Swindling, shooting, and stalking — just another day in Boston’s South End (1880s)

For those of you interested in this sort of thing, I found a fun set of crime reports from the wayback machine this week.

My favorite passage:

October 2, 1880: Swindling couple brought to justice

Boston police had been looking for Ellen Roach and her husband for months. The pair had long been in the business of swindling hapless Bostonians.

The wily couple was finally brought to justice when Ellen decided to prey on a hatter. He was strolling along Dover Street (now East Berkeley Street) when he was accosted by what he later described as a “portly dame” in her early 30s, who apparently could “pull in the scales at 230 pounds.” She brought him to 67 Warrenton St, her home of five or six elegantly furnished rooms, where, for reasons unclear in the article, he removed his pants and coat and laid down for a nap on a couch.

Blink. Blink. Whatever would he do that for?

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About Shala Howell

Writer of things ranging from optical network switching white papers to genetic testing patient education materials to historical fiction set in an 1880s asylum. When I’m not scratching my head over pesky characters who refuse to do things how I want them done or dreaming of my next book (which will of course be much easier to write than the current one), my writerly self can be found blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, or musing about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.wordpress.com.
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