A lethal drifter prone to violent rages, Henry Moore was prosecuted in December 1912 for murdering his mother and maternal grandmother in Columbia, Missouri.
Both his victims had been slaughtered with an ax, and while the crime was grim enough, it barely scratched the surface of a bloody rampage spanning eighteen months, five states, and more than twenty homicides.
Discovery of Henry's secret came about when lawmen in Villisca, Iowa, requested federal assistance in solution of a local massacre, in June of 1912.
An unidentified assailant had employed an ax to slaughter J.B. Moore, four children, and a pair of female visitors, the Stillinger sisters; police had bodies in abundance, but they had no clues.
A federal officer, M.W. McClaughry, was assigned to the case, and his investigation indicated that the crime in Iowa was not unique. Nine months earlier, in September 1911, six victims had been slain in Colorado Springs; the victims there included H.C. Wayne, his wife and child, along with Mrs. A.J. Burnham and her children.
October was a busy month, with triple murder wiping out the Dewson family in Monmouth, Illinois, rebounding into Ellsworth, Kansas, where the Showman family - five in all - were slaughtered in their home.
On June 5, 1912 - mere days before the carnage in Villisca, Rollin Hudson and his wife were murdered in Paola, Kansas. Axes had been used in every case. In no case had a suspect been identified, and rumors of "a romance angle" in the Hudson crime produced no leads.
McClaughry was convinced that he was dealing with a transient maniac, but clues were still in short supply. Hard work, coincidence, and luck eventually saved the day.
McClaughry's father was the warden of the federal penitentiary at Leavenworth, a man with far-flung contacts in the prison system. When he heard about the case of Henry Moore, already serving life in the Missouri lockup, he informed his son.
Comparison of modus operandi in the several cases, capped by interviews with Moore, inspired McClaughry to announce, on May 9, 1913, that the books were cleared on twenty-three Midwestern homicides. Ironically, there was a ghoulish post-script in the case that launched McClaughry's own investigation.
In September 1917, a minister, the Reverend Lynn George Kelly, was arrested for the murders at Villisca.
Kelly signed confessions, indicating that the massacre was perpetrated in response to God's direction. Booming astral voices had directed Kelly to a rubbish heap, where he retrieved a cast-off ax, and on from there, until he reached the home of J.B. Moore.
Obeying his instructions to "slay utterly," the pastor crept inside and killed eight persons as he wandered through the house. But there were problems with the minister's confession. On the same day they were publicized, George Kelly told his wife the documents contained "pure fabrications."
Granted, he had signed the statements, but he was not sure precisely why. Approaching trial, he publicly recanted, and his ramblings seemed to bolster pleas of mental illness.
That November, members of a jury spent four and a half hours deliberating evidence before acquitting Rev. Kelly on all counts. Despite McClaughry's confidence in Henry Moore's participation, the Villisca case, officially, remains unsolved.
Michael Newton - An Encyclopedia
of Modern Serial Killers - Hunting Humans
Henry Lee Moore
Henry Lee Moore was born November 1, 1874 in Boone
County, Missouri. He was the eldest son of Enoch and Georgia Ann Wilson
Moore. There were three other sons born of the couple. Henry's father
was a famer and served in the Civil War. His mother was a nurse. Two of
Henry's brothers, Tilden and Turner Moore as well as his father passed
away before 1910. Henry's remaining brother, Charles died in 1960 in
Stockton, California. Charles left the area prior to the deaths of his
mother and grandmother and did not return for the trial. It was unknown
whether or not he was aware of the situation.
In 1900, Henry was living with a family in Franklin
County Iowa and working as a farmhand. It is suspected that Henry may
have fathered a child with the young daughter of the farmer. Henry was
sentenced to the Kansas State Reformatory in in Hutchinson Kansas on a
forgery charge and was released on April 11, 1911. The murders in
Colorado Springs occurred in Sept of the same year.
Testimony during Henry's trial indicated that he had
lived with his mother and grandmother during the winter of 1911 and the
summer of 1912. He left to take a job on the railroad.
Henry Lee Moore served 36 years of a life sentence
before being paroled by the govenor of Missouri on December 2, 1949. The
govenor commuted his sentence on July 30, 1956. Henry Moore was 82 years
old and had been living at the Salvation Army Center in St. Louis. It is
unknown when he died or where he was living at the time.
During the Villisca investigation, other axe murders
also came to light. Just 9 months before the crime in Villisca, H.C.
Wayne, his wife and child and Mrs. A.J. Burnham and her two children
were bludgeoned with an axe in Colorado Springs, Colorado.
A month later, in October of 1911 a family was killed
in Monmouth Illinois and just a week later, five members of a family in
Ellsworth Kansas were murdered as they slept. Just a week before the
killing of the Moore's and Stillinger's in Villisca, a man and his wife
were killed in Paola, Kansas. The similarities in the crimes were
McClaughry received information about Moore's
conviction from his father who was the warden of the Leavenworth Kansas
Federal Penitentary. It was his belief that Mr. Henry Moore had
committed all of the murders. For whatever reason, McClaughry's
announcement went largely ignored and to our knowledge, Henry Moore was
not convicted of any of the other crimes.
Life Sentence for Moore
Columbia Missouri Herald
March 21, 1913
The jury in the case of Lee
Moore returned a verdict of guilty last Friday about 10 o'clock and gave
him a life sentence in the state penitentiary. The lawyers concluded
their arguments in the case Thursday night, Prosecuting Attorney
Anderson closing with a powerful arraignment of Moore for his diabolical
After the verdict had been
rendered it was stated that the jury was unanimous on the first ballot
as to the guilt of the defendant. It is also said that four favored
hanging when the second ballot was taken as to his punishment. After
arguing the case among themselves a few hours Thursday night, the jury
retired and resumed consideration of it Friday morning. It was a few
minutes before 10 o'clock when the last man of the four who favored
hanging agreed to consent to vote for a life sentence, which was the
result of the tenth ballot.
Moore's attorneys presented a
motion asking for a new trial, which Judge Harris promptly overruled.
The prisoner was called before the bar of the court at noon and was
asked by Judge Harris, "Is there any reasons why I should not now
pronounce this sentence upon you?" The convicted man replied in a very
low tone, "There is not."
Judge Harris then pronounced the
sentence and shortly thereafter Moore was returned to jail. He was taken
to Jefferson City Saturday morning and incarcerated in the penitentiary.
In due time his attorneys will
perfect an appeal to the State Supreme Court.
There is universal approval of
the verdict of guilt in this case, the only criticism from any source
that we have heard being the failure to sentence the defendant to be
hanged. Many who believe in the guilt of the prisoner say that for so
heinous a crime he should certainly suffer the death penalty.
Lee Moore on trial
The Celebrated Case Will Probably be Given to Jury
Columbia Missouri Herald
March 14, 1913
At the hour of going to press on the Herald this week,
the lawyers are making their arrangements in the Moore murder trial. It
is probable that the case will be given to the jury at a night session
Thursday night. The attorneys for the prosecution predict a conviction
and those for the defense appear to as confidently expect an acquittal.
Judge David H. Harris opened
circuit court at Columbia last Monday morning for the trial of Henry Lee
Moore on the charge of murdering his own mother at her home in the north
part of Columbia a few days before Christmas. Readers of the Herald
doubtless recall the crime, which was one of the most atrocious---whether
committed by Moore or some other person---ever committed in Missouri.
Two defenseless, unprotected women, aged and one of them asleep in her
bed, were hacked to death with an old axe in the hands of some fiend in
The state is represented in the
prosecution of the case by Prosecuting Attorney Anderson, his assistant,
George S. Starrett and James C. Gilaspy. The attornerys for the defense
are Ralph T. Finley and William H. Sapp. The first day was occupied in
the examination of the men who had been summoned for jury duty; after
this had been finished the judge charged the forty men chosen and
adjourned court to 11 o’clock Tuesday morning. Promptly at that hour
court was convened and the following twelve men were called as jurors
for the trial of the case: Joseph Graves, A. W. Brundige, Roy Davis, M.
R. McCaslin, V. P. Toalson, George Tribble, F. D. Davis, L. F. Jones, D.
L. Mayes, J. I. Garrett, E. C. Tucker and Henry Fountain.
Prosecuting Attorney Anderson
made the opening statement on behalf of the state, outlining his theory
as to the motive for the crime and then the circumstances surrounding
its commission. He said Moore had lived with his mother in her humble
home for some time prior to last September; that about the middle of
that month he went to Moberly and took a job in the Wabash shops. A few
weeks before the murder, Moore formed the acquaintance of Mary Turnbaugh
in Moberly; it would be shown that he gave this woman money, bought her
and expensive hat and bargained for the purchase of the furniture of a
Moberly rooming house for her to run; that Moore applied to his foreman
for a pass to Columbia, which he obtained, giving as a reason for
wanting the pass the sickness of his mother. On the afternoon before the
murder, Moore left Moberly at 1 o’clock, the Turnbaugh woman being at
the depot at the time. He reached Columbia about 4 o’clock and went to
the Central Hotel and secured a room. The next morning he went to his
mother’s home, stopping at the residence of Mrs. A. J. Coates, a
neighbor, to inquire after the health of his mother and grandmother. In
a short time he went to the home of Mrs. Cornelison, next door to his
mother’s and told her that no one seemed to be a home and asked if he
knew anything about them. Then he went to the back door and shortly
afterwards came back and asked her to come to his mother’s to see what
had happened. She went and saw the bodies and then called other
Mr. Anderson told of the arrest
of the accused, his conflicting stories and subsequent admission the he
had not told the truth as to when he came to Columbia; also of the
discovery of blood on the clothing of Moore and his lame explanations
accounting for it.
J. L. Whiteside, chief of police,
was the first witness introduced by the state. He described the house
and told of finding the bodies after having been summoned to come to the
place; the front doors were locked, and the back door open but the lock
not broken. The defendant told witness that he had come to Columbia that
morning at 8 o’clock; after his arrest, he was searched in the sheriff’s
office, and blood found on his wrist, underclothes and clothing. The
defendant denied that it was blood, and claimed that it was paint gotten
on his clothing while at work. There were some blood spots on a
handkerchief taken from his coat pocket which he claimed was from his
Drs. W. R. Blankenship and C. O.
Davidson merely testified as to the wounds and conditions of the bodies.
Undertaker Ben Baker also testified along the same line.
Mrs. Cornelison testified that
she saw Moore go to the home of his mother the morning the murder was
discovered. He afterwards came to her house and asked her where his
folks were. She told him that she supposed they were home. He then went
to the back door of his mother’s home an in a short time returned to her
house and asked her to come and see what had happened. She went, saw the
body of Mrs. Moore and called some of the other neighbors. At Moore’s
request she called the Tandy Undertaking Company. Witness said that Mrs.
Wilson usually retired earlier than Mrs. Moore. She said that Moore did
not seem to be agitated the first time he came to her house; that when
he came the second time he had his handkerchief to his face but that she
could not tell whether or not he was crying. He was not crying aloud.
Mrs. Eliza Coats testified that
Moore passed by her home the same morning and had stopped to inquire
about his family, going on toward his mother’s home. Shortly thereafter
she was called to the Moore home and saw the bodies. Moore had his
handkerchief over his face but she did not know whether he was crying or
not. Moore told her that he had come home to fix for his mother and
grandmother for Christmas, as he had to work that week.
Fred Whiteside, constable at the
time of the murder, testified to being present in the sheriff’s office
when Moore was questioned about the case; also testified that blood
stains were found on Moore’s arm and clothing when he was examined.
Dr. Jordan testified to
attending Moore’s mother professionally; that Moore had told him it was
hard to meet his bills sometimes on account of having his mother to
support. That Moore had talked to him about the property his mother had
and had said that she would leave it to him when she died.
A.J. Coats testified that he
came down town from the scene of the murder, on the morning it was
discovered, in company with Moore; that they met others and in
conversation about the mutilated bodies Moore said he had seen worse
looking cases. He went with Moore to the telegraph office, where the
latter sent some telegrams in reference to the tragedy.
Chas. M Roberts, proprietor of
the Central Hotel, testified that Moore came to his place about 4
o’clock the afternoon before the murder and registered as "L. Smith,"
was shown to a room, afterwards ate supper and returned to his room; the
witness did not see him again until the next morning around 7 o’clock;
witness testified that there was a back stairway in the hotel which
Moore could have left the hotel and returned without passing through the
hotel office; on cross examination witness said that Moore’s going out
the back stairway might have been more noticeable than if he had gone
out the usual way.
Dr. W. J. Calvert testified that
he had made an analysis of the spots found on Moore’s clothing and that
they were undoubtedly blood spots.
Witnesses from the Moberly shops
testified that Moore’s wages usually ran from $65 to $70 a month and he
rarely lost time from his work.
I. H. Clark, of Moberly,
testified to Moore’s having bargained with him for the purchase, at
$275, of the furniture in a rooming house there; that Moore paid him $4
on the trade the day he left Moberly and had agreed to pay the balance
in three days.
Mrs. Pagett, with whom Moore
boarded in Moberly, testified that Moore left there the day before the
murder saying that his mother was very sick and that he was going to
Columbia to see her, but that he would be back by the next night. In
rebuttal of the statements by Moore as to his mother’s being ill, the
state introduced neighbors who testified that she was in her usual
health the day before her death and that she had done her week’s washing
two days before she was murdered.
The defendant took the witness
stand in his own behalf Wednesday afternoon and told his story in a
connected way as to coming to Columbia the day before the murder, going
to the hotel very tired and remaining there over night. That he ate
supper at the usual time and went to bed again; after getting up and
eating his breakfast, he went to his mother’s home and discovered the
dead bodies. He denied all knowledge of the crime but said the thought
he knew who committed it but when questioned as to that admitted that he
did not know any motive that man could have whom he accused of the
murder. Moore said the blood on his clothing was caused by his nose
bleeding, to which he was frequently subject. The defendant was a good
witness in his own behalf and stood the fire of cross-examination
without becoming confused. In answer to questions he admitted that he
never offered to give the prosecuting attorney any suggestion as to his
own suspicions concerning the person guilty of the murder. He admitted
that his only ground for suspicion was due to his having been told that
the man in question would be a witness against him and that he would
testify that he had seen Moore near his mother’s house at 2 o’clock the
morning of the murder, which Moore said "was a lie."
Inmates of the jail were
introduced who testified that they had seen Moore’s nose bleeding since
he had been confined in jail.
The testimony was concluded at 3
o’clock Wednesday afternoon and adjournment taken to 8:30 Thursday
morning, at which time Judge Harris had ready the instructions to the
jury and the case was to be argued by attorneys, afterwards going to the
Moore is Held Without Bond
Ax-Murderer Preliminary Draws Large Crowd, But
Develops Little New Evidence
Columbia Missouri Herald
January 3, 1913
At the preliminary
hearing of Henry Lee Moore, Saturday, charged with the murder of his
mother Mrs. Georgia Moore on December 17 with an ax, Moore was bound
over by the Justice Stockton to await action of the circuit court. The
hearing in the other case against the prisoner, that of murdering his
grandmother, Mrs. Mary Wilson, was waived. It is probable these cases
will not be reached until April term, or later, since ont of the
defendant’s attorney, F. G. Harris, will be attending the legislature
during the January term of circuit court.
The trial before the justice was
held Saturday in the circuit court room, and was largely attended.
Crowds thronged the room and remained until the case was closed. Harris
and Finley appeared in defense and briefly questioned the witnesses, E.C.
Anderson, conducting the state’s side of the case. Chief of Police
Whitesides, identified the ax; also blood-stained clothing that had been
found upon Moore.
Conductor L.E. Hill told of
Moore’s trip to Columbia from Moberly on the afternoon before the murder.
W.J. Calvert testified as to stains on the clothing worn by Moore and
pronounced them blood spots. Chas. Roberts, of Central hotel, told of
the prisoner’s registering there as L. Smith on December 17, and of his
conduct while there. Mrs. Sam Cornelison, who lived next door to the
murdered women, told of seeing Moore visit the home on the morning of
December 18 and described his manner when he came to ask about them.
Dr. J. E. Jordan said he had
treated the defendant and had known him for about 20 years and that
Moore mentioned that at his mother’s death the property would come to
C. A. Raum, of the Western Union
Telegraph Company, produced the originals of telegrams sent by Moore,
one which was introduced in evidence.
One of the star witnesses was
Queenie Nichols who had known the defendant long and was one of the many
women to whom he had made love. She identified one letter which Moore
had written her in which he said that if he knew that he love was true
he would dress her in silk; he promised to send her money next payday
and stated that he had to send money to his mother who was sick and he
had received his last pay; he asked her in the letter if she would come
to Moberly if he would send her the money to come and promised that if
she would do so he would secure a position for her at the shoe factory
there and promised her a good time every night where there would be no
one to interfere or bother. Moore signed this letter, "Your dear husband."
Another woman who testified was
Mrs. Turnbough of Moberly, who said Moore had given her a $20 hat. She
saw Moore the day before he left Moberly and also at the depot the day
he left, he told her he had received a telegram announcing the illness
of his mother and that he was going to Columbia. She said that he had
spoken of buying a rooming house and that he had asked her if he did so
would she conduct it and she told Moore that she would be glad to run
the house; that she had two children dependent on her and that it would
afford her a means of supporting them. She said that she had received a
telegram from Moore after he arrived at Columbia and on December 18,
which read: "Arrived O. K. Found mother and grandmother dead. Come if
Dr. T. S. Riggs, of McBaine,
says he officiated at the birth of Lee Moore about thrity-five years
ago. He also purchased the eighty acre farm, owned by Moore’s
grandmother formerly, and in which she had a lifetime interest. Dr.
Riggs, having bought out all the other living heirs, contracted with Mrs.
Wilson, grandmother of Moore, to pay her $100 per year during the
remainder of her life and this was to be paid quarterly. The Doctor had
intended to pay Mrs. Wilson $25 the day she was murdered, the payment
falling due on that date.
Ed. G. Davis, coroner, described
the condition of the bodies, when found and had heard Mr. Anderson
advise Moore as to constitutional rights. Other witnesses were A. J.
Coates, who was with Moore when he sent the telegram about finding his
dead relatives’ Drs. Blakenship and Davidson, who described the wounds’
Ed. McDonnell, who found the ax in a ravine near the house; Hollis
Edwards, witness to a conversation between Moore and E. C. Anderson;
Allen Burnett, a neighbor, told of the habits of the murdered women’ C.A.
Raum, who identified telegram sent by Moore; Constable Fred Whitesides
who said he was present when Moore was searched, saw stains on his
clothes and thought it was blood. He said that Moore had said that the
could prove by Bob Hall, of Moberly, that the blood on his clothes was
from a nose bleeding.
Prosecuting Attorney Anderson
told of the talk he had with Moore on the morning of December 18. Stated
that he had been summoned to the Moore home and that he went and asked
if there were any relatives and upon being informed that there was a son
asked for Moore and asked him how he accounted for the murder. Moore
replied that he did not know but that he had heard his mother talk of
committing suicide. He informed Moore that that would not go and Moore
replied: "I don’t know anything about it. I arrived in Columbia this
morning." Later at the inquest, he told that he came to Columbia the day
before and was asked why he told two stories about it, he replied: "That
he was afraid suspicion would rest on him if it was known that he was in
During the trial
Moore assumed an air of indifference which remained unbroken throughout
the examination. In the hearing of the case Justice J.S. Bicknell sat
with Justice Stockton.
Horrible Murder Committed
Mrs. Mary J. Wilson and Mrs. Georgia Moore Slain in
Their Home With an Ax.
Columbia Missouri Herald
December 20, 1912
revolting crime that the Herald has ever been called upon to record was
committed in Columbia some time Tuesday night. Mrs. Mary J. Wilson and
her daughter, Mrs. Georgia Moore were hacked to death in their home on
Moore’s Boulevard, a short distance west of North Seventh street. An old
axe with a blunt edge and a broken handle was the instrument used by the
inhuman wretch who committed the dastardly crime. Mrs. Wilson said to be
about 82, was murdered in her bed and the body of her daughter, aged 61,
partially undressed, was found lying near the back door with a horrible
gash in her neck and a deep cut in the forehead that penetrated the
Lee Moore, son of Mrs. Georgia
Moore and grandson of Mrs. Wilson, is in jail charged with the
commission of this terrible crime. He is a man about 35 years old and
has been employed in the blacksmith department of the Wabash car shops
at Moberly. He is married, but he and his wife have not lived together
for several years past.
Moore asserts that he left
Moberly on the Accommodation at 6 o’clock Wednesday morning and reached
Columbia at 8:15. That when he went to the house where his mother
grandmother lived, no response was made when he knocked on the door. Mrs.
A.J. Coats testified that Moore had stopped at her home on his way and
inquired how his folks were and that she told him "just fine." Then he
said he would hurry on and see them, as he had come to arrange for
Christmas with them. In a short time afterwards, as testified by Mrs.
Sam Cornelison, another neighbor, Moore came to her home and made
inquiries, saying that no one seemed to be at home. She told him that
she knew of nothing being wrong. He then went to the back door and
pushed it open, finding the two unfortunate women cold in death. He ran
back to the Cornelison home and other neighbors were notified and went
to the scene of the crime.
Marshal Whiteside was quickly
notified and he and officer Beasley went to the house and made a
thorough examination of the premises. E.B. McDonnell, who assisted in
the search, found the bloody axe with which the crime had evidently been
committed, in a ravine about fifty feet from the house.
The bodies of the two aged
victims were taken to the Tandy undertaking rooms and an inquest was
held in the circuit court room Wednesday afternoon by Coroner E. G.
Davis. The evidence of Lee Moore was taken first and he told the story
which we have outlined above.
Since the inquest, however, it
has been ascertained that Moore came to Columbia at 3:45 Tuesday
afternoon and slept at the Central Hotel. Other circumstances have also
been developed which pointed to him as the possible perpetrator of this
terrible deed. Prosecuting Attorney Anderson, has in view of the
evidence which he has secured, but which was not disclosed at the
inquest, had Moore placed in the county jail on a charge of murder in
the first degree.
This awful crime must have had
back of it some motive. It could hardly have been robbery, for the
premises and surroundings would not have tempted a stranger bent on
robbery, while no one familiar with the two women would have sought to
rob them. The property where they lived is probably worth $500 to $600,
with a small debt upon it, so we are told. The grandmother recently sold
a farm, on which payments were being made. Whether or not she had just
received one of these payments, we have been unable to learn. The
accused man asserts that he is simply the victim of circumstance and
that in due time he will establish his innocence. Matters which have
been developed since the inquest look very dark for the accused, but we
deem it best not to mention these, as the court, and not the newspapers,
is the best place for such crimes to be tried.
Mrs. Moore, the mother of the
accused, has one other son, but his present whereabouts are unknown to
his relatives. The grandmother, Mrs. Wilson, left six daughters. These
are: Mrs. Thomson Belcher, 1108 Paquin street; Mrs. Cassie Sappington,
Depot, Ill.; Mrs. Sallie Minter, St Louis; Mrs. Fannie Reed, St. Louis;
Mrs. Mollie Orear, Providence and Mrs. Clay Wells, Arrow Rock, Mo.
The trial of
Moore upon the terrible charge which has been lodged against him will be
held as quickly as possible, according to Prosecuting Attorney Anderson.
MURDERER CAME IN THE NIGHT
While Asleep In Their Home, Mr. & Mrs. Rollin Hudson,
A Young Paola Couple, Were Slain In A Most Brutal Manner
THEIR SKULLS CRUSHED WITH A PICK
June 14, 1912
Bodies Lying in a Pool of Blood, Discovered by
Neighbors Fifteen Hours after the Tragedy Happened. The Couple had
Quarreled and Separated and a Former Sweetheart of Mrs. Hudson is Being
Sought by the Authorities.
Two mildly excited women walked around the little
yellow house that stands on the embankment of No. 710 West Wea street
last Thursday afternoon. The Hudsons lived there, but the house had been
silent all day and these two women were neighbors and the strange quiet
worried them. So they walked around the little cottage, peering through
the half shaded windows, their voices falling to a half subdued hush as
they stood before the drawn curtains of the bedroom; and presently,
courage and curiosity rising above an over-powering sense of dread, the
two women began to call the Hudsons again and again, but their shrill,
excited voices fell "upon ears that heard not."
The women seemed to understand all at once and were
afraid to go in. Another woman, attracted by the sounds, entered the
yard. More bold than the others, she walked upon the porch and pushed
open the door. The sight of what she saw caused her to pull the door
shut quickly, and she swooned in the yard when she started to her home.
Herman Hintz, of this city, was passing in a buggy.
He was hailed by the women and asked to go into the house. He entered
slowly, for the faces of the women were pale and their hands clenched as
they waited his return.
A moment and he came out quickly, his arms raised
above his head, gasping, his face ashen.
And he suddenly cried out to the three women who were
unable to speak, "My God, they have been murdered." And he ran away up
the street. "They have been killed in their bed!" he flung over his
shoulder. And then one of the women went to the front door and peering
through the half-drawn blind, saw two forms huddled on the bed. It was
an awful sight—gruesome, sickening.
Presently, like a flood, half of Paola came to the
scene and paled at the work of a fiend. And it is said many of the
spectators who viewed the horrible sight, went to bed that night with
their lights in their home burning.
The Hudsons had been killed sometime Wednesday night,
June 5th, with a coal pick, stolen probably from the Frisco
railway yards, a short two blocks distant. Their skulls were crushed and
their features hardly recognizable. No evidence of a struggle was shown.
They lay upon the same pillow of the small iron bed, their arms clasped
partly about each other.
Rollin Hudson and his young wife came here April 10,
1912 from Massillon, Ohio, but about them Paola knew little, or nothing.
They boarded with G. W. Cole and a family a short time and then went to
housekeeping in the Akers cottage, directly across the street north. Mr.
Cole knew Hudson a year ago, when the two worked together on a railway
section at Centerville, Kansas. Hudson was there two months, when he
returned to Ohio.
Developments in the case the first few days following
the tragedy, only tended to deepen the mystery of the double crime. A
stranger—a young man wearing a blue serge coat and a straw hat—appeared
at the Hudson home about 8:30 o'clock Wednesday night and about him and
the announcement that Mrs. Hudson had a lover other than her husband,
clings the only apparent thread of the mystery.
Although Hudson and his wife had been married two
years, it is generally known that their wedded life was not a happy one.
Three times did they separate. Only one theory is suggested by facts and
circumstances connected with the murder and that is suspicion of another
man in the case. The officers are now seeking to run down this possible
Investigation has brought out the fact that the last
separation of the Hudsons, on Memorial Day, was brought about by
Hudson's unexpected return home, when he found a photographer there
taking a picture of the house. He remonstrated with Mrs. Hudson,
declaring that they could not afford the pictures and the photographer
left. Later in the day, Hudson went away and did not return home until
It was late Thursday afternoon, June 6th,
when Mrs. Sherman Stump, who lives across the street west of the Hudsons,
not having seen Hudson or his wife about the house all day, spoke of
their absence to neighbors. A visit of some unknown man to the home of
Jos. Longmeyer, a few doors away, the night previous, caused Mrs. Stump
to become suspicious. With Mrs. S. J. Musick she went to the house about
3:30 o'clock and made and investigation, in which they were joined by
Mrs. William Pryor, who lives directly east of the Hudson home, and
later by Mr. Hintz, who first discovered the real nature of the crime.
The bodies of Hudson and wife were covered with a
comforter. It was evident that deed had been committed with a coal pick—or,
there is a vague possibility, the sharp point of an ax or hatchet was
used. Hudson was barely recognizable, the left side of his skull being
torn away and a dozen other blows having rendered his head nothing more
than a bloody mass.
What is believed to have been the first blow struck
was received by Mrs. Hudson and one which would have caused instant
death, was over the left temple, leaving a gash three inches long and
tapering in width. A gash across the forehead, and another over the left
eye, ranging downward, gouging out the left eye. After the bodies had
been covered, other blows were struck, the comforter spread over t hem
having been cut in several places.
The Hudsons were last seen alive about 8:30 o'clock
Wednesday night by Mr. and Mrs. William Pryor. They were sitting on
their front porch when a stranger, of medium height, and wearing a dark
colored suit, went upon the porch of the Hudson home. Hudson opened the
door, Mr. Pryor says, and the stranger was admitted instantly. Mrs.
Pryor says she did not see the man leave the house and when she retired
about 10 o'clock, she noticed that the house was dark.
From the only traces which the murderer left,
revealing the plan of the murder, the authorities declare he entered the
home by an east window, the screen of which was removed and left leaning
against the house. This window leads to an unused bedroom, through which
he must have passed to the scantily furnished dining room, through the
front room and from there into the bedroom occupied by the Hudsons.
The motive of robbery, at first adopted by the
officers, was discarded when they found several articles of jewelry
belonging to Mrs. Hudson. Her locket and rings were still on her body.
A glance at the interior of the house leads one to
the conclusion that the household routine had been suddenly interrupted
the night before, as if the appearance of an unlooked for visitor and
friend had been the excuse to leave everything untouched until the next
There are five small rooms in the dwelling. In the
dining room the remains of an evening meal were upon the oil cloth
covered table. On the cold stove reposed a coffee pot and there were
some half shaved kindlings on the hearth. The snow white apron of the
house wife lay across the back of a chair. In the room, which had been
used as a laundry and store room, was a large wash tub filled with soapy
water and clothes. A pan of half picked strawberries was resting upon a
pantry shelf. Over the parlor table lay a profusion of embroideries and
dollies—all unfinished and suddenly set down.
It was very apparent that they had entertained a
person well known to both Wednesday night, for even the photographs and
post card album was open—a bundle of old letters, also—all for the
purpose, no doubt, of calling to mind old scenes of the past. The slayer
worked quickly and quietly. No one heard a cry, unless it was Mrs. Cole
and she was not sure.
F. H. Scheer, of the firm of Peiker & Scheer, and
James Nolen, who is employed in the meat market, say that a few days
prior to the murder, a young man, wearing a straw hat and answering in a
general way the description of the man who entered the Hudson home last
Wednesday night, called at the store and made close inquiries regarding
Rollin Hudson. Later, he inquired at other business houses about the
Hudsons, asking particularly in regard to motor car repair shops and
flour mills. When in Ohio, Hudson worked as a mechanic in a motor car
factory. So strong is the belief of the police that this stranger was
connected with the murders, that his description has been sent out over
the country with orders for his arrest.
When at Centerville, during July 1911, Hudson, in a
conversation with G.W. Cole, said he and his wife had recently separated
and that he came West to try and forget her. He mentioned another man
and said that his wife was untrue to him. "He cried while telling the
story and I did not press him for details," said Mr. Cole, last Friday.
"He seemed to be deeply in love with the woman."
Cole and Hudson were neighbors and frequently
exchanged confidences. Sunday evening of last week, they were together
at the M. K. & T. coal chutes. "Why don't you return to your wife,
Rollin," Cole says he asked. The young man did not relish the suggestion,
apparently, for he replied hotly: "You wouldn't want to live with a
woman who proved herself to be false on three different occasions, would
He again referred to a man in Ohio, but mentioned no
names. He drew a letter from his pocket, Mr. Cole says, with the remark
that it contained facts relating to former meetings with the man. It was
addressed to Mrs. Anna Hudson, general delivery, Paola, Kansas. The
husband intercepted the letter, he said.
While the two men were talking, Mrs. Hudson
approached. She was attired in a house dress and had just come down from
the home, a short distance away. She had been weeping, Mr. Cole says,
and asked her husband to come back and live with her. Hudson, is said to
have again accused her of infidelity. When Cole left them, a
reconciliation was being talked of. Later, Mr. and Mrs. Hudson were seen
going into their home. Mr. Cole says he did not talk to Hudson again.
Apparently they had made up their quarrel, because he saw them sitting
on the porch next evening, with their arms about each other.
The quarrel and separation of the Hudson last
Decoration Day had to do with a letter received by Mrs. Hudson. On that
morning, Mrs. Hudson met James A. Jones, a substitute mail carrier, two
blocks east of her home. Jones noticed that the woman was breathlessly
expectant when she asked if he had a letter for her. He recollects
handing her a letter and remembered that she was greatly excited as she
tore open the envelope. Mrs. Hudson continued on her way up town.
Hudson did not work on Thursday and neighbors declare
he was on the front porch most of the day. In the evening they went to
the cemetery and there were seen quarrelling; the husband's voice rising
at times to a high angry pitch, the wife conciliatory at every turn.
When they returned, Hudson, still angry, scribbled the following note on
an old paper bag: "Anna—Well, I am going to K.C. Leave my clothes and
those too pictures with Charley. I will be back next faul and get them.
You will not be bothered with me eny more. Good-bye. ROLLIN"
According to the story of neighbors, told at the
inquest held by Coroner J. V. Ferrel, of Louisburg, last Friday, Hudson
left home, starting in the direction of the coal chutes, saying he was
going after some coal. He did not return until Sunday night. It was on
that evening she saw him talking with Cole at the coal chutes.
J.S. Hudson, father of the murdered man, arrived in
Paola last Saturday night to take charge of the bodies. He is past 60
years of age. For many years he has been a justice of the peace at North
Industry, Ohio. He was astonished when he first heard that Mrs. Hudson
was at Paola. "I did not hear from Rollin and supposed that his wife was
still at her home in Massillon," he said. Mr. Hudson spoke of the times
his son and wife separated, and connected with each circumstance that
name of a former lover of Mrs. Hudson. This man's home was in Akron,
Ohio, he said, and he had caused Mr. and Mrs. Hudson to move from town
to town. Two weeks ago, he learned, while talking with Jacob Axxe,
father of Mrs. Hudson, at Massillon, this man had left Akron. It is
believed he came West. Mr. Hudson, accompanied by the bodies, left last
Tuesday afternoon for Massillon, where the burial will take place.
Rollin Hudson was 21 years of age, according to his
father, and Mrs. Hudson was one year his senior. They were married
October 24, 1910, at Massillon. Shortly after their marriage, the
husband's health failed, and worried by domestic troubles, he came to
Kansas. He improved his health and after the second reconciliation with
his wife, he again came to this section, intending to make his permanent
On the night of the double murder, Mrs. Joseph
Longmeyer was awakened about 12 o'clock by the falling of a lamp chimney
in the dining room of her home. She jumped out of bed in time to see a
man disappear through the back door. The screen of the rear window had
been torn off by this midnight visitor and through this window gained
entrance to the home. Sadie Longmeyer, 8 years old, says she saw the
stranger leaning over her mother's bed. A kimono, thought by the police
to belong to Mrs. Hudson, was found on the dining room floor. Mrs.
Longmeyer turned the dress over to the authorities about 10 o'clock next
morning, several hours before the discovery of the murders.
A heavy tamping pick, believed at first to be covered
with human hair and blood, was found early last Monday morning beneath
the Frisco lunch room by Charles S. Gibson. This building is within 200
yards of the scene of the murder. The handle of the pick was missing.
Many believed this to have been the weapon used by the murderer. Sid
Rawson disposed of this theory, when he told that the pick had been used
by him to dig fish worms for a year or more.
After the discovery, a gang of men resumed work in
the grass and underbrush in the vacant property west of the scene of the
crime, searching for additional clews. Three men, with scythes, cut the
long weeds and grass under the direction of the sheriff, covering a
territory of three acres, which surrounds the Hudson, Stump and
Longmeyer homes. The implement with which the crime was committed is
still missing, however, J.L. Ghent, of the Kansas City police department
joined Sheriff Chandler in his hunt for the murderer, last Sunday night.
About 11:30 o'clock on the night of the murder, A.L.
Johnston, traveling salesman for the Ridenour-Baker Grocery Company, of
Kansas City, says he saw a wildly excited man at the Frisco depot. Mr.
Johnston came to Paola on this train from the south. "The man attempted
to board the train before the passengers had gotten off and the
conductor had to use him roughly to keep him away from the steps while
we alighted," said Johnston. He was a young man, according to Johnston,
and wore a straw sailor hat and rather dark suit of clothes. He says he
would remember the stranger if he again saw him.
SHOWMAN FAMILY OF FIVE MURDERED
William Showman, His Wife and Three
Children Foully Slain In This City Sunday Night
CRIME NOT DISCOVERED UNTIL TWELVE HOUR
Murderer Has Not Yet Been Apprehended,
But The Officers Expect To Have Him Under Arrest Within A Few Hours
October 19, 1911
One of the most
shocking and brutal murders in the history of Kansas was committed in
this city some time Sunday night when an unknown assassin stole in the
house occupied by William Showman and family and while they slept
murdered the entire family, consisting of Will Showman, his wife, their
son Lester, aged 7, and daughters Fern and Fenton, aged 4 and 2 years
The crime was committed some
time during the night of October 15th and was not discovered
until 5 o'clock the following afternoon. Mrs. O. W. Snook, a neighbor,
failing to get any answer to her repeated calls to the Showman family
over the telephone, went over to their house, a distance of about two
blocks, and finding the door open. Walked in and was horrified at the
terrible sight which confronted her. In one bed lay Mr. and Mrs. Showman
and their little baby, and in the other the son and older daughter, all
with their heads terribly crushed and mangled beyond recognition. Mrs.
Snook rushed terror stricken from the house and telephoned to a brother
of the murdered man, John Showman, who in turn notified the sheriff.
Tells of Finding Bodies
When interviewed Monday evening
Mrs. Snook said: "Sunday evening Mr. and Mrs. Showman and their children
were visiting with us and left for their home about two blocks away, at
9 o'clock. We have been in the habit of visiting back and forth with
each other and Monday I called them up over the telephone several times,
but could get no answer. I then called up Mr. Showman's place of work
and his employer informed me that Mr. Showman had not reported for work
that day. Thinking that some of the family might be ill, I took my child
and walked over to their house and entered through the back door and
passed through the kitchen into the front room. I gave just one look at
the battered and bloody bodies lying on the beds and ran from the house
and called up Mr. Showman's brother John, who came to the house then
notified the sheriff."
"I know of no reason why this
terrible crime should have been committed. So far as I know the
Showman's were without enemies. They were good-natured, likeable people
and I cannot understand why anyone should harbor such ill-will against
"The Showman's owned a bird dog
and several times on Monday the dog came to our house and I drove him
away, telling him to go back home, which he did, only to return again.
When I walked into their house, the dog was inside lying down. I do not
know how he got inside, unless he opened the screen door, which he might
have done. The outside doors were unlocked and open, the murderer
apparently having left them that way. The dog was accounted a good watch
dog and how the assassin perpetrated his foul deed without arousing the
dog and giving an alarm, I cannot understand."
Sheriff Bradshaw and Marshal
Merritt went immediately to the house, and after a brief investigation,
the bodies were removed to the Hutchinson Undertaking establishment.
Sends For Blood Hounds
Sheriff Bradshaw wired to
Abilene for blood hounds, which were brought here on the 11:57 train
Monday night by Sheriff Young of Dickinson county. The dogs were taken
to the scene of the crime, and, taking the scent from a cloth upon which
the murderer had wiped his hands, took a trail and followed it to where
the Union Pacific and Frisco tracks intersect, about a half mile west of
town. This crossing is only a short distance south of the Showman home.
The dogs stopped and refused to go further. They were taken back to the
house and one of the dogs unleashed. After circling around the house
several times he darted off through some bushes in the rear of the house
and returned in a few moments; then took up the same trail previously
followed, which ended, as before, at the intersection of the railroad
From this it is thought that the
murderer may have walked to the crossing and there boarded either a
Frisco or Union Pacific train.
Sheriff Young then declared that
further effort to track the criminal with the dogs would be useless, as
they would only go over the same trail. He gave it as his opinion,
moreover that the scent was too old for the dogs to follow intelligently.
Sheriff Young returned to Abliene with his blood hounds Tuesday morning.
Used An Ax
The murderer committed his
atrocious deed with an ax, which was found behind the door connecting
the two rooms. It had recently been washed off with water, but there was
sufficient blood on it to show that it was the instrument used, and
there was also some hair on it which corresponded with that of the head
of Mrs. Showman.
Evidently the murderer had gone
about his work in a deliberate manner. A cloak belonging to Mrs. Showman
was thrown over the telephone to muffle it, and a lamp placed at the
foot of the bed. The chimney of the lamp was found in the kitchen under
a chair and it is believed that the deed was committed in the dim light
thrown from the lamp wick, the murderer evidently fearing the family
might waken in stronger light.
From the positions of the bodies
it would see that they had no warning of their terrible fate, as there
was no evidence of any struggle, and the bodies, with the exception of
that of Mrs. Showman, however had been subjected to treatment that
clearly indicates that the fiend was possessed of an abnormal hatred
The Only Clues
Up to the time for going to
press the city officers were still without any definite information as
to the whereabouts of the murderer. They have several clues. On the
might of the murder a strange man asked for a room at the Baker Hotel
between the hours of 1 and 2. He registered as John Smith, Junction City,
and said he was going to work in one of the Kanopolis salt mines. This
was the last seen of him in Ellsworth. He left a hat and a bundle
containing a blanket and other bed clothing in the office of the hotel,
which he did not call for. In the morning when he did not appear, his
room was searched and some of his clothing was found on the floor, one
of the articles being a shirt, which was smeared with blood. Whether
this man brought the bloody clothing with him to the hotel when he first
came in, or whether he first went out, committed the foul deed and then
returned to his room to change his clothing, is not known. However, this
man did go to Kanopolis and ate breakfast early Monday morning at a
restaurant in that town. He then went to the salt plant and applied for
work, but was told there was nothing for him to do. He then stated he
would walk to Salina and that was the last heard of him. He gave the
name as John Smitherton, and address as Junction City, to the salt mine
people. Sheriff Bradshaw got late communication with the authorities at
Junction City, who reported that no such person as John Smitherton was
known at Junction City, and that all John Smith's known there were
accounted for. This man is described as being about 5 feet, 11 inches
tall, weighing about 170 pounds, light hair and light blue eyes.
Another person suspected is
Charles Marzyck, a brother-in-law of Mrs. Showman. Marzyck was sent to
the penitentiary from Ellsworth in January, 1906, for having stolen some
wheat. At the time there was some trouble between Marzyck and his wife,
a sister to Mrs. Showman. She obtained a divorce while Marzyck was
serving his sentence, and then married James Vopat.
Marzyck was released from the
penitentiary in April, 1910, and has not been seen in these parts since.
He is supposed to be now living in San Francisco. The chief of police of
San Francisco has been asked to learn the whereabouts of Marzyck on the
night of the murder.
Another thing that tends to
throw suspicion on Marzyck is the fact that Marshal Merritt, who was a
witness against him in the trial of 1906, when Marzyck was sent to the
penitentiary, states that some one tried to enter his home Sunday
evening. He was sitting in his home reading a paper when he heard some
one try the back door. He thought nothing of it, but as the noise
continued, he arose and went to the door, but could see nothing. The
next morning and investigation showed that a screen had been removed
from one of the windows on the Merritt home.
Whether or not this was Marzyck
is, of course, not known, but Marshal Merritt believes that it was and
that he tried to enter his home and "fix" him before going to the
Because of the sad circumstances
surrounding the taking off of this entire family, Mayor M. L. Meek
issued a proclamation requesting that all places of business be closed
during the funeral hour of the Will Showman family. The proclamation
"It is my desire that all places
of business be closed during the funeral hour of the Will Showman family
who were victims of the most atrocious crime ever committed within our
city. I therefore request that all business houses close between the
hours of 2 and 3 o'clock p.m., October 18, 1911. M. L. Meek "Mayor"
Thought They Had Him
Considerable excitement was
caused on our streets yesterday when a rumor flew the rounds that
Charles Marzyck, suspected slayer of the Showman family, had been caught
in the cellar of James Vopat's residence several miles south of town.
Sheriff Bradshaw and Marshal Merritt, together with a number of deputies,
made a flying trip in automobiles to the scene and searched the house
thoroughly, but no trace of the man was found. It seems that when Mr.
Vopat left the house a few hours before, he fixed the latch so that
could enter from the outside without a key. When he returned he found
that the latch had been thrown and he was unable to get into his house.
As Mrs. Vopat's former wife,
Marzyck had threatened her at the time of his trial, it was feared that
he would try to wreak his vengeance upon her also, if he is the guilty
man. With these circumstances in his mind, Mr. Vopat jumped to the
conclusion that Marzyck or someone not belonging there was inside the
house, so he immediately telephoned to Ellsworth with the result noted
Sheriff Bradshaw and his
deputies were much chagrined at the outcome, but they realized the
strain under which the Vopats have been laboring ever since the crime
was discovered and did not blame Mr. Vopat in the least for sounding a
Showman Murder Like Other
The murder of the Showman family
in this city Sunday night as they slept was almost identical to the
slaying of six in Colorado Springs, Colo., on September 21st
and more lately in the killing of William E. Dawson, his wife and
daughter in Monmouth, Ill., October 1st. In each case an ax
was the instrument of death. In every case each person in the house was
killed apparently while asleep.
In the Colorado Springs tragedy
two families were wiped out. The bodies of Alice May Burnham, her 6-year
old daughter Alice and her 3-year old son John, and Henry Wayne, his
wife, Blanche, and their 2-year old twin babies were found in their
adjoining cottages. The head of each had been crushed by a heavy blow
from an ax. The bodies were not discovered for at least two days after
the murders. Arthur J. Burnham, husband of Alice Burnham, was arrested
as a suspect, but stoutly maintained his innocence.
Dawson was the caretaker of a
church in Monmouth, Ill. The tragedy was discovered by a committee of
deacons, who visited Dawson's home to reprimand him for failing to make
the church ready for the Sunday services. After breaking in the door,
they found the three bodies each with its head crushed, the wounds
showing unmistakable signs of having been caused by one instrument, an
The Showman family was slain in
like manner, the murderer going further, however and battering the
features of his victims beyond recognition. In no case has the slightest
motive been discovered by the police. All were working people, in
comfortable circumstances with no known enemies. From none of the homes
was heard any sign of a struggle or any intimation that there had been
trouble until the bodies were discovered.
Inquest by Coroner's Jury
A coroner's inquest was held at
the court house yesterday afternoon. The coroner's jury was made up as
follows: James Nemechek, Joseph Kalina, Jr., Roscoe Holt, Norris Babson,
Hugh Leith and Tom Weightman, Sr. The witnesses examined were Mrs. O. W.
Snook, John Showman, Joe Kolachny, Harry Baker, George Showman, James
Vopat, Dr. H. C. Mayer, James Cowie, Jr,. William McGuire, Lou Bunzel,
H. E. Cole and K. L. Griffith. The inquest was adjourned until October
That the man was registered at
the Baker hotel here last Sunday night under the name of John Smith,
Junction City, is the murderer of the five members of the William
Showman family, was the finding of the coroner's jury, which adjourned
yesterday afternoon until October 30th. A further
indentification of the guilty party was not undertaken.
Evidence produced at the inquest
under the questioning of Dr. J. M. Reitzel, coroner, of Kanopolis,
accounted for the man from the time he is supposed to have come to
Ellsworth Sunday night until he was last seen going out of Kanopolis
The testimony of Marshal Merritt
revealed an attempt upon the part of some person to enter his home
shortly before midnight Sunday. The screen of one the windows was cut
out and the window casing showed that an effort had been made to pry up
the window. Marshal Merritt was instrumental in bringing Marzyck to
justice and sending him to the penitentiary in 1906. It is said that
Marzyck swore vengeance against Merritt at that time.
Testimony was then given showing
that the murderer probably had gone from Marshal Merritt's home to that
occupied by the Showman family, where the slayer crushed the skulls of
William Showman and wife and their three children. There he paused long
enough to wash his hands and the blood stained ax in a bucket of water
before making his escape. According to the testimony given, it is
believed that the murderer walked from the Showman home to where the
Union Pacific and Frisco railroads intersect, and there boarded an
eastbound Union Pacific train, riding as far as the depot, where her
dropped off and went to the Baker Hotel and changed his clothes.
The trend of evidence then
shifted to Kanopolis, where the man went after leaving the Baker Hotel.
It is supposed he walked to that town, where he ate a hasty breakfast
and then applied for work at the salt mine. They could not give him any
work, so he left, stating that he would walk to Salina.
$1,000 Reward Offered
Governor Stubbs, who has been
keeping in close touch with the developments of the Showman murder case
here, yesterday offered a reward of $500 for the apprehension of the
murderer. To this was added an additional $500, which was appropriated
by the county commissioners of this county, making the total reward
$1,000. No effort will be spared to catch the guilty party.
Is Marzyck in Alaska?
Denver, Colo., October
18---Charles Marzyck sought by the police in Ellsworth, Kansas, was a
suspect in the Showman murder case, is not a stranger to the Denver
police. Soon after his marriage here to Minnie Kratky in 1898, while
employed in the local cigar factory, he is alleged to have carried on a
system of forgeries that are said to have netted him several hundreds of
dollars from saloonkeepers and grocers. He fled from the city before he
could be arrested. Five years later he was arrested here at the request
of St. Joseph, Mo., authorities on charges of forgery. He fought
extradition and secured his release through a technicality.
A brother, Joseph Marzyck, is a
musician at a local moving picture theatre. Joseph Marzyck says he last
saw his brother several months ago when the latter stopped in Denver for
a few days on his way to Alaska. Several letters, Joseph said, have been
received from him, and the postmarks would indicate that it would have
been impossible for him to commit the Showman murders.
Attempts to connect Marzyck with
the sextuple murders of the Wayne and Burnham families at Colorado
Springs have had no results so far.
Murderer Still At Large
Up to the hour of going to press
(3:30 p.m.) the murderer of the William Showman family had not been
apprehended. Sheriff Bradshaw went to Geneseo this morning in response
to information from that place that the suspected man might be at work
among the laborers on the railroad gradings there. So far his quest has
not been successful.
Showman---At their home in the
northwest part of the city Sunday night, William Showman, aged 31 years,
Mrs. William Showman, aged 27 years, and their three children, Lester,
aged 7, Fern, aged 4, and Fenton, aged 2 years.
Funeral services were held at
the M. E. church Wednesday afternoon at 2 o'clock conducted by the Rev.
C. R. Wade. The church was filled with friends of the deceased ones and
outside was an equally large number of persons unable to gain admittance
to the church. The Redman lodge conducted a service at the cemetery, the
service being read by J. M. Darby and T. E. Hamilton. The pallbearers
were J. A. Schmitt, C. J. Scott, F. A, Kesler, W. F. Tibbetts, J. F.
Rogers and James Holt, all Sons of Veterans. The bodies were all buried
in one grave.
William H. Showman was born
January 23, 1880 and was 31 years, 9 months and 22 days of age. The
exact date of Mrs. Showman's birth could not be learned, but she was
about 27 years of age. Her maiden name was Pauline Kratky.
William Showman is survived by
his mother, Mrs. David Showman, and three brothers, John, George, and
Samuel. Mrs. Showman is survived by her parents, Mr. and Mrs. John
Kratky, residing at Black Wolf, four sisters, Mrs. Minnie Vopat of Black
Wolf, Mrs. Mary Soucek of Lamount, Okla., Mrs. Frank Jilka of Tescott,
Kansas, and Miss Clare Kratky of Holyrood, and two brothers, John and
Emil, residing at Holyrood.
Interment was made in the
Ellsworth cemetery and the remains were followed to their last resting
place by a large concourse of people, there being over 150 carriages in
line. The bodies were carried to the cemetery in three hearses and an
The heartfelt sympathy of the entire
community goes out to the sorrowing relatives of the deceased, who were
so cruelly cut off from this earthly life.
Moore, Henry Lee
SEX: M RACE: W TYPE: N MOTIVE:
MO: Transient home invader,
slaughtered whole families with axes
DISPOSITION: Life sentence in Mo.
for ax murder of his mother and grandmother, 1912.
Henry Lee Moore