Sunday, November 22, 2015

Blanche Cook, 11-Year-Old Would-Be Murderess – Maryland, 1887

FULL TEXT: Baltimore, Md., July 1. – Blanche Cook, a colored girl, about 11 years old, made two attempts Wednesday to kill the members of Albert Whalen’s family, by whom she was employed. It seems that Mrs. Whalen, after having put us with a great deal of annoyance from the girl, finally determined to discharge her. Blanche was so notified. This seemed to anger the girl very much, presumably because she had several times before been sent to her home in disgrace.

She begged to be retained, but finding Mrs. Whalen determined, she resolved to be revenged. She hunted around the premises for some means of accomplishing her purpose, and in a cellar, among a pile of rubbish left there by a previous tenant, she found a bottle containing a solution of blue vitriol. This she carried up stairs and deliberately poured a quantity of the liquid into the ice water used by the family.

Mr. Whalen was the first to partake of the water after it had been doctored, and luckily for her she immediately detected its peculiar taste and changed her mind about taking a copious draught. She immediately took the vessel containing the water to a chemist, who upon testing it pronounced it poisonous, and said that had the water been drunk it would have caused death.

Revenge by poison alone seemed to be too mild for Blanche, so she attempted later in the day and before she was arrested to asphyxiate the whole family by turning on the gas. This attempt was also discovered before any one was seriously injured, and the young wretch was lodged in the station house.

At her examination yesterday Blanche first denied point blank all knowledge of anything being wrong with the ice water, but after much questioning she said that she had put blue liquid in the water which had been given her for that purpose by Emma Reed, another colored girl, who resides next door.

Emma being summoned, denied having done so, which seemed to shock and grieve Blanche extremely.

[“A Youthful Servant, Becoming Angered At Her Mistress, Determines to Take the Lives of the Whole Family - Her Attempts at Poisoning and at Asphyxiation - The Child Arrested.” Evening Gazette (Pittston, Pa.), Jul. 1, 1887, p. 1]


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