May 22, 2021

People v Levi Weeks - The First True Crime

People v Levi Weeks - The First True Crime

Tune in this week as I discuss the first murder trial in United States history with a full written record - People v. Levi Weeks.

Charged with the murder of young Quaker Elma Sands, Levi was defended by the best legal minds in New York: Henry Livingston and political enemies Aaron Burr and Alexander Hamilton. The Manhattan Well Murder, as it is sometimes known, is the first in history to have a publish transcription of the court proceedings, giving life to a well loved genre in America - true crime.

Sources Used This Episode:

Coleman, William. Report of the Trial of Levi Weeks, on an indictment for the murder of Gullielma Sands, On Monday the thirty-first day of March, and Tuesday the first day of April. New York: John Furman, 1800. Library of Congress. (LINK)

Collins, Paul. Duel with the Devil: The True Story of How Alexander Hamilton & Aaron Burr Teamed Up to Take on America’s First Sensational Murder Mystery. Crown Publishing, 2013.

Hester, Jessica. “A Brief History of Co-Living Spaces.”, Bloomberg, 22 Feb. 2016, (LINK)

People v Levi Weeks, 1800. Historical Society of the New York Courts. Accessed March, 2021. (LINK)  

Pearson, Edmund. "The Death of Gulielma Sands." Vanity Fair. April 1929. Accessed March 2021. (LINK)

Support the show (