Events, New Stuff

The case of the “Insane Thief”

In the January 26, 1858 edition of the Maine Democrat (Saco), we came across this case of a girl who showed up in Biddeford, got a job with a family, apparently tried to walk out with some of their possessions, and then told a tall tale of murder and mayhem when she was- caught.

This mysterious young woman was sent off to the Maine Insane Hospital – most recently known as AMHI – which operated from 1840-2004. There is an excellent history, along with numerous illustrations, at the Asylum Projects wiki page on Augusta State Hospital.

We’ll probably never know the whole and complete story, but it’s incredibly interesting to see the detail in reporting at this time, only 3 years after Biddeford became a city.

Page 2, col. 3-4 of the Maine Democrat (Saco), 29 January 1858