were in 1897 and 1892, respectively.
I listed those to show other cases comparable in terms of public interest* and press coverage....which were present to a great degree in the Brown Murder. That's all.  I'm well aware of the types of weapons used, that two people had a hand in the Guldensuppe Murder, and that Borden walked. That was not what I meant when I said comparable.

If you had read the headers before the two cases ( Guldensuppe and Borden), you'd have understood why I put them on the thread.  I wasn't talking about 'the crime itself'.



* The press were very active from April 24th to May 7th....then a lull until May 14th/15th.....then it picked back up in late June up until July 5th, two days after the conclusion of the trial....then it went into fade out mode.
All in all, the case was front page news for approximately 25 of the 71 days ( April 24-July 3) that it lasted....from murder to verdict.
« Last Edit: September 26, 2022, 05:59:29 pm by Howard Brown »

Howard Brown

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They do that in Ripperology - mixing in everything and/or classifying just based on mutilation and body severing and weapon used regardless of victimology. To me, it's a smokescreen or periferology. I wouldn't even rate post-mortem mutilation in the same classification as torture mutilation.

No argument there.
Out of curiosity, what the hell is periferology ?  ??? ;D 

« Last Edit: September 26, 2022, 06:11:37 pm by Howard Brown »

guest5

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Out of curiosity, what the hell is periferology ?

I think Debra A invented that word. I may have spelled it wrong. It's the study of everything peripheral to the case as opposed to studying the case.

Of course, sometimes you don't know what's peripheral and what's integral. And it can sometimes be a matter of debate. But I prefer to work from the inside out.

guest5

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The Guldensuppe Murder and Borden murder were comparable in terms of how sensational they were in 1897 and 1892, respectively.
I listed those to show other cases comparable in terms of public interest* and press coverage....which were present to a great degree in the Brown Murder. That's all.  I'm well aware of the types of weapons used, that two people had a hand in the Guldensuppe Murder, and that Borden walked.


Borden walked as did Robinson. As did OJ and Blake. And C Kniclo got away. So along with the press coverage etc. as you say, there's also a possibility to make a comparison as to who gets away with murder, or gets to be acquitted as opposed to others, whether they're innocent or not.

Howard Brown

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Here's one that occurred in Chicago which was compared to the Brown Murder with no mention of the Whitechapel Murders, an unusual occurrence for that time frame.



Howard Brown

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A few more murders, most more gruesome than the Brown Murder, from New York in the same decade.....

'Golden Haired Girl' , 1899

Howard Brown

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Murder and mutilation, corpse found in the East River, 1893

Howard Brown

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Murder near New York's state capitol, Albany, from 1894....the murder of Emma Hunt

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Murder & mutilation in Manhattan, 1895....murder of Alice Walsh

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Two torsos found on Coney Island, Brooklyn, across the East River missing hearts....1899

Howard Brown

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This article was one of the first pertaining to the infamous Rahway Murder of 1887.
Like the Brown murder, reportage generally sucked.  One preliminary article stated that he victim was outraged (****) while another stated the opposite.

This article features something that articles on the Brown murder didn't...a nasty suggestion to a black( male) committing the crime without a single suspect
being named.  Any suggestion to Ali being the murderer based on his ( not wholly) African ancestry was pleasantly avoided in every article I have ever come across
since I began tracking down newspaper accounts to the Brown murder.  It was also a full calendar year before the murder of Emma Smith in London kicking off that series of crimes.

After reading this, take a look at the second piece concerning Francis Lingo....a black man acquitted of two murders in 1889 and 1891 in the Camden County area of south New Jersey across the river from Philadelphia. The same Camden that this article below was published, but 2 full years before the Lingo-related crimes occurred.
In case you're wondering what happened to Lingo....he was arrested for attempting to abduct a woman from Philly in 1897 and got 20 years in Trenton ( NJ State Prison) for the crime.
He might have been guilty all along in the first two cases but any circumstantial evidence used to determine guilt appears to have been insufficient for a conviction in each case..
In relation to the Brown murder, it might have been another example of someone getting off with a crime or crimes they had committed.

Camden Courier-Post
March 28, 1887
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« Last Edit: May 25, 2023, 10:59:47 am by Howard Brown »