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Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Category Archives: Bizarre

Le Mars Trilogy: Part 1 – T.M. Zink’s Library

The first of a 3-part series on Le Mars, Iowa from the 1930’s. Le Mars was thrust into the national spotlight by the actions of just one man: a successful lawyer named T.M. Zink, who left nearly his entire estate for the establishment of a very unusual library. Was Zink was truly mad or was he simply playing a good practical joke on the world?

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Where There’s a Wilby, There’s a Way

Between 1942 and 1943 Ralph Marshall Wilby appeared to pull off what appeared to be the perfect crime. An incredible story which has many of the elements of an international thriller: deception, false identities, international kidnapping, and the drop dead gorgeous woman who brought his capture.

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Yonkers Anti-Shorts Law

Perfect story for the first days of summer: it’s about a ban that the city of Yonkers put in place back in 1935 to prevent women from wearing shorts and halter tops. Even more timely: at one point they proposed building a giant fence around Tibbetts Brook Park to keep the offending people from NYC out.

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The Rescue of Charles Nalle

When escaped slave Charles Nalle was arrested in Troy, NY on April 27, 1860, no one could have anticipated what would happen next. With the help of Harriet Tubman, Nalle is believed to have been the only person in United States history to have been rescued from slavery four times. 

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The Honest Man with an Evil Eye

Back in 1935 a man carrying a sandwich-board sign stumbles across the find of a lifetime: A wallet containing the stocks certificates from Philips Petroleum, GE, and DuPont.  Find out what the press said that he did with the certificates, what really happened, and how he killed a man simply by staring at him.

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Clarence Frechette – Michigan’s Flying Bandit

Back in 1928, Clarence Frechette made national news for a bizarre attack that he made on the pilot of an airplane that he was aboard, possibly making him the world’s first hijacker.  Amazingly, he was back in the news in 1935 for an equally bizarre crime.

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The Great Venus Swindle

In 1953 Harold Jesse Berney, head of a Washington, DC television antenna manufacturing operation, was chosen by the US government to be its main contact with Uccelles, a prince visiting our planet from Venus.  If that sounds a bit bizarre, check out this story to learn about one of the most fantastic swindles ever conceived.

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The Woman with the X-Ray Camera

One of the most bizarre stories that I have ever researched. The nearly unbelievable true story from 1946 about a New York City woman hired to investigate another woman suspected in a jewel heist.  What happened next is truly unforgettable.

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