Most Unjust: Catherine Coarum’s Trial (part 2 of 2)

This is the conclusion of Catherine’s story. Click here if you haven’t yet read Part 1. December 1901. Catherine’s trial began in early December, and the proceedings lasted four days. Her attorney, Robert Ash, had done his best to defend her, but he was not sanguine about the outcome. The story was salacious enough to attract attention,…

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Gypsy Adams Murders Her Only Friend

San Francisco, California. The newspapers described Gypsy Adams as “a Louisiana girl, of Creole extraction” who was an inmate of one of the Tenderloin’s infamous brothels. The house was owned by Mrs. Mary Mills, known to her employees as “Mother Mary”. Gypsy quickly became well-known in the Tenderloin and her loud crassness and unmoderated drinking and…

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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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