The Kitchen Table Historian

I am an author and historian who writes about long-forgotten and out of the way events and places. I love the bizarre, the unusual, and the downright weird. I write a regular blog at my website, www.johnbrassardjrcom.wordpress.com, and also manage a facebook page about things of historical interest called The Kitchen Table Historian.

Poisoned Chocolate: The Nehlsen Murder/Suicide of 1910

  Starting in about 1820 and ending at the turn of the 20th Century, cultural norms in Western Europe began to shift. At the same time, things were also changing in the United States. America began to experience an enormous influx of immigrants from the western portion of the European continent and the United Kingdom. …

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Episode 59: ‘Call Me Randy:’ The Soft-Spoken Killer

Mary Schlais was murdered on a cold February morning in 1974, just as a man named Randy was making his way to Wisconsin. Was this soft-spoken monster responsible for her death?     Olson, Aaron. DNA Analysis could solve cold case mystery. The Chippewa Herald, 2/4/2009 (updated 2/4/2011) Collin, Liz.  Could a Serial Killer And Former …

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Episode 58: One Bad Ride: The Murder of Mary Schlais

  Mary Schlais was a beautiful young artist with her entire life ahead of her. A veteran hitchhiker, one bad ride in 1974 changed her life forever.       Sources Stromberg, Joseph. The forgotten art of hitchhiking – and why it disappeared. http://www.vox.com, Jun 10, 2015 Ganzel, Bill. Wessels Living History Farm. http://www.livinghistoryfarm.org, 2003 …

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Steam and Fury: The Lansing Steamboat Disaster of 1867

  The Mississippi River, despite its nickname the “Big Muddy,” is surrounded by natural beauty. Bluffs over look the water as it meanders its way through the landscape, making its way ever southward toward the Gulf of Mexico. As picturesque as it is, there is a very practical side to the river as well. The …

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