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Showing posts from July, 2010

Josephine Pollari Terranova

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Josephine Pollari Terranova (April 21 1889 - July 16, 1981)was born in San Stefano, Sicily but immigrated to New York City with her widowed mother.  After years of sexual abuse at the hands of her aunt and uncle, she stabbed them to death and was brought to trial on double murder chargesl.  But the trial itself took an absurd turn when she was put through a battery of tests to see if she was sane enough to stand trial for murder.  The experts shot electricity through her body, jabbed needles into her cheeks, hit her ankles with steel and dropped rocks on her toes.  She pleaded with them to let her return to the Tombs.  She was steadfast in declaring she was neither crazy nor afraid.  Many New Yorkers were horrified at what the young teenage girl was made to endure. The jury acquitted her in what was widely regarded as an act of jury nullification. She later moved west and finally settled in the San Francisco Bay Area, allegedly with the financial assistance of William Randolph Hear

The Loney Hearts Killers

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Martha Beck and Raymond Fernandez Raymond Fernandez was born on December 17, 1914 in Hawaii to Spanish parents. Shortly thereafter, they moved to Connecticut. As an adult, he moved to Spain, married, and had four children, all of whom he abandoned later on in life. After serving in British Intelligence during World War II, Fernandez decided to seek work.  Shortly after boarding a ship bound for America, a steel hatch fell on top of him, fracturing his skull, and injuring his frontal lobe.  The damage left by this injury may well have affected his social and sexual behavior. Upon his release from a hospital, Fernandez stole some clothing, and was imprisoned for a year, during which time his cellmate taught him voodoo and black magic. He later claimed black magic gave him irresistible power and charm over women. After having served his sentence, Fernandez moved to New York City and began answering personal ads by lonely women. He would wine and dine them, then steal their mo

The Murder of Helen Jewett

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Helen Jewett (October 18, 1813 – April 10, 1836) Prostitute Murder Victim Helen Jewett's real name was Dorcas Doyen and she was born in Temple, Maine to a working class family.  Her father was an alcoholic and her mother died when Jewett was young. When she was 12 years old, Helen found work as a maidservant in the home of Chief Justice Nathan Weston of the Maine Supreme Judicial Court. As the years passed, Helen grew into a true beauty.  AT 17, she was ruthlessly seduced by an unscrupulous bank cashier.   At 18, she changed her name to Helen Jewett and moved to New York City.  It was not long before her great beauty attracted notice.  She found work in a bordello and earned a very comfortable living as high class courtesan .  One day, while she was accosted by a ruffian outside a theatre, a man by the name of Richard Robinson, also known as Frank Rivers, came to her rescue.  A bond developed and Robinson soon became a regular patron. .   Richard P. Robinson A profile made in

The Love Story of Antony and Cleopatra

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The Legend of the love story between Marc Antony and Cleopatra was immortalized by William Shakespeare.  It has endured and fascinates to this day.  When Marc Antony's duties took him to Egypt, me met Queen Cleopatra and was immediately beguiled.  The spell she weaved over him was intense, and Marc Antony soon began to neglect his duties in order to be with her.  While he dallied with the Egyptian queen, Rome was in turmoil and his wife in Rome died.       He is called back to rome from Alexandria to battle Sextus Pompey, Menecrates, and Menas, three notorious pirates of the Mediterranean.  But Cleopatra is heartbroken and she repeatedly begs him not to go.  All Marc Antony can do is reaffirm his love for her, but he is firm - he must go.   In Rome, Agrippa pushes for Antony to marry Octavius Caesar's sister, Octavia, in order to cement the bond between the two men.  Reluctantly Atony weds Octavia but Antony's lieutenant knows that Octavia can never satisfy him after Cleopa