History Spotlight

  • March 2023

    March 25, 2023

    Stagecoach Robber Implicated by His Own Diary
    The 1870s and 1880s were plagued by stagecoach, mail, and bank robberies. In a vast and growing country, criminals were often able to escape. ham White, however, had documented proof of his crimes when captured in 1877.

    March 18. 2023

    Today’s Women of the Inspection Service
    Women have long played support roles with the Postal Inspection Service, but it wasn’t until 1971 that the first female was appointed a Postal Inspector. Coincidently, that year was when the Security Force was established – and included women in the first class. Today, women from all backgrounds can be found in every position at the United States Postal Inspection Service.

    March 11, 2023

    Kate “Ma” Barker
    After being abandoned by her husband of 35 years, Kate “Ma” Barker encouraged her sons’ criminal lifestyle and became the mastermind of the infamous Barker-Karpis gang of Chicago.

    March 3, 2023

    Women in the U.S. Postal Inspection Service
    While the Postal Inspection Service has long been inclusive, it wasn’t until 1971 that women were appointed to the position of Postal Inspector. When the first women joined, they were among the first employed as federal agents in any U.S. agency.

  • February 2023

    February 25, 2023

    The Green Book
    Victor H. Green, a letter carrier & WWI veteran, created a travel guide to help African Americans travel safely during the Jim Crow era. The “Green Book” was updated regularly from 1936 to 1967 & helped thousands during its publication.

    February 18, 2023

    African Americans in the Inspection Service
    Postal Inspectors have a proud history of hiring talented individuals of all backgrounds. This Black History Month, we turn our attention to some of the influential African American figures in our agency’s history

    February 11, 2023

    The Ages of Fraud Part 2
    Like putting old wine in a new bottle, the same scams have reappeared in new forms as technology has progressed. But Postal Inspectors are keen to adapt to scammers’ changing methods.

    February 4 , 2023

    The Ages of Fraud Part 1
    The Mail Fraud Statute of 1872 gave Postal Inspectors the ability to prosecute scammers. This led to several time periods that saw different kinds of fraud & the downfall of criminals, such as Charles Ponzi & Joseph “Yellow Kid” Weil.

  • January 2023

    January 28, 2023

    History of Mail Fraud Statute
    Since the birth of the Postal Service, scammers have tried to abuse the mail system in order to make a quick buck. Congress passed the Mail Fraud Statute in 1872, making it illegal to use the mail in any attempt to defraud or scam someone.

    January 21, 2023

    “Black Hand Gang”
    For more than 20 years, the Black Hand Gang terrorized citizens across the country with threatening letters of violence, murder, and extortion. But their threats didn’t intimidate the Postal Inspectors.

    January 15, 2023

    “Boy Wonder” of Forgery
    After a decade of forgery & fraud, Jerome Poster intentionally blinded himself in order to stop. But even blindness couldn’t keep him from a life of crime.

    January 7, 2023

    First Postal Surveyors
    Before modern roads, Postal Surveyors had to find the safest & most efficient routes to transport the mail. These Surveyors laid the foundation for today’s Postal Service and the Inspection Service.