Cleveland writer introduces 'Mrs. Sherlock Holmes'

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Mrs. Sherlock Holmes?

As any self-respecting fan of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s famous fictional 19th century detective can tell you,  Sherlock Holmes was never married.

However, at the turn of the 20th century, the media dubbed Grace Humiston, ‘‘Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,” for her crime solving skills.

Humiston’s story is told by Case Western Reserve University SAGES Fellow Brad Ricca in his new book, Mrs. Sherlock Holmes.

Ricca was unaware of Humiston until he came across a newspaper article while doing research on another subject.

“I saw this picture.  It was this woman. It was an illustration with her head in her hand. The headline read: ‘Mrs. Sherlock Holmes had done it again,” Ricca said. “I read it immediately, and I knew I had a story.”

The story Ricca discovered was of a woman born into a wealthy family of New York City in 1869.  Humiston became an attorney in 1904 and quickly found herself taking cases that dealt with downtrodden members of society, in particular poor immigrants.

However, it was the cold case of the disappearance of 18-year-old girl from a well-to-do family that earned Huddleston her nickname. 

On February 13, 1917, Ruth Cruger had left her home to run errands when she vanished.  The police investigated Cruger’s disappearance and concluded that she had most likely eloped. 

Cruger’s father refused to believe that had his daughter had run off with a man. He contacted Humiston to ask her take the case.  She accepted and began her investigation.  Along with her partner, detective Julius Kron, Humiston quickly found leads that the police had  missed. The discovery Humiston and Kron made shocked those following the case.


To find out more about  'Mrs. Sherlock Holmes,” listen to Dan Polletta’s conversation with Ricca on Tuesday at 1:33 p.m. on Here and Now featuring the Sound of Applause on 90.3.

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