DiscoverMorbidEpisode 493: The Attempted Murder of Olga Rocco
Episode 493: The Attempted Murder of Olga Rocco

Episode 493: The Attempted Murder of Olga Rocco

Update: 2023-09-117


On the morning of December 31, 1946, nineteen-year-old Pearl Lusk boarded a crowded subway train in Brooklyn. A few days earlier, she’d met a man named Allen in a bar who offered her a very strange, yet simple job: she was to follow a young woman named Olga and take a photo to determine whether she was wearing any stolen jewelry. 

That morning, as Pearl and Olga exited the crowded subway train, Pearl raised the camera in Olga’s direction and pulled the wire to take a photo, but what happened next would put into motion a series of events that rivals fiction.

Thank you to the wonderful Dave White for Research assistance!


Adams, Toni. 1947. "Troopers hunt and kill Alphonse Rocco." Kingston Daily Freeman, January 7: 1.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle. 1947. "Camera-gun suspect flees in stolen car." Brooklyn Daily Eagle, January 6: 2.

Buffalo Evening News. 1947. "'Camera' shooting victim asks N.Y. City to pay her $200,000." Buffalo Evening News, February 14: 1.

—. 1953. "Court frees city of liability for not averting shooting." Buffalo Evening News, April 22: 25.

—. 1947. "Police press quest for spouse of camera-gun victim." Buffalo Evening News, January 2: 9.

—. 1946. "Times Square Station is scene of shooting." Buffalo Evening News, December 31: 10.

International News Service. 1947. "Estranged wife and family glad Ruocco is dead." Buffalo Evening News, Janaury 7: 1.

Kingston Daily Freeman. 1947. "Victim of camera shooting guarded." Kingston Daily Freeman, January 2: 18.

McKelway, St. Clair. 1953. The Perils of Pearl and Olga. August 8. Accessed August 10, 2023.

New York Times. 1947. "Camera-gun victim files for $200,000." New York Times, February 15: 17.

—. 1947. "'Camera-gun' victim loses a leg." New York Times, Janaury 3: 1.

—. 1947. "Girl, dupe in plot, shoots woman with 'camera' gun." New York Times, January 1: 1.

—. 1947. "Lusk girl freed; will leave city." New York Times, Janaury 11: 20.

—. 1947. "Rocco killed by the police in Catskills." New York Times, January 7: 1.

Smith, Delos. 1947. "Gullible girl hoaxed into plot on life of estranged wife." Daily Boston Globe, January 1: 13.

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Episode 493: The Attempted Murder of Olga Rocco

Episode 493: The Attempted Murder of Olga Rocco