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Historical Researcher, Writer, and Content Creator.

Not All Abductions End in Tears

Erica Pratt — missing less than 48 hours via Pinterest

“I have twenty-one years in the Police Department,
and I have never seen this kind of heroic act
of bravery committed by a 7-year-old.”

– Philadelphia Police Inspector William Colarulo

On the evening of Monday, July 22, 2002, seven-year-old Erica Pratt was outside of her Southwest Philadelphia home playing with her five-year-old sister and their six-year-old friend Rani Byrd. Suddenly, a car with two men pulled up in a white car with dark tinted windows and called Erica over. She refused, so the passenger jumped out and grabbed her, intent on stealing her away from her family. …


Follow their lead to create a profitable writing business

Photo by Tyler Nix on Unsplash

“Decide what you want to do. Then decide to do it. Then do it.”
― William Knowlton Zinsser

In my humble opinion, just about anyone can write. The act itself is little more than putting words on a piece of paper — no muss…no fuss. It’s simply having something to say and then saying it.

The business of writing is different. Writing for money requires strategy. The words on the page need to be more than content — they need to be purposeful and informational. …


Clubbed to death with a baseball bat days before his wedding

Photo of Vincent Chin (Credit: NBCNews)

“The killing of Vincent Chin taught us that any Asian American can be the victim of racial intolerance, at any time and any place.”

— Roland Hwang

On June 19, 1982, Vincent Chin and three friends celebrated his bachelor party at a strip club in Highland Park, Michigan. Hours later, he was beaten to death with a baseball bat.

What happened?

The U.S. auto industry in the early 1980s was in a free-fall. Japanese imports had become all-the-rage, and cars built by the U.S. “Big Three” were struggling. Detroit, as the automobile production hub of the country, was hit the…


A trailblazing suffragist and presidential candidate that fought for every woman’s right to free love and self-ownership

Photograph of Victoria Woodhull (Credit: ThoughtCo)

“The women of the country have the power in their own hands, in spite of the law and the government being altogether of the male order.”

— Victoria Woodhull

The battle to overcome the social limitations of her gender during the mid-nineteenth century U.S. Victorian Era was a fight Victoria Woodhull relished. She was a controversial trailblazer that refused to bow to society’s expectations, becoming a spiritual healer, stockbroker, editor, abolitionist, women’s rights advocate, a proponent of free love, and author during her lifetime. She started the first women-run stock brokerage, and the first newspaper to be financed, run, and…


Convicted of assaulting a white woman in 1920 despite a lack of convincing evidence

Ad for the John Robinson Circus that ran in the Duluth News Tribune. (Credit: Duluth News Tribune)

“An event has happened upon which it is difficult to speak and impossible to remain silent.”

— Edmund Burke

Max Mason should have been found not guilty. Unfortunately, while working in Duluth, MN, the young man found himself caught between less than credible witness testimony and city officials looking for a scapegoat for the egregious behavior of its local citizens. He never stood a chance.

On June 14, 1920, Mason, a black man employed as a cook and waiter with the John Robinson Traveling Circus, arrived at the Canadian Northern Yards in Duluth, MN. That night a horrific event occurred…


A love story that turned to murder on the streets of Minneapolis

The Nicollet House 1882 (Credit: MinnPost)

The murder of Will Sidle is a story of love reaching across 19th-century society’s social barriers — at least initially. It became one of unrequited love and revenge.

Kate Noonan and Will Sidle had been partners in a budding romantic relationship. He was the aggressor, and she felt special — like the most important person in the world — whenever she was around him. They walked, went to bars and restaurants, rode throughout the city, and danced together. He told her he loved her, and she felt the same way.

One night, while the two were out, he bought her…


A botched robbery led to the murder the well-known butcher

The Saint Paul globe. Pub. Date February 19, 1905

One of the most brutal and cold-blooded murders in Minnesota history occurred in a downtown Saint Paul butcher shop at around 12:30 pm on February 18, 1905.

At 12:05, 17-year-old delivery boy for Christian H. Schindeldecker’s butcher shop walked home to have lunch. Forty minutes later he returned to find the front door bolted shut. Assuming his boss had stepped out, Gerenz walked around back to enter the shop.

Seconds after walking into the butcher shop he found his boss lying on the floor covered in blood. The 33-year-old Schindeldecker was dead.

Gerenz ran to get help.

During the investigation…


She is the only female recipient of the Medal of Honor

Photo of Dr. Walker (Credit: The United States Army)

“Dr. Mary’s life should stand out to remind us that when people do not think as we do, do not dress as we do, and do not live as we do, that they are more than likely to be a half century ahead of their time, and that we should have for them not ridicule but reverence.”

— Dr. Bertha Van Hoosen (founder of the American Medical Women’s Association)

Raised by her parents to be a ‘free thinker,’ Dr. Mary Edwards Walker lived her remarkable life strictly on her terms. She rebelled against societal norms from an early age, famously…


A message to my kids about embracing the gift of life

Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

“We should all start to live before we get too old. Fear is stupid. So are regrets.”

— Marilyn Monroe

I can safely write that I probably don’t have access to a time machine.

“Probably” because I’ve never asked anyone if they owned one — so I honestly can’t be sure. Lacking the ability to travel into the past, writing a message to my younger self article doesn’t seem worthwhile. However, I’ve been blessed with three awesome kids, so I’ve decided to address these thoughts to them.

Hopefully, they’ll take some of the advice being doled out by their old…

Matt Reicher

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