They were the worst women we've known, and their legends will never die.
Coming to the Screen: Toni Jo Henry She's one of the South's most notorious murderesses and one of the most popular wicked women on this website. The story of Toni Jo, executed in Louisiana for murder, is about to be made into a movie starring a woman who usually wears a dinky pink bikini.
Lizzie Borden Conference The study of Fall River's favorite murder case has become a phenomenon unto itself. There's a conference planned for mid-August, 2008. Doesn't that sound like a delightful time to visit New England to meet Borden scholars from across the world? I plan to check the details on the conference website.
The Indian Gun Girl A story I wrote about Julia Maude Lowther, Ohio's "Indian Gun Girl," will be published in The On The Spot Journal, devoted to 1920s-'40s crime stories.
The Murderous Maid Nan Talese wrote a review of Alias Grace, Margaret Atwood's fictional account of murderess Grace Marks, and the review itself is a treat. It begins: "There's nothing like the spectacle of female villainy brought to justice to revive the ancient, tired, apparently endless debate over whether women are by nature saintly or demonic...."
And Now For a Real True Crime Readers' Treat You never know what you'll find on the internet, which includes some very old, stylized, dated and delightful true crime books. I've discovered She Stands Accused -- a book about female criminals written by Victor MacClure. Now this is so bizarre and fun that I'll have to print it. A brief taste of it:
Interest in the criminous doings of women is so alive and avid among criminological writers that it is hard indeed to find material which has not been dealt with to the point of exhaustion.
Does one pick up in a secondhand bookshop a pamphlet giving a verbatim report of a trial in which a woman is the central figure, and does one flatter oneself that the find is unique, and therefore providing of fresh fields, it is almost inevitable that one will discover, or rediscover, that the case has already been put to bed by Mr Roughead in his inimitable manner. What a nose the man has!
What noses all these rechauffeurs of crime possess! To use a figure perhaps something unmannerly, the pigs of Perigord, which, one hears, are trained to hunt truffles, have snouts no keener.
Suppose, again, that one proposes to deal with the peccancy of women from the earliest times, it is hard to find a lady, even one whose name has hitherto gleamed lurid in history, to whom some modern writer has not contrived by chapter and verse to apply a coat of whitewash.
Ah, well, I'm lost in this book now.