It's a classic story. Woman marries a man she doesn't love and then over 10 years later he's dead.
Join the ONUC gals this week as they discuss the creator of the Ouija board and the murder of John Runkle by his wife Mary... allegedly.
Trigger Warning Level: Low
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Sources: Life and Confession of Mary Runkle, Women and Capital Punishment in America, 1840-1899 by Kerry Segrave, Murderpedia, and Murder by Gaslight
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You are listening to one nation under crime, historical chronological, true crime podcast. We're at this point, we just record as many cases per year, as we feel like that's right. That's what we're going. I haven't come up with a new intro yet. So that's where we are. And we start in the year, 1800. And now here we are, I am Kayla and I'm Leah. And we're going to continue with the year 1847. Now I mentioned three episodes ago. I believe that I was very excited for the one person we are focusing on this week, because as most of you loyal listeners know, we used to cover in each episode, the events of the year, the people who were born and died in each year, then we went into our case.
Well, now that we are splitting each case in each year, really up into two cases or more, if we feel like it's our podcast. So the first episode of that year, we are covering all of the events. The second half of that, we are covering the people who died in, who were born that year in each of those years. I am choosing as specific tribute. If you will, of the hunger games, kind of like dealer's choice, true to hone in on and do a little bit of a biography. One of our, the one we did previously was Meriwether Lewis, Clark, Jr.
Who created a Kentucky, the Kentucky Derby. That was really cool. And I believe by extension mint juleps or had a hand in any way. Yes, yes, yes. Then before that we covered Dr. Seward who stole bodies. So each time we are just choosing someone interesting. Now I told you as well, that in this episode specifically, there were several people that I could chosen from. And you would have been like, Kayla, why did you choose this person? Because one of these, we might do an extended USBs episode on.
So I specifically did not choose this person for that reason because they are very influential in history. They are not the person I chose in true Kayleigh form. I chose someone else. You will see why. So our sources for this week, we have some interesting sources. One of them that I pulled a lot of information from, and that is going to be the pamphlet that is entitled the life and confession of Mary Runkle. Very interesting. Last name, rung, Runkle. And then we have women in capital punishment in America from 1840 to 1899 by Kerry.
Seagrave. That's interesting. Yes, it was a, it's a book that came out and I found a PDF expert ex Sur from it not expert. And it was very interesting then Murderpedia because Of Course, why not? And the ever formidable murder by Gaslight. I mean, always, I didn't let you sick this week. So Let me say Our births in 1847. Again, I said one of these, you're going to think interesting. Actually, several of these, you're going to wonder why I didn't choose them. I have my reasons Always do her first Person, February 11th, 1847, Thomas Edison.
Well there's no one personally He was a businessman inventor and he invented the phonograph, which is a record player, essentially the motion picture cinema, Early Versions of the Light Bulb and The Spirits phone we'll get into it. Spirit sounds right up your alley. Poaches white In 1920 Edison spoke to American magazine saying that he had been working on a device for some time to see if it was possible to communicate with the dead. Edison said that the device would work on specific principles, not by any occult means he was a man of science, not a man of the occult.
The announcement caused a press heyday though. The actual nature of this invention remained a mystery as there were no details regarding his invention for some time until 2015. Yes, 2015. Claire did not like that. She just Got up and went away. She had to go see what was going on. Phillipe Baldin, a French journalist found a copy of Edison's diary in a thrift store with a chapter that was not found in the previously published additions, the chapter details Edison's theories of the afterlife and the scientific basis by which communication with them could be achieved.
That's intriguing. And Thomas Edison was an Aquarius. He Is actually not the one that we were focusing on. So, okay. I did like him. I do. He's very interesting. And he is probably one of the ones that we will go into further. He was very much, and we'll go into kind of the timeframe that this was in, in a moment, but the spirit phone was an interesting theory, I'll say. So He's been depicted in a lot of shows that I have watched. I love period. And there is I a lot of journals to attribute to it as well.
So I, Yeah, they're All very similar to how I would think he would be. Yeah. And he's just a very interesting guy, seems to be kind of quirky too, Like eccentric, eccentric. There's one show that I really, really love. It's called the Murdoch mysteries and it's set in Canada and the very early Rock sound familiar Murdoch with an M. Yeah, no I Don't. You said it with a, B it's a book series that was made into a, a show and it's that Canada, it's just, it's a really neat show is in the very early 19th century anyway.
And they have like, Tesla is, is in epic says yes. And Edison, just all kinds of early advent inventors are in it. And it's just a really fun show. They had right. Built, built their house, Just Frank Lloyd Wright built their house. It's just, it's really just a neat show. And there's always a murderer. And his girlfriend who becomes his wife is the coroner, which is so very or medical examiner, which is so very unusual at that time. So it deals with the sexism and that sort of thing. Anyway, very interesting. And I love to say that they bring people in ventures and stuff of that time into the show.
Interesting And real people in The reason, this should honestly be a reason that you remember the name Murdoch and not me, you know, I was like, Hmm, that sounds familiar. How do I remember that? I dug through the files of my mind and in the wonderful romcom with Matthew McConaughey and Jennifer Lopez, the wedding planner in it, she looks at her boss and she, and they say, we need you to go take a look at the Murdoch file. And she goes, and Jennifer Lopez goes, oh, Murdock.
And she goes, yes. Discretion because she's a wedding planner. And anyways, they had gotten divorced. So that was the reason that I remembered Murdoch, because I cannot tell you how many times I have seen the movie, the wedding planner. Good movie Masimo. You do. You never watched Grey's anatomy did you? I did. When it first came out, then I got bored of it. The God dang it. I'm going to, I forgot his name. Now. The younger guy who was in it, he was brunette. He's still been on the show up until like a recent year. He played Mossimo in the wedding planner.
That's going to kill me. Oh, Alex. <inaudible>. He is Mossimo in the web. <inaudible> put that together. Justin Chambers is his name and Alex correct. He plays him. And it's Funny to see Maybe yes. I watched it like after I had seen a lot of grit and I was like, hold On, wait a minute is yes. Oh gosh. That's such a great moment. So moving on to July 4th of this year, we have James Anthony Bailey. Do you know what he could have done? Bailey?
Did he meet up with Barnum and help with this? She is the circus ringmaster and later owner of the Barnum and Bailey greatest show on earth. I Deserve something. However, this, I also found interesting, James Anthony Bailey was a cancer. PT. Barnum was also a cancer. I am also a cancer. I just found it was very interesting that the two men that created the Barnum and Bailey circus were both cancers. Like just anyways, I was just thinking you were growth, but Most people think that as well, but it's the next person we're going to get into.
You will relate to September 5th, Jesse James outlaw, gang leader. Bankrobber train robber and mood. Or he was a Virgo. Yes. His birthday is very close. You should actually be a cancer and I should be a Virgo. But would you rather be associated with a circus ringmaster or murderer? Well, I mean, that's just Just saying anyway, I Was born on Patsy Cline's birthday, which also happens to be Pink's birthday. That's fine too. I mean, So Me and Ariana, Grande's her birthday anyways?
Her birthday. Is it exactly your birthday? It's Two years after mine. You and Patsy Cline sharing exact birthday Were a couple of days after I'm a couple of days after a Demi Lovato. Okay. Okay. But me sure. Birthday. Okay. I take it Back then. So September 20, I actually, one of her last albums that she came out with, it was one that like I listened to. And it was one, those that the second I found out, we shared the same birthday. I was like, I know why this album hits so close to me because it's like literally my life. And I was like, why is this? So anyways, She's going to be Golinda in Nine.
We talked about this in a previous episode. And yes, I love it because she tweeted like 12 years ago that she wanted to be. And anyways, so Jesse James, who's a burka, sorry, September 23rd, Victoria cloth Flynn, little. She was a leader of the suffragist movement in, she actually, we will discuss her later. Sorry, trigger warning for some language here, but there is only one way that I can describe this. Woman's to go ahead and skip forward. About 15 seconds, this woman, a bad bitch. She is the first woman to ever run for president in the 1872 election.
Is there another phrase to describe her? So she's a Libra and then December 21st Fletcher S Bassett, not you Bubba, but he's, he is actually the founder of the Chicago folklore society, which I mean, just interesting. He's interesting. He's a Sagittarius, which is very interesting as well. So then our deaths in 1847, first off, we have January 19th, Charles bent. He's the first civilian governor of the New Mexico territory.
Civilian Governor. Yes. Civilian governor. So he was not in politics before you become governor. Gotcha. And in January 30th, Virginia, Eliza Clem died. Do you know who she is? I do not let it out. You're about to tell me, I told you he was coming up again and he will continue to come up in our history. As I have a kinship with him, she was Edgar Allen Poe's wife, and she died in 1847. Nevermore. I'm telling you my life's goal is to be friends with a Crow.
That's are very intelligent and they also remember people and they can talk. They can, and they will echo pew. It's the craziest thing. I've seen videos of it. I have a goal in my life. They do. They will bring you things. If you give them things, they'll bring you things. And they will always remember. Anyways, we'll have crows not surprising. Anyways, Alijah Jefferson bond. He was born on January 23rd, 1847.
He was not a spy, no making him an Aquarius. He was born in Bel air, Maryland as the fourth child to judge William Bond and Charlotte Richardson. He lived quite the life and also served alongside his brothers, Frank and Arthur in the Confederate army during the civil. Yes. The one we are going to focus on this week. Okay. You're not ready. I am so excited about this. I have no idea. I'm so excited. He attended public cool and an orange bell, not Arundel, Arundel county, not frozen.
And then graduated from law school at the university of Maryland in 1872. It is here that he met lifelong friend, Harry Wells, Rusk. Elijah joined the masons, which we have discussed at length as well on April 14th, 1873, where he was a collector from 1873 to 1877. Elijah also opened a law practice in Baltimore where one of his most infamous cases involved a client who was accused of polygamy, but LA wasn't Alijah is only passion.
Oh dear. He was also an inventor. And in 1892, he was awarded two patents, one for a ladder boiler, and one for a steam boiler. Pretty interesting dude. Right? Sounds like right around this time, Elijah's friend Harry Rusk was named the president of the Kennard novelty company, which was incorporated on October 30th, 1890. This is very important because Muhly imports, Dante, I need your full attention. I mean, I just I'm making sure because while he had several inventions and he acquired many patents, I have to look at your face in a second.
It was patent number 446,054. That was registered on February 10th, 1891 that gained him world renowned, notoriety even today for his patent. Okay. What'd he do? It was the patent. No, this is going to be bad Of the weeds. You're bored. It is so interesting. So anyways, no I'm telling you this.
Trust me, Elijah eventually sold the us distribution rights for the Weegee award to the Kennard novelty company, which his best friend had just taken like ownership of that company. So the Kinner novelty company is the one who originally took over the Ouija board. We are going to Buy Milton Bradley, right? It's purchased. It was later purchased by Milton Bradley. Yes, There is. Let me tell you, I thought you'd be excited that I'm using. We did. We talked about this in an earlier episode as well. Cause I talked about the birth of Milton Bradley. You're welcome For those who are not aware. A Ouija board is known as a spirit board or a talking board.
It is flat marked with letters a to Z number zero to nine. The words. Yes and no. And depending on the board, it might include the words. Hello and goodbye. The real question here is how much money do I need to give you for us to use a way to board You? Ain't got it. Try me. I'll find it. We're going to start a go fund. Me and I'm going. So anyways, a plan Chet is included. That is a semi heart shape that serves as an indicator of the message. When I tell you the theories behind this, you may change your mind.
Anyways. I did one like at a sleepover when I was like in middle school and stuff we played. See, you're fine. So I never have, so anyways, are you kidding? I know, right? I was banned. So anyways, that's probably why this interests me so much. So participants sit across from one another where Kim's shot. I know I've never played with a Ouija board, never participants sit across from one another with their fingertips placed on the plan, Chet on the board. And allegedly the plan chat would move on its own to spell out messages to the users I do was a message spelled out to you.
Did you learn anything from your Ouija board experience? Okay. Here's the thing. Nope. I need to know. No, because it was middle school girls and somebody always moved, moved it themselves. I mean, somebody was always moving in. Okay. So you never have done it in your adult life where Never because Things could be different Because I'm a grownup now. Okay. Okay. Just making sure if anyone would like my address, I will send it to you and you can send us a wage board anyways. They know us to it. Y'all Some might think this is a bit too far into the realm of creepy, but this was actually a part of an entire international movement called spiritual prism.
Spiritualism is the umbrella term used to include topics such as honestly, all of my favorite topics, the afterlife psychics, clairvoyants the occult paranormal phenomena, the spiritual world, parasite ecology shamanism, which actually has its roots in native Americans. And WEDA so we haven't reached this time in us history yet. But when we do, you will see how widespread all of this became. And it is so interesting to see what all happens.
Keep in mind, we just talked about Thomas Edison who came up with the spirit phone, which was around the same exact time. So anyway, Just because he invented it doesn't Mean I'm just saying anyway, A good invention Doesn't mean that it wasn't a real invention. Either We work, You don't know spiritualists in the United States believe that the dead were able to contact the living. And some used a talking board, very similar to the modern Ouija at their camps in the us state of Ohio in 1886, to try and enable faster communication with the spirits, how ever talking boards can be traced back as far as the adoptions and back to China in 1100, a D.
So here is my question. If we believe this, we are also simultaneously believing that talking boards and Jesus were on the earth at the same time. Yes. Moving on the Ouija board, I'm just saying, all I need is I need a meme of Jesus using a talking board to talk to God. And my wife will be complete. Prayer. Fire is talking to God. I'm just saying lighting to God. You can like not be uptight for two seconds and admit that that is funny talking To God. I mean, I get it.
I'm just saying you have to admit that that would be hilarious. That Jesus is like, I need, I need some as in like him on a, I'm just saying based on the history, if it existed at the same time, Pinched my friend, make your charm. It Is. And you have to admit though, that that is funny. You, you have to admit that the disciples could have been using oh, weed. You're bored and going, not a Weegee. Cause it was not that name then, but they were using a nice little talking board to change. I'm sorry. That image in my head is so funny.
How did they decide? Who used the weed? Dear friend, who I love You think they looked at the one and there were like, you can't use the board. I don't think they had a board. I'm saying you don't know. Look, the ways that the world works, we don't know. The Ouija board was regarded as an innocent parlor game, unrelated to the occult until the American spiritualist, Pearl Curran, who is, I'm honestly blaming for everything, popularized it.
And it's used as a dividing tool during world war one, which honestly is like just a really bad way for somebody to do something. It's like, oh, your significant other died in world war one here, use this board to speak with them like mining tool. So a divining tool is yes, a lot of people remember we talked about it back in the Mormon episode where he used a seer stone as a divining tool. And then there are also divining rods that people use to like find water. But like tarot cards are also divining tools. Like all those things are considered like in the classification of divine tools. So this person exploited, oh, wage award to widows of world war one as a way to speak to their departed loved ones, just saying Jesus would have done that.
So head saying it, Various studies have been conducted, recreating the effects of the Ouija board in the lab and showing that under laboratory conditions, the subjects were moving. The plan shut in voluntarily a 2012 study found that when answering yes or no questions, we just was significantly more accurate than just guesswork in that area, suggesting that it might draw on the conscious mind, skeptics have described the Ouija boards, users as operators.
And some critics have noted that the messages simply spelled out by spirits were similar to whatever was going through the minds of the subjects at the time, according to professor of neurology, Terrance Heinz in his book called pseudoscience and the paranormal from 2003, don't really know, I don't know in this book, but quote, the plant yet is guided by unconscious muscular exertions. Like those responsible for table movement. Nonetheless, in both cases, the illusion that the table or object or plan chat is moving under its own control is often extremely powerful and sufficient to convince many people that spirits are truly at work.
The unconscious, the unconscious muscle movements yep. Responsible for the moving tables and Ouija board phenomena seen at San says are examples of a class of phenomena due to what psychologists call a disassociative state. A disassociative state is one in which consciousness is somehow divided or cut us from some aspects of the individuals, normal cognitive motor and sensory functions. So what does that mean? Theoretically, the board falls into the theory of the ADM motor phenomenon, which is essentially carrying out a task without the feeling of doing so, and is usually due to prior expectation, suggestions or preconceptions of what should be happening.
Basically this phenomenon is based on the idea that just the idea that something can happen. So simply your idea that it could happen, nothing more right, is enough to trick your brain into subconsciously making it happen. So that is the theory of, so kind of like when you, I don't know, some people may know this, but some people may not, when you're driving home and you make it home, but you don't remember your drive home that ever happened to you. So that's idiomotor phenomena when you something happens, you don't know how it happened, but it happened somewhere in your brain, your brain expected it to happen and knew what was going to happen and made it happen without your conscious mind being aware, because I was thinking about something else.
So that's kind of the thought process behind all of this, maybe who knows. Hmm. So the popular belief that the word we joke comes from the French and German words of yes, is a misconception. The name is taken from a word spelled out on the board when its inventor, Elijah bond asked a supposedly ghost to name it. Oh, When it was officially patented by Elijah bond, it became a parlor game that was fun for everyone to gather around and see what happens. It was actually super popular during this time because men and women were not known to be in a room together with others.
So little cute couples that thought that they like have little crushes would sit across from each other, from the Weezer board, with their little knees touching and use the Ouija board. So that was how it became popular from all of this. See again, just another way for one, to make a little thing, move, you know, And there's so many different, like there's studies from each side that is actually like, like it said, there has been some studies that show that we, Joe was more accurate than just guesswork. Like, so it's kind of like what it could be from any side, which is very interesting to me considering how people believe or think of wheat in general.
I mean, really you could think of it as no different than monopoly. Like, you know, like it's, it's honestly no different To me, it's just a weird, It Just, it was just a silly thing that we did in middle school. I mean, really that's, that's what it was. Elijah bond married, Mary Peters of Maryland. And they had one child together. William Brown bond, Elijah later returned to Baltimore and suffered a stroke of paralysis. In 1919. He died on April 14th, 1921 and was laid to rest at green Mount cemetery in Baltimore, Maryland, along with his wife, her family, his son and grandchild.
But that is not where the story ends. Robert Merck is the world's foremost collector historian, an expert on Ouija and talking boards and serves as the chairman of the board for the talking board historical society that he founded. He has collaborated with Hasbro toy co the national archives, the library of Congress, and served on as an expert on films and shows such as what lies beneath the CW supernatural ghost adventures.
And TNTs Rizzoli and Isles is only a snippet to the list that is much longer. That also includes the wall street journal and the Smithsonian magazine. So this guy is like Super Well-known in this world. He is still alive today. He's actually pretty young. Like he's not, I mean like he's pretty young. He's in his forties probably is a young guy. Like you're saying that young you're welcome. I was Just saying last Weekend about a baby outfit for a friend. I told the lady, I was buying it for a friend who had had fertility issues by the way, and her last Episode.
And when I was walking away, she said, enjoy your grand baby. And I looked at her and I said, what? She said, I looked at her. I said, no, no, no, nobody's living in this body, but me nobody's living in this body, but this is my I'm sorry, not had a parasite. And I can say that because I've had a child, I have not had a parasite amongst to me. I'm sorry. This is my baby.
Not at all. Anyway, continue. I'm sorry. It just, it just can't continue. Okay. After, After Udacity on one pocket and they Gall in the Other, okay. I had already paid her two, A 15 1 5 year hunt. Robert Merck discovered Alijah Jefferson bonds, unmarked grave in green mountain cemetery in 2007. Why was it on Mar? It was just unmarked. It was just one of those areas that it wasn't marked.
And no one could figure out where it was. So this guy who had he watched a movie when he was younger, that involved a wage aboard. And from there, he kind of just became obsessed with the thought of it. And now he's like, he's very, well-known in the community. He's like the foremost expert on all things. We gen talking boards. He was actually fun fact. Some people may not find this one. I found it fun. I found it delightful and whatever he is, one of the first ever same-sex couple marriages to ever be married in the United States. I just found that interesting. It's good for him that, I mean, that is groundbreaking And he, you know, good for him.
And now we J you'll also see now why he has his name in the history books. In another way, he discovered the unmarked grave and he worked tirelessly with the cemetery and eventually received permission to install a grave stone. Elijah, Everybody deserves to be remembered. Coincidentally, it was during this process that he also located Walter dent Jr. Bond's great grand nephew and Winifred Pierce Winifred got a love that I too was his great, great grand niece, Walter didn't himself, not Walter didn't Jr.
Was 98 at the time. And he and his daughter generously gave March their families permission to erect a Memorial for Alicia Say that is cool. Teagle are monuments agreed to take on the project and began crafting the headstone while March raised the necessary funds to pay for the Memorial. Thanks to merchants hard work. Elijah Jefferson bond truly has one of the most memorable headstones of all time, which shows the traditional headstone on one side and a replica of a Ouija board carved on the other.
The grave is now a popular destination for nostalgia fans and people interested in the supernatural Elijah bond has quite literally found himself on the other side of a Ouija board. I Love it. And really, if you Google it, it is literally a week. Like it is the funniest and best thing for the person that PA like it's the best thing ever. I can tell you that doesn't mean think of a song from dear Evan Hansen, nobody deserves to be forgotten And a hundred Percent deserves a headstone. Everyone remembered they were here.
They did something. I mean, not everybody has a patent for something, but everybody was somebody I'm nine 90. My mom could correct me on this. I'm 90% sure. My dad does not have a headstone. Oh no, That's a whole other, it's a whole other issue. But He fixed that. I know where he is, is a very, very, very small cemetery. I know exactly where he is, but I'm, my mom could correct me on this. And that could have changed at some point, but I'm 90% sure To help you fix that. If he doesn't have, Actually, when this comes out, my dad's birthday will be coming up.
My dad's birthday is flag day every year, June 14th. So we actually, and I will go ahead and put this in here. I received, I put this in my work slack account. The other day, I received an email from Canva. For those of you who don't know what canvas is, canvas helps me. I created our logo on Canva. I, all of our social media posts on Canva. Everything that I do for the podcast is on Canva. I pay a fee every month to be able to use it because it's very easy for us to use very easy for us to actually create professional content. I received an email last week and it said the subject line that I, that I got was, do you want to not receive emails about father's day?
And I was like, weird. So I opened it. Typically I delete these emails, like just any promotional email, I'll just delete it. They come to our inbox for the podcast anyways, whatever I deleted it. And I was like, huh, interesting. I'll open it. And the email said, we understand that the holidays are a difficult time for people. And with father's day coming up, they did not do this for mother's day, which is very interesting. So this is something new that they've started. They said, we understand with holidays coming up father's day is a more difficult time for people than others. Because of this. We have recreated the settings on our profiles to include an option to opt out of any seasonal emails.
Wow. So you can now opt out of mother's day emails, father's day emails, Thanksgiving, Christmas, whatever you can tell it exactly what emails you want to opt out of now, for people who don't understand how big this is, that's big. I am 30. I will be 31 this year in less than a month. Kelowna. My dad died when I was 12. It was very tragic situation. I have a lot of deep seated issues with it. Anyways, moving on. He was born on flag day, which is June 14th, my birthday, June 26th of every year.
Father's day, all ways lands in the same time period. So while I am fine, I still cope with things that I deal with. It can still sometimes be jarring. When you start to see father's day things in your inbox and be a constant reminder that these events are coming up. And you are not in the experience of having that. Even for families that don't have fathers, like even for families who don't have mothers, like we know that a family unit is not a mother and father and child.
It can be an adopted family. It can be anything. You also can completely choose your family. You know, you can be a group of friends, you can exactly who are your family. So, and I got that email and I was like, you know what? That's awesome. That's amazing for the fact that you're sending one, those are promotional emails. You're sending those emails in the hopes that someone is going to spend money that gives you more money. So you're trying to make money off your business, but for you to take a step back and say, you know what, there's something more important than making money. And that is this. And I was like, you know what, man, like, God, that is so accurate.
Like, because I am a person who my dad's birthday father's day and my birthday fall within the same two weeks, two and a half weeks of every year. So while some years it passes over and I don't ever think about it, I don't ever think about it is not a thought that crosses my mind. I don't put it. It's not a reminder for me. My dad's birthday is not on my calendar. Like it's not something of that father's day, always a difficult day as it always is. However, it, I was like, you know what? I posted it to our, our company's slack channel, just because like, we do a lot of promotional things and we have a really amazing marketing department.
And I was like, Hey, just as free all to see like we'll post things in like different channels that are like this, this was a channel that is just about random stuff. And I was like, Hey, like, this is a really, this is amazing. And the family, the company that I work for is very much into intentional marketing where they don't want to just market to market. They want to mark it in a way that that is good to other people. And actually our head of marketing was like, this is amazing. I'm so glad you shared this. Like, it is amazing that companies think about this now where they didn't awesome.
And like for people who have lost, like, especially in the past two years, like a lot of people have not, they've not grieved their family because they couldn't. And it's just like, you know what, God, that's amazing, but it's just, like you said, like no one deserves to be forgotten, but also on the same hand, like I also don't need to be reminded every year, you know? And so it was just something that was so amazing. So, And I remember a boss that I had, he lost his mom and he was going about his, his life and his day hadn't taken any time off or anything.
I remember that. And his mother's birthday came along and it just took the air out of his does. And he didn't realize it was going to until the day actually Doesn't And was like, Hey, I'm not gonna be in today. You know, It's really, and I can, you know, What's going to happen. And I can say this from experience that I was very young when my dad died, but I also did not mourn in the way that I should have, because there were just a lot of things going on in my life. And so there's like a little part of me that will mourn any time that I remember it just because I never, I never processed it in the way that I should for many, many, many, many reasons on top of another.
But it is, I can totally understand that because then some years when I'm reminded like, oh, it's June 14th, it's flag day it's dad's birthday. Like it's one of those things that like, if the day just passes and I never think about it, it's fine. But the years that it is somehow in my brain, it's like, my dad goes, Hey, Hey, I'm like, dad, I need you to go right now. Like now is not the time. But it, it does. It hits you like out of nowhere. And you're just like, or it's happened to me two different years where I'm like, like I, today is just a day that like, Something's Wrong with me.
I was like, I don't know what is going on. I was like, I really out of sorts today, I just don't feel like myself. I'm really sad for some reason. Like, and I couldn't pinpoint it one year. It happened to me. It was the anniversary of his death. And then the other year it happened to me. It was his birthday. I mean, and she was like, she was, she was off like way off. It was weird. Was like, I don't know. I don't, I don't know You're good today. No, I was out of it. It was just like one of those. It was like, I had an endoscopy and I was just That she hadn't Put a hat.
So it was just very interesting, but yeah, I mean, people don't deserve to be forgotten, but the story of the man who patented the Ouija Board, like I Couldn't, I could not Make sure that he and his family And P it is now like a massive tourist destination. And like, they raise the funds to be able to like, have his headstone in there and I'm serious. Like, it is the coolest and weirdest headstone you've ever seen because it is Truly, so now he is really remembered Really. And he is literally on the other side of a wager board now, like, it is just so cool.
So You're welcome. Right? Why did you do that to me? Because I wanted you to have an ear worm And now I have a trust me, somebody the other day, so that the greatest showman, wasn't a really good movie and it wasn't in person that I saw it. So That's good. Anyways, however, one of the best movies ever, actually one of the best songs ever is the, to the other side, because it was so good. Anyways, I can't, I can't go into that right now.
I have emotions on that movie. Leah knows how I am. If I get too emotional about one thing, I can't talk about it too much. So, So many good songs in that. So Any Zac Efron's and day, anyways, August 18th, 1847, John Runkle died under mysterious circumstances. And his wife, Mary was immediately the target of suspicion. Always The spouse, Mary Runkle was born in root New York to quote respectable and pious parents. Okay.
And the confession she later wrote, which we'll go into it. She said that she actually wasn't really aware of how old she was. It was estimated at the time that she was 50, but she didn't really know her real age or her date of birth. She lived with her parents and brothers and never said, how many brothers until she met John Runkle? The couple were engaged when Mary heard some talks of misconduct relating to John, Mary wanted to call off the marriage, sound familiar, but she would rather have the stick.
She would rather have a, what did I put here? Oh, I'm not reading the Notes. I know she would rather have the stain of John's known in decencies upon her, then the stain of a broken engagement. Oh, well, I mean, you know, Because John, exactly John promised that it would never happen again, as they all do. And he would make amends for his conduct. And he took an oath upon the Bible that he would never again be guilty of the same misconduct, interesting, Same misconduct, but not any. Please take that of note.
They married. And just two weeks after the marriage, new problems began to arise in the couples relationships. It's never really conveyed exactly what these issues were, but it was noted that the couple continued to live together. That was all it said is that they continued to live together Cohabitated, but not in harmony Around year after they got married, Mary became jealous of John and she wanted to leave him, her parents for bid her to get a divorce. And she stayed with John 1847 is just the year of anyways, I keep in mind.
How old was she at the tunnel of her parents for baby? I don't know, probably 15. She was a Spencer. Keep in mind that all of this that we have to go off of comes from Mary's confessions. So a lot of this, we can probably take with a grain of salt, but we don't have anything else to really go off of. They lived near Mary's parents for about 10 years, 10 years. When suspicions around Mary began, He couldn't provide her with a home. Should they had to live with her? Not with her parents in the area of her parents for 10 Years. No, no, no. Her parents, They lived near her parents for 10 years.
They, I mean, telling her, she came divorce him and they got to all live together. That is a pro Lam. Exactly. So you see that at this time, the suspicions around Mary began because you know, a week after marriage, wasn't going great, but 10 years should be going swimmingly. Right? I mean Know each other by now. No, you see, there was a reason that Mary immediately became the first suspect in John's murder. And this is just the first in a series of events that led up to that.
A peddler was passing through the area, selling goods on credit. He disappeared before he could make his collections. Authorities tracked the peddler as far as the Runkle's house, but they couldn't find any further trace of him past their two young daughters of the wrinkles went to school, wearing new dresses, saying their mother had plenty of the cloth to make it okay. Wait. So they happy. But they got kids Not more than two anyway. Okay. I just say, I mean, I'm not saying like it was by choice. I Was shown it, repeating this to their teacher, fed a growing suspicion that the wrinkles had murdered the peddler and had stolen his merchandise.
A few days later, the two girls were found drowned in a shallow tub of water. Oh No. Ms. Runkle said that she had left her older son in charge of them, but he did not supervise them. According to her, she was in the house with three of her children and she regularly kept them in the house, away from their father because he allegedly mistreated them. It was a nice fall day outside. And since John was out in the field working, she let the children go outside to play. She instructed the oldest that he needed to return before their father arrived home. They had been gone for quite a bit. And Mary decided to go ahead and call them inside.
But only the oldest son came to the door. She asked for the other two children were, and he said that he didn't know, Mary ran outside, calling for them and started to look for them in different places. She thought they might have hidden, but she couldn't find them. She decided to go ahead and take a pail of water to the bath house. But when she reached the door, it was locked. Mary burst the door where she found her two children drowned in a tub of water. Mary claims, she collapsed on the floor at the site. And once John arrived, he either kicked or nudged her with his foot asking what she was doing there.
John helps Mary into the house where she, again, fainted in the next thing she recalls is waking up to a number of people around her. A coroner's jury was called and an inquest was held, which returned a verdict of accidental drowning for the two children. The funerals for the children occurred. But after several days, the children were disinterred and another coroner's jury was called. And a second inquest was held at the same quest, Dr. Jay young made a post-mortem examination and he believed that the children had been poisoned. There wasn't much more to the story that I could find, but the family did move to the town of St.
John's will after this. So he just believed they were poison. It didn't. That was, that was, that was it. Well, that's not helpful. They lived in St. John's full for about four months before they moved to the town of Oppenheim during all of this time. And even before the death of her two children, both John and Mary were arrested on various charges of theft. Mary claims that any instance that involved her occurred due to pressure from her husband, John, the not long after the first tragedy of losing two children, the couple's third child, their son, according to Mary, became sick with measles and died.
But suspicions quickly arose that this child was poisoned as well. The not long after the first tragedy of losing two children, and then the couple's third child, according to Mary things just got worse. This is harmful. This brings us to the year of 1847, when the couple moved to Utica, where they were quickly arrested for taking clothes from the clothesline of a neighbor, Mary claimed she was also not guilty of this and that John took the clothes and then asked Mary just to iron them on August 20th of that year, John's health was declining and he was given four vials of medication and a quarter gallon of Brandy, as well as other topical medication to help.
I mean, that's a medicine right there. One afternoon. He became furious with Mary and started yelling at her. She tried to calm him down, but she wasn't able to, according to Mary, keep in mind that I keep saying according to Mary, because this is all from Mary's account. We're not really like, I'm not saying Mary's wrong. This is just all her accounts. So this could very well be very biased. And I'm aware he grabbed her hair and started dragging her across the floor while kicking and hitting her until she was almost unconscious. She got away and said she was going to call for help. But John threatened her and said that he would break her neck.
If she tried to report him later that night, he asked Mary to bring him some milk before bed. He then took twice the amount of medication he had been taking before noted that the milk tastes sour and went to sleep periodically through the night he was awakened and called Mary to bring him something to drink. And each time she did, she eventually got into bed around 1:00 AM and fell asleep until she was awoken with John sitting on top of her and his hands around her throat. That's not Good. Mary allegedly tried to defend herself and claimed that John was beating her again. Once it ended, John demanded a clean shirt and he laid back down in bed to go to sleep.
It wasn't long after that. Mary allegedly, her John making strange noises when she grabbed a light to take a look and she noticed that he was foaming from the mouth. She told her daughter to go to the neighbors to get help. The next day at the coroner's inquest, it was held and the verdict was delivered that John's death was not natural or caused by poisoning, but rather the result of a beating inflicted by Mary and their 12 year old daughter, Elizabeth and both were arrested. Oh, Are there any more children?
I don't think so. Okay. Once Mary was arrested, all of the missteps from her past started to come forward. The charges of theft, the poisoning of her two children, the alleged mysterious circumstances of her third child's death and other odd occurrences that frequently frequently occurred in the Runkle household in court. John was described as a feeble man whose health had been declining for quite some time. Both Mary and Elizabeth testified that John had gotten out of bed several times that night and fell to the floor, which was the cause of the injuries that appeared on him that were noted by the coroner. Mary also testified that all of the bruises and abrasions on her own body occurred when she tried to help her husband back into the bed.
However, the neighbors testified that when they arrived at the house to help, John was laid in the bed in a clean shirt, dead and cold. And there were traces of blood on the floor that had been mopped up. When the authority searched, the house, a bundle of clothing was found hidden in the attic, which contained a shirt covered in blood accounts by Mary and her daughter about the clothing were conflicting and contradicted. The facts drastically. The jury began to deliberate on September 21st and less than three hours later, they returned with the verdict. Most of the courtroom felt that Mary would at worst, be found guilty of second degree murder.
Her daughter was very young and she wasn't actually officially charged with a crime. She was just arrested. So it wasn't like really an official charge. So she was kind of like, she Was just kind of brought in because she was involved. She wasn't included in this. The jury found Mary Runkel guilty of first degree murder. And she was sentenced to death in the period between her conviction and her execution. Mary Runkle published her story in an eight page pamphlet, entitled life and confession of Mary Runkle, which most of the early information that I said before was kind of pulled from this pamphlet because that's all we know about their life before the murder she wrote in this pamphlet Quit.
My cup of affliction, being full drugged with the bitterest dropped of goal has led me to reflect that I soon must die. I endeavored to breed out my grief to unheated winds and shed and silent. The bitter tears that have been coursing each other from my streaming eyes, Mary originally thought that the pamphlet would help everyone see that she had been through such a tragic really situation, I guess is the best way to describe it, but not everyone believed it. And it didn't really work in the favor that she thought her attorneys had petitioned the governor to commute her sentence.
The governor was not moved on the day of her execution. An estimated 1000 people gathered in the streets of Whitesburg and around the courthouse. Again, I I'll say although the execution was private, no one was allowed to see the execution. People still gathered outside. I don't Understand. I did when Ted Bundy was executed As well, Dylan understand that. So Mary Runkle was executed on November 9th, 1847 with a new method of hanging.
I am 99% sure. We have discussed this method before I could be wrong. And I could have listened to too many true crime podcasts other than ours, but you right. Rather than falling through a trap door, the prisoner I am so sure. We talked about this. The prisoner is yanked upwards. Haven't we Talked about the counterbalance. Yeah. And it's like, okay. I was like, I know we've talked about this. See, I do listen to you talk Mary Runkle, sat on a chair and a room inside the Whitesburg jail with the new surround her neck and the rope past up through a hole in the ceiling.
So like no one can actually see the counterweight or anything That sounds even worse. Now I, I know it's very weird. As she was positioned for death, a reporter observed quote, what a sight, a woman, a mother, a wife charged with a number of murders, dress, simple preparation for her execution, her arms bounded down seated under the instrument of death, silent and fixed with, but a few minutes of existence left and no emotion visible. The bell rang, the cord was cut and she was launched into Aternity Launched, Not a word, not emotion, but a heaving of the breast thus ended the earthly fate of Mary Runkle.
And that is the case. So yeah, it is such a case of this happened, like, because there's just so we know for every story, there are three sides, yours, mine, and the truth. And all we have to go off of is hers. So I'm sure when you're writing the confession of a murder, you're going, I'm not saying it's incorrect that maybe her husband wasn't the worst. I'm saying, if you're trying to not be executed, maybe you might elaborate.
I don't like this case because I don't see. I don't, I don't, I don't know. There's no way to know. And there's no like thing to say like, oh, this is exactly what happened. And that's, what's so weird about it because we have her confession and then her sentence and that's it. And everything that's previous that is from her. And I don't know what happened to her daughter who had her daughter go live with like her parents. I had family and I would think it would be her parents because her parents were the ones that were mentioned quite frequently. And then like, how did they treat her? Did she have like this stigma around her? Did she, was she able to get married?
Did she don't have the stigma that It was so much to this that like just wasn't there. And it was so weird that it was just like, Hmm, I want to know the lasting effects on this poor child. I mean, You know, we don't know that all in a lot of cases and you know, here from everything, it appeared from everything that I read that the daughter did not know anything, But she knew something. Well, She didn't know very much. She knew what it was. Something about what happened with her younger siblings. She had Wasn't that old when all of that happened, she was younger than, than them.
So she did not know. So I now for herself, I wonder what her mother may have said, you know what I mean? So I don't know. I'm saying what kind of Threats her mom may have given to make her bed, her Haber cell dad Could have given those threats. I Mean, You're right. I just, I don't remember. It was a lot and it was so this confession, like I said, it was eight pages long and it was so and so flowery. And so like, it was just one of those that it's like, ma'am, we didn't have to make it like this.
Like, it was just one of those things. But regardless, that was one of our cases for 1847, the case of Mary and John Runkle, I don't feel satisfied with this one at all. I don't either, but I found it, but I found it very interesting that in both cases, both for the year of 1847, both women were not wanting to move forward with the marriage. And in one of those, the woman died. And in the other one, she didn't, the man died. So I just found it a very right. But I'm saying like in a murder or anything, like I found the juxtaposition of the two very intriguing.
I am Angelica. So with this case, I mean, yes. So you can imagine my distress when having to research. So I need more, That is our episode, 55, 55, 35. And we cannot wait to see you guys next week. Actually, when this comes out, the next episode that comes out should June 13th and I'll be out of town. So that's exciting. I'll be watching my cats. I have to can make you a key. So I'm I was going to say, I don't know where one was sitting in your lap, but anyway, we appreciate you guys joining us for this week's episode of one nation under crime.
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I liked our past, oh, in our, oh, you see our owing, UC USBs, a WTF. And if you've listened, if you've listened to the new, you know what we mean by that? But I think our next one might kind of fall along the same lines. That was a fun one. That was a good one to record. So I'm sure we can find similar things On a roll. It was great. So we will see you guys here. Same time, Different crime, New year.
And we love you guys. Remember there isn't always Liberty and justice for all. And especially if the words of your case are only your words and no one else's no one really knows what happened. Take Videos. Pictures documents does 1847. I mean, but it's not anymore. So you, you have a smartphone, use it. Document, document, Find a Ouija board. Tell us what you find out. No, Don't we love you guys. Bye.