Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE
Balladeer’s Blog’s readers have been asking me to back up a bit and cover the 1910-1917 run of James Larkin Pearson’s Fool-Killer publication before following it any further into the Roaring Twenties. As always, I aim to please the readers, so here we go:
PART THIRTY-TWO: The targets of Pearson’s Fool Killer (I prefer no hyphen) in this debut issue from January of 1910:
*** A flim-flam artist called Grammar who was selling bogus “eternal youth” treatments via his book Perpetual Life, or Living in the Body Forever.
*** Frederick Cook, who, the previous December, had seen his claim to have reached the North Pole ruled invalid and possibly fraudulent by the University of Copenhagen. (The Fool Killer was unable to locate Cook, however.)
*** The “Idle Rich” who had never worked a day in their gilded lives. One memorable line: “A good deal of ‘the cream of society’ ought to be churned.”
*** A Professor Pickering who wanted to raise 10 million dollars to send a message to the planet Mars.
*** People who believed in psychic phenomena, including the newest enthusiast, Thomas Edison of all people!
*** Notoriously controversial and possibly corrupt Federal Appeals Court Judge Peter S Grosscup.
*** The Pope, for blessing the pens of reporters recently at the Vatican. Like other European targets of the Fool Killer, the Atlantic Ocean kept him safe.
*** Spiritualists who claimed to be able to contact the dead.
As I always say, it’s fascinating to read this old publication and its odd mix of viewpoints – even the ones you disagree with.
FOR THE NEXT PART CLICK HERE
FOR MY LOOK AT JOE MAGARAC, THE STEEL MILL VERSION OF JOHN HENRY AND PAUL BUNYAN, CLICK HERE
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