Sometimes, history really is stranger than fiction. These murder plots might not be pleasant, but they have endured throughout history due to their elaborate twists and turns. You might want to read these twice; at first glance, they have all the makings of a detective novel but look a little closer and you will stumble across an altogether more grizzly reality.
The Case Of The Stolen Pants
Life was tough in 19th century London and for this reason, coachman Daniel Good set about stealing a pair of pants. Unluckily for Good, however, a local constable was soon hot on his trail, following the accused back to the stables where he lived and worked. While searching for the missing pants, however, the officer got a whole lot more than he had bargained for. Hidden amongst the hay bails was a scorched human torso, completely severed from its limbs and head. The body belonged to Jane Jones, the common-law wife of Good who had got in the way of his plans to marry someone else. After fleeing the scene, Good remained at large for a few days, invoking fear in the locals. After he was captured, the coachman was executed for his crimes, which would never have come to light if it weren’t for his previous robbery.
The Stranger’s Fingerprint
London was rife with crime in the early 20th century and getting your home broken into was not a strange occurrence. Such was the case for one unlucky couple who owned a paint shop. The couple who lived above and ran the store were one day discovered after a robbery. While the husband had been beaten to death, his wife lay unconscious, unable to recall any important details when she later came around. The local police department soon set to work on the crime scene, finding a fingerprint on a cash box that didn’t match any information that had on file. Soon, a witness named two local brothers, claiming he had seen them fleeing the scene. Indeed, one of the brother’s thumbprints matched the box, bringing him to trial all thanks to the creation of the new identification technology.
You might already know the words to “Frankie and Johnny”, a notorious murder ballad, but do you know the story behind the lyrics? The tale is based on a real murder plot in which a prostitute, Frankie Baker murdered her musician boyfriend after finding him with another woman. Incredibly, Frankie got away with her crimes, citing her use of a gun as a preventative measure against the knife her boyfriend had threatened her with. Since then, however, strange facts have remained unsolved and many of the young woman’s neighbors failed to believe her story. Whatever the case, the plot has been immortalized in popular culture and now, it will always be remembered as a love story that went tragically wrong.
The Stanford Case
After having founded Stanford University with her husband in 1891, it seemed that Jane Stanford could do no wrong. It wasn’t to be the case, however and just 14 years later, the co-founder was dead at the hands of poison. While Stanford had created a well rounded educational institute with her husband, she wasn’t pleased with the progress of the University’s president, David Starr, and was preparing to let him go. At the same time, however, she tasted a glass of mineral water that seemed to have a bitter taste. Spitting it out, she sent the rest of the water off for testing, only to find out that it had been laced with strychnine, a deadly poison. While she scraped death the first time, she wasn’t to be so lucky for long and just a few weeks later, she drank another glass with the stuff inside. This time, she wasn’t to be so lucky. The death was covered up for a long time, with Stanford’s husband even paying a doctor to do a phony report. It was only years later that medical information was released, revealing Jane had been poisoned although to this day, nobody knows who was behind the plot.