Young & Wicked: The Death of a Wayward Girl

Young & Wicked is the true story of star-crossed Irish-American lovers Willie Flannelly and Polly Sexton who started down the wrong path early as petty criminals. In 1893, they fled Jersey City to escape arrest, intending to disappear into the shadows of Manhattan's Bowery district. Just months later their fast life together in NY met a violent end, one a victim and the other an accused murderer.

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About Maureen Wlodarczyk

Maureen Wlodarczyk is an author, columnist, genealogist, speaker and blogger, an officer with the Flannery Clan based in Dublin, Ireland, a member of the Irish-American Writers and Artists organization and an admitted history addict.

Maureen writes a local history column titled "Hudson Then . . . Again" for the River View Observer ( and a genealogy column "History & Mystery: Perfect Together" for the e-magazine Garden State Legacy ( She is also a contributing writer for the genealogical e-magazine Irish Lives Remembered (

Maureen's first book, Past-Forward: A Three-Decade & Three-Thousand-Mile Journey Home is the story of her 30-year search for her grandmother's Irish ancestral roots and the surprising and poignant discoveries made along the way.

Her second book, Young & Wicked: The Death of a Wayward Girl, is the true story of star-crossed first generation Irish-American lovers, one of them a second cousin to Maureen's great-grandmother, who grew up in Jersey City, both becoming young petty criminals who fled to the Bowery in New York City in 1893 to avoid arrest where their life together met a violent end.

Maureen's third book, Canary in a Cage: The Smith-Bennett Murder Case, is historical fiction based on a shocking true story: In 1878, a policeman is found bludgeoned and stabbed to death in his own bed, supposedly while his young wife lay beside him unaware. Suspicion immediately falls on the wife and her suspected teenage paramour who are accused, arrested and facing the hangman's noose. Did a twenty-something Jersey girl and farmer's daughter turn city-girl killer? Twenty years later, Jorden Lang, a young newspaper reporter at the time of the murder, retells the story of the sensation that surrounded the killing and multiple trials and reveals a long-concealed secret confided by the accused wife during a jailhouse encounter.

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