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Saturday, May 27, 2017

She Didn’t Do as He Wished.

Little Murders


Shortly after 4:00, the afternoon of November 4, 1893, Fred L. Buck rushed into the police station in Elgin, Illinois and announced, “I’ve just killed my wife; she’s been leading a fast life and I had to end it.”

Police went to the Bucks’ residence and found Fred Buck’s wife, Julia, in the bedroom, lying face down in a pool of blood. He had shot her in the temple at such short range that the bullet went straight through her head and was found embedded in her hair, which she wore knotted in the back. A second shot he fired in her back had been unnecessary as the first shot had killed her instantly.

Fred Buck was the Illinois State Game and Fish Warden and had been in charge of the government aquariums in the Fisheries Building at the World’s Fair in Chicago. He was also engaged in the manufacture of a patent lantern and had previously been a private detective. His wife Julia, 30-years-old, was the brother of Theodore F. Swan who owned a large department store in Elgin. Both Fred and Julia were previously married and divorced.

Saturday, May 20, 2017

The Dedham Tragedy.

Finding the Bodies
In September 1865, the family of Dr. Carlos Marston rented rooms in a house that had previously been a hotel in South Dedham, Massachusetts. The family consisted of the doctor, a forty-year-old homeopathic physician; Susannah, his wife of fifteen years; and their 10-year-old adopted daughter Cora, whose natural mother had been Susannah’s sister. They slept on the second floor, while on the first floor Miss Susan Hill, an invalid being treated by Dr. Marston, had a room.

The Marston Residence
At around 2:00 am, the morning of Friday, September 1, Miss Hill was awaked by the sound of a scuffle from the room above, followed by a thud, as if someone had fallen to the floor, then a pistol report. She ran out to the stairs, but afraid to go up she called loudly asking if everything was alright. She received no response, but a few moments later Mrs. Marston appeared in the darkness at the head of the stairs and said in a calm but firm tone, “Be still—go to your room—or I’ll blow your brains out!”

Saturday, May 13, 2017

Sin and Sorrow.

Little Murders
When neighbors heard two muffled gunshots, the afternoon of September 20, 1880, coming from the home of George Ware and family on Maple Street in Dayton, Ohio, it caused little concern; they assumed someone inside was trying to kill rats. But a few moments later Lee Brumbaugh hurried from the house, bleeding from a wound in his side. He was staggering when he reached the grocery store on the corner. Entering the store, he said to the proprietor, “I’m shot; George Ware did it.” The proprietor caught him and laid him on the floor. Less than five minutes later Brumbaugh was dead. George Ware then entered the store carrying Brumbaugh’s coat, vest, and hat and said, “I shot Lee Brumbaugh, but I am sorry now for it.”

Lee Brumbaugh was a prominent attorney, well known in Dayton, and news of his murder spread quickly through the town. It was first rumored that the motive had been political, Brumbaugh was a member of the Democratic Central Committee, and Ware was president of the Republican Central Committee. But a second rumor, that Ware had caught his wife and Lee Brumbaugh in flagrante delicto, proved true.

Saturday, May 6, 2017

The Foulest Murder Yet.

Little Murders
(From Oregonian, August 17,1878)


The Foulest Murder Yet.
The Tullis Murder in Sacramento County – A Confession by the Public Administrator that he Instigated It.

San Francisco, Aug. 15.—Troy Dye, public administrator of Sacramento county, has made a full confession concerning the recent murder of A. M. Tullis on Grand Island. He confesses to have instigated the murder for the purpose of getting control of the estate of the deceased. He implicates as perpetrator of the deed Edward Anderson, a Swede formerly in his employ and another party, name not yet ascertained. Anderson has also made confession corroborating that of Dye. Anderson was to receive $6,000 for the job. They had previously tried to kill Tullis by poison. They had also discussed the murder of other citizens. The details are replete with cold-blooded cruelty. Dye has heretofore borne a good reputation in the community, and his connection with the affair has created the utmost surprise and excitement. The details of the confessions of Dye and Anderson are to the following effect:

Dye had found the office of public administrator unprofitable, and had remarked occasionally in jest the he would have to kill some one to make it pay. The idea obtained a deep hold on his mind and he took Anderson, whom he had for a long time employed in his butcher shop, and another party yet unknown into his councils. Dye and Anderson charge each other with being the tempter. They finally fixed on Tullis as a victim. Dye had been his friend and neighbor for 12 years and knew the value of his property, and as Tullis had never been communicative concerning his family affairs it was supposed he had no relative to claim the estate. Over two months ago Anderson and the unknown party went to Tullis’ place to put the plan into execution, but their courage failed them. Dye urged the crime persistently and Anderson conceived the idea of a murder by poison. A bottle of poisoned cocktails was prepared in a saloon kept bye Dye & Clark in Sacramento and Anderson went to Tullis’ ranch ostensibly in search of work, and gave him the bottle after taking a number of drinks together from a bottle of good liquor, and left. For some reason this plot miscarried. It was then decided that bold work was required. A boat was built at Dye’s house, Sacramento. Anderson pulled it down the river and was joined by his confederate below the city, and they proceeded to Tullis’ ranch, found him in the orchard and knocked him down with a sand bag and shot him in several places. This was the evening of Thursday, the 1st inst., at 7 o’clock. Dye, that evening, staid at his house in Sacramento till 8’oclock entertaining a visitor. He excused himself and took a buggy, drove down the river about 16 miles, met the assassins at the place appointed and drove them back to Sacramento. During the ride they related all the circumstances of the murder to Dye. The trio returned much under the influence of liquor. Dye says Anderson had revealed to him the crimes of his past life, including the murder of two sheep herders in vicinity of Sacramento. Dye’s plan for realizing on the estate of Tullis was to compound with the creditors. His legitimate commissions would have been about $3,200. Dye has always borne a good reputation, but parties now coming forward affirm he was a bushwhacker during the late war and pillaged and murdered indiscriminately. The confession cover about eight closely printed columns, developing every stage of progress to the commission of the crime. Neither party will be allowed to turn state’s evidence and the district attorney is confident of convicting both.