Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Mrs. Bernard of Detroit, Female-on-Female Violence - 1881

The subject of female-on-female violence has been almost completely ignored by criminologists, even more so than the more general phenomenon of VbW (Violence by Women), which, in itself has gotten scant attention from objective scholars of crime.


FULL TEXT: Detroit  (Mich.), January 17. – A shocking tragedy was enacted, at Lapeer Village 70 miles north of Detroit, last evening. While the people were at church Mrs Bernard went to the house of Rev. E. Curtis, the Baptist pastor, attacked his wife, an old lady about 65, threw her down, poured gasoline over her clothing, and set it on fire. The poor woman was shockingly burned, and, she lived but a few hours. Curtis until last year was pastor at Greenville in this State for several years. Mrs Bernard came to Lapeer a few weeks ago from Greenville, where she lives, being the wife of quite a prominent lumber man, and a woman about 40 years old. She has been busy meantime attending meetings, mingling in general society, but giving no intimation of any ill will towards her victim. It is believed by many she is insane from religious excitement, but others think the case is one of down right wickedness. She is under arrest.

[“Shocking Tragedy—A Fiendish Woman.” The Geelong Advertiser (Australia), Feb. 21, 1881, p. 4]


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