Tag Archives: Facts for the Foolkiller


Balladeer’s Blog continues its examination of the many facets of Fool Killer lore. FOR PART ONE, INCLUDING THE HISTORICAL CONTEXT, CLICK HERE

Fool Killer cop USEPART FOURTEEN: FACTS FOR THE FOOL-KILLER (1909) by Ridgway Hill.

This rendition of the Fool Killer (I prefer no hyphen) is virtually a reinvention. It not only revises his garb and approach to his mission but it marks the first time the figure is depicted in action outside of the South.

Before I address Facts For The Fool-Killer I want to clarify something. I know that the Joel Chandler Harris tale Flingin’ Jim and His Fool-Killer was published in 1902 as part of The Making of a Statesman and Other Stories. However, that story – set in 1872 Georgia – does not feature the folk figure called the Fool Killer. The title refers to a piece of old grapeshot that Flingin’ Jim throws at people to kill them.

The victims of that “Fool-Killer” are a) William Dukes, an evil former plantation owner spitefully keeping a pair of young lovers separated and b) An unnamed black man who was trying to criminally assault Ann Briscoe, the heroine of the story. William Dukes’ brother receives a non-fatal beating from a hickory walking stick.  

Cop tall helmetFacts For The Fool-Killer finds the fictional character operating from Buffalo, NY and vicinity. The Fool Killer now wears the blue uniform and tall helmet of a turn-of-the-century policeman and wields a police officer’s billy-club in lieu of his usual club/ walking stick/ cudgel. Continue reading


Filed under Mythology, Neglected History