American Detective Fiction    Prior to July 1891

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  Published in
Michigan Farmer, December 21, 1861
The Sacramento Daily Union, Friday, January 10, 1862

Extraordinary Case of Robbery in England

  with a quantity of blood and human hair adhering to the thick end, was found on the floor, and near it some more hair and a pail full of what appeared to be blood.

The whole house was in a most disordered state, property being strewn about in all directions. Mr. Baker, whose surprise at the tragic appearance of his house can be imagined, sought for his servant, but fruitlessly— she was not to be found. He then called in a policeman, and the search was resumed, with no other result than finding the girl’s bonnets, which proved that she had either been taken or had departed out of the house without one. All over the house property was either packed up, ready for removal, or actually removed, and the servants’ boxes were open and the clothes thrown about the floor, like the rest. Two trunks and a carpetbag were missing, and it was evident that the thief or thieves had taken the stolen property out of the house by these means. Among others, a box made up into the shape of a settee, belonging to a Mr. Heath, . . .


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    A robbery, accompanied by some extraordinary novel features, has just been committed, and deserves to be recorded, as showing a clever scheme to avoid capture well carried out, and only failing to be successful by neglecting a precaution that would have struck anyone. It appears that a family residing at Vauxhalt agreed to accompany some friends to the theatre lately, only leaving the master, a Mr. Baker, and the servant girl, Mary Newhall, at home. Sometime after their departure Mr. Baker went out, saying he should return soon.

On arriving home at about nine o’clock in the evening, he could get no attention paid to his repeated assaults on the door knocker, although there was a light in several of the rooms, which were apparently occupied — Thinking this strange, he applied to his neighbor, and, with the latter’s assistance, succeeded in entering his own house by means of an open window. Once inside, a most extraordinary scene presented itself. In the passage a poker broken in two,





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