Albert J. Tirrell, the First Sleepwalking Killer

"The Boston Tragedy," the murder of Maria Bickford, 1846; Tirrell was acquitted because of "sleepwalking." National Police Gazette, 1846. Public domain

On Oct. 27, 1845 Mary Ann Bickford's body was found in her Boston boardinghouse room. Her paramour Albert J. Tirrell was eventually charged with murder. Tirrell hired Rufus Choate to defend him, and Choate claimed his client had episodes of somnambulism.

Topics in this Podcast: legal history, American history, U.S. history