Most diners come to the Manhattan Bistro for steak frites or a post-shopping glass of wine. But the SoHo restaurant also serves history buffs eager to visit a basement well that is connected to an infamous 18th-century murder. On the evening of Dec. 22, 1799, a young woman named Gulielma Elmore Sands left her boarding home on Greenwich Street to meet Levi Weeks, a fellow boarder. The two had a secret romance, and were planning to elope that night. Bundled up in a shawl, hat and earmuffs, Sands set out into the night to meet Weeks. She was never seen alive again. Eleven days after her disappearance, Sands's body was found in a well in Lispenard's Meadow, which is now Spring Street. Marks on her neck suggested she had been strangled. The Manhattan Well Murder, as it was called in the media, became a sensation. Handbills distributed to the public implied that Weeks had impregnated Sands before killing her, and the woman's family later displayed her corpse outside their boarding house to encourage speculation. Public sentiment turned passionately against Weeks, who was arrested and tried for murder on March 31, 1800. It was the first murder trial in American history to be fully documented by a court stenographer
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By: forthefallendrms
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