Not only was John Frankford a famous horse thief, he was also a notoriously good escape artist. People thought no jail was strong enough to keep him, but then in 1895 he was sentenced to Philadelphia’s Eastern State Penitentiary. At Eastern State, Frankford became the victim of a strange practice that carried implications for both the state of Pennsylvania and the medical establishment as we know it today. Reporter Elana Gordon from WHYY’s The Pulse has today’s story.
John Frankford’s obituary appeared on the front page of the Lancaster Intelligencer newspaper on January 21, 1896 (courtesy of the Lancaster County’s historical society)