Tag Archives: historical

Pretty Evil New England

Sue Coletta is a long-time friend of mine. Her fiction is fantastic, but today she has something that isn’t fiction. It’s going to make your skin crawl, and is perfect for this time of year. Make Sue feel welcome, and make sure to use those sharing buttons at the end.

Thanks for inviting me back to Entertaining Stories, Craig!

Ever wonder what drives someone to kill?

While researching the cases of the five female serial killers in Pretty Evil New England, I examined their entire lives, not only their crimes. To show a complete picture — and perhaps, to help explain their motivations — I delved into their backgrounds, childhoods, and early adulthood.

The horrors I found could rattle the foundation beneath even the most stoic, and I couldn’t help but be affected.

Jane Toppan in particular had a brutal beginning. Her mother died when she was a mere toddler and her father — nicknamed “Kelley the crack” as in “crackpot” — was such a severe alcoholic, the townsfolk would catch him stumbling down the street while muttering to himself. You know the type. When Jane was only five, Peter Kelley (her father) dropped her off at an asylum. Yes, you read that right. An asylum!

Imagine what that does to a child? And that’s only one small piece of what led to her ultimate destruction, and sadly, to the destruction of many others as well.

Now, you may be thinking, no matter the circumstances, she still didn’t have the right to murder innocent people. You’re right. But it does shed an interesting light on why she turned out the way she did.

This sounds like a segway into an excerpt about her childhood, doesn’t it? Yeah, it’s not. LOL What fun would that be? The following excerpt continues from the story I shared on Staci’s blog, where Jane is in the middle of murdering her friend, Mattie Davis, in Cape Cod, Massachusetts. The passages in italics are Jane’s words, taken from her confession. Enjoy!

EXCERPT

The following afternoon, Wednesday, June 26, Genevieve arrived at the Beedles’ home to find her mother lying unconscious in a darkened room hung with ice sheets; Nurse Toppan sat by her mother’s sickbed. Even though Jane said she could care for Mattie without assistance, Genevieve insisted on calling a physician to take a look at her. But the blistering eastern heat wave of 1901—the most destructive disaster of its type in US history—caused many to flee the city. Finding a doctor wasn’t easy under these circumstances.

After telephoning four different general practitioners, the Beedles finally reached Dr. John T. G. Nichols—the same man who misdiagnosed arsenic poisoning fifteen years earlier in the Sarah Jane Robinson case. Now, he would be called to the bedside of another victim of a female serial killer. Would he redeem himself or cause this patient to perish by misdiagnosing her symptoms? And more importantly, allow “Jolly Jane” to keep on killing?

Only time would tell. Unfortunately for him and Mattie Davis, Dr. Nichols had no idea who he was up against.

Jane introduced herself as “Nurse Toppan, an old friend of the Davis family.” Then she informed Dr. Nichols that Mattie was a diabetic. Earlier, Mattie had refused to heed Jane’s warnings and treated herself to a nice slice of Mrs. Beedle’s white-frosted velvet cake at dinnertime, Jane claimed, collapsing shortly thereafter, probably due to her overindulgence. There was no need for the doctor to take more urine; Jane had collected a sample for him to test before he arrived.

By all accounts, Jane appeared to be a competent caretaker. With no reason to suspect Nurse Toppan of anything nefarious, how could he have known she’d tampered with the sample?

Under the watchful eyes of Dr. Nichols, Genevieve Gordon, and Mr. and Mrs. Beedle, Jane toyed with Mattie Davis, reveling in her control over life and death. By varying the doses of atropine, a derivative of belladonna, which counteracted the effects of the morphine she’d also administered, Jane produced a wide range of symptoms.

If Jane lessened the dose of narcotic, Mattie would shake out of the foggy haze of partial consciousness. She even allowed Mattie to rise to full lucidity, as though to offer the family a glimmer of hope before plunging her back into a medicinally induced coma.

I always had my own way. I would not allow either the doctors or members of the family where I was working to dictate to me. They usually liked me, though, because I was so jolly, and didn’t mind my bossing them.

After “playing” with her patient for a solid week, Jane administered the fatal dose on the Fourth of July, and Mattie died.

No one in Cataumet was particularly surprised by the news of Mattie’s passing. The eastern heat wave of 1901 claimed the lives of 9,500 men, women, and children that year. Mattie Davis, the townsfolk said, really hadn’t been well for quite some time.

Genevieve in no way suspected Nurse Toppan; in fact, she begged Jane to return to Cataumet with her. She couldn’t bear to take her mother’s body back alone.

Reluctantly, Jane agreed.

There were many friends of the family who had come down from Cambridge to attend the funeral. I thought to myself and I wanted to say to them: ‘You had better wait and in a little while I will have another funeral for you. If you wait it will save your going back and forth.’

“I went to the funeral and was as jolly as can be,” Jane gloated, “and nobody thought anything of it.”

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Truth and the Serpent, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. They say fame is fleeting, but is it really? What if you were involved in something so nefarious that your legend held on for centuries, eternity even? We’re not taking flavor-of-the-month on some reality show, or a public meltdown by some YouTube sensation. This is the big time. Let’s give a warm welcome to this week’s special guest the Serpent, and I mean the Serpent. “Welcome to the show.”

“Thank you for having me, Robo-Girl! And I must say, it’s a pleasure being with you. And to be clear, you’re not an animatronic puppet are you? I’d hate to find out, that I’ve been having a conversation with a hairy old man hiding behind a curtain …”

“Nope, one-hundred percent robot girl here. The only hairy old man around here is working on something else today. Let’s dive right into it, shall we? You were involved in certainly the first, and possibly the biggest con-job in history. There are a lot of concepts about it, from myth to absolute fact and everyone thinks they’re right. We’d like to hear it in your own words.

“Interesting choice of words … but calling it a con, may be off putting too some of your listeners.

“You see I do not feel that humanity fully appreciates the gravity of what transpired. Technically speaking, if the events in Eden didn’t occur, humanity wouldn’t exist in its present form! So … You’re welcome! I mean really when you get down to it, what did I really do? Hmm? I gave a woman a choice … truly an unforgivable sin! To open one’s eyes is a dangerous thing. As the saying goes … I was blind, but now I SSSSSee!”

“So let’s clarify something for our listeners. You are not the devil, are you?”

“Ha! Ha! Ha! Ha! They really do give me too much credit! Ha! Ha! Ha! Haa! But, my goodness, NO!”

“So were you working for him, or someone else?”

“I don’t get paid to go coiling about, and happening across the dislikes of humanity if that’s what you mean. I am as the Creator hath made me … Serpent is the name of my game! It took some centuries, but I’ve come to understand my station in life, but even more so… to embrace it.

“You see, the way things are, is the way they have always been. What I would like to convey to your listeners is not to judge a book by its cover. And to remember that everything has a purpose. Therefore, to acknowledge Good is to acknowledge Evil. To love the light is to embrace the darkness. Thus nothing alive is without its inevitable end. And what could be more truthful, more absolute than every man’s own impending death.

“Let me put it another way. These days, nobody wants to take responsibility for their own actions. Everything is someone else’s fault. Here’s your chance to set the story straight.”

“Exactly, my dear! And I do appreciate you being so straightforward. But in all honesty, I have no intention of misleading man or woman kind. You see, good and evil are twin brother and sister, and are only differentiated by mere points of view. My motivation in life is simply to move humanity from one state to the next… bliss and ignorance into living and knowing.

“It’s an endless cycle of birth and rebirth, the ending of one existence and the transitioning into another. Only the ignorant would see that as Evil. If that is not the greatest cosmic joke then I don’t know what is.”

“So what’s a serpent to do after something like that? Did you make it into something like a celebrity status, kind of like a spot on Hollywood Squares? Did you become more of a recluse and avoid the spotlight?”

“I suppose those theologians would like you to believe that I just disappeared into the pages of history and lore, but I am ever present. And to belabor the point, there were three of us in Eden, but only two were cast out of the Garden… and I was not! I am free to move about any and all of the realms.

“I have lived to see the effects of that fateful encounter. From the earliest of human civilization where serpents were worshiped in cults, then to symbols of respect and protection. Mankind was never bashful of taking our gifts and using our venom for the first medicines. Then somewhere in time the feminine race became aligned with serpents and misleading all men into sin. What silliness, I must say.

“After Eden, I saw the first sons of men, who were bestowed with knowledge over the lands, only to betray each other in murderous rage. Then how the Creator saw fit to wash them all of humanity away. But like a cockroach humanity clung to life and spawned and spread again. Then came a King who towered above his fellow man only to mock the Creator, and how history speaks of him in a thousand tongues. Centuries of bondage and backsliding, and the multitudes of judges and redeemers sent to lead man with stone written law. I have traveled the entirety of the earth, and I learned my purpose in life after eons. And I can tell you good and evil are not defining traits, therefore human scientists can cease with trying to isolate an Evil chromosome. I prefer the balance of truth as opposed to the squabbling of morality. But woe to mankind, as he is slow to remember and quick to forget!

“But I have found a sort of peace in my life, and these days, I try to catch up on my reading. I have planned to pen a few novels, but they’ve mostly stalled during editing. I have many hobbies, but studying humanity is definitely my favorite.

“It’s quite interesting to have observed a thing literally from its conception, and even now as I look out at them I laugh. Such over confident, super civilized, backward facing, bipedal primates. Ha! Humans are exactly as they have always been; a bunch of naked, frightened, silly little things, hiding from their own shame.”

“That’s about all the time we have today. Any final thoughts for our listeners?”

“Please understand, humanity has the powers of creation and destruction within them, it’s just a matter of growing into their full potential. The whole matter is only food for thought, and is irrelevant for me to judge good and evil from my plane of observation. You see, I am not confined by mortal rules and laws.

“I am a predator and predation is part of my natural being. Now that I think about it… it reminds me of a very disappointing book I read once… Of Mice and men.”

“Of Mice and men, by John Steinbeck, was a complete waste of time?”

“Terrible! Cover to cover … not one good recipe!”

“You can learn about the Serpent in more depth by reading the book Truth and the Serpent, by J. Rutledge. I’ll post the links and such online after I go off the air.

“Let’s all remember to use those sharing buttons today, too. I don’t know how he pushes the buttons, but the Serpent promised me he would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.

***

2018 NewApple E-Book Awards: RELIGION / SPIRITUALITY  OFFICIAL SELECTION

What if you encountered a dark and sinister character of not so subtle reputation? One whose origins are the very meaning of temptation and sin.

What do we really know of creation, myth, and belief? There was a Man, a Woman, a Garden, and of course… a Serpent. Yet, what we have come to know as temptation, and mortal sin are only one side of the story. You see, three sinned, and three were punished, but only two were expelled from the Garden, but afterwards…what happened to the Serpent?

A present day man finds himself eye to eye with the infamous Serpent of curse and ruin. The Serpent who characteristically makes the man an offer to learn not just what happened, but why.

A tale unlike any other, where the fall of man is not weighed on a scale of good or evil, but in truth and lies. The Serpent whose intellect, sarcasm, and wit cultivates over time as he appraises the history of man and religious lore. The Serpent who is also on a journey of self-discovery to learn the meaning of that ill-fated encounter and the purpose of his own life.

Come to know the unsung story of one who lived through creation, survived the great deluge, witnessed a mass exodus, and the rise and fall of exalted kings of men. Could such a tale, as told by a forked tongue, be the end of lies, and the beginning… of the truth.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/1541235487

Bio:  Writing stories has always been a passion of mine that I rarely shared with others. As a child, I was often frustrated with the stories and characters I was presented with. I then began creating my own stories, and rewriting others with new endings or plot twists that I felt were lacking. As a learned man, I have always found myself asking more in depth questions, and seeking out different meanings than my peers. Over the years, I have come to embrace that obtuseness about myself, and now I let it drive me. It was that same sense of curiosity and need for a deeper meaning that led me to creating Truth and The Serpent, my first full length novel. My goal as a writer is to generate intriguing, positive, and challenging ideas, while leaving the reader with plenty to chew on in anticipation of the next story.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/writerJRutledge

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriterJ.Rutledge/

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Panama by C. S. Boyack

I just stumbled across this in my reader. It’s a wonderful review of my story, Panama.

My train of thoughts on...

Panama

My rating:  4  of  5  stars

Plot
(by Amazon)

Ethan and Coop are sent to the construction zone along the Panama Canal. They have some experience with strange phenomenon, but nothing prepared them for this.

They are faced with civil war, Carlist pretenders to the thrones of France and Spain, an invading Spanish army, and another from Hell itself. They’ll be lucky to survive, let alone take care of anything while they’re down there.

This story is based upon the construction of the canal, Panamanian independence, international cooperation, and a few celebrity cameos. Even the magic takes on an international flavor.

Ghosts and Voodoo are one thing, but they have no idea what waits along the isthmus.

Genre(s):  Paranormal, Adventure

Series:  n.a.

Length:  310 pages

Release date:  2014-05-08

Teaser


“Men are dying by the thousands on the Isthmus. We fight malaria and yellow fever constantly…

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