Category:
Crime

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 12

Source: Chicago Tribune (Chicago, Illinois) 17 Feb 1949, Thu Page 21

Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 03, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Death, Feet, Alcohol

Trapdoor for bank tellers

I'm aware of quite a few inventions designed to trap or incapacitate bank robbers. But the idea of allowing a bank teller to abruptly vanish is more novel.

Of course, this approach could only work if there was a single teller working, and hopefully no other customers in the bank.

I was curious whether this bank with the cashier trapdoor might still exist, but I had no luck finding its address. I did find that it was acquired by another bank in 1948. So it was probably demolished long ago.

Hagerstown Morning Herald - Aug 9, 1932

Posted By: Alex - Mon Nov 28, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Crime, Inventions, Money, 1930s

Breakaway Stethoscope

Joshua Allen Stivers of Puyallup, WA recently received a patent for a "breakaway stethoscope." It works like a normal stethoscope, but breaks apart if someone tries to use it as a garrote to strangle a person:

Medical staff, such as doctors, nurses and technicians, are often required to deal with unruly and/or aggressive patients that may become violent and cause injury to themselves or others. Medical staff also often carry and wear a stethoscope while working and tend to rest the stethoscope around the neck and on the shoulders when not in use. Unfortunately, violent patients may see that as an opportunity to harm the doctor, nurse or technician by grabbing the stethoscope that is resting on the wearer's neck and strangle or injure the wearer and in some cases cause death. Thus, there is a need for a breakaway stethoscope that will separate into two or more pieces when forcefully pulled on or forcefully wrapped around a doctor's, nurse's, or technician's throat to prevent injury or death to the doctor, nurse or technician.


A quick google search reveals that stethoscopes become weapons disturbingly often. So it's kind of surprising that breakaway ones aren't already standard issue.

Derby Evening Telegraph - Aug 9, 1948



via Jeff Steck

Posted By: Alex - Thu Nov 17, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Medicine, Patents, Weapons

The Pug Anti-Bandit Bag

Inventor John Rinfret debuted his "Pug Anti-Bandit Bag" in 1963. His idea was that, if attacked, you could activate a spring that would forcefully eject all the contents from the bag. The attacker would be so shocked that he would run away. At least, that was the theory.

From what I can gather, Rinfret hoped to rent his anti-bandit bags to companies that used couriers to carry important documents or money. He definitely put a lot of work into promoting his invention. He even came out with a new and improved version of the bag the following year. But evidently few companies were interested in using his bag.

Possible reasons why: 1) a bandit might pick up the money instead of running away; or 2) what if the spring was activated by accident, spraying money everywhere?

London Daily Telegraph - Aug 28, 1963



Rinfret demonstrates his anti-bandit bag (August 27, 1963). Source: Getty Images



London Evening Standard - Aug 27, 1963



London Daily Telegraph - Sep 25, 1963



Personnel Management and Methods - April 1964

Posted By: Alex - Sun Oct 09, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Inventions, 1960s

Melvin Purvis’s G-Men Detective Game

Play along with current headlines!



The object of the game is to capture the Public Enemy. The player who brings a G-Man together with the Public Enemy wins the game. The game starts with one G-Man chasing the public enemy, but after 30 minutes a second can be brought into play.


More pix and info here.

Melvin Purvis at Wikipedia.

Posted By: Paul - Sat Aug 13, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Crime, Games, 1930s

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 9

These two were "lucky" enough to be immortalized by Weegee.

Article source: The Grand Island Daily Independent (Grand Island, Nebraska) 03 Aug 1936,
Mon Page 1





Posted By: Paul - Tue May 10, 2022 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Scary Criminals, Stupid Criminals, Family, Photography and Photographers, 1930s

Bebe Stanton, Telepathic Flapper

Source: The Courier (Waterloo, Iowa) 11 Apr 1929, Thu Page 13



Posted By: Paul - Fri Apr 22, 2022 - Comments ()
Category: Crime, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Human Marvels, 1920s

Unlikely Reasons for Murder No. 8




Source: NYT for 9/23/1899.




Source: NYT for 1/6/1900.



Source.



Source: Reading Times (Reading, Pennsylvania)01 May 1900, Tue Page 3

Posted By: Paul - Fri Mar 11, 2022 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Death, Theater and Stage, Women, Nineteenth Century, Twentieth Century

Keeping a promise

I'd call this a misguided sense of honor.

Billings Gazette - Aug 30, 1991

Posted By: Alex - Fri Feb 04, 2022 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, 1990s, Ethics and Morals

Robert Mitchum Sings

Add Mitchum to our list of "singing actors who probably should have stuck to acting."



Posted By: Paul - Wed Jan 26, 2022 - Comments (4)
Category: Crime, Ineptness, Crudity, Talentlessness, Kitsch, and Bad Art, Movies, Music, 1950s, Alcohol, Cars

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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.

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