Trivia and Nooses

  • Dr. H. H. Crippen (1862-1910) was born in Michigan but became famous for his activities in England. A patent medicine salesman married to Cora Turner, who used the stage name of "Belle Elmore," he took a mistress named Ethel Le Neve. Cora/Belle disappeared, and when Ethel began wearing her jewelry and furs, Scotland Yard's Inspector Dew was called in. Crippen and Le Neve fled on ship toward America, and Belle's body was soon found in the cellar. Dew took a faster ship, and captured the suspects. Crippen was found guilty of murder and hanged at Pentonville Prison on November 23, 1910. Le Neve was acquitted.

  • Henri Landru (1870-1922) was the Frenchman who placed seven advertisements about "widower with comfortable income ... desires to meet widow with a view to matrimony." His view was rather different than he let on. He received nearly 300 replies, and between 1915 and 1919 murdered 10 of his "wives." He kept a notebook detailing the wealth of the missing women, whose bodies he had burned in his stove. He was guillotined on February 25, 1922.

Both Landru and Crippen are often mentioned in detective novels of the Golden Age.

Our logo, paying tribute to the hanged Crippen but not to the guillotined Landru, is not the only gallows or noose on our books. Each front cover has such a device worked into the design. Some are obvious, some not. We trust your sense of honor not to read further until you have taken a magnifying glass to your copies of the following books: