Michigan’s Most Dangerous Women

By Shelby Stewart
Staff Writer
Sophie Lyons was dubbed the “Queen of Crime.” Uneducated she was taught shoplifting and pickpocketing as a child. From cleaver clever heists to crafty blackmail schemes—her life of crime traveled to Sing Sing prison and finally in Detroit.
At 7 p.m., Nov. 15 the Brandon Township Public Library, 304 South St. will host Tobin Buhk as he disscusses his book “Michigan’s Most Dangerous Women.”
“Lyon’s was driven out by Detroit Police in conjunction with a female detective, which was big at the time,” he said. “She left for a while, then she came back to Michigan and invested the money she conned heavily into Detroit real estate and became a tycoon, and she gave most of her money to charity when she died.”
Lyons was a major con artist, Buhk says, who had two stints in Detroit, added Buhk.
The book focuses mostly on the women in Detroit who caused an uproar, including the likes of Nellie Pope.
“It’s actually promotional for my book, Wicked Women of Detroit, but to appeal to a wider audience, I made this presentation,” said Buhk. “Serial killers, poisoners, scammers, all the dangerous women of the 1800s to the lethal ladies of the 80s.”
Buhk also talks about the laws of older times, some that don’t apply today.
“They were so different then than it is now,” he said. “For example, juries were all male until the 1920s when women got suffrage. Or spousal abandonment, it was a crime then, and still is in some areas but it’s not heavily prosecuted like it used to be.”
Buhk’s book will be available at the presentation for purchase as well. Register for the presentation at brandonlibrary.org or by calling 248-627-1460.