Saturday, November 03, 2007

All's Fair in Love and Obituaries

A young woman in Massachusetts lost her boyfriend to another girl. So she did what anyone would do: she caused a couple of newspapers to publish notices of her own death, then blamed her rival.

City Marshall Stone and Officer Mears, of Lynn, arrested a young woman named Ida M. Eddy at one of the hotels in Nahant yesterday afternoon upon a charge of publishing her own death in the Lynn Record of Aug. 29, 1878, and the Lynn Item of June 6, 1879. The notices purported to be sent from Abington, Mass., in each case, and were accompanied by letters signed in the first instance by "Deacon Gilmore," and in the second by the "Rev. Samuel Lee." The first notice stated that Ida M. Eddy died in Abington, of heart disease, Aug. 26, 1878, at the age of 21 years; the second, that Ida M. Eddy died in Abington, June 4, 1879, at the age of 21 years and 10 months. The accompanying letters gave a detailed statement as to the sufferings of the deceased during her last illness.
Immediately after the last publication in the Item, Miss Eddy herself called at the office of the paper and upbraided the editors in no measured terms for publishing the announcement of her death, when she was still in the land of the living. She, at the time, intimated that a Miss Jennie Bessom, a respectable young woman residing at Woodend, had caused the publication of the notices by forging the letters in which they were sent. [The New York Times, Aug. 14, 1879]


Arrested, but was she convicted? Maybe the boyfriend submitted them.


I left out a good part of the article, which ends with "She freely admitted her complicity in the matter." Not exactly a master criminal.

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