cry “Spanko”

Towards the end of the 17th century, the streets of London were haunted by a man known as “Whipping Tom“. ***

Tom would wait in dark alleys for unsuspecting ladies out and about at night, grab them, lift up their skirts and beat ‘an Alarum’ upon ‘their Tobies’ with his bare hand as he cried out ‘Spanko!’.

image found here

His attacks went no further than a harsh spanking, but a contemporary account recorded that one one occasion ‘he so swinged her tail, that tis thought, she will not be capable of her Trade for some time.’

There is no record of him doing anything other than spanking. A pamphlet printed at the time describes in great detail the tale of a poor, stunned pease-pudding seller:

“Another time the Woman that cries hot Gray Pease about the Streets, coming up Ram Alley in Fleet Street … a cold hand was lay’d upon her, and up flew her heels, and down fell the Pease Tub, when (as she has farther related) her sences were so charmed, that she lost all power of Resistance, and left him to Tyranize over her Posteriors at pleasure, the which when he had done, he left her to scrape up her ware as well as she could, for the use of such longing Ladies as are affected with such Diet.”

***found here

Spankometer found here

Published in: on December 23, 2009 at 7:39 am  Comments (26)  
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perversion finishing school

Back in 1964 Candace Mossler was getting tired of her husband Jacques. An ex toothpaste model who once ran her own Finishing School for Southern Belles, she’d married the much older financier when she was 22.

restless virgin

Sometime in the intervening years she invited her sister’s son, Melvin to move in with them and their children. Melvin quickly replaced Jacques in Candace’s affections and before too long Jacques found himself living alone with his dog on Key Biscayne. In June he was found bludgeoned to death and with thirty nine stab wounds to his body. Foul play by Candace and Melvin was quickly suspected…..

Legendary Texas attorney Percy Foreman was imported to head the powerful defense team. He maintained that Jacques Mossier’s sexual appetites—”transvestitism, homosexuality, voyeurism and every conceivable type of perversion, masochism, sadism,”—had caused his own death; he was murdered, said Foreman, by a slighted homosexual lover.


In the end, it may have been Candy’s charm that carried the day more than Foreman’s defense. She made herself endlessly available to the press, always wearing a glamorous smile, and public opinion turned in her favor. She and Melvin Powers were both found not guilty of murder charges. No killer was ever found, nor even sought, because the police knew they had their perps and didn’t bother looking elsewhere, acquittal notwithstanding.

Five years after the trial, she married Barnett Garrison, a Houston electrician. He was 33 and she 52. They lived together briefly in the old Mossler mansion in Houston.


Thirteen months after the marriage, Garrison was crippled in a fall from the room of the house. The couple had been fighting that night and Garrison went out drinking alone. He returned late without keys and apparently tried to climb up to Candy’s third-floor bedroom. Candy divorced him.

Barnett Garrison was severely brain damaged and, after the death of his devoted protector and mother, he looked set to end his days in Sugar Land Oaks Guest Home, a facility not unlike the Gimcrack. And then he met care worker, 73 year old Niecee Wolcik.

all night nurse

They began to have conversations at her desk. Nearly everyone had learned of Barnett’s crush, if only from the way he ogled Niecee. Her feelings for him, however, were not widely known until the dance on Valentine’s Day, when Niecee slowly waltzed with Barnett to “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” the staff watching in awe.

physical culture in the violent ward

Every Saturday, Niecee began meeting Barnett at Viking Archery but they didn’t spend much time at the range. Niecee would help him into her car, and then they would go parking at Richmond State Park.

Being a sensible 73-year-old woman, Niecee never let things get too out of hand. Before long, Niecee was telling Barnett that she was not a plaything and was not here to play games. It was either marriage or nothing.

Niecee quit her job at the rest home. She returned a few days later and signed the register “Niecee Garrison,” and took her man home.

Barnett’s family were shocked by this development and took steps to annul the marriage.

The court was swayed by Dr. Steiner, who said Barnett could never have understood the marriage ceremony. Niecee even heard that Barnett didn’t know what he was doing when he consummated their union. But she had been there: she knew that if there was one thing Barnett understood, it was that.

tied up

So things did not end well for the two lovers. Barnett returned to life at Sugar Land Oaks and Niecee  got a new job at another facility. I hope it was one where the band played “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”…..

private lesson

Published in: on November 28, 2009 at 6:09 am  Comments (26)  
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turn over a new moon

Why would anyone change their name from Henry Moon to Henry Smith? Especially if they were a magician and an escapologist?

Henry was imprisoned in a New Brunswick jail for horse stealing. During his incarceration he feigned illness and escaped though was recaptured shortly afterwards.

strong man

This time he was forced to wear handcuffs and neck and leg irons. These were connected to each other and attached to an iron ring in the wall, so he couldn’t move at all. The iron collar was made of a flat bar of iron over an inch wide, but Smith managed to twist it from his neck and broke it in half.


One night the jailer investigated a noise coming from Smith’s cell. At first he found nothing. But then he noticed that the bars of the cell had been practically sawn through and that the prisoner had somehow freed himself completely from his chains. On another occasion, despite new window bars and heavy-duty door locks on his cell, the prisoner was discovered with a woman kneeling at his bed. It was an extraordinarily convincing figure of his wife, and the magical scene was made in the pitch dark from scraps of cloth and straw, and a three-foot wooden trough that had contained his drinking water. He was chained with heavier irons, but next morning was found to be free again. After a thorough search a minute saw was found that Smith had made by cutting microscopic serrations in a steel watch spring.


image by Araki

One morning the jailor found that Henry had again freed himself from his chains. The links were found to be separated, but they had been somehow broken and not cut. Thinking they had some kind of magican on their hands they replaced these chains with seven feet long ox chains stapled to the floorboards, which Henry also managed to break into pieces.

Later, again handcuffed in total darkness and without any tools, he made an entire troupe of full-size puppets using straw, rags, burnt wood and his own blood for colour. The incredibly life-like group consisted of ten players – men, women and children – who danced with motion, ease and exactness. Word spread and Smith soon had visitors for his extraordinary magic show from all over; there was even one gentleman from Ireland.


Ann Pennington (click photo to make Felix dance with Ann)

Smith also seems to have had the ability to make fire at any time, and proved it by starting fires in his cell with no apparent means. Telling fortunes using tea-leaves was another of his skills. He left the jail a free man, but a few months later, was arrested again. Apparently he’d crept into a young lady’s bedroom and stolen one of her earrings as she slept.


When this term of imprisonment was up, he presented his prison keeper with a pocket knife, into the handle of which he’d set a tiny watch which kept perfect time.


watch found here

Published in: on November 10, 2009 at 7:29 am  Comments (29)  
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mad as a hatter

Australia has had its fair share of home grown murderers. Back in 1942, we imported one named Leonski from the good ol’ US. He would become known as The Brownout Strangler as his killings were all perpetrated during the wartime “brownout” at night.

may murders

On May 3, 1942, Ivy Violet McLeod, 40, was found dead in Albert Park, Melbourne. She had been beaten and strangled, and because she was found to be in possession of her purse it was evident that robbery was not the motive.

ivy ling po 14 amazons 2

Ivy Ling Po not Ivy McLeod

Just six days later, 31-year-old Pauline Thompson was strangled after a night out. She was last seen in the company of a young man who was described as having an American accent.


Pauline Bonaparte, not Pauline Thompson

Gladys Hosking, 40, was the next victim, murdered on May 18 while walking home from work. A witness said that, on the night of the killing, a disheveled American man had approached him asking for directions, seemingly out of breath and covered with mud. This description matched the individual Pauline Thompson was seen with on the night of her murder, as well as the descriptions given by several women who had survived recent attacks.


Gladys Zender not Gladys Hosking

These survivors and other witnesses were able to pick 24-year-old Edward Leonski out of a line-up of American servicemen who were stationed in the city during World War II. A Private in the 52nd Signal Battalion, Leonski was arrested and charged with three murders.


Edward Munster not Edward Leonski

During the investigation, police found that all three of the women had sung in choirs or professionally at concerts. Detective “Bluey” Adams, who was not assigned to the case, happened to be sitting in a bar one night where Leonski, not yet under suspicion, was drinking with friends. Bluey watched the soldier swallow a mixture of beer, whiskey and hot sauce and then walk on his hands along the top of the bar.


Bluey not Bluey Adams

He turned to his colleague and said “That bloke’s as mad as a hatter. And look at his hands – they’re the hands of the Brownout Strangler”


Handstand image by Philip Greenspun found here

Decades later when William Nagle was writing a movie screenplay about Leonski’s crime, he noticed an odd coincidence in the names of the murderer and his victims.

The victims were McLEOd, ThompsoN and HoSKIng…….

Published in: on November 5, 2009 at 7:34 am  Comments (34)  
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