Fitch Bits: Boston's Murder of the (19th) Century

This post was originally shared as a Facebook and Instagram "DID YOU KNOW" post.

We share them weekly and you can get in on the fun by liking us at Facebook.com/TheNewSlightlyOddFitchburg and following us at Instagram.com/SlightlyOddFitchburg! Now onto the odd story!

Fitch Bits: Boston's Murder of the (19th) Century

DID YOU KNOW that Boston was home to the murder of the century?

Oh, yeah! As PBS puts it: "The Parkman murder has been called the O. J. Simpson trial of the nineteenth century. It had everything a good murder story needs: a rich, well-known victim; a well-respected suspect; gruesome evidence; and a possible underdog hero."

So, basically, it all began in November of 1849 when Dr. George Parkman, a scion of one of Boston's richest families, suddenly vanished. One week later, the janitor of the Harvard Medical College discovered body parts hidden in the laboratory of a mild-mannered professor of chemistry named John Webster. Though his influential friends supported his innocence, Webster was convicted of murdering Dr. Parkman. The trial created a spectacle, drawing crowds in the tens of thousands.

It turned out that Webster owed Parkman money. He had borrowed from him for years to cover a lifestyle he couldn't afford. He had recently attempted to pledge his mineral collection as collateral on a loan. It just so happened that these minerals were already collateral for one of Parkman's loans and this enraged him.

Parkman started to get all "Where's my money, man?" with him and that led to a meeting on November 23rd, 1849. Several days later, Webster was arrested under suspicion that he had killed Parkman at this meeting. Webster stood trial in March 1850, was found guilty, and was sentenced to hang.

The trial enraptured the nation and it was the first instance of a court accepting dental evidence and scientific testimony! Parkman is said to still haunt the room of his murder and Charles Dickens himself asked to stay in it during a visit!

So, you know, anyone got $20 I can borrow? I promise to pay it back and you can keep some rocks as collateral!

While I have you here, How about getting your very own Ouija Board, made by me! They help support the site and you'll never find a higher quality, handmade board anywhere!

While I have you here, How about getting your very own Ouija Board, made by me! They help support the site and you'll never find a higher quality, handmade board anywhere!
 
You can get yours customized!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

The Strange Case of Arthur Blood and Lancaster Town Forest

The Ultimate Guide to Pukwudgies! – Part 1 – Hockomock Swamp

The Redheaded Hitchhiker and other Route 44 Attractions