PODCAST It’s time for a Gilded Age murder mystery, true-crime podcast style!
The Whitechapel Murders of 1888 — perpetrated by the killer known as Jack the Ripper — inspired one of the greatest cultural hysterias of the Victorian era. The crimes were so publicized in newspapers around the world that many believed that the Ripper could appear anywhere — even in New York City.
The usual vicious crimes of gang members and roughs on the Bowery were not only compared to those of the Ripper, they were often framed as though they were the Ripper himself, an omnipresent specter of evil.
The sordid misdeeds of other criminals were elevated by the press in comparisons to Jack the Ripper.
But then, in April of 1891, a crime was committed on the East River waterfront that was so brutal, so garish, that comparisons to the London killer were inevitable.
The victim was named Carrie Brown. But people along the waterfront knew her by her nickname Shakespeare (or Old Shakespeare).
This is a tale of an infamous crime, a controversial detective and an unjust conviction of an Algerian immigrant named Ameer Ben Ali.
Who killed Old Shakespeare?
PLUS: A very special announcement at the start of the show!
LISTEN NOW — HAS JACK THE RIPPER COME TO TOWN?
THE TAKEOUT — A bonus after-show podcast for those who support us on Patreon. Greg reveals more details about a couple other bizarre New York City crimes associated with the Jack the Ripper hysteria. Subscribe at the Five Points level and above to receive this bonus show.
After taking in the story of the murder of Carrie Brown and the American Jack the Ripper hysteria, revisit these past Bowery Boys episodes for a fuller context of the events recounted on this program.
Who Killed Helen Jewett? A Mystery By Gaslight
Corlear’s Hook and the Pirates of the East River
Case Files of the NYPD
The American Murders of Jack the Ripper by R. Michael Gordon
Big Policeman: The Rise and Fall of America’s First, Most Ruthless and Greatest Detective by J. North Conway
The Five: The Untold Lives of the Women Killed by Jack the Ripper by Hallie Rubenhold
Gotham by Edwin G Burrows and Mike Wallace
Low Life by Luc Sante
New York Exposed: The Gilded Age Police Scandal that Launched the Progressive Age by Daniel Czitrom
Ripper Notes: America Looks at Jack the Ripper/”The New York Affair” by Wolf Vanderlinden
The Bowery Boys: New York City History podcast is brought to you …. by you!
We are now producing a new Bowery Boys podcast every other week. We’re also looking to improve and expand the show in other ways — publishing, social media, live events and other forms of media. But we can only do this with your help!
We are now a creator on Patreon, a patronage platform where you can support your favorite content creators.
Please visit our page on Patreon and watch a short video of us recording the show and talking about our expansion plans. If you’d like to help out, there are six different pledge levels. Check them out and consider being a sponsor.
ALL patrons at all levels will receive many benefits include the next episode of the Bowery Boys Movie Club, an exclusive podcast (released every 6-8 weeks) celebrating New York City in the movies.
And patrons at the Five Points ($5) level and up will get our other exclusive podcast — The Bowery Boys: The Takeout — released every two weeks.
We greatly appreciate our listeners and readers and thank you for joining us on this journey so far.