The Murderous Story of America’s First Hijacking
Earnest Pletch’s cold-blooded killing of Carl Bivens was just one chapter in the strange life of the mechanic, farmhand and erstwhile carnie
The Amazing (If True) Story of the Submarine Mechanic Who Blew Himself Up Then Surfaced as a Secret Agent for Queen Victoria
The leading mechanic of the famed H.L. Hunley led quite the life, if we can believe any of it
The Commoner Who Salvaged a King’s Ransom
A furtive antiquarian nicknamed Stoney Jack was responsible for almost every major archaeological find made in London between 1895 and 1939
How Friedrich Engels’ Radical Lover Helped Him Father Socialism
Mary Burns exposed the capitalist's son to the plight of the working people of Manchester
Islam’s Medieval Underworld
In the medieval period, the Middle East was home to many of the world's wealthiest cities—and to a large proportion of its most desperate criminals
The Octogenarian Who Took on the Shoguns
A tribesman who led a doomed revolt against Japan in 1669 still inspires new generations of Ainu nationalists
The Trial That Gave Vodou A Bad Name
An 1864 case that ended with the execution of eight Haitians for child murder and cannibalism has helped define attitudes toward the nation and the religion ever since
Curses! Archduke Franz Ferdinand and His Astounding Death Car
Was the man whose assassination began World War I riding in a car destined to bring death to a series of owners?
Edinburgh’s Mysterious Miniature Coffins
In 1836, three Scottish boys discovered a strange cache of miniature coffins concealed on a hillside above Edinburgh. Who put them there—and why?
The Vengeance of Ivarr the Boneless
Did he, and other Vikings, really use a brutal method of ritual execution called the "blood eagle"?
The Secret Plot to Rescue Napoleon by Submarine
In 1820, one of Britain's most notorious criminals hatched a plan to rescue the emperor from exile on the Atlantic isle of St Helena -- but did he try it?
Into the Cave of Chile’s Witches
Did members of a powerful society of warlocks actually murder their enemies and kidnap children?
For 40 Years, This Russian Family Was Cut Off From All Human Contact, Unaware of World War II
In 1978, Soviet geologists prospecting in the wilds of Siberia discovered a family of six, lost in the taiga
Antigua’s Disputed Slave Conspiracy of 1736
Does the evidence against these 44 slaves really stack up?
White Gold: How Salt Made and Unmade the Turks and Caicos Islands
Turks and Caicos had one of the world's first, and largest, salt industries
Crockford’s Club: How a Fishmonger Built a Gambling Hall and Bankrupted the British Aristocracy
A working-class Londoner operated the most exclusive gambling club the world has ever seen
The Early History of Faking War on Film
Early filmmakers faced a dilemma: how to capture the drama of war without getting themselves killed in the process. Their solution: fake the footage
Uncovering the Truth Behind the Myth of Pancho Villa, Movie Star
In 1914, the Mexican rebel signed a contract with an American newsreel company that required him to fight for the cameras. Too good to be true? Not entirely
The Unsolved Mystery of the Tunnels at Baiae
Did ancient priests fool visitors to a sulfurous subterranean stream that they had crossed the River Styx and entered Hades?