Robert St. Estephe–Gonzo Historian–is dedicated to uncovering the forgotten past of marginalizing men. “Gonzo journalism” is characterized as tending “to favor style over fact to achieve accuracy.” Yet history – especially “social history” – is written by ideologues who distort and bury facts in order to achieve an agenda. “Gonzo” writing is seen as unorthodox and surprising. Yet, in the 21st century subjectivity, distortion and outright lying in non-fiction writing is the norm. Fraud is the new orthodoxy. Consequently, integrity is the new “transgressive.”
Welcome to the disruptive world of facts, the world of Gonzo History.
It’s Domestic Violence Awareness Month again: posters, TV ads and “awareness” events galore. But let’s take a little break from the barrage of fake statistics, bogus history, and recitations of scientifically unsound and reductive ideological “gender” theories. It’s time instead to pour yourself a big cup of strong hot Gonzo history.
Here are seven cases dating from 1900 to 1955 you can be sure are not alluded to (nor any cases like them) in any college in the world.
►• 1900 – Rutter
FULL TEXT: Hackensack, N.J., Jan. 5. – Louise Rutter, who was convicted here yesterday of husband beating, was to-day sentenced to serve two months in the county jail as punishment. When she was called to the bar for sentence Judge Zabriskie said:
“Mrs. Rutter, if I am not mistaken, this is the fourth time you have been before me charged with offense.”
“That is wrong; this is the fifth time,” was the cheerful reply.
“We’ll, it’s five times too often,” said the Judge, “and I want to know if you intend to stop having to come before me on this charge.”
“I guess not, so long as occasion demands,” said Mrs. Rutter, complacently.
Judge Zabriskie looked at the woman for fully a minute without speaking. Then he shook his head as if admitting defeat and murmured: “Two months.”
The prisoner was led away not altogether cast down.
Mrs. Rutter is thirty-two years of age, strong, and muscular. Her husband, whom the law is trying to protect, is fifty-five.
[“Fifth Time Once Too Many. – Muscular Mrs. Rutter Gets Two Months for Beating Her Husband.” New York Times (N.Y.), Jan. 6, 1900, p. 1]
►• 1903 – Smith
FULL TEXT: The wife of Oscar Smith gave her husband a public whipping on the streets of Shelby, Wednesday night. Today she was arrested and her trial set for 4 o’clock this evening. The streets were thronged at the time of the whipping because of the band concert that was being given. When the fight started some one raised the cry “a fight” and the crowd began to push toward the scene of action. They fell back, however, when they noticed a woman trimming up her husband in the latest approved style. The husband and wife happened to meet on the street and held a short conversation in which the wife seemed to have the most to say. The answer of the husband did not suit the occasion evidently and she gave him a stiff jab in the neck straight from the shoulder as one reads about in championship battles. He did not attempt to strike his wife but immediately made an effort to recover his hat which was knocked off in the first round. His only desire seemed to get away from the punishment and he succeeded pretty well but not until he had received several upper cuts.
[“Woman Arrested – In Shelby on Charge of Publicity Whipping Husband.” Mansfield Daily Herald (Oh), Aug. 28, 1903, p. 6]
►• 1906 – Poppert
FULL TEXT: [Chicago] – Anna Poppert, according to witnesses who testified before Judge Walker during the day, believed she had a right to beat and kick her husband. John H. Poppert, whenever it pleased her so. The husband held different views and set them forth in the divorce bill on which Judge Walker gave a hearing.
In April, 1906, Poppert asserted, the defendant struck him on the forehead with clothes brush and threw a pair of scissors at him, striking him on the arm. At another time, he said, she kicked him in the stomach, and, when asked concerning this by Andrew Wolski, 353 Cornell street, a friend, she said: “I have a right to kick him or beat him if I like.”
[“This Woman Thrashes Husband.” Chicago Tribune (Il.), Feb. 9, 1908, Part I, p. 3]
[Note: The original has a typo, spelling the judge’s name two different ways, “Waller” and “Walker.” The latter has been selected as probably correct.]
►• 1916 – Lodwick
FULL TEXT: Youngstown, O., Aug. 11. – Alleging that his wife put cayenne pepper in his bed, threw carbolic acid in his face, put morphine in his coffee, burned his clothes, hid his shoes and compelled him to go to work in his house slippers, hit him on the head with a hatchet, locked him out and had him arrested, David J. Lodwick today asked a divorce from Jennie I. Lodwick.
[“That Cruel Woman!” Lima Times Democrat (Oh.), Aug. 11, 1916, p. 11]
►• 1948 – Amyx
FULL TEXT: Tacoma, Wash., Marc. 28 – Justice Charles Westcott ruled today that it is sometimes legal for a wife to beat her husband on the head with a piece of kindling wood. He dismissed third degree assault charges against Inez Amyx who told the courts she struck her husband because he “called her names.”
[“Husband-Beating Upheld,” The Pittsburgh Press (Pa.), Mar. 28, 1948, p. 1]
►• 1953 – Devlin
FULL TEXT: New York – An unremorseful wife was held by police yesterday for methodically stabbing and beating her husband with a hammer over an eight hour period following an argument.
“He deserved it,” said Mrs. Myrtle Devlin, 36, a Negress, when arraigned on a felonious assault charge before Magistrate Amedo Lauritano. The attack occurred Saturday.
Mrs. Devlin weighs about 100 pounds, her 35-year-old husband, James, about 180.
Police said the woman told them she stabbed him first in the chest and body when he accused her of infidelity after 15 years of marriage. He crawled into another room where she followed and struck him repeatedly over the head with a hammer.
Afterwards she fell asleep, according to the police resort. When she awakened she found the bleeding man had crawled into bed, so she got a larger kitchen knife and cut his throat.
The husband’s condition was reported serious by hospital officials, who said almost his entire blood supply had to be replaced.
[“Say Wife Beat Husband For 8 Hours,” syndicated (AP), Newsday (Long Island, N.Y.), Jul. 13, 1953, p. 5]
[Correction: original text reads: “He crawled in another room …”]
►• 1955 – Trimm
FULL TEXT: Hamburg, Germany – Mrs. Gerda Trimm, 22, has been sentenced to six years in prison for mistreating her husband and trying to poison him.
Mrs. Thimm was convicted Wednesday of:
1. Dropping – on 13 nights – hydrochloric acid into the ears of her sleeping spouse.
2. Placing a splinter of a razor blade under his eyelid.
3. Placing rat poison in his bed.
“I wanted to make him look ugly because he flirted with other women,” she told the court.
[“Woman Is Convicted Of Subjecting Hubby To Spartan Treatment,” syndicated (AP), Kentucky New Era (Hopkinsville, Ky.), Dec. 8, 1955, p. 12]
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