Podcast Episode 2: “The Eccentrics”

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In our second episode, we dive into the colorful world of eccentrics. First, we recount the story of the “Sugar King,” the son of the richest man in France, who imagined himself a king and terrorized his own family in increasingly strange ways. Then we discuss Anna Kingsford, a woman who claimed to possess the ability to will people . . . to death. The newsreel features more eccentrics covered in newspapers in the recent past. Here is the episode summary with some added information for a few of the stories. Remember, new episodes are on Tuesdays!

The Sugar King


Jacques Lebaudy, source.

When you listen to the story of the mad “Sugar King” pay close attention to the account of the guns during his showdown with Marguerite, his wife. You’ll notice that she says she was struggling for the gun with him…and the police do find that he has a gun. But actually it’s been unfired and is in his bag. The gun they are struggling with must have been Marguerite’s. That’s not to say that Marguerite didn’t bring down the gun for her own protection when she heard Jacques come home but that’s not exactly what she claimed {she said he had the gun out}. You’ll have to decide what happened!


  1. 24-karat crazy Sugar scion met bitter end at hands of wife” by Mara Bovsun, New York Daily News, 6 February 2011.
  2. Jacques Lebaudy Shot Dead By His Wife In Her Home,” New York Times, 12 January 1919.
  3. Jacqueline Lebaudy Victim of Curse on Fortune,” The Bee (Danville, Virginia), 13 April 1922.
  4. Sudreau-Lebaudy Marital Bark Docks Safely After a Rough Trip,” The Courier-Journal (Louisville, Kentucky), 17 August 1922.
  5. Jacqueline Sudreau Was Divorced In Paris,” Lebanon Daily News (Lebanon, Pa), 4 June 1930.
  6. Detective-Husband Who Defended Her Watches Wild Play,” The Winnipeg Tribune, 28 August 1926.
  7. Heirs To Lebaudy Get $690,000 More In Accounting Here,” The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 16 September 1925.
  8. Daughter of Emperor Of Sahara Divorced,” The Evening News (Harrisburg, Pa), 5 June 1930.
  9. National Archives and Records Administration (NARA), Washington D.C.; Naturalization Records of District Courts in the S; NARA Series: M1547; Reference: (Roll 188) Petition and Records, Jan 1944-Apr 1944

If You Can Will It, You Can Kill It


Anna Kingsford, source.

Anna Kingsford was a thoroughly accomplished woman but most interestingly she believed she had found a way to kill people the “nice and refined” way. How Victorian. We explore all of her “murders” and her unorthodox techniques in this episode.


  1. Killed By Her Willing,” Los Angeles Herald, 24 May 1896.
  2. A Brief Biography of Dr. Anna Kingsford” by Jennifer Burgess, The Victorian Web, 2 August 2007.
  3. Famous Woman: Her Birthday and Yours, September 16-Anna Kingsford,” The Washington Herald (Washington, D.C.), 16 September 1915.
  4. Dr. Anna Kingsford’s Delusion” from the New York World, The McCook Tribune (McCook, Neb.), 16 June 1888.
  5. Woman’s Kingdom,” The Inter Ocean (Chicago, Ill.), 15 February 1896.


Newspaper Clippings


All Dressed Up

Market Street Maysville Kentucky early 1900’s, source.

What William was wearing to cause such an uproar can only be imagined now, it was too much for them to even describe it!


  1. William Ward…,” The Public Ledger (Maysville, Ky.), 22 August 1906, First Edition.

Eccentric Will

Bay Shore’s main street in the 1920’s, source.

There’s some mean wills out there but this one is definitely up there with the best of them.


  1. Widow Loses Title to Home If Seen in Company of Men,” New York Times, 11 September 1925.

Europe’s Oddest Cranks

Danseuse de Ballet, Paris (1880s), source.

We all know Paris in Belle Époque was a wild place. This clipping explores some tales of the expats who made Paris their home in a unique way. Let’s just say there are champagne coffins and ballet stages in your house.


  1. ‘Eccentrics’ In High Life,” Pall Mall Gazette, The Saint Paul Globe, 17 December 1889.


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