Category: Random Acts of Senseless Violence!

Tramps On a Rampage

Posted by – December 11, 2015

December 12, 1887



They Wreck a Saloon, Hack a Man With a Razor and Assault Others.

SHENANDOAH, Pa., Dec. 12.–A band of about thirty tramps, who have been making their headquarters just outside the borough limits during the past few weeks, came into Shenandoah last night, and after getting drunk raised a riot in a saloon and killed one man and fatally injured two others. Four of the tramps were ejected from the saloon for using abusive language, and shortly afterwards returned with eight more of their comrades and attacked the saloon-keeper and a party of miners, who were drinking in the house. James McKeone, a brother of the saloon-keeper, was horribly hacked with a razor in the hands of one of the tramps, and two of the miners were beaten with bottles and glasses into insensibility.

The tramps after clearing out the barroom, withdrew to the street and wrecked the front of the building. Nine of the number were subsequently arrested and four of them were committed to jail. McKeone will die, and the other two men are in a precarious condition.

From the Collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
The 1887 Morbid Scrapbook

Dead in a Car of Wheat

Posted by – October 15, 2015

December, 1887


Dead in a Car of Wheat.

PERRY, Iowa., Dec. 13.—At Aspinwall, seventy-five miles west of here, a man was found dead in a car of wheat yesterday. The body was still warm. Later in the day a young man named Ted Stevens was arrested at this place. When taken to Aspinwall he confessed to killing the man with a car pin, and that he relieved the man of $69. The murdered man’s name is Carson, and he is supposed to have friends near Tama City. Stevens is about eighteen years of age. His father lives east of this city and is a highly respected man. Young Stevens ran away from home about a year ago, and was beating his way from the west when he fell in company with his victim, whom he finally murdered by beating his brains out.

From the Collection of The Comtesse DeSpair

Why Sarah Scott Was Killed

Posted by – November 17, 2013

January 31, 1892


BALTIMORE, Jan. 31.—Thomas M. Gray fatally shot Sarah L. Scott last night. Mary Gray, in giving her version of the tragedy says: “Sarah came home carrying a basket of coal, and Gray asked her where she got it. She refused to tell him and he remarked: ‘I’ll shoot you if you don’t.’ She still refused, and he pulled a pistol from his pocket, and three times snapped it in her face. The fourth time he pulled the trigger the hammer struck a loaded chamber in the cylinder and the woman fell dead at his feet.” All are colored people.


From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair
(The 1892 Morbid Scrapbook

A Tragic Street Fight

Posted by – November 17, 2013

Steele Scrapbook – September 6, 1885



Administering the Sacrament to a Murdered Man on the Highway.

CHICAGO, Aug.5.—John, alias “Bull” Flaherty, a packing house hand, was drunk yesterday and while passing the residence of Thomas Ryan, at 4712 Loomis Street, insulted Ryan and challenged him to a fight. Ryan approached Flaherty. The latter then drew a revolver but the weapon missed fire. The men grappled and while struggling Patrick Garrity, a friend of Ryan’s, attempted to separate them. Flaherty shot him and he fell. The fight continued and a great crowd collected. Father Hayes was called and while
Flaherty and Ryan continued to fight like tigers up and down the street, the priest administered the sacrament. Ryan was being badly worsted. Several of his friends now made a rush, knocked Flaherty down and beat him nearly to death. A police officer arrived, clubbed his way through the crowd and carried Flaherty to the station. Flaherty is said to be an old criminal. Garrity is not expected to live.


Deviously Plundered From Alf


Mrs. Clute’s Slayer Now Under Arrest

Posted by – November 17, 2013

Chico Weekly Record – December 25, 1897



Ventured Into the Police Office to Talk the Deed Over With the Officers.


Almost a Certainty That Albert Hoff, a Russian Upholsterer Committed the Guerrero Street Tragedy.

SAN FRANCISCO, December 17.—The mystery attending the brutal murder of Mrs. Mary Clute in a Guerrero-Street flat Wednesday evening has apparently been solved. The police believe a Russian known as Albert Hoff, whom they have arrested, is the murderer. He says he was born in Baden in 1830, but he does not appear to be 50 years of age. He had been employed by Mrs. Clute to help her move and to make over some mattresses.

Knowing that he had been assisting in the work of preparing Mrs. Clute’s newly-rented flat for occupancy, and being satisfied that the carpet layers, Foley & Jackson who had been there on the same day, were innocent of the crime, the police were on the lookout for Hoff. Greatly to the surprise of Chief Lees, the suspected man walked into the police station yesterday and told a story regarding his visit to the Clute flat which at first seemed plausible. Clever cross-examination, however, soon involved the Russian in a maze of contradictions, and he was placed under arrest as a suspect.

Suspicion as to his guilt was soon changed to certainty, for last evening he was positively identified by Mrs. L. A. Legg, who occupies the flat directly under the rooms where the murder was committed, as the man she and her invalid father-in-law saw leaving the house after they had been alarmed by Mrs. Clute’s dying calls for help.

Mrs. Legg asserts that she cannot be mistaken.

He has also been identified by Foley as the man who was in the house when he and Jackson left.

Further strong circumstantial evidence that he is the murderer is furnished by the fact that he is left handed, and that his left hand is badly cut. The flange of the coupling pin with which Mrs Clute was killed is sharp and jagged, and held in a tight grasp could easily have caused the wound, which he says was made by a tack. The police surgeon, however, says it could not have been produced except by some heavy instrument.


From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair