MFDJ 04/24/24: Family Witch Affairs

Today’s Amply Illustrated Yet Truly Morbid Fact!

The way in which family relationship triggered witchcraft charges is amply illustrated in Offenburg, a strongly Catholic free city near Strasbourg. Five mother-daughter groups, three mother-son, one father-son, one husband-wife-son, and two groups of three generations of women suffered from trials. In Offenburg and the immediate vicinity, 102 persons were killed and one banished between 1557 and 1630. Reaction to witches was vicious from the start: in 1557 two women were burned alive, and a confession was often extracted by placing the accused in the witch chair, a metal seat heated from beneath. One woman died from torture; another had her right breast torn by hot pincers; still another committed suicide in prison; a fourth went mad.

Culled from: Witchcraze: A New History of the European Witch Hunts


Crime Scene Du Jour!


Extortion and “protection” were routine businesses of organized crime. Resisting efforts to cooperate with the mob resulted in brutal beatings or simply murder, as seen here. It usually took only one example for a string of other businesses to cooperate with organized crime enforcers. After orchestrating perhaps as many as a thousand murders, Louis “Lepke” Buchalter, the head of Murder, Inc., was convicted and executed for orchestrating the 1936 murder of Brownsville candy store owner Joseph Rosen. Rosen had been a former garment industry trucker and had refused to cooperate with “Lepke” and Jacob “Gurrah” Shapiro in their labor racketeering business. They controlled the trucking industry, the life-blood of the garment district. Rosen gave up trucking and opened a candy store in exactly the wrong place: Brownsville, home of Murder, Inc. He remained defiant of “Lepke” and paid with his life. This was a classic hit—a shot to the head.

Other hit men, such as Abe “Kid Twist” Reles, perfected the icepick into the ear murder technique, perforating the brain. This was usually administered to a victim in a car who was held down by accomplices. The ice pick wound often fooled coroners, who thought the victim had had a cerebral hemorrhage.

Culled from: Deadly Intent

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