Saturday, August 21, 2021

Caused by Jealousy.

 L.P. Christiansen was the proprietor of the Vienna House in Kansas City, Missouri, in 1888. William E. Bell was the head cook at the hotel until August of that year when Christiansen fired him for paying too much attention to his niece, Annie Christiansen. 

Christiansen was not exactly acting to protect his niece’s virtue; he had eyes for Annie himself. L.P.   scandalized the Vienna house when he left his wife and persuaded Annie to run away with him to Omaha. With her husband gone, Mrs. Christiansen brought back William Bell to help run the hotel. The two soon became intimate, causing further scandal at the Vienna House.

Mrs. Christiansen and William Bell were soon at each other’s throats.  She fired him again and left for Omaha to find her husband. Before she left, Bell told her, “If you bring Christiansen back with you, I’ll kill him.” Despite the warning, Mrs. Christiansen returned to Kansas City with her unfaithful husband.

As soon as Bell learned that Christiansen had returned, he started for the hotel. He was heard muttering, “If he makes a move, I mean to blow him to hell. I’ve stood this razzle long enough and will end it tonight.”

Bell entered the hotel by the rear stairway leading to the second floor and made straight to Christiansen’s room. He drew a 32-caliber bulldog revolver and fired twice— the first shot hit the wall above Christensen’s head, the second struck him in the forehead above the right eye. Mrs. Christiansen opened the door when she heard the first shot, and as her husband fell, bleeding, at her feet, she shrieked, “Oh, God! Will, you are a murderer—you’ve killed my husband!”

Bell ran outside to the pavement and raised the still-smoking revolver to his head. He fired and instantly died. L.P. Christiansen died later that day without regaining consciousness. Mrs. Christensen denied that she had been intimate with Bell and blamed it all on the love of the two men for Annie Christiansen. 

“Caused by Jealousy,” Illustrated Police News, March 23, 1889.
“Double Tragedy,” Cheyenne daily leader, March 10, 1889.
“A Sensational Tragedy,” Daily Inter Ocean, March 10, 1889.


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