Chief Desmond Gets a Confession

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St. Louis Chief of Detectives William Desmond was known for his ability to gain confessions from criminals.  Unlike other detectives, who would sometimes use physical intimidation, Desmond eschewed the “third degree”.  Chief Desmond believed information obtained by beating suspects was completely unreliable. Desmond would start a discussion with the suspect.  After putting him or her at ease, Desmond would let

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“Terrible” Terry Beats Dixon for Title

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On January 5, 1900, four days before a showdown with Bantamweight Boxing Champion Terry McGovern, Featherweight World Boxing Champion George Dixon made an announcement to chill the spine of all his supporters.  Dixon announced that win or lose, he would be retiring from the ring after the bout with McGovern. The last thing a manager wants to hear before a

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Masked Marvel Throws Berner

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Wrestling promoter Samuel Rachman created the International Wrestling Tournament in Spring 1915 to highlight the abilities of Aleksander “Alex” Aberg.  Aberg was the Russian Greco-Roman Wrestling Champion.  Rachman believed Aberg could beat any wrestler. Rachman also wanted to lure Frank Gotch, the last undisputed World Heavyweight Wrestling Champion, out of retirement to wrestle with Aberg.  Gotch wrestled George Lurich in

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Lord Barrington Is Beaten Up

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Thief. Liar. Bigamist. Con Man. Murderer.  All accurate labels for one of the greatest charlatans to operate in St. Louis.  “Lord F. Seymour Barrington” was a bit of a local celebrity, if an extremely disreputable one, during 1903.  After conducting a bigamist marriage on the East Coast, “Lord Barrington” stole his wife’s trousseau and headed to St. Louis. When Barrington

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