William Guldensuppe Murder: Topics in Chronicling America
In 1897, the discovery of one-half of a torso sparks an investigation related to a love triangle. This guide provides access to materials related to the "William Guldensuppe Murder" in the Chronicling America digital collection of historic newspapers.
Chronicling America is a searchable digital collection of historic newspaper pages from 1777-1963 sponsored jointly by the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Library of Congress.
Included in the website is the Directory of US Newspapers in American Libraries, a searchable index to newspapers published in the United States since 1690, which helps researchers identify what titles exist for a specific place and time, and how to access them.
On a peaceful Sunday berry hunt, two children stumble upon a mysterious, neatly wrapped bundle. Its contents? Half a human torso. After heavy police investigation the other half is found on the opposite side of the city—later identified as the body of William Guldensuppe, the unfortunate victim of a dangerous love triangle between Martin Thorn and Augusta Nack. Read more about it!
The information in this guide focuses on primary source materials found in the digitized historic newspapers from the digital collection Chronicling America.
The timeline below highlights important dates related to this topic and a section of this guide provides some suggested search strategies for further research in the collection.
June 26-27, 1897
Half a human torso wrapped in cloth is found in the East River in New York City. The other half is found in a wooded area.
June 30, 1897
William Guldensuppe, a Turkish bath attendant, is identified as the victim.
July 1, 1897
Augusta Nack, a lover of Guldensuppe’s, and her lover Martin Thorn are arrested. Zealous reporters of New York’s “yellow” papers produce many of the preliminary clues in the case.
December 1, 1897
Thorn convicted of first degree murder.
January 11, 1898
Nack sentenced to 15 years in prison.
August 1, 1898
Thorn dies by the electric chair at Sing Sing prison.