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Fairies, Arson and Banknotes in Co. Donegal March 6, 2014

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary, Modern
Fairies, Arson and Banknotes in Co. Donegal

One of the great things about fairies in traditional communities is that they make for the perfect alibi. If someone pushes down the landlord’s fence then, of course, it was the fairies that did it. If a man is a beaten out walking along a midnight lane then the fairies did it. If a boy […]

Dreams of Murder June 29, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
Dreams of Murder

Telepathy is a curious concept and not the least curious part of this most curious ability is the inability to properly document it. However, in the annals of telepathy (so-called or imaginary, factual and always elusive) some of the most interesting cases have involved dreams and murder: ‘murder will out’ in a bouquet of pink […]

Sex, Teachers and Students June 27, 2013

Author: Beach Combing | in : Actualite
Sex, Teachers and Students

***To Bilker*** A long argument last night about the Jeremy Forrest case with an old friend and a post that strays from the pleasantly brambled paths of history, though not, sadly, from the red brick road of education. For those outside the UK Jeremy Forrest was a twenty-nine-year-old teacher who had an affair with his […]

More Kopenicks November 23, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Contemporary
More Kopenicks

Was it only a couple of week’s ago that Beach described the immortal achievement of Wihelm Vogit in Kopenick? A confidence trickster essentially took a German town hostage by putting on a captain’s uniform. At the time Beach noted the way that the British particularly were insufferable in blaming Prussia’s blind obedience to authority. Since […]

The Greatest Heist in History? The Captain of Kopenick November 7, 2012

Author: Beach Combing | in : Modern
The Greatest Heist in History? The Captain of Kopenick

Much has Beach travelled in the realms of criminal gold. But rarely has he come across a villain of the quality of Wilhelm  Voigt (obit 1922): the Captain of Kopenick. Let’s begin with the shocked aftermath and then follow Voigt back through one of the most daring robberies in history. 17 October 1906 the German […]

A-Z of Thuggery November 6, 2011

Author: Beach Combing | in : Medieval, Modern
A-Z of Thuggery

Beachcombing has been letting his dark side take charge this Saturday evening, while Mrs B. gets ready for mass, reviewing some of the fascinating Victorian literature on the thugs. The thugs, for the uninitiated, were, of course, the Indian sect whose members, in secret, and often without knowledge of their families, murdered travellers. They would […]