The book “Famous crimes the world forgot” by Jason Lucky Morrow is a perfect fit here at DCC. I too like to know more about old cold cases. This book review concerns Volume II. It came out in 2017. Volume I came out in 2014. I have not read Volume I. Jason Lucky Morrow’s website is here.
Susie & Lewis Belew
Volume II starts with the case of Susie E. Belew (1867 – 1897) and Lewis Belew (1856 – 1897). Brother and sister had finally found their partners for life. Both were engaged. Both looked forward to marry the one they loved. Neither would walk the aisle with their beloved. Both died a violent death caused by arsenic.
The story combines envies, jealousy, bitterness, cowardice, money, and ends with a hanging. What interested me was the police tactics of getting the suspect to talk, the switching between pleading guilty or opting for an insanity defense, and the trial.
The Albany Law Journal Vol. 58 discusses the property acquiring part of case. It concerns the question whether you can acquire property as a direct result of your own crime. In the book Folsom’s 93: The Lives and Crimes of Folsom Prison’s Executed Men by April Moore you can read how the condemned handled awaiting his own execution at Folsom.
Helen Harris Weaver
The other stories in the book are at times unbelievable but true. Most notably, the case of Helen Harris Weaver deserves attention. The convoluted way the killer tries to frame and murder her husband is at times hilarious. The author describes it so well that you can just see the characters stumbling through crime. And the crime brings you back to reality: he killed Helen. Her husband was next.
Jason Lucky Morrow collected eight stories that all deserve the spotlights. These victims’ stories cannot fade in obscurity. Read their stories.
Highly recommended reading if you like true crime and of course, if you like to explore forensic sciences in its early stages.