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Saturday, March 14, 2015

Triple Murder in Michigan.

William Major returned from a trip to Romeo, Michigan, to his home in Mount Vernon, Michigan, on December 27, 1890, to find that his daughter and young granddaughter had come for a visit. Major, a well-to-do farmer, fifty years old, had come home in a cheerful mood and spent the evening conversing with his wife and daughter before the family went to bed. But Major could not sleep; something had unsettled his mind to the point of rage, and he needed to take action.

He rose from his bed grabbed his revolver and fired two shots into his sleeping wife, mortally wounding her. He went into the room where his daughter and her child were sleeping and fired at his daughter. When the bullet failed to kill her, Major grabbed an axe and crushed his daughter’s skull. He then pulled his little granddaughter from beneath the bedclothing and with one blow split her head open, killing her instantly.

Then he went into his young son’s bedroom. Major groped about the bed for him, but he was not there, he had crawled under the bed for safety. When he heard his father searching the room the boy said, “Are you going to kill me too, papa?”

“No my son,” replied Major, “do not be afraid, I won’t hurt you. When I am gone you get $150 which I will leave you, and divide it with your sister.”

Then Major ran from the house. The boy alerted the neighbors as quickly as he could, and a search for the deranged killer began. He was found hanging from a rafter in the barn, having committed sucide.

Major and his wife had separated several times, and it was well known that theirs was not a happy marriage. Beyond that, it was never determined what drove William Major’s rage.


"He murdered three." National Police Gazette 25 Jan 1890.
"Revolver and Axe." Canton Repository 2 Jan 1890.
"Slain In Their Sleep." Kalamazoo Gazette 3 Jan 1890.


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