Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Cleveland Axe Murder.

Frank and Eliza Florin of Cleveland, Ohio, had been married for sixteen years and had three children aged 8, 9 and 15. When sober, Frank worked steadily as a plasterer and lived peaceably with his wife, but by 1867 he was rarely sober. When intoxicated, he was convinced that his wife was cheating on him and would drag up incidents from years past during the couple’s loud and frequent arguments. The arguments would often turn violent and policemen in the neighborhood would be called in the middle of the night to protect Eliza from her husband. Neighbors denied Frank’s charges that his wife was unfaithful and said she was an honest, virtuous and industrious woman. They also claimed that Frank often said he would kill her someday.

On Monday, September 16, 1867, Frank Florin was scheduled to appear at Police Court for abusing his wife. The Friday before his court appearance, while out on $100 bail, Frank spent the day in his room drinking. Around 7:30 that evening he emerged from the room, “much stupefied with liquor,” holding an axe in his hand. He came up behind Eliza, who was sitting by the window, and with one blow of the axe, crushed her skull. He then slashed her face and throat with some sharp instrument.

The two youngest children heard their mother’s cries for help and when they realized what was happening ran screaming from the house to find their older sister who was living with a neighbor. The children’s screams interrupted Frank’s work and he fled the house as well.

A squad of policemen was dispatched to search the neighborhood for Frank Florin, but he was captured by John Hayes, a saloon keeper who knew him well. Hayes handed Florin over to Officer Ostemier who took him to the station along with the bloody axe found in the house. The blow had caused the blade and handle to separate, and it was believed that Florin used the blade to cut her face and throat.

Eliza Florin lived through the night, but doctors were unable to save her. She died the following day.


“Brutal Murder in Cleveland,” Boston Herald, September 19, 1867.
“Cleveland (Ohio) Tragedy,” The National Police Gazette, September 28, 1867.
“Criminal Record,” Cincinnati Daily Gazette, September 16, 1867.


VigilAnnie says:
February 13, 2018 at 1:55 AM

Damn...crazy fool...

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