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Old 30 August 2007, 03:04 PM
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Default Murderous ghost of midget gem smuggler

I was going through my books and found one which used to belong to my sister: "The World's Greatest Ghosts", by Nigel Blundell and Roger Boar. It's heavily embellished stuff, with no sources cited, but there was one story in it which sparked my curiosity.

According to the book, two women named Ada Danforth and Estelle Ridley (alias Fanchon Moncare) regularly traveled between France and New York, committing "larceny in the Continent" (the book doesn't go into much detail about the precise nature of their crimes). Estelle Ridley, who happened to be a midget, would pass herself off as a little girl in Ada Danforth's care and smuggling gems through customs by hiding them in her doll.

Eventually Danforth's romantic rival, Magda Hamilton, squealed on them; Ridley got life imprisonment, Danforth got 20 years. During the trial Ridley vowed that she would kill Hamilton for revenge.

Later, Hamilton went to the police claiming that Ridley had broken into her house one night, still with her china doll, forcing her to lock herself in the bathroom; the police replied by telling her that Ridley had hanged herself. That afternoon Hamilton was found dead in bed, her throat membrane ruptured as if something had been shoved into it, and (here we go!) In her mouth were found what appeared to be hairs from a china doll.

I actually considered posting this in the crime forum, since even if you leave out the ghost stuff it's a pretty weird story, and I wondered if Ada Danforth and Estelle Ridley's crimes were ever committed.

I did some Googling on the key players in the story, but didn't find much relevant information outside of ghost sites retelling the story with no source citations. Anyone here heard anything like this?
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Old 01 September 2007, 09:44 AM
Stoneage Dinosaur's Avatar
Stoneage Dinosaur Stoneage Dinosaur is offline
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Why would someone be smuggling midget gems in the first place?

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Old 02 September 2007, 02:30 PM
queen of the caramels's Avatar
queen of the caramels queen of the caramels is offline
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Originally Posted by Stoneage Dinosaur View Post
Why would someone be smuggling midget gems in the first place?

I can't get them over here, so I would be intereasted
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Old 18 September 2007, 08:31 AM
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Toys For Big Boys Toys For Big Boys is offline
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Aw nuts. I had a book which covered this story. Had I seen this thread earlier, I wouldn't have chucked the book out. for me

I beleive the book was called The Giant Book Of The Supernatural, and it's got a yellow cover.

Last edited by Toys For Big Boys; 18 September 2007 at 08:38 AM.
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Old 18 September 2007, 08:41 AM
Tarquin Farquart's Avatar
Tarquin Farquart Tarquin Farquart is offline
Join Date: 20 November 2005
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Originally Posted by Stoneage Dinosaur View Post
Why would someone be smuggling midget gems in the first place?
And there was me thinking this was somehow connected to Strike It Rich.
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Old 05 December 2007, 09:40 AM
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Default I had this story in The World's Greatest Ghosts

and it enthralled me, with it's unheard-of murderous spectre, who actually face-raped her victim with a porcelain doll, a tale from a horror film. Not to mention that the murderess was motivated by jealousy and betrayal, was a glamourous criminal, a midget and a horrid little girl combined. But, alas, I have found no substance to it whatsoever. This is clearly the product of some inspired yellow journalist in a Weird Tales magazine, probably with some misleading title like 'True Crime Stories' or 'Police Gazette'. Many of the elements of the tale happen under the eye of an omniescent narrator and couldn't have been relayed by one of the characters involved.
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Old 05 December 2007, 07:28 PM
Agent 99
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Indeed. A quick Google search shows only this thread as even relevant to those names. Cool story tho.
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Old 13 December 2007, 03:04 PM
Lady Luzhin
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Kinda reminds me of the Peter Lorre film Mfor some reason. That and Night of the Hunter.
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