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Saturday, August 26, 2017

Another Boy Murderer.


Near Rockport, Indiana, on the banks of the Ohio River, the morning of September 29, 1883, a boat was found, burned to the water’s edge. It had been a small trading boat, large enough sleep two or three and carry goods—most notably liquor—to sell along the river. Inside were the charred remains of a man who had been shot to death.

Rockport police soon learned the names of the men lived aboard the trading boat—R.T. Arnett, who lay dead in the smoldering boat, and Francis J. Kelly, the presumed murder, who had fled the scene. Detective Hales of Rockport undertook the task of locating Kelly and after three weeks of investigating he found the culprit in Ashley, Illinois, some 140 miles inland. Hales arrested Kelly and brought him back to Rockport.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

"Handsome Little Dandy."

Frank Stark (or Starke) angrily burst into the dressing room of the Vicksburg Opera-house where David R. Allan and his wife, May, were preparing to go on stage, the evening of November 14, 1883. Allan, 55 years old, was a veteran performer and the manager of the John F. Ward Comedy Company. He had recently fired Stark, age 22, from his position as advance agent for the company. The two men exchanged words then Stark drew a pistol and pointed it at Allan. May Allan grabbed the pistol from his hand and D. R. Allan thrust Stark out of the room. Stark snatched the pistol back from Mrs. Allan, and as D. R. Allan followed him into the hall, Stark turned and fired four shots at Allan. Two shots hit their target, one passing through Allan’s heart.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Charley Cook.

Charles Cook.
The afternoon of September 22, 1840, Polly Cornell was surprised to see her niece and nephew running toward her house crying. The girl, about six years old, and the boy about four were the children of her sister Catherine who lived with her husband Eli Merry, on a farm in Glenville, New York, not far from her own. They told their aunt that Charley Cook, a laborer at the farm, had killed their mother. She took the children and hurried to the house of another relative, Peleg Cornell who sent his son for more help.

They all met at the Merrys’ house, and when no one answered their knock on the kitchen door, they went inside. They found Catherine Merry in the cellar, lying on the floor with her throat cut. She had been beaten as well, and her clothes were in disarray. By now several other people had arrived at the house, and they carried the body upstairs to the kitchen. On the kitchen table, they a found shoemaker’s knife with a four-inch blade; on it were blood and hairs.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Dark Kentucky Tragedy.

Col. A.M. Swope and Col. William Cassius Goodloe happened to enter the Lexington, Kentucky post office at the same time on the afternoon of November 8, 1889. They greeted each other with icy glares then went about their business. Both men were leaders in the Republican Party in Kentucky, and both had national reputations. Swope was the former Internal Revenue Collector for the district, Goodloe had been Minister to Belgium, a state senator, and was the current Internal Revenue Collector; both men fought for the Union in the Civil war, and both rose to the rank of Colonel.