"...we should pass over all biographies of 'the good and the great,' while we search carefully the slight records of wretches who died in prison, in Bedlam, or upon the gallows."
~Edgar Allan Poe

Wednesday, January 10, 2024

Newspaper Clipping of the Day

Via Newspapers.com

This creepy little tale appeared in the “San Francisco Examiner,” May 25, 1967:

NEW YORK - (UPI) With a shudder, Bronx police closed the books on the eerie case of the murdered old handkerchief lady who "came back" at a seance and drove her young killer to suicide. And if the case heads like Edgar Allen Poe, Assistant District Attorney Burton Roberts says his office just does not have a more worldly version. According to Roberts, Ivan Barbosa, 24, told his mother, Mrs. Amelia Santos, he had tortured and killed the old handkerchief lady with a knife on March 2, 1966.

The old handkerchief lady was Mrs. Elsie Litt, an 88 year old widow who sold handkerchiefs from a shopping bag. She was friendly with children and well liked around the neighborhood. "I stabbed an old woman because she was screaming," Barbosa reportedly told his mother. Mrs. Santos also said she saw her son break up a small knife and wipe blood from his sleeve.

Police investigated the case, but could not gather enough evidence, Ivan, however, was charged in another matter, molesting a small child, and spent 10 months in the city workhouse. 

When he got out, he complained to his mother that the ghost of the old handkerchief woman was bothering him. He burned two candles in his room and claimed he could not sleep. In late November, Barbosa pleaded with his mother to seek the help of a spiritualist acquaintance to contact the ghost and intercede for him. 

At the seance, the medium, supposedly speaking for Mrs. Litt, cried out: "You killed me! You killed me! You're going to die the same way." 

Roberts said Barbosa jumped up from the table and yelled "I did it!" He ran from the house.

A month later police found him in a furnished room. He had put a bullet through his tortured brain.

Whether this was really the vengeful ghost of poor Mrs. Litt, or a scheme cooked up by his mother and the medium to force him to confess, I can’t say Barbosa didn’t deserve what he got.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. Whatever the cause of the ghost - and I would have liked to know more about how it manifested itself to Barbosa - it was enough to render justice.


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