The rivalry between paleontologists Edward Drinker Cope and Othniel Charles Marsh produced some of the greatest fossil finds in history, as well as some of the pettiest behavior.
Allison McNearney is a freelance editor and writer based in New York City. Previously, she was editor of BeastStyle and Deputy Managing Editor of The Daily Beast.
When George Parkman went missing in 1848, he was one of the richest men in Boston, and the biggest donor to Harvard Medical College. A scandal among the city’s super-rich unfolded.
In 1916, less than a month after Charles Hatfield began his efforts to bring rain to a parched San Diego, the county was deluged—valleys were leveled and over 20 people were dead.
In the 1920’s, Leo Koretz bilked his friends, family, and members of Chicago’s elite and the middle class out of $2 million ($26 million today). Once caught, he had no regrets.
Hollywood star Thelma Todd was at the peak of her fame when she was found dead in her sometime-lover’s garage. Given her drama-filled life, questions linger over how she died.
In a debate about slavery in 1856, Congressman Preston Brooks took offense at the disparagement of his family by Senator Charles Sumner. Next, Brooks nearly beat Sumner to death.
Teresa Sickles had an affair with Philip Barton Key, the son of the author of “The Star-Spangled Banner.” When her congressman husband found out, his mind turned to murder.
At least 22 people were killed in 1849 during the “Shakespeare Riots.” One of New York City’s most violent conflicts was powered by divisions over class, as well as theater.
Cheryl Crane, Lana Turner’s daughter, stabbed Turner’s gangster boyfriend, Johnny Stompanato, to death in 1958. But mystery still surrounds one of Hollywood’s greatest scandals.
During Prohibition, the U.S. government doctored the industrial alcohol supply with dangerous substances like methanol. 10,000 people are believed to have died as a result.