Category: New York

The Criminal Cop

Charles Becker’s life changed in July 1911. Before then, the New York City policeman had worked a few cases that brought him some renown. But then he was assigned to head up one of three Special Squads, which a newspaper

Posted in executions, gangsters, murder, New York

The Witch of Wall Street, the Richest Woman in the World

At a time when women were thought not to have the minds for finance, Hetty Green invested her way into a $100 million fortune ($2.5 billion in current money). Her shabby black clothes and magical way with money earned her

Posted in New York

Hermit Hoarders of Harlem

In 1909, Homer and Langley Collyer moved with their parents into a brownstone on 128th Street and 5th Avenue in Harlem, then an affluent outpost of New York City. Their father, a prominent gynecologist, left their mother Susan, a former

Posted in hoarder, New York

The Dumbest Riot Ever

In the summer in the early 1900s, men often wore straw hats called boaters. On September 15, it was generally acknowledged that they would be put away for the season. In 1922, hooligans took this date and pushed it up

Posted in New York

Disasters as Entertainment at Coney Island

In 1904, Coney Island’s opening day attracted 250,000 to ride the coasters, take a dip in the ocean, and watch the fiery end of the world. Apocalyptic entertainment had a long history in the area. The perfectly named James Pain

Posted in disasters, New York