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Centenaries - whole and half

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  • #16
    50 years ago - 1958 May 13 - Gaetane Bouchard vanishes while shopping in New Brunswick. It was later found that the teenager had been murdered and dumped in a gravel pit. Her former boyfriend, John Vollman, was convicted of the slaying and sentenced to death but that was later commuted to life in prison.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

    Stan Reid

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    • #17
      100 years ago - 1908 June 1 - In her Paris home, Jeanne-Marguerite Steinheil is found tied up and screaming. Nearby, her husband and mother are laying dead by strangulation. She claimed that a gang had attacked them but, when she sent a servant to retrieve some supposedly stolen property, she was charged with murder. Mrs. Steinheil, however, was acquitted at trial, leaving the murders officially unsolved. No one else was ever charged and, if she was involved, there would have to have been accomplices.
      Last edited by sdreid; 05-30-2008, 11:57 PM.
      This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

      Stan Reid

      Comment


      • #18
        Re: Steinheil et Cie.

        Hi Stan,

        A number of years ago I saw a book in the Strand bookshop which I made the mistake of not purchasing. It was a look at three fin - de - siec French cases that involved upper crust French women as defendants between 1900 and 1914. They were the Humbert "Millions" scam, the Steinheil murder case, and the shooting of Gaston Calmette of LE FIGARO by Madame Caillaux.
        The book's purpose was to get a closer look at the corruption in upper crust French society in that period that led to those three scandals.

        Madame Humbert was well connected to French political circles (her father or father-in-law had been a Finance Minister in one of the cabinets). Her story about millions of francs from an inheritance (from an American) and a "friendly" legal action preventing the settlement, enabled her to get many banks to advance huge sums to her and her husband for their purposes for nearly a decade before their bluff was finally called. She did get a prison sentence, but much was swept under the table (including at least one opportune, unsolved death).

        Madame Steinheil was a society beauty, married to a painter. She was also constantly having affairs, one of which led to a peculiar "tragedy" in 1899, when her then lover, President Felix Faure of France, apparently died during a sexual encounter with her (heart attack most likely) in their bed at the Elysee Palace. It had some effect on history: Faure was not likely to be merciful to Captain Alfred Dreyfus, and his removal put in a more reasonable President - just in time for Dreyfus' trial at Rennes. The murders of Steinheil's
        husband and mother brought back memories of the earlier scandal, and may
        have pushed the authorities harder to indict and prosecute the lady for those murders. She beat their efforts, and later remarried.

        Calmette, as editor of LE FIGARO, was opposed to the policies of Joseph Caillaux, a Socialist politician of standing. In 1912 Caillaux had been Prime Minister when the Second Moroccan Crisis (Wilhelmine Germany sent a gunboat, the "Panther", to Morocco due to some believed slight to it's interests in the French colony). The earlier Crisis in Morocco in 1906 led to an international meeting where France was supported by the majority of the countries involved, including Germany's supposed ally Italy. This Caillaux decided to avoid that situation again. He studied the matter, and gave a little bit of territory (nothing very valuable) to Germany. The Germans, faced with French acquiescence this time, had to accept it as a "victory". But many French professional patriots like Calmette were outraged. Caillaux believed in forgetting the Franco-Prussian War and the loss of Alsace Lorraine. Instead he felt cooperation between the two biggest industrial powers in Western Europe made more sense. This actually sensible policy was met with dirision, and Caillaux's government collapsed. But within two years he was finance minister in a new Socialist government. Calmette got possession (from the first Mrs. Caillaux) of letters Joseph wrote his then mistress Margarite of a personal nature. Calmette began publishing them to make Joseph Caillaux look foolish. Now married to Joseph, Margarite decided to stop further publications. She went to Calmette's offices and shot him.
        Her trial for his murder led to an acquittal (which has itself been the subject of several books alone).

        Ironically Caillaux had to resign from the government and concentrate on his wife's trial. That summer of 1914 it was the biggest murder story of France and much of Europe. Ironically enough it deterred Frenchmen (particularly Caillaux) from noticing the murders of an Austrian dignitary and his wife in Bosnia (yeah, Franz Ferdinand and Sophia his Countess at Sarajevo). By the time the Caillaux trial ended in August events had gone too far to be stopped and the First World War began. Of course, had Joseph Caillaux been still in the cabinet that summer he might have prevented French involvement in the matters in the Balkans.

        Best wishes,

        Jeff

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        • #19
          Thanks for all that information Jeff.
          This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

          Stan Reid

          Comment


          • #20
            50 years ago - 1958 June 21 - Geneva Ellroy is strangled and sexually assaulted in Los Angeles. The divorced woman was seen out on the town with an individual who became known as the "Swarthy Man". Earlier in the evening, the couple were also accompanied by a blond woman. Geneva's body was found the next day beside a lovers lane, partially covered with vegetation. Neither the man nor the woman companions were ever identified. Mrs. Ellroy's son, James, went on to become a famous mystery writer. A few, not me, think that she may have been murdered by the same man who killed the Black Dahlia.
            This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

            Stan Reid

            Comment


            • #21
              !00 years next March, the unsolved murder of Herman Cohen, Jewish money lender, brutally axed to death in his own living room. Dickman a suspect in the Luard murder a possible candidate. Dickman eventually hanged for the murder of a colliery wages clerk.
              Last edited by Observer; 06-20-2008, 02:31 AM.

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              • #22
                Originally posted by sdreid View Post
                Thanks for all that information Jeff.
                Hi Stan,

                Actually I managed to purchase a small card with Joseph Caillaux's signature on it. I have never seen one with Margarite's signature or one of Gaston Calmette.

                Of course (and if you followed that case) the card is not signed "Tan Jo!".
                That was how Caillaux addressed mail to Margarite when still married to the first wife. Calmette (by publishing their love letters) made Joseph Caillaux look like an idiot.

                Best wishes,

                Jeff

                Comment


                • #23
                  50 years ago -1958 June 24 - Raymond Bailey is hanged in an Australian jail. He been convicted of the ambush shooting murders of Thyra Bowman, her teenage daughter Wendy and their traveling companion Tom Whelan. The trio had been out camping. Bailey had no explanation for the slaughters.

                  Sorry I'm a day late posting this. I guess 50 years ago today we'd likely be celebrating Bailey's funeral.
                  This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                  Stan Reid

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Looks like you're getting quite a collection there Jeff.
                    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                    Stan Reid

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Hi Stan,

                      I constantly keep my eyes open if anything is available. But I have to keep an eye on how much I can spend on them. I have about twenty now.

                      Jeff

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                      • #26
                        50 years ago - 1958 July 11 - American born serial killer Peter Manuel is hanged for his crimes in Scotland.
                        This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                        Stan Reid

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          50 years ago - 1958 July 23 - Los Angeles TV repairman, Harvey Murray Glatman strangles his third and final murder victim, Ruth Mercado, after alternately raping and photographing her while bound. He used the ruse of a modeling job to get the women alone. His next victim was able to free herself and Glatman went to the gas chamber the next year. Too good for him (editorial comment)
                          This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                          Stan Reid

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            Hi Stan,

                            Have to agree with you about Glatman - nothing I've read about him is remotely attractive as a human being (George Joseph Smith and Reginald Christie are marginally more attractive - but I said marginally).

                            By the way, part of Glatman's method popped up in an early "Columbo" episode, wherein Dick Van Dyke (a professional photographer) photographs his trussed up wife and victim as part of his elaborate scheme to set up his own alibi. It is the photograph that trips him up at the end.

                            Best wishes,

                            Jeff

                            Comment


                            • #29
                              Hi Jeff,

                              I don't think I've seen that Columbo but there was a Dragnet TV movie that was based on Glatman. Right now, I don't recall its exact title but I've seen it and it isn't too bad.
                              This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                              Stan Reid

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                100 years ago - 1908 August 14 - In the hometown of Abraham Lincoln, Springfield, Illinois, a lynch mob gathers outside the jail with the intent of stringing up a black man who'd been accused of an attempted sexual assault on a white woman, a charge that later proved to be fictional. When the gang finds out that the man has been moved to another city for his protection, they vent their wrath on the black community, killing a barber named Scott Burton. The following day they also kill an elderly African-American businessman named William Donnagan. They also ransack many black and some Jewish owned businesses. At least five whites were also killed in the rampage, some by stray bullets and others by blacks defending themselves. No one was ever charged with the crimes, however, a woman who had been a leader in the riots, committed suicide when she learned that she was probably going to be arrested.
                                Last edited by sdreid; 08-12-2008, 03:50 AM.
                                This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.

                                Stan Reid

                                Comment

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