Boston, MA, USA

Discover Boston - Free Crime Tour by Foot

In July I had the chance to take part in a crime tour organized by Free Tours by Foot. I really liked the idea that there was no set price as you pay whatever you believe is the right price. Plus I would rather walk than cycle, run, or drive. The idea came to me when I was on my way to Starbucks for a Green Tea Frappuccino – I am mad for them.  I heard someone talking about Boston Strangler’s victim Mary Sullivan. Roughly 20 people were stood around and carefully listening to every word the guide was saying. It had to be good, I thought. 

As a kid I used to help clean a shed where my neighbor kept magazines such as Crime Detective, True Detective etc. I still remember some of the articles that terrified and shocked me. There was nothing better than a real story to convince me for life that house doors should be locked at all times, I should not talk to strangers, always say what time I will be back home and a few more things. Every single thing I still do with a small exception for talking with strangers. I thought that since I grooved on reading those sort of stories as a child I might as well give it a go and do a walking tour.  

The tour lasted for a little bit over two hours. For me timing was perfect. It was not too long or short so I did not have a chance to get bored or be desperate for food. On our way we passed a few deliciously looking restaurants so temptation was rather huge. Boston’s weather, especially wind, can be unpredictable at times so cardigan was a good idea.
Our tour guide was wearing a bright, orange t-shirt so it was very easy to spot him from a distance. Great way and easy way to rejoin the group after you decide to wonder off for a bit, or stay longer at a previous spot to take photos. The tour started with a story about the swans, this clearly acted as a great ice breaker. From this point I knew that I was not going to be bored.  
Last woman in Boston to be killed for religious believes.
Beginning of the tour was mainly crime presented in a historical context. That gave me a good overview of the background information yet I was waiting for more. The description said: “This tour is rated R and is not recommended for guests under 16 unless they are comfortable with graphic information.” As you can imagine historic background next to the Frog Fountain, Anne Hutchinson, Mary Dyer was great but I would be disappointed if after the tour description we would only get that. 
The further down Bacon Hill streets we went the better, more graphic stories got. I started to be really interested in the tour after first half an hour when our funny and knowledgeable guide started the story about the disappearance of the wealthy Dr. George Parkman.  
It's believed that Dr. Parkman's murderer used to live there.
 Yet the most interesting and scandalous crime out of all of them for me was the case of Suzanne Clift. A 21 year old woman who was charged with the murder of her Italian lover Piero, she met two years earlier on a blind date, by shooting him in the head. She spent a day with her lover’s body before rushing off to Rio de Janerio just to come back the day after to Now York. Her grandmother was the one to find Susanne’s lover body in bed.
Piero refused to marry her therefore she decided to shoot him in the head and castrate him, according to the 2000 report in The Boston Globe. Talking about thinking carefully about what you are going to say the next time your partner gives you clues or stops for a bit too long beside engagement rings. Only joking, your partner would never shot you in the back of your head (possibly while you are asleep), remove your penis and then travel to Rio de Janerio, right? What the guide did not mention and I found online was that Suzanne was pregnant at the time of the murder. I am not sure if this explains something, if anything. The fact is that she spent next three years in the Massachusetts Mental Health Center before moving to Texas. 
I am going to say no more as I do not want to spoil your tour while you are in Boston! Have you done a similar tours? Let me know, I would love to check them out!

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  1. I've heard of the "haunted" tours of Newport RI, which is in my area, but I'd never heard of the Boston crime tours. I'll have to try it out! Thanks for the heads up ;) (and for not spoiling the tour!!!)

    Much Love,
    -Stephanie Eva

    1. Stephanie go for it if you have a chance! Have you ever done one of the haunted tours? Have a nice day, Iga xxx

  2. Great post!
    Mademoiselle Coconath

  3. Aw, I miss Boston! This tour sounds fab. My Mom was in college near the prison where the Boston Strangler was, and he escaped, she still remembers it! (They caught him before long!). We also grew up with Lizzie Borden's legend looming large in Massachusetts, so many notorious killers! Xx

    1. I did not know that he escaped! That's horrible, it gives me goose bumps. I am going to read about Lizzie in a second! I don't remember now much. x