Juan Ignacio Blanco  


  MALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

  FEMALE murderers

index by country

index by name   A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z




Murderpedia has thousands of hours of work behind it. To keep creating new content, we kindly appreciate any donation you can give to help the Murderpedia project stay alive. We have many
plans and enthusiasm to keep expanding and making Murderpedia a better site, but we really
need your help for this. Thank you very much in advance.




Carlyle W. HARRIS





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Parricide - Poisoner
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: January 31, 1891
Date of arrest: March 23, 1891
Date of birth: 1868
Victim profile: Helen Potts, 18 (his wife)
Method of murder: Poisoning (overdose of morphine)
Location: New York City, New York, USA
Status: Executed by electrocution at Sing Sing Prison on May 7, 1893

Carlyle W. Harris, convicted and executed for murdering his young wife with an overdose of morphine in 1892, reportedly divulged his method to a friend: "[He said he] could overcome any woman's scruples ... one method was to take a bottle of ginger ale and put in it a very large portion of whisky, the other was to marry her, but under an assumed name."


Carlyle Harris (1868-May 7, 1893) was a New York medical student at New York College of Physicians and Surgeons who, the first of which would spark a series of "copy cat" poison murders to occur in New York during the early 1890s, murdered his young wife Helen Potts with an overdose of morphine in the form of sleeping pills.

Although his wife's death was first attributed to a stroke, the murder was discovered by physicians only because she displayed severely contracted pupils, a characteristic symptom of morphine poisoning.

During his trial in early 1892, he was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Charles E. Simms, Jr. as well as the witnesses against him included noted physician Dr. Rudolph Witthaus.

However, despite Harris's parents hiring prominent defence attorney William F. Howe, he was found guilty of first-degree murder and sentenced to death. Despite request for an appeal, Harris was executed by the electric chair at Sing Sing Prison on May 7, 1893.

The detective novel Max Hensig, Bacteriologist by Algernon Blackwood who had been a police reporter for the New York Times during the murder trial.

Journalist and author Bernard Barshay wrote the story "The Case of the Six Capsules" based on the events of the trial. This story was later recorded on the record Four American Murder Mysteries.


Wilkes, Roger. The Mammoth Book of Murder and Science. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers, 2000. ISBN 0-7867-0789-5

Trager, James. The New York Chronology: A Compendium of Events, People, and Anecdotes from the Dutch to the Present. New York: HarperCollins Publishers, 2003. ISBN 0-06-074062-0






home last updates contact