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

I spent two decades helping companies like Bell Labs, Juniper Networks, and a genetic testing company that was later acquired by CVS translate some of the world’s most complicated concepts into actionable, understandable English. Now I'm working on a much harder problem -- fostering children’s curiosity and engagement in the scientific, artistic, and linguistic world that surrounds them. The first book in my Caterpickles Parenting Series, What’s That, Mom?, focuses on how to use public art to nurture children’s curiosity in the world around them. My next book, Did Dinosaurs Have Belly Buttons?, is currently planned for release in 2018. In the meantime, you can find me blogging about life with a very curious Ten-Year-Old at Caterpickles.com, chatting about books and the writing life at BostonWriters.blog, and tweeting about books, writing, science, & things that make me smile at @shalahowell.
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