No. 398
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
November 18, 2018

Rogue's Corner: JOHN JOURDAN (83)
Thirty-six years old in 1886. Born in United States. Married. No trade. Medium build. Height, 5 feet 8 3/4 inches. Weight, 150 pounds. Light brown hair, dark eyes, dark complexion, long slim nose, pock-marked. Cross in India ink on left fore-arm; number "6" on back of one arm; wreath, with the word "Love" in it, on left arm.

JOHNNY JOURDAN is a professional safe-blower and sneak thief, and has worked with the best safemen and sneaks in America, and has quite a reputation for getting out of toils when arrested.

He was arrested in Philadelphia, Pa., and sentenced to four years in the Eastern Penitentiary in August, 1874, under the name of Jonathan Jamison. He was again arrested in New York City in November, 1880, and confined in the Tombs prison, charged with robbing the Middletown Bank, of Connecticut, in July, 1880, where the gang, Rufe Minor, George Carson and Horace Hovan, obtained some $48,000 in money and bonds. Jourdan played sick, and was transferred from the prison to Bellevue Hospital, from which place he escaped on Thursday, April 14, 1881.

In the fall of 1884 Jourdan made up a party consisting of Philly Phearson (5). Johnny Carroll, "The Kid" (192), and Old Bill Vosburg (4). They traveled around the country, and did considerable bank sneaking. They tried to rob a man in a bank at Rochester, N. Y., but failed. They followed him from the bank to a hotel, and while he was in the water-closet they took a pocket-book from him, but not the one with the money in it. Phearson and Carroll escaped. Jourdan and Vosburg were arrested and sentenced to two years and six months for assault in the second degree, by Judge John S. Morgan, on June 15, 1885. Jourdan gave the name of Henry Osgood.

He is well known in all the principal cities in America, and is considered one of the cleverest men in America in his line.

His picture is a very good one, taken in 1877.
Next May 15, 2015 Previous

Byrnes, Thomas. Professional criminals of America. New York, N.Y: Cassel, 1886.

"We follow vice and folly where a police officer dare not show his head, as the small, but intrepid weasel pursues vermin in paths which the licensed cat or dog cannot enter."

 The Sunday Flash 1841

Month List