Murder & Mayhem in Ulster County by A.J. Schenkman


Paperback, 129 pages

In 1870, the” New York Herald” proclaimed that Ulster County was New York’s “Ulcer County” due to its lawlessness and crime. The columnist supported his claim by citing that in only six months, “it has been the scene of no less than four cold blooded and brutal murders, six suicides and four elopements.” Hannah Markle–the bane of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union–ran a Kingston saloon where murder and violence were served alongside the whiskey. John Babbitt confessed on his deathbed to murdering Emma Brooks, and Willie Brown–reputed member of the Eastman Gang–accidentally shot his best friend. The infamous Big Bad Bill, the “Gardiner Desperado,” lashed out more than once and killed in a drunken rage. Discover the mayhem and murder that these and others wreaked on one of New York State’s original counties.