The Powwow Hex Murder

“YESTERDAY’S NEWS”.

Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism…

The York Witch Trial

This episode of True Crime Historian gives us a little lesson in the Pennsylvania Dutch Powwow mysticism traditions.

Although it sounds like the Native American word for an inter-tribal gathering of dancing and feasting, the origins of the term in this context are obscure but refer to more European form of healing and the casting of spells — and hexes.

In this story, a simple minded fellow named John Blymyer tries to rid himself and his friends of an evil curse. Yeah. Not gonna end well.

Music by Dave Sams.

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The Blonde Butcher Trunk Murders

YESTERDAY’S NEWS

Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism

The Escapes and Escapades of Winnie Ruth Judd

In the fall of 1931, Phoenix resident shows up in a Los Angeles train depot trying to claim three trunks that she had shipped there.

The clerks wouldn’t let her take the trunks because of the foul odor emanating from them.

Winnie Ruth Judd said she’d go get the key so they could see there was nothing nefarious in her luggage.

She was eventually sentenced to death for the murder of her two best friends, though she would claim insanity. And self defense.

Music by Dave Sams

 

Lizzie Gillespie Killed by Twin Brother

 YESTERDAY’S NEWS

Tales of classic scandals, scoundrels and scourges told from historic newspapers in the golden age of yellow journalism

Family Tragedy in Rising Sun

In a lot of these stories from the old newspapers, the press coverage often takes on the attributes of another character in the drama. In this case, the town of Rising Sun, Indiana, seems to evolve as the story progresses.

When one of the town matrons, the spinster Lizzie Gillespie is found assassinated in her parlor, townfolk tell reporters she had no enemy in the world and there could be no logical reason for the murder.

Then they start thinking of things, but they don’t want to name names.

And when Lizzie’s twin brother Jim goes to trial, he and  his co-defendants fear lynching, but the town only wants to be entertained by the scandal.

While I recognize the tragedy of a life lost, I find a subtle comedy in this tale of small town intrigue, family betrayal and murder.

Theme music by Dave Sams

Incidental music by Chuck Wiggins

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