A Crushing Finale to the Life of Henry G. Trickey

The Borden Curse #4 The Trickey-McHenry Affair

Henry Trickey was born in New Hampshire in 1868 and was an honor student at school, with journalism aspirations for a bright future. By 1884 he had found a place with the Boston Globe covering Boston suburb news, winning acclaim for his coverage of opium dens, criminal cases, and even interviewing Jefferson Davis! Then came his big downfall when he decided to trust information he received from a very shady character, Edwin McHenry.

McHenry, who started his working career as a bootblack in New York, then a bartender, and finally styling himself a “private detective” in Providence, R.I. by 1886, was pretty much a scoundrel. Pinkerton’s was the premier agency of the day and McHenry promoted himself as one of the first class gumshoes- Pinkerton’s in actuality had never heard of him. But he could sniff out a good opportunity when he saw it and quickly jumped on a train from New York to Fall River when he heard about the Borden murders. The day after the crime, McHenry wasted no time in ingratiating himself with Marshal Hilliard of the FRPD who convinced Mayor John Coughlin to hire McHenry to work the Borden Case.

Seeing a way to make even more money out of his position on the inside, McHenry contacted young Trickey with his “valuable” information on the Bordens for an exclusive in the Boston Globe. Trickey eyed the scoop and pounced on it with both feet, believing his career was now made from this on-the-scene advantage. The only problem with this unexpected windfall of news was that it was all entirely fabricated by Ed McHenry. Nothing but a pack of lies.

The exclusive ran in the Globe on October 10, 1892 and contained the most sensational and outrageous claims. Lizzie had a devastating secret and Andrew had found her out! Someone had seen Lizzie in Abby’s room with a hood on her head! Lizzie’s sister accused of treachery and kicked her in anger! Each claim was more sensational than the last. The Globe sold thousands of issues.

Alas, McHenry’s luck ran out and Jennings exposed the pack of lies and other nonsense. The Globe was obliged to publish extensive retractions in the Oct. 11th and 12h editions and poor Trickey had egg on his face, sterling reputation in tatters. Trickey left town as soon as possible and headed out to Illinois in November to visit his wife’s family until the heat in Boston had died down.

When news of Lizzie’s indictment came to his notice on December 3rd, Trickey panicked, fearing some legal repercussions of his own and decided to get out of the country. Trickey left Hamilton, Ontario to go on to Guelph. While trying to jump aboard the smoking car of the train, he slipped on the platform trying to swing himself up, falling between the car and the platform. The brakeman and a passenger on the train jumped off to see what was to be done, but Trickey was crushed and died in mere moments. Trickey was only 24 years old. McHenry went on with his nefarious life, finding himself in and out of jail for many offenses over the years. His end is not known.

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