Sordid Histories of Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary, Volume 2

Today’s sordid history from Leavenworth Federal Penitentiary is the tale of Adolph Fein, the one-time vice-president of the Hebrew chapter of St. Louis’ Jefferson Club, a local organization of young Democrats that wielded considerable power throughout the state of Missouri at the turn of the century. Fein was a well-known politician in St. Louis but as we will see,…

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Prisoners in Hats

Mugshots were still new at the turn of the century. The people pictured here were criminals but their names, deeds, and victims are forgotten. Their photos appear quaint, and could never be mistaken for those of modern inmates. One interesting practice of this era was to allow prisoners to be officially photographed wearing hats. The hats tell us a lot…

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The Mystery of Nell Cropsey, Part II

This is the conclusion of a 2-part post about Nell Cropsey. To read Part I, click here!  November 21, 1901. A search for Nell was launched the morning after she disappeared. Initially, the town speculated that Nell and Jim had eloped, but this theory was quickly disproven when the police interviewed the young man at his parents’…

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