Newspaper clippings · United States

Vintage crime collection: 9 stories of misfortune

July 18, 1890
The Carolina Banner (Tarboro, North Carolina) runs an article with several tidbits of various misfortunes

The article was too long to replicate without compression issues. Instead, here are some of the more interesting bits quoted from the newspaper. Any additional information I could find is added in parentheses. As the stories are over a century old, some information is still missing.

* Annie Estella Murphy, aged twenty-three years, was fatally cut by her husband on the street in Philadelphia. (James Murphy was arrested for stabbing his wife repeatedly with a penknife in the street. The couple had been estranged for a year before the attack.)

* Clinton Shuneck, aged thirty-five years, shot and killed Mary Brunot, aged fourteen years, and then shot himself, in Montgomery county, Pa. (Shuneck shot Brunot after a “lover’s quarrel.”)

* John Cruse, of Westboro, Mass., confesses that he tried to kill Frank Martin, to obtain money to pay for his wedding expenses. (Cruse stated he only meant to “stun” the victim and the death was accidental.)

* Perry Comstock, a wealthy farmer of Owosso, Mich., aged sixty years, shot and killed his wife, and then shot himself. A few years ago he married his second wife, a young woman of twenty, and it is reported that he was very jealous of her. (Newspapers can’t seem to agree on Perry Comstock’s age, listing it as either 30, 60, or 80. They do agree that he shot and killed his wife after an argument and attempted to kill his adopted son before killing himself.)

* A father in Lapeer, Mich., sues a druggist for selling alcohol to his little boys, who became intoxicated and were run over by a locomotive. (James C. Raymond sued a pharmacist for selling his 15-year-old son alcohol who then shared the drink with his younger brother.)

* A so-called wild man, with a shaggy beard and only covered by a red blanket, has been alarming the women and children of the vicinity of Palmyra, Mo.

* Thomas Willett, a young man of Accomac county, Va., in a jealous frenzy stabbed and nearly hacked to pieces two disreputable women.

* William Rittamel, a carpenter in Chicago, shot his wife, and was in turn shot by his son, who rushed to his mother’s defense. (William Rittamel shot his wife in the head before his son, a 30-year-old minister, wrestled and shot William to rescue his mother. Neither were expected to survive their injuries.)

* Agnes Baldwin, a prostitute of Devil’s Lake, North Dakota, murdered John Kinney and cut his body in pieces. (Agnes Baldwin pleaded guilty of manslaughter in the death and dismembering John Kinney a year and a half after her arrest. She was sentenced to seven years.)

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