Category:
Crime

Follies of the Madmen #427



Source.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jun 04, 2019 - Comments (1)
Category: Business, Advertising, Crime, Fashion, Sexuality, 1960s

Incident in Salem

Submitted by Jenny Beatty, who notes the source as USA Today, October 26, 2018 or thereabouts.

More details.

Posted By: Alex - Wed Apr 17, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime

The Seat That Burns

Concerned by an increasing number of attacks on cab drivers, Parisian taxi drivers in 1987 began outfitting their cars with a device called "le siege qui brule" ('the seat that burns'), which could electrify unruly passengers with 52,000 volts.

“With the push of a discreetly placed pedal, the taxi driver can send the electricity coursing for one second through the back seat, stunning the passenger with a jolt to the back of the neck.”

As far as I can tell, the devices were outlawed a few months after their introduction.



Hazleton Standard-Speaker - Oct 23, 1987

Posted By: Alex - Mon Mar 18, 2019 - Comments (3)
Category: Crime, Motor Vehicles, 1980s

The man who stole 15,000 library books

Over the course of a decade, from around 1965 to 1975, Joseph Feldman managed to steal 15,000 books from the New York Public Library. He was caught when firemen entered his Greenwich Village apartment while responding to an alarm in his building and discovered all the books, piled up everywhere. When asked why he had taken them all, Feldman responded, “I like to read.”

Arizona Daily Star - Sep 27, 1975



In the 21st century, playwright Erika Mijlin was inspired to write a play, Feldman and the Infinite, about the incident. It was first performed in 2008. Her description of it:

In 1975, Feldman, a 58-year-old lawyer in New York City, was discovered to have stolen 15,000 books from the New York Public Library. He had rented two or three apartments in the West Village specifically to store these books, and it took 20 men, 7 truckloads over 3 days to remove them all. Feldman and the Infinite is a play that ultimately invents Feldman’s motives, and speculates about the universality of his quest - seeking knowledge and enlightenment, and finding what appears to be randomness and chaos.


And below, a video clip of the performance.


Posted By: Alex - Thu Jan 31, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Crime, Books, Libraries, Collectors, 1970s

Daily Jury Duty

The Daily Jury Duty was Chuck's thing, but in this case I can't resist briefly reviving it.

Joshua Emery Noel (aka 'Topcat') has been charged with second-degree assault and battery for allegedly throwing hot coffee at a teenage McDonald’s employee because he was upset about how long he had to wait for his fries. The story.

As Chuck would say: no fair examining the evidence; verdict must be based on mugshot only.

Posted By: Alex - Fri Jan 18, 2019 - Comments (5)
Category: Crime, Your Daily Jury Duty

Juror spots stolen shoes

Either this was an ingenious way to get out of jury duty, or a truly random coincidence.

What I find particularly odd is that the shoes were obviously pretty crappy, with paint spots and frayed laces. So somewhat weird that someone would steal them in the first place, and then choose to wear them while serving as a witness at a trial... and then, by sheer chance, the owner of the shoes happens to be in the jury.

Fort Lauderdale News - Jan 18, 1986

Posted By: Alex - Mon Jan 07, 2019 - Comments (0)
Category: Crime, Shoes, 1980s

Bugsy Siegel and Atomite

One of the mobster's lesser-known rackets.

Source of text.

Di Frasso and Siegel pictured below the text.



Posted By: Paul - Sat Dec 01, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Dictators, Tyrants and Other Harsh Rulers, Frauds, Cons and Scams, 1930s, Europe, Weapons

Thérèse Humbert, Con Woman



Story with pix here.

In 1902, a political and financial scandal rocked the French nation when it was discovered that Madame Thérèse Humbert (née Aurignac), daughter-in-law of the deceased Minister of Justice, had swindled nearly 100 million francs from the French government and its citizens over twenty years. How did this woman, who was not particularly beautiful, educated, or well born, manage to defraud scores of people, ranging from the brightest and sophisticated of French society to the simplest?





Contemporary article on their capture.

Read a review of the book here, which contains a good synopsis of the case.





Posted By: Paul - Fri Nov 23, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Crime, Frauds, Cons and Scams, Europe, Twentieth Century

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Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction books such as Elephants on Acid.

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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.

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