Episode 151: By the Book



Abraham was German immigrants in his mid fifties who tended to sleep wherever he found work. He was also trained blacksmith and had been helping out in the shop owned by Peter Leah's junior in the small town of Hyde Park just north of reading Pennsylvania. On the night of June eighth of nineteen. Sixteen Abraham. Fiqh returned home to nine pm after seeing some friends and walk through the shadows outside the blacksmith shop on his way to the barn where he slept. And that's a figure stepped out of the darkness and brought the handle of an axe down hard upon his head. Abraham instantly collapsed. With as victim on the ground, the killer then turned his acts around and proceeded to bring the sharp blade down upon Abraham's neck over and over the axe cut into his flesh and bone until the only thing, keeping the head attached where a few strands of skin. At killer, then buried the body you have gotten away with it too. But he didn't. So in the woman who lived across the street, woke up the following morning and looked out the window Abraham fixed body was easy to spot. The police were called and moments after arriving to investigate, they found the killer sitting calmly inside the blacksmith shop and mumbling to himself about what he had done. It was the shop owner himself. Peter. Leah's. But the most terrifying aspect of his story isn't what he did or how he did it. It's why. According to newspaper accounts from that weak. Peter had recently suffered a nervous breakdown and sought out the advice of a local man he referred to only as a charcoal burner. Today, we would know that man as a practitioner of powing type of folk magic common among German immigrants Pennsylvania at the time. Apparently this healer told Peter that Abraham fick had been plotting to murder him and then gave him a book to help guide his decisions and keep him safe. In the end though it seems that Peter found a solution on his own. To kill before he himself could be killed. When he was arrested though that book was found in his pocket and in the coming weeks, it would feature heavily in the news. Eventually, Peter would avoid prison altogether instead being sent to a local asylum because of insanity they claimed caused by obsessively reading that book. And while it's hard to imagine one small objects having that much of an impact on the mental state of a person. The story of Peter Leah's highlights a belief that was all too common for centuries. Some books were more powerful than others. And

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