ELIXIRS AND CURES
Cures everyone in 1900 from drunkards to bedwetters!
DAYTON’S ONLY MURDER IN 1900, A YOUNG GIRL, PRODUCES DRAMTIC STRUCTURAL AND OPERATIONAL CHANGES IN A MAJOR AMERICAN POLICE DEPARTMENT.
The following editorials chronicle the pressure placed on the police commission to make changes for a police department where the already competent and dedicated officers were working 12 hour shifts 365 days yearly.
YELLOW JOURNALISM – 1900-1909 STYLE
There was no love lost between Dayton newspapers and those in Cincinnati. They tried to out “scoop” each other, brag about their readership, tout each other’s crime reporters as being the “best in the business,” and, in general, lie about and “out-gore” each other to sell papers.
Here are a series of examples. Why the dislike? Was it merely readership? Was there something more?
“Gem City officials pay no attention to ordinary crimes, and murders only cause them to bat their eyes – Then they sleep on.”
The article is among the first to say that there is a “fiend” on the loose, what we would call today a “serial killer,” complete with full moon and a crazed killer drawing.
“Dayton Police Inactive in Search for Man-Gorilla Who Murdered Girl and Escort.”
A killer on the loose, a fiend, with a caricature very similar to Jack the Ripper.
Things are getting desperate. We are not only fighting a criminal but fighting for our freedom.
This is a drawing of the crime scene in the Markowitz killings.
Sensing that Dayton was on the ropes, the Post pounced. The Post commissioned “trained newsgatherer” to spend several days in Dayton to answer the question on everyone’s mind, “What’s the Matter with Dayton?” What did they find?
- Scenes on the streets were appalling
- Women, were wearing the latest New York fashions
- Their hats tilted back showing bangs on their foreheads
- Unescorted women laughing and “carrying-on,” on the streets
- Young men and women going in and out of saloons
- An inadequate and untrained police force “at sea” in their search for the killer.
In a word, “…a city of mushroom growth which has taken on metropolitan manners before shedding the swaddling clothes of a village.”
The following headline in a 1906 issue of the Cincinnati Post started a rumor that “Dayton’s atrocious Murder May Lead to Burning of the Negro Settlement Tonight.”
The implications were stunning. This prompted an immediate response.
The Dayton Journal lashed out at the Post.
“The particular kind of blackguardism of which the journalistic atrocity, the Cincinnati Post, is capable, was exemplified yesterday in an attempt to incite a mob in Dayton.”
“There is no evidence that the murder of Dona Gilman was committed by a Negro. This thing of accusing Negroes in Dayton has been worked to death…” Even were it found to be true in the Gilman case, it could only be true of some one criminal, not of a whole community.” The article goes on to describe the bigotry of the “…creatures who write for the unspeakable Post.”
The murder of these girls had “…crept across the waters and become a topic of conversation in the villages and hamlets of Europe.”
This editorial cartoon summarizes the atmosphere in 1909 Dayton, Ohio. Why the fear?
THE MURDERED GIRL WHO LAUNCHED THE SEARCH FOR A SERIAL KILLER
THE NEWSPAPER THAT INSPIRED THE COVER
FIRST AND JEFFERSON. IT ALL ENDED HERE.
Apprehending a murderous degenerate is a responsibility of the entire community. It would only be a matter of time that editorials would be stating that “…there is no crime wave in Dayton, merely growing pains.”
Crime scene drawing of Ada Lantz murder in 1900, the only murder in Dayton, Ohio that year. Newspaper photography was in its infancy, hence the drawing.
Ada Lantz burial site in the infant and young children section of beautiful Woodland Cemetery in Dayton, Ohio. The Wright Brothers are buried not far away. They lived in the same neighborhood as Ada.
Christmas shopping in 1907 in Dayton, Ohio. The original was in poor shape but you can still make out the words at the bottom.
THE DAYTON JOURNAL – EDITORIAL – 1909
A serial killer was on the loose and the community was advised that he may not “look” like a criminal. They should be vigilant just as, in the early days of our nation, we had minutemen who could arise at a “moments” notice.
“Don’t forget as you ponder over the evils that beset us today, to cultivate your own intuition. Don’t forget that you are gifted with the faculty of discernment.” (See more articles at ColdSerial.com
THREE ELECTED OFFICIALS, THE SHERIFF, PROSECUTOR AND CORONER, SWEAT CONFESSION FROM SON OF SLAVE, LAYTON HINES. POLICE ARE CONVINCED OF HIS INNOCENCE. After two newspapers begin to convict Hines before his trial, an African American community leader comments; “The mistake of one white man is laid at the door of the individual making the mistake: The mistake of one negro is charged up against the whole race.”
Is there a teaching moment here, today!
Hines is arrested for the murder and rape of a girl and the murder of her boyfriend. After 14 hours in jail, no food, sleep, or counsel, Hines is allowed to contact an attorney. He immediately denies the confession, alleging that promises and threats were made to him. He has no criminal record, is an excellent employee, attends church regularly, was not picked out of a line-up, no witnesses, and had a recently broken arm.
From the pulpit, an African American church leader asks for a fair trial and offers to raise money for an attorney. He asks, “The mistake of one white man is laid at the door of the individual making the mistake: The mistake of one negro is charged up against the whole race.”
Local papers are criticized for condemning Hines before the trial begins. Rioting and demonstrations are threatened if a fair trial is not afforded.
Hines is found guilty of murder based on his confession alone that is admitted as evidence. So, after the murder and rape of one girl and the murder of her boyfriend, mercy is recommended by the jury due to a holdout with a story that is not told until years later.
The Dayton Police were convinced that Hines never committed the murder.
A weekly African American newspaper, the Dayton Observer editorialized the following. “History will show to the citizens that each time a murder or rape was committed in the city or county the first thing they(county officials who in this case elicited the confession)said was: “It was a nigger!”