Grace Humiston, the female Sherlock Holmes
Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly
April 18, 2019
With her black outfit matching her black hair and eyes, she struck an imposing and determined tall and slender figure. It thus came as no surprise when a desperate Henry Cruger turned to her to do what the police couldn’t: find, as the New York Times heralded, the “Pretty Girl Skater Strangely Missing.”
Ruth Cruger, an attractive 18-year-old who had recently graduated high school and taught Sunday school, left home to run some errands on a cold February day in 1917. When she didn’t return, her frantic family contacted the police.
Detective Lagarenne responded, and along with the family retraced Ruth’s last steps — to a bank, a motorcycle shop where she had her ice skates sharpened, and perhaps a stationery store. READ MORE.
Video: Discussion at Lynnfield Historical Society
Read: "A New Chapter"
“Who’s the No. 1 comedian working today?” Appeals Court Judge R. Marc Kantrowitz asks more than a dozen wide-eyed, mostly young law clerks seated around a long conference-room table. A few moments of tense silence follow. This, after all, is a bit less serious of a query than a judge might typically pose to a student clerk, so it takes a few seconds to warm to the task. Read more.
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“Murder and mystery, society, sex and suspense were combined in this case in such a manner as to intrigue and captivate the public fancy to a degree perhaps unparalleled in recent annals.” Ohio vs. Sheppard, 165 Ohio St. 293, 294 (1956).
While this should no longer occur in a criminal trial, it can in a book. And this is the book in which it does.
Here, some of the most notorious legal cases in American history are explored. What they have in common is that they titillated, if not repulsed, the entire nation when they first occurred. What they still have in common is that, for the most part, they are today nearly totally forgotten.
From the unfair framing for murder of America’s most famous comedian, to America’s first capital case involving an older woman and her much younger lover murdering her husband, to Mad Harry Thaw, the wealthy and mad son of a steel magnate, killing America’s foremost architect over a beautiful woman, all come to life in gripping detail and drama. And meet the real Norman Bates of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, whose mother fixation and real life gruesome crimes far outmatched those of any fictional character.
This book brings to life these notorious characters and many more from the rich pages of history.