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Victor Lustig, the Con Man Who Sold the Eiffel Tower

Victor Lustig, who preferred to be called Count Lustig, in spite of having no claim to the title, was an early 20th century confidence man. To hear some tell it, he was one of the greatest con artists of all time. He was always smooth and composed–the antithesis of the fast-talking con man. It was this poise combined with a knack for swindling that earned him a reputation as the man who sold the Eiffel Tower twice. While not exactly true, he did earn a pretty penny running scams.

The 81-story wrought iron Eiffel Tower was designed and constructed for the 1889 World's Fair. Even before construction began, there were people who hated it. One group even called it a monstrosity. It was quite an unusual structure for Paris at the time. It would definitely stand out, but construction commenced anyway. Victor Lustig was born the January after construction on the monument ended.

Lustig got the idea for his most famous con while reading about the Eiffel Tower in 1925. He learned that the ru…
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The Missing Princes in the Tower

The mystery of the Princes in the Tower is one of the most enduring scandals in England's history. It occurred when two young princes (one of whom was next in line to the throne) seemingly vanished while in their uncle's care. That uncle just so happened to become king himself–King Richard III. No one living today knows exactly what happened to these two boys. However, the circumstances of their disappearance were very suspicious, indeed.

The Princes

Prince Edward, or King Edward V, was the oldest son of King Edward IV and next in line to be King of England. His mother was the Queen, Elizabeth Woodville. Edward was born in Westminster Abbey in 1470 and sent to Ludlow Castle to be educated.

Prince Richard, the 1st Duke of York, was Edward's younger brother and the second son of Edward IV and his queen. Richard was married to five-year-old Anne Mawbry when he was just four-years-old.

The princes had a half-brother on their mother's side, who also plays into the story of the…

The Assassination of Governor William Goebel

Governor William Goebel was the only United States Governor ever to be assassinated while in office. His death was the result of a heated rivalry between himself and Governor William Taylor. William Goebel was a Democrat who was a proponent of women’s and African-American civil rights. He was not a well-liked man in many political circles and was even charged with the murder of another politician, John Stanford. However, he was acquitted of the charges.

During the 1899 Kentucky elections, Republican William Taylor beat Democratic William Goebel 193,714 to 191,331. However, the Democratic General Assembly suspected that the election had been rigged and therefore challenged it. Following the start of the appeal, Goebel received death threats. It was said that if he won the appeal, he would be killed.

On January 30, 1900, William Goebel walked up the steps of the State Capitol Building, escorted by bodyguards. A sniper shot him on the steps from the office of the Secretary of State. The wo…

The Death of George Parkman: A Murder Among Boston's Elite

George Parkman was a wealthy doctor who was educated at Harvard Medical College and abroad. Helping the less fortunate was something of a passion for him. Thus, becoming a doctor was a natural choice. When he studied abroad, he was exposed to humane insane asylums, something that was nearly unheard of in the states. He decided to bring his ideals home with him. Sadly, he was never able to establish humane asylums in Boston, but he remained an advocate for the humane treatment of the insane until his untimely death.

Doctor George Parkman had inherited a substantial amount of wealth from his father and was a member of Boston's Brahmins or the "First Families of Boston." He had given Harvard College the very land on which Massachusetts General Hospital is located today. He was a well-known landlord. In short, he was one of Boston's elite. Therefore, when he turned up missing in 1849, the people of Boston were shocked. However, they were to be more shocked when another m…

Pedro Lopez: "The Monster of the Andes"

Pedro Lopez may be the most prolific known serial killer of all time. He was convicted of the murder of 110 girls. He has confessed to the murder of more than 300. While more than 300 may be incorrect, he almost certainly killed more than the 110 he was convicted of killing. The story of his early life is known only from his lips, but if it is true, it certainly helps the "nurture" argument of what drives some people to kill. However, he could simply by lying, as serial killers are wont to do. True or false, here is his story. (His capture, incarceration, the information regarding his M.O. and the discovery of some of his victims are certainly true.)

Pedro Lopez was born in October of 1948 in Tolima, Colombia. According to Pedro, his mother was a prostitute who had 13 children of which Pedro had knowledge, including himself. At the time of his birth, Colombia was in turmoil. It was not a safe place for a child to grow up, nor was Pedro's home, if he is to be believed. His…

Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka: The Ken and Barbie Killers

In the annals of criminal history, there are a slew of serial rapists and sadistic killers who target young women. Nearly all of them are men. However, a rare few sexually deviant killers are women. Many of these women are involved with men who have the same sick sexual appetite. Such was the case for Karla Homolka and her husband Paul Bernardo. They are otherwise known as the Ken and Barbie killers. This couple had a repugnant habit of forcefully involving teenage girls in their sexual forays. On at least three occasions, these rapes ended in murder.

Paul Bernardo's childhood was strange by most standards. He was the product of an adulterous affair by his mother. Nonetheless, he was accepted by his mother's husband and included in the family as if he was his adopted father's child. The man who accepted Paul was a pedophile who abused little girls, including his own daughter, Paul's sister. Mrs. Bernardo became aware of this somehow and reacted by becoming grossly ov…

The Boston Strangler Murders and Albert DeSalvo

The Boston Strangler was a presumed serial killer that operated in the Boston area from June of 1962 until January of 1964. The killer (or killers, as some would say) was responsible for the deaths of thirteen women. Of course, as with most serial killings, it is difficult to know whether more murders took place in other areas. One man in particular–Albert DeSalvo–is widely believed to have been responsible for the Boston Strangler murders. However, it is important to bear in mind that he was never charged with the murders. In fact, no one ever was.
The Boston Strangler first struck on June 14, 1962. The victim was 55-year-old Anna Slesers. Anna's son found her on the floor of the bathroom in her apartment on Gainsborough St. in Boston. She was wearing only a bathrobe, which had been left open, exposing her nude body. She had been sexually assaulted, but not raped. Anna was strangled with the belt of her bathrobe, which was left around her neck. It was tied in a bow.
Notably, the k…