“ANGEL OF DEATH: Inside The Mind of a Serial Child Killer” and More True Dark Tales! #WeirdDarkness
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Listen to ““ANGEL OF DEATH: Inside The Mind of a Serial Child Killer” and More True Dark Tales! #WeirdDarkness” on Spreaker.
IN THIS EPISODE: It was John Wilkes Booth who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln… but Booth had an assassin as well, coming after him. (The Man Who Murdered The Assassin) *** Many haunted locations are popular with ghost hunters and fans of the paranormal – but what if your business is being destroyed because ghosts are scaring off your customers? (Popular Australian Tourist Attraction Has a Ghost Problem) *** Imagine having a strange dream about being in the hospital, and the doctors taking a blood sample from you – then you wake up in bed to find a needle mark in your arm? And your spouse has one too! (What Happened To Us) *** A contractor tells his personal story of a strange creature he came across while working with the U.S. Navy and NATO in 1954 Spain. (Reptile Confrontation) *** We’ve all had songs stuck in our heads at one time or another – but what happens when it’s a name that gets stuck in your brain? A name you haven’t heard in decades? (Nick Adonidas) *** Beverly Allitt was a children’s nurse… and also one of Britain’s most notorious killers. (Angel of Death: Inside the Mind of a Serial Child Killer)
SOURCES AND ESSENTIAL WEB LINKS…
“Popular Australian Tourist Attraction Has a Ghost Problem” by Brent Tingley for Mysterious Universe: http://bit.ly/2kyQXKL
“What Happened To Us?” by RJ from PhantomsAndMonsters.com: http://bit.ly/2m6O7Ny
“Reptile Confrontation” by H.Y.: (link no longer available)
“Nick Adonidas” by Joanne Noseworthy, submitted directly to WeirdDarkness.com
“Angel of Death: Inside The Mind of a Serial Child Killer” by Carissa Chesanek for The Line Up: http://bit.ly/2lDbDSa
“The Man Who Murdered The Assassin” by Troy Taylor: http://bit.ly/2k4n1G4
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In 1991, Beverley Allitt used her authority as a hospital nurse to take the lives of four young victims and attempt to murder or grievously harm nine others. Britain was on high alert when young children–some just babies–were suddenly going into cardiac arrest without explanation. But when nursing logs went missing under Allitt’s watch, authorities were called to investigate. She would later be dubbed the “Angel of Death” on account of her many crimes.
I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness.
Welcome, Weirdos – I’m Darren Marlar and this is Weird Darkness. Here you’ll find stories of the paranormal, supernatural, legends, lore, the strange and bizarre, crime, conspiracy, mysterious, macabre, unsolved and unexplained.
Coming up in this episode…
It was John Wilkes Booth who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln… but Booth had an assassin as well, coming after him. (The Man Who Murdered The Assassin)
Many haunted locations are popular with ghost hunters and fans of the paranormal – but what if your business is being destroyed because ghosts are scaring off your customers? (Popular Australian Tourist Attraction Has a Ghost Problem)
Imagine having a strange dream about being in the hospital, and the doctors taking a blood sample from you – then you wake up in bed to find a needle mark in your arm? And your spouse has one too! (What Happened To Us)
A contractor tells his personal story of a strange creature he came across while working with the U.S. Navy and NATO in 1954 Spain. (Reptile Confrontation)
We’ve all had songs stuck in our heads at one time or another – but what happens when it’s a name that gets stuck in your brain? A name you haven’t heard in decades? (Nick Adonidas)
Beverly Allitt was a children’s nurse… and also one of Britain’s most notorious killers. (Angel of Death: Inside the Mind of a Serial Child Killer)
If you’re new here, welcome to the show! While you’re listening, be sure to check out WeirdDarkness.com for merchandise, my newsletter, to enter contests, to connect with me on social media, plus, you can visit the Hope in the Darkness page if you’re struggling with depression or dark thoughts. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
Now.. bolt your doors, lock your windows, turn off your lights, and come with me into the Weird Darkness!
ANGEL OF DEATH
Berly Allitt’s troubling behavior can be traced back to her childhood. As a young girl, she went to extreme lengths to garner attention.
Not only would Allitt fake illnesses and wear bandages when she didn’t have any real wounds to cover, but she’d also make frequent visits to the hospital when she wasn’t sick. Supposedly, she even forced a doctor to remove her appendix when there was nothing wrong with it. She was also known to physically harm herself for attention, using anything from glass shards to a hammer to inflict injury.
Such acts are often signs of Munchausen syndrome, a factitious disorder wherein an individual feigns or induces trauma to draw attention or sympathy. Yet when pretending to be sick or injuring herself wasn’t enough, Allitt moved on to hurting others around her. And when she began to train as a local nurse at Lincolnshire’s Grantham and Kesteven Hospital, the true terror began. That’s where Allitt began working in the children’s ward and found her first victim, Liam Taylor.
Taylor was only seven months old when he was admitted to the hospital for an infection in the chest. Young Taylor’s illness only got worse under Allitt’s care, which eventually caused him to stop breathing and have a heart attack. He later died on February 23, 1991.
The following month, another child would suffer thanks to Allitt. At only 11 years old, Timothy Hardwick already had a hard life, suffering from both cerebral palsy and epilepsy, but it was Allitt’s hand that eventually caused his death on March 5.
Kayley Desmond was Allitt’s next target. She also arrived at the hospital with a chest infection. Initially, she seemed to be on the mend. On March 8, however, the one-year-old girl went into cardiac arrest while under Allitt’s care. Attendants were able to resuscitate Kayley and transferred her to another hospital—where an unexplained puncture mark was found on her body. Although it did raise alarm, the puncture didn’t lead to a police investigation.
Three more emergencies took place on the ward in the weeks that followed, each involving nurse Allitt. Death then struck in the case of newborn Becky Phillips. On April 1, 1991, she was admitted to the hospital under Allitt’s care for gastroenteritis. A few days later, Becky was released from the hospital, only to die at home.
Six more children would suffer some sort of life-threatening emergency under Allitt’s watch. Sadly, Claire Peck did not survive. The 15-month-old with a serious asthma condition was the final child killed by Allitt when she was admitted into the hospital and put on a breathing tube. The young girl suffered not one but two heart attacks while Allitt was taking care of her. The second attack caused the toddler’s untimely death on April 22, 1991. Later, it was revealed the child’s potassium level was sky high. She had also been given a drug called Lignocaine, which helps treat irregular heartbeats but only in adult patients–never in infants.
In November 1991, Allitt was charged after the nursing logs went missing in her ward. Soon, some of the missing logs would be found inside Allitt’s home during a police search, confirming their suspicion. When authorities checked into the nurse’s background, they learned of her alarming need for attention and diagnosed her as suffering from Munchausen syndrome by proxy, a factitious disorder closely related to Munchausen syndrome wherein the afflicted fabricates or instigates trauma in an involuntary individual to generate sympathy.
During her trial, Allitt continued to show signs of her attention-seeking illness. She lost an incredible amount of weight from starving herself and was later diagnosed with anorexia.
On May 23, 1993, Allitt was convicted of “murdering four children, attempting to murder another three, and causing grievous bodily harm with intent to a further six.” She was given 13 life sentences (up to 30 years) but would not serve them in prison. Instead, she was assigned to Nottingham’s Rampton Secure Hospital, where she currently resides today.
Imagine having a strange dream about being in the hospital, and the doctors taking a blood sample from you – then you wake up in bed to find a needle mark in your arm? And your spouse has one too!
Plus… A contractor tells his personal story of a strange creature he came across while working with the U.S. Navy and NATO in 1954 Spain.
And… We’ve all had songs stuck in our heads at one time or another – but what happens when it’s a name that gets stuck in your brain? A name you haven’t heard in decades?
But first… Many haunted locations are popular with ghost hunters and fans of the paranormal – but what if your business is being destroyed because ghosts are scaring off your customers? That story and more when Weird Darkness returns!
POPULAR AUSTRALIAN TOURIST ATTRACTION HAS A GHOST PROBLEM
For many supposedly haunted locations, the possibility of encountering the paranormal can be a huge draw for tourists and their sweet, sweet tourist cash. For those of us that believe or want to believe, any chance to experience something supernatural is alluring. For others, though, it seems that the prospect of encountering members of the spirit realm can be a turn-off. A big one. And for tourist attractions which depend on regular visitors, that can be a huge problem.
The Oakabella Homestead, a popular tourist attraction in Bowes, Western Australia, is learning that the hard way as it tries to shed itself of its haunted reputation. Why would ghosts be such a problem? Because the never-ending hordes of Chinese tour groups tend to stay away from haunted locations. If you’re the proprietor of a tourist attraction in Australia, you need every red Mao you can get, and that means the ghosts have to go – real or not.
Oakabella Homestead has for years been recognized as one of Australia’s most haunted buildings. The homestead was built in 1851 during a time when deadly clashes between white colonists and Australia’s indigenous population were common. According to folklore, the Oakabella Homestead and the surrounding territory were the site of many horrific battles between settlers and indigenous peoples, spilling an untold amount of blood upon the very ground where the homestead was built and defended.
While that macabre history and rumored present-day haunting was once a large draw for the historical attraction, today the site’s business owners Belinda Turner and Brian Snelson think the ghostly reputation needs to go. “Not everyone is into ghosts and that was definitely portrayed in the Facebook comments,” Turner told the ABC, “people will not come here if they think it is haunted so that is why we are bringing it back to the history.” Instead of its ghostly legacy, the site will now focus on its historical accuracy which its owners claim gives a glimpse into what life was like for early settlers in the 1800s.
While a Chinese tourist-oriented re-branding might be necessary to keep the business afloat, I’m left to wonder what will happen to all of the restless spirits who depend on that tourist income. Is it time for a universal basic ghost income? Ghosts are people, too. Er, were. At any rate, the more important question is whether it’s worth it to give up haunted reputations and legends in order to reel in a few more Chinese tour groups. Is no local folklore resilient enough to withstand the forces of capitalism or globalization? How many other legendary hauntings have been lost to history as buildings and historical sites attempt to shed the haunted label?
WHAT HAPPENED TO US?
An incident took place on the night of April 15, 2013 and it has bothered my family and I since. We live in Portland, OR.
That night, my mother had a very bad respiratory illness. She woke in what she described was like a drug induced stupor. She saw blurry images of what appeared to be people in full surgical dress. One of the ‘doctors’ called her by name, told her everything would be fine. She recalls a needle being inserted in her arm, and blood was taken. She was unable to speak, and was very confused before she passed out.
The next morning she woke up. She saw a needle mark in her arm and became very upset. My stepfather, who was also in the bed with her, noticed that he also had one, which scared him. My stepfather has a serious phobia of needles. When he sees the doctor, he must be sedated before they can insert any sort of needle into him. He literally throws up and passes out on seeing needles. He often must leave the room when blood is taken from my mother. He remembered nothing, but was feeling very drowsy and confused. They both came in and asked me if I had let paramedics in the night before. I was wary of their question, and told them no.
That night, I had been surfing the internet. Since I was working a graveyard shift at the time, I had only woken up at about 8pm. Yet after 2 hours of being awake, I suddenly was overcome with such drowsiness and exhaustion I crawled back into my bed and slept on. I fell asleep within minutes, which was very strange. I woke up feeling sore all over, which was weird, but no puncture or needle marks on my arms at all. I had no recollection of anything the night before. When they both showed me these strange needle marks, I was intrigued. They told me that they had fallen asleep suddenly, probably around the same time I did, judging by what was on TV when they fell asleep.
What was even more bizarre is that my cats were very spooked the next day. This was very interesting, as my largest cat never gets spooked. Vacuum cleaners, dogs, loud sounds…nothing phases him. Yet I found him hiding under a bunch of boxes, and he hissed at me each time I tried to reach in and get him. The other cats were terrified and hiding all through the house. My stepfather also told me the door was unlocked. I remember him locking the door every night. We lived in a bad neighborhood and always made sure it was locked.
We have been puzzled over it for these past five years, and I’ve done a lot of research. I cannot seem to find any possible explanations. Although I have always been interested in the UFO phenomenon, it seemed that the alien abduction theory was not a serious question.
However, as I conduct more research, I have become a bit more confused. I have been reluctant to submit a report to any of the agencies. I found your name on Google and decided to write you. What happened to us? I’m really interested in getting to the bottom of this “high strangeness” and am looking for an answer.
I would like to tell you about an experience I had in 1954 while working with the US Naval engineers at Zaragoza Air Base near Zaragoza, Spain. This was to be a refurbished NATO facility. I was a contractor (24 yo & working my father’s construction firm) and hired by the DoD. This was my 1st time away from the United States. I had another fellow with me who had worked for my father for a couple of years.
Only a few people knew of my experience – my wife (who is deceased) and two close friends (who have also passed away).
After I had been in Spain for several weeks, I decided to take in the surroundings. I was told by some of the locals that the Monasterio de Piedra near Nuevalos would be an excellent place to visit. The monastery was about 60 miles away, so I decided it would be an enjoyable day trip. When I arrived, I met a young lady who offered to show me around the complex. It was a very hot day (early August) so we took numerous breaks along the way.
As the afternoon waned and the early evening approached, it was time for me to head back toward Zaragoza. The young lady mentioned that there was a very nice inn not far from the monastery if I wanted to stay the night, then get an early start in the morning. So I decided to stay the night – maybe do some exploring that evening.
The inn was very rustic, though quite comfortable. I had dinner outside on the back patio – it was an excellent evening. Though it was dusk, I could still see the terrain not far from the inn. There was a vineyard and a small lavender meadow behind the inn which led to a series of rocky outcrops. I thought that I would take a look around, but I first asked the owner if it was OK to do so.
I walked through the vineyard and reached a small pond, which had a loud chorus of frogs. By this time it was dark, but there was a fair amount of available moonlight – but I still needed a flashlight to see where I was going. I walked around the pond and started to cross a small bridge over a narrow stream. As I walked over the bridge, I noticed something run through the water about 50 ft. upstream. There was enough moonlight to where I could make out an upright shape. This thing was heading toward the high rocks, though I lost sight of it.
I stood silent for about 5 minutes. It was eerie because the frogs were now quiet. The only sound was coming from the direction of the rocks – and the noise was very strange. It sounded like a guttural ‘yak yak yak’ series, that would pause for a few seconds, then repeat. It would also fade in and out. After a few minutes, it stopped. I had no idea what it was.
I crossed the bridge and started to slowly approach the rocks. As I came to the rock face, there was a fairly well-worn trail on the ground along the edge. I walked further until I reached an opening in the rock face. I pointed the flashlight inside and saw that it was a grotto about 15 ft deep and high enough for me to stand in. The floor of the grotto was littered with small animal bones, so I figured that there were predators about – most likely fox.
I continued on the trail until I heard the ‘yak yak yak’ sound again – and it was very close. I instantly stopped walking and started searching around me with the flashlight. Just then, some gravel landed on me – and the loud ‘yak yak yak’ sound was coming from above me. I quickly looked up and pointed the flashlight. There was a creature standing on a small ledge about 15 ft. away, staring at me with yellow eyes reflecting back. It was screaming ‘yak yak yak’ in quick constant rhythm.
This was the most ghastly thing I’ve ever witnessed. It was standing on two legs and was about 4 -5 ft tall. I’ve read about Reptilian encounters – well, I think this may have been one. It was dark in color and had arms like a human. The face looked like that of a lizard – resembling that of an iguana.
After a few seconds it leaped off the ledge onto the trail – swiftly running on 2 legs in the opposite direction. It was then that I noticed a long tail as it moved away from me.
I quickly made my way back toward the inn – and directly to my room. I laid in bed thinking about this creature the entire night. I was terrified to look out my window, fearing that it followed me back to the inn.
Early in the morning I checked out and drove back to Zaragoza. I have no proof to my experience other than my word. But I now believe that this was a Reptilian creature.
In the mid 90’s.. actually it was November 21, 1995, I was working at the Bull Arm site in Newfoundland, Canada working on the Hibernia Project. I was staying on site as it was an hour and a half drive from home. During the day, a name popped into my head “Nick Adonidas” around 2:30 PM in the afternoon. It actually repeated in my head for about a half hour.. you know like when a song gets stuck in your head? Well, that’s the way the name played over and over again. I thought I was cracking up/developing schizophrenia. I was thinking “Why the hell is this name in my head”? You see, this name was a TV character’s name that came from a long running Canadian show called “The Beachcombers” but the show had been off the air for about 5 years at this point and I hadn’t watched the show since I was a little girl in the 70’s so I could not understand why this name was in my head but for that half hour at work.. it was. And after that half hour.. it just disappeared and I continued on working. After work, I went up to the camp and had my evening meal and went back to my room. I turned on the TV and the news was on. The headline was “Bruno Gerussi, star of the Beachcombers passed away today at around 2:30 pm”… My blood ran cold and I had goosebumps.. as Bruno Gerussi character on the Beachcombers was, you guessed it.. “Nick Adonidas”… Coincidence? I would like to add.. nothing has happened to me like this since that day…
When Weird Darkness returns… It was John Wilkes Booth who assassinated President Abraham Lincoln… but Booth had an assassin as well, coming after him. That story is up next.
THE MAN WHO MURDERED THE ASSASSIN
On this date, April 26, 1865, John Wilkes Booth, the assassin of President Abraham Lincoln, was surrounded by federal troops in a barn near Port Royal, Virginia and shot to death. Legends persisted for decades – starting almost from the time the fatal shot was fired and continuing to this day — that Booth was not the man who died in that barn. Allegedly, he lived on for many years, only to eventually die in Enid, Oklahoma… but that’s a story for another time….
For this anniversary of Booth’s accepted death, we will be taking a closer look at the man who killed him – a very strange gentleman named Boston Corbett, who may have been part of a larger conspiracy himself.
Boston Corbett is largely considered to have been the Jack Ruby of his day – the man who killed the killer of the President of the United States. Jack Ruby’s shooting of Lee Harvey Oswald on November 24, 1963, in the basement of the Dallas, Texas jail was witnessed by reporters, police officers and a national television audience. But Boston Corbett’s shooting of John Wilkes Booth on April 26, 1865, at a tobacco barn near Port Royal, Virginia was hardly witnessed by anyone – and it attracted controversy from the beginning. While he was celebrated for a short time as Booth’s killer, his real place in the Lincoln assassination remains in question after all of these years.
Sergeant Boston Corbett had been assigned to Lieutenant Edward Doherty, one of the Federal officers that had been given the task of tracking down Lincoln’s assassin. The soldiers found several witnesses who recognized Booth and eventually discovered sympathizer Willie Jett, who had arranged lodging for Booth at the tobacco farm where he was later discovered.
It was Corbett who fired the fatal bullet that killed Booth and it is at this point that many conspiracy theories about him begin. Among the theories is the idea that Corbett was under different orders than the other soldiers. Some believe he was actually told to silence Booth so that Edwin Stanton could not be implicated in a plot against the president. It is unlikely that this was the case, however, as Corbett is not believed to have had contact with Stanton before leaving Washington. He did act on orders to kill Booth, however, if not orders from government officials, then from a higher authority.
He shot Booth on direct orders from God.
He was born Thomas H. Corbett in London in 1832 and immigrated with his parents to Troy, New York seven years later. As a young man in the 1850s, Corbett went into the hat-making industry at a time when the dire occupational hazards of the trade had yet to be discovered. As he worked, he was exposed to large quantities of mercury, which often caused insanity (thus, the expression “mad as a hatter”). The inescapable inhaling of the vapors from the mercury affected the brain and caused hallucinatory episodes, twitches and tics and outright psychoses and his work as a hat-maker was certainly the root of Boston Corbett’s madness.
He worked in the trade in Troy and Albany, in Richmond, Virginia and in Boston and New York City for several years. He is said to have married during this period, losing his wife and a baby during childbirth. After this tragedy, he became homeless and began drinking. He eventually strayed into religion after attending a revival meeting in New York.
In 1857, while working in Boston, Corbett was baptized, apparently into the Methodist Church, and the experience so moved him that he adopted the name of the city where he found his faith as his own. He was by now a local eccentric. He wore his hair long because images of Jesus showed him with long locks and he preached to any passerby who paused in curiosity.
Corbett’s religious fanaticism, loud but harmless, took a violent turn in the summer of 1858. After a revival meeting at a Boston church, he was propositioned on the street by two prostitutes. The experience so disturbed him that he returned to the boarding house where he lived and castrated himself with a pair of scissors. He was treated at Massachusetts General Hospital from the middle of July to the first weeks in August for his self-inflicted wound.
What happened to Boston Corbett over the course of the next two years is unknown, but at some point, he returned to New York and in April 1861, enlisted as a private in Company I, Twelfth New York Militia. Behavioral problems marred his record from the start. They began when he heard Colonel Butterfield, commander of the militia regiment, using profanity toward his new recruits. Corbett reprimanded the Colonel for using the Lord’s name in vain and for this, was marched off to the guardhouse. A few days later, Butterfield offered to release him if he apologized, but Corbett refused.
Corbett later re-enlisted, this time in Company L, Sixteenth New York Cavalry, where he was promoted to corporal and later rose to the rank of sergeant. This was in spite of the numerous disciplinary problems that he had over his demand that officers not use profanity and his condemnation of fellow soldiers who drank. New York cavalrymen remembered their odd comrade for his periodic punishment tours where he carried a knapsack filled with bricks around the guardhouse but his commanders saw him as a fierce and resolute fighting man. He fought bravely in battle, although his odd and erratic behavior often made his superiors wary of using him for some assignments.
In June 1864, Confederate raiders under John Singleton Mosby cornered a squad of Union troopers, including Corbett, at Culpepper Courthouse in Virginia. Corbett refused to surrender, found cover and opened fire on Mosby and his twenty-six raiders. He only gave up after his ammunition ran out. Mosby was impressed.
Corbett and his comrades were sent to the notorious Andersonville prison in Georgia and endured five months of incarceration there, three of them in an outdoor compound. He was released during a prisoner exchange in November 1864 and was sent to an Army hospital in Maryland to recover from exposure, malnutrition and scurvy. By the early spring of 1865, Corbett had returned to his unit and in April was the first man to volunteer for service in the pursuit of President Lincoln’s assassin, John Wilkes Booth.
Corbett was among the men who cornered Booth and David Herold at the Port Royal tobacco barn and he was stationed at a point on the building’s perimeter when it was set on fire. Through a gap in the barn’s siding, he saw a lone figure inside. He stated at the conspiracy trial one month later that he had never seen Booth before but the man in the barn had a broken leg and made “desperate replies” to the Federal officers who demanded his surrender. He gave a statement on May 1, 1865 that read:
“I saw [Booth] in the act of stooping or springing, and concluded he was going to use his weapons. I immediately took steady aim upon him with my revolver and fired – shooting him through the neck and head. He was then carried out of the barn before the fire reached him; was taken to the Piazza of the house… Lt. Doherty, and the detective officers who were in front of the barn, did not seem to know that I had shot him, but supposed he had shot himself, until I informed Lt. Doherty of the fact – showing him my pistol which bore evidence of the truth of my statement, which also confirmed by the man placed at my right-hand who saw it.”
Corbett’s shot was an extraordinary one considering the distance, the weapon, the smoke and fire in the barn and the confusion that was occurring outside of it. The bullet struck the man inside in the back of the head – almost at the same place where Booth’s bullet struck Lincoln – and severed his spinal cord.
The assassin was dragged from the burning barn and placed on a mattress from the nearby Garrett house. He was scarcely recognizable as the handsome actor. The man was filthy, his hair in tangles, and eleven-day growth of beard on his emaciated face. He died a few minutes after being taken from the barn.
After the shooting at the farm, Corbett was placed under arrest by Colonel Conger, Doherty’s superior officer in the search party. The charge against him was a breach of military discipline “in firing without Doherty’s order and in defiance of Gen. Baker’s order” and Corbett was placed under guard along with David Herold and returned to Washington. When they arrived, Corbett was imprisoned, awaiting court martial. However, Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, upon hearing the story of the incident, ordered Corbett to be released. He announced theatrically, “The rebel is dead, the patriot lives – the patriot is released!”
Corbett mustered out of the Army on August 17, 1865 and moved to Danbury, Connecticut. There, he found work, again in the hat trade, and supplemented his income with occasional lectures, accompanied by lantern slides, on his exploits as “Lincoln’s Avenger.”
But, was he really? Even those who did not question the idea that the assassin died at the Garrett farm, they did wonder whether or not Corbett actually fired the fatal shot, or whether Booth committed suicide or escaped. Some believed that Colonel Conger fired the shot from the corner of the barn (he received a suspiciously high $15,000 of the combined $75,000 reward offered for Booth and Herold’s capture). Others believed that Lieutenant Doherty had done the shooting and pointed out that he received $5,250 of the reward money and was never questioned during the conspirator’s trial. Corbett’s shot was almost impossible and many believed that he simply could not have done it. In 1903, an early Lincoln assassination researcher, David M. DeWitt, wrote that Corbett was at least thirty feet from the barn when the shot was fired that killed Booth.
In the end, Corbett received $1,653.85 as part of the reward for bringing Booth to justice. His petition for a federal pension for his service in the Army, specifically for his work as a volunteer in the search for Lincoln’s assassin, came through in 1882. He was granted $7.50 a month in appreciation for his “service” to the United States.
Corbett eventually gave up work as a hat-maker and showed up in the late 1860s, in Camden, New Jersey, where he worked as a minister. He later went west and ended up in Kansas in the 1870s, showing signs of a deteriorating mental state. He lived as a reclusive farmer for years, occasionally working as a “fire and brimstone” evangelist. In November 1885, he was arrested after threatening some boys playing baseball on the Sabbath with a pistol. The case was dismissed by the county attorney.
A year after this incident, through the efforts of the Grand Army of the Republic and a state legislator from Cloud County, where Corbett lived, he was hired as an assistant doorkeeper at the Kansas House of Representatives in Topeka. He reported for duty in January 1887, but only lasted a month before his insanity got the better of him.
Corbett, in his madness, believed that the other doorkeepers and the politicians were laughing at him behind his back. This led to him threatening a janitor with a knife and then pointing a revolver at the House sergeant-in-arms. He broke into the House gallery with his weapons, causing the lawmakers, staff and workers to flee for their lives. Corbett was quickly arrested and taken before a judge the next day. A quick verdict was pronounced and he was sent to the Topeka Asylum for the Insane.
He failed on his first attempt to escape but on May 26, 1888, he succeeded. Walking around the grounds of the asylum with other inmates that day, Corbett saw a pony that belonged to the young son of the superintendent tied up in front of the hospital office. He hurried over, stole the horse, and rode away.
A week later, with flyers posted about him around the state, Corbett surfaced in Neodesha in the southeastern part of the state. There, he met a local schoolmaster named Richard Thatcher and Irwin Ford, the son of a soldier who had been imprisoned with Corbett at Andersonville. The two men supplied Corbett with a fresh horse, food and money. They said that Corbett told them that he had been “shamefully treated” and intended to flee to Mexico.
He may have done just that, although we’ll never know for sure. He was in good health when he escaped from the hospital and Mexico was the perfect place for him to do just what he did – disappear.
Thanks for listening. If you like the show, please share it with someone you know who loves the paranormal or strange stories, true crime, monsters, or unsolved mysteries like you do! And please leave a rating and review of the show in the podcast app you listen from! You can email me anytime with your questions or comments at email@example.com. WeirdDarkness.com is also where you can find all of my social media, listen to audiobooks I’ve narrated, shop the Weird Darkness store, sign up for monthly contests, find other podcasts that I host, and find the Hope in the Darkness page if you or someone you know is struggling with depression or dark thoughts. Also on the website, if you have a true paranormal or creepy tale to tell, you can click on TELL YOUR STORY. You can find all of that and more at WeirdDarkness.com.
All stories in Weird Darkness are purported to be true (unless stated otherwise) and you can find source links or links to the authors in the show notes.
“Popular Australian Tourist Attraction Has a Ghost Problem” by Brent Tingley for Mysterious Universe
“What Happened To Us?” by RJ from PhantomsAndMonsters.com
“Reptile Confrontation” by H.Y.
“Nick Adonidas” by Joanne Noseworthy, submitted directly to WeirdDarkness.com
“Angel of Death: Inside The Mind of a Serial Child Killer” by Carissa Chesanek for The Line Up
“The Man Who Murdered The Assassin” by Troy Taylor
WeirdDarkness™ – is a production and trademark of Marlar House Productions. Copyright, Weird Darkness, 2022.
Now that we’re coming out of the dark, I’ll leave you with a little light… “Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord is kept safe.” — Proverbs 29:25
And a final thought… “Every day you choose not to face your fear, you feed your fear.” – Jon Peacock
I’m Darren Marlar. Thanks for joining me in the Weird Darkness.