American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Strange Stories of a Detective; or, Curiosities of Crime. New York: Dick and Fitzgerald, 1863. 31-8.
The Assassin’s Track

by A Retired Member of the Detective Police
[William Russell]

  any degree of certainty, whether they had any relatives, although a young man, supposed to be either a love-child or a godson, was frequently known to visit them. He was said to be a favorite with the aged couple; yet, at times, high words had been heard to pass between him and the old man; and it was supposed that these quarrels took place in consequence of the old man refusing him money when he had applied for it.
The house in which the fatal deed was perpetrated, constituted one in a row of small dilapidated frame tenements, occupied by venders of retail articles, suited to the immediate wants of the surrounding inhabitants, that, for the most part, lived in squalid misery and crime. A low groggery, a marine store, a butcher’s shed, a small bakery, a gloomy pawnbroker’s shop, were the principal houses in that wretched group, while the filthy brick tenements in the immediate vicinity, inhabited by various races, including Negroes, Chinese, Irishmen, Italians, etc., were falling into rapid decay, as were apparently their inhabitants, crowding the . . .


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    IN a certain month in the year 18—, the city of New York was startled by the discovery of a foul and brutal murder, that had been committed upon the bodies of an aged couple, residing in —street, near the “Five Points.”
The murdered pair had lived in that neighborhood for many years, and were generally esteemed by the inhabitants of that vicinity, for their quiet and inoffensive conduct. They were of German extraction, and kept a small tailoring establishment, from which they derived a comfortable subsistence. It was hinted by many of the neighbors that, owing to their frugality, they had amassed a very large sum of money, upon the interest of which they intended to retire from business in the course of the following year. Indeed the old man had frequently hinted words to that effect, in presence of his neighbors, but his wife had as frequently contradicted the assertion.
They were childless; nor was it known with



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