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Tuesday, February 7, 2017
The police dont always get their guy and stories dont always end with justice being served. The world of crime and punishment is a world of gray hues and for those whos job it is to maneauver the murky waters often are left cold. The series of articles to follow over the next few weeks(or months more than likely) will  take a look at 10 unsolved serial killings with many still on the loose.

The Edgecombe County Serial killer

Beer Man

The Texas Killing Fields

The Frankford Slasher

The Doodler

the Long Island Killer

The Original Night Stalker

The Smiley face Murders

The Flat tire Murders

New Bedford Highway killer



Saturday, July 16, 2016



Looking for a place for list..yes lists of the odd and curious. Look no further than Listverse. The Macabre list to the List of patient zero for the top 10 epidemics. Don't forget the 10 most barbaric medical procedures STILL used today!
Fair warning.. you could spend all day on this site!
Click to go to LISTVERSE



Wednesday, January 20, 2016

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Mary Ann Cotton, she's dead and she's rotten,
Lying in bed with her eyes wide open.
Sing, sing, oh what should I sing?
Mary Ann Cotton, she's tied up with string.
Where, where? Up in the air.
Selling black puddings, a penny a pair.

Mary Ann Cotton, she's dead and forgotten,
Lying in bed with her bones all rotten.
Sing, sing, what can I sing?
Mary Ann Cotton, tied up with string.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


Mary Ann Cotton (born Mary Ann Robson; 31 October 1832 – 24 March 1873) was an English murderer, convicted and hanged for killing three of her four husbands, apparently in order to collect on their insurance policies. She may have had as many as 21 victims, including eleven of her thirteen children. She chiefly used arsenic poisoning, which caused severe gastric pain and rapid decline of health.Mary Ann Robson was born on 31 October 1832 at Low Moorsley (now part of Houghton-le-Spring in the City of Sunderland) and baptised at St Mary's, West Rainton on 11 November.

When Mary Ann was eight, her parents moved the family to the County Durham village of Murton, where she went to a new school and found it difficult to make friends. Soon after the move her father fell 150 feet (46 m) to his death down a mine shaft at Murton Colliery.

In 1843, Mary Ann's widowed mother, Margaret (née Lonsdale) married George Robert Brookes, with whom Mary Ann did not get along. At the age of 16, she moved out to become a nurse at Edward Potter's home in the nearby village of South Hetton. After three years there, she returned to her mother's home and trained as a dressmaker.Husband 1: William Mowbray
In 1852, at the age of 20, Mary Ann married colliery labourer William Mowbray in Newcastle Upon Tyne register office; they soon moved to Plymouth, Devon. The couple had five children, four of whom died from gastric fever.[1] William and Mary Ann moved back to North East England where they had, and lost, three more children. William became a foreman at South Hetton Colliery and then a fireman aboard a steam vessel. He died of an intestinal disorder in January 1865. William's life was insured by the British and Prudential Insurance office and Mary Ann collected a payout of £35 on his death, equivalent to about half a year's wages for a manual labourer at the time.

Husband 2: George Ward
Soon after Mowbray's death, Mary Ann moved to Seaham Harbour, County Durham, where she struck up a relationship with Joseph Nattrass. He, however, was engaged to another woman and she left Seaham after Nattrass's wedding. During this time, her 3½-year-old daughter died, leaving her with one child out of the nine she had borne. She returned to Sunderland and took up employment at the Sunderland Infirmary, House of Recovery for the Cure of Contagious Fever, Dispensary and Humane Society. She sent her remaining child, Isabella, to live with her mother.

One of her patients at the infirmary was an engineer, George Ward. They married in Monkwearmouth on 28 August 1865. He continued to suffer ill health; he died in October 1866 after a long illness characterised by paralysis and intestinal problems. The attending doctor later gave evidence that Ward had been very ill, yet he had been surprised that the man's death was so sudden. Once again, Mary Ann collected insurance money from her husband's death.

Husband 3: James Robinson
James Robinson was a shipwright at Pallion, Sunderland, whose wife, Hannah, had recently died. He hired Mary Ann as a housekeeper in November 1866. A month later, when James' baby died of gastric fever, he turned to his housekeeper for comfort and she became pregnant. Then Mary Ann's mother, living in Seaham Harbour, County Durham, became ill so she immediately went to her. Although her mother started getting better, she also began to complain of stomach pains. She died at age 54 in the spring of 1867, nine days after Mary Ann's arrival.

Mary Ann's daughter Isabella, from the marriage to William Mowbray, was brought back to the Robinson household and soon developed bad stomach pains and died; so did another two of Robinson's children. All three children were buried in the last two weeks of April 1867.

Robinson married Mary Ann at St Michael's, Bishopwearmouth on 11 August 1867. Their first child, Mary Isabella, was born that November, but she became ill and died in March 1868. Their second child George was born on 18 June 1869.

Robinson, meanwhile, had become suspicious of his wife's insistence that he insure his life; he discovered that she had run up debts of £60 behind his back and had stolen more than £50 that she was supposed to have put in the bank. The last straw was when he found she had been forcing his older children to pawn household valuables for her. He threw Mary Ann out, retaining custody of their son George.

"Husband" 4: Frederick Cotton
Mary Ann was desperate and living on the streets. Then her friend Margaret Cotton introduced her to her brother, Frederick, a pitman and recent widower living in Walbottle, Northumberland, who had lost two of his four children. Margaret had acted as substitute mother for the remaining children, Frederick Jr. and Charles. But in late March 1870 Margaret died from an undetermined stomach ailment, leaving Mary Ann to console the grieving Frederick Sr. Soon her eleventh pregnancy was underway.

Frederick and Mary Ann were bigamously married on 17 September 1870 at St Andrew's, Newcastle Upon Tyne and their son Robert was born early in 1871. Soon after, Mary Ann learnt that her former lover, Joseph Nattrass, was living 30 miles away in the County Durham village of West Auckland, and no longer married. She rekindled the romance and persuaded her new family to move near him. Frederick followed his predecessors to the grave in December of that year, from "gastric fever." Insurance had been taken out on his life and the lives of his sons.

Two lovers
After Frederick's death, Nattrass soon became Mary Ann's lodger. She gained employment as nurse to an excise officer recovering from smallpox, John Quick-Manning. Soon she became pregnant by him with her twelfth child. It may well be that the name of the excise man was in fact Richard Quick Mann. There appears to be no trace of John Quick-Manning in the records of The West Auckland Brewery or The National Archives at Kew. The census records, birth, death and marriage records also show no trace of him. Richard Quick Mann was a custom and excise man specialising in breweries and has been found in the records and this may indeed be the real name of Mary Ann Cotton's alleged lover.

Frederick Jr. died in March 1872 and the infant Robert soon after. Then Nattrass became ill with gastric fever, and died – just after revising his will in Mary Ann's favour.

The insurance policy Mary Ann had taken out on Charles' life still awaited collection.

Death of Charles Edward Cotton and inquest
Mary Ann's downfall came when she was asked by a parish official, Thomas Riley, to help nurse a woman who was ill with smallpox. She complained that the last surviving Cotton boy, Charles Edward, was in the way and asked Riley if he could be committed to the workhouse. Riley, who also served as West Auckland's assistant coroner, said she would have to accompany him. She told Riley that the boy was sickly and added: “I won’t be troubled long. He’ll go like all the rest of the Cottons.”

Five days later, Mary Ann told Riley that the boy had died. Riley went to the village police and convinced the doctor to delay writing a death certificate until the circumstances could be investigated.

Mary Ann’s first port of call after Charles' death was not the doctor’s but the insurance office. There, she discovered that no money would be paid out until a death certificate was issued. An inquest was held and the jury returned a verdict of natural causes. Mary Ann claimed to have used arrowroot to relieve his illness and said Riley had made accusations against her because she had rejected his advances.

Then the local newspapers latched on to the story and discovered Mary Ann had moved around northern England and lost three husbands, a lover, a friend, her mother, and a dozen children, all of whom had died of stomach fevers.

Arrest
Rumour turned to suspicion and forensic inquiry. The doctor who attended Charles had kept samples, and they tested positive for arsenic. He went to the police, who arrested Mary Ann and ordered the exhumation of Charles' body. She was charged with his murder, although the trial was delayed until after the delivery of her thirteenth and final child in Durham Gaol on 10 January 1873, whom she named Margaret Edith Quick-Manning Cotton.

Trial and execution

Mary Ann Cotton's trial began on 5 March 1873. The delay was caused by a problem in the selection of the public prosecutor. A Mr. Aspinwall was supposed to get the job, but the Attorney General, Sir John Duke Coleridge, chose his friend and protégé Charles Russell. Russell's appointment over Aspinwall led to a question in the House of Commons. However, it was accepted, and Russell conducted the prosecution. The Cotton case would be the first of several famous poisoning cases he would be involved in during his career, including those of Adelaide Bartlett and Florence Maybrick.

The defence in the case was handled by Mr. Thomas Campbell Foster, who argued during the trial that Charles had died from inhaling arsenic used as a dye in the green wallpaper of the Cotton home. The jury retired for 90 minutes before finding Mary Ann guilty.

The Times correspondent reported on 20 March: "After conviction the wretched woman exhibited strong emotion but this gave place in a few hours to her habitual cold, reserved demeanour and while she harbours a strong conviction that the royal clemency will be extended towards her, she staunchly asserts her innocence of the crime that she has been convicted of." Several petitions were presented to the Home Secretary, but to no avail. Mary Ann Cotton was hanged at Durham County Gaol on 24 March 1873 by William Calcraft; she ultimately died not from her neck breaking but by strangulation caused by the rope being cut too short, possibly deliberately.

Of Mary Ann's thirteen children, only two survived her: Margaret Edith and her son George from her marriage to James Robinson.

Coming to PBS  Dark Angel is Mary's story
Starring Joanne Froggatt from Downton Abbey

Monday, October 19, 2015
Two years ago I came across this book call Poison widows by George Cooper. Since most of my family is from Philadelphia I just had to read about this fascinating case from the 1930's. back then it was pretty easy to commit murder and get away with it and it seems a lot of unhappy wives took the opportunity when they could. Only these women figured out how to profit from it.  It  has baeen awhile since i read the book so I found the case online and wanted to post it here. this book should really be a movie.  

The Philadelphia poison ring was a murder for hire gang led by the Petrillo cousins, Herman and Paul Petrillo, in 1938. The leaders were ultimately convicted of 114 poison-murders and were executed by electric chair in 1941. Paul's cousin, Morris Bolber, was among the 14 others in the gang, all of whom were sentenced to life imprisonment.
Herman and Paul Petrillo were cousins and both were experienced in the world of elaborate crimes. Herman was an expert counterfeiter and Paul was running an insurance scam business. In Philadelphia, they joined forces with Morris Bolber to establish a "matrimonial agency." [1] The three men were ostensibly helping recently widowed women to remarry, move on with their lives, and establish life insurance policies for their new husbands; however, the agency functioned as a conduit to collect money from the life insurance policies.

Vincent P. McDevitt was an Assistant District Attorney in Philadelphia. In early 1939, the District Attorney, Charles F. Kelley, assigned him to the homicide case of Ferdinando Alfonsi, who had died on 27 October 1938. McDevitt immediately had information from two undercover detectives, agents Landvoight and Phillips. From them, McDevitt had an informant, one George Meyer, who ran a local upholstery cleaning business. Meyer encountered Herman Petrillo when he was trying to obtain money for his business. Petrillo had offered to provide him with a large sum of money, legal tender and counterfeit, if Meyer would perform the hit on Alfonsi. Landvoight and Meyer had played along with the murder plot, with Meyer hoping for an advance pay-out and Landvoight hoping to finally bust Petrillo's counterfeiting crimesWorking undercover, Landvoight helped Meyer "play along," as the Petrillos plotted the murder that they wanted Meyer to carry out.
The plan was to steal or buy a car, take Alfonsi out to a dark country road and hit him with the car, thus making the murder looking accidental. Herman Petrillo preferred the idea to steal the car rather than buy one, but Landvoight and Phillips were hoping to convince Petrillo to give them money to buy a car for the murder, as it would give them the opportunity that had so long prayed for, to arrest him on counterfeit charges. In the end, Petrillo sold them some fake tender, ostensibly for buying a means of transportation to the planned crime scene. The "play along" plan continued until Meyer, on a whim of curiosity and concern, decided to visit the intended murder victim. At the front door of the house where Alfonsi lived, Meyer learned from an old woman who had opened the door that Alfonsi was gravely ill. After notifying Phillips, he returned with Phillips and Landvoight to the Alfonsi house. They found Alfonsi to be bizarrely ill, suffering symptoms of bulging eyes, immobility, and being unable to speak. At their next meeting with Herman Petrillo, after Petrillo handed Phillips an envelope full of counterfeit bills, Phillips asked about the plan to murder Alfonsi. Petrillo replied that there was no reason to worry about it anymore; it was being handled, apparently.
Ferdinando Alfonsi expired after being admitted to the National Stomach Hospital. The cause of death was heavy metal poisoning. The autopsy revealed tremendous arsenic levels. The detectives assigned to the case were Michael Schwartz, Anthony Franchetti, and Samuel Riccardi. They instantly thought of the rumors, already well-developed, about a highly organized arsenic killing spree surging through the city. Indeed, there were distinct patterns. The victims tended to be Italian immigrants, as Alfonsi was, and to have high levels of arsenic in their bloodstreams.

Herman Petrillo and Mrs. Alfonsi were both arrested. Mrs. Alfonsi had purchased a sizable life insurance policy for her husband, an immigrant who could not read English and had been unaware of the policy.

The Widows  



 Moreover, the Alfonsi case fit with a rapidly emerging common Modus operandi in a lot of other homicide investigations. Most importantly, each case involved a fresh life insurance policy with a double indemnity clause and a nearly direct lead to one of the Petrillo cousins, and each cause of death was listed as some sort of violent accident.



Sunday, May 17, 2015
The Marquis was a French politician, aristocrat and free thinking progressive  for his time. Often famous for his liberal sexuality he has become in the minds of modern BDSM communities the father of all things that push the limits of sexual norms.


 The reputation that proceeded him was founded upon his known works of erotica. Whether it would be fair to merely call them erotica is questionable. Perhaps pornography with a bit of philosophical prose thrown in was more the description. Somewhat similar to pornography with a terrible script and D list acting.The celebrated nature of De Sade's belief in extreme freedoms bucked against the Catholic mindset of the time. It could be argued that he was a product of the Renaissance which at that time was gearing up to question the traditional way of life for most of Europe. 


With his libertine views and ant- religious views he was accused on many occasions of blasphemy for which he was fined, censored and at times imprisoned. These mortal crimes were not the most scandalous of his offenses however. Keeping in mind that gossip was indeed the news of the day some of what is attributed to The Marquis can and possibly is fabricated. 

He may be the most typical and unusual example of the extreme of the enlightenment period. While truly little is known factually about him some basics are. He graduated from Colle-ge de Louis le Grand, was commissioned as a coronet in the French military and later sold that commission. He was pressured into and eventually married Renee de Montreuil of a leading aristocratic family. She bore him three children. Marquis did not value marital fidelity. He seduced and eloped with his wife's sister Anne. While this reputation was taken as fact; only three scandals can be proved against him.

The most major scandal occurred on Easter Sunday in 1768, in which Sade procured the sexual services of a woman, Rose Keller a widow. Ms. Keller understood that her services would be that of housekeeper. This revealed itself to be a ruse for his true intentions. According to Rose's report; At his chateau at Arcueil, de Sade ripped her clothes off, threw her on a divan and tied her by the four limbs. Then he whipped her, made various incisions on her body in which he poured hot wax and then beat her. He repeated this process seven or eight times, when she finally escaped by climbing out of a second-floor window and running away.

There are no simple answers to why De Sade was the character that he was, In hid literary works scholars have sought answers. However, are the writings of a man truly his character? Perhaps the rational conclusions to the philosophies of his day were reached by his own exploration of them in his life. As a scientist often will test his theories upon himself; The Marquis followed suit.








Tuesday, March 11, 2014




Jane Toppan was a nurse who was known to have said she hoped to kill more people than any woman or man who had ever lived. She gained her access to innocent helpless victims as she called them bu being employed as a private nurse in Boston, Massachusetts. 

These many employers did not know of her mother's tragic death when Janie was just a young girl or of her father's subsequent insanity, which impelled him to stitch his own eyelids together. They weren't aware of Jane's own suicide attempts, or the unnerving interest she displayed during her nursing years at Cambridge College, where her odd fascination with autopsies troubled even her supervisors.

Briefly stabilizing during 1880, Jane signed on as a student nurse at a hospital in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Once again, she excelled in her class work, but supervisors and colleagues were disturbed by her obsession with autopsies. Dismissed after two patients died mysteriously in her care, she left the hospital without her certificate, forging the paperwork necessary to find work as a private nurse. Over the next two decades, she was hired by dozens of New England families, caring for the ill and elderly in several states, but few of Toppan's patients managed to survive her "special" treatment

In the early months of 1901 Jane worked for the Davis family of whom Mattie Davis was known to be a friend of Ms. Toppan. They subsequently began dying off like an Egyptian plague. With all the angelic and heroic attempts that Jane attempted to bring comfort to each of the sickly clan with her "injections" it was not use and only the patriarch Alden survived. When Mary, his daughter passed under Jane's care he demanded an autopsy. This triggered Ms.Toppan's flight out of state. Soon the reason was too clear..morphine. The Angel of Mercy had gently put her charges to sleep..forever

 Jane was not finished, yet. Before her arrest in Amherst, New Hampshire, on October 29, she fed a lethal "tonic" to her foster sister, Edna Bannister, and she was working on another patient when police cut short her medical career. 

In custody, Toppan confessed to 31 murders, naming her victims, but students believe her final tally falls somewhere between 70 and 100 victims. No accurate list of her hospital victims was ever compiled, and various New England families avoided the scandal by refusing official requests for exhumations and autopsies. At trial, Jane's lawyer grudgingly conceded eleven murders, staking his hopes on a plea of insanity. Toppan cinched the case with her own testimony, telling the court, "That is my ambition, to have killed more people -- more helpless people -- than any man or woman who has ever lived." 

Declared insane, Toppan was confined for life to the state asylum at Taunton, Massachusetts, where she died in August 1938, at age 84. She was remembered by her keepers as "a quiet old lady," but older attendants remembered her smile as she beckoned them into her room. "Get some morphine, dearie," she would say, "and we'll go out in the ward. You and I will have a lot of fun seeing them die."




Wednesday, January 29, 2014




Lizzie Andrew Borden (July 19, 1860 – June 1, 1927) was an American woman who was tried and acquitted in the 1892 axe murders of her father and stepmother in Fall River, Massachusetts. Her case was one of the first  of it’s kind causing Lizzie to basically become a celebrity in the press. As the trial went on it was suggested that she committed the murders in the nude .



During the inquest, the Bordens' live-in maid Bridget Sullivan testified that Lizzie and Emma rarely ate meals with their parents. During further police questioning, and during the inquest, Lizzie stated that she called her stepmother "Mrs. Borden" and demurred on whether they had a cordial relationship. In May 1892 Andrew, believing that pigeons in the barn were attracting local children to hunt them, killed them with a hatchet. Lizzie had recently built a roost for the pigeons and was upset at their deaths. A family argument in July 1892 prompted both sisters to take extended "vacations" in New Bedford. Returning to Fall River the week before the murders, Lizzie chose to stay in a rooming house for four days before returning to the family residence.After the trial, the sisters moved into a large, modern house in the neighborhood called "The Hill" in Fall River. Around this time, Lizzie began using the name Lizbeth A. Borden.] At their new house, which Lizbeth named "Maplecroft," the sisters had a staff that included live-in maids, a housekeeper, and a coachman. Because Abby was ruled to have died before Andrew, her estate went first to Andrew and then, at his death, passed to his daughters as part of his estate; a considerable settlement, however, was paid to settle claims by Abby's family (especially Abby's two sisters).
Despite the acquittal, Lizbeth was ostracized by Fall River society.[36] Lizbeth Borden's name was again brought into the public eye when she was accused of shoplifting in 1897 in Providence, Rhode Island.
Lizzie on TV 
there have been 2 movies made about Lizzie recently by Lifetime  Lizzie Borden has a AX  starring Christina Ricci as Lizzie 


and in the 70s 
Starring Elizabeth Montgomery 
The Legend of  Lizzie Borden


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