This New App Lets You Witness Gruesome Historic NYC Murders On Your Phone

For all true crime lovers who can't get enough: Gruesome Gotham is here to fulfill your bloodthirst. Gruesome Gotham is a murder-themed walking tour phone app that lets you witness historic murders in their original spots all over NYC. Just like the adventurous Pokémon Go, users travel to creepy tourist attractions and specific points on the map. But instead of catching a sweet yellow animal and calling it a day — their task is to uncover shocking and disturbing crime scene photos from 19th century New York and read all the gory details. In other words, the app lets you experience those murders in a way that's up close and personal.

Using augmented reality for a trippy experience, Gruesome Gotham features animated figures and spooky voiceover narration to set the scene and reveal haunting and graphic crime scene photos from different angles. Gone are the days when a phone was just a phone.

  • Watch A Deranged Man Stab A Stranger In The Eye With An Umbrella On An NYC Sidewalk

    Watch A Deranged Man Stab A Stranger In The Eye With An Umbrella On An NYC Sidewalk
    Photo: Firstborn / Vimeo

    The year was 1895. Michael Healy was confronted by a stranger on the street and stabbed in the eye with an umbrella. Of all the murder weapons! But those things are sharp when they're being used for deathly purposes — and it went all the way to his brain. He bled to death alone on the sidewalk. The most unnerving part? The killer was never found. But thanks to Gruesome Gotham, we can relive this horrific incident with the comfort of knowing that it's already happened.


  • Experience The Pain And Agony of Unsolved Murder

    Experience The Pain And Agony of Unsolved Murder
    Photo: VanDammeMaarten / flickr / CC-BY 2.0

    There's nothing more infuriating than a brutal crime remaining unsolved. Gruesome Gotham introduces many of them, one being the shocking murder of Dr. Harvey Burdell. He was a dentist who was stabbed and strangled at his house, seemingly by his wife for a life insurance sum — though she was acquitted of all charges and the case was never solved. According to the New York Times,

    "The body was lying upon the floor, shockingly mutilated, and surrounded with clots of blood, and the door and walls of the room besmeared with blood."

    "Gruesome" is an accurate description. And now you can experience this 1857 crime for yourself via this delightful app.

  • Go Face To Face With Deplorable Characters, Like The First Woman Sentenced To Die In The Electric Chair

    Go Face To Face With Deplorable Characters, Like The First Woman Sentenced To Die In The Electric Chair
    Photo: illusionwaltz / flickr / CC-BY-NC 2.0

    Among the murders featured on Gruesome Gotham is the throat-slitting of Italian immigrant Domenico Cataldo in 1895. He was murdered by an ex-lover named Maria Barbella, whom he'd treated violently during their tumultuous relationship. Despite him cheating on and beating her, she wanted to marry him. Cataldo refused to marry her, and that's when Barbella produced a straight razor and slit his throat. That's a pretty horrible way to go.

    According to the New York Times, Barbella became famous as the first woman in the United States sentenced to die in the electric chair. As fate would have it, she was acquitted after a retrial and went on to actually marry another man. She didn't kill that one.

  • Duck When You See This Gangster Break Out Into A Bar Brawl

    No one wants to be in a bar when a fight breaks out, but Bill Poole, a street gangster and leader of the Bowery Boys, saw his fair share of those. He was known as "Bill the Butcher" because he was a butcher by trade, and lead a violent life fraught with violent disagreements and misunderstandings.

    After surviving many fights, he was fatally shot in 1855 by men with whom he had beef. In Martin Scorsese's Gangs of New York, Daniel Day-Lewis plays a character based on Bill the Butcher. In Gruesome Gotham, the character returns to haunt us all.

  • Walk Through Historic Crime Scenes As They're Happening

    Gone are the days of guided historical tours. Gruesome Gotham is a new kind of walking tour for fans of true crime TV shows like Making a Murderer and crime dramas like Mindhunter. When you get to the questionable area on the map, a splash of blood marks the murder scene. Then your iPhone comes to life with graphic imagery and tales of bludgeoning, throat slitting, jealousy, and lovers quarrels. The educational aspect of a guided tour remains, because you get to learn about some of the worst incidences that went down during Manhattans' notoriously violent streak.

  • Read Shocking Old Crime Reports In Newspaper Clippings...As If It's Breaking News

    Read Shocking Old Crime Reports In Newspaper Clippings...As If It's Breaking News
    Photo: Firstborn / Vimeo

    Just like we devour the activities of world famous celebrities, Gruesome Gotham changes the game by emphasizing gory murders of the Victorian the form of newspaper articles. Let's face it, headlines about horrendous crimes are attention-grabbing. Emily Horn is the spokeswoman for Firstborn, the company that developed the app, and she shared her view with the New York Post.

    "[The app is] a nod to the sensationalist, pulp noir tabloid headlines of yesteryear."

    She went on to say that they chose crimes that would "pop visually." Yes; throat slitting definitely falls into that category.