Monday, November 21, 2016

Gertrude Grace Johnson

It took me several days to research this story and find out all I could about Gertrude. I Wish I could have found more.

Here are  the facts:

Gertrude Grace Johnson was born on 13 Aug 1895  in Garra, New South Wales Australia. To Charles Arthur Johnson &  Susan Staines. She was number 6 of 8 children born to this family. All born in Australia. 

Gertrude was a part of the'free love religious cult' and had been a member for six years by 1919.  Little is known about the inner workings of the Free Love Mission. It was said that there was a lot of sex going on between members even married couples.  I suppose it's not much different than the 1960s free love movement in America. It was quite shocking for the time. She became acquainted with the group near Molong in rural NSW, where she had embraced its doctrine of free love, faith healing, and intermarital sex. “There is no condemnation for those who believed in Christ Jesus”, the sect members were said to take drugs, fornicate with multiple partners and bear children outside of wedlock.

“The sect ran their meetings in Sydney - they used to cry, roll on the floor and howl, and if anyone did not agree with them they cut them out,” stated one news report.
Gertrude Ligores was a young woman, she was 25 years-old.


Gertrude got married in February of 1919 in Redfern, to  Daniel  Ligores was a Filipino traveling showman turned Salvation Army cook who was working in Kent St in Surry Hills. 

Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved into the Free Love Mission at 62 Regent St, Redfern, also known as the Abode of Love, and the Apostolic Faith Mission by its leader, a man called Cummings.


For a time they were happy but Gertie’s relationship with other members increasingly bothered Ligores.

He knew she was having an affair with its charismatic leader, and in the weeks before the murder had described the Mission as “nothing more than a den of prostitutes and profligates”.

“Daniel Ligores became quite jealous with other men looking at his wife and as he alleges, sleeping with his wife, so he decided they should leave,” Ms. Campbell   curator and author at the Justice and Police Museum in Sydney said
“But Gertrude it seems was spiritually and possibly sexually satisfied with her religion and she didn’t want to leave.”

When a leadership schism erupted within the Mission, Ligores saw his chance to break free. During a meeting one night, rival leader Hall had demanded, “as much right at Cummings to touch every woman in the house”.

Ligores stormed down to Redfern police station, returning with two detectives, who ordered the Mission to disband.

Gertie was packed off to Parkes, in central New South Wales, and Ligores demanded an end to her involvement with the group.

Two months later after a heartfelt letter promising to stay true to her husband, she returned and they moved to Woolloomooloo. But the Mission’s members were soon knocking on their door in a bid to lure them back to the sex cult.


Shortly after their marriage, the couple moved into the Free Love Mission at 62 Regent St, Redfern, also known as the Abode of Love, and the Apostolic Faith Mission by its leader, a man called Cummings.

For a time they were happy but Gertie’s relationship with other members increasingly bothered Ligores.

He knew she was having an affair with its charismatic leader, and in the weeks before the murder had described the Mission as “nothing more than a den of prostitutes and profligates”.


Two months later after a heartfelt letter promising to stay true to her husband, she returned and they moved to Woolloomooloo. But the Mission’s members were soon knocking on their door in a bid to lure them back to the sex cult.

I believe Daniel became Paranoid at this point and was scared of losing his wife to these people. I think he just wanted his wife to himself, which is a reasonable request considering. 

 He told his boss he would shoot his wife and give himself up to the police if she didn’t cut her ties.


He beat her black and blue multiple times.

Their landlady reported  violent fights coming from their place Gertrude slapped him and he punched her. Others reported the same findings. So there was a lot of violence going on between them. 

On Aug 7, 1920, Daniel left work early scared that his wife might be with another man. He stated “I was in a very troubled state of mind because I thought my wife was not true to me ...” he later told an inquest. “We walked along Belmore Park where we sat on a bench for about 10 minutes and then got up and went along Elizabeth Street to Holt’s Place.”



 Free Love Mission was in this building in Sydney, Australia






The Murder

Holt Place, off Elizabeth Street, in late November 1920.






The Police Report
“It’s believed he sought her out, he followed her and found her in the street, it seems he then punched her and beat her and there was an argument between the two of them.

“He pulled out a revolver which he claimed he only carried to protect himself when he was carrying large amounts of money around … he shot her four times and all of those shots could have caused her death. He wasn’t intending to maim or scare her, he wanted her dead.”

The Mission had established a breakaway sect in Holt Place and when he got there, Ligores lost control: “At Holt’s Place I went mad and I don’t remember what I did to her,” he said.

Daniel's plea to the jury : “I beg to state I am entirely innocent of the crime ... When the tragedy occurred, I was in a state of frenzy, I’d drowned my sorrow in drink. This is a terrible blow to me.”













On November 23, Daniel Ligores was sentenced to death, although the jury asked for mercy and he did not hang.

He did not hang but there is no futher records of Daniel, I presume he died in prison and was buried where other prisoners are buried. 






Mug shot of Daniel Ligores, around November 1920, probably Darlinghurst Police Station.

Special Photograph no. 249. Enraged over his wife's participation in a Surry Hills-based 'free love religious cult' (variously called 'Abode of Love' or 'Free Love Mission' by the newspapers, or 'Apostolic Faith Mission' by its leader), Daniel Ligores, Salvation Army cook, of 110 Palmer Street Darlinghurst, shot his wife Gertrude Grace Ligores dead at the mission's premises in Holt Place, off Elizabeth Street, in late November 1920.
This picture is one of a series of around 2500 "special photographs" taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930. These "special photographs" were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of "men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension". Doyle suggests that, compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, "the subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed - perhaps invited - to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus seems constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen personal, style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics."

31256

New South Wales. Police Dept.
City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
Glass plate negative:






Gertrude died 7 Aug 1920 by the hands of the husband. No matter the reason and no matter how badly he felt after, she is dead.  She is presumably buried in Rockwood Cemetery I have yet to find her.
I looked through genealogies on several website trying to find a photo of her had no such luck. Sorry Gertie I tried. 




Sunday, November 20, 2016

Amanda Harriet Willis





She was known as Harriett and she was born the 22 of March 1879 in Marquette, NE
Marquette is a village in Hamilton County, NE In 2010 the population census 229 persons, 89 households, 68 families here.

Harriet's parents and older siblings moved here from Iowa before 1877 when her brother John Ira Willis was born here.
In 1900 Harriet married John Ostbloom and they had 5 children.
John Devere Ostbllom
Arthur Otis Ostbloom
Velma Christine Ostbloom
Zola Carolie Ostbloom
and
Marie J Ostbloom
For some reason, John & Harriet divorced
And on 4 Jan 1924 she re-married to a man who was married twice before.
Frank Ewing Sharp He was born 2 dec 1876 in 
Plattsmouth, Cass, Nebraska to Pvt Joseph Garvin Sharp & Amanda Jane Rager 

Harriet and John had no children together he had children from one of his previous marriages.
They had to be known to argue frequently, Including the evening in question.


On March 17, 1926, a Wednesday Frank claimed his wife was abducted by bandits, who held them up on Tuesday night north of Havelock. 
He was blindfolded and his hands tied with wire, he staggered into the yard of George Carey, 1244 N Roberts Street, Bethany.
About 10:30 Tuesday night. The Carey family heard him shouting in the yard, and a relative went out. Sharps blindfold was removed and the wire-heavy galvanized steel No. 9 that was fastened his hands, was untwisted. 



Frank explained to the Careys that he stopped his Ford sedan on the road between University Place and Bethany to see if he had a flat tire A large car drove up and a man got out asking if he could help.
The man pulled a gun and ordered Frank back into his Ford. While in the vehicle his hands were bound by the wire and he was blindfolded with a torn black shirt. Harriett was in the front seat and fainted. 
The bandits drove about 50 yards and then let him out of the Ford, leaving Harriet in the vehicle. This was at 8:30 pm, Frank aroused the Careys at 10:30 pm.
Mr. Casey phoned the police station and the officers came to his home, listened to Frank's story and began a search that lasted all night, with several patrol cars patrolling the roads.
Frank was kept with the officers all night going with Sheriff Hensel and several others.
Early Wednesday morning he was turned over to Deputy Sheriffs Hughart & Vorhies.
Vorhies noticed Blood on Franks vest and said Where did you get that blood?
Frank answered, "Well it's not from her."
He was then placed in the University Place jail and kept there until he was taken by Deputy Sheriffs Vorhies & Hasson, to an unknown place for safe-keeping.
Frank let officers know he had a criminal record. He did 10 months for receiving stolen goods.




The above are newspaper article I found on Newspaper.com
I also found the following website to be a very useful source about Frank's palm print which ultimately put him to his demise.


THE SHARP CASE: THE FIRST USE OF PALM PRINTS FOR CRIMINAL IDENTIFICATION IN NEBRASKA By Don Arp, Jr. 





Frank Ewing sharp was the 15th person in Nebraska to be executed by electric chair on Jan 19, 1928, for the murder of his wife.
He went to his death declaring his innocents. When I read through the blood evidence and his statement I felt he was guilty. What I would like to know is how he bound himself with the wire. I am sure there's a way I looked at the type of wire his hands were bound with and it's very flexible.
He has no gravestone.
Harriett is buried at  Richland Cemetery in Marquette Hamilton NE I made a memorial for her on Findagrave under Amanda Harriett Willis Sharp. I also requested a photo of her grave be placed.  

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Patrick Joseph Murphy

Patrick Murphy was born in 1881 in County Mayo, Ireland.

He went by the name Frank Carter and F.R. Clark. The media called him, Omaha Sniper, Phantom Sniper, Sniper Bandit. 

It all began in early February of 1926 in Omaha, Nebraska, where Frank was a laborer.  a mechanic was murdered with a .22 caliber pistol with a silencer attached. Soon after, a doctor was murdered, and then a railroad detective was shot six times in neighboring Council Bluffs, Iowa.

On February 15, Omaha's newspapers recommended the city black out all lights after an expose on previous murders showed that the victims had been standing in their windows at home when they were shot. During daylight hours, the sniper shot another in the face and fired through more than a dozen lighted windows. Businesses in Omaha came to a standstill, streets cleared and the city's entertainment venues emptied for more than a week. Other crimes included shooting indiscriminately into a Downtown Omaha drugstore.

More than two weeks after his first murder, Carter was captured in Iowa, 30 miles south of Council Bluffs at Bartlett in Fremont County, Iowa. Carter readily admitted his crimes. After a month-long trial where Carter's lawyers pleaded insanity, Carter was convicted on two charges of murder: one for killing mechanic William McDevitt and the other for killing Dr. A.D. Searles. After his conviction, Carter further admitted to being a parole breaker. (He had been released from the Iowa State Penitentiary in 1925 after serving time for killing cattle.)  Frank Carter's Nebraska Prison Number was #9277 He was executed by electrocution on June 24, 1927, at the Nebraska State Penitentiary in Lincoln, Nebraska. Carter was quoted as saying "Let the juice flow" just before he died.












Just after six A.M. as Frank Carter sat in the electric chair he had a few words to say to his audience after he instructed no blindfold was wanted. " Well, boys I guess you're going to get a big kick out of this. Ain't  very often a condemned man gives you such a swell story as I am giving you."

After telling Rev Thomas Maxwell as he prayed for the killer. Chaplin, I think you had better command my soul to the Lord under the of Pat Murphy instead of Carter, because He will know me better under that name."
(Must have been a man of prayer once.)

After he was all hooked up and the attendants backed away, Carter yelled out "Turn on the Juice!" Just as Gilbert flipped the switch and 2,000 volts of electricity coursed his body to Hell. At 6:14 A.M. He was pronounced Dead.

In doing research on Patrick Joseph Murphy I found a wife named Anna born about 1895 in County of Mayo, Ireland and a son born in Chicago, IL on 2 Dec 1928 name Alfred Emanuel Murphy. I also checked the census records and if I found the right one he came to America by way of Liverpool England on the the Celtic in 20 Aug 1920 and landed on Ellis Island. 

It was written that he thought he had a disease that would make him go insane and that's why did what he did but there's no evidence he had any diseases at the time of his capture. 

There is no photo of his grave but there is a memorial on Findagrave.com and one person named Rita left him flowers in 2014. He is buried in the cemetery at the penitentiary. 

Burial:
Nebraska State Penitentiary Cemetery
Lincoln
Lancaster County
Nebraska, USA




Friday, November 18, 2016

Gertrude Mabel Heaydon

Gertrude Mabel Heaydon was born a native of Newcastle-on-Tyne, England. She was a member of the Women's Army Auxiliary Corps and served in France for 3 years This is when she met her husband Alfred Ernest Heaydon, who was in the AI.F. in England from 1917-18.

They were married in 1919 and in 1922 they had a 2-year-oldd child, and Gertrude was 3 months pregnant with their second child when she went missing in Sep of 1922.

Alfred state to the police he and his wife had an argument and she had packed a suitcase and said she was going to take care this Meaning the unborn baby. Neighbors stated they saw the two talking but did not see Gertrude with a suitcase and according to her family, she would never have left her child unless she was coming back.

Alfred wrote letters to Gertrude's sister Hilda and her father stating she died of heart problems. This concerned her family because she had never had problems with her heart before. He was also telling other people different stories.

The police were suspicious and started an investigation. 

This lead them to a 41-year-old man named Philip Riley who was a clerk.  Ellen Kreigher 26 a cleaner, Mary Hughes Taylor a nurse and Francis Stainsbury Wallis Taylor a 33-year-old clerk.

Here are some newspaper articles about the events the transpire. 
 COOGEE MYSTERY.
Charge Against Heaydon.
ACCUSED COMMITTED FOR
| TRIAL.
Alfred Ernest Heaydon, aged 32 years, one
of the four perBons arrested recently on
charges arising out of the death of his wife,
Gertrude Mabel Heaydon, at Coogee in October
last reappeared at the Central Police Court
yesterday. The public portion of the court
was crowded when the following charge was
preferred against him:
"That Mary Hughes or Taylor did at
Coogee, near Sydney, on or about the third
day of October, 1922, feloniously murder ono
Gertrude Mabel Heaydon, and that Alfred
Ernest Heaydon, well knowing the premises,
and also woll knowing the nnme and person
and usual place of resort of the said Mary
Taylor or Hughes, but devising and Intend-
ing as much as In htm lay to obstruct and
hinder the due course of law and JuBtlce,
and to cause the said Mary Taylor or Hughes
to go and escapo unpunished tor the said
offence, afterwards, to wit, on or about
October 3, 1922, near Sydney, unlawfully,
maliciously, wickedly, and wilfully did con-
ceal, keep secret, and neglect to discover the
felony so committed by Mary Taylor or
Hughes."
Mr. R. D. Meagher (Instructed by R. D.
Meaghor, Hogarth, and Co.) appeared for
the accused, Mr. Kidston, of the Crown Law
Department, prosecuted.
Mr. Meagher said that the offence with whlcn
his client was charged was not recognised by
law. According to authorities who were re-
garded ns the main writers on the question,
the offence which was known as "mlsprlsion"
had fallen Into desuetude in Great Britain.
As originally known, the offenco was about
700 years old, and wns doalt with at a period
when his namesakes were Kings of England.
Ho could, however, find nothing relating to
tbe matter In the leading Australian books
on crime, whloh showed that It wns as extinct
as the dodo. Quoting from the Encyclopaedia
of the Laws of England, Mr. Meagher showed
that there were two forms of mlsprlsion
tronBOn and felony. Mlsprlsion of treason hod
fallen Into disuse long ago. He asked that
the Court, In the circumstances, should not
exhumo a law which was now obsolete. In
common law tho offence was a dlsdemeanour
punishable by fine or Imprisonment. Tho lost
case he could find occurred in England 6S
yoars ago.
Tho Magistrate: That IB not so very long
ago.
Mr. Mengher: It seems strange that we
should go back to tho days of the thumbscrew
engineer and the witch-burners. This charge.
Uko the appendix, has become obsolete,
Tho Magistrate: It mny bo obsolete, but It
is still tho law, and I must hoar the case.
Detective-Sergeant Lynch said that about
10.30 a.m. on July 11, with Detective Garllck
nnd Sergeant Alexander, he went to RoBOvillo
by motor ear. After a short conversation
witness told Heaydon they had boon making
Inquiries regarding his wife, nnd ? asked him
to necompany them to pollco headquarters to
assist them, if possible, in their investiga-
tions. Heaydon's mother asked whether they
wore going to charge her son with any offenco.
Witness replied In the negative. A room which
accused said he occupied was then searched.
At pollco headquarters Heaydon Bald that ho
was prepared to assist tho police all he could.
Ho then mnde a stntement, which witness
produced'.
IIEAYDON-S STATEMENT.
Heaydon salt!, in lils statement, flint ho wns an ore*
member of tile A.I.F., nnd wns in England in 1917-18,
when he carno In contact with his wife, who resided ni
300 Tyiicdnlo-road, Nevveastle*on-Tyne (England). Until
tho time of lils wife's disappearance they resided nt
Manly, A few days before Klght-liour Day last year
his wife wns In the Ant with him tit about dusk, when
she said she wns going nut to seo n friend. On the
night slio left she wns nbout three months' pregnnnt.
She hud snld Hint she Intended taking certain action.
Defendant said to Ivis wife, "Von uro going to do
nothing of the kind," nnd some little argument ensued.
He then accompanied lils wire ns fnr ns the .Manly bont,
and kept pressing tor the nnmes of the friends to whom
she was going. She would not tell him. She then
bonrded tile Manly bont nbout 8 o'clock, nnd accused
returned to look after lils baby boy. She did not
return that night, nntl he had tint seen her since. He
did not report her missing to the police, because he
did not want any publicity. Ho thought Hint nothing
serious could have happened, otherwise lier body would
have been found, and he lind never since seen In the
pnper where nnybotly lind been found. At the time
she left she did not hnve a bnnking nccount, nor did he.
About Jtnrch this year ho wrote to his wife's sister
advising her Hint her sister hntl died. He did this to
shut oir the correspondence. When his wife went nvvny
she took a little leather suitcase with her. He did not
know what it contained, lie told IIIB parents ol his wile's
dlsnpppnrance on last Eight-hours Dny. As far ns he could
remember, he wns nt the Unndivlck races on Hint date.
He never visited nny womnn named Nurse Hughes or
Taylor in Dench-rond, Coogee. He did not know where
Beach-rood, Congee, was. As far ns lie knew, his wife
had not cohnbited willi any niau other than himself.
He had full confidence in her chastity.
Witness stated Mint the accused had ad-
mitted ho had pawned a three-storio diamond
ring bolonglng to lils wife at the Original
Mont do Piole.
Detective-sergeant Lynch thon produced
cortnln letters written by Mrs. Heaydon, in
which she oxplalnod hor condition and ex-
pressed her Intention of undergoing an opera-
tion.
Dotoctlvo-Borgonnt Gnrllclc staled that ho
charged accused on July 27. Ho admitted
that certain Information had boon obtained
from a criminal.
Sorgennt Alexander, of Chatswood, said
that ho wont to Lord-stroot, Roseville, on
Juno 27, and wnB told by Heaydon that ho
could not account for his wlfo having left
him. Ho ndmlltod writing a letter to his
wlfo's slstor Mildred saying his wlfo was
dead. Ho told witness ho did not know
whether flho was dead or no1. Accused later
said ho did not think lila wifo was dend, and
thnt he lind read In the papers about tho
morrlago of a woman of tho snme namo some
timo before.
Wlnnlo Flora Wearno, a singlo womnn,
residing at Newstead Flats, Coogee, of which
Bho 1B part owner, said that Mrs. Taylor
occupied Mayfair Flats, now named Myola,
Mrs. Taylor remained at Myola Flats from
October 27 to Novomber 14, 1022, Witness
rocolvod rent for tho flats until January 20,
1923.
Elizabeth Prldo, of Addlson-road, Manly,
and formerly of tho Pier Court Flats. Manly,
snld Mint on September IB, nt 8.30 p.m.,
Heaydon and his wlfo Aft their flat. She did
not seo Mi'B. lloaydon again. She was told
by Heaydon, In reply to a question, that lils
wlfo "was very comfortable." Accused kept
tolling witness until Soptombor 30 that Mrs.
Heaydon wns getting on nil right, and would
soon be coming home. On October 1 a man
cnllod and asked to see Heaydon, who nfter
wards informed her that his wlfo was dead.
Fix this textWhon lator questioned on tho matter Heaydon
loid hor that his wife had cleared out and
loft him.
Abo Myora, a boot merchant, of Cniro Flats,
Coogee, sold that in December, 1022, Mrs.
Taylor and Nelllo Krelghor lived in tho flat
noxt door to him.
Mr. Mcnghor contended thnt the Crown had
not mado out a case. No ovldenco had boon
given to Bhow that .Mrs. Heaydon was dead.
Heaydon, who plondod not guilty, reserved
his defenco, and was committed for trial, ball
In ¡ESO being allowed._


Mug shot of Ellen Kreigher, 13 July 1923, Central Police Station, Sydney.






As I read this newspaper clipping I became upset to know that these individuals all got away with it. Ellen Kreigher was a career criminal. 

Here's her rap sheet that went with her photo above.

Special Photograph no. 965. Ellen ("Nellie") Kreigher was one of four people arrested and charged over the murder of Gertrude Mabel Heaydon. In October the previous year Gertrude Heaydon had been taken to the Coogee flat of a woman known as "Nurse Taylor" to procure an illegal abortion. She died there in the flat. Police later claimed she was murdered by Nurse Taylor, at the behest of Heaydon's husband, Alfred. A team of low-lifes was eventaully assembled by Taylor's husband Frank to remove the putrefying remains in a horse and cart, and their somewhat farcical progress across Sydney was later recounted by numerous witnesses. Police became involved the following year after Gertrude Heaydon's relatives in England became suspicious. The case became known in the press as the "Coogee Trunk Mystery" (referring to the trunk in which the corpse was allegedly removed from the flat). Alfred Heaydon, Frank Taylor, a man named Edward Riley (a trade union official and one time Labor senate candidate) and Ellen Kreigher, who had shared the flat with Nurse Taylor, were all eventually arrested and charged with murder, accessory to murder, concealment and with having illegally disposed of the body. (Nurse Taylor herself had died in the interim). With press interest running high - one paper offered a 1000 pounds reward for information - an intensive search was made for Mrs Heaydon's remains. In early August human bones were found under the flagstones of a garage in Westmoreland Lane, Glebe. The case promptly became known
as the "Glebe Bones Mystery". After a long inquest, the coroner concluded that Gertrude Heaydon had been feloniously and maliciously murdered by the late Nurse Taylor, and that the eleven bones found in the Glebe garage were in fact Gertrude Heaydon's remains. Alfred Heaydon, Taylor, Riley and Kreigher were committed for trial, but a month later the police prosecutor announced that the Crown would bring no evidence against the four, and the charges were dropped.

31409

1923

New South Wales. Police Dept.
City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.

Glass plate negative:

This poor woman and her unborn child were discarded like garbage. Her family must of been outraged. I tried to find out the name of the child left behind looking through census records but found nothing.







Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Murder In Harvey, ND


Jacob Bentz a 47-year-old plumber that lived in Harvey, ND on 2 Oct 1931, he argued with his wife about going to Fessenden at 1 o'clock in the morning He slept on the inside, which means to me against the wall. He went to bed with a hammer and at 4 O'clock he struck her twice in the head. He carried her body to the car in the garage and went back to the bedroom to clean up and took some items to the basement and burned them. He then drove to a haystack and burned some bedding and then drove a  ways and started the car on fire. When someone saw him he claimed they got into a car accident and his wife was still in the car. The nearby neighbor called the fire department. 



Jacob Bentz



When authorities questioned him several times he finally broke down and confessed to killing his wife.

Jacobs first wife

Dorothea Sophia Suelzle was born 15 Jan 1883 and married Jacob her 2nd husband on 26 Jan 1902 in South Dakota She had 6 children with Jacob. 
She died 12 Jan 1930



Jacob married Sophia Schmidt on 17 Apr 1930 she was a widow with 2 daughters who at the time were off at school. 

The victim:
I couldn't find out much information on Sophia, not even a photo or a grave. 

I do have several newspaper articles but they won't load here. But you can see them at https://www.newspapers.com/





Jacob Bentz died in the State Penitentiary in 1944 in Bismarck, ND

Jacob did try collecting money from an insurance policy he had on Sophia He even called his agent that morning after the murder to upgrade it to $5,000.

Very sad 


Monday, November 14, 2016

Canfield Mother Gone Mad?

In the small town of Dawson, ND lived a couple with four children in 1934. 

A mother named Clara Augusta Thompson who was married to Jonathan Franklin Canfield on 23 Jan 1915 in Sioux City, IA. 

They came to North Dakota according to the census records about the late 1920's.


John & Clara Canfield




On  Jun 25, 1934 something snapped in Clara.
She said she feared her oldest son was mad. That she feared the other children would catch it.

The children.  
John "Jack" was the oldest and born in 1919. Margaret was born 21 Mar 1921 and Donald in 1922 and the youngest was George born in 1927.

John Canfield was away on a trip to Oriska, ND and his sister was on the farm with Clara but busy in the barn it seems.  

Now to add to the story Clara was a school teacher. She attended Morningside College in Sioux City, IA before she married John. She attended the Lutheran church and played the organ. 

So why did she feel her oldest child "Jack" was sick mentally? Did he do or say something to his mother? Or did she imagine it? I guess we will never really know. A newspaper clipping revealed he did hit her and she had to run to the neighbors. But Why would he do this?

 The headlines read: Crazed Mother Shoots Her Four Children; Then Attempts Suicide
She used a 25 automatic revolver on her children and then tried to hang herself from the clothesline. 

Two children died instantly Donald & George The other two John "Jack" and Margaret were in the hospital for a long while, Jack was shot in his right lung and Margaret in the head. But both children survived. Insanity charges were filed against Clara. She told authorities she was worried about Jacks mental condition and feared the other children would be the same.
John & Clara with children Jack & Baby Margaret

Canfield Home in Dawson,, ND



























I couldn't Imagine the horror John Canfield went through on arriving home to this awful scene. What does a father/husband do?

Jonathan Franklin Canfield

Johnathan Franklin Canfield



End the end John "Jack" Canfield live to be 80 years old dying in 1999



I could not find any information on Margaret Canfield. I can assume a family member may have taken her and raised her she was only 12 years old at the time.

Clara was convicted and found insane and committed to the Jamestown Mental Hospital in Jamestown, ND. Until her death in 1950
The 1940 Census shows Jack also at the State Hospital with his mom. I did some checking and because of state legislature these records are destroyed every seven years, so we may never find out why they ended up there.


The rooms at that time were like this


This is what the state Hospital looked like at that time.




John & Clara both died in 1950. I have a strong feeling he forgave his wife and loved her to the end.
Clara died on 09 May 1950 in Jamestown at the State Hospital she was 64 years old On 21 Sep 1950 John died he was 63.





Someone asked me if I would post and share things like this in my family tree. I said absolutely I would. It's our ancestry good or bad and everything in between.  I wanted to share this story because many people have a mental illness of some sort, and we should never judge others until we walk in their shoes.

I pray Clara and her family found some peace and kindness and today they are all buried together in the family cemetery in Dawson, ND.




May God bless each and every one of them.


Update on Margaret. She was in the Army from Jun 22, 1945 to Dec 21, 1945.  She married Donald Hayes on 21 July 1945 in Columbus, Georgia.  She died 16 Oct 1985 in Sioux Falls, SD.  Pfc Margaret E. Hayes is on her gravestone. 




Saturday, November 5, 2016

Her Names Is Valerie






She was Valerie Lillian Rita Lowe. She looks as if she could be anyone's daughter. She has a shyness about her and innocents in eyes. When I first laid my eyes upon her I was struck by those eyes.
I thought this young lady could be having tea with me and chatting about the latest Jazz music from America. The new flapper dresses that had just arrived
As I looked at this photo I was compelled to find out more about her. Maybe it was the detective in me or maybe the genealogist but I just needed to know.
Valerie born about 1903 in Australia. She is about 19 years old in this photo as best as I can tell. I have researched everything I can possibly think of to get an accurate account of her life.
I believe it all started when Valerie met a boy named Joseph Messenger. Here is an account of how things may have gotten started.
CHURCH AND COURSE. ALLEGED BREAKING AND ENTERING. SYDNEY, Wednesday 15th Feb 1922. At the Central Court,
two youths named William Kent and Joseph Messenger, and a girl named, Valerie Rowe, were presented on two charges, firstly with having broken into and entered the Methodist Church at Matraville and having stolen a quantity of articles, secondly with having broken into the store room at Rosebery racecourse and stolen two blankets. Defendants were remanded. Fix this text Inspector Spyer in pressing for substantial bail, said; 'We have good reason to believe we can trace a number of other robberies to the defendants, principally from churches.'' 
Mug shot of Valerie Lowe, 15 February 1922, Central Police Station, Sydney. Special photographs" were mostly taken in the cells at the Central Police Station, Sydney and are, as curator Peter Doyle explains, of "men and women recently plucked from the street, often still animated by the dramas surrounding their apprehension". Doyle suggests that, compared with the subjects of prison mug shots, "the subjects of the Special Photographs seem to have been allowed - perhaps invited - to position and compose themselves for the camera as they liked. Their photographic identity thus seems Special Photograph no 744. Valerie Lowe and Joseph Messenger were arrested in 1921 for breaking into an army warehouse and stealing boots and overcoats to the value of 29 pounds 3 shillings. The following year, when this photograph were taken, they were charged with breaking and entering a dwelling. Those charges were eventually dropped but they were arrested again later that year for stealing a saddle and bridle from Rosebery Racecourse. In 1923 Lowe was convicted of breaking into a house at Enfield and stealing money and jewellery to the value of 40 pounds. See also 'Mug shot of Joseph Messenger.'
This picture is one of a series of around 2500 "special photographs" taken by New South Wales Police Department photographers between 1910 and 1930. These "s constructed out of a potent alchemy of inborn disposition, personal history, learned habits and idiosyncrasies, chosen a personal style (haircut, clothing, accessories) and physical characteristics."
31332
1922
New South Wales. Police Dept. City of Shadows at the Justice & Police Museum, Sydney, November 2005-January 2007.
Glass plate negative;



Mug shot of Joseph Messenger 15 February 1922, Central police Station, Sydney
Joseph Messenger and Valerie Lowe were arrested in 1921 for breaking into an army warehouse and stealing boots and overcoats to the value of 29 pounds 3 shillings. The following year, when this photograph was taken, they were charged with breaking and entering a dwelling. Those charges were eventually dropped but they have arrested again later that year for stealing a saddle and bridle from Rosebery Racecourse. As an adult Messenger was active in inner-Sydney underworld through the 1920s, and he appears in the NSW Criminal Register (16 July 1930 entry no 171) as a seasoned criminal and gang affiliate. The description of his modus operandi includes, 'Violently [resists] arrest ... frequents wine saloons, billiard rooms, and racecourses ... consorts with prostitutes.' This photograph shows Messenger at age 18. See also 'Mug shot of Valerie Lowe'.

CHURCH AND COURSE. ALLEGED BREAKING AND ENTERING. SYDNEY, Wednesday.
At the Central Court, two youths named William Kent and Joseph Messenger, and a girl named, Valerie Rowe, were presented on two charges, firstly with having broken into and entered the Methodist Church at Matraville and having stolen a quantity of articles, secondly with having broken into the store room at Rosebery racecourse and stolen two blankets. Defendants were remanded. Fix this text Inspector Spyer in pressing forsubstantial bail, said; 'We have good reason to believe we can trace a number of other robberies to the defendants, principally from churches.''
So maybe as she started to spend so much time in the Goal as they called it, she had plenty of time to think. Because this is what happened next, after almost 10 years of running with Joseph and getting into trouble.
Cave Man Tactics: Warning from the Bench
Wednesday 18th July 1928 Lismore Northern Star, Page 9
CAVE MAN TACTICS WARNING FROM THE BENCH SYDNEY, Tuesday.
When Valerie Lowe (25) left her place of employment in the city, on July 4 and met "her boy" outside she alleged that she was followed by Alfred Messenger (26), a dealer, who threatened to cut her boy's face with a knife, and then with the aid of another man pulled her along various streets asking her to marry him. She told him that she would not do that if he were the last man on earth. A sequel was the appearance of Messenger at the Central Police Court today on a charge of having abducted Miss Lowe with intent to marry her. The girl told the police that she did not want Messenger to go to gaol, but only to be bound over to keep the peace.
The magistrate (to accused): This Fix this text girl says she does not want anything, further to do with you.
Evening News: Sydney, Page 10 Tuesday 17th July 1928
'IF LAST MAN' DIDN'T WANT HIM GIRL'S STRANGE STORY
'I TOLD him I would not have him if he was the last man on earth, said Valerie Lowe, at the Central Court to-day, when Alfred Messenger, 26, dealer, was charged with having taken Miss Lowe away by force, with intent to cause her to marry him. Valerie Lowe, 25, said she lived with her parents in Glebe-road, Glebe, and had known defendant for some years. She was employed in Foveaux-street, and at 5.30 p.m. on July 4 a boy came to see her home. When the boy crossed the street going towards her defendant followed behind him. 'But I don't want to send him to gaol,' said the girl. 'I want him bound over." 'You have come to the wrong place for that,' said Sergeant Napper, police prosecutor. 'A warrant was issued, you know."
Defendant, Miss Lowe said, asked her to send the boy away; but she refused, saying she wanted to go home. Defendant caught her by the arm, and another man also took hold of an arm, but a little later he went away. Defendant said he wanted her to marry him, but she told him she would not.
'GRABBED MY ARM'
The Sergeant: Did he do anything to stop you when you walked away from him:-He grabbed me by the arm. The witness said that, when they got to Riley-street, a woman saw them and brought her mother, who pulled her away from defendant. That was between 7 and 8 p.m.
The Sergeant: Did he take you to anyplace?- No.
Did he hurt you in any way? - No.
All he wanted to do was to marry you? - Yes.
Mr. Gates, C.S.M., to defendant: This young woman does not want to have anything further to do with you.
Defendant: And I don't want to have anything further to do with her.
Fix this text Mr. Gates: Then see that you don't, or you will get into serious trouble. You are discharged.
Well as I continued my research I found this little story to be somewhat funny. These two sure have been spending a lot of time in each others company for many years. Maybe she started to grow up.
In 1929 Valerie married John Alexander Forbes in Glebe, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. They were married for 18 years. Divorcing in 1947. I cried! I was so hopping for a happy ending for Valerie. John was born in 1895 and he did re-marry, he died in 1969.
The Australia, Electoral Rolls, 1903-1980 Valerie is listed at age 59 as a barmaid in O'Weath, West Sydney and living at 59 Boyce Street
My research came to and end when I found this photo of her grave.



I was pleased to see the inscription from George on her tombstone. I know someone loved her. All I know about him, he owned a store.
I am hoping she had a full life from age 59 to 73. I hope she had lots of friends and good times. What I do know is she has Peace now, a calm.
Valerie, it was my pleasure to meet you, may not have been in your era or your time, I am happy I found you. See you in the hereafter.
Rest In Peace
Gwen