A front page headline in the New York Times in February 1885, announced: “The Bloody Work of Band of Southern Murderers . . . the notorious Sarasota Assassination Society.” The Times story reported that Alfred B. Bidwell, formerly of Buffalo, had been arrested for vigilantism in Florida: “This organization is supposed to exist for the purpose of the secret murder of political opponents, and is composed of 20 members, bound together by terrible oaths to perform the bloody work of the band and to keep its secrets inviolate. Mr. Bidwell is charged with making his store the rendezvous of the gang . . . [and] with being a party to the murder of C. E. Abbe. . . . The information received makes this assassination society one of the most atrocious organizations ever heard of. . . . The murder of one Riley several months ago . . . [is] said to be the work of the assassins. The victims are supposed to have suffered for private as well as political causes.“
Matthews, Janet Snyder
"He Has Carried His Life in His Hands: The "Sarasota Assassination Society" of 1884,"
Florida Historical Quarterly: Vol. 58
, Article 3.
Available at: https://stars.library.ucf.edu/fhq/vol58/iss1/3