The elegant entrance to Delmonico’s restaurant in Lower Manhattan still welcomes billionaires, politicians, and visiting VIPs. It was here in the early 1800s that the upscale American restaurant was born. But the telltale clues contained in an early printed menu reveal how the name “Delmonico’s” also became a familiar brand name for eat-and-run lunchrooms for New York’s working poor.

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On an isolated farm just outside LaPorte, Indiana, some unspeakable acts took place in the early 1900s. They remained deep and deadly secrets until a package of love letters was discovered in an immigrant’s cabin in South Dakota—letters that revealed the shockingly murderous intent of a widowed farm wife named Belle Gunness. Continue reading