True Crime

Legacy of Lavinia Fisher

Many legends claim that Lavinia Fisher was the first female serial killer in the United States.  She and her husband John operated an inn just outside of Charleston, South Carolina.  They named it Six Mile Wayfarer House, but their intentions behind the business were sinister.  It is said the Fishers targeted wealthy travelers, poisoning them at dinner and stealing their valuables.  For these crimes, the Fishers were executed on February 18, 1820.  It is said that Lavinia wore her wedding dress to the gallows and when it came time for her to speak her last words she unrepentantly bellowed, “if you have a message you want to send to hell, give it to me, I’ll carry it.” 

But the historical accuracy of this legend is entirely false.  In fact Lavinia may not have actually murdered anyone

The Woolfolk Family Massacre

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On August 6, 1887 one of Georgia’s darkest, and most infamous murders occurred at a farmhouse in Bibb County.  Nine members of Richard Woolfolk’s family were brutally slain with an axe. Suspicion immediately fell on his son Thomas, the only member of the household to survive the event, and a national media circus erupted.

Explore the events that led up to the brutal axe murder of an entire family; as well as the explosive trial that followed, captivating national media coverage…

Birth of a City: New Orleans, Part III

This episode of Southern Gothic is the third in the three-part series "Birth of a City: New Orleans," a story that chronicles the inception of a great American city and the legends that evolved with it.

Part III: The Infamous Madame Delphine LaLaurie

On April 10, 1863 a fire broke out in the home of Creole socialite Madam Delphine LaLaurie; but as men rushed to save the lavish French Quarter mansion, they had no idea of the horrors they would uncover inside.  Madame LaLaurie and her husband had been brutally and inhumanely torturing their slaves.

A massive public uproar erupted and news of the vicious crimes of this Creole Queen spread across America rapidly; yet some scholars believe there may be more to this story than has been told in the portrayal of this historical figure, and it might even be possible that the infamous socialite may have survived without punishment for her crimes, making her one of the most infamous figures of New Orleans’s vast underbelly of legends and lore.

Theme music for "Birth of a City: New Orleans" was written and performed by Grammy nominated singer-songwriter Adam Wright.

Additional narration by Justin Drown of Obscura: A True Crime Podcast.  

Visit SouthernGothicMedia.com for news, notes and access to special members-only episodes.

The Seer of Shelbyville

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On March 22, 1957, Simon Warner, a self-described "crime doctor," was murdered at is home in Shelbyville, Tennessee for allegedly placing a Voodoo hex on a man who had come to him for help; and while Warner was certainly not a Voodoo practitioner, many believed he held supernatural powers.

Beautiful Nell's Tragic Tale

Beautiful Nell's Tragic Tale

In 1901, a young woman by the name of Nell Cropsey went missing from her home in Elizabeth City, North Carolina. The frantic search for her whereabouts lasted 37 days, including eerie twists and turns with questions that still remain today.