Friday, October 30, 2015

My book "Gilded Age Murder & Mayhem in the Berkshires" is now available from Arcadia Publishing/The History Press. Fourteen heart-pounding true crime stories from between 1870 and 1911 await! Check it out here.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

I'm happy to announce I'll be having my book about murder and mayhem in the Gilded Age Berkshires (1870-early 1900s) published by the History Press. Look for it in the fall of 2015. I'll update readers on my progress as it moves along.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Here's a link to my series on old time farm crime for Modern Farmer. 

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

More of my old time crime from Modern Farmer. This one on the horrific, and real crime, of ostrich feather theft.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

I've begun writing a bimonthly series for Modern Farmer magazine called Old-Time Farm Crime. Here's the first piece, a look at an 18th century horse thief and highwayman named Dick Turpin and some contemporary examples of equine thievery.

Monday, January 2, 2012

An August day in New York, 1858

In my quest for information on John Morrissey I spend a lot of time looking through newspapers of yesteryear and often get so drawn into unrelated stories it takes me much longer than I’d like to get my research done. I thought I’d share one from the New York Times of Aug. 3, 1858 as way of explanation for my wandering eyes.

The U.S. Marshall’s Office busted two men for counterfeiting Aug. 2 after staking out a Duane Street (Lower Manhattan) company that specialized in metal plating. The electroplating technique was fairly new having come over from England in the 1840s, so our two criminals — Charles Howard and James Ryal — were somewhat innovative. The marshals arrested the men, who were working together, but came into the shop at separate times, each carrying about 100 bogus coins that resembled half-dollars.

Nothing was said about the proprietor of the establishment who, it would seem, had to be in on the scheme.

The two marshals, after locking the men up in the Tombs, Manhattan’s infamous jail, went to the men’s base of operations on Eighth Avenue, slipped in through a window and discovered the counterfeiters’ tools, along with fake coins in various stages of manufacture as well as burglary equipment.

There was no mention on whether the marshals had a warrant when they broke into the apartment through a skylight.

Unfortunately, there was no follow up story so the fates of our two alleged criminals have been lost to history.

If you liked this tiny slice of life from the annals of crime, check out my newest blog “Old Time Crime.”