crime

The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

The Mysterious Death of Edgar Allan Poe

On October 7th, 1849, the great American author and poet, Edgar Allan Poe, best known for his stories of the mysterious and macabre, died under mysterious circumstances. With his short stories and poems, Edgar Allan Poe succeeded to capture the imagination and interest of readers around the world until the present day. With his creative and imaginative he even started completely new literary genres, earning him the nickname “Father of the Detective Story“.…
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The Still Unsolved Case of Jack the Ripper

The Still Unsolved Case of Jack the Ripper

On August 31, 1888, the mutilated body of Mary Ann Nichols was found in Whitechapel, London. Her death has been attributed to the notorious unidentified serial killer Jack the Ripper and was part of a series of eleven murders that took place between 3 April 1888 and 13 February 1891 in Whitechapel and the neighbouring districts of Poplar, Spitalfields, and the City of London. Despite the mundane nature of crime against women,…
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The Legend of Elizabeth Báthory, the Blood Countess

The Legend of Elizabeth Báthory, the Blood Countess

How far would you go to maintain your youth and your beauty? While today most people have become a victim of the cosmetic industry and (fortunately) only a few really dare to undergo cosmetic surgery, eternal youth and beauty is not only a subject of today’s affluent society. No, it’s a prominent topic throughout history dating also back into mythology, such as the story of Narcissus, a young Greek hunter of extraordinary…
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Raymond Chandler and the Invention of the Hardboiled Detective Novel

Raymond Chandler and the Invention of the Hardboiled Detective Novel

On July 23, 1888, American-British novelist and screenwriter Raymond Chandler was born. Chandler is considered one of the pioneers of American hardboiled novels. He invented the character of the melancholic and ultimately moral private detective Philip Marlowe for his crime novels. In addition to his crime novels, he wrote a series of short stories and screenplays. Along with Dashiell Hammett, he is one of the great authors of the black series in…
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Murder in the Bathtub – Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday

Murder in the Bathtub – Jean Paul Marat and Charlotte Corday

On July 13, 1793, the ‘martyr of the revolution‘, Jean Paul Marat was assassinated by Charlotte Corday, a 24 year old woman. The physician, natural scientists, and political activist was a member of ‘the Mountain’, a group active during the French Revolution, and author of the radical newspaper ‘L’Ami du peuple’. How could liberty ever have established itself amongst us? Apart from several tragic scenes, the revolution has been nothing but a web…
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Elementary, my Dear Watson! – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes

Elementary, my Dear Watson! – Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and his famous Sherlock Holmes

On July 7, 1939, one of the most prolific, versatile and successful authors of the late 19th and early 20th century, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle passed away. Besides his best known character, the ‘consulting detective’ of the London police, Sherlock Holmes and his dear friend and advisor Dr. John Watson, he also wrote science fiction stories, plays, romances, poetry, non-fiction and historical novels. “It is an old maxim of mine that when you…
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Kaspar Hauser, the Mysterious Story of a Foundling

Kaspar Hauser, the Mysterious Story of a Foundling

On 26 May 1828, a teenage boy appeared in the streets of Nuremberg, Germany. The boy, who answered to the name Kaspar Hauser, claimed to have grown up in the total isolation of a darkened cell. Hauser’s claims, and his subsequent death by stabbing, sparked much debate and controversy. Some theories about him at the time linked him with the grand ducal House of Baden to be the hereditary “Prince of Baden”.…
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The Assassination of a President

The Assassination of a President

On Good Friday, April 14, 1865, as the American Civil War was drawing to a close, well known stage actor and Confederate spy John Wilkes Booth shot United States President Abraham Lincoln in the Presidential booth of the Ford’s theatre in Washington, D.C. And Lincoln should not be the last US president to be assassinated. He was followed by James A. Garfield, William McKinley, and John F. Kennedy, and if we also take attempts…
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J’Accuse – Émile Zola and the Dreyfus Affaire

J’Accuse – Émile Zola and the Dreyfus Affaire

Title page with Émile Zola’s famous public letter ‘J’accuse…!’ On January 13, 1898, French novellist Émile Zola published an open letter in the newspaper L’Aurore entitled “J’accuse” (“I accuse”, or, in context, “I accuse you”). In the letter, Zola addressed the President of France Félix Faure, and accused the government of anti-Semitism and the unlawful jailing of Alfred Dreyfus, a French Army General Staff officer sentenced to penal servitude for life for espionage. Alfred Dreyfus was…
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The Death of Blackbeard

The Death of Blackbeard

On November 22, 1718, English pirate Edward Teach or Edward Thatch, better known as Blackbeard, was killed. Blackbeard operated around the West Indies and the eastern coast of Britain’s North American colonies. Teach was a shrewd and calculating leader who spurned the use of force, relying instead on his fearsome image to elicit the response that he desired from those whom he robbed. Contrary to the modern-day picture of the traditional tyrannical…
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