Meet the Medieval Mafia #5

By Jon Tait BLACK WALTER’ SELBY AND THE MITFORD GANG If you were going to give the Black Walter Selby story the full Hollywood treatment,you’d want to cast someone like Joe Pesci as the main man. Getting some of that swagger and psychotic stage presence would be essential for the big screen, for sure. StickContinue reading “Meet the Medieval Mafia #5”

Meet The Medieval Mafia #4

By Jon Tait Hutcheon Graham of Gards The Bishop of Carlisle was watching from the ramparts of Carlisle castle whenHutcheon Graham and his crew of border reivers started riding out to plunder theCumbrian countryside following the death of Queen Elizabeth 1 in March 1603.Hutcheon and his fellow horsemen – around 140 of his ‘kinsmen andContinue reading “Meet The Medieval Mafia #4”

Meet The Medieval Mafia #3

By Jon Tait Ellen Charlton of the Bower It should come as no real surprise that Ellen Charlton of the Bower was jailed inNewcastle alongside her son John junior for cattle theft in 1629.Ellen was the wife of a notorious border reiver called John Charlton of the Bower andthe daughter of one of the mostContinue reading “Meet The Medieval Mafia #3”

Meet The Medieval Mafia #2

By Jon Tait Adam Scott of Tushielaw Adam Scott was such a notorious leader of sheep and cattle raiders that he earned the nicknames ‘King of Thieves’ and ‘King of the Border.’ Scott was born sometime in the late Fifteenth century, a son of David Scott in theforest of Ettrick, who had gained possession ofContinue reading “Meet The Medieval Mafia #2”

Serial Killer: Leslie Irvin

By Chris Bunton Leslie “Mad Dog” Irvin terrified the Evansville, Indiana, and Henderson, Kentucky communities in the 1950’s. It all began on December 2, 1954 when the body of Mary Holland was found at the Bellemeade Liquor Store stuffed behind a toilet. She was the owner, and she had been killed execution style. Three dimesContinue reading “Serial Killer: Leslie Irvin”

Meet The Medieval Mafia #1

By Jon Tait Sim Armstrong of Whithaugh He was Scottish organised crime’s Mr. Big TWO CENTURIES before the Sicilianmafia was formed. With links to cattle and sheep rustling, coin counterfeiting, robberies, protectionrackets and murders, Sim Armstrong of Whithaugh was one of the most dangerousand notorious reivers from just over the border in the lonely LiddesdaleContinue reading “Meet The Medieval Mafia #1”

Beauty Brings Beasts

By Emily Kitazawa “Beauty is a curse on the world. It keeps us from seeing who the real monsters are.” – The Carver WHEN EVELYN WAS a young girl, she remembered the strangely exotic feel of her mother’s hair-prickled calves on her tender hands, evoking the same fascination of one’s first time touching a hithertoContinue reading “Beauty Brings Beasts”

A Friend of Charley Boles

By Marco Etheridge I was a young man of twenty-two and green to the ways of the world when I first arrived on the island of Oahu. The year was eighteen-ninety-eight and the world was on the cusp of a new millennium full of promise. I boarded a steamer in San Francisco, leaving behind theContinue reading “A Friend of Charley Boles”

Historical True Crime: Sam Hildebrand

By Chris Bunton “There seems little room for doubt that the desperado, who was recently killed at Pinckneyville, the particulars of which, our local correspondent of that town, has heretofore furnished our readers, was the real “Sam Hildebrand” of Missouri notoriety”—Du Quoin Tribune, April 11, 1872  Sam Hildebrand was born on January 6, 1836 atContinue reading “Historical True Crime: Sam Hildebrand”

Savage Murder at Taliesin

By Chris Bunton Frank Lloyd Wright is one of the most famous architects in the world. He lived and worked between 1867 and 1959. His works have inspired millions, but at the same time, his life had dark tragedies. I have been a fan of Frank Lloyd Wright for quite some time, and try toContinue reading “Savage Murder at Taliesin”