Morphine Murderer Carlyle Harris

Carlyle Harris, not quite what he seemed. The case of Carlyle Harris was a classic of its time and links well into another of New York’s classic murders, that committed by another doctor named Robert Buchanan a couple of years later. I’ll be covering the Buchanan case in due course but, for now, we’ll be looking at Harris’s...

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The City of Corpses

Ask any resident of Adelaide, Australia what they think of their city and most will say the same thing. It's a tired and beat up town with a bad reputation, but generally it's quiet and full of friendly people. Though many claim “there's nothing bad about Adelaide”, most of those originally hailing from Adelaide are ashamed to admit it due to...

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The Assassination of Spencer Percival

John Bellingham, assassin of Prime Minister Spencer Percival. Assassination of important and powerful political figures is nothing new and neither is it particularly rare. Four American Presidents, Mahatma Gandhi, Tsar Nichols II’s entire family after the Russian Revolution and so on. One place where such killings are rare, despite its...

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The Candy Man

On August 8, 1973, at approximately 8:15 a.m. Pasadena Police receive a phone call. The caller was a young man claiming that he had just shot another man and identified himself as Elmer Wayne Henley. Investigators would later learn that Henley had not only just killed the most notorious serial killer within the state of Texas, if not the country,...

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East Coast Spree Killer Caught After Bloody Rampage

There is some comfort in serial killers. Their habits and patterns make them easier to track, it helps ease the minds of those that don’t fit the profile. Spree killers are different, there is no comfort in spree killers, they kill indiscriminately and anyone can be a victim as two sleepy towns learned this summer. Todd Kenyan West Todd...

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The Last Executions In Britain

As regular readers are aware, I cover true crime here a fair bit and the death penalty is a regular feature. So, today, it’s with some small satisfaction that we’re going to look at Britain’s last executions. On August 13, 1964 Gwynne Evans and Peter Allen took their unwilling place in British penal history as the last-ever inmates to...

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Sword and Scale Episode 50

On November 18, 1978, in a remote settlement of northwestern Guyana, 909 Americans lost their lives in what is considered to be the largest mass suicide of the twentieth century. This compound, informally known as Jonestown, was established by a charismatic preacher named Jim Jones who led his People's Temple to their ultimate demise. In this...

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The World’s Most Prolific Murderess

During Victorian Era England filicide was at an all time high. After Parliament passed a law ruling that women who bore children out of wedlock were immoral and that fathers of illegitimate children had absolutely no responsibility in providing for their child, a rise in infant death and the use of what were called “baby farms” – similar to...

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Masonic Murder Cover-up?

The Masonic Square and Compass. The fraternal order of Freemasons is no stranger to conspiracy and controversy. Their secretive nature, use of eclectic pagan symbolism within their lodges, as well as rumors of bizarre rituals have long been the root of many legends and stories. Dating back to medieval times, this old organization has had...

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Francis ‘Two Gun’ Crowley

Francis Crowley, the inspiration for movie gangster Rocky Sullivan He was no relation to famed Satanist Aleister Crowley, but young Francis had more than a touch of the Devil in him just the same. Born in New York City on October 31, 1912 (fitting for someone as scary as him) he lasted only 19 years before walking the last mile at the...

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About Sword and Scale

Sword and Scale covers the underworld of criminal activity and the demented minds that perform the most despicable and unthinkable actions.

The Sword and Scale Podcast debuted in 2013 and is available on iTunes. Get to know more about Sword and Scale at our About Us page.