Marie Lafarge, c. 1850

The Arsenic Cake of Madame Lafarge

The first trial to use forensic toxicology electrified France in 1840 with the tale of a bad marriage and poisoned innards.
Punch Jack the Ripper

How Jack the Ripper Became a Legend

In 1880s London, an anti-prostitution campaign, anti-immigration feelings, and a deep class divide set the scene for the Jack the Ripper media frenzy.
Lizzie Borden

Why We’re So Obsessed With Lizzie Borden’s 40 Whacks

Lizzie Borden’s father and stepmother were brutally murdered, possibly by Lizzie herself, in August 1892. Why are we still dissecting the crime?
Harvard quad

The Infamous Tale of the Murderous Chemistry Professor

The murder of Dr. George Parkman on the campus of Harvard College was one of the most famous crimes in nineteenth century America.
Holotype of Diplazium grammatoides Fée; Verified by George R. Proctor, 1985/10

Botanist and Murderer? The Strange End of George R. Proctor

The obituary of noted botanist George R. Proctor reveals a surprising story.