Saturday, July 9, 2016
(From Wheeling Register, Wheeling West Virginia, November 28, 1883)
The Mystery Surrounding a Murder
Which Resulted in Four Other Tragedies
Made Clear After Many Years.
Seymour, Ind., November 27—Yesterday there arrived in Medora, a town situated nineteen miles from this place, a woman giving her name as Eliza Kemp. She is now engaged as an agent of dress patterns. Seventeen years ago there occurred in Seymour one of the most blood curdling and mysterious murders ever committed in this part of Indiana. There were subsequently three other murders committed, caused directly by the first murder. For the past seventeen years these murders were entirely Surrounded by the Deepest Mystery, and not until the present time, when the testimony of Liza Kemp was given, was the true history of the crime known. A history of the crime, briefly given, is as follows. On the night of January 3, 1866, Moore Woodmansee, a wealthy merchant of Medora, came to Seymour, on his way to Cincinnati. He had $2,000 in cash, with which he was to purchase goods. He registered at the Rader House for the night, and was assigned to room No. 7. He was missed form his room, and his disappearance was, for over nine months, a mystery, when, in October, his body was found in White River, his head was cut off, but the examination by several doctors who treated Wooodmansee during life
Gave a General Verdict
that it was the remains of Woodmansee. The Rader House was ransacked for supplemental evidence of the suspected murder. After removing the carpet in room 7, blood stains were found on the floor, and attempts of scrubbing stains from the stairway were discovered. Gordon Kinney an employee of the hotel was suspected of knowing of the murder. When the excitement caused by the finding of the body was at its highest, an unknown man called Kinney from his door one night, and as he opened the door was shot and instantly killed. Soon the unfruitful efforts to find the murderers were abandoned. Again, a man named Eben Wheeler was mortally wounded and when told he had to die, Wheeler made a confession, stating that on the night of Woodmansee’s murder two men had taken from the Rader stable the horse and spring wagon.
In the Morning They Returned.
The bottom of the wagon was covered with blood. It was afterwards taken out and a new one put in instead. Rader was arrested for the murder, but acquitted, and again the affair was a dark mystery.
On the night of the murder a dance was being held in the dining rooms of the Rader House. Toward the close of the dance Sam Long and A. W. Flynn, both gamblers and hard cases, left. It was well known that Flynn and Woodmansee had had a difficulty and were engaged in a law suit. Flynn had threatened to kill him and his partner, Sam Long, said the case should never come to trial. It was also proven that they had followed him to Seymour. After the murder these men returned to Medora. Every time, during the many years, that new evidence or news concerning the Woodmansee murder was reported, it was followed by a meeting of these men
Suspicion Began to Point Strongly Towards Them.
Flynn threatened to shoot one Emery, who has talked about him but Emery shot first and instantly killed Flynn. Sam Long the partner, immediately disappeared and Alden E Rodman, a suspected accomplice was one night taken by unknown mob and hung. Thus, from knowing of the murder of Woodmansee, Gordon Kinney was murdered, Reuben Wheeler was mortally wounded, A. W. Flynn was shot and instantly killed, and A. E. Rodman was hung. Over seventeen years passed away, and the mystery of one murder had grown into the mystery of five still unsolved.
Yesterday, as before stated, Eliza Kemp arrived in Medora. The Woodmansee murder is no longer a mystery. For Eliza Kemp is no other than the Eliza Kemp who occupied Room 8, next to Woodmansee’s room in the Rader House on that fateful night . She said “On that night I was
Suddenly Awakened by a Noise
in Room 7. In a second I was fully awake, and realized that some one in the next room was begging for his life. I heard “Sam, kill the d—n s— of b—“ Then a blow followed by a heavy fall, and a moan or two. Then one said: “He’s dead, d—n him.” They then agreed to take his body, cut the head off and throw the body in the river. I left Seymour early in the morning and have not told what I have heard. I am going to Kansas in a few days, or would not now tell what I do, because my life had been threatened time and again by anonymous letters and in other ways.” Five of the six supposed to have been connected with this murder have been killed and Sam Long, the only remaining left in 1866 and has never since been seen or hear of. Thus, after seventeen years of mystery the murder did will out.