Pirates, Crooks & Killers
While the Great Lakes never had swashbuckling pirates like those that swept the Caribbean Seas, there were low-lifes willing to rob and pillage when the opportunity presented itself. Others were not above "moon cussing" or showing false lights to lure ships to wreck on inshore reefs where they pillaged the cargos and murdered the news. When the economy "went south" some ship owners were not above purposely wrecking or sinking their own ships to collect the insurance money. Whether the crew survived was not a critical consideration. Even while ashore, sailors were not safe from the clutches of evil doers. Unknown crewmen were "slipped a Mickey" in a waterfront bar and once out cold, robbed then dropped through a trap door in the floor into the river or harbor. Local papers usually didn't even mention it when their bodies were eventually found.