PlanetSlade's been writing about Murder Ballads for quite some time now (previously 1, 2, 3, 4, 5). Now I've placed the site's first book-length offering on the Kindle store, where you'll find it at the link above. If by any chance you'd like to buy a copy, that would make me very happy. Robert Wilhelm at Murder By Gaslight called the book "very impressive", and the crime scene's local paper rated it "truly a fascinating read". British readers should go to this Amazon.co.uk page instead.
You may not know the song covered in PlanetSlade’s latest Murder Ballads essay, but I guarantee you’ll never forget the story behind it. On February 1, 1896, Pearl’s decapitated body was found in a Kentucky orchard. She was pregnant, and she’d been struggling when the killer began cutting off her head. That head has never been found, but we do know that the murderer carried it round Cincinnati’s bars with him. The police investigation which followed used a crucial clue from Pearl’s shoes and America’s first bugged cell. There was a thriving souvenir trade surrounding the case and lynch mobs roamed the streets. Two men – one of them Pearl’s lover – eventually hanged for the crime, which inspired a ballad still sung (and danced) today. Read all about it at the link above.
Experience a 19th century American city through Charles Fontayne and William S. Porter's world famous panorama. This site combines the superior clarity of daguerreotypes, made from the first practical method of photography, with 21st century technology, making it possible to enlarge the Cincinnati Panorama of 1848 and see details that even the photographers could not have seen from their camera location across the Ohio River in Kentucky. Navigate and zoom in for a glimpse of life along the riverfront. Enter the Panorama through Points of Interest, vividly illustrated with portraits, newspapers, advertisements, early documents, and maps. [more inside]