Skip Navigation Bar
Most horrible and Shocking Murders banner.

A left and right bracket to frame the text.

A left and right bracket to frame the text.

 

Priscilla Budge

In December 1859 in a small town in upstate New York, Priscilla Budge, a 40-year-old housewife, was found dead with her throat slit and a razor near her hand. The death was initially ruled a suicide, but after a postmortem, her husband, Reverend Henry Budge, was charged with murder. At trial, the prosecution and the defense relied heavily on forensic evidence. In this pamphlet, Dr. John Swinburne, reviews the evidence and concludes that Mrs. Budge was murdered. The pamphlet cites the opinions of eminent medical men who were sent copies of Swinburne’s draft report and agreed with his assessment. The appendix discusses fifteen cases of suicide by slitting of the throat and the conditions in which the persons were found. Swinburne notes the amount of blood lost, the bloody appearance of the razors, the depth of the cuts (not as severe as those on Mrs. Budge’s body), and the distorted facial postures (Mrs. Budge’s face was peaceful). The pamphlet's illustrations present different murder scenarios. At trial, the defense argued that Mrs. Budge was insane, murderous and suicidal. With only circumstantial evidence, the jury acquitted Rev. Budge of murder because there was no direct proof.


The titlepage of A review of the case, the People agt. Rev. Henry Budge, indicted for the murder of his wife, Priscilla Budge. Budge panel 1 A lithograph of plate number 1 of A review of the case, the People agt. Rev. Henry Budge, indicted for the murder of his wife, Priscilla Budge. The plate illustrates the described position in which Mrs. Budge was found on the bed, with the wounds in her neck, the razor lying beside her right arm on the bed and the position of the stains of blood about the bed and body. A lithograph of plate number 3, position number 1 of A review of the case, the People agt. Rev. Henry Budge, indicted for the murder of his wife, Priscilla Budge. A man is standing over the bed while placing his left hand over the mouth of a woman lying in bed, from the right side. A lithograph of plate number 5, position number 3 of A review of the case, the People agt. Rev. Henry Budge, indicted for the murder of his wife, Priscilla Budge. A man is kneeling on the left side of a bed with knife in his right hand while placing hand over the mouth of a woman lying in bed and slitting her neck from the left side. Budge panel 2 A lithograph of plate number 2 of A review of the case, the People agt. Rev. Henry Budge, indicted for the murder of his wife, Priscilla Budge. This plate features the illustration the manner in which blood splatters from a syringe placed in a box facing a screen. A lithograph of plate number 4, position number 2 of A review of the case, the People agt. Rev. Henry Budge, indicted for the murder of his wife, Priscilla Budge. A man is kneeling over a woman lying on a bed with knife in his right hand while placing hand over the mouth of the woman and slitting her neck from the front. A lithograph of plate number 6, position number 4 of A review of the case, the People agt. Rev. Henry Budge, indicted for the murder of his wife, Priscilla Budge. A man is standing behind a bed leaning over a woman lying on a bed with knife in his right hand while placing his left hand over the mouth of the woman and slitting her neck. A review of the case, the People agt. Rev. Henry Budge, indicted for the murder of his wife, Priscilla Budge, tried at the Oneida, New York, Circuit Court, in August and September, 1861...and the judge’s charge in the civil action of Henry Budge agt. Caleb Lyon for libel, tried at the Herkimer Circuit in October and November, 1861. Author: John Swinburne 94 pp. (Albany, 1862).

NLM Unique ID: 28510790R
See the LocatorPlus record

John Hughes

In Cleveland, in 1864, John Hughes, a reckless and drunken 31-year-old Army surgeon, seduced 17-year-old Tamzen Parsons. After he showed her a forged divorce decree, she eloped with him to Pittsburgh. When her parents discovered her missing, they called the police who arrested Hughes in the couple’s bridal suite. Convicted on charges of bigamy, Hughes served five months in jail. Upon his release, he stalked Parsons. At the front gate of her house, Hughes threatened to kill her if she did not marry him. When she spurned his advances, he shot her twice in the back of the neck, instantly killing her. At trial Hughes was found guilty of murder and sentenced to be hanged.


The cover of The trial and execution of Dr. John W. Hughes for the murder of Miss Tamzen Parsons, featuring a head, and shoulders left pose potrait of Dr. John W. Hughes.The trial and execution of Dr. John W. Hughes for the murder of Miss Tamzen Parsons, with a sketch of his life as related by himself. A record of love, bigamy and murder unparalleled in the annals of crime. Price fifty cents. 58 pp. (Cleveland, 1866).

NLM Unique ID: 101480844
See the LocatorPlus record

9 OF 12    An image of the left hand pointing to the right using the index finger.


'True Crime' Murder Pamphlets in the Collection of the National Library of Medicine banner.