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Saturday, October 21, 2017

Curley Confesses.

(From Harrisburg Patriot, July 12, 1877).


Curley Confesses.

Miss Whitby’s Murder—The Result of a Bloodthirsty Impulse.

The New York Herald publishes the following dispatch from Pottstown:

“Thomas Frances Curley, who has been sentenced to hang at Norristown on the 9th day of August next for the murder of Mary Ann Whitby, near the Trappe, in May 1875, has made a full confession of his terrible crime to his counsel. At his trial Curley was convicted on purely circumstantial evidence, and doubts existed in the minds of many persons as to his guilt, but these are removed by the startling statement which has been made to his legal advisers. Though the facts were known to his attorneys some time ago, they have just been made public, and though it is denied by the counsel, it is generally believed to have been made in order to have the death penalty commuted to imprisonment for life. This belief is strengthened by the fact that, at the meeting of the board of pardons at Harrisburg, today, Curley’s case was postponed until the September meeting, and thus a new lease of life is given the condemned man.

“From the meagre facts that can be obtained, Curley, in his confession, states that he has had an insatiable desire for blood form childhood up; that he had previously inflicted unnecessary cruelty to dumb animals—stuck a penknife into calves, in order to see the blood flow, and committed other inhuman acts. In the killing of Miss Whitby he says that a desire to murder her seized him on his way home to dinner and that he struck her with a hoe handle and not the stove lifter, which was believed  to have been the instrument of death from evidence give at the time of his trial. He states that no words passed between them; that no quarrel took place, but he came directly home from the field, secured a hoe and dealt her the murderous and fatal blow.

“The ground on which the commutation of the sentenced to imprisonment for life is asked is that the murderer is a monomaniac and is not responsible for his acts. His whole demeanor during and since the trial proves him to be, what is now beyond question, a person of low, brutal instincts, devoid of all human feeling and sympathy, and but little above the brute creation. It will be a relief to the community to know that Curley was justly convicted of the awful crime, and it is but a just atonement that he shall suffer the death penalty.”

3 comments :

Unknown says:
October 22, 2017 at 8:25 PM

"If anyone takes a human life, that person's life will also be taken by human hands. For God made human beings in his own image." Genesis 6:9 / No waiting on death row for 20 years...no pardons and paroles...death for the murderer. This is not unkind or merciless, this is enacting God Almighty's command. If the world practiced this commandment murder would be far less than it is.

How Brown says:
November 4, 2017 at 8:49 AM

Almost overlooked this one, Bob.....it happened around 4 1/2 miles from where I live....Had Curley lived in a city, he may have become another Jesse Pomeroy or adult serial killer. Thanks for posting it.

Robert Wilhelm says:
November 4, 2017 at 10:53 AM

I think you're right. I lot of bad characters in the country have been overlooked. Who knows what Curley was up to before he was caught. Hope your town is more civilized these days ;)

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