Casefile Clues

06 December 2013

A 1906 Era Porch Jumper


This is one of those few times I'm not writing about an actual relative of mine. I was looking for Philip Troutfetter, but he was not to be found in Ancestry.com's new Album of Criminals.

While searching Album of Criminals for various other extended family members, I saw an "occupation" which caught my eye: porch climber. I was not quite certain what a porch climber was.

This Chicago criminal shown below was listed as a professional porch climber.

International Association of Chiefs of Police, National Bureau of Criminal Investigation, ca. 1897 - ca. 1924. Album of Criminals, compiled 1906 - 1906. ARC ID: 1098589. Records of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, 1896 - 2008, Record Group 65; digital image, Ancestry.com
I'm inferring from this that he was agile enough to enter homes and buildings via the second story which he got to via the porch.

The physical description is interesting as well.

Hopefully readers don't find too many porch jumpers in their tree.

And of course, if one does then local court records are a good source for additional information.