Category:
Crime

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 6





From the ST. JOSEPH NEWS-PRESS, August 4, 1924

Posted By: Paul - Sun Sep 19, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Death, 1920s, Russia

Bosco’s Collapsible Rubber Driver

Never worry again about your car being stolen. Bosco's inflatable rubber driver will make it appear as if your car is occupied, thereby deterring thieves.



I haven't been able to find an original source for this ad, but it appears in a number of books about automobile oddities (such as Motor touring in old California). However, the dates given for it vary from 1905 to the 1920s.

A Dec 1985 article in Popular Mechanics offers the most details about it, but I have no idea where they got their info from:

Lemuel Bosco of Akron, Ohio, spent $5 for an antitheft device that was supposed to lock the Splitdorf ignition switch of his car, but it didn't stop a thief. He broke it off and took Bosco's Mercer for a joyride. The cops found the car undamaged, but Bosco was mad and vowed it wouldn't happen again. Thus was born the Bosco Collapsible Driver. When inflated and propped behind a steering wheel, it looked like Charlie Chaplin, right down to moustache and derby. When the mannequin wasn't needed, it was deflated and stored under the seat. Standing a foot away from a car, no theif could tell that the rubber dummy wasn't a real man — or so ads in auto accessory manuals of 1910 would have you believe.

The Bosco Collapsible Driver Co. collapsed in two years, because it didn't take even the dumbest thief long to realize that the guy who was sitting behind the wheel never even twitched, which meant he was either dead, in a coma or not for real.

Posted By: Alex - Thu Aug 19, 2021 - Comments (4)
Category: Crime, Cars

All a Misunderstanding

This will teach us never to stop to help a woman in distress. And yet--it seems that for charges to be lodged, some kind of verbal offer for something other than a ride to AAA must have been tendered...?



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Jul 07, 2021 - Comments (2)
Category: Confusion, Misunderstanding, and Incomprehension, Crime, 1980s, Sex

Toe-Popper Returns

Olayinka Alege made the news (including News of the Weird) back in 2009. As Assistant Principal of Tampa's King High School, he was in the habit of disciplining students with sagging grades by "toe-popping" them. This involved having them remove their shoes and socks, then bending or pulling a toe until it made a popping noise. This didn't hurt, but the students understandably were weirded out by it. One student was toe-popped twenty times.

Last month Alege was back in the news. He's now up in Providence, RI, but still working in the public school system. He's been charged with forcibly massaging a student's feet. For the record, he's pleading not guilty.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 26, 2021 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, School, Feet

The Philadelphia Resurrectionists

Jefferson Medical College is still extant. Not sure if their literature highlights this incident.

Source: The Boston Weekly Globe (Boston, Massachusetts) 19 Dec 1882, Tue Page 5





Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 08, 2021 - Comments (8)
Category: Crime, Death, Education, Medicine, Cemeteries, Graveyards, Crypts, Mortuaries and Other Funereal Pursuits, Nineteenth Century

Pearl Hart, Girl Bandit

She committed one of the last recorded stagecoach robberies (1899), and led quite the life.

Several nice photos with this article.

Article from 1899.

Her Wikipedia page.





Posted By: Paul - Thu Mar 11, 2021 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Gender-bending, Nineteenth Century

Train Robberies

Are train robberies an extinct crime? The Wikipedia page for the topic does not list one later than 1999.

Here's one from early in the 20th century that I found interesting.



Two booking cards from Spokane, WA police. One is for Charles McDonald, who is listed as a "miner," age 27, 5 ft. 9.5 in. and weighing 151 lbs. Arrested Oct. 25, 1907 for the crime of train robbery. Includes Bertillon Measurements for more detailed identification. Plus tattoos, scars, moles, etc.

Second card is for Ed Smith, alias Geo. Frankhauser. Also listed as a "miner," age 30, 5 ft. 5 3/4 in., 135 lbs. Arrested the same day as his compatriot. Same Spokane police card.

Frankhauser and McDonald pulled off one of the most daring train robberies, truly worthy of the "Wild, Wild West," although they accomplished their heist in the 20th century. The pair took up residence near Rexford, along the Northern Pacific line that the Oriental Limited regularly traveled. They surveyed the line, and decided on their spot. September 9, 1907, when the engineer and fireman took over the engine, two men came out of the darkness and ordered them at gunpoint to follow directions and they would not be hurt. They ordered the train to proceed at 40 mph until they reached a pre-selected location. The train was ordered to stop, while Frankhauser went to a cache and took out a small black bag. They had the fireman knock on the baggage car door and ask to come in. When the door was opened, the baggageman was ordered out, and the dynamite from the bag was used to blow the safe - and half of the car. They found nothing, so they decided to try the mail. Here, purely by accident, they stumbled on four small packages in a mail bag. They were addressed to the Old National Bank of Spokane and contained an estimated $40,000. But their mistake of tampering with the mail brought down the wrath of the postal inspectors, who would not let them get away with the robbery.

While the train was ordered to stay for 10 minutes, the pair escaped into darkness. They partied throughout the Northwest, posing as mining promoters. They sometimes "bought out" a bar for the night and had private parties for selected "friends," including "working" women. Eventually, a man by the name of Jesse Howe became suspicious, and alerted the Spokane police, who were waiting at the end of another party.

They obtained saws in the Kalispell jail, according to Frankhauser, and hid them in strapped to their ankles. When they were transferred to Helena, the guards found McDonald's saw, but Frankhauser managed to hang on to his. They spent two months sawing the bars on the windows. When they finally made their break March 21, they got over the wall by piling the bloodhound's doghouses on top of each other.

They were spotted by two women while coming over the wall, but managed to get ahead of the searchers. The two remained on the run for months, following the Missouri River north. They lived by taking what they needed from farmhouses and cabins (some occupied, others not). When the sheriff spotted them in Fargo, they split up. Frankhauser took a job for the Northern Pacific, but was arrested while going to a friend's house for Thanksgiving. He claimed he never saw his friend again. He was tried in Helena and sentenced to life in prison at Leavenworth, KS.

According to some newspaper reports, he escaped from Leavenworth. Others say he died there. One report indicates that another train robbery occurred in Benecia, CA that looked a lot like the work of this pair. This time they reportedly caught up with McDonald, but his buddy was still on the run.

Whatever the truth, it has the "feel" of another Butch and Sundance story. [See also "The Criminal Record: Stories of Crime and Misadventure from a Century Ago," Vol. 5, Issue 4 (April 2010).]


Posted By: Paul - Sun Feb 07, 2021 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime, Scary Criminals, Twentieth Century, Trains

A real stickup

April 1981: Dad humor gone too far? Ciro Jose Leon entered a store holding a three-foot stick, slammed it down on the counter, and declared this was a stickup. Bystanders intervened and held him until the police arrived. Leon was booked for investigation of armed robbery.

Santa Clarita Signal - Apr 17, 1981

Posted By: Alex - Tue Nov 10, 2020 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Jokes

Follies of the Madmen #490

Our televised brainwashing will turn honest citizens into criminals.



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Wed Oct 07, 2020 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Crime, Propaganda, Thought Control and Brainwashing, Television, 1950s

Page 1 of 23 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›




weird universe thumbnail
Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

Contact Us
Monthly Archives
September 2021 •  August 2021 •  July 2021 •  June 2021 •  May 2021 •  April 2021 •  March 2021 •  February 2021 •  January 2021

December 2020 •  November 2020 •  October 2020 •  September 2020 •  August 2020 •  July 2020 •  June 2020 •  May 2020 •  April 2020 •  March 2020 •  February 2020 •  January 2020

December 2019 •  November 2019 •  October 2019 •  September 2019 •  August 2019 •  July 2019 •  June 2019 •  May 2019 •  April 2019 •  March 2019 •  February 2019 •  January 2019

December 2018 •  November 2018 •  October 2018 •  September 2018 •  August 2018 •  July 2018 •  June 2018 •  May 2018 •  April 2018 •  March 2018 •  February 2018 •  January 2018

December 2017 •  November 2017 •  October 2017 •  September 2017 •  August 2017 •  July 2017 •  June 2017 •  May 2017 •  April 2017 •  March 2017 •  February 2017 •  January 2017

December 2016 •  November 2016 •  October 2016 •  September 2016 •  August 2016 •  July 2016 •  June 2016 •  May 2016 •  April 2016 •  March 2016 •  February 2016 •  January 2016

December 2015 •  November 2015 •  October 2015 •  September 2015 •  August 2015 •  July 2015 •  June 2015 •  May 2015 •  April 2015 •  March 2015 •  February 2015 •  January 2015

December 2014 •  November 2014 •  October 2014 •  September 2014 •  August 2014 •  July 2014 •  June 2014 •  May 2014 •  April 2014 •  March 2014 •  February 2014 •  January 2014

December 2013 •  November 2013 •  October 2013 •  September 2013 •  August 2013 •  July 2013 •  June 2013 •  May 2013 •  April 2013 •  March 2013 •  February 2013 •  January 2013

December 2012 •  November 2012 •  October 2012 •  September 2012 •  August 2012 •  July 2012 •  June 2012 •  May 2012 •  April 2012 •  March 2012 •  February 2012 •  January 2012

December 2011 •  November 2011 •  October 2011 •  September 2011 •  August 2011 •  July 2011 •  June 2011 •  May 2011 •  April 2011 •  March 2011 •  February 2011 •  January 2011

December 2010 •  November 2010 •  October 2010 •  September 2010 •  August 2010 •  July 2010 •  June 2010 •  May 2010 •  April 2010 •  March 2010 •  February 2010 •  January 2010

December 2009 •  November 2009 •  October 2009 •  September 2009 •  August 2009 •  July 2009 •  June 2009 •  May 2009 •  April 2009 •  March 2009 •  February 2009 •  January 2009

December 2008 •  November 2008 •  October 2008 •  September 2008 •  August 2008 •  July 2008 •