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Monday, May 27, 2019


 All three born so close together in month and days.
Must be something in the stars that...
well, sometimes makes horror movie stars.

PETER CUSHING––Born May 26, 1913
VINCENT PRICE––Born May 27, 1911
CHRISTOPHER LEE––Born May 27, 1922

Christopher Lee Talks about Peter Cushing and Vincent Price:
House Of The Long Shadows (1983) - Dinner Party:

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Sunday, May 26, 2019


As the sun sets on this Memorial Day––as it sets on everyday––there is a profound depth of reasons that our flag is still there “at the twilight's last gleaming” and “by the dawn's early light”.  Those “broad stripes and bright stars” are still broad and still bright thanks to the men and women in uniform, who have labored around the clock, whether at a desk, or in a motor pool, or under the “rocket's red glare” or “the bombs bursting in air” of a bloody battlefield, and who have lost their lives. Each American flag is not merely fluttering cloth––a rag to be soiled with workaday petty and puerile frustrations––for every time you see the Star Spangled-Banner rustling in the breeze, you are witnessing the hearts and souls, the bodies and minds, of American men and women “gallantly streaming”…and who have fought and died (and continue to do so) for the greatest dream that America may forever be “the land of the free and the home of the brave”.  

Remember all of them on Memorial Day.
PHOTO by JOHN LEWIS @jack_of_sunsets

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Tuesday, May 14, 2019
Texas POĒtrope Fans!!!

  May 15th thru 19th!

T-SHIRTS Just $13!

Or Visit the Texas POĒtrope Shop
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Tuesday, May 7, 2019

True Tales of Murder in 19th Century America

 A murderous atmosphere pervaded nineteenth century America unlike anything seen before or since. Lurid murder stories dominated newspaper headlines, and as if responding to the need for sensational copy, Americans everywhere began to see murder as a solution to their problems. The Bloody Century retells their stories; some still famous, some long buried, all endlessly fascinating. The Bloody Century is a collection of true stories of ordinary Americans, driven by desperation, greed, jealousy or an irrational bloodlust, to take the life of someone around them. The book includes facts, motives, circumstances and outcomes, narrating fifty of the most intriguing murder cases of nineteenth century America. Richly illustrated with scenes and portraits originally published at the time of the murders, and including songs and poems written to commemorate the crimes, The Bloody Century invokes a fitting atmosphere for Victorian homicide.

Available on Amazon: 

 A Bloody Bit From THE BLOODY CENTURY Book...


Emma Cunningham, a 33-year-old widow coming upon hard times, seduced and had an affair with a wealthy dentist, Dr. Harvey Burdell (who, in spite of his successful banking and real estate investments, was also known to service the dental needs of prostitutes working in his Bond Street neighborhood and to take his fee in trade).  Soon enough he was found dead in his office and generally a bloody mess.  His corpse was examined and it was determined that the doctor had been strangled with a garrote and stabbed fifteen times with a long slender knife.

After the murder Emma promptly produced a letter stating that she had been married to Dr. Burdell, and that his estate was therefore entirely hers.  Witnesses and a trail of clues led the police to quickly arrest Emma for Burdell's murder.  She was put on trial, which was a sensation that lasted only 3 days –– and thanks to her attorney bashing Burdell's reputation with prostitutes, among other unsavory practices, Emma was acquitted of his murder.
She then had the gal to insist she was pregnant with Burdell's child, to regain her upper hand on claiming his estate.  She even went as far as to secure a living baby and fake labor and giving birth to the child.  This is where everything went straight to hell for her –– the police were already suspect and were waiting to pounce on the fraudulent Emma and her accomplice physician when the doctor appeared with the new (and illegally procured) infant.
Hahahaha!  Good try, Emma Cunningham!

For a detailed account of this wild murder tale visit: 
Greed, jealousy, revenge, obsession – the motives of America’s gas-lit murders are universal and timeless. Yet their stories are tightly bound to a particular place and time; uniquely American, uniquely 19th Century.

The goal of Murder by Gaslight is to bring them all together, the great and the small, to retell their tales, to point the way for those seeking more detail, and most importantly, to provide a forum to share facts and opinions. So here they are, America’s Victorian murders – sometimes gruesome, often shocking, always fascinating. Welcome to Murder by Gaslight.




Robert Wilhelm is the author of Wicked Victorian Boston (History Press, 2017), The Bloody Century: True Tales of Murder in 19th Century America (Night Stick Press, 2014) and Murder and Mayhem in Essex County (History Press, 2011), a history of capital crimes in Essex County, Massachusetts from the 1600s to the turn of the twentieth century. He blogs about historical true crime at Murder by Gaslight ( and The National Night Stick ( Robert lives and works in Boston, Massachusetts. 
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