For our special Valentine’s Day episode, we’re diving into some less than romantic stories of jilted lovers, bizarre trysts, and tragic romances. We’ll be discussing a young couple’s bizarre suicide pact and an aviatrix’s scandalous romance which ended in murder. Remember, new episodes are on Tuesdays! Next week will be all about fire and it’s destruction in some truly strange stories.
The Romeo and Juliet of Coney Island
John and Barbara had recently been secretly married and everything seemed terribly romantic. Until Barbara realized John wasn’t all that he claimed to be the (very) hard way (hint: it involves poison).
- “Newly Weds Attempt Suicide”, Durham Morning Herald, 8 July 1913.
- “Both May Die”, Altoona Tribune, 9 July 1913.
- “Doctors May Foil Poison Death Pact”, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 8 July 1913.
- “Shoemaker’s Son, Not Millionaire’s”, The New York Times, 9 July 1913.
Love Affair, Up in the Air
Chubbie (real name: Jessie) wanted to make a name for herself in aviation, but when love (and a deadly love triangle) got in the way her name became known for all the wrong reasons.
*If it wasn’t clear in the podcast: Bill was British but had left his family behind to emigrate to Australia and then America. Chubbie was an Aussie and the writer Haden was an American. The trial may be better known over in Australia when a TV miniseries was aired in the late 1980’s called “The Lancaster Miller Affair.”
- “Lancaster Love Slaying Case Goes to Jury”, Delaware County Daily Times, 17 August 1932.
- “Miami love triangle, murder trial exposed on film” by Ana Veciana-Suarez, Miami Herald, 3 March 2015.
- “Woman Aviator Reveals Startling Fact in Slaying Case”, The Monroe News-Star, 3 August 1932.
- “Lancaster Held As Miami Murder” by The Associated Press, New York Times, 3 May 1932.
- “Adventurer Lost After Murder Trial” by E.V.W. Jones of The Associated Press, The Decatur Herald, 13 July 1953.
A Jilted Lover’s Fatal Scare
Nathan Brown claimed he ran down his ex-girlfriend “just to scare her”…no one really bought it; though, it didn’t help he committed the crime right in front of a watching police officer.
- “Jilted Lover Runs Into, Over Woman ‘To Scare Her,’ But ‘Scare’ Is Fatal”, Albuquerque Journal, 13 September 1956.
- “Murder Charge Asked in Car Killing; Dead Woman’s Sister Strikes Slayer”, The Decatur Herald (Decatur, Ill.), 13 September 1956.
- “Gets 99 Years In Car Slaying Of Ex-Sweetie”, Chicago Tribune, 10 May 1957.
Weak Love in 1870
The year before the infamous and hugely destructive Chicago Fire of 1871 there was something else crumbling in the city: everyone’s marriages.
Source: “Deferred Items”, The North Carolinian (Elizabeth City, NC), 18 August 1870.
Annie Hall Marries Her Stepson
While Annie Hall’s husband was a bit older than her, she was certainly not the same age as her stepson who lived in the house with her and her husband. When Annie’s husband died and then her stepson’s wife did too they caused quite a scandal by marrying.
Source: “Marries Her Stepson”, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, 31 December 1913.
Gin Drinking Contest Ends Badly, No One is Surprised
When Ruth Cranmer was revealed as the mistress of a New Jersey senator he went down for financial improprieties and she went to trial for shooting him in the stomach (he survived). Unfortunately Ruth’s luck with men continued.
Two years after this incident she sued an English professor at Columbia University named Merle Hoover. She claimed that Hoover had agreed to fund her education at Columbia and then find her a job. In his defense, Hoover said he’d only been trying to help her with the psychological effects of the shooting, not fund her. Ruth insisted that he had made the agreement because she’d agreed to destroy some letters he didn’t want seen. What was in those letters is unknown, apparently she may have had some dirt on him and they settled out of court or Ruth dropped the case when Hoover called her bluff. Either way it didn’t appear in the newspaper again so what really happened, we’ll never know.
- “Probe Checks Given Girl In Senator Case”, Pampa News-Post (Pampa, Tx), 16 August 1931.
- “State Senator Is Found Shot; Woman Is Held”, Chicago Tribune, 15 August 1931.
- “Co-Ed’s Accusation Denied By Teacher,” Reading Eagle, 10 May 1933.
No Love Clubhouse
None of the members of the Jilted Lovers’ Society were receiving a Valentine in 1897, that’s for sure.
Source: “Jilted Lovers’ Society”, The Leader-Democrat (Springfield, Missouri), 7 December 1897.