Saturday, November 19, 2022

An Impossible Suicide.

Mary Barrows, of Kittery Maine, told the coroner that her husband, Thomas, had committed suicide. The coroner was faced with two immediate mysteries; if Thomas Barrows had committed suicide, why did he wound himself five times before firing the shot to the head that killed him? And how had he shot himself six times with the five-barrel revolver found near the body? 

Mary Barrows and her son-in-law, Oscar Blaney were arrested for Thomas Barrows’s murder.

Read the full story here: The Kittery Crime.

Saturday, November 12, 2022

Murderous Assault.

Nettie Brown (or Braun) kept a house of ill-fame in St. Louis with her partner and bartender George Hobbs (or Haubs). In 1877, Lizzie Fields was one of their girls. Lizzie and Nettie had been as close as sisters at first, but they were bitter enemies by April. Lizzie gave Nettie a ring of hers for safekeeping; the trouble began when Lizzie saw her ring on the finger of George Hobbs. After a heated argument, they threw Lizzie out of the house, keeping her clothes and the ring.

Lizzie Fields took up residence in a nearby brothel run by Gussie Freeman. On April 3, 1877, Hobbs was walking down the alley near Freeman’s house when Lizzie began shouting vile names at him through an open window. Hobbs paid no attention at the time, but later, he and Nettie went back to Freeman’s to see her. Lizzie taunted them again from the window, and Hobbs picked up a rock and threw it at her. He missed Lizzie but broke the window and tore the curtain.

They went to the door, but Gussie would not let them in. Hobbs explained that he wanted to pay for the window he had just broken, so Gussie opened the door. As they argued over how much the repairs would cost, Nettie rushed in and found Lizzie in the front room. Nettie pulled a butcher knife from her sleeve. Lizzie was holding a soda bottle and was ready to use it as a weapon. Accounts differ as to what Hobbs did next; he either tried to separate the women or held Lizzie’s wrist so Nettie could strike. In either case, Nettie plunged the butcher knife into Lizzie’s chest twice. Then, she and Hobbs ran from the house.

Gussie Freeman sent a messenger to fetch a doctor, and others ran from the house following Nettie and Hobbs. The police arrested the couple soon after. Lizzie held on to life until May 15. The cause of death was a secondary hemorrhage brought on by the ulceration of knife wounds. Nettie Brown was charged with first-degree murder and George Hobbs as an accessory.

The trial of Nettie Brown began on February 15, 1878. Her plea was self-defense, claiming that Lizzie threatened her with the soda bottle. Her attorney also asserted that the secondary hemorrhage was brought on by the large dose of morphine Lizzie had taken that day. He claimed she was nearly dead already when the stabbing occurred.

The jury deliberated for twenty-four hours before telling the judge they were hopelessly deadlocked—9 for acquittal, 3 for conviction. The problem was they were given only two choices, acquittal or first-degree murder and Missouri juries were reluctant to send a woman to the gallows.

In May, State’s Attorney Beach wanted to change the charge to second-degree murder. However, the defense insisted that she be tried on the original charge. Beach argued that such a trial would be useless as no jury would convict a woman of murder in the first degree. The judge agreed to the new charge and the defense requested a continuance.

The case was continued several more times before being tried in April 1879. Nettie Brown was found guilty of second-degree murder and sent to Jefferson City Penitentiary. George Hobbs case was continued generally, meaning the charges were effectively dismissed unless the state found new evidence.

“About Town,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, March 6, 1878.
“Arraignments,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, June 9, 1877.
“Criminal Court - Judge Jones,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, October 30, 1878.
“Criminal Notes,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 11, 1879.
“Disagreement of a Jury in a Murder Case,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 20, 1878.
“Four Courts Notes,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, April 11, 1879.
“In the Hands of the Jury,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 18, 1878.
“Life in St. Louis,” St. Louis Post-Dispatch, April 6, 1877.
“Murderous Assault on a Woman,” Illustrated Police News, April 22, 1877.
“Nettie Brown's Case,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, May 16, 1878.
“The News,” Rolla Herald, April 5, 1877.
“Probable Murder,” Evansville Journal, April 4, 1877.
“St. Louis in Splinters,” St, Louis Globe-Democrat, May 4, 1879.
“Stabbed and Killed,” Weekly Globe Democrat, May 24, 1877.
“Trial of Nettie Brown,” St. Louis Globe-Democrat, February 16, 1878.

Saturday, November 5, 2022

Love and Law.

  •  The tragic love affair between Charles Kring and Dora Broemser ended in one maddened instant—he asked her to leave her husband, she refused, he shot her dead. The prosecution of Charles Kring for the crime of murder lasted eight years, included six trials, and required a ruling by the United States Supreme Court.

Before he was finally released—but not acquitted—Charles Kring wrote a book called Love and Law, in which he detailed the deceptions of Jake and Dora Broemser that led to the murder and his abuse by the Missouri legal system.

Read the full story here: Love and Law.

Saturday, October 29, 2022

The Confession of Myron Buel.

On June 25, 1878, Myron Buel and Daniel Bowen were working in the hops field of William Richards’s farm in Plainfield, New York. When they returned from the field that evening, they found that a young bull was loose behind the cheese house. Bowen opened the barn door while Buel drove the bull towards it. Upon opening the door, Bowen saw the body of Catherine Mary Richards, William Richards’s 14-year-old daughter, lying in the bull’s stall. She had a large wound on her right cheek and her face was bruised; she was clearly dead. Buel came in and Bowen showed him the body.

“Oh my stars! Oh my Stars!” said Buel, apparently horrified.

They went to the farmhouse to notify the family. Both Mr. and Mrs. Richards were away that day, so they took Catherine’s sister Maggie and the housekeeper to the barn.  Maggie asked Buel what had happened to Catherine, and he said the bull must have killed her.

Buel repeated this several times and it became the accepted story until the coroner got a look at the body. He concluded that Catherine had not been gored by the bull, someone had strangled her and hit her in the face with a blunt object. He also found evidence that she had been raped.

Myron Buel became the prime suspect in Catherine’s murder. Buel was called “The Boy Murderer” but he was 20 years old in 1878. He was madly in love with Catherine, though she was six years younger. He had asked her to marry him, and when she refused, Buel made improper suggestions, driving her to tears. Though he always recanted later, he continued making lewd comments until Catherine threatened to tell her parents. 

On the day of the murder, when Buel and Bowen were working in the hops field, he told Bowen that the rubber boots he was wearing were too hot and he went back to the house to change them. He was gone for about 45 minutes. When Bowen asked what took him so long, he said he had to put away a horse that had gotten loose. 

Buel was charged with murder and brought to trial on February 17, 1879. The trial lasted ten days and the courtroom was crowded with spectators each day. Following the closing arguments, the judge spoke for an hour and a half, giving instructions to the jury. The jury deliberated for four hours before returning a verdict of guilty.

Buel’s lawyers moved for a new trial on the grounds that the judge had instructed the jury to find him guilty of first-degree murder or acquit him. He should have instructed them on the several degrees of manslaughter as well. The motion was denied, and the judge sentenced Myron Buel to be hanged on April 18.

The execution date was changed to November 14 to allow Buel’s attorneys to argue before the Court of Appeals. The Court refused to grant a new trial and affirmed the judgement of the lower court. They petitioned the Governor for a reprieve, but he refused. 

Throughout the process, Buel maintained his innocence but, three days before his execution, with no hope left, Buel confessed to his spiritual advisors and his counsel. In his confession, Buel said he was angry because Catherine had told her parents about his “passionate desire” for her. On the day of the murder, he knew Mr. and Mrs. Richards would not be home. When he told Bowen he was going to change his boots, he was going to kill Catherine. 

“Oh! How I felt as I went down the path to the barn!”  Buel confessed.

He found Catherine in the cheese house, playing with her kittens. He had let out the calf, knowing she would help him bring it back to the barn. When they were inside the barn, he shut the door and quickly threw a rope around her neck and pulled it tight.

“Her eyes looked terrible when she was struggling,” said Buel, “Then I struck her with a milking stool that stood by me. I then ravished her. She was dead but warm when I committed the crime.”

He carried her to the bull’s stall so it would appear that the bull killed her, then he let the bull out.

“I loved Catherine and was jealous. I intended to kill her and ravish her because I was mad.”

Myron Buel was hanged on November 14, 1879. The gallows in New York State at the time used a counterweight to jerk the condemned man upward. At 10:39 a.m. the body shot four feet up in the air and fell back with a sickening thud. Fourteen minutes later Drs. Westlake and Hills pronounced him dead.

“Brutal Murder,” New York Herald, July 3, 1878.
“Buel Confesses,” WEEKLY FREEMAN, November 14, 1879.
“The Gallows,” Daily Gazette, April 19, 1879.
Gordon W. Treadwell, Myron Buel the Boy Murderer (Birmingham: Republican Print, 1879.)  
“Guilty of Murder,” New York Herald, February 28, 1879.
“Hanging of Myron A. Buell,” Chicago Tribune, November 15, 1879.
“The Murder of Miss Richards,” New York Times, June 29, 1878.
“Myron A. Buell,” The Brooklyn Daily Egal, November 15, 1879.
“Probable Murder,” New York herald., June 28, 1878.
“A Ravisher Held for Murder,” Fall River Daily Herald, July 3, 1878.
“To be Hanged,” New York Herald, March 1, 1879.

Saturday, October 22, 2022

Minerva Dutcher.


Minerva Dutcher was 14 years old in 1871 when she met George Crozier in the Benton, New York, Baptist Church choir. Though George was 22 years older than Minerva, he had an “illicit infatuation” with her that developed into an adulterous affair. When his wife, Fanny, died of arsenic poisoning in 1875, George Crozier was the prime suspect.

Read the full story here: Illicit Infatuation.

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Mysterious Murder in Baltimore.

Dr. Merriman Cole was a retired physician with an office in the heart of Baltimore. In 1872, he was 73 years old and living off the income from his rental properties. Cole’s daughter went to his office on the evening of January 6 and found him dead on the floor. He had thirteen wounds about the head and face and his skull was crushed in three places, apparently with a hammer.

One of his pants pockets was torn out but the motive was not robbery. About nine dollars were scattered over the floor and twenty-four dollars were found in his wallet. It was a Saturday, the day he collected rents on his properties. On his desk was an unfinished receipt. The police suspected one of his tenants as his killer. By Monday they had several suspects in custody, but their names were not made public.

The early suspects were released, and no further arrests were made until the following September. On September 21, the police arrested Charles R. Henderson in Baltimore. Henderson was a printer who was one of Cole’s tenants. He changed his residence shortly after the murder, and the Baltimore Police had been following him night and day since. The prosecuting attorney waited until he was sure of conviction before arresting Henderson, and the police believed they had a strong case of circumstantial evidence against him. On October 8, the grand jury indicted Charles R. Henderson for the murder of Dr. Merriman Cole.

Henderson’s trial did not begin until the following June. Apparently, the evidence against him was not as strong as it first appeared. The brief newspaper report on the trial said only, “The case was submitted to the jury without argument and in five minutes they brought in a verdict of not guilty.”

No one was ever convicted of Dr. Merriman Cole's murder.

“Acquittal of an Alleged Murderer,” Germantown Daily Chronicle, June 6, 1873.
“Another Horrible Tragedy,” Chicago Tribune, January 8, 1872.
“Dr. Merriman Cole found Murdered in his Office.,” Illustrated Police News, January 18, 1872.
“Merriman Cole Murder,” Philadelphia Inquirer, June 6, 1873.
“A Murderer Traced Out,” Pittsburgh Daily Commercial, September 24, 1872.
“Murderers in Maryland,” Herald, June 3, 1873.
“Mysterious Murder in Baltimore,” New York Tribune, January 8, 1872.
“News and Gossip,” Paterson Daily Press, September 23, 1872.

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Frank C. Almy.

Frank Almy (alias George Abbott) was a lifelong criminal trying to turn his life around when he met and fell in love with Christie Warden. When Christie did not return his love, Almy went back to his old ways and took it at gunpoint.

Read the full story here: Murder in the Vale of Tempe.

Saturday, October 1, 2022

The Walton-Matthews Tragedy.

John Walton was walking home from work with his cousin Richard Pascall down 18th Street in New York City at 11:30 the night of June 30, 1860. Walton owned a distillery on 18th Street and a store on 25th Street. At the time, Walton and Pascal shared a room over the store. At 3rd Avenue, they noticed a man leaning against a tree in the shadows but paid little attention as they walked past him. A few seconds later, the man darted up behind Walton and shot him in the head.

The shooter ran down 3rd Avenue, and Pascall followed, raising the alarm, shouting, “murder!” Several men heard the call and joined the chase. At the front of the pack was John W. Matthews, a well-known railroad contractor. Matthews was closing in as they neared 16th Street. The killer turned, drew his pistol, and fired, hitting Matthews in the chest. In the confusion that followed, the killer dropped the pistol and made his escape. 

The men lifted Matthews and carried him to a nearby drugstore, but he died in their arms before he reached it. Walton was still breathing and was taken to Bellevue Hospital, but he died at 8:30 the next morning.

None of the witnesses recognized the shooter, but Pascall was convinced it was John Walton’s stepson, Charles Jefferds. About a year earlier, Walton’s wife died, leaving him with two daughters. About six months later, Walton married a widow named Ellen M. Russell. She told him she had been married twice before, but both of her husbands were dead. She had two sons from the first marriage, Charles and Edwin Jefferds, aged 22 and 19, respectively. She had one son, Frank Russell, 12, from her second marriage. She also said she had adopted her sister’s four-month-old daughter. After the wedding, they all lived together in a house on 23rd Street.

Ellen Russell was an attractive woman; Walton believed her to be a fine, upstanding person. This opinion would soon change. He “observed transactions of a suspicious character on the part of his wife” and decided to make some inquiries. He learned that at least one of her former marriages had ended in divorce, and the husband was still living. Additionally, she had a third husband, a Mr. Morrison, between Jeffers and Russell, who was living in Ohio, and it was doubtful that they ever had a legal separation. Walton also learned that the four-month-old was not the daughter of Ellen’s sister but her own illegitimate offspring.

The New York Atlas called Mrs. Walton “a woman fond of money, luxury and intrigue.” Comparing her to Emma Cunningham, who murdered Dr. Harvey Burdell three years earlier, they called her “…one of those smart, intriguing adventurers of the Mrs. Cunningham school, who are constantly laying in wait to trap wealthy middle-aged bachelors and widowers.”

Soon after the marriage, Mrs. Walton’s eldest son, Charles Jefferds, began misbehaving. He drank heavily and brought unsavory people back to the house. Walton objected, scolding both mother and son. This only made them angrier, and several times Charles threatened Walton’s life.

After several months of this, Walton decided the marriage was over and resolved that they separate. He rented a smaller house on 23rd Street for Ellen and her children, and he moved into the room over the store. He rented the big house to someone else. This angered Ellen and her sons even more since the separation would mean the end of Walton’s wealth. Charles and Edwin continued to harass Walton. On one occasion, Charles showed Walton a pistol which he said he had bought to shoot him. At another time, Walton suddenly took sick and believed he had been poisoned. He changed his will, leaving the bulk of his estate to his daughters, to make it less likely that he would be murdered for his money.

The double murder created quite a sensation in New York City. The mayor offered a $500 reward for the arrest and conviction of the killer. Walton’s estate added another $1,000 to the reward. The police began a manhunt for Charles Jefferds. Jefferds, who fled to Long Island, learned they were looking for him and decided it was safer to turn himself in. The Monday after the murder, Jefferds surrendered to the police but declared his innocence.

The coroner began an inquest into the murders. Among the many witnesses were Richard Pascall, who positively identified the pistol found at the scene as the one Charles Jefferds had used to threaten Walton, and Ellen Walton, who testified that there was no animosity between her son and her husband. The inquest lasted two weeks, and although there was little evidence against Jefferds, he was charged with first-degree murder.

The prosecution was reluctant to bring the case to trial because of the lack of evidence. After an eight-month delay, ignoring two regular terms of the Court of Oyer and Terminer, Jefferds's attorney moved, unsuccessfully, for his client’s release. The trial for the murder of John Walton finally began on June 10, 1861, and lasted about a month. Though nearly everyone believed that Jefferds was guilty, the evidence against him was so thin that no one was surprised that the jury found him not guilty.

After being free for six months, Jefferds began to get cocky. At an impromptu meeting in the 25th Street store with John Walton’s brother, William, Jefferds said, “Do you know who I am? I am Charles Jefferds, the man who murdered your brother, and I can shoot you as quick as I shot him.”

William Walton asked Jefferds for the details of the murder, assuring him that he had been acquitted and could not be tried again. Police Detective Moore, who was also present, confirmed that Jefferds could not be retried. Jefferds told them that he had gone out that night specifically to kill Walton. It was after Walton had a quarrel with his mother, and she offered Jefferds $2,000 to kill her husband.

They were correct in telling Jefferds he could not be retried for Walton’s murder, but Jefferds had forgotten that he was also charged with murdering John Matthews. The new confession was enough for the district attorney to take that case to court.

The trial for the murder of John Matthews began on December 18, 1861. This time the testimony of William Walton and Detective Moore was enough to convince a jury. Jefferds was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to death.

The law at the time stated that Jefferd had to serve one year in prison before he could be executed, and after that, the date would be set by the governor. During that time, his attorney tried unsuccessfully to appeal the verdict. But as of May 1868, more than six years later, Jefferds was still on death row at Sing Sing Prison.

On May 15, 1868, Charles Jefferds was found dead in the stable loft of the prison. He had five axe wounds on his body, any one of which could have been fatal. Jefferds had been unwell the day before and was allowed to skip dinner and do some light work at the stable instead. He had been reading a book in the hayloft when he was attacked.

Two inmates who had been chopping wood in the work yard, Thomas Burns and George Whittington, were charged with the murder. Burns and Jefferds had been enemies because Burns had caught Jefferds in the commission of what was called “a beastly crime” and “an infamous crime against nature” and reported it to other inmates. The following December, Burns was found not guilty, and charges were dropped against Whittington.

In February 1869, the New York World published a long article saying that a detective using the pseudonym “Jefferson Jinks” had spoken with Jefferds before his arrest. He claimed that, after a few drinks, Jeffereds declared that he had murdered Dr. Harvey Burdell three years before and provided intricate details of the crime. 

The murder of Dr. Burdell had caused a sensation in New York and was one of the first great murder cases to be followed nationwide. The World article was reprinted or summarized in newspapers throughout America. However, Jefferds’s confession, if he made it at all, was not likely to be true. The matter was soon forgotten. 

“Accidents and Offences,” Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, May 21, 1864.
“An Atrocious Double Murder,” BOSTON HERALD., July 2, 1860.
“Another Chapter in Metropolitan Crime,” New York herald., July 2, 1860.
“Conviction of Charles M. Jefferds,” NEW-YORK OBSERVER., January 2, 1862.
“The Eighteenth Ward Murders,” New-York Daily Tribune., July 4, 1860.
“From New York,” Sun, March 9, 1863.
“Horrible Tragedy,” Commercial Advertiser, July 2, 1860.
“Investigation of the Murder in Sing Sing Prison,” New-York Tribune., May 18, 1868.
“Jefferds Gone to State Prison,” New York dispatch. [volume], May 8, 1864.
“The Jefferds Murder,” World, May 25, 1868.
“Mayor's Office, New York, July,” Evening Post, July 13, 1860.
“Murder in Sing Sing State Prison,” Evening Post., May 15, 1868.
“News Article,” Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, June 6, 1868.
“Supreme Court,” Journal of Commerce, jr., November 8, 1862.
“Trial of Charles M. Jefferds,” World, July 11, 1861.
“Verdict in the Walton Matthews Murder,” Philadelphia Inquirer, July 20, 1860.
“The Walton and Matthews Tragedy,” Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper, July 14, 1860.
“The Walton Tragedy,” NEW YORK ATLAS., July 8, 1860.
“The Walton-Mathews Murder,” New York herald., February 24, 1861.
“The Walton-Mathews Murder,” New York Herald, July 12, 1861.
“The Walton-Mathews Murder,” Evening Post, April 8, 1864.
“The Walton-Mathew's Murder,” Evening Post., December 19, 1861.
“Will Of The Late John Walton,” Boston Courier, July 9, 1860.

Saturday, September 24, 2022

"Horrors on Horror's Head."

Dr. Henry Kendall was shot in the head by persons unknown. He was caught in the act of stealing a body from a graveyard in Onondaga, New York, in 1882.

Read the full story here: A Grave-Robber's Fate.

Saturday, September 17, 2022

A Harum-Scarum Creature.

The residents of Rockford, Illinois, Nellie C. Bailly's hometown, remembered her well. When they learned she was accused of murder, the Rockford Daily Gazette reported, “In youth, she was always a harum-scarum creature, and the prediction then made that she would come to no good appears to have been fulfilled.” 

Read the full story here: Nellie C. Bailey.


Saturday, September 10, 2022

The Ashland Outrage.


Mrs. J.W. Gibbons was away from her home in Ashland, Kentucky, on December 23, 1881. She left behind her 18-year-old son Robert, her 14-year-old daughter Fannie, and 17-year-old Emma Thomas (aka Carico), who was staying with them. Mrs. Gibbons returned the following day to find her home burned to the ground and all three inhabitants dead.

Saturday, September 3, 2022

Clemmer's Hypnotic Power.


Charles Kaiser, with two co-conspirators, staged a robbery on a road outside of Norristown, Pennsylvania in 1896, to cover up the murder of his wife Emma. The police quickly saw through the plot and Kaiser was convicted of first-degree murder. 

Soon after, the police arrested his accomplices, James Clemmer and Lizzie DeKalb. DeKalb put all the blame on Clemmer, saying she had no knowledge of the conspiracy but was under Clemmer’s hypnotic spell and did whatever he said. Kaiser also changed his story, saying he too was under Clemmer’s hypnotic power. Their stories had little effect on the outcome.

Read the full story here: The Kaiser Conspiracy.

Saturday, August 27, 2022

Did Lizzie Confess?

Providence Evening Bulletin, Feb. 15, 1897

In 1952, Edward Rowe Snow, a popular history writer, was approached by a man who claimed to have a copy of a signed confession by Lizzie Borden to the 1892 axe murder of her father and stepmother. According to the story, Lizzie was arrested for shoplifting from an art gallery in 1897. After a marathon negotiation between Lizzie and a group of men including a police detective and a reporter, Lizzie agreed to sign a typed confession to avoid incarceration.

Although the arrest was real, the confession story was quickly exposed as a hoax. But not before Snow published it as fact in his 1959 book, Piracy, Mutiny and Murder.

Read the full Story Here: Lizzie Borden's Confession

Saturday, August 20, 2022

Ogden and Howard.

Washington Howard lived happily with his wife and two children in Charles County, Maryland until the start of the Civil War when he left to join the Confederate Army. After two years of service and several bloody battles, Howard had a change of heart. He resolved to desert the Confederates and join the Union cause. He crossed the Union lines and surrendered to the army who sent him to the Capital Prison in Washington.

There Howard met Zadoc Damrell, another Confederate deserter. After both men took an oath of allegiance to the United States the prison released them. The authorities told them that they must not be found south of the Susquehanna River, so the two men drifted north. In 1864, they found work in Gloucester County, New Jersey, and boarded at the home of Charles Ogden. That is when the trouble began for Washington Howard.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

The French Monster.


In 1874, Joseph LaPage, a French-Canadian woodcutter, raped and murdered Marietta Ball, a young schoolteacher in St. Albans, Vermont. He was released for lack of evidence. A year later he struck again, raping and brutally murdering 17-year-old Josie Langmaid in Pembroke, New Hampshire. After two contentious trials, he was convicted of Josie Langmaid’s murder.

Read the full story here: Josie Langmaid-"The Murdered Maiden Student."

Saturday, August 6, 2022

Mrs. Southern's Sad Case.

In 1876, Bob Southern was the most eligible bachelor in Pickens County, Georgia. He was tall and handsome, from a prominent family, but somewhat wild and reckless. He was seriously courting two young women—Kate Hambrick, slender and beautiful with dark eyes and luxuriant auburn hair, and Narcissa Cowan (nee Fowler), pretty, plump, and blonde. Kate was popular but strong-willed and impetuous. Narcissa was more reserved but a divorcee with a somewhat shady reputation. The women were bitter rivals for Bob Southern’s affections.

That autumn, Southern proposed to Kate Hambrick, and the two were married. They lived happily for several months until Bob began staying out late without explanations. Kate began hearing rumors that Bob was still meeting with Narcissa. They had been seen walking together in the woods several times since the wedding. The news made Kate intensely jealous.

Saturday, July 30, 2022

Phrenological Character of Reuben Dunbar.

Reuben Dunbar murdered his two young stepbrothers to protect his inheritance. The root cause of his problem, said phrenologists in 1851, was the shape and size of his head. He had “an unfortunate organization” in which his moral faculties were not sufficiently large to balance his animal propensities.

Read the full story here:  An Unfortunate Organization.

Saturday, July 23, 2022

"Bad Tom" Smith.

Dr. John E. Rader was found dead in the house of Mrs. Catherine McQuinn in Jackson, Kentucky, on February 5, 1895. Two bullets had pierced Rader’s heart; either could have been fatal. The circumstances surrounding the murder are somewhat hazy. Tom Smith, Mrs. McQuinn’s paramour, approached Dr. Rader and told him he was subject to fits. He wanted the doctor to watch his symptoms when the fits were on him. Dr. Rader agreed, and on February 4, he went to Mrs. McQuinn’s house where Smith was staying. He brought along a gallon jug of whiskey.

When the police arrived, Catherine McQuinn confessed to the murder. She said they had all been drinking, and when Tom Smith was lying in a drunken stupor, Rader had assaulted her, and she shot him in self-defense. This explanation was not out of line with her reputation. She was a rough, coarse woman with black hair and a face and voice more masculine than feminine. Though she was sometimes referred to as “Widow McQuinn,” her husband was alive but had been committed to the Eastern Kentucky Lunatic Asylum. Catherine had an adulterous relationship with a store clerk from town, and when her husband heard of the affair, he became a raving maniac.

Saturday, July 16, 2022

The Mysterious Murder of Bessie Little.

A swimmer in the Miami River outside of Dayton, Ohio discovered the body of Bessie Little in September 1896. It took two autopsies to determine that she died from gunshot wounds. The pistol could not be found so it was unclear whether she had committed suicide or was shot by her lover, Albert Frantz. The police used twelve three-pound magnets to search the river bottom for the missing pistol.

Read the full story here: The Bessie Little Mystery.

Saturday, July 9, 2022

Mad Infatuation.

After attending the early service at St. Sylvester’s Church in Chicago on June 23, 1895, Mary Linnett went to the home of her friend Frances Sharman. Both women were bright and attractive but quite different in appearance. Mary, age 17, was exceedingly slender with a ruddy complexion; Frances, about 38 years old, was plump and fair. The two were close friends, but Frances began to worry that Mary’s affection for her was becoming obsessive.

Mary went to the back door and asked Frances to come outside and talk. Frances refused, and as she turned to leave, Mary drew a revolver and fired four shots. Three of them missed, but one struck the back of her head, wounding her scalp. Frances hurried upstairs while her sister sent for a physician. A neighbor who heard the shots summoned the police.

Saturday, July 2, 2022

Strang Shooting Whipple.


1n 1827, Elsie Lansing lived with her husband John, in Cherry Hill, the stately mansion overlooking the Hudson River near Albany, New York. Jesse Strang was a servant living in the basement. When Elsie and Jesse fell in love, their torrid affair led to the murder of John Whipple.

Read the full story here: Albany Gothic.

Saturday, June 25, 2022

Murder by Mail.

Mrs. Cordelia Botkin
On Tuesday, August 9, 1898, Mrs. Ida Deane held a dinner party for friends and family in Dover, Delaware. After dinner, they all retired to the front porch and passed around a box of chocolates provided by Ida’s sister, Mrs. Mary Dunning. Shortly after retiring, Mrs. Deane complained of feeling sick to the stomach. After the usual household remedies proved ineffective, the family sent for a doctor. Several others complained of stomach illness which grew steadily worse.

Ida Deane died on Thursday. By Friday, four other members of the party were dead, including Mary Dunning. The cause appeared to be some form of food poisoning, but only those who ate the candy were stricken, the rest experienced no illness. A chemist analyzed the chocolates and found that they contained a large amount of arsenic, with some grains as large as coffee grounds.

Saturday, June 18, 2022

The Meierhoffer Murder.


Who murdered John Meierhoffer of Orange, New Jersey? Was it his estranged wife Margaret, or her lover, Frank Lammens?

Read the full story here: Who Shot Meierhoffer?

Saturday, June 11, 2022

Murdered in Church.

Ferdinand Hoffman, a German immigrant, arrived in Canton, Ohio, in 1864. There he met Caroline Yost, and after a brief courtship, he proposed to her. Caroline’s parents opposed the marriage because they did not trust Hoffman and knew nothing of his background. Predictably, their opposition only drove Caroline closer to Ferdinand, and the couple eloped.

The Yosts' suspicions of Hoffman’s character proved justified. Before coming to Canton, Hoffman was an “unprincipled vagabond” who engaged in counterfeiting and horse stealing. Caroline learned firsthand of his bad character when he began to abuse her and engage in criminal activities. He was caught stealing from her father and sentenced to prison, but he was released early when he agreed to join an Ohio regiment fighting for the Union. He soon deserted and returned home with a head wound that he claimed resulted from a rebel guerilla gunshot. It was later revealed that he received the wound in a Cincinnati gambling hell.

Friday, June 10, 2022


For a limited time...

Download a free sample chapter of

So Far from Home: The Pearl Bryan Murder

Purchase So Far from Home on Amazon.

Saturday, June 4, 2022

Tragedy on 30th Street.

Residents of West 30th Street, New York City, were startled on the night of October 26, 1858, when a servant ran from the house in her nightclothes, screaming, “Help! Help! Oh, my God! Frank is murdering the whole family. Rouse the neighbors!”

Read the full story here: The Thirtieth Street Murder.

Saturday, May 28, 2022

The Neosho Murder.

Lewis Wright was an Indian trader who smuggled whiskey across the border between Missouri and Indian Territory. On December 19, 1871, he left Neosho, Missouri with a loaded wagon, that was owned and driven by Sam Smith of Granby, Missouri. The following day, Smith returned to Neosho alone with the empty wagon. 

Saturday, May 21, 2022

Mashing Murderer Maxwell.

National Police Gazette, June 5, 1886.

A young woman attempted to flirt with Hugh Brooks (alias Walter Maxwell) at his 1886 murder trial in St. Louis, Missouri. She was barking up the wrong tree—Brooks was accused of murdering his male lover and stuffing his corpse in a trunk.

Read the full story here: The St. Louis Trunk Tragedy.

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Shot by His Sister-in-Law.

In 1871, Patrick Sullivan lived with his brother James and sister-in-law Jane, in Bay Point, California. As they sat down to dinner on Saturday, October 28, James noticed a coldness between his brother and Jane. As the dinner progressed, some unpleasant words passed between Jane and Patrick. James paid it no mind and after dinner, he went outside. As Patrick rose from the table, Jane grabbed a shotgun placed the muzzle within inches of his head, and fired. 

Jane Sullivan was arrested for murder and held on $5,000 bail. At the inquest, she told her side of the story. On three different occasions, Patrick “attempted to take undue liberties of the most insulting character.” The night before the murder Patrick entered the bedroom and attempted outrage, but Jane fought him off. The next morning, he tried again, and she defended herself with a butcher knife. He said if she told James he would kill her. 

The Daily Inter Ocean said, “She bore her burning mortification and indignation in silence until it could no longer be endured and then sought relief in the fatal avenging act.” 

The Illustrated Police News had a different point of view: “The women of the interior of California possess an Amazonian spirit, which is partly owing to the wilderness of their surrounding and partly to the lack of proper training. We sincerely hope Mrs. Sullivan may suffer the full penalty of her crime without regard to her sex.”

 “Antioch Items,” Daily Evening Herald, November 4, 1871.
“A California Tragedy,” Daily Inter Ocean, November 20, 1871.
“A Man Shot by his Sister-in-Law at Bay Point California,” Illustrated Police News, November 16, 1871.
“Murder,” Evening Termini, November 2, 1871.
“Pacific Coast Items,” Sacramento Daily Union, October 30, 1871.
“Pacific Coast,” Commercial Advertiser, October 31, 1871.

Saturday, May 7, 2022

The Codman Murder.


James Nowlen murdered George Codman by cutting his throat from behind. Then he chopped the body into pieces which he threw into the snow as traveled down the road in his sleigh.

Read the full story here: Massachusetts Butchery.

Saturday, April 30, 2022

The Nathan Murder.

A mysterious intruder brutally murdered Benjamin Nathan in his room while his family and servants slept soundly, hearing nothing. The luxurious Manhattan home was the scene of a classic locked-room mystery. Though theories of the murder abounded, none could be proved and the 1870 murder of Nathan remains one of New York City’s great unsolved crimes.

Read the full story here: Who Killed Benjamin Nathan?

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Shot Man and Wife.

William and Jeanette Nibsh, aged 72 and 70, lived in the outskirts of Ironton, Pennsylvania. The couple had six children, eighteen grandchildren, and one great-grandchild. William was retired from work in the iron mines, and they were spending their twilight years in a one-story log cabin.

On November 18, 1891, their neighbor, William Keck, aged 50, stopped by for a visit. He was carrying a double-barreled shotgun and said he had been out shooting. They invited him to stay for dinner, and Keck accepted. After dinner, William was sitting by the window watching the chickens when, without provocation, Keck grabbed his shotgun and emptied one barrel into William’s back. Jeannette ran from the house screaming, and Keck dragged her back into the cabin, threw her on the floor, and fired the second barrel into her head. 

She died immediately, but William was still alive. Keck went to the woodpile, seized an axe, and struck William on the side of the head. Though badly wounded, William was able to wrestle the axe away from him. Keck grabbed a piece of firewood and beat William unconscious. 

A few days earlier, Keck had borrowed twenty-five cents from William Nibsh and saw that there was more money in a bedroom drawer. After knocking William unconscious, Keck went to the drawer and took all the money—six dollars, mostly in silver. Relations between Keck and the Nibsh family had always been friendly; robbery appeared to be the only motive for the murder.

Keck left the cabin and stopped to buy some coal before going home. He paid with silver coins, believed to be from the stolen money.

When William regained consciousness, he began crawling to the house of his neighbor, Mr. Druckenmiller, about a hundred yards away. He arrived at the door about two hours after the murder. Druckenmiller spread the word, and a party of men went back to the Nipsh cabin. They found that Keck had returned, possibly to look for more money. The men grabbed him and held him under guard until policemen from the city could arrive.

Before the police arrived, a vigilance committee of at least a hundred men amassed at the cabin and took Keck outside, intending to hang him from the nearest tree. Mrs. Joseph Masonheimer, daughter of the victims, intervened and persuaded the men not to wreak their vengeance on the murderer but to let the law punish him. The police came and took him to jail in Allentown. 

William Keck had a bad reputation in Lehigh County and had served several terms in jail. Most recently, he was sentenced to six months in Easton Jail for threatening to kill his wife and daughter. He claimed he was innocent of the Nibsh assault and murder, but when brought to jail, he begged the police to shoot him and end his miserable life.

Under heavy guard, Keck was taken back to Ironton for the coroner’s inquest. William Nibsh, still in serious condition, was sworn in to testify. With great deliberation, he kissed the Bible, then, pointing to Keck, said, “This is the man who shot me, struck and hit me with a club and axe and shot and killed my wife.” Nibsh died shortly after testifying. Keck was charged with two counts of first-degree murder.

When Keck’s trial began the following January, the vigilance committee had grown to 200 men, and they occupied seats in the courtroom. They made it known that should the verdict be acquittal, they would mob both Keck and the jury. Keck was still pleading not guilty and now claimed that William Nibsh shot his wife and attempted to shoot Keck. Keck then killed Mibsh in self-defense. When the jury came back, the vigilantes did not have to mob anyone—the verdict was guilty of first-degree murder.

After an appeal and a temporary reprieve to go before the board of pardons—both of which failed—William Keck was sentenced to hang on November 11, 1892. On November 10, Keck cheated the gallows; the guard found him lying dead in his cell. There were no marks of violence and no traces of poison, so the coroner’s jury found that Keck had died of “nervous prostration superinduced by the fear and terror of execution imminent.”

A week later, after a toxicological examination of Keck’s body, the jury had to revise their verdict. Keck had died from ingesting arsenic, probably smuggled in by one of the relatives or friends who visited the jail before the scheduled hanging. They now called the cause of death “arsenical poison, self-administered with suicidal intent.” The jury blamed laxity of prison discipline and called for prompt action and reform.

“Almost a Lynching,” Daily intelligencer, November 20, 1891.
“An Aged Woman Murdered,” Watertown Daily Times, November 19, 1891.
“Daughter's Act,” Evening Herald, November 20, 1891.
“Died of Arsenic, Not Fright,” Pittsburg Dispatch, November 20, 1892.
“Jury and Prisoner to be Mobbed,” Freeland Tribune, January 7, 1892.
“Keck Cheated the Gallows,” Evening Herald, November 11, 1892.
“Keck Murder Trial,” Patriot, January 11, 1892.
“Keck's Poisonous Dose,” Freeland Tribune, November 28, 1892.
“Murderer Keck Convicted,” Philadelphia Inquirer, January 15, 1892.
“Murderer Keck in Great Glee,” Patriot, September 2, 1892.
“A Murderer Narrowly Esca[es Lynch,” Patriot, November 20, 1891.
“Nibch Dies from Wound,” Patriot, November 30, 1891.
“The Nipsh Murder,” Patriot, November 23, 1891.
“Shot Man and Wife,” National Police Gazette, December 12, 1891.
“Wife Dead, Husband Dying,” Philadelphia Inquirer, November 20, 1891.

Saturday, April 16, 2022

Rare Photo of America's Youngest Serial Killer.

This week we have a guest post from Donna Wells, a former employee of the Boston Police Department who made a rare discovery—a previously unknown photograph of “The Boston Boy Fiend,” Jesse Pomeroy.

Discovery of Previously Unknown Photograph of America’s Youngest Serial Killer, Jesse Pomeroy

I have a very strange story to tell you. I call it my strange little serial killer story… My name is Donna Wells. I graduated in 1997 from Simmons College in Boston with a master’s degree in library and information science. Several months later, I accepted a position with the Boston Police Department as their first records manager and archivist. I was tasked with establishing and managing the Department’s records management program and also with the day-to-day running of the Department’s records center and archives. I served in this position until 2007 when I took early retirement due to health and personal reasons.

Jesse Pomeroy Carte de Visite
During the time that I was with the Department, I read everything I could get my hands on regarding the history of the Department and Boston crimes. 

I now live in Central Maine with my husband. I am disabled, but I buy jewelry, buttons, and other items at auctions, flea markets, and thrift stores and sell them on eBay.  

One day, some time ago, I grabbed a tin of buttons from the shelf and took it downstairs to sort. I opened the tin and, lying on top of the buttons, was an old envelope, all folded up. There was nothing written on the envelope, so I opened it and inside there was an old photograph (a carte de visite) of a young boy. He was kind of creepy looking because the irises of his eyes appeared to be without color – they were a dead white. I put the photograph aside and continued with the buttons. Over the next several days, I was drawn back to the photograph over and over again. It just seemed like I should know who this was – that I had seen a similar image somewhere. And there was something tickling my brain, something about a white eye. 

As I was looking at the picture one day, it just came to me about a book that told the story of a young Boston serial killer that I had read when I was with the Department about a young man who had committed some truly horrifying acts—about a young man who had at least one white eye— I couldn’t remember the name of the book or his name, but I googled “Boston serial killer 1800s,” and Jesse Pomeroy came at the top of the list.

When fourteen-year-old Jesse Pomeroy was arrested in 1874 for the murder of Horace Millen, he was thought to have tortured at least six children and tortured and murdered two more. The two murder victims, ten-year-old Katie Curran and four-year-old Horace Millen had both been stabbed and nearly decapitated. Katie also had a fractured skull and several broken bones. Horace had also been nearly castrated, had one eyeball deeply pierced, and been set on fire. The victims that had managed to survive his attacks had suffered whippings, stabbings, beatings, which included broken noses and split lips, vicious bites to the face and buttocks, attempted castration, and attempted scalping. At the time of his arrest for Horace Millen’s murder, Jesse’s reputation in Boston as the “Boy Torturer” was firmly established. 

In the course of my research, I found out that the title and author of the book I had read was Fiend: The Shocking True Story of America’s Youngest Serial Killer by Harold Schechter. I no longer possessed a copy of the Schechter book because I had donated it to the BPD Records Center & Archives. I know my successor at the archives, Margaret Sullivan, so I called her and told her my story. I sent her a scan of the image that I had found and asked her to compare it with the drawing in the book. Margaret thought that the image could be Jesse. She pointed me to some resources, and I dove back into the internet.

On the back of my photograph, there is a partial photographer’s name. The last name is Dunshee, and there is an address given as 323 Washington Street, Boston. There is also what I assume is the date of the print – 1875 in the lower left corner. There is a very useful database online that lists Boston’s photographers and provides the dates that they would have been at a particular address. The approximate dates that this database gives for when E.S. Dunshee was at the address on the back of my photo are 1873-1874.


I had ordered another copy of the Schechter book and had read it again to see if I could find anything that would help me to authenticate the photograph. On page 92, I found a quote from a journalist from the Boston Herald:

“He does not look like a youth actuated by the spirit of a fiend, and, with the exception of a peculiarity about the eyes, he has no marked expression in his face from which one might read the spirit within. The idea that he is insane is not supported, except by the extraordinary character of his conduct.” 

Contrary to what many reporters of the time of the murders claimed, the image in my photograph does not show a wild-eyed lunatic, neither is there any indication of the monster that he could become, but shows a seemingly normal, although sad and confused, boy with, admittedly, very strange eyes. Looking at my photograph, I am forced to speculate that Jesse’s very normality made it possible for him to succeed in deceiving and assaulting his victims. I mean, if he truly looked like a monster, he would not have been able to get close to his victims.

In my photograph, there does not seem to be any great differences in the visible portions of his actual eyeballs, however, because the photograph is black and white, any differences of color between his irises would not be obvious. I have examined the image under magnification, and the only difference that I can detect is a slightly more “flattish” look to the iris of his right eye. There are, however, several much more obvious external differences – his right eye is more slanted and smaller than his left. Also, there is a dark area around his right eye. It appears to be a bruise of some kind, but whatever it was, it was permanent because it remains in all of the future photographs of Jesse. In later photographs, he does appear to have developed some kind of clouding of his right eye, but in my early photograph, that is not evident.

     1870s Drawing -- Found Photograph

There are some pretty striking similarities between my photograph and the drawing of Jesse that is reproduced in the Schechter book. The pose is the same. The hairstyles are identical. The costume is similar. I speculate that the artist who created the drawing might have depicted Jesse in a collar-less shirt without the bowtie of my image because he didn’t want Jesse to look too “normal.” The features, especially the shape of the ears, jaw, and nose, are alike. The eyes are very similar, except the artist had drawn Jesse’s right eye as clouded. Perhaps Jesse’s right eye had become clouded by the time that the artist drew his portrait. However, I believe that it is an inescapable conclusion that the drawing was based on another copy of my photograph. The photograph of Jesse in 1920 that is in the Schechter book is probably the best to compare with the earlier photograph. Following is the text of an email from Harold Schechter in response to my email to him: 

Dear Donna--

    My agent forwarded your email to me.

    After closely studying your photograph, I think you may, in fact, have found an early portrait of Jesse Pomeroy. I base that conclusion by comparing it not only to the newspaper engraving of the adolescent Pomeroy reproduced in my book but on the photograph of the elder Jesse that served as the frontispiece of his 1920 book of poems, which I've attached. Take a close look at the right eye in both your photo and the later one: they are virtually identical--weirdly shaped, slightly slanted, distinctly different from the left, and surrounded by a strange dark shadow as if he had a permanent shiner.

    It's an exciting find, and I would certainly consider writing it up and trying to get it published somewhere. Thanks for sharing it with me, and let me know if I can be of further help. Best, Harold S.

Jesse Pomeroy, 1920

I hired Maureen Taylor, a nationally-known historical photograph expert, to assess the photograph. I told her my story and emailed her high-resolution images of the photograph. She replied, saying that it was “an 1870s image of a man in a pretty typical suit for the period [and that] the card stock used agrees with that time period.“ She added that it was “an incredible random find [and] an astonishing discovery!”   

I am still, even now, pretty freaked out about the fact that this photograph, a previously unknown photograph and the only known photograph of Jesse during the period in which he was active, ended up in my buttons, given the fact that I am probably one of the few people who might be able to recognize the subject.

Donna Wells can be reached at for questions and comments. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

A Triple Tragedy.

Martin and Mary Curley ran a small saloon connected to their house in Broderick Patch, Pennsylvania, about three miles west of Wilke-Barre. The morning of December 29, 1890, Mary’s mother was bringing some soap to help her daughter do laundry when she saw John Thralle (sometimes spelled Tirello or Tralla), a Hungarian immigrant, enter the barroom.  Five minutes later she heard a pistol shot. Mary came running out the front door crying “murder!” and received another shot in the back of the head. She fell onto the stoop.

The neighbors became alarmed and rushed to the saloon as two more shots were fired. They found Martin Curley lying in a pool of blood with a bullet wound over his left eye, a revolver lying on his breast. Mike Haddock (aka Anton Stanovitch), another Hungarian, lay three feet away with a wound behind his ear. Haddock was dead but both the Curleys were still alive. The neighbors brought them into an adjoining room and summoned physicians. Mary lived another hour and Martin lived for two hours but neither regained consciousness before dying.

It was first believed that Martin Curley had shot both his wife and Mike Haddock then shot himself. Haddock owed $70 in unpaid rent and Mary was rumored to have an intimate relationship with Haddock. Martin had a bad reputation and was known to be a fiend when drunk.

The theory changed when reporters learned that 5-year-old Mamie Curley witnessed the shootings. She said, “There was an awful noise when I was rocking the cradle. I rushed out into the barroom and saw papa and another man falling down. I cried ‘mama,’ but mama didn’t hear me. I saw another man in the backyard.” She did not recognize the other man, but he was believed to be John Thralle. The County Commissioners offered a $500 reward for his arrest and the search for Thralle began.

The police captured Thralle and on January 1, a coroner’s inquest was held. The story changed again when two new witnesses testified. Mathew Daley and Robbie Warner both saw Martin Curley shoot his wife. Thralle testified through an interpreter that he was in the saloon and invited Curley to have a drink of whiskey. Curley said he was not feeling well and did not care for it. The remark led to a dispute resulting in tragedy. 

The jury determined that Curley murdered his wife and Haddock, then shot himself. Thralle was released.  

“Awful Triple Murder,” Philadelphia Inquirer, December 30, 1890.
“The Broderick Tragedy,” Wilkes-Barre Times Leader, January 1, 1891.
“Four Victims of One Gun,” Chicago Daily News, December 29, 1890.
“Triple Tragedy,” Columbus Dispatch, December 29, 1890.
“A Triple Tragedy,” National Police Gazette, January 17, 1891.
“Wyoming Valley Tragedy,” Delaware Republican, December 30, 1890.

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Who Killed Lottie Morgan?

Hurley, Wisconsin, a tough iron mining town, was the scene of many brutal crimes, but none more startling than the 1890 murder of Lottie Morgan. She was an actress who performed in variety theaters in Hurley and the surrounding area. Though she lived with Johnny Sullivan, a Hurley politician, she was known to have many lovers who kept her supplied with money and jewelry. Her arrangement with Sullivan may have been more about business than romance.

Lottie Morgan was well-known, well-liked, and reportedly one of the prettiest women on the range. Lottie was a prostitute, but newspapers used euphemisms to soften her notoriety—she was a courtesan, a sporting woman, one of the demimondes, of more than doubtful reputation. The Montreal River Mine and Iron County Republican said, “She carried herself with all the propriety possible for her class, was vivacious, sprightly, well informed, and was universally known here and at Ironwood and Bessemer.”

On the morning of April 12, 1890, the mutilated body of Lottie Morgan was found in the filthy alley between two low dives on Hurley’s main drag. She lay in a pool of coagulated blood with a deep gash in the side of her head, about 4 inches long, from the temple back. At her feet was her own 32 caliber revolver. A reporter found a bloodstained axe in a nearby shed, believed to be the murder weapon.

None could find a motive for the murder. Lottie was fully clothed when found and had not been molested. The police ruled out robbery because Lottie was still wearing her diamond earrings and other jewelry, valued at more than $5,000.

One of Lottie’s lovers was an ex-policeman, and some speculated that she was working as a police spy. The criminals who discovered her secret took their revenge.

The police and public favored another, more specific, theory. A recent nighttime robbery at the Hurley Iron Exchange Bank netted the thieves $39,000. Lottie had been subpoenaed to testify at the trial because the bank’s interior could be seen from the window of Lottie’s apartment. The court found Ed Baker and Phelps Perrin guilty of the robbery even without Lottie’s testimony, but they became the prime suspects in her murder.

Lottie Morgan’s elaborate funeral included a beautiful display of flowers and a procession featuring a brass band. The town raised nearly $200 to investigate the crime. A grand jury was convened to uncover the mysterious plot that led to Lottie’s murder.

But nothing was uncovered. In May, the County Board of Supervisors offered a $500 reward for the apprehension of the murders, but nothing came of this either. As time went on, the police and people of Hurley faced newer crimes and Lottie's case went cold. Lottie Morgan’s name disappeared from the newspapers and her unsolved murder was eventually forgotten.

“All over the State,” Vernon County Censor, April 13, 1892.
“Brained with an Ax,” St Paul daily globe, April 12, 1890.
“Brevities by Wire,” Aberdeen Daily News, April 12, 1890.
“Domestic,” Daily Inter Ocean, April 12, 1890.
“Found Murdered,” Erie Morning Dispatch, April 12, 1890.
“The Hurley Murder,” Bay City Times, April 12, 1890.
“A Hurley Murder,” Duluth News-Tribune, April 12, 1890.
“Lottie Morgan Murdered,” Montreal River Miner and Iron County Republican, April 10, 1890.
“Lottie Morgan's Murder,” Portage Daily Democrat, April 14, 1892.
“Murdering a Woman,” Milwaukee Journal, April 11, 1890.
“News of Wisconsin,” Boscobel Dial, May 26, 1892.
“To Cover a Crime,” Argus-Leader, May 17, 1890.
“Was She an Important Witness?,” Milwaukee Journal, May 14, 1890.
“Who Killed Lottie Morgan?,” Illustrated Police News, April 26, 1890.
“Who Killed Lottie Morgan?,” Detroit Free Press, April 12, 1890.
“Why Lottie was Murdered,” Wisconsin State Journal, May 14, 1890.