"I was asleep!" It's the 19th century's "It wasn't me." Today we talk about the first known use of the sleepwalking defense, which took place in the murder trial of Albert J. Tirrell, who was accused of killing Mary Ann Bickford in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Boston in 1845.
Holly gets the credit for this research legwork:
- Abbot, Karen. "The Case of the Sleepwalking Killer" Smithsonian. Past Imperfect. April 30, 2012. http://blogs.smithsonianmag.com/history/2012/04/the-case-of-the-sleepwalking-killer/
- Bennett, David. "The Minds of Sleepwalking Killers." Focus. Issue No. 226. Feb. 10, 2011. http://sciencefocus.com/feature/psychology/minds-sleepwalking-killers
- Brody, Jane E. "When Can Killers Claim Sleepwalking As a Legal Defense?" New York Times. Jan. 16, 1996. http://www.nytimes.com/1996/01/16/science/when-can-killers-claim-sleepwalking-as-a-legal-defense.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm
- Coehn, Daniel A. "The Murder of Maria Bickford: Fashion, Passion, and the Birth of a Consumer Culture." American Studies Journal. https://journals.ku.edu/index.php/amerstud/article/viewFile/2899/2858..
- Sleep Forensics Associates. "Massachusetts v. Tirrel (1846, Boston)" Case Studies. http://sleepforensicsassociates.com/caseStudies/cases-sleepwalking.php
- Weeks, J.E.P. "Trial of Albert John Tirrell for the Murder of Mary Ann Bickford." Boston Daily Times. March 24, 1846. http://www.famhist.us/genealogy/documents/Tirrell%20Albert%20J%20Murder%20Trial.pdf
Here's a link to the episode: Albert J. Tirrell, the First Sleepwalking Killer
You can listen to Stuff You Missed in History Class via iTunes, Stitcher or the Stuff You Missed in History Class RSS feed. Follow us on Twitter at @missedinhistory, and you can keep up with us on the official Stuff You Missed in History Class Facebook page. We're also on Tumblr and Pinterest.