Club? Professional networking opportunity? Secret society? In Gilded-Age Chicago, the Whitechapel Club was a little bit of all of these. Join Samantha and Aaron as they explore the origins, activities, and membership of this macabre circle of journalists. Along the way, enjoy a story from a belly dancer, phrenology, and a ritualistic funeral pyre on the shores of Lake Michigan.
Introduction: Secret Societies- 1:11 Club Life in the Gilded Age- 6:40 Establishing the Whitechapel Club- 11:00 Club Activities- 14:14 Mid-way Break- 25:07 The End of the Whitechapel Club- 31:26 Who was a Member?- 33:53 The Funeral Pyre- 37:10 Professionalization, Phrenology, the Morbid, and the Occult- 42:11
What happens when a bloody torso is found in a small Michigan church in 1909? With no immediate identification of the body, no apparent motive for the crime, and mysterious rumors in town, investigators threw out numerous hypotheses and put out BOLOs in surrounding states and Canada. And, while this crime does end with a confession, the reasons for it are still a mystery. Check out this week’s episode to hear Samantha and Aaron share the story of the Rattle Run Murder and come up with a few hypotheses of their own!
A Body in the Church!- 2:38 Suspicions Arise- 7:17 A Blood Sacrifice- 14:43 But Where’s the Reverend?- 18:14 Midway Break- 21:46 A Letter from John Elder- 27:14 Newspaper Reactions- 32:55 Possible Motives- 35:37 Sam and Aaron Hot Takes- 41:58
For a complete transcription of one of the confession letters, see the Lost in Michigan website here.
Aaron and Samantha travel back to the nineteenth century to explore the mystery airships that were spotted throughout the country in 1896/97. What started as a trio of lights above Sacramento, California, grew to reported sightings of actual ships that moved from the west coast to the Great Plains and into the Great Lakes States. Samantha and Aaron look at various sightings, possible explanations, and touch on the history of aviation. Fasten your seatbelts, it’s a wild ride.
The Gilded Age- 1:10
Midway Break- 22:08
Lanark, Illinois- 39:10
Aurora, Texas- 49:42
The History of Aviation- 53:30
Wrap-Up and Outro- 56:30