Saturday, June 16, 2018

The Linville Murderer.

Thursday, December 13, 1877, began as an ordinary day for Alfred Jones, a 72-year-old farmer in Linville, Ohio. He walked to Brownsville and returned home about 11:00, had lunch, sat down to relax and dozed off. He awoke when he heard the sound of squeaking shoes coming from the back porch—he had heard that sound before and thought it meant his daughter was up to no good. 

Jones went out the back porch and caught a glimpse of someone disappearing down the ravine behind the house. He followed after and met his daughter, Susanna, coming back up the hill carrying three large flat stones she planned to use as stepping stones in a marshy area near the house. 

41-year-old Susana had never married. After her mother died twenty-one years earlier, she stayed to keep house for her father. She had recently joined the Lutheran Church against her father’s wishes and he suspected that she was inappropriately intimate with several of their married neighbors.

Jones helped his daughters carry the stones up the hill, then suddenly turned and said, “You had a man over there!”

“Father, you accuse me wrong,” she replied. 

Enraged, Jones picked up a hatchet lying nearby and began assaulting Susana with it. She warded off the blows and managed to run about 50 yards before he caught up to her. After a brief struggle, Jones overpowered Susana, raining blows with the hatchet until she lay dead in a pool of blood. 

He hid the bloody hatchet under the house and put his blood-stained coat and shirt in an ash barrel. Inside the house, he cleaned up and put on his best clothes, then walked twelve miles into town where he surrendered to Sheriff Scofield.

At first, the Sheriff and his men laughed at the old man confessing to murder, thinking he must be drunk. Jones denied that he was drunk, saying, “I'm a Virginian, and it’s Virginia grit when a man has broken the law to give himself up and suffer the penalty.” The sheriff took Jones into custody then went out to his farm to see for himself. He found Susana dead on the ground and he and his men located the hatchet and bloody clothes.

Alfred Jones was indicted for first-degree murder but it was assumed that he was insane. Neighbors had known Susana Jones as an industrious, amiable and intelligent woman who took good care of her father. There was not the slightest ground for her father’s suspicion of adultery. But Jones remained convinced that his daughter had done wrong and used the Bible to justify killing her. He said he had read the scriptures three times and they declared whoever committed adultery should be put to death. It was his duty to kill her. While acknowledging the enormity of his crime, Jones showed no remorse. He asked the sheriff if he would be compelled to pay for his board and lodging while in prison and thought it best if he were hanged as soon as possible. The Stark County Democrat said, “Alfred Jones, the Linville murderer, if not a lunatic is an idiot.”

At his trial the following April, Jones was treated as sane but was not sentenced to death. He was convicted of second-degree murder and spent the remainder of his life in the penitentiary.

“Crime in Licking County,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 18, 1877.
“For His Life,” Cincinnati Enquirer, April 16, 1878.
“The Jones Murder,” Cincinnati Enquirer, December 15, 1877.
“Local News,” Stark County Democrat, May 9, 1878.
“A Queer Murderer,” Stark County Democrat, January 10, 1878.
“A Sanguinary Sensation,” National Police Gazette, April 27, 1878.


Unknown says:
June 22, 2018 at 9:38 AM

It’s sad to read she sacrificed 21 years of her life to take care of the man who brought her into the world and ultimately took her out of it.

Unknown says:
June 24, 2018 at 11:02 PM

This man stated he had read the Scriptures...had he truly read them he would have taken the account of Jesus and the Woman caught in Adultery to heart...John 8:1-11. He also would have taken the Scripture that states God will not allow a Murderer to escape His punishment. (Whether in this World or the Next...)

Jenny Whiskey says:
October 11, 2023 at 7:42 PM

omg shut up unknown.

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