Women Swindlers in America, 1860–1920

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About the Book

Although female lawbreakers in the late 19th and early 20th centuries were rarely considered dangerous criminals, there are many records of women participating in non-violent crimes including shoplifting, prostitution, and fraud. This work studies frauds and swindles perpetrated by women during that era, and offers character studies of several key female swindlers including Ann O’Delia Diss Debar, Mabel Parker, and Sarah Casselman, among others. Frauds covered include spiritually-based crimes (i.e. deceptive séances, “spirit writing”) and love crimes (i.e. matrimonial racketeering), as well as “sob story” panhandling, counterfeiting, faking wealth, and pension fraud.

About the Author(s)

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, ticket-scalping, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking and shoplifting. He lives in British Columbia.

Bibliographic Details

Kerry Segrave
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 244
Bibliographic Info: notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2007
pISBN: 978-0-7864-3039-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8164-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
1. Spiritualism      7
2. Spiritualism—Ann O’Delia Diss Debar      20
3. Love and Marriage      35
4. Sob Stories      45
5. Passing Bad Paper      76
6. Passing Bad Paper—Mabel Parker      110
7. Commercial Interests      115
8. Commercial Interests—Marion La Touche      128
9. Faking Wealth      136
10. Faking Wealth—Sarah Casselman      151
11. Faking Wealth—Bertha Heyman      157
12. Faking Wealth—Cassie Chadwick      163
13. Pension Fraud and Imposters      176
14. Various Frauds      186
15. Various Frauds—Ellen Peck      210
Chapter Notes      219
Bibliography      227
Index      235