Thank you for visiting Old Spirituals!
My name is Kimberly Tilley and I’m a non-fiction author and the co-founder of Pivot Discovery Career Services. I’ve always loved to write. I’ve written four books about crimes that happened at the turn of the century (circa 1900). The Poisoned Glass, Cold Heart, and Has It Come to This? are Amazon category #1 best sellers in True Crime, American history, and other categories in the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia.
The Poisoned Glass was released in August 2019.
When the lifeless body of 17-year-old Jennie Bosschieter was discovered beside the Passaic River in October 1900, the outrage in Paterson, New Jersey was palpable. But when the identity of the killers came to light, public opinion divided. Some people still demanded justice for the brutal crime, while others now insisted Jennie’s murder was her own fault.
Cold Heart was released in December 2020.
1903, Buffalo, New York. Ed Burdick, a wealthy manufacturer known for his kindness and generosity, and his wife Alice had a life few could imagine. The couple had three beautiful daughters, and they were fixtures in the elite Elmwood Avenue set. Despite rumors of trouble in the Burdick marriage, few believed it until Ed ordered his wife out of their home and filed for divorce. The whispers about their separation abruptly ended when Ed Burdick was brutally murdered in his den while his family slept upstairs. The police found a mosaic of conflicting clues at the crime scene. The investigation uncovered shocking information about the Buffalo tycoon’s life, and no shortage of suspects with a motive for murder. The murder of Ed Burdick is the true story of the great unsolved mystery during the Gilded Age and a terrible wrong that was never put right.
Has it Come to This? was released in March 2022.
Somebody got away with murder on Christmas Eve of 1900 in Savannah, Missouri. Frank Richardson, a wealthy merchant who had repented of his wayward past and was determined to make the most of the second chance he was given, was shot dead in his home. His killer had vanished, but investigators were determined to find and punish the murderer. The evidence they discovered exposed Frank’s secret life to the world and scandalized the residents of Savannah. Of all the clues they found, none was more fascinating than Frank’s enigmatic last words, uttered the moment before he was shot: “Has it come to this?” Suspicion fell at once on Frank’s former paramour, Goldie Whitehead; his charming wife, Addie; and Stewart Fife, the suave young clerk of whom he was known to be insanely jealous. All the clues and evidence in this unsolved true crime are assembled here for readers to unravel the truth behind who killed Frank Richardson.
Grievous Deeds, the True Story of Four Years of Fury in Chattanooga, Tennessee will be released March 30, 2023. When a young white woman is assaulted in a dark cemetery in January 1906, the town erupts. Despite a lack of solid evidence and a flawed trial, a black man named Ed Johnson is convicted of the crime and sentenced to death. Before he can be executed, the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes. Despite their order, a bloodthirsty mob attacks the county jail, and lynches Johnson. The infuriated high court is determined Ed Johnson’s murder will not go unpunished, and they charge Joseph Shipp, the county sheriff, with contempt. Desperate to save his political career and fearful of the reckoning he faces, the ambitious sheriff deteriorates under the strain of the case against him. After failing to solve another shocking crime, Shipp does the unthinkable. He gambles on the ability of Dave Edwards, a notoriously violent inmate in his jail, to solve the high-profile cold case. Despite a pending trial for first-degree murder, the sheriff releases Edwards. It’s not long until Dave’s madness manifests itself, with dreadful consequences.
Kindle Vella short stories
I have short stories on Kindle Vella! You can access them through the Kindle app or on Amazon.com if you visit on your desktop. Check out The Romanovs, Rasputin, and the Collapse of a 300-Year Dynasty now. I’ll be adding more soon!
Old Spirituals covers a lot of true crime stories from the turn of the century and occasionally another kind of story from the same time period. The people I write about on this site are a mixture of well-known people, like Evelyn Nesbit, Mata Hari, and the Romanovs, and more obscure characters, like Charlie Hall and Margaret Rowan.
If you’ve read one of my books, please do stop by the book’s discussion page. I love to hear your thoughts and theories on the cases!
Have a question about Old Spirituals or my books? You can contact me at Kimberly@OldSpirituals.com