Asylum Poisoning, Naked Joe, The Mad Bomber

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Host Don Wildman investigates a pair of timeworn, everyday dining implements that were at the center of an event that shocked and terrified a psychiatric ward, a charcoal portrait of a scantily clad man once embroiled in a notorious news expose and an aged dossier from the 1950s whose pages tell of one madman’s reign of terror.

From This Episode

New York Municipal Archives
New York Municipal Archives

New York Municipal Archives

At the New York Municipal Archives in New York City, an aged dossier from the 1950s tells the story of the Mad Bomber, a lunatic who terrorized the city by setting off a series of explosions from 1940-1956. 960 1280

  

Mad Bomber's Letters

Mad Bomber's Letters

After 16 years of terror and no strong leads, police turn to a psychiatrist for help. He creates a psychological profile of the bomber and believes that the terrorist can be tricked in to revealing his identity. So, does this new method of criminal profiling prove useful? 960 1280

  

Oregon State Hospital Museum

Oregon State Hospital Museum

At The Oregon State Hospital Museum of Mental Health, visitors inspecting a pair of commonplace dining implements will be shocked to discover they played a central role in a terrifying and deadly outbreak that devastated an Oregon psychiatric ward. 960 1280

  

Dining Implements From the Oregon State Hospital

Dining Implements From the Oregon State Hospital

In November 1942, 47 patients at the Oregon State Hospital were lethally poisoned while eating a meal of scrambled eggs. So, who laced the eggs with the toxic chemical, sodium fluoride, and why? 960 1280

  

Center For Puppetry Arts

Center For Puppetry Arts

At the Center for Puppetry Arts in Atlanta, an antique wooden marionette tells how one man’s tireless passion for his art launched a massive highflying spectacle and started an annual holiday tradition. 960 1280

  

Puppet that Inspired the Macy's Parade Balloons

Puppet that Inspired the Macy's Parade Balloons

This marionette was inspiration for the balloons at the annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. 960 1280

  

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum

At the Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum in Ilwaco, WA, a charcoal portrait showcases a scantily clad man who was once embroiled in a scandalous expose that remains controversial to this day. 960 1280

  

Naked Joe

Naked Joe

In 1911, Boston newspaper illustrator Joe Knowles decided to attempt to survive, naked, in the woods of Maine. When his story hits the pages of "The Boston Post,” the paper's readership soars. But some question the veracity of the so-called “Nature Man's” tale. 960 1280

  

Salon de Magie

Salon de Magie

At the Salon de Magie in Loveland, OH, amidst the many relics of magic that comprise Ken Klosterman’s private collection, one bejeweled, ornate saber tells a chilling and tragic tale of a renowned magician whose final, fatal performance remains shrouded in mystery. 960 1280

  

The Great Lafayette

The Great Lafayette

In Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1911, a fire breaks out during a magic show, and the world-famous magician, The Great Lafayette, is tragically killed. But when his body is found without his signature diamond ring, some begin to wonder -- is this really the great magician, or is his death merely an illusion? 960 1280

  

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