Anarchist Kills Them All: A Family Massacre


A reading from America’s historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism.

Today I bring you the sad tale of a family massacre.

This will be the first time I’ve reported on a murder/suicide, because you rarely get to hear about the drama that led up to the tragedy, because there’s no one left to tell the story. There are still a lot of unanswered–and over-answered–questions in this one, but I like how the reporter included the details of the family history and their daily lives into the narrative, although I do think they’ve put too much emphasis on the role of the man’s politics in his decision to commit this horrible act.

The descriptions of the photographs and posters on the wall refer to Chicago’s Haymarket Riot of May 1886, a protest by radical labor organizers that went wild. Seven police and one civilian were killed by a bomb thrown that day, and seven men were given death sentences as a result, with four eventually hanged. That’s a good story in itself, and I’m adding it to the list of future episodes.

Music by Chuck Wiggins


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Hanged Three Times and Lived: Luke Brannon Thwarts a Lynching


A reading from historical newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism.

Luke Brannon Thwarts a Lynching

The Classic Village of Oxford, Ohio, got so riled up over a shooting in a local saloon, that they bust open the jails and drag the culprits to the local hanging tree. The tree had been  used once before, and if you go to my archives, you can hear about that tale in the episode two, “An Outrageous Murder in Oxford,” in which the town got so outraged over the apparent murder of one of the town matrons that they hung a dead man. A decade later, another Oxford mob attempts another lynching, but it doesn’t really go any better for them, not when brave Deputy Luke Brannon swoops in just in the nick of time.

Music by Chuck Wiggins

Sources and clips:

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