Saturday, March 19, 2016

“But you’re stabbed, don’t you know.”

Little Murders
On Wednesday evening, October 1, 1888, Brundage H. Welton, a well-known insurance man, was standing in Wilcox Brother’s cigar store in Bainbridge, New York, when a young man came into the store, walked up to Welton and punched him in the side.

“Don’t punch a fellow that way; you hurt,” Welton said to him.

“But you’re stabbed, don’t you know,” the other man said, grinning. He punched him again and said “Look and see.”

Welton unbuttoned his coat and was horrified to see a great quantity of blood flowing from stab wounds in his side.

“Didn’t know it, eh?” the other man chuckled and drove the blade of his long jackknife into Welton a third time.

The stabber was secured then and taken to the police station before the gathering crowd could take the law into its own hands. Welton died soon after and his wife, who was in delicate health, was not expected to survive the shock of learning of her husband’s fate.

The stabber was 22-year-old William Gilbert, son of E. S. Gilbert, the Town Clerk. Gilbert, who lived with his parents, was well educated but not very sociable and was viewed as somewhat peculiar. He worked as a cigarmaker for Wilcox Brothers but had been laid off for a few days on the previous Friday. He and the other workers had been on a drunken spree since then. 

Gilbert and Welton had not known each other and the attack had been completely unprovoked. It was generally believed that William Gilbert was crazy.

"'You're Stabbed, Don't You Know?'" Evening Star 3 Oct 1888.
"Fatally Stabbed in the Back." Morning Star 3 Oct 1888.
"Murder by a Maniac." Jackson Citizen 9 Oct 1888.
"Stabbed to Death." National Police Gazette 27 Oct 1888.


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