Page 1

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^ X

MIUmiE WILLIAMS. ADELE OOVELLE. ALDINE WiLNDA.—AplbenRuB ub CBBe E lObU PRB«B ABfiuctt PCAeUeBu RubwFR Alao^ Address GEOEGE S. ^BAi^bepBa. I*: PKftaAB HAM, CSIj Hall, PMladeli)hJa, Penn., U. S. A,

THB BXfXlUOT ATTOBN£T

AJTD

OF FMIIJU;>£I<PHIA«

MATOS

^


The

Holmes -Pite^el HISTORY OF THE

Greatest Crime of

the

fentury

AND OF THE

SEARCH FOR THE MISSING PITEZEL CHILDREN BY

DETECTIVE FRANK

P.

QEYER

OF THE BUREAU OF POLICE, DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SAFETY, OF THE CITY OF PHILADELPHIA

A TRUB DBTECTIV^ STORY By

permission of the District Attorney and City of Philadelphia

Mayor

FULLY ILLUSTRATED PUBLISHERS' UNION 1896

of the


eHltA^ELPJilA

eeORGC^S. GRAHAM,

c^

^^ Z^^" ^^ -^^^^U^ a^^

^k4MZZtcyfli^;i^.^y

c^^viJ^M^i^


_ PHILAPELPHIA

^-^a^*?^^^

<:%j^^«<^^

ya...<y^ y.


PREFACE. It is not possible to find in the annals of criminal

jurisprudence,

a more deliberate and cold

blooded villain than the central figure in this story, nor would the most careful research among the records of the prominent murder trials that have absorbed public attention during the past century, disclose the careful planning that made possible the apprehension of Holmes, the prosecution to an almost miraculous ending of the search for the missing children, or the equal of the forensic skill and cunning that wove the close web in which this

man

of

many names and many murders was

en-

tangled.

That Holmes committed four murders has been proven beyond the shadow of a doubt, and that his timely arrest prevented three more murders is ecLually sure. If the Chicago "Castle" could give up its guilty secrets, there is more than a strong suspicion that the list of Holmes crimes would be materially lengthened. We do know that fraud, deliberately planned and coolly executed, the blackest treachery toward his associates, a long term of brutal cruelty toward the helpless woman and her children who were in his clutches, and the marvelous duplicity and falsehood practiced upon the three women who each believed herself to be his lawful wife, are to be added to the list. A remarkable thing about a murderer who has


ackieved the notoriety of Holmes,

is

the fact that

no flowers nor

gifts

were sent to him by morbid

sympathizers.

The

story of the search for the

missing children reads like a romance, and its almost miraculous conclusion is another proof that

acumen and tireless patience will find the unguarded spot which always exists in the armor of the most wily criminal. The reader will echo the remarks of the learned judge, who, in charging the jury that convicted Holmes, said: "Truth is Stranger than Fiction, and if Mrs. Pitezel's Story is trueâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; (and it was proven to be true)â&#x20AC;&#x201D;it is the Most Wonderful Exhibition of the Power of Mind Over Mind I Have Ever Seen, and Stranger than any Novel I Have Ever Read."

detective

It is fitting that this true story that outrivals

The tone Even youth may

fiction

should be published.

of the narra-

tive is

wholesome.

profit

by

it.


"

CONTENTS

CHAPTER Who

PAGE

I.

was Perry ?

13

CHAPTER lusurance

Money Claimed

.

.

CHAPTER The Insurance

.

.

.

.... ....

Co, Suspicious

of the Cell-Door

CHAPTER

V.

CHAPTER

YI.

CHAPTER

VII.

138

A Slippery and

Subtle

Knave

CHAPTER The

On

.

145

.

VIII.

Pitezel Children

155

CHAPTER

IX.

CHAPTER

X.

the Trail

173

The Untiring Pursuit

.

.

CHAPTER An

Expert

in

53

99

In the Toils

'

43

IV.

The Wages of Sin

'

23

III.

CHAPTER The Clang

II.

.

.

.

.

183

XI.

Crime

203

CHAPTER The Search Rewarded

XII.

215


CHAPTER

Xni.

CHAPTER

XIV.

......

Forging the Links

How

to

Find the Boy

PAGE 237

255

CHAPTER XV. The Detective Puzzled

267

CHAPTER The Beginning

of the

XVI.

End

281

CHAPTER

XVII.

"When He Came"

289

CHAPTER

XVIII. 299

The Chain Complete

CHAPTER Justice Cried "

Amen

XIX.

"

305

CHAPTER XX. Looking Backward

317

CHAPTER

XXI.

CHAPTER

XXII.

CHAPTER

XXIII.

A Triple Alliance A

325

Friend in Kced

333

337

The Excluded Testimony

CHAPTER XXrV\ 346

Chronology

APPENDIX Speech of Hon. George

S.

Graham

APPENDIX Motion

for

New

...

of the

371

II.

406

Trial

APPENDIX The Decision

I.

III.

Supreme Court

,

.

.

489


List of Illustrations^

PAGE

No.

131''

Pa.

/'allowhill St., Philadelphia,

,

.

19

Alice Pitezel

38

Benjamin F. Pitezel

55

RearofNo. 1316CallowhillSt Holmes' " Castle " at Chicago,

...

Ills.

Poplar Street House, Cincinnati, Ohio

No

26 Winooski Ave., Burlington, Vt.

.

.

.

.

.

74 91

110

.127

Fac-simile of Holmes' Letter to District Attorney

Graham

149

Fac-simileof the Worthless Promissory Note

.

.160

Detective Frank P. Geyer Nellie Pitezel

Howard

Pitezel

182 199

...

.

No. 241 Forest Ave., Detroit, Mich.

.

.

.

.

.235

Rear of No, 241 Forest Ave Fac-simile of Alice' s Letter to

No

16

St.

Vincent

St.,

Spade Used by Holmes Little

254

Her Grandparents

Toronto, Canada in

218

.

.

.

264, 265 .

275

Burying Alice and Nellie 294

Teeth of Howard Pitezel

.

.

.

.311

Cottage at Irviugton, Ind

362

Rear of Cottage at Irvington, Ind Fac-simile of Letter from "Jim'' to Fac-simile of the "Ritual" Letter.

379

Holmes .

.

.

398

.

.

415


THE HOLMES-PITEZEL CASE. CHAPTER

I.

WHO WAS PERRY? Meeting

of

Holmes

Eugeue Smith

—Perry

and B. F. Perry

disappears

dition of the Corpse

—Discovery

—Smith sees —Con-

of a Corpse

—Coroner's Inquest—Identification as

Perry,

I^r

the latter part of August, 1894,

Eugene

Smith, a house carpenter, was passing along Callowhill

between Thirteenth and Broad

Street,

Streets, in the city of Philadelphia,

tention

sign in the bulk

two and a half posite the old

phia

window

of the house

The house was one

1316.

&

when

his at-

was attracted by a somewhat conspicuous

of a

stories high,

numbered

row of red

brick,

and immediately op-

abandoned station of the Philadel-

Reading Railroad.

The

sign was

made

out of a sheet of muslin stretched across the win-

dow, and on ters,

it

was printed

in black

and red

let-

" B. F. Perry, Patents Bought and Sold." (13)


SMITH SEES HOLMES.

14

Smith was an inventor and had recently

pat-

ented an ingenious device for a saw sett which he

was very desirous of turning into money.

So

stopping a moment, he decided to seek the advice

and assistance of

and

of buying

When

Perrj-, wlio

was

Smith walked into the

greeted by a

in tlie business

selling patents.

tall,

store,

raw-boned man,

he was

witli a

some-

what sharp countenance, who announced himself as the proprietor Perry,

and who readily listened

to Smith's explanation of the merits of his

new

saw

him

sett.

Perry requested Smith

to furnish

with a model of his invention, which the latter

promised to do.

The next day Smith

called again, taking with

him the model, the merits of which he explained

more

fully

and

in greater detail.

In the course

of the conversation, Smith informed Perry that

he was a carpenter by trade and was anxious to secure work, whereupon Perry employed him to

construct a rough counter required for business purposes,

house.

It

in

the

first

floor

storeroom of the

was while working

that Smith saw a

man

at this

counter,

enter, give a sign to Perry,

and pass up the stairway in the rear of the front room, into the upper or second story of the house.


WHO WAS PERRY? Perry followed turned to the

this

man

first floor

15

and shortly

upstairs

and resumed

Smith never saw

tion with Smith.

re-

his conversa-

this

man

at

the house but once, but he afterwards identified

him

as

H. H. Holmes. afternoon of Monday, September 3d,

the

In

Smith called

No. 1316 to see Perry again, and

at

to ascertain if

any progress had been made

sale of the patent.

he discovered that there

was vacant, and observed

was no one

in the rear

room

the

of the

also first

the upper

in

was temporarily absent upon an errand

floor, or

seat,

in the

into the store,

Thinking that Perry was

floor.

in

it

As he stepped

immediate neighborhood, Smith took a

and had an opportunity of observing the

contents of the store.

On

a nail were hanging a

hat and a pair of cuffs, and on the counter were several bottles siderable value,

and a few other which appeared

articles of incon-

to

make up

ing a short time. Smith halloed at voice,

but received no answer.

out and asked a neighbor about.

if

the

After wait-

stock in trade of the patent dealer.

tlie

He

top of his

then went

she had seen Perry

She told him that very often Mr. Perry

went around the corner probably

return shortly.

to a saloon

and would

Smith remained

for


PERRY DISAPPEARS.

16

half an hour, and then as Peiry did not letuni, he

departed, closing the door ufier him.

annoyed

at Ids i'ailure to see

Saiilli \\as

Peny, and

cause the place had been left (^pen and

made

uuprotected, and he

early the next morning,

He

it

aj

a point to re'aun

Tuesday the

-1th

in.st.

found the door shut, but not locked, just as

he had

left

The

it.

day before, was

chair in which he had

in the

same place he had

and apparently had not been moved.

and

also be-

piaently

cuffs still

hung upon

the nail.

He

the

si.t

left it,

The hat hallooed;

"Perry"

several times, but received no answer.

He

walked up the

then

second

observed a cot, but

turned to the his gaze

stairs

leading to the

and looking towards the front room,

floor,

left

met a

it

was unoccupied.

and looking

He

sight that chilled his blood.

ing prostrate on the

floor,

then

into the back room,

Ly-

with his feet towards

the window, and his head to the door, was a man, dead,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

face disfigured

beyond recognition by

decomposition and burning, and surrounded apparently by evidences of an explosion.

The sun

was shining brightly through the window, and directly on

the upper part of the body, and

needed no second glance from Smith

him of

his

duty to

summon

the police.

to

it

convince


f

WHO WAS PERRY

17

Leaving the house without delay, he hurried to

and returned with two

the nearest station house

who on

officers,

their way, stopped for Dr. Scott,

the nearest physician.

The upper part much decomposed.

of the body was found to be

The

along and close to the across

the

breast,

He was

posture.

side

of

shirt

right

arm

very peaceful

a

and straight as

rigid

the

side, the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; altogether

had been ceremoniously left

arm was extended

left left

if

and the

left

lie

The

laid out in death.

brenst had

been burned, and the nuistailie on one side and the forelock of hair was singed. the

arm was not burned

had

flowed

a

at

consideiable

slightly tinged with blood, for a foot or

By

all.

The body under From the mouth

quantity

of

which stained

two alongside the

fluid,

tlie floor

bod}-.

reason of decomposition and the burns,

seemed impossible tainity, as that

to identify the

body

it

lo a cer-

of Perry, although the clothing

was the same which Smith had seen Perry wear.

The and

color of the hair and the length of

the

Perry.

general

At

appearance

was the

tlie

body,

san:ie

as

the side of the body lay the fragments

of a large brcken bottle, a pipe

and a burnt match.

filled

The tobacco

with tobacco

in the pipe

had


CONDITION OF THE CORPSE.

18

been but slightly charred.

The outside window

window was

shutters were bowed, the

up,

fireboard at the chimney near which the

was open

at an angle of about eight inches.

The body was morgue,

at

ivhich is in the

Callowhill Street.,

oner's

and the

body lay

physician

once removed to the city

immediate rear of No. 1316

and on the same day the

made an autops3^

cor-

The brain

was normal, the body well nourished, the lungs were congested, the heart empty and normal and free

from

clots, indicating

very rapid with him. alcoholic irritation

chloroform.

that death had been

The stomach exhibited

and emitted a strong odor of

Whatever caused death, caused pa-

ralysis of the involuntary muscles, as the bladder

had emptied and regurgitation took place from the mouth, where the body lay.

The burns on

the body as described, were also

noted by the coroner's physician. the

An

inquest by

coroner quickly followed and a verdict of

death from congestion of the lungs, caused by the inhalation of flame, or of chloroform or other poi-

sonous drug was rendered

;

although the coroner's

physician testified that he believed death was due to chloroform poisoning.

The

police

and the few

neighbors of the vicinity discussed the case in a


No. 1316

Callowhill

St.,

PHrLADELPHiA, Pa. Where Holmes murdered B. (

F

Pitezel

)


WHO WAS PERRY? way

desultory sort of a oner's jury

for

21

The

some days.

had found the body

cor-

to be that of B.

and the question of the identification of

F. Perry,

the body as Perry appeared to be established.

From whence had he

But who was Perry?

Was

come? suicide

he murdered or had he committed

Or was he

?

killed

inflammable substance

found broken at

in

by the explosion of an the bottle which

He appeared

his side?

just lighted his pipe.

Was

this

his

attitude?

But

body

If so,

life ?

to recline in sucli a peaceful

the lungs were found to be con-

gested, and the stomach

when opened, gave

a distinct odor of chloroform.

Could

lie,

in

mitting suicide, have caused the explosion

dying? this

If

drug

he had inhaled chloroform,

in the

was have

the act which

ignited the flame that destroyed his

how came

to

stomach ?

forth

com-

when

how came

These and a thousand

other questions were propounded, only to be un-

answered.

It

was a mystery, and the solution did

not appear to be in sight.


CHAPTER

II.

INSURANCE MONEY CLAIMED. Howe — Cashier Cass Calls on Mrs. —Holmes Writes to Cass—Holmes Calls on President Foiise—Howe Presents Letter of Attorney from Mrs. Pitezel — Perry and Pitezel Same — President Fouso Talks with Alice— Holmes Meets Howe — Marks of Identi-

Letters from Jeptha D.

Holmes

tlie

fication—The Body Insurance Holmfes

In the

all

Money

Disinterred— Howe

—Affidavits

Paid $9,715.85

of Alice Pitezel aud H. H.

—Smith Fails to Recognize Holmes.

great

morgue

cities,

unclaimed bodies are held at

for a certain length of time, to await

identification

and a claimant.

the Philadelphia

was then buried

Morgue

for

Perry's body lay in

and

eleven days,

in the Potters Field.

Before the burial, however, two letters were

re-

ceived in Philadelphia, one by the coroner, and the other by the officers of the Fidelity

Association.

These

letters

Howe, a young attorney

He

stated

Pitezel, the

Pitezel

that

Mutual Life

came from Jeptha D.

of St. Louis, Missouri.

he. represented Mrs. Carrie

wife of Benjamin F. Pitezel.

was insured

in

the Fidelity

A.

That

Company (22)


CASHIER CASS CALLS OX MRS. HOLMES.

84

for

Ten Thousand Dollars and that his wife was named in the policy. That the

the beneficiary

man who was hill

found dead at No. 1316 Callow-

who

and

Street,

was

was Benjamin

Perry,

(Howe) would member of the

F.

known

Pitezel,

B.

F.

tliat

he

as

and

shortly visit Philadelphia with a Pitezel family for the purpose of

identifying the body, and claiming the insurance

money.

The books F.

of the

Pitezel

on November

insurance

the

company

had been issued on the

policy

branch

office

had

9th,

showed life

that

1893,

and that

been effected through

of

the

company

a

of Benjamin

in

the

Chicago,

Illinois.

A the

communication was at once forwarded by

company

to its

ing him to learn Pitezel,

in Chicago, instruct-

that was possible concerning

and particularly

of persons

The

manager

all

to ascertain the

who had known

Pitezel in

names

Chicago.

situation as presented to the officers of the

company

at this time, aroused their suspicions,

and they proceeded with caution.

The company then received word from Mr. Cass,

the

the

only

cashier

of the

man who knew

Chicago

office,

that

Pitezel well, was H.


iXtiUEAJS'CE

who

Holmes,

H.

MONEY CLAIMED.

lived

Wiliiiette,

at

Mr. Cass was instructed

Holmes was

that

away, but he saw Mrs. Hohnes,

who

all

offered to

She said her

communicate with her liusband. husband was moving about

Illinois.

go to Wilmette and

to

He found

interview Holmes.

25

the time anil

was

not at home, but that she would communicate

anything to him the agent had

would not

although she admitted

day or

so.

to

say.

She

the agent tvhere her husband was,

tell

slie

heard from him every

Mr. Cass gave the

woman

a clipping

from a Chicago paper, which stated that Perry

had been found send

it

to her

On September the

company

in

and she promised

Chicago^

to

husband. 18th,

received

tlie

a

Chicago manager of letter

from Holmes,

dated Columbus, Oliio, September 17th, and the

next day a second

letter,

dated Cincinnati, Sep-

tember 19th. These two

letters here given in full, exhibit the

enormous capacity of Mr. Holmes and

deceit.

ments of the ces

for

case,

they portray his niaiiy resour-

meeting an occasion, and

which would have served him to earn

for duplicity

In view of the subsequent develop-

an honest

living.

well,

a

sagacity,

had he chosen


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

SOLMES WRITES fO

'26

CASS.

Columbus, Ohio, Sept. 17, 1894.

E. H. Cass, Esq.,

R. 46,-115 Dearborn,

Chicago,

Dear

Sir

:

I

am

wife, stating that

Mr. Pitezel.

iu receipt of a letter

you

dress given in same

if

in

my

She also enclosed me clipping from

paper, which I presume j^ou gave her.

son

from

called on her in regard to

is

wrong.

It

Tlie ad-

should be Madi-

Avenue on the south side of the city, and remember correctly, it is No. 6343, as stated At all events it is very near the the clipping. St. or

I

63rd Street entrance

to the

World's Fair grounds,

some hotel that was formerly used building and on E. side of Street. Following tlie question asked, I would

in

as a flat

say, that

do not know who did his dental work, thougli I do not think he took ver}^ good care of his teeth and may have had none done. I

I remember that seven or eight years ago when working for me, he had to give up work for some time on account of neuralgia in his teeth. Mr. Fay should be able to identify him readily, as he knew him quite well, as I remember Chat when Mr. Fay and I occupied an office on Dearborn Street, Mr. Pitezel was there almost daily, he

having a patent coal bin on exhibition there. In why I should describe Ijim a man nearly

a general


INSURANCE MONk^ CLAIMED. six feet high, (at least five feet ten inches)

21

always

thin in flesh and weighing from one hundred and forty-five to

one hundred and

hav-

fiftj'-five fbs.,

ing very black and somewhat coarse hair, very his no tendency towards baldness mustache was a much lighter color and I think of a red tinge, though 1 have seen him have it colored black at times, which gave him quite a difI remember also that he had ferent appearance. some trouble with his knees, causing them to become enlarged directly below or in front of same, as a result of floor laying when he was in the contracting business, but wliether this was a temporary or permanent affair, I am unable to state. He also Ijad some sort of a warty growth on tlie back or side of his neck, which prevented him from wearing a collar when working. Aside from these points, I can think of nothing to distinguish liim from other men, unless it be that his forehead was lower than the average and crown of head I do rememhigher, causing one to notice same. ber, however, that he had, or at least had late in 1893 a boy about twelve years of age who looked so much like him, that if compared with body supposed to be his father would show the identity I should think, and if he is still unburied, there are plenty of people there who have known him intimately, among them being a Mr. Heywood, near 69th and Peoria or Paulina Streets, who is, I think, a relative also a Mr. William Coyler

thick, with

;

;


HOLMES WRITES TO

28

or Collier living on

West

side,

CASS.

who was with him up by you wish me

If the identity is not cleared

a great deal.

the time you receive this letter and

Chicago any time after Wednesday you will pay my transportation tlieie and return. I should want same extended several days, however, so that I could stay a short time while there. I feel sure that Mr.

go

to, I will

to

next, provided

Fay and myself could pick him out among a I would be willing to go without pay in ordinary times, but can hardly afford to do so now. Mr. Pitezel is owing me One hundred and eighty hundred.

Dollars,

and

if

he

is

in reality dead, I

should be

glad to have that amount retained from the

sum

payable on his policy and apply same on my own, I sent you a check from as I very much need it. Indian Territory early in the spring to partially my insurance and incidentally directed it to

cover

it was returned needed money very much to complete a trade, and used it then hoping to

Montreal, instead of Fidelity and

to

me

at a time

replace

My

it

when

I

soon.

not in a good condition and I need insurance more than at any time. I have done a good deal for his family within the past eight years and I think if need be, I could get an affairs are

order from his wife, authorizing you to retain the

amount due me. If you see fit to wire me,

please do so by

Western


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

:

J.S'SUlLiXCE tJiiion

and

I

MOS'EV CLAIMED.

will act

in

29

accordance with your

suggestions.

Yours Respectfully, H. H. Holmes. Holmes, of course, knew when he wrote letter,

that

body was not

Pitezel's

awaiting identification. Philadelphia, and yet niis

He knew that how cleverly he

statement in the Chicago

and

tage,

as

in

scheme

of

fraud,

intrigue

was

in

uses the

advan-

But he was

anxious to be on the ground when the the

it

pa])er, to his

a cover for himself!

this

Chicngo

final act in

and deception,

should be performed, and so two days

later,

he

addresses Mr. Cass again as follows

Grand Hotel, C:incinnati, Sept. 19, 1894.

E. H. Cass, Esq.,

Dear

115 Deaiborn Sir

St.,

Chicago.

:

Since writing to you yesterday, I have seen from a file of Philadelphia papers, that the supposed body of Pitezel is in the hands of the coroner there instead of in Chicago, as per clipping you sent me. a day or two,

I shall

be in Baltimore in

and I will take an afternoon train to Philadelphia and call on your office there, and if they wish me to do so, I will go with some rep-


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

tiOLJ^ES

30

WRITES tO

CAS^.

resentative of theirs to the coroner's, and I

can

I

read here,

think

tliat

man

the

tell if

I

there

is

Pitezel

;

I

think

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;from what

cannot see anything to lead

me to man

the person killed was other than a

by the name of Perry. Yours Respectfully, H. H. Holmes. Will you kindly ask Mr. Fay to write me at Columbus, Ohio, if he will, I shall return there about Saturday.

To

these letters, a polite response was sent to

Holmes from Mr. the officers of the

Cass, stating in substance that

company were

for the information

nished,

and that

grateful to

him

which he had so kindly

fur-

after

Mr. Holmes had finished his

business in Baltimore, he would oblige them

still

further by coming to Philadelphia, examining the

body and giving the company

He was

identity. to

his

views as to

its

also assured that his expenses

and from Baltimore would be defrayed. After reading this story of crime to the end,

the reader letters

is

requested to turn back to these two

and re-read them.

this great criminal has not

One may then

ask, if

proved himself to be as

expert and as audacious in deceit and fabrication, as he has veril}'

an

been bold and heartless

artist in roguery.

in

murder,


tNSVMi^CE MONEY CLAIMED.

On September of the

company

Street.

20th,

Holmes

culled at the office

No. 914 Walnut

in Philadelphia,

He saw Mr.

3i

Fouse, president of the com-

pany, and told him the correspondence he had had

with the Chicago manager, of which, of course, j\lr.

Fouse had knowledge.

Holmes asked Mr. Fouse about

the circumstances

of the death, which were related to him very briefly.

Holmes said

it

was a peculiar case and asked Mr.

Fouse the cause of death, and the verdict of the coroner's jury

was communicated

was then asked which he

to

He

him.

to give a description of Fitezel

did.

Mr. Fouse told Holmes that Mrs. torney, Jeptha D.

Pitezel's at-

Howe, had telegraphed him

he was coming to Pliiladelphia with a the family,

that

member

of

and the body which had been interred

in the Potter's Field,

would no doubt, be taken up.

Mr. Fouse said he did not know precisely the time

Howe would

arrive

and that Holmes had better

leave his address, so in case the body was taken up, he could secure his (Holmes') opinion of identity.

Holmes

Nicetown,

(a

replied that he

its

had business

suburb of Philadelphia) and

if

in

he

went away the next day he would leave word with the company, where he could be found.

He


ffOWE PRESENTS LETTER OP ATTORNEY.

32

also promised, if possible, to call at the office the

The next

next niorning.

Howe

Jeptha D.

pany and presented from R.

J.

day, September 21st,

called at the office of the comto President

Fuuse a

letter

Linden, Supeiintendent of Police of

Philadelpliia, introducing

This letter was

him.

accepted as a sufficient voucher for Mr. Howe.

It

had been obtained from the superintendent on the strength of a letter presented to him by Howe,

and from

a friend of the superintendent's in St.

The

Louis.

letter

was given

to

him, and for no other purpose. of

letter

quite a

attorney from

number

Mrs.

Howe to identify Howe produced a and

Pitezel,

also

of letters which Mrs. Pitezel had

received from her husband, while

lie

was living

B. F. Perry at No. 1316 Callowhill Street. that Pitezel had assumed the

name

He

as

said

of Perry, be-

cause he had some financial transactions in Tennessee, which for the time embarrassed

made

it

his location.

Howe

very minutely.

him and

name and

advisable for him to change his

did not go into this matter

Mr. Fouse told

Howe

company had become quite convinced

that the

that Perry

and Pitezel were one and the same, but they were not convinced that the dead zel^

the

man whom

they

man found was

had insured,

Pite-

Howe

ex-


INSURANCE MONEY CLAIMED. pressed

astonishment

Fouse asked him which he

at

this,

33

whereupon

This description tallied in

did.

Mr,

to give a description of Pitezel, all re-

spects with the description furnished.

This conversation took place in the forenoon of

September

and Howe informed the president

21st,

that Pitezel's daughter, Alice, had

from

St.

come with him

Louis; that Mrs. Pitezel was

from

ill

nervous prostration and was unable to make such

He was asked

a long journey.

the office after dinner.

Alice

when Huwe brought her

She was a

to bring Alice to

Mr. Fouse talked with in the afternoon.

fourteen or fifteen years of age,

girl

very reticent, embarrassed and stupid. roborated

tlie

descriptions

Howe and Plolmes. Howe of the visit of

Mr.

She

cor-

given of Pitezel by

Fouse then informed

a Mr. Holmes, a gentleman

who claimed to be an old friend of Pitezel's, nnd who had been his employer in years past. He asked Howe if he knew Holmes. Howe replied he did not. At this juncture, word was received by Mr. Fouse that Holmes had returned and was in

the building.

Mr. Fouse so informed

and asked him whether he would Holmes.

He

said he would.

like to

Howe meet

Holmes was then

conducted into the room, and Mr. Fouse intro-


?

PBESIDENT FOUSE TALKS WITH ALICE.

34

duced Howe

to

introduction^

and

Holmes. met

They both shook hands.

They both accepted

ajyparently

as

the

strangers.

Holmes, hoAvever, at once

recognized Alice, and told her he supposed she recognized him, and she said she did.

been carefully instructed play

the

in

performance, and she did

Holmes had evidently \\as really dead,

was

to

well.

it

her that her papa

told

and the company would never

money

insurance

lÂťay the

She had

the part she

in

if

they discovered that

Holmes and her papa had been

Mr.

so intimate.

Fouse then took up the statements that had been

made by

the three persons, Holmes,

Howe, and

Alice Pitezel, and then said, as they intended to disinter

the

marks of

body,

identification

better be prepared to which thej^ scribe.

Before assenting

himself vp and said this mail ?

Mr. Fouse explain to

Why at

is

:

to this,

Holmes')

What

is

his

Who

is

purpose

once proceeded to fully and frankly

Howe how Holmes had come

and referred

had

could sub-

Hoive straightened

(j-eferring to

he here?

all

to the letters the

there,

company had

ceived from the Chicago manager.

Howe

re-

said

that this was satisfactory.

The marks

of identification,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

wart on the

neck, a cut on the leg, and a bruised nail of the


INSURANCE 3I0NEY CLAIMED.

35

thumb, together with certain peculiarities of the teeth were then agreed upon, and an

was made the

office

22d,

Saturday, September

following day,

and with the coroner's physician proceed

body and look

the Potters Field, disinter the the

engagement

for all parties to report at the coroner's

marks of

The next day

identification.

to for

the

party, consisting of the deputy coroner, his physician. Inspector Perry, zel,

Howe, Holmes, Alice

Eugene Smith, and President Fouse,

to the Potters Field.

When

all

Pite-

went

the party arrived,

they discovered that the body had been disinterred by order of the coroner,

dead house.

The

sight

was

and was

terrifying,

in the

as the

corpse was greatly decomposed.

The

physician

coroner's

gloves, tore

put on his rubber

away the garments

at places

where

the marks were supposed to be, but he was unable

to

find

them.

At

this

moment. Holmes

pulled off his coat, rolled up his sleeves, took a surgeon's knife from his pocket, put on the rubber gloves, turned the

body over, cut aAvay the gar-

ments, washed off the skin at the back of the neck, and pointed

moved.

He

also

out the wart, which he

re-

showed the cut on the leg and

the bruised nail of the thumb, which he also re-


MBS. FITEZEL PAID $9,715.85.

36

moved and handing them

to the coroner's physi-

them

cian, he requested that he preserve hol.

in alco-

Alice Pitezel was not permitted to witness

this scene,

imposed

but after Holmes

task,

and

liad finished his self-

after all portions of the

body

had been covered up, save the mouth, she was led sobbing to the table, and after looking at the teeth, said they

appeared

The party then Mr. Fouse for

to be like her papa's.

and Howe asked

left the field

his opinion,

and

if

he was

satisfied.

Mr. Fouse said he would hold the matter under consideration.

On

tember 24th, the

Monday, Sep-

the following

company held

ofiicers of the

a

conference and concluded that the identification

was

satisfactory

Howe

Howe.

and complete and

so informed

then represented Mrs. Pitezel as

being very poor and sick and greatly

money

that her

;

and he wanted

know how

After some

be paid.

officers of the

at once,

to

husband had

left

in

need of

her nothing,

soon the claim could

little

consideration,

company decided

to

the

pay the claim

provided the expenses to which this com-

pany had been put body were deducted. assented,

in the effort to identify the

To

this

Howe

and thereupon a check

reluctantly

to his order as

attorney in fact for Mrs. Pitezel for $9715.85 was


Alice

Pitj:zel.


INSURANCE MONEY CLAI3IED. drawn and delivered surance

and the policy of

to him,

The company

was surrendered.

Holmes ten

paid

dollars

39

to

defray his expenses

The com-

incurred in coming from Uiillimore.

pany within the next two weeks received from

Mrs.

Pitezel,

Howe, expressing manner

On

in

Alice

in-

also

Pitezel,

their appreciation of

which the claim had been

Sunday, September 23d, 1894,

letters

Holmes and tlie

prompt

settled.

in response

urgent request of Holmes, wlio said he de-

to the

sired to leave the city as soon as possible, the cor-

oner permitted him and Alice Pitezel to subscribe to affidavits, in

of the

body

which they

certify to the indentity

as that of B. F. Pitezel.

The

folio-

ing are copies of these statements.

Benjamin

F. Pitezel, 1316 Callowhill Street. E. Alice Pitezel.

I live at No. 6343 Michigan Avenue, St. Louis, Mo. I am in my 15th year. Benjamin F. Pitezel was my father. He was 37 years old this year. My is living. There are five children. My came East July 20th. He first went from Louis to New York, and left there August

mother father St.

We

11th.

learned of his death

through the

came on with Mr. Howe to see the body on Saturday, September 22d. I saw a body

papers.

3

I


AFFIDAVITS OF ALICE PITEZEL AND HOLMES.

40

at the city

burying ground, and fully recognized my father by his teeth. I am

the body as that of fully satisfied that

it is

he.

Signed, E. Alice Pitezel.

Witnesses,

Jeptha D. Howe. O. LaF. Perry. Sept. 23d, 1894.

H. H. Holmes, 701 63rd Street, Chicago, I

knew Benjamin

Had

111.

F. Pitezel 8 years in Chicago.

business with him

much

of that time.

recently he had desk room in our a letter from

office.

I

More

received

E. H. Cass, agent of the Fidclitj-

Co. about Benjamin F. Pitezel, sending a clipping. I

came

to Philadelpliia

and saw the body on Sat-

urday, September 22d, at the city burial ground. I recollect the mole on the back of the neck, and low growth of hair on the forehead, and general shape of the head and teeth. His daughter had described a scar on tlie right leg below the knee, front. I found this on the body as described by Alice. I have no doubt whatsoever but what it is the body of Benjamin F. Pitezel, who was buried as B. F. Perry. I last saw him in November, 1893, in Chicago. I heard he used an assumed name recently. I never knew him to use any


INSURANCE MONEV CLADIED.

name but

other

man

honorable

his

own.

I

41

found him an honest,

in all dealings.

Signed,

Harry

H. Holmes,

Witnesses,

O. LaF. Perry. Jeptha D. Howe.

Eugene Smith was present

at this disinterment

He had

and examination

in Potters Field.

Holmes once

No. 1316 Callowhill Street, but

at

failed to recognize

body.

Had

him

he done

at the

so,

exhumation of the

the scheme of fraud and

murder would have been disclosed then and and the

now

says

saw

lives of the

seen

three

there,

He man he man whom he

children saved.

that he had a suspicion that the

at the Potters Field

was the

had seen at No. 1316 Callowhill Street, and that he was more than once on the point of speaking of

it

to

Mr. Fouse, but feared making a mistake

and so remained

silent.

In this instance at least, silence was not the " eloquence of discretion."


CHAPTER

III.

THE INSURANCE COMPANY Inspector Gary not Satisfied

SUSPICIOUS.

Gary Visits Major Harrigan from a Train Robber Gary Visits Hedgepeth Search for Holmes Pinkerton Aid Secured Holmes Arrested in Boston Holmes True Name Herman Webster Mndgett— Mrs. Pitezel Decoyed to Boston and Arrested Holmes' Several Wives Holmes Regrets His Confidence in Hedgepeth. at

St.

Louis.

— Letter

The

Mutual Life Association, has a

Fidelity

detective department of its own. direction of Inspector

W.

painstaking and capable

It is

under the

E. Gary, a very shrewd, ofiicets

who

has had a

long experience in investigations relating to

life

insurance risks.

Mr. Gary not only questioned the proof of the identity of

was

that the of

the body as that of Pitezel, but he

dissatisfied

man

with the conclusion then reached,

found, dead,

had died as the

result

an accident, as the appearances of the body

with the broken bottle and pipe and the dead

match

The

at its side,

seemed

officers of the

to prove.

company, however, had paid

the claim, and the matter was soon forgotten in (43)


U GABy

VISITS 3IAJ0B

HARRIGAN AT

ST. LOUIS.

the multiplicity of duties incident to the business

of a great insurance company.

Early in October, about two weeks after Jeptha

Howe

D.

departed with the check for $9,715.85,

business of importance, having no relation what-

ever to the Pitezel case, called Inspector Gary to St. Louis, Missouri.

On fice

October 9th, while sitting in the branch

of

the

company

in

St.

called with a letter from

of-

Louis, a messenger

Major Lawrence Har-

rigan, Chief of the St. Louis Police, stating that he,

had received a communication

(Harrigan)

from a prisoner

in the city prison,

about an insur-

ance case which the Fidelity Mutual Life Association

had investigated, and suggesting that some

officer

of the

company should

at once call

upon

him.

This message caused Inspector Gary to chiefs

office

visit the

without delay, and there Major Har-

rigan handed him a letter he had received from

Marion C. Hedgepeth, a prisoner who was ing sentence for train robbing. is

tiwait-

This letter which

here given in full will be more fully understood

when

the reader

is

Holmes) was known

M. Howard, and

informed, that Mudgett (or in St. Louis, Missouri, as

H.

that in July of 1894 he had been


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

THE INSURANCE COMPANY

SUSPICIOUS.

45

incarcerated in the city prison under that

name

on a charge of swindling in connection with the purchase and sale of a drug store. " St. Louis, Mo., Tuesday, October 9th, 1894.

Major Lawrence Harrigan, Chief of Police.

Dear

Sir

:

When H. M. Howard was in here some two months ago, he came to me and told me he would like to talk to me, as he had read a great deal of me, etc.; also after

me he had

we

got well acquainted,

scheme by which he could make $10,000, and he needed some lawyer who could be trusted, and said if I could, he would see that I got $500 for it. I then told him that J. D. Howe could be trusted, and he then went on and told me that B. F. Pitezel's life was insured for $10,000, and that Pitezel and him were going to work the insurance company for the $10,000, and just how they were going to do it even going into minute details that he was an expert at it, as he had worked it before, and that being a druggist, he could easily deceive the insurance company by having Pitezel fix himself up according to his directions and appear that he was mortally wounded by an explosion, and then put a corpse in place of Pitezel's body, etc., and then have it he told

a

;

;

identified as that of Pitezel.

I did

not take

much


Jfi

LETTER FROM A TRAIN-ROBBER.

stock in what he told me, until after he went out on bond, which was in a few days, when J. D.

Howe came

to me and told me that that man Howard, tliat I had recommended him to, had come and told him that I had recommended Howe to him and had laid the whole plot open to him, and Howe told me that he never heard of a finer or smoother piece of work, and that it was sure to work, and that Howard was one of the smoothest and slickest men that he ever heard tell of, etc., and Plowe told me that he would see that I got $500 if it worked, and that Howard was going on

East to attend to

it

at once.

(At

this

time

I

did

know what insurance company was to be worked, and am not sure yet as to which one it is, but Howe told me that it was the Fidelity Mutual not

whose

office is, according to the 520 Olive Street.) Howe came down and told me every two or three days, that everything was working smoothly and when Globe Democrat and notice appeared in the Chronicle of the death of B. F. Pitezel, Howe came down at once and told me that it was a matter of a few days until we would have the money, and that the only thing tliat might keep the company from paying it at once, was the fact that Howard and Pitezel were so hard up for money, that they could not pay the dues on the policy until a day or two before it was due, and then had to send it by telegram, and that the

of Philadelphia,

city directory, at No.


THE mSUMANCE COiMPANV company might claim money until after the

SUtiPIClOUS.

47

that they did not get the lapse of the

policy

;

but

they did not, and so Howe and a little girl (I think Pitezel's daughter) went back to Philadelphia and succeeded in identifying and having the

body recognized as that of B. F. Pitezel. Howard me that Pitezel's wife was privy to the whole Howe tells me now that Howard would thing. not let Mrs. Pitezel go back to identify the supposed body of her husband, and that he feels almost positive and certain that Howard deceived Pitezel and that Pitezel in following out Holme's instructions, was killed and that it was really the body of Pitezel. The policy was made out to the wife and when the money was put in the bank, then Howard stepped out and left the wife to settle with Howe for his services. She was willing to pay him il,000, but he wants 82,500 and so -12,500 of told

the

money is held it. Howard

until they get over squabbling

now on his way to Germany, and Pitezel's wife is here in the city yet, and where Pitezel is or whether that is Pitezel's body about

I can't tell,

but

I

is

don't believe

it is

Pitezel's body,

and well and probably in Germany, where Howard is now on his way. It is hardly worth while to say that I never got the 8500 that Howard held out to me for me to introduce him to Mr. Howe. Please excuse this poor writing as I have written this in a hurry and have but believe that he

is

alive


GABY

48

VISITS

HEDGEPETB.

on a book placed on my knee. This and more I am willing to swear to. I wish you would see the Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company and see if they are the ones who have been made the victim of this swindle, and if so, tell them that I want to see them. I never asked what company it was until to-day, and it was after we had some words about the matter, and so Howe may not have told the proper company, but you can find out what companj^ it is by asking or to write

a lot

When

telephoning to the different companies.

I

asked Mrs. Pitezel's address he waited a long time and finally said it was No. 6342 S. Michigan Ave. Please send an agent of the

you

company

Yours Resp.,

Marion

It

to see

was

if

visited

in

C.

etc.,

Hedgepeth.

compliance with this request that In-

Gary, accompanied by a stenographer,

spector

Hedgepeth

in the city prison

and obtained

from him a sworn statement, which was reiteration of the declarations

except that in addition to closed by phia, he

that

me

please.

the

Howe told

that

in effect a

in the letter,

had been

dis-

after his return

from Philadel-

Hedgepeth that he

verily believed

body was

Holmes had

all

made

either

really

Pitezel's,

and that

murdered him, or Pitezel had


THE INSURANCE C03IPANY SUSPICIOUS.

49

been killed in the explosion when setting up the job of substitution.

With

cop3' of this

a

letter

and the statement

Inspector Gary returned at once to Philadelphia

and promptly reported the new revelation to the officers

of the company.

These gentlemen con-

sidered the story to be a fake,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

tale

manufac-

tured by a wily criminal for selfish purposes, and it

or attach any importance

so,

however, with Inspector

believed the

statement to be true.

they refused to believe to

it

Gary.

He

Not

whatever.

He

pointed out matters referred to in Hedgepeth's

letter,

which could

not

have been known to

Hedgepeth, and must have been communicated by either

Howe

or

Howard, and

Hedgepeth

related them.

precisely as he had

states that the

premium

New

on the policy was sent by a telegram from York, as indeed due,

August

fact?

It

company

9th.

to

was, and on the very day

How

was known and

persuaded the

him

it

make

the

could he have onlj' to

made

the

Gary

company

a search for Holmes,

progressed, proofs that

aid

of the

known

and

to

Piukeiton

tlie

finally

permit

as the

work

company had been

the victim of a swindle, multiplied.

of the

tvas

that

the officers of

conspirators.

officers

it

Detective force was

The

now


H0L3TES A K RESTED IN BOSTON.

50

secured. ton,

Holmes was

first

Canada, and then

He was

sult.

finally traced

last

named

place

Howard, two of

or

Webster Mudgett

to

but without

it

was found that Holmes

his aliases,

was

really

that his father's

;

re-

Burlington, Ver-

and Gilmanton, N. H.

mont, thence to Tilton

At the

searched for in Kings-

in Detroit,

Herman

home was

in

Gilmanton, and that he was visiting his old home

He

while under the surveillance of detectives.

was kept under a Boston,

shadow and followed

close

where on November

17,

to

1894, he was

arrested and taken to the police station.

Strange to say, his arrest was effected not on the charge of swindling the insurance company,

but on a telegram from Fort Worth, Texas, charging

him with

horse

stealing,

At

criminal operations.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; another

of

his

the time of the arrest,

Mr. Perry, one of the

officers

(who had seen Mudgett

at the

of the

company,

company's

office in

Philadelphia, and in the Potters Field at the ex-

humation of the body) went

to

Boston.

seeing Mr. Perry at the city police station, gett or Holmes, as his

we

shall call him,

Upon Mud-

threw up

hands and said he guessed he was wanted

Philadelphia by

Worth

the

for the horse

Fidelity,

business.

and not

in

in

Fort

In fact he ex-


THE INSURANCE COMPANY SUSPICIOUS. pressed a decided disinclination to

51

revisit Fort

Worth, Texas, as he knew that horse thieves and swindlers are

much more

to receive

liable

emptory attention from the populace

per-

in that sec-

tion than in the north.

Holmes had rented

a house in Burlington, Ver-

mont, for Mrs. Pitezel,

who had with

her, her

baby and eldest daughter, Dessie, about sixteen

She was brought

years of age.

decoy

letter,

to

Boston by a

devised by the Pinkertons and writ-

ten by Holmes, and was arrested and placed iu the city police station.

was found Yoke,

whom

Henry

in

the

When

company

arrested.

Holmes

of Miss Georgiana

he had married under the name of

Mansfield

Howard.

This

lady

soon

proved herself to be an estimable and an honest

woman.

She had been cruelly and heartlessly

deceived, and soon learned that she was one of several victims, for he had not only a lawful wife living near his old

home

in

New

Hampshire, but

he had married at least one other woman,

who

honestly believed herself to be his wife.

His confidence in Hedgepeth can only be explained by his evident admiration for a

had achieved great notoriety It

man who

as a train robber.

was a weakness, which Holmes has many times


55

SIBS.

regretted.

PITEZEL DECOYED TO BOSTON.

He

has just as

much deplored

the

other mistake he made, in omitting to pay Hedge-

peth his promised reward and share of the money, for it is quite evident that while

Hedgepeth told

the truth in his letter to the chief of police and in his

in

statement to Inspector Gary, his expose was

revenge for the chagrin he suffered, when he

realized he

was forgotten

at the time of the dis-

tribution of the proceeds of the robbery.


CHAPTER IV. THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR.

— —

Holmes' First Confession Admits Conspiracy to Defraud Substitution of a Corpse A Plausible Statement Details

of the Conspiracy.

The

eclio of the

clang of the cell door through

the corridor of the police station in Boston, had scarcely died away, before

Holmes inaugurated

a

system of fabrications, the chief object of which was to deceive

and mislead the police authorities and the

officers of the

that a fraud

company he had robbed. He admitted

had been perpetrated, and that he was

one of a band of conspirators, who had successfully

imposed upon a

life

insurance company, and had

secured upwards of ten thousand dollars, by the substitution of a corpse, for the supposed dead

body of the insured.

He

said the cadaver had

been obtained from a medical friend of his in York, whose name he refused to disclose. is

greatly

New

Holmes

given to lying with a sort of florid

ornamentation, and

all

of his stories are decorated

with flamboyant draperies, intended by him to ^53)


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

64

strengthen the plausibility of his statenienLs.

comes pathetic

him

li\

he has the appearance of cunclor, be-

talking,

at times

best, uttering his

voice, often

when pathos

will serve

words with a quaver

in his

accompanied by a moistened eye, then

turning quickly with a determined and forceful

method

of speech, as

if

indignation or resolution

had sprung out of tender memories that had touched his heart.

Here

is

his first

19th, 1894, to O.

confession,

made November

M. Hanscom, Deputy Superin-

tendent of Police, Massachusetts, and John Corn-

Superintendent of the Pinkerton Detective

ish,

Agency

of Boston, Massachusetts.

Boston, Mass.,

November Q.

(By

Mr. Hanscom.)

What

19, 1894.

is

Pitezel's

name? A.

B.

Q.

When

A.

I

and

F., I

think Benjamin Fuller.

did

you

last see Pitezel ?

cannot give the day.

fill it

I will leave a

blank

in.

Q.

State

it

A.

Well,

I

in

your own way.

saw him

last in Detroit

and

it

was


Benjamin'

F. Pitkzei.


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOB. in the neigliborliood of three

weeks ago, but

give the exact date by consulting

Do you know where

Q.

Detroit

A.

my

can

I

wife.

he was stopping in

?

No,

He had been there for me to come

don't know.

I

days

several

67

before

waiting

there.

Q.

When

you saw him Well

A.

was the

last

I

had not seen him but once since

Philadelphia occurrence

and that was

in

this

Cin-

probably two weeks before that.

cinnati,

Q.

time before that that

?

You went from New York with

and body

the trunk

?

A.

Yes,

sir.

Q.

And

turned the check over to him

A.

That was on Sunday.

Q.

You know what date?

A.

No,

it

?

was the Sunday nearest the

first

of

September.

Q.

After turning over to him the check for

the trunk

when did you

About

A.

see hini

ten days or two

next? weeks,

I

should

say, in Cincinnati.

Then you gave him your

Q.

how

to

proceed with the body?

instructions as

ti>


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

58

A.

He had

Q.

Those had been given

before

tJiose before.

him some time

to

?

A.

Ves,

Q.

So that you did not see him after turning

sir.

over to him the checks until you next met liim in Cincinnati

A. weeks. three It

?

No, It

think there must have been two

I

sir.

must have been more, because

weeks before

must have been

after the

Q.

payment

You had no

I

went on

it

two weeks

at least ten days or

money.

of the

occasion to meet him in Phila-

delphia during the interim between giving the check and the finding of the

A.

He went

was

to Philadelphia.

right away, or

body was

to

him

?

go to

New

York. Q.

As soon

as he prepared the

structions were to go to

A.

Yes,

sir,

and

I

body

his in-

New York ? went

that

night

really

within three hours after the body had landed in Philadelphia.

Q.

You next saw him

A.

Yes,

Q.

Some two weeks?

A.

Well,

in Cincinnati?

sir.

it

must have been nearer

five

weeks,


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. about ten

money.

many

did

he get possession

of the

one

other in Detroit.

he got

Cincinnati and the

in

The boy he

'^ook there.

Did you see the child with him

Q.

tlireo

?

Well,

A.

59

payment of the

between.

How

Q.

the

so after

have no means of knowing just how

I

clays

children

or

clays

in Cincin-

nati.

A.

Yes,

sir.

By whom was it turned over to him ? A. The three children,â&#x20AC;&#x201D; or rather to be more explicit, after we came to Philadelphia to identify the body, the little child Alice, who was there Q.

with Mr. Perry about the identification, went as far as Indianapolis

with

and "went further on

me and

to

I left

her there

Louis where the

St.

mother was, and as soon as the money was paid over to the attorney and given to this .woman,

why

a

portion

children and

of

went

it

I

took and the other two

to Cincinnati calling for this

one in Indianapolis. Q.

By

A.

Yes,

nati

I

" this sir.

woman

" you

Now, when

had three children

;

mean I

his wife?

landed in Cincin-

two

I

took at St.

Louis, boy and girl, and one from Philadelphia


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

60

that

I

apolis

Lad jnst stepped

train at Indian-

off the

and took from there where she had been at

the Stebbins Hotel.

Q.

In whose charge at the Stebbins Hotel was

this child

A.

?

She was hardly with any one, she was four-

teen or fifteen years old.

Q.

Was

A.

No, under the name of Canning.

Q.

You took

cinnati

she stopping under her

and went

to Cin-

?

A.

Yes,

Q.

Where you met

A.

The

sir.

father,

mother wanted the children

to

three children

own name?

the father

and then

to see

him

it

if

knowing he was

?

was arranged,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

she could without

alive.

Q.

Was

A.

No, not then, but she was to follow.

the mother with you

?

I

was

go to Cincinnati and get a house and have

them go there and stay whole family, and see her fur a

it

for the

winter, all the

was arranged that he should

few days and then he was going

South where he used to be

in the

lumber business,

but he had been drinking and before

I

knew

it

he went in where the children were stopping and

saw those

three,

and the mother had threatened

in


n

THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. case that they

knew

that he was alive she

not go any further in

it,

would

all

He

some.

So we compromised there by

enough

come

from

them and I

is

a

man

go there and keep these

to

dren away

cause

out.

his taking

three

chil-

took the other two to Chicago, be-

I

had business there, thinking that

with the boy alone as

them

if

it

would

he travelled

there were three.

if

to Detroit

Then

and he was already there

and took the other two, dressed the smallest as a boy,

but this

now, as a

girl

Q.

it

that drinks

mother, so he took one of

tlie

not call anyone's attention so quick

I took

would

because she thought

boys,

girl

suppose

and there are two boys and one

The two

and the next

girl Alice is dressed, I

would that mean the

girl.

eldest

to the eldest?

A.

No, there

Q.

Which

A.

The youngest

is

only one boy really.

other one was dressed as a boy

Q.

How

A.

Not over 11 years

Q.

Did you get a

old

is

?

girl.

she

?

old.

suit of clothes in Detroit?

A.

He

Q.

How

long did you remain with him in De-

Oh,

think

got them.

troit ?

A.

I

1

got in there Saturday and he


nuUIES' FIRST CONFEtSSION.

62

went away Monday,

I

Anyway, we had

think.

intended to get the children there and

mother know that they were

wanted

to see her

He

Q.

there,

but

let the still

he

very bad.

did not succeed in seeing his wife iu

Detroit?

A.

No.

Q.

She did not join him there ?

A.

No.

Q.

Did you

A.

No,

him

;

that

street,

We

it

is,

is

see

him leave Detroit?

did not.

I

kept away wholly from can't think of the

I

a street they have been repairing.

went out on the

Q.

I

he met me.

street cars.

my mind now why

It is not really clear to

the family should be broken up, children should go one

way and

why

the three

she with the two

children the other way.

A.

The

first

intention

was

to have

them

all

go to Cincinnati and stay there for the winter, get a furnished house and have her stay there until

any noise might blow over, and he was going

into the South on lumber business

general business.

him.

I

When

I got

and

down

I

about

there

I

my met

had the three children and he had been

waiting there some days and

1

stayed there with


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR.

63

him that uight, and the next day instead of doing as he agreed, he

had been drinking a

and he

little

went and saw the children which he agreed nut do under any circumstances.

to

That, of course, gave

Q.

it

away

was

that he

alive ?

Of

A. a

course,

we could not

get

them away

in

moment.

Your theory was that

Q. the

three

children

safety of the

A.

Well,

to

it

was necessary

accompany him

scheme? if

knew

the mother

and

Q.

some

At

I

think she will the

fear that

the fact that he

A. go

to

tell

same time

still

;

or 11 year old

over as she

herself.

suppose there was in

some way, betray

alive ?

Well, they could not school

it

you so

I

they might

was

knew

that they

then she would immediately throw said,

for

the

for

all

be together and

you could nut depend upon 10 children to keep the fact

:

keep

them from speaking among themselves or before strangers,

neither

could

3'ou

get them

under another name and carry

it

to

go

out at that

age.

Q.

A.

Do you know what his next point was ? He was going to New York and then if he


H0L3IES' FIRST CONFESSION.

64

could get through on the boats,

if

thej had not

ready been taken off he was going if

as

I

He knows

the South, which I don't.

point.

some very southern

some lumber business

if

way

to

is

And

there.

I

I

He had

have been on the Eastern coast more.

safest

land as

Key West

think,

al-

way, and

down by

they had he was going to go

far

tliat

think

tlie

go to the railroad brokers to see

he went by boat, because he always buys these

when he

scalpers tickets

Q.

can.

About what date then do you

New York

;

dates should he have been tliere

A.

I

am

Q.

it.

?

thoroughly honest in saying that I

cannot say what day, but can get

place him in

according to your reckoning, what

It

if

you

will

leave

it

I

was about a month ago.

Under what name was he

travelling at that

Well, T. H., or anyway

it

time?

A. of the

name he used

was made out

in the South, only he turned

He was

it

round about.

of

Benton T. Lyman, and

there under the I

think

it

name

was L. T. or

Benton was the name which was

L. B. Benton.

agreed upon quite a while before.

Q.

That

is

the

ponded with you

?

name under which he

corres-


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. A.

I

was going

Had you any

Q. stood

Personals.

cipher code that he under-

?

Yes

A. to

address him through either

to

New York

Chicago or

65

sir,

but that was only fur his writing

me, because of his going from place to place, to

places

where the mails did not go

hardly thought

it

was

After

safe.

was

I

very often

;

got his

anything of importance

I

Chicago Tribune, or the

New York Herald

way

to put in either the

We

of a personal letter.

I

letter,

in the

have done that a

few times in years past. Q.

Was

A.

No,

it

would be

it

understand

agreed what the

all well,

or

up should cause him

in if

to

''

ad

"

should be

?

shape so that he would

anything new that came

move

again,

it

would be

taken through them. Q.

Then you

believe that he and the children

and well

are all alive

?

A.

Yes,

Q.

You have every

A.

Yes,

Q. that

sir.

Would would

reason to believe that?

sir.

in

there be anything about his effects

any way serve

thing had occurred to him

A.

No,

I

am

to give notice if any-

?

sure of that because

I

was

in a


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

66

difficulty in St. Louit> last suimuer,

little

we

talked over at that time

everything.

had a good many

I

He had new teeth.

that time.

he has

He

said he

many

as

as the

In

lished.

all

He

York.

on

me

at

grow and

to

have them the

to

New

to

pa[)er6

He had them

and so

names aud

the

allowed his beard

was going

when he got

all

extracted. first

thing

has not nearly

body and that can be

easily estab-

proven

also, that I

fact, it

easily

is

Philadelphia also on Sundav night before the

left

when

time

was

lie

witnesses,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; outsiders

delphia.

My

last

wife and I

by the coroner's

seen

saw him

after I left Phila-

went through on

a Pull-

man. Q.

If

you were obliged

to establish the fact,

can you show any meetings with him after leaving

him

in Philadelphia at the time

check for the trunk

A.

Yes,

made

sir, I

think

I

I

I sat

down

for a

writing room, and

I

While they were

we

sat for a

and kept them

good length of time

cer-

upstairs, in their

was writing and they knew

well by sight there, and I think

lish that fact.

good

took the children to a

tain hotel in Cincinnati

me

can.

as secret as they could be,

hour in the hotel.

and

you gave him the

?

I

can estab-


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. Q.

Was

he there

A.

Yes,

sir.

?

Q.

You

sat there with

A.

Yes,

sir.

Q.

What

A.

Well,

Now

Detroit

at the other hotel.

?

would have

at

to see a Cincinnati

them

out.

any other point?

How

about

?

He

A.

I

him ?

was

it

I could pick

directory.

Q.

No,

hotel

67

slipped in there where the girls stayed

happened

and

I

We

kept as far apart as we could there and

to be in there at the time once.

took him out of Detroit, that part out where the children

is,

I

from the centre

met him,

in a big

trunk.

The same

Q.

you had shipped

as

his

body

before.

A.

Yes,

sir.

We

had a scare

some word from Chicago, but Fort

Worth

it

there.

I

got

pertained to this

matter, that officers had been there,

looking for us, and I

knew if they obtained a clue, me to Detroit, so I came

they could easily trace

out from his place there and took him outside the city almost,

to

and took the children out

where he was.

with me.

The

in a

buggy

children were apparently

They knew me

as their uncle.


HOLMES' F1U6T CONFESSION.

68

You were known

Q. uncle

They knew

A.

where they stayed, Q.

That was

A.

Yes,

could

to the children as their "

?

tell

stayed,

if

it

was known as such.

in Detroit ?

By

sir.

where

but in the houbc

different, I

getting a plan of Detroit,

became necessary

statements, and

I

I

was, the streets where th^ girls

it

to substantiate

my

go there, they would know me

also as being there.

Q.

(By Mr. Cornish.)

the trunks from

A.

I

took

it

Where

did you take

?

more than two miles and

let

him

out.

Q.

In a house or in the woods

A.

Way

stable

Q.

outside

of the

?

city.

and got a horse and wagon

(By Mr. Hanscom.)

I

went

to

a

there.

Did you drive the

wagon ?â&#x20AC;˘ A.

Yes.

Q.

It

A.

No,

back.

must have been an express ? it

was a buggy with

I tried to

get an express

heavy

sort of

wagon and they

had not anything except a very large one, trunk went on behind by tying

it

on.

so the

I don't


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. think he went more than a mile in

69

tliat

way, a

mile or two.

Q,

(By Mr. Cornish.) Who helped you in the buggy?

to

put the trunk

put in the trunk.

A.

I

Q.

Did you put

A.

I

Q.

Did you take

A.

No,

put

it in

it

in alone ?

alone. it

all I liad to

when he got

nut alone

?

do was to put the

lid

back

was outside of the

city,

out.

Q.

Was

that on the

A.

Yes,

sir.

Well,

roadway it

?

about two miles from the centre of the town.

The occasion

of

it

was that

I

thought that

officers

were then watching him, but not me.

him

Q.

Did you

A.

Yes, just long enough to drive out with the

see

after that?

children in the buggy.

Q.

The

children did not go with

you on

this

first trip ?

A.

Oh

no, I took

him

in a light

buggy, and he

waited there for the children. Q.

That same day did you drive out with the

children?

A.

Yes,

sir.


HOLMES' FIRST COXFESSIOX.

70

(By Mr, Hansconi.)

Q.

of going out there that

A.

had got word from Chicago

I

Worth were

from Fort it

Wliat was the object

way?

was on

there.

tliat officers

thought then

and said they

matter,

this

track of both of us.

I

He was

at Fort

liad

got

Worth with

me.

Then the

Q.

last time

you met was when you

took the children out there to see him. time that you actually saw him

A.

Yes.

It

in

him out

in

He had gone

a certain place

last

was somewhere about 4 o'clock

the afternoon of the day that the trunk.

The

?

where

carried

I

across from there, from

I left

him, over to another

place of meeting. Q.

Did you go across the bridge

A.

No,

go for a C'luplo of days. I

W!is to

send

it

Q.

in

a

boy

away because

watcliiiig

I

for the satchel. I

feai-ed

did not to get

him. I

He

did not

the officers were

and we were only going out

From

I

had to wait

cariied the children out to

them.

take

?

did not go over with him.

I

to ride.

that j)oint he started ?

A.

Yes,

Q.

Towards Canada?

A.

No,

sir.

I

don't think

so.

It

was spoken of


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. that he would go

wait there until

to

71

Detrnit after Toronto, aiid

could get the wife and the other

I

two children, and he hated

to

go aw.ay without see

ing them. Q.

Have you heard from him

A.

No,

Q.

All you

South America

agreed upon

A.

Yes,

And you No,

Q.

Under what name was he

A.

Well,

me

safe

30,

Yes,

Was

care

particularly

enough

name

to address

you

you

what name, and

to address St.,

me

?

any more

that,

as

I

Howard

Chicago.

Howard or Holmes? almost any strange name to them, two, or some name that did not be-

Q.

long in the

tell

No. 69 Dearborn

Under

either those

hardly time.

can't

I

Q.

Q.

have not heard yet?

sir, it is

was

Room

South or

?

Q.

it

tlie

what had been previously

sir.

than he asked

at

is

A.

said

?

know about New York and about

steamer for any point in

his taking a for

since

sir.

the

of

office.

this

correspondence to be sent in any

?

A.

In care of Mr. Frank Blackman.

Q.

Who

is

Frank Blackman

?


HOLMES' FIEST CONFESSION.

72

A

A.

real estate

dealer,

and during

my

sence from the city he was liaving charge of

money

this final

and

As

A.

my

affairs there.

How many

Q.

ab-

last

weeks ago or days ago, was

meeting with him in Detroit?

near as

I

can guess

it

was three weeks

ago.

About

Q.

you

three weeks ago that

left

De-

troit ?

A.

Possibly a

more.

little

dates by referring to others, that

Have you any reason

Q. is

any mail waiting

born

for

you

I

can give those is,

my

wife.

to believe that there

at this Chicago, Dear-

St. office ?

We

A.

got some this morning.

It

comes

as

fast as it is received.

Since delivering the children to him on the

Q.

outskirts of Detroit,

you have not seen

or heard

from him directly or indirectly?

A.

No,

sir.

Q.

Has

his wife

A.

Oh

no, because after this break that he

made

been

in search of

him lately?

in regard to seeing the children, I

have had

to tell her while I could get her in shape to send

her to him, that he was here and there and put her

off.


Eeau of No.

1316

Callowhill

St.,

Philadelphia, Pa.


THE CLANG OF THE

You have put

Q.

<OELL DOOR.

her off by telling her that

her husband was at different points

country

Yes,

Q.

Such

A.

Yes,

Q.

And

is

under him.

I acted

sir,

the fact

?

sir.

she has been to Toronto in pursuit of

?

A. Vt.

about the

?

A.

them

75

Yes,

sir,

and Ogdensburg and Burlington,

have expected every day to get w^ord

I

where he was, and that was

my

idea of getting

her here, so to ship her and the children from here.

Q.

I

want

to

know whether

or not

you have

taken her from point to point with the understanding that she was to see her husband

fact,

?

She was to have met him at Detroit.

A.

she was to meet

Q.

him

She was to have met him

in Cincinnati

then she went from Cincinnati to Detroit

A.

No,

sir,

In

in Cincinnati.

and

?

she went to Galva, her old home,

and was to wait there until

I

telegraphed her and

got their homes in Cincinnati.

Q.

Did she do

A.

No,

I sent

sir,

it ?

because when he saw the children

word then

for her to go to

Chicago and


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

76

from there pletely

of

me

to Detroit.

It

up when he saw the not to let her

to see her

and

and

a

take

and then

broke her plans com-

He begged

children.

know

it,

because he wanted

agreed to go as far as Detroit

I

house

there

and

see

children go and

let the

her alone,

tell

her after-

wards. Q.

But he did not

A.

No.

When

see her in Detroit

?

he was sober he saw the

diffi-

culty of having the children stay with her after

he had seen them on account of their talking. Q.

(By Mr. Cornish.)

wife could

fill

You

said that

your

out certain blanks that you have

left?

A.

She remembers everything

Q.

Have you remembered where you stopped

for a year past.

in Philadelphia?

A.

Yes,

it is

Q.

Was

it

13th Street at the house of a Mrs.

is

the

Dr. Alcott

A. unless

?

That

I am

11th Street.

under.

Q.

near

very

name, but

much

Dr. Howell

The doctor

At

s

it

on 11th Street,

is

mistaken, near No. 1900 on is

name

the

name

is Alcott.

you went

the time that

wife was in Indianapolis

?

that

I

went

(Alcorn.)

to Detroit,

your


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. A.

Well, which time

Q.

The time

Your wife

Pitezel.

12th,

that

?

you were going

left

11

to

and joined you somewhere near Peru

A.

was near Peru,

I think it

meet

Indianapolis on October

it

was an

?

adjoin-

ing place on the road. Q.

Then you

tober the 12th

A.

I will not say as to the date.

Q.

That

A.

I

Q.

Do you remember where you

Detroit

from your wife's memorandum

is

Was

?

we

it

Park Place went

A.

Well,

Q.

No. 40 Park Place

A.

I

first

to a hotel.

?

can't tell as to numbers. call,

And you

Yes, mostly.

Q.

Do you know when you I

It

was near

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;yes. Park Place.

Q.

Toronto

stopped in

?

A.

A.

?

think you can depend upon her.

what they

to

arrived in Detroit, Friday, Oc-

?

took your meals at the Cadillac

?

Detroit to go

left

?

we were

think

there just a

week and two

days, in Detroit.

Q.

You

arrived in Toronto on October 18th

in the evening

A.

I

?

don't

think

those

dates

will

corres-


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

78

pond, because I think

we were

at this

house a

week. This

Q.

is

memorandum book

taken from a

in

" Arrived at Toronto October

your wife's hand.

18th and went to the Walker House."

A.

Then you can depend upon

Q.

On

it.

Saturday the 20th you went to Niagara

and stopped

at the Imperial Hotel

on the Canada

side?

A.

Yes,

Q.

On Sunday

sir,

that

is

right.

the 21st you returned to To-

ronto and went to the Palmer House

A.

Yes,

Q.

October 25th you went

stopped at the Imperial Hotel

A.

?

sir.

I don't think that

to

Prescott and

?

was the name of the

house. Q.

burg.

On October New York ?

A.

Yes,

Q.

On

27th you crossed to Ogdens-

sir.

the 31st went to Burlington, Vermont,

and took up your residence Street

A. I

at

No. 19 George

?

Yes,

In

sir.

all

the places, in

Ogdensburg

tried to get a suitable place to leave the family.

I did not

want

to

keep them around.


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. Did Mrs. Pitezel go

Q.

79

to all these places with

you? Well, she

A.

did and went to

direct.

She did not touch Prescott or Niagara, that

Q. is,

Toronto the day before we

left

Ogdensburg

only through Prescott to Ogdensburg.

A.

That

Q.

On November

is all.

5th, did

you obtain any money

from your wife in Burlington ?

She was carrying a thousand dollars for me,

A.

and, without being explicit as

to date,

she gave

it to

me.

What

Q.

do with

A.

did you

tell

her you were going to

it ?

I told her I

was going East

meet some-

to

one from Chicago. Q.

You

A.

Kingston, and in fact I used

in the

mother

to

pay

Gilmanton, N. H. where

my

bills

my edu-

father and

live.

at Tilton

and

that same day on arrival in Tilton

you

So that

Gilmanton

it

was expended

?

A.

Yes,

Q.

On

went

it

East that I was owing years ago for

cation in

Q.

stated where East?

sir.

to the

Adams Express

Office ?


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

80

A.

States Express,

Q.

And

and a half thick,

A. from

I

think

was.

wide, and one and a half

feet

what did that contain That was

my

it

got a box about four feet long, two

filled

feet

?

with blankets and things

buildings in Chicago,

new

ones, blankets

and spreads. Q.

To whom

A.

Well,

guess

Q.

my

A.

relatives

that this

;

my mother

to

the time that you were at Til-

all

and Gilmanton, your wife thought

witli this

Yes,

?

part of them, in fact I

brothers.

During

ton, Franklin

you were

my

them went to Gilmanton

of

all

and one of

did you take the box

gave

I

and

lawyer in Kingston

she did not

sir,

know

?

that I had any

I will say, that she has not

woman

known

or any of the family has been go-

ing from place to place.

I

had

to send her

ahead

or to follow.

Q.

That

is,

A.

Yes,

sir.

Mrs. Pitezel

My

?

wife has

known nothing

of

the insurance matter in any way, shape or form.

Q.

When

did

Mrs. Pitezel

first

become

ac-

quainted with this scheme?

A.

Well,

it

is

pretty hard to

tell,

because I

found out a week or two ago here, that her oldest


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR.

known

daughter had father

had

not, I

that he

;

tell,

little

in the papers, it

in the

summer

;

that her

happened

to

him

wauld not be dead, and

was the same case with Mrs. Pitezel or

it

cannot

delphia a

it

told her if anything

not to be worried

whether

of

81

my

but

was

should come out

it

so to get there, to sort of

saw

to her, tell her if she

Now,

not a fact.

object in leaving Phila-

ahead of when

to the

it

in the papers

best of

and belief that was when she

first

my

break it

was

knowledge

knew

of

it.

Did she know from the papers, anything

Q.

about the finding of the body of Perry before you

saw her

?

They found

A.

papers, that it

is,

it

out in the morning in the

the family, the entire family read

and naturally supposed

(By Mr. Hanscom.)

Q.

uine grief on their part

A.

Yes,

Q.

Then

they

knew

A. as

sir,

Did

it

seem

to be gen-

?

you believe that was the

first

?

Yes, this oldest daughter was taking on just

supposed Q.

to be true.

the doctor even was called.

really

bad as any and

person

it

it

was not

The mother ?

I

know now

that she

knew

or

really death. is

rather an

illiterate,

plain


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

82

A.

Yes.

Q.

(By Mr.

day she read A.

The

Q.

What

Cornish.)

this in the

Then you saw her

paper

the

?

night.

conversation did you have with her

then? A.

I told her

Q.

Did you on that evening

husband was A.

Yes, I

Q.

Then

alive, there

then that she need not worry.

alive

am if

sure of that.

must have been some conversation that in regard to the job that

was put

in Philadelphia ?

Oh

A. is

her that her

you told her that her husband was

you had with her up

tell

?

why

I

yes, I spoke to her the

hastened there.

In

That

next day.

fact, I told

him to

hold on, not to leave the house, not prepare this

body

until

Monday some

time, but the evidence

seems to show that he got scared or something

and did not want Q.

Jeptha D.

A. I

to stay with

Howe

over night.

?

I did not see

remember that

train

it

Before calling on Mrs. Pitezel did you see

and went

I

him

until the next morning.

got in on the six something

to the office to see

him and he had

gone, and I saw him the following morning.

I


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. had

him

seen

about

previously

the

83

arrange-

ment.

Q.

Did you

Mrs. Pitezel

tell

him

A.

Yes,

Q.

Did he then

A.

I

sir.

think

it

see her ?

was the next day.

Q.

Were you with him

A.

Yes,

Q.

A.

At her house At his office.

Q.

Did she go alone

A.

I

at the time ?

sir.

take her there

think

or his office

?

to his office or did

you

?

I

Oh,

duced her.

your interview with

of

?

took her the I

first

time and intro-

remember she was

there in the

morning waiting and we were both there waiting

when Mr. Howe Q.

Was

ciime on the landing there.

there

anybody

conference, except yourself,

at

the interview or

Howe and

Mrs. Pite-

zel?

A.

I

don't think there

was, unless a

young

am

almost

lady that sat there, a stenograplier. sure a stenographer

Q.

Was

versation

A.

was

there.

she engaged in taking

?

No,

I

I

don't tliink so.

dmvn

this con-


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION,

84

Q.

When

A.

I

Howe's fact, I

as she

was the next conference, and where ?

think she went there the next day at Mr. office

and was there before

don't think I saw her

came out of there

just for a

got there

I

much

in

;

that date only

minute or two,

on the landing to talk.

Did she object very strenuously

Q.

out this sclieme

No, not then after

A.

she ivas in

it

to carrying

?

I

explained

She said

it.

and would do her best

to carry

it

out.

What inducements

Q.

to carry

on

this

scheme

did you hold

ovit to

her

?

was the money.

A.

It

Q.

Was

A.

No,

she promised any it

amount

was agreed that

this

of

money?

money

sliould

be used to protect the property in Fort Worth, that her husband and I were both interested

Q.

At

Howe,

or

in.

that time was there anytliing stated to

by Howe,

as to

what

his fees

were to

be? A.

It

all right,

was spoken of and he

said

it

would be

he would not set a price, but really the

object he had in going to take hold of the case

was

to get

was

in jail.

money

to liberate his other client

(Marion Hedgepeth.)

who


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. Q.

How many

gether with Howe,

85

interviews did you have alto-

when Mrs.

Pitezel

was

pres-

ent?

A.

Oh, perhaps half a dozen.

Q.

Running over how many days?

A.

Well, perhaps ten days, because in the

meantime

went away

I

to Franklin, I

then there was an interview after

I

know, and

got back, after

he got the money. Q. Pitezel

In each of these interviews in which Mrs.

was present, she knew, or was led

lieve that her

A.

Oh

husband was

still

alive

to be-

?

And one thing, it was Howe and myself, that Mrs. Piteknow but what he thought it was a

yes, she did.

agreed between zel

should not

genuine death. Q.

What was

A.

It

that

?

was agreed between Howe, the attorney,

and myself, that Mrs. Pitezel did not know that he was acting in an underhand way. Q.

(By Mr. Hanscom.) Has Mrs. Pitezel

re-

ceived any letters from her husband since she was in Detroit ?

A. cipher.

I

think I

it

was

since then, one in a sort of

have been in the habit for years of

using cipher and they fixed one up, a simple de-


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

86 vice,

was none.

Q.

She has received one

A.

Yes,

Q.

Where was

A.

Well,

sir,

it

ried to say he

He

?

she read part of it

from

so

it

was

it

to me.

?

was written,

He had me keep Q.

know,

I

all right.

wrote a cipher letter to his wife and

Yes,

sir.

I

think

it

She might not

recall

it, it

(By Mr. Cornish.)

?

was given

Ogdensburg, at some point on

Q.

Detroit.

in

she got anxious and wor-

if

that was entrusted to your custody

A.

Aside from

using figures instead of letters.

this there

was

my

her in

to

travels since.

all in figures.

You

stated that there

was to be some arrangements made so that you could communicate through the or Chicago Tribune

munication

A.

No,

;

New York Htrald

did you have any such com-

? sir,

that

was

was no occasion then.

after he got

away.

There

But instead

of

my

writing

him, I was to communicate with him there and

my

mail was to have come from Chicago,

not to have

it

Q. Now, From whom

A.

Well,

I

am

was

going to ask you a question.

did you get the body in I

I

direct.

New York

have refused thus far to

state.

?

I


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. told Mr. Perry I

thought

87

Pitezel

if

would rather not

tell

was concerned years ago with

this

comes up in a few days that, because I

would, but

I

I

doctor, in something not exactly of this nature,

but so intimately that in the position he

Of

would hurt him very much. it

comes right down Q.

is is

tell

you are

come out

in time

It

it is.

and now

good a time as any other.

as

A.

I think

you will agree with me, that

Watts that

tried since I told Inspector

not

a

telling this thing,

the whole truth right as

a matter that must

tell

make

to

if

to saving myself.

I think that while

you should

is in, it

course, I will

anything but the truth, that plain,

it

man now

but

it is

I

becomes penniless,

am

if I

have

I

would

would try

that.

well enough to do, so that

years, I think I can call

Q.

more than

I

if

He

my

is

wife

shut up for a term of

upon him

Then you understand

for help.

that the party

who

furnished you the body had no guilty knowledge

A.

They

did,

knew

they

was being talked over

;

well enough while

they

knew from our

past

we knew what The very

connection well enough, from the receipts that got from the insurance company, he the

body was going

fact that I

to be used for.

?

it

wanted one with a wart on the neck.


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

88

Was

Q.

house there A.

body placed

the

rather not answer that.

I'd

trunk

in the

in the

?

you

to antagonize

in the least,

don't want

I

but for the time be-

ing I'd rather wait.

Q.

Where was

A.

It

had been

It

the trunk purchased?

was a trunk that we had back and tliere in his

draw attention

posely, so as not to

not

tell

where

it

forth.

house, an old trunk purto

was purchased, years

I

it.

old.

can-

The

trunk belonged to him.

How much money

Q.

You

you?

given to Pitezel

A.

It

did Mrs. Pitezel give

said that she gave

came

you

-11,800 to be

?

lump sum.

in a

I

can give you

a rough guess within a few hundred dollars that

was paid by the insurance company and tell.

(Figures

it

up).

I

cannot

In the neighborhood of

$7,000.

Q.

That

A.

I

is

what she gave you ?

can put

it

in this way, that

Howe gave me

Mrs. Pitezel just about $7,000 and she gave ^5,000 something odd.

Q.

Tliat

is,

that

Howe

gave Mrs. Pitezel

$7,000 about and Mrs. Pitezel gave you $5,000

?


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR.

89

Yes, and before that to pay a certain

A.

bill

there.

Q.

What was

A.

Yes, and |400 that

fees

the

bill,

a bill to I

Becker?

was owing,

attorne3''s

another matter, so directly and indi-

on

come

rectly she caused to

into

my

hands about

$7,000.

Q.

What

A.

Well, to

disposition

make

it

was made of that

?

clear I will have to ex-

plain the business in the South to a certain ex-

We

tent.

took of a party by the name of Will-

iams, a certain piece of property to build upon,

agreed to pay her $10,000 for

it,

and

last spring

from time to time we paid her $2,500.

This we

sent to her, and the receipt was in the shape of several

pieces of paper, notes,

siderable

and quite a con-

to take

how much, less than $5,000. Do you remember one night

forget

Q. lis

amount was sent

telling

them up.

in

I

Indianapo-

your wife that you had sold certain

Fort Worth property for $35,000, $10,000 to be paid in cash, and the balance in bonds and mort-

gages

A.

?

Yes,

sir,

this

very piece of property she

supposed.

Q.

Now

then you took a

roll of bills

out of


HOLBIES' FIRST CONFESSION.

90

your pocket, was that supposed to be part of the $10,000

A.

?

think she has got the two dates con-

I

founded, because

mate

I

went

to

was

this sale that she

Detroit to consumso anxious to

have

made. Q.

This took place in Detroit?

A.

Yes, the last time.

Q.

And you

told

her that Blackman had

$5,000?

A.

The question was naturally where was

the

her that |5,000 I sent to Chicago.

I told

$10,000.

think I said to Blackman, though she was

I don't

led to think that.

you entrusted

Q.

Part of

A.

I

Q.

In Cincinnati

it

gave her a thousand

to her

?

dollars.

how much

did

you give

Pite-

zel?

A.

In Cincinnati only a very

hundred Q.

In Detroit

A.

I

lars,

little,

a couple of

dollars.

think

?

it

was $1,825, or twenty odd

making the two sums $2,000 with what

I

dol-

had

given him in Cincinnati.

Q.

That

is

the

the whole affair?

amount that

Pitezel got out of


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOB.

93

Hardly, because he profited out of what

A.

was got out of

this

Fort Worth.

Tliat

was

all in

cash.

Q.

How much

A.

Oh, very

had Mrs. Pitezel

little,

orders were to give

it

?

a few hundred dollars. to her

from time

His

to time.

Q.

How much was allowed to Jeptha D. Howe?

A.

He took $2,500. Do you remember how many times you saw

Q.

Pitezel in Philadelphia after or before j^ou

had

taken the house on Callowhill Street?

Once

A.

or twice I guess before

three times, very few times publicly. to I

and perhaps I

would try

meet him perhaps on the street cars or corners,

kept away purposely from his place of business.

How many

Q.

times did you visit the house on

Callowhill Street?

A.

I think

Q.

You

A.

I

the

first

and

I

think

three times.

him

ivent zvith

think

I

to

buy

the furniture ?

was with him when he bought

of the furniture, but he went one

way

another, to hunt up furniture houses, and I it

was

at one of those places that

found what we bought. Q.

Who

A.

He

paid for

paid for

it ?

it.

we had


H0L3IES' FIEST CONFESSION.

94

Q.

Do you remember

the

A.

No,

it

though

it

I

can go to

was on

?

It

seems as

13tli Street.

Do you remember

Q.

purcliased

name

readily.

man from whom you

the

it ?

him by

A.

I

Q.

Did you have an invoice

could

tell

sight.

of

what you

bought ? A.

No, he paid.

I

don't think there was any

bill.

It

was sent down the next day, and then he

told

me

he went back again and bought some

other things.

Q.

Were you with him

in

any other

store in

Philadelphia, outside of this furniture store

A.

It don't

seem

to

Q.

Prior to that?

A.

Yes, prior,

I

me

as

though

?

I was.

think we went into one or two

places together to see about furniture.

Q.

Prior to his securing the house on Callow-

hill Street,

A.

It

where did he room

was near 11th. where

I

where

it

I

was rooming and go a

little

said " boarding house,"

Street.

Q.

?

me it was on Arch Street. It know I had to come down from

seems to

ways on Arch,

on Arch or Vine

^

Did you

visit

him

in his

room there

?


THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. A.

Yes, I think once or twice.

Q.

Had you any

arrangement with

correspondence or made any

this

party in

gard to securing this body

A.

York

I

saw him personally when

before I got

Q.

New

New York

went up once, it

in re-

?

I

was

just before going to Philadelphia,

after that I

95

I

in

New

and then

guess the Thursday

on Sunday.

What was

the occasion of your going to

York from Philadelphia

?

Why

we found afterwards we were right in front of the morgue, but we did not know it then, and I know this man there and I had no other A.

place to go for

Q.

was simply the body

A.

it.

Then your purpose to

see this

for visiting

man

New York

in regard to getting

?

Yes, I don't think there

was any other

business transacted there, though he

sent from

there some of his insurance premiums, but that

was before we had gone

to Philadelphia, that

was

paying the six months' premium or the balance, don't

know how much.

Q.

That was telegraphed

A.

Yes.

Q.

Did you furnish the money

to

Chicago?

?

I


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

96

Yes, in a sense, on account of his drinking

A. some,

generally carried the money.

I

Q.

It

A.

I

cannot

whether us

of

was sent by him

is

?

that

tell

money,

particular

was through him or me, but between

we furnished

the money.

was telegraphed

Q.

It

A.

Yes, I had nothing to do with the sending

it.

He went on

Q.

Where

himself to see about

It

it.

did you meet this party in

York about the body A.

?

was

at the

New

?

house

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

would rather leave

I

that out.

Q.

duced A.

which I

you again, that unless Pitezel

I tell

alive

we must consider

is

pro-

Pitezel dead.

and that

why

I

understand

I

can prove in Philadelphia to the contrary.

don't care

front now.

myself.

it

how soon I

It is

is

I

say that,

Pitezel

is

brought to the

have almost got

to

do

not that

I

it

to protect

wish to go back on him

by any means. Q.

(By Mr. Hanscom.)

You

expect in any

event that there will be imprisonment go with

A.

I

certainly do.

I told

her to go away and drop

term at the penitentiary.

it

my

wife, I

because

I

it ?

begged

expected a


;

THE CLANG OF THE CELL DOOR. Q.

Of

course,

it is

A.

am

certainly don't

I

While

der.

I

want

Philadelphia by records,

ters, etc.,

that he

Q.

mur-

smaller things,

I certainly etc.,

I

can prove in

they would rememfees to por-

prove that I was out of Philadelphia

was seen

alive after that, if I

am

allowed

it.

(By Mr. Cornish.)

I

understand you

to

you had previously had connections with

his doctor in

A.

to be held for

was sick at the time,

I

a chance to do

say, that

to be

?

am bad enough on

not guilty of that and

ber because

you not

desirable for

held for the greater offence

97

New York ?

Yes, that

is

the greatest reason

why

at this

time

I

Q.

Of

A.

Well,

a criminal nature I

?

cannot be expected to answer that,

don't think.

It

was not an insurance arrange-

ment hardly, but any way, we both This statement

it

profited

by

will be observed, leaves ob-

scure the whereabouts of the three children. places

them

in

South America with their

and describes one of the a boy.

girls as

The main purpose

ascertain,

it.

He

father,

being dressed as

of the interview was to

whether Pitezel was

alive or dead,

and


HOLMES' FIRST CONFESSION.

98 if

how

alive,

tained in of the

the substitution of a dead body, ob-

New

York, had been effected.

children

was

overlooked

for

The

fate

the time.

That they had been murdered was not dreamed of

;

in fact,

the

case

was too

fresh,

and oppor-

tunity had not yet arrived for either the police or the detectives of the

the

company

to verify or disprove

statements of the prisoner.

were yet groping in the dark.

The

authoritie


CHAPTER

V,

THE WAGES OF

]

SIN.

Mrs. Pitezel Questioned by the Police— Her Pitiable CondiComplicity in the Plot Tries to Shield Her Hustion

— — Prepared

His Disappearance Believed Him Alive— Gives Holmes $7,000— Had Parted with Three Children Other Details of the Examination The Prisoners Taken to Philadelphia Holmes Tries to Bribe DeCommitted for Trial Howe Brought tective Crawford from St. Louis H. H. Holmes, Benjamin F. Pitezel, Carrie A. Pitezel and Jeptha D. Howe Formally Indicted

band

for

— —

by the Grand Jury.

Poor she

Mrs. Pitezel

was

Alice,

in

Nellie

!

What

a wretched plight

Her husband had disappeared

!

and

Howard were

in

;

unknown

hands, her other two children, Dessie, her eldest daughter, and her year old infant, were witliout a protector,

and she was

in prison,

under suspicion

of having been a party to a conspiracy to cheat

and defraud an insurance company. After Messrs.

Hanscom & Cornish had obtained

the statement from Holmes, given in full in the

previous chapter, they turned their attention to

Mrs. Pitezel.

She occupied a

cell in

the same

(m


;

100

3IES.

PITEZEL QUESTIONED

police station in

BY THE

POLICE.

which Holmes was detained, and

her grief and surprise over her arrest and incarceration officers

It

is

were so great, that the hearts of the

were moved to to

pity.

be regretted, that in this interview,

Mrs. Pitezel was not as truthful and as frank as she subsequently became with the authorities in

She was evidently inspired by a

Philadelphia.

desire to shield her husband,

whom

she then be-

lieved to be alive, notwithstanding her statement

Her

to the contrary.

denial of her complicity in

the scheme to cheat and defraud the insurance

company by the

substitution of a body, was un-

true.

She had been informed of the scheme from inception, both

although at

first

vised against

its

by Holmes and her husband, and

it

she earnestly and sincerely ad-

and pleaded with her husband

not to join Holmes in such a nefarious piece of business, she ultimately acquiesced in

it,

and was

quite prepared for the disappearance of her hus-

band

for a time, in accordance with

standing between them. her, her share of the

lieved the plot

an under-

When Howe

paid to

money, about 17200, she be-

had been successfully carried out

that her husband was alive, and

would ultimately


:

THE WAGES OF disclose his

SIN.

101

whereabouts to her and would, when

prudent, return to his home.

This

much may be

said for her.

She was lead-

ing a miserable existence in poverty, with a large family of five children.

She was in

ill

health,

man whose were low and criminal, â&#x20AC;&#x201D; much given to tied

by marriage

stimulants excessively,

alcoholic

been for

j^ears a close associate

Holmes'. ever,

to a crook, a

Her

and

instincts

drinking

and who had

and companion of

participation in the crime,

how-

was without excuse, and she was properly

apprehended and charged with conspiracy.

was her plain duty

It

to have prevented the con-

summation of the scheme

at all hazard,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;even

if

a

bold stand for truth and honor had caused a separation from her husband.

Her punishment, however, has been severe, much more dreadful than any that could have been inflicted by the law, and while some may condemn her, many will not hesitate to pity one, who now carries with her such a weight of woe. Upon being questioned by the officers, she answered

as follows

Q.

(By Mr. Hanscom.) Where

A.

My

Q.

Now

home this

is

in Galva,

is

your home

?

111.

matter about the death of your


102 3IBS.

PITEZEL QUESTIONED

husband and the collection

matter

A. Q.

first

POLICE.

identification of the body, the

of the insurance, etc.,

when was

the

brought to your attention?

Why, I saw it in the paper first. You saw that a death had occurred?

A.

Yes.

Q.

The death

A.

B. F. Perry.

Q.

And

of

whom ?

did you understand at the time that

your husband was living the

BY THE

name

in Philadelphia

under

of Perry ?

A.

Yes,

Q.

Did you know what

sir.

had located on

street

and number he

?

A.

No. 1316,

Q.

Before the time that you got this news

I

from the press or

think, Callowhill Street.

some other way, had you

in

known anything about

A Q A Q

No, they did not

this tell

scheme

Nothing had been said No, they did not

Have you one

tell

to

you about

Yes,

me anything about

sir.

Is she the eldest

Yes.

it.

it ? it.

of your daughters here with

you'

A Q A

?

me anything about

daughter?


THE WAGES OF

SIN.

103

Is she the one that went to identify her

Q. father

?

A.

No,

Q.

After seeing the death in the paper,

was the

slie is

first to

not the one.

speak to you about

who

it'^

Mr. Becker was tlie first one that I spoke to. tlie account in the paper, of course, and he

A.

He saw

was our groceryman and

Where were you

Q.

I

talked to liim about

A.

In St. Louis.

Q.

What

A.

It is

Carondelet;

Q.

How

long had you been living there?

and number? it is

Oh, we moved there

A. first

street

Well^ maybe

May.

of

it.

living then?

a part of St. Louis.

May

in it

about the

;

was the middle of

May. Q.

Did

3Ir.

Holmes come

to

your

Jiouse

after the annou7icem('nt of the death to see

A. Q.

J think it was a week after. Now what did he say to you

then told you the scheme, did he,

soon

you ?

about

He

it ?

tliat 3'our

hus-

band was not dead? A.

Why,

I told

him that

the paper in regard to to

know

true,

if

and he

that

was

said, "

I

saw something

my husband my husband

and

and

I

in

wanted

if it

was

You need not worry about

it,


104 3IES.

PITEZEL QUESTIONED

there

no use

is

in

BY THE

POLICE.

worrying about that," and he

would not say much more about

He went and

it.

talked with the children and only stayed a

little

while that evening and went away. Q.

Up

to that time

husband as dead

had you mourned your

?

A.

Yes,

Q.

Did you believe he was dead ?

sir.

A.

Yes, I believed he was dead.

Q.

Had you

A.

I

taken any steps in the matter?

spoke to Mr. Becker and he went down

and then there had been one or

to the police,

two reporters Q.

But

A.

I

out.

week had elapsed

a

think

it

?

was about a week,

I

won't be

positive about that.

Q.

Had you

A.

No,

Q.

Had you

A.

No,

I

sent any

word

to Philadelphia?

had not.

I

written

?

did not try

it,

I

did not

know what

to do.

Q.

A.

What did Mr. Becker tell you to do ? He thought I had better employ an attor-

ney and have

it

attended

to.

Q.

Did you employ an attorney

A.

I did not just then, not right that day.

?


THE WAGES OF Q.

SIN.

105

Did you make any arrangements

the body

to

recover

?

A.

No,

Q.

Had you

I

did not. received a telegram or any word

from Holmes before he called upon you

A.

No,

Q.

Had

I

?

did not.

it

been talked over

w^ith

you that such

an occurrence might take place, that

husband might absent himself and

Had

go out that he was deacl? ever reached you

is,

that your

let the

report

such a report

?

A.

No, not up to this time.

Q.

Never had been talked over with you

A.

No.

Q.

Had you no

sign that

A.

it

Q. this

intimation, not the slightest

had been talked over ?

Not before

what was

?

had no knowledge of

that, I

to be done.

Had you any money by you

occurred

A.

No,

Q.

How much

A.

Five or six dollars,

I

at the time

?

did not have but

little.

did you have

Q.

He had

A.

No.

Q.

Well, on this

I

not sent you

first

?

think.

much money ? visit that

Holmes, or


106 3IBS.

PITEZEL QUESTIONED

Howard, whoever he you before living, that

A.

lie

is,

made

BY THE

POLICE.

to you, did

he

tell

went out that your husband was

you need not worry about

Well, he spoke to that

effect, I

it?

don't

know

as those were the exact words.

Did he ease your mind regarding the death

Q.

of your

husband

befoi'e he

went away,

telling

you

that your husband was not dead?

A.

Yes.

Q.

Did he go

was insured

into tke story that your

husband

?

A.

No, he did not go into the story then.

Q.

Did you know that your husband had an

insurance on his

life ?

knew he had an insurance on his life, but I did not know whether it was all paid or not. It was not paid up, and I did not know even when I heard of the death, whether it was all A.

I

paid up.

Did you know the amount

Q.

ance

?

A.

I

Q.

How much?

A.

$10,000.

Q.

Who

A.

Mr. Howe.

did at the time he insured.

collected that

money?

of the insur-


777^

Q.

As your

A.

Yes.

WAGES OF

attornej

SIN.

?

Q.

Did he turn that money over

A.

Well, most of

Q.

What

it

Well, Mr.

Q.

How much

to

you?

was turned over

did you do with

A.

107

to

me.

it ?

Howard had some of it. did Mr. Howard have

of the

110,000?

A. Q.

know exactly You understood they

I don't

that.

paid the full amount,

110,000?

A.

Yes,

Q.

After Mr.

Howe had made

the payments

then you turned over a large portion

money?

We

This

is

simply want to get at the

A.

Well,

I

of that

not an}^ effort to entrap you. facts.

understand you, and

am

trying to

give you the facts as well as I can.

Q.

How much

of that $10,000 did

over to Howard, (Holmes)

A.

I

don't

know

as

can

I

you turn

?

tell

you the exact

amount. Q.

Can you remember

A.

No,

Q.

Was

A.

It

?

I can't. it

17,000?

must have been pretty well on

to that.


riTEZEL QUESTIONED

108 3IES.

Q.

He

States

BY THE

A.

Well, that

Q.

Did you turn over that money

person than him

A.

is

correct, I think.

dum and

How much No, of

it,

it,

all.

amount

to,

the attor-

Can you remember

They made out

Howe

Mr.

was

did that

I can't.

He

did.

know, they got

I don't

about

any other

No, no person only what the attorney and

neys and the expenses?

A.

to

?

the expenses were, that

Q.

POLICE.

was about $7,000.

it

just

a

that

made

it

out,

into a kind of fussing

and, by the way, they did not give

the statement of

?

memoran-

me

it.

Q.

You

A.

No,

Q.

After having paid the expense and $7,000

more or

did not get that I

?

have no statement of

less that 3^ou

of the $10,000 had

at all.

gave Howard, what portion

you

left ?

guess about $500.

A.

Well,

Q.

You had

I

it

really

about $500 out of

the

whole business?

A.

Yes.

Q.

Do you know how much

of

it

your hus-

band had? A.

No, that

don't know.

is

something I can't answer, for

I


The Poplar Street House, Cincinnati, (

Wliere

Ohio.

Holmes intended

to

murder

the children.)


THE WAGES OF Q.

When

A.

I

SIN.

Ill

did you last see your husband

saw him

?

9th day of July, and

last the

I

have not seen him since.

he

Q.

The 9th day

A.

It

left

was

home

the Union

?

either

tlie

8th or 9th of July that

in the evening,

and

I

Depot and that was the

went down

to

last.

In St. Louis?

Q.

A.

Yes.

Q.

Did he correspond with you

after that

A.

Up

it

he did, but

I

saw

paper

have never heard from him

since,

only just what Mr.

Howard

says, that

Now, what has Mr. Howard

Q.

?

in the

to the time that I

is all.

said to

you

about the whereabouts of your husband since that time

?

A.

Well, the only place that

he has been,

How

Q.

is

I

know

of where

Montreal and Toronto.

do you know that he was in Mon-

treal ?

A.

I don't

swear only as

I

know

for a certainty, I could not

have heard

it.

Q. From whom ? A. From Mr. Howard.

Q.

That he was

A.

Yes. 7

in

Toronto and Montreal

?


112

MRS. PITEZEL QUESTIONED

Has he

Q. at

He

A.

said

I

POLICE.

you that you would meet him

told

any other place

BY THE

?

might see him at Detroit, or

Toronto, or Burlington, but

I

have never seen

him.

Then you had hopes when you went

Q.

Burlington, that you might meet him

A.

Yes.

Q.

And

failing

to

A.

Well,

I

him

find

where did you expect then

to see

don't know.

I

to

?

Burlington,

in

him

?

gave up

all

hopes

of seeing him.

Q.

He

A.

Yes.

Q.

I

has kept you moving, hasn't he

Do

wish to ask you one question direct.

you believe now that your husband

is

alive

Well, there must be something in

A.

?

sure I could not swear to fact that he

is

alive.

it

for I don't

All I

know

?

it.

know

is,

I

am

for a

what you

have been telling me, and what he has been telling me, and that

point

is all I

know.

But he has kept you moving from point

Q. ;

I

would

like to

have you

tell it in

to

your own

way.

A.

Well,

I

have been moving from one point


THE WAGES OF to another. all

there

we

are sorry for you.

tell me how you have been moving about home ?

you

the points in

A.

I

went

is

it.

Yes, I know,

Q.

113

have been just heartbroken, that

I

about

is

SIN.

to

my

Can

the order of them,

parents,

since

you

left

from there to

Chicago, from Chicago to Detroit, and from there to Toronto,

from there

to

Ogdensburg, from there

to Burlington.

Q.

And

A.

Yes, Burlington.

that

is

where you were yesterday ?

Q. Have you had confidence in Howard all the way through, that he would finally take you to

your husband

?

A.

Why,

Q.

Has your confidence ever been shaken ?

A.

Well, sometimes I thought maybe he was

me

fooling

Q.

By

I

thought

so.

or something.

the way, did

you have a

cipher, any-

thing in the shape of a cipher, by which your

husband could communicate with you privately, any system of acters

A. Q.

communication, numbers, char-

?

Oh no, we do not write that way. You never wrote that way ?


114 3IRS.

BY TEE

PITEZEL QUESTIONED

A.

No.

Q.

Did you ever expect

from your husband, written

to get in

POLICE.

any such

letter

any mysterious way,

ciphers of any kind?

A.

No.

Q.

Did Holmes ever read

since the

were

money was

to

you

at

any time

collected, say at the time

in Detroit, did he ever read

you

anything to you,

purporting to be a letter from your husband written in cipher, did you receive something of that

kind?

A.

Well,

think he did have something of

I

that kind that was written in that way, and said it

That

was from him.

Was

Q.

it

in

know.

is all I

any envelope

?

A.

No,

Q.

Did you see the paper that he had

A.

Why,

Q.

He

I

guess not.

it

was

read

?

just a small piece of paper.

something

you

to

from that

paper ?

A.

Yes.

Q.

Did you have the paper

A.

No.

Q.

What Why,

A. right

and

I

did

it

say

in

your hand ?

?

just said that he

was well and

need not be worrying

all

the time.

all


THE WAGES OF Q.

You went

SIN.

115

meet

Detroit, expecting to

to

your husband there?

A.

Yes.

Q.

When

he read that letter to you, do you

remember where you were then A.

In Toronto,

Q.

You went

Toronto

?

I think.

and from Detroit

to Detroit

to

?

A.

Yes.

Q.

In Detroit did you expect to meet your

husband there A.

I

?

thought

I

would

see

him,

he said I

would.

Q.

you ?

How many

A.

Yes.

Qo

And

whom, A.

of the children

Just had the

little girl

had you with

and the babe

?

the other three children were with

so far as

you know

They were

?

at Covington.

With whom ? I don't know who they were with. I asked him the name and he simply told me who Q.

A.

they were with, said she was a widow, a nice

woman. Q.

Now, how long ago was

with these three children

?

it

that

you parted


A.

I

BY THE

PITEHEL QUESTIONED

116 3fRS.

POLICE.

have nut seen Alice for two months, and

have not seen the others for Q.

Alice went awa}-

A.

Yes

She went

Q. father

first ?

sir.

to

identify

the

body of her

?

A.

Yes,

Q.

And you

A.

No.

Q.

In

sir.

have not seen her since

whose keeping was

she,

?

into

whose

charge did you give her at the time she went on to

view the body

Howe

A.

Mr.

Q.

Who

he

is

?

took her. ?

A.

He

Q.

That was acting

A.

Yes,

Q.

A

A.

Yes,

the lawyer, the attorney. for

you

?

sir.

St.

Louis

man

?

sir.

Do you know where

Q.

Louis

is

his

office

is

in

Commercial Building.

A.

Well,

Q.

Into his keeping you placed the girl?

A,

Yes, they wanted

it is

in the

me

to go,

but

.Mck at the time.

Q.

St.

?

And

Alice went on with him?

I

was very


THE WAGES OF SIX A.

Well, he turned Alice over to Mr.

Yes.

Holmes

Hi

then, and he brought her on to Coving-

ton.

to

Q.

Did you

A.

No,

Q.

Have you some

A.

No,

Q.

You have

see her in

was not

sir, I

A.

No,

Q.

Into

at all.

friends in Covington

?

not seen her since she went on ?

have not seen her since.

sir, I

custody did you place the

whose

?

He

A.

?

Covington

sir.

view the body

other two

Covington

in

took the other two, that

took them from

St.

Holmes,

is,

Louis to Covington, where

Alice was. Q.

went

You to

don't

A.

No,

Q.

That

I

taking them

A.

know whether

Covington or not

am

just telling you.

is

right.

?

What

What was

them there and because

visit,

my

I

his reason fur

reason did he give

The only reason was he

parents a

they actually

?

could go

said he

?

would take

home and make my

and not to be bothered with them,

parents were getting along in

and he would take the children and then go over there when

I

got through visiting.

I

j^ears,

could


118 3IES.

BY THE

PITEZEL QUESTIONED

Q.

He was

A.

Yes,

Q.

And

POLICE.

going to take them to meet Alice

?

sir.

that they

some widow

would

all

be stopping M'ith

lady.

A.

Yes.

Q.

Did he give the name

A.

No,

Q.

Did he say anything about that they were

sir, I

told

?

you he did

not.

going to Covington to meet their father

A.

No,

Q.

Has he ever

sir,

?

he did not say that. told

you

since then, that they

were with the father?

A.

No

Q.

Then you

Covington

A.

No,

sir.

still

believe that they are in

? sir,

ronto, that

is

where they

me he took them to Toknow about it. I don't know All I know is that he said he

he told all I

are.

would take them from Covington

there

At Toronto.

Q.

With

A.

that they are

?

A.

lieve

to Toronto.

You understood from him

Q.

them

to

friends of his, or

whom

be with, your husband

do you be-

?

No, he said he would give them to some

friends there.

I don't

know whether he

has.


THE WAGES OF Q.

We

believe this

and we want to get A. tell

Well, that

man

SIN.

119

to be a

very bad man,

at all the truth.

is

as far as I

you anything more, because

Q.

You

I

know.

can't

I

don't know.

did not understand then that these

children were going to join their father?

A.

No,

Q.

Has he ever

sir.

told

you about dressing one of

the girls in boy's clothing

A.

No,

Q.

He

A.

Well,

I

Q.

There

is

A.

Whoever

Q.

We

?

sir.

never told you about those things?

have one boy.

boy and two

a

told

you that

girls ? ?

we

bad,

He

We

are

make you

feel

have been talking with him.

not doing anything to undertake to

are trying to get at the matter

and

sift it.

has kept you moving about the country from

point to point, and you look as tliough you had

been through a good deal and we want to get the light

we

very much.

We

can.

That

is

don't believe in this

why we

are asking

all

man

you these

questions.

A.

Do you know where

Q.

No, that

find out.

is

the children are

?

one of the things we want to

We want

to find

them

as

much

for

your


bT the

pitezeL quEsrtoMt)

i20 iMHs.

PottcE.

sake, as well as for any other reason in the world.

we may say

In fact,

are being asked

that

all

these questions that

you now regarding these children

are in your behalf.

Holmes

is

locked up in this

very building, and we have been talking with him.

A.

/

I

thought maybe

ivould see the children

here.

Q.

Holmes

is

locked up, you

knew

that, didn't

you? A.

I

Q.

He

didn't

know

it

until I

came up

here.

has not given you to understand that

the children were with their father

A.

No.

Q.

Is there

anything

else that

?

you can think

of that he has said about the whereabouts of the

children

?

A.

That

Q.

You have met him

is

the last that

these different points

A.

Yes.

Q.

He

Yes.

Q.

(By Mr. Cornish.)

has kept you

Alice since she has been

since I

I

know about number

it.

of times at

?

A.

A.

I

a

moving on

?

Have you heard from

away

?

have not heard from her from Covington

was home.


THE WAGES OF SIK Q.

Have you

Covington

liJl

received a letter from her from

?

A.

Yes,

sir.

Q.

Had

she written

A.

Yes,

sir,

she

it

herself

?

and Nellie had written

it

themselves. Q.

Did you keep the

A.

No,

Q.

Do you remember what

A.

Well, they said they were well and the

letter ?

did not keep the letter.

I

woman was

real

good

to

they said

?

them, said she was an

awful kind lady, that they would like to see

mama, and wanted it

to

could talk yet and

know how the baby was, if how grandma and grandpa

were and they hoped they would see I think that is

about the extent of

Q.

That was sent where,

A.

Yes.

Q.

Did you receive any

to

Galva

letters

any other point except Covington

mama

soon.

it.

?

from them from ?

A.

No,

Q.

Did you get any from them from Toronto?

I

think not.

A.

No,

Q.

The only correspondence you had from

them was A."

sir.

in

Yes,

Covington sir.

?


122

MRS. PITEZEL QUESTIONED

Q.

Galva

And

BY THE

that was during the time

POLICE.

you were

A.

Yes,

Q.

Did you ever write

A.

Wh}', certainly.

Q.

How

A.

Well, I wrote them several letters while

was home Q.

in

? sir.

often

your children

to

?

?

I

in Galva.

(By Mr. Hanscom.)

from them once

But you only heard

?

got two letters.

A.

Well, I think

Q.

(By Mr. Cornish.)

I

How

did you direct your

letters ?

A.

Directed them to Alice Pitezel, Covington,

Ky. Q.

Did you mail

A.

My

Q.

Have you written

it

yourself?

father mailed

ton or Toronto

it.

to

them

since at Coving-

?

A.

Why,

yes, I

Q.

Who

did you send them by, mail them

yourself

have sent them several

letters.

?

A.

No, I did not mail them myself.

Q.

Who

A.

Holmes mailed them,

mailed them

?

given them to him to mail.

I

suppose.

I

had


THE WAGES OF Did you write

Q.

Galva

to

SIN.

your father and mother at

?

A.

Yes,

Q.

Did you mail any of them

A.

I

Q.

Have you

sir.

?

mailed one from Chicago.

you were places

123

in

written to them since

?

When

Toronto and Detroit and those other

?

A.

Yes,

Q.

Did you mail those

A.

No,

sir.

?

sir.

Q.

Who

A.

I

Q.

Who

did?

gave them to Mr. Holmes to mail. suggested that you should employ Jeptha

D. Howe as counsel? A.

Mr. Howard.

Q.

The

St.

first

{Holmes).

time that he called upon you in

Louis did he suggest that you employ Mr.

Howe? A.

No, not that night.

Q.

The next day

A.

I

day,

I

Q.

Mr.

don't

think

it

?

remember

Then he suggested

Howe ?

that

was two days

I

saw him the next

after that.

that

you should employ


124 3IRS.

A. give

Yes, I think it

Q.

BY THE

FITEZEL QUESTIONED

POLICE.

was a couple of days,

it

I can't

exactly.

You went by

the

name

of

Adams

in Detroit,

Toronto and Ogdenshurg ?

A.

Yes,

Q.

And by

A.

Yes, that

Q.

names

sir.

name

the

of Cook in Burlington

right.

is

Did Mr. Holmes

you

tell

to

use

those

?

A.

Yes,

Q.

Where were you stopping

A.

Winooski Avenue, No.

Q.

How many

sir.

in

Burlington?

26, I think.

times did you see Holmes in

Burlington?

A.

Well, that

answer,

I

is

kind of a hard question to

don't remember, four or five times.

Q.

Did he

A.

Yes

call at the

sir,

house

?

but he never stayed any length of

time.

Q.

Did he give you any money there

A.

No,

Q.

Did you

?

sir.

receive a package from

Saturday by express

A.

Yes,

Q.

What

A.

It contained

him

last

?

sir.

did that contain

two

?

tickets, railroad tickets.


THE WAGES OF Q.

And

A.

A

Q,

What

A.

Just for

a letter

?

short letter in

it.

did the letter contain

me

125

SIN.

my

up

to pick

?

things and come

Lowell Sunday night, and then Sunday morn-

to

me

ing this Mr. Lane came and gave ter

another

let-

from him, that just stated for me to come

straight

on to Boston, that he would see me

through.

You have

Q.

matter

Yes, I have told about

A. it is

this

all I

can remember,

mixed up anyway.

Q.

Did you make

A.

They were not

Q.

After you had

were there A.

Q.

A.

left, lie

I

told

was

there.

you that

tliey

?

was in Burlington, he

I

were there.

That was the

That was the and

when

there

this letter

you knew of the

?

first

came

here, and, of course, that

How

that

first

children being in Toronto

there,

chil-

?

That was when

said tliey

attempt to find the

an}'

dren there in Toronto

Q.

you know about

told all

?

I

knew that they were me to come on down

for

ended

did he explair

.o

it.

yon

tliat

the chil-


dren had

Covington

left

he change their location

A.

BY THE

PITEZEL QUESTIONED

126 3IRS.

for

Toronto

Well, he said he thought

have them up there, and

them

there, that

I

it

was

I

Q.

He

would be

bet-

could go and see

I

I

should go there to see them.

Where were you, when he

A.

did

they would be closer to me.

thought, of course,

Q.

Why

?

?

ter to

were in Toronto

POLICE.

told that they

?

in Burlington.

did not

tell

It is just lately.

you where they were

in

Toronto ?

A.

No,

Q.

Whether they were

vate house

A. case of

Q.

No, life

sir.

sir,

could not find them

I

if it

was

a

and death.

When

your husband went away from

Louis, did he tell

you that he was going

delphia or Chicago

A.

school or at a pri-

in

?

He went

St.

to Phila-

?

to Chicago.

He

told

me

that he

some lumber.

He

was going there

to dispose of

did not say he

was going to Philadelphia when

he went away.

Q.

And

then you heard from him in Chicago

that he was going to Philadelphia

A.

Yes,

sir.

?


THE WAGES OF SIN, Q,

That was under the name of

A.

Yes,

Q.

Did he

Pitezel ?

sir.

cago, that he

tell

you

in

that letter from Chi-

was going by the name of Perry ?

A.

No,

Q.

In the letter'after that ?

A.

Yes,

On

129

sir.

sir.

November

Monday,

1894,

19,

Thomas

Crawford, one of the detectives of the Bureau of of Philadelphia arrived

Police

in

Boston,

with

warrants for the arrest of Holmes and Mrs. Pite-

both of whom, however, consented to go to

zel,

Philadelphia without the formality of a requisi-

The

from the Governor of Pennsylvania.

tion

party consisted of Detective Crawford, Inspector

Perry of the Insurance company, H. H. Holmes, Miss Yoke, of

whom

he had married under the name

Howard, Mrs. Pitezel and

Dessie

Pitezel.

On

her

the journey,

infant

Holmes

and

reiter-

ated his statement that Pitezel was alive, and in

South America, and that the children

sewed $400 he

w^ere

with

That he had given Pitezel $1,600 and had

him.

left

in Alice's dress or chemise.

He

said

Alice in Indianapolis, (after taking her to

Philadelphia) and then got the other two children

and bronght them 8

to her.

He

then took them

all


130

THE PRISONERS TAKEN TO PHILADELPHIA. where they met

to Detroit,

and

ter

the

America.

three

He

said

Pitezel,

children

and then the lat-

sailed

South

for

he and Pitezel were to keep

track of each other through the personal column

New York

of the

He sie,

Herald.

said to Dessie Pitezel

you and your father

you

will see

your

sisters

" Don't

:

will

and

worry Des-

meet before long, and 3^our brother."

told her she might expect to see her

He

Philadelphia.

reiterated

story of the

manner

obtained in

New

manner

gling

in

in

He

father in

Crawford

to

his

which the corpse had been

York, and laughed at the bun-

which Pitezel had

left tlie

body

;

that he had particularly instructed Pitezel

how

place the body, to put the chloroform in

mouth

and

to press the sides, so as to

throat

;

that

Pitezel had

hand across the

left

have died a horrible death.

have zine train

it

how

to fix the bottle

appear as

if

it

its

down

the

body with

if it

its

had died a

man was supposed to He said he instructed and the

pipe, so as to

in lighting the pipe the ben-

had exploded and

killed the

Holmes asked Crawford,

hypnotism.

the

breast, looking as

peaceful death, whereas the

Pitezel

work

to

if

Crawford said " No."

could hypnotize people very

easily,

man.

On

the

he believed in

He

said he

and wanted

to


THE WAGES OF try his

SIN.

131

powers on Crawford, but the invitation

The

was declined.

was most

was best exhibited when he

Crawford |500 dollars

offered to give

Holmes

of hypnotism

sort

proficient in

for a pur-

pose not stated, but quite well understood. bait

was

On

That

also declined.

Tuesday, November 20th, 1894, the party

arrived at the

Central Station, City Hall, Phila-

Holmes and Mrs.

delphia.

Pitezel were given a

hearing and were at once committed to prison to

await

Dessie

trial.

Pitezel

and the baby, were

placed in the kind care of Benjamin Crew, Esq., Secretary of

from Cruelty. D.

Howe was

Society

the

Protect Children

to

Within the next few days, Jeptha brought on from

St. Louis,

on the

charge of conspiracy and was held in $2,500 bail to

In due time the case reached

answer at court.

the office of George S. Graham, Esq., District Attorney.

In this

office

an indictment was pre-

pared, charging H. H. Holmes, Benjamin F. Pitezel,

and Jeptha D. Howe with

Carrie A. Pitezel,

having fraudulently cheat

and

defraud

and wilfully conspired to the Fidelity

Association, out of the

by means that

of the

of Benjamin

sum

Mutual

Life

of 110,000 dollars,

body

substitution

of

F. Pitezel.

This indictment

a

for


132

INDICTED

BY THE GRAND

Wits formally presented to the

true bill was

found,

that shape until tion

and

tlie

JURY.

Grand Jury and

a

matter rested

in

Holmes created another

sensa-

by making a second so-called confession.


CHAPTER IN

THE

VI.

TOILS.

The Insurance Company Not Idle Efiforts to Locate Pitezel— Holmes in His Cell The Arch-Scoundrel Changes Hie Base Sends for the Superintendent of Police Admits Lying — Pitezel Dead and the Children in London Holmes'

Second Confession It

—The

— —

in Detail

Children

— Efforts to Verify or Disprove

—Groping —

Missing

Still

the

in

Dark

Thomas W. Barlow, Esq., Retained for the Insurance Company A new Indictment The Trial Holmes Happy

Sentence Deferred.

Between

the arrest of these parties and their

indictment, the officers of the Insurance

were not

idle.

Company

Mrs. Pitezel soon learned the

wisd(nn of sincerity and truthfulness, and became

communicative, and day by day the history of the crime was laid bare. locate Pitezel

and

Every

effort

pense was spared in running out

While

this

was made

to find the children,

was going

on,

his solitary cell in the

all sorts

of clues.

Holmes was occupying

He had

county prison.

been for years a very busy

man and

never before

had such an opportunity for reflection and amination.

As time

to

and no ex-

self-ex-

passed, the probability that C133)


134

SENDS FOR THE SUPERINTENDENT OF POLICE. was not only not

Pitezel

alive,

but had been mur-

dered at No. 1316 Callowhill Street, pressed

upon the

officers of the

Attorney as well, and

way

its

to

Holmes

the District

this impression

soon found

He now diswas necessary. He

in his prison cell.

covered that a change of base

remembered

had taken place

a conversation that

between him and Inspector Perry,

a-ked him this question

double up the body in

trunk?

in a is

after his arrival

Mr. Perry

In this interview,

Philadelphia.

in

itself

Company, and

Holmes

a trick I learned at

Who

:

New York

City and put

"I did

said:

Ann

helped you to

alone.

it

it

It

Arbor, Michigan, while

studying medicine there."

Mr. Perry knew that when the body which had been found at No. 1316 Callowhill Street, was

moved

morgue,

to the

it

and two men had carried the

other at the feet,

asked Holmes

:

will

instruct

re-

rigid

one at the head and

another question was tell

me where

can

I

a medical authority, which to re-stiffen a

mortis has once been broken

inquiry.

?

body "

To

after this

Holmes made no answer.

On December J.

it,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;so

Can you

man or me how

find a medical

rigor

"

was straight and

27th, 1894,

Holmes sent

for

R.

Linden, Esq., Superintendent of Police of the


IN THE

TOILS.

Department of Public Safety

135

of Philadelphia.

He

was very sorry

told the superintendent that he

he had been so untruthful in his former statements, when he had declared that Pitezel was

and was

alive,

South America, and that the

in

He

children were with him.

pared to

tell

said he

was now pre-

the truth, the whole truth

ing but the truth dead, and that

it

and noth-

that Pitezel was not alive, but

;

was

had been identified

body which

really Pitezel's

in the Potters Field; that the

children were not with their father, but with Miss

Williams,

who had taken them

they could easily be found.

London, where

to

He

then dictated to

a stenographer, the following statement,

called by the police. Confession No.

which

is

2.

Statement. I contemplated defrauding the insurance com-

pany

in

August

or September, 1893, in connection

with Benjamin F. Pitezel. plot until July, 1894.

formed of

my

it

by

No one

else

was

in the

Mrs. Pitezel was then

Pitezel.

About August

1st,

in-

on

release from jail in St. Louis, I outlined the

conspiracy to

Howe and showed him how L

in-

tended raising money to liberate Hedgepeth from jail,

I

having told Hedgepeth of

it

while in

jail


HOLMES' SECOND CONFESSION.

136

and agreed

to raise $300 to help

at that time spiracy. raise

went from

I

some money

where

him

I got $600

in the con-

Louis to Chicago to

St.

and went

there,

Howe

out.

had no idea of joining

to

New York

from Minnie Williams.

I then

arranged with Pitezel that he should provide a treat to stop at after the conspiracy

mated and

New

York,

look for a house. lltii

Leav-

also to get his teeth altered.

ing him in

I

I

to Philadelphia to

took part of No. 1905

Three days

Street.

came

re-

was consum-

I'iorth

later Pitezel caiue

took the house No. 1316 Callowhill

Stree^*.,

and

which

he furnished partially with chemicals and bottles to represent a patent dealer. I

1

visited this

house

think four times besides the day on which he

died.

I visited

and stayed zel

the house about the last of

five or six hours.

was despondent.

I

August

that time Pite-

found he had been drink-

ing and took him to task for tliat

At it.

He remarked

he guessed he had better drink enough to

him and have done with

me and

I left

knowledge

I

it.

He borrowed

about 4 o'clock.

To

kill

%\b from

the best of

my

next saw him on the following Sat-

urday, September 1st, at the Mercantile Library,

and quite

late that

evening he came to

my

house

on North 11th Street and said he had received a


1

TX THE TOILS.

137

telegram that his baby was sick and he had to go

home.

I

we had

said

better arrange

me

ness should be run and he told

party to come to the place.

When we

to his going.

made he

said

some money

You

his busi-

raised no objection

got the arrangements

have to

will

let

all

me have

to go with."

asked him where the $150 were that he told

I

me he had

a

haven't got

it."

He

few days ago. T

said

:

" Well

I

could not give him any at that

This was about 9 o'clock in the evening.

time. I

"

:

I

how

he could get a

promised to go down in the morning, but before

we arranged

leaving

that

I

should go

and take care of the sick baby and there.

went key the

to

in his place

start the

The next morning, Sunday, about to his house.

go

first

in with.

I I

body

10:30,

had been provided with a

found no one there either on

or the second floor, where his slee[)ing

apartment was.

He had

not think he ever

made

Mercantile Library and hour, and then

a cot there which up.

I

went over

I

do

to the

stayed there about an

went up on Broad Street where

I

had a private mail box, but did not get any mail,

bought a morning paper and went back to the Callowhill Street house.

knew

I

found no one there and

that no one had been

there while

I

was


HOLMES' SECOND CONFESSION.

138

away.

went upstairs and

T

and read the paper. o'clock

Get

the cot

I

went

some

to his desk to write

and found there a scrap of paper with a

letters,

"

down on

when I got back. After reading the paper for

about a half hour,

on

cipher

figure

laid

was probably about 12

It

it

that

letter out bottle in

we

used, and

cupboard."

piece of paper until in Toronto, where

said

it

:

I

kept that

I

used

it

in

sending a cipher to Mrs. Pitezel and tried to imitate his figures.

me

that he

I

was going

got the letter and to get out of

should find him upstairs, kill

himself.

I

if

it,

I

told I

he could manage to

went upstairs and looked

clothes press on the second floor, which

only place

it

and that

had not been on that

floor.

in the

was the

Not

find-

ing him there I ran up to the third story, opened

and saw him lying on the

the door,

ently dead. his

I felt his

and found

closed.

of the

I

it

was

pulse and laid

cold.

fioor appar-

my hand

on

His eyes were partially

then had to leave the room on account

fumes of chloroform being so strong.

went and opened the window

in the

I

other room

and came back and started to go in again, but had to

give

As soon

it

up,

and went

to the second floor again.

as I could, I did

go

in again

and found

that he was lying on his back with his left hand


IN TEE

abdomen and

folded over his

I did

his side.

TOILS.

139

his right

hand lying at

not keep the letter which was in

the bottle, but destroyed

it

with other papers the

next day on the train going from Philadelphia St. Louis.

story

I

to

removed the furniture from the third

room and took

the body until the

it

last.

to the

second storj^ leaving

Then

I

brought the body

down into the second story, and arranged it in This was about 3 o'clock. the way it was found. I had arranged with Pitezel, that when he should the

place

substitute body,

broken which

it

a

bottle

should be

was supposed that he had

in his

hand when the explosion occurred, and that the fragments should be scattered around the room. I

held the bottle up and broke

hammer upon

the

it

with a blow of

That

the side.

bottle con-

tained benzine, chloroform and ammonia, which

was

to

be used for burning the floor to indicate that

an explosion had occurred. fluid

and put

on the right

it

upon

I

his right

side of his face

took some of this

hand and

and

side,

set fire to

and

it.

I

then arranged the articles that he had taken from his

pocket putting them back again, and hung his

vest in the second story bedroom,

the

first

keeping

and the coat

in

story where he had been in the habit of it.

I

gathered together the rubber tube,


HOLMES' SECOND CONFESSION.

140

and

towel, and a bottle of chloroform

house as soon as I

left

the

could, about a quarter of four.

I

then went to Broad Street station and found

that the train for the west would leave in thirty

minutes, and another at 10:25 P. M.

packed

my

night.

I

and started

things,

found a

which

clothing,

I

took with

threw away the key

for St. Louis that

to Mrs.

letter

my

other papers in

inside vest pocket. to the house,

got to

my

before

things

was dark.

it

liis

with the think

I I

usually kept I

I

had and

left it

it,

open a

house about 5 o'clock.

M}^ wife was not well, and straightened

which

lie

and instead of locking the door, I

Pitezel in

me and put

put back the regular key where

few inches.

went im-

I

1905 North llth Street and

mediately to No.

went

I

to

work and

and got the packing done

When

I

found the body, the

pockets of the pants were turned out, and his knife and the key of the house were lying on a chair.

Up

to this time,

Howe was

in the con-

The following Wednesday night

spiracy.

to St. Louis,

and on that day

I

had seen

I

got

in a St.

Louis paper, a report that the body had been found.

I

went immediately

having made up

had better

let

my

him

to

Howe's

mind, that as he settle

office,

knew of

up the insurance.

it,

I

He


JN THE was not

there.

I

went

TOILS.

141

Mrs.

to

Pitezel's

found that they had also seen the report.

and

The

children were greatly worried, but Mrs. Pitezel

was

as

not,

We

couple of hours, and

saw

Howe and

I

talked the matter over a

came back that night and

explained what had been done, not

him that

telling

scheme had

she believed that the

been carried out.

it

was

Pitezel,

but leaving him

to

believe that the plan of placing a substitute had

been carried out, and retained him on behalf of

money from

Mrs. Pitezel to procure the

He

pany,

the

Com-

suggested that she have some of her

neighbors write

first,

inasmuch as

it

would not

look well for her to immediately run off and get a lawyer

this

;

was done.

At

the time of the dis-

covery of the body, a towel was over his face.

The tube was fastened a quill

;

to the bottle

by a cork with

then he had tied around a string to keep

the chloroform from running too fast.

rubber tube was four or tube with me. for.

house

I

five feet long.

His wife asked

I think I took the cork

me what

and

think the I

took the

that was

quill out of the

also.

(In answer to questions)

me when

I

:

It did

not occur to

found that Pitezel was drinking,

to


NEW

A

142

give him a

little

INDICT3IENT.

chloroform.

I

had nothing to do

with his taking the chloroform. This statement Holmes reiterated to the

company and

of the it

were renewed with vigor.

March and April

of 1895,

the most earnest

work

dren, or obtain

officers

efforts to verify or disprove

January, February,

came and went, and yet

failed to discover the chil-

any clue of them,

after tliey

had

disappeared from Toronto on October 25th, 1894, to

which place they had been traced.

raore

if it

was

Pitezel's

Furtlier-

body that was found

in

the Callowhill Street house, there was no substitution,

and an indictment charging the conspira-

tors with

meet the

At

having substituted a body, would not case.

this juncture, the officers of the

under the advice of District

Company, Graham,

Attorney''

Thomas W. Barlow, Esq., a member of Philadelphia bar. The District Attorney had

retained the

associated Mr. Barlow with him in

previous

A

3'ears,

and they were

in

brief of all the facts of the case

prepared and eventually a

many

cases in

thorough accord.

was carefully

new indictment was

found, charging H. H. Holmes, Marion C. Hedgepeth,

and Jeptha D. Howe, with having conspired

to cheat the

Insurance Company, by alleging that


IN THE

TOILS.

143

one B. F. Pitezel, who had been insured in said

company had died

as

of an accident.

the result

This indictment was ingeniously constructed to

meet the

facts of the case, within the grasp of the

Commonwealtli.

body had been substituted

If a

and Pitezel was

alive, it

was good

;

the

if

body

found was really Pitezel's and he was dead and

had committed

suicide,

was equally good,

it

clause in the policy

made

of self destruction.

It

it

and

null

as a

void, in case

was then determined to

hold any further investigation of the case in abeyance, until a trial should be had under this bill,

the

convicted,

prisoner

new

and remanded

to

prison to await sentence.

On June trial

3d, 1895, the prisoner

on the new

counsel,

was

called for

He was defended by

bill.

who presented

able

a bold front on behalf of

On

the

second day they weakened and advised their

cli-

their

client on the first

ent to plead guilty.

day of

the trial.

This he did with alacrity, as

he thought the end of his troubles was in sight.

He was

mum

informed by his counsel, that the maxi-

term of imprisonment

conspiracy,

was two

years,

in

Pennsylvania for

and

guilty he might possibly get less.

if

he pleaded

The prisoner

hastened to take advantage of such a comfortable


THE

144

means of

retreat.

TRIAL.

He

really looked

happy when

the Judge said he would not sentence him then,

but would consider his case at a later day. In the Court oner,

was

Room

closely observing the pris-

Frank

Detective

P.

Geyer, of

Bureau of Police of Philadelphia. had been requested

to

the

Mr. Geyer

be present by the District

Attorney and Mr. Barlow.

A

few days

later,

Mr.

Barlow was made Special Assistant District Attorney, and the great

work

greatest criminals of

commenced.

of uncovering one of the

modern times immediately


CHAPTER "

Vir.

A SLIPPERY AND SUBTLE KMAVE."

Holmes' Interview with the District Attorney The HumanHolmes Urged to Produce the Pitezel ity of Justice Children His Apparent Candor Disposition of the Children Four Hundred Dollars Pinned in Alice's Dress Nellie Disguised as a Boy The Loudon Address Holmes and Miss Williams Agree upon a Cipher The New York Sunday Herald Correspondence with Scotland Yard.

Holmes was removed from

the couit

room

to

an apartment in the City Hall, designated as the cell

room, where prisoners are detained after

trial,

or while waiting their conve3ance to the county

As Holmes

prison.

sat cheerfully chatting

with

one of his counsel, a message reached them from the District Attorney, requesting a conference at once, touching the whereabouts of the children.

This meeting took In

the

middle

Holmes and table,

other.

his

of

i)lace

the

in

office

Graham's

(>ffice.

was a long

table.

]\Ir.

counsel sat on one side of this

and Mr. Graham and Mr. Barlow on the

The

District

Attorney opened the confer-

ence by informing Holmes, that the cfficers of the (145)


;

146

INTERVIEW WITH THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

Commonwealth were very anxious Pitezel children

and restore them

find

to

to their

the

mother

that he had decided to abandon the case against

Mrs. Pitezel, as she had suffered quite enough for

any part she had reluctantly taken tration

in the perpe-

of the fraud on the Insurance

and that he intended

Company,

to set her at liberty without

;

that the uncertainty of the fate of Alice,

Nellie,

and Howard, coupled with the death of her

delay

husband, (of which she and

all

parties were

now

quite convinced), had almost dethroned her reason,

and that every

instinct of

humanity dictated

a pressing necessity for haste in any effort which

could be made to bring her children to her, and that the immediate recovery of the children would

remove a growing suspicion that they had been foully dealt with. " It trict

is

strongly suspected, Holmes," said Dis-

Attorney Graham, " that

murdered

Pitezel,

children.

The

is

to

have not only

j^ou

best

but that you have killed the

way

to

remove

this suspicion,

produce the children at once.

are they? I will use

Where can

I find

every means in

early recovery.

It

is

them

?

my power to

Now Tell

where

me and

secure their

due to Mrs. Pitezel and to

yourself, that the children should be found.

You


"4 SLIPPERY AND SUBTLE KNAVE.'' were arrested cliildren

in

November

last

and

147

j-ou said the

were with their father in South America.

now May, and we have heard nothing of We know your November statement to be untrue, because I am quite convinced that their It is

them.

father died on the second day of

tliat Pitezel

to

September

was dead and that you gave the children

Miss Williams

in Detroit,

and you have further-

more given several variations from ment.

I

last, at

You subsequently said

No. 1316 Callowhill Street.

am

this last state-

almost persuaded that your word can-

not be depended upon, yet

I

am

ing you an opportunity to assist

not averse to giv-

me

in clearing u})

the mystery which surrounds their disappearance

and their present abode, and

I

now

ask you to an-

swer frankly and truthfully. Where are the dren

While Mr. Graham was

talking.

quietly and attentively, and

he was sure that

til

chil-

" ?

Holmes

listened

made no response un-

the District Attorney had

He

paused for a reply.

then said with every ap-

pearance of candor, that he was very glad of the opportunity thus afforded him to assist in the restoration of the children to their mother. "

The

last time I

in Detroit,

saw Howard," he

Michigan.

There

I

said, "

gave him

to

was

Miss


DISPOSITION OF THE CHILDREN.

148

Williams,

who took him

to Buffalo,

from which point she proceeded

New

York,

Niagara Falls,

to

After the departure of Howard, in Miss Williams' care,

took Alice and Nellie to Toronto, Canada,

I

where they remained onto

I

for several days.

At Tor-

purchased railroad tickets for them for

Niagara Falls, put them on the

train,

and rode

out of Toronto with them a few miles, so that

they would be assured that they were on the right Before their departure,

train.

I

prepared a

gram which they should send me from the if

tele-

Falls,

they failed to meet Miss Williams and Howard,

and

I also

carefully pinned in the dress of Alice,

four hundred dollars in large

bills,

so Miss Will-

iams would be in funds to defray their expenses. "

They joined Miss Williams and Howard

at

from which point they went

to

Niagara

Falls,

New York

At

City.

the latter place. Miss Will-

iams dressed Nellie as a boy, and took a steamer for Liverpool,

whence they went

you search among the steamship

to

London.

offices in

If

New

woman and a girl and woman and two girls and a

York, you must search for a

two boys, and not boy.

This was

off the track,

fraud.

all

a

done

who were

to

after

throw the detectives

me

for the insurance

Miss Williams opened a massage estab-


4;^5<A.<^

j

^

4ii!3u,

/^.^^^•:>-t^,*-:::^^.^.^

.<;;fc^

^

0<i^ju-^

^:^ c^^v^

(i./w-_^ -7^«-.

c^^

^z.^^

-Tt---^

^ ^A-^ ^—

^^ 2^-o

"^

^7^-Ji, ^l^yi-t.

Fac-Simile of Holmes' Lettek to District Attorney Graham.


"A SLIPPERY AND SUBTLE KNAVEJ' lishmeiit at No. 80

don.

I

luive

Veder or Vadar

Lon-

at that place."

said further that he

had agreed upon a in

Street,

no doubt the clnldren are with her

now, and veiy likely

Holmes

151

and Miss Williauis

which they were

ci[)her,

to use

counnuuicating with each other in the personal

colunni of the

New York

Herald, and that

if

an

advertisement were prepared in accordance with this cipher,

from

very doubtless she would be heard

a very short time,

in

and the children

re-

covered.

He

further denied with great emphasis, that he

had killed Pitezel, or had harmed the children and

became almost

tearful

District Attorne}", "

children

when he exclaimed

Why

shonld

I kill

to the

innocent

" ?

The conversation then became

general, during

which time Holmes exhibited no embarrassment whatever until he was asked by Mr. Bailow

:

"Please give me the "name of one respectable person to

whom

I

can go, either in Detroit, Buf-

New

who

falo,

Toronto, Niagara Falls, or

will

say that they saw Miss Williams and the

tliree children together."

This question staggered

moment, but he

him

for a

self

and said

York,

({uickly recoveixl him-

in an injured tone, that the question


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

THE

152

:

NEW YORK SUNDAY

implied a disbelief

promptly told that

in it

his

HERALD.

statement.

He was

certainly did, and further-

more, that the speaker believed his entire story to be a

lie

from beginning to end.

This drew a

vehement protest from Holmes and he declared his readiness to furnish the cipher, with

which an

advertisement in the Herald should be made up,

and by means of which the children would be

re-

covered.

He

Avas told to prepare

he would send

it

the cipher and he said

to the District

Attorney from the

prison.

A

day or two

District

later, this letter

was received by

Attorney Graham, from Holmes

May

29, '95.

District Attorney Graham. Dear Sir :

The

adv. should appear in the Neiv

York Sunday Herald and if some comment upon the case can also be put in body of paper stating absence of children and that adv. concerning appears in this paper, etc., it would be an advantage. Any word you may see fit to use in adv. will do and if a long one, only one sentence need be in cipher as she will know by this that it must come from me as no one else, unless I told them, could have same.


:

:

"J SLIPPERY AND SUBTLE KNAVE.' Perhaps the tant to

liear

— Aplbcnliun — — CBRc —

first

before

Mr. Massie.

to

153

ImporAlso write

sentence should be 10th.

Cable. iib

The Xetv York Herald

etc.

was a year ago) to be found at only a few places regularly in London. is (or

Very Respectfully, H. H. Holmes.

REPUBLICAN ABCDEFGHIJ

The suggestions contained strictly

^^epBc

republican

^,,

klmnopqrst uvwxyz.

complied with.

in

holmes were

this letter

The Philadelphia

corres-

pondent of the Neio York Hrald, was taken into the confidence of the District Attorney's

and an the

case

article

office,

was prepared, commenting upon

and published in the same

edition,

Sun-

day, June 2d, 1895, in which the following ad-

vertisement in the personal column appeared " MINNIE WILLIAMS, ADELE COVELLE. GEKALDINE WANDA.-AplbeuRun nb CBKc EBLbvB lOtli PREeB ABnucu PCAeUcBu RubuPB. Also write pk PRaaAB cbepBa. Address, GEORGE S. GRA-

HAM,

City Hall, Philadelphia, Penn., U. S. A."

This cipher would have conveyed to Miss Williams, the following message

IMPORTANT TO HEAR BEFORE 10th CABLE RETURN CHILDREN AT ONCE. ALSO

AplbcnRun nb

CBRc EBLbiB

10th


CORRESPONDENCE WITH SCOTLAND YARD.

154

PREeB write

PCAeUcBu Ru buPB. HOLMES.

ABiuicu

WRITE MR.

pk PRaaAB. Address,

It

CbepBa. etc.

was determined

with the Scotland Yard their aid in

Also

xMASSIE.

to

open a correspondence

offices in

London, and ask

searching for the childi'en.

It

was

soon discovered, however, that there was no Veder or

Vadar Street

assistance

in

London and

of the police

was abandoned

a request for the

authorities in that city

for the present.


CHAPTER

VIII.

THE PITEZEL CHILDREN.

Nettie aud Miuuie Williams Holmes Declares Sliuuie Murdered Her Sister Tlie Search The Route Proposed lor the Children Decided upon. Holmes' Cunuing Iniportaut Clues— Release of Mrs.

Holmes' Story not Credited

Pitezel

—Mrs.

Pitezel's

Holmes' Letter

No

one

lieved a

in

to

the District Attorney's office be-

word

a patient

cities in

the

would lead

told

was determined

for information or clues

their

recovery

discovery of their bodies tic

it

and persistent search among

West to

Hohnes had

of the story that

about the children, and

make

—Nitro-Glyceriue —Detective Geyer.

Statement

Mrs. Pitezel

if

if

dead.

which

alive, or It

to tlic

the

was a gigan-

task and almost a hopeless one, but neither

its

great size nor the strong improbability of success,

was permitted

to interfere with the plans

which

were then perfected.

Rumors two

of the

sisters,

remarkable

disappearance of

Nettie and Minnie Williams, had be-

come current.

They had been

last

jompany and under the protection

seen in the of

Holmes, (155)


156

SEARCH FOR THE CHILDREN DECIDED UPON.

and a piece of

real estate in

Fort Worth,

Texas,

was found to have

of which they were owners,

been conveyed to Benton T. Lyman, (which was an

Benjamin

of

alias

session

and into the pos-

F. Pitezel)

and control

of

mitted his intimacy with these startling his return

story of

Holmes had

Holmes.

the

women and

Holmes

discovery that Minnie in a

rage had killed Nettie and the former,

how

by taking Nettie's body out on the

and as improbable

as untruthful left

Insurance

officials.

as

This story,

any he ever

Holmes had

Company and

of leading

They reasoned, and with some

force, that while they

that

it.

an impression upon the minds of the

officers of the

police

moment of

he had shielded

lake at Chicago and quietly sinking

had

describing

type,

one night to the home of the Williams

sisters, of his

told,

ad-

told a

were quite ready to believe

killed the little Pitezel children,

they did not think

it

possible that such an astute

and wily criminal, had

left

a trace behind him,

and that most probably the bodies of the children had been sunk

in

some lake or

Nettie Williams had been.

They

river, just

as

further reminded

the District Attorne}' and his Assistant, that the children had disappeared in October, 1894, and

was then June, 1895, and

it

was hardly

it

to be ex-


THE PITEZEL CHILDEEX.

15'^

pected that after such a hipse of time a clue which

would lead

to the discovery of their bodies or the

means adopted

in disposing of them, could be dis-

covered.

The proposition

therefore, to go over the route

taken by Holmes,

company with

in

starting from Cincinnati,

Chicago, Detroit,

the children,

thence to Indianapolis,

Toronto, and Burlington (Ver-

mont) savored very much of a wild goose chase, and

would be moreover a waste of time and mone3^ After Holmes had been arrested in Boston, the detectives

of

insurance

the

traced the children

to

company

had

Cincinnati and thence to

the cities above named, until Detroit was reached, ivhen

Howard

The two

disaj^jjeared.

girls

with

Holmes, were then traced to Toronto, whe7i they disappeared, and so story

Holmes had

Miss Williams her

from

it

looked very

in Detroit,

Toronto,

was

and then

as if the

Howard

to

sent the girls to

true.

Holmes however did not knew

much

told of having given

tell

this story nntil

had

dis-

covered the houses he liad rented in Detroit

and

Burlington and so he adjusted himself to the

sit-

after he

that the insurance detectives

uation from time to time as

The

newspapers

were

it

arose.

regularly

served

to


ntPORTANT CLUES.

158

Holmes his

in

time

in

the

county prison and he employed

keeping pace with the news as

it

came

to him.

A

few important clues had, moreover, been

overlooked.

When

taining

and other papers and private memo-

title

he was arrested, a tin box con-

Among the

randa, were found.

papers Avere ten or

twelve letters from Alice and Nellie, written to their

mother and grandparents from Cincinnati,

Indianapolis,

and Detroit, and which they had

A

evidently given to Holmes to mail. letters

number

of

written by Mrs. Pitezel in Detroit and

Toronto, were also found

when informed

surprised

These

in his box.

in

She said

the box.

Holmes

she had given them to

to mail

and was

that they had been found

letters constituted a ver}^ im-

portant clue and they will be given in their proper

The other

clue was a

small bunch of keys, found by Miss

Yoke (Mrs.

place in this narrative.

Howard)

in her truidc

and surrendered

b}-

her to

the officers. District

Attorney Graham and

his

Assistant,

Mr. Barlow, were not affected by any pessimistic

view of the situation. a

man

covery.

could

kill

They did not

believe that

three children and escape dis-

They believed

that

the

children were


\

^

r$

#^-!s-


THE PITEZEL CHILDREN. hiding, or

alive or in

161

they had been murdered

if

previous efforts to find them had been unskill-

all

made, and they resolved to undertake a care-

fully

and patient search

ful

for the

blunder which a

criminal always makes between the inception and the

consummation of

About stated,

tiiis

determined upon the release of Mrs. Pite-

She had given a

zel.

statement of

all

she

full,

knew

frank and truthful

of the case.

Holmes about

she had given she

his crime.

time the District Attorney, as already

!i!^6,700

She stated

of the 87,200

had received from Howe, and Holmes had

given her a note drawn to the order of B. B.

Samuels

for 'llGiOOO.

Here

is

an exact copy of

this note.

There was no endorsement on the back of

this

note.

That

after she

had given Howard and Nellie

to

Holmes, to take to Cincinnati, to join Alice, she

had gone Illinois.

to

the

That

home

of her parents in Galva,

in response to a letter

from Holmes,

she went on October 13th, 1894, to Deivoxt,

ivliere

he said she ivonld meet her hnnhand.

That upon her

arrival in Detroit,

had found

her and said, that

V>q\\

remain

and had gone

in Detroit,

to

it

Holmes met

impossible to

Toronto.

That


PITEZEL'S STATEMENT.

3IES.

162

on October 18th she went

Holmes

told her, that

to

Toronto, where

Ben got frightened because

of his belief that the detectives were after him,

and had gone

to

He showed

Montreal.

her a note

written in cipher, which he said Pitezel had sent

That under the advice and direction of

to her.

Holmes, she journeyed with her children wearied

and worn out with travel and anxiety,

lington, for her,

Pres-

Vermont, where Holmes rented a house

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;he giving her

own

as Judson,

sister

;

a

to

thence to Ogdensburg, and finally to Bur-

cott,

name

as Mrs. Cook,

and

and alleging that she was

his his

that while in Burlington, Holmes, brought

package of nitro-glycerine to the house and

placed

it

in the cellar.

requesting her

That he wrote her a note^

carry the packaye

which she did not do.

%ipppr floors^

the

to

to

one of the

That while

in

Burlington house. Holmes came there and

went

into the cellar,

and

after a while she followed

him and found him removing some boards on the cellar

fusion

floor.

She says he exhibited much con-

when he found her observing him, and

shortl}' after left the house.

On June

19, 1894, Mrs. Pitezel entered lier

recognizance to appear

once set at liberty.

own

when wanted, and was

at


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

THE PITEZEL CHILDREN.

On

163

the day of her discharge, she received the

following remarkable letter from Holmes:

Philadelphia, June Mrs. Carrie A. Pitezel.

Dear

INIadam

:

have been exceedingly anxious

I

during the

last

mouths

to

communicate with you,

but have been completely headed direction.

at

liberty,

Hall with

I learn

and

17th, '95.

I

me and

off in

every

that you will shortly be set shall

take this letter to City

then give

it

to

my

attorneys

be sent to you, as the prison regulations do not prohibit my doing so. I have been re-

to

and heartless during the who were at tlie very time doing more than I, that was both cruel Within ten days and heartless towards you. after you came here arrangements were made with my attorney to furnish bail for you and a house to live in. We were refused permission to see you, although you remember coming here from Boston, it was promised I should see you. Later I offered to make arrangements with your lawyer for tlie same. jNIr. Barlow of the District Attorney's ofQce, told me I could do nothing and that I need not worry myself about you as you are being cared for. Within three days after you came here you had been made to believe so much from others that you forgot that for years I had peatedly called

cruel

past six montlis, and by those


HOLMES' LETTER TO

164

PITEZEL.

SIRS.

done all 1 could do for you and yours and that it was hardly likely that all at ouce I should turn and do all I could against you. Facts you should know are as follows Ben lived West, and while drunk at Ft. Worth, Texas married a disreputable woman by the name of Mrs. Martin. (Write E. Otto, also Boarding House bet. Houston and Throckmorton Sts., on 1st St., where they lived as Mr. and Mrs. Lyman.) When he became sober and found what he had done, he threatened to kill himself and her, and I had him watched by one of the other men until he went home. When we straightened up the bank account, he had fooled awaj^ or been robbed by her of over $850 of the money we needed there Later he wanted to carry out the inso much. surance work down in Mississippi, where he was acquainted, and I ^^â&#x20AC;˘ent there with him, and when I found out what kind of a place it was, would not go any further with it thei'e and told Jiim so, and he said if I did not, he would kill himself and To get him out of the get money for you, etc. notion. I told him I would go to Mobile and if I could get what was wanted would do so, if nut, I would go to St. Louis and write for him to come. :

I

did not go

life.

When

to

I

in the letter he left

tried to later I

kill

Was

Mohile.

reached

St.

me

never there

Louis

I

in

my

wrote him, and

after he died, he said he

himself with laudanum there, and

found out

this

was

so.

(Henry Rogers,


THE PITEZEL CHILDREN. Prop, of Hotel at Perkinsville, Ala.)

He

IGS

Where

lie

you he was sick Here in Phila. \^e there, I think you told nie. were not ready. He got word baby was sick and he had to own to me he had drank up the $35.00 I gave him extra in N. Y., and then I told him I would settle up everything, as if we carried it out, he might get to drinking and tell of it. He begged me not to do it, and at last I concluded to try again, but thought it best to have him think for a week or two that I was not going on with it, so lie would sober up and be himself. I blame myself for this and always shall, for the next day when I went to his store I found him as I have described, and Perry or the detectives have got the cipher slip he left me, or at all events, it was in the tin box they took. He asked me to get you a house in Cincinnati, on ac. of good schools, etc., and I did so, but did not dare take you tliere after Howe and McD. threatened my arrest, and so made arrangements with Miss W. to live with you. She took Ploward with her from Detroit because he would quarrel with the girls if no grown person was with them, and he wanted his father's watch and Alice wanted to keep it, and so I took it, telling them I wanted to show it to you and Dessa, and bought all three of them each a cheap was very

sick.

also wrote

When I found the conditions in Toronto were not as Miss W. thouglit they were, and I was getting word from Chicago every day that I watch.

10


HOLMES' LETTER TO MRS. PITEZEL,

166

was being followed, the

I

thought best to go out of

country altogether, and the Ins. Co.

know

the children A. and E. were at their hotel at 1

you left Toronto, and between then and when I saw you at 4 o'clock at the store where I was buying some things for them, I had been to my wife's hotel twice and was with you again at 6:30, and had meantime started the children to J\Jiss W. and eaten my o'clock the afternoon

supper.

From

that time until

ton, if I

could

now

you and my wife, hour was spent.

I

my

be allowed to

anest sit

in

Bos-

down with

could show where every half

Boston I recvd. letter from Miss W. that the}^ would leave there in a few days, and if the detectives would now go, as I beg of them, they could trace out the N. Y. end of the matter and stop all the unnecessary delay and expense. This would spoil their theories and would not be a sufficiently bloodthirsty ending of As soon as the case to satisfy them it seems. they got a house and were settled, they w^ere to send word and you were to then go to them, and this was why I wished you to take a furnished hduse so you could get rested and not be at hotels. I made arrangements for Miss W, to tell If you had 3'ou all, when you Avere settled. known they were following you, you would have been worried, and I think you will remember I tried to do all I could to keep you from it, and we had to get rid of the old trunks and get the In


TEE PITEZEL CHILDREN.

167

things into bundles, so there would be no check-

There is a bundle of yours now at the BurDepot marked with the name you Avent by there, which I have forgotten. I was as careful of the children as if they were my own, and you know me well enough to judge me better than strangers here can do. Ben would not have done anything against me, or I against him, any quicker than brothers. We neve?- quarrelled. Again, he was worth too much to me for me to have killed him, if I had no other reason not to. As to the children, I never will believe, until you tell me so yourself, that you think they are dead or that 1 did anything to put them out of the way. Knowing me as you do, can you imagine me killing little and innocent children, especially without any motive ? Why, if I was preparing to put them out of life was I (within an hour before I must have done it if ever) buying them things to wear and make them comfortable, even underwear for them to take to Miss W. for Howard, (which I can prove I bought in Toronto,) if as they would have you believe, Pat had taken him and killed him weeks before. Don't you know that if I had offered Pat a million dollars, he would not have done a thing like this. I made a mistake in having it known that Miss W. killed her sister, as it tends to make her more careful about her movements, but I could hardly do otherwise, when I was accused of killing them ing.

lington


HOLMES' LETTER TO MRS. PITEZEL.

168

Now

both.

after they get ck~)ne trying to

the case worse than

it

you

is,

make

will fiiul that they

and to the steamer Next to you, I have snffered most about them, and a few days ago gave the District Attor-

will trace the children to N. Y.

there.

ney

all

soon, I

I

facts

could, and

I

if

nothing comes of

it

new to occur until Worth and arrange the

hardly expect anything

can be taken to Ft.

property so Mr. Massie, her old guardian, can take lier

part of the

vertising,

and find

if

she

money to her in London. knows there is mone}"

By

ad-

for her,

conies through Mr. Massie safely, she will some way, (probably through her Boston

it

friend,) to get

gain,

it.

As long

she will hardly

herself liable to arrest. to Ft.

Worth

as there

is

nothing to

come out openly and I

lay

dislike fearfully to go

to serve a term, as the prisons there

had rather be here five years than is no better way to have you know I am still willing to do all 1 can for you and yours. I blame tlie Company here for keeping you shut up six months in this den, for worrying yon about your children not being alive and for their trying to separate my wife from me, for these things do not concern them, but 1 have never blamed them for otherwise making me all the trouble they can. I would do the same with another if the tables were turned. As matters now stand, I have got here, in Illinois and in Texas, between fifteen and twenty years of imare terrible.

I

there one, and in going, there


The riTEZEL children. prisonnient a\^aiting

nie.

If the children

im can be

want to finish here and in lilinois first., hoping by that time the Texas matters may blow

found,

1

over or that

my

I

may

die

;

l)ut if

they are not found

any arrangeTexas to bring me back here or to Illinois, after I have served tliis first small charge in Texas, so I do n(Âťt before

sentence expires

ment can be made

liere, if

so papers can be filed in

have to stay and serve the others there until after my northern term is served, I will go and dm all I can to both get the property straightened there,

income and arrange for Hen's death was genuine and you were entitled to the money, and if it had not been for H. and McD., you would to-day have been in Cincinnati with all the children. About the money Ben asked me to use most of it to pay debts and ari-ange so some steady income should come to you from the South. The note you got in St. Louis was made by him in the spring and some money was due on it. We were f)wing Miss W. about 15,000. T gave -$1,000 to her in Detroit (also S400 to Alice in Toronto) and you have no reason to think I was not intending to take care of you then, more than in years before, and now if I can get to Ft. Worth without running risk of staying there more than one year, I will soon straigliten so as to get you money while I am there in jail. Mr. Shoemaker went there two weeks last winter and started mat-

so

you can

liave

a small

recovery of the children.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;


HOLMES' LETTER TO MRS. PITEZEL.

170 ters,

but until

I

can go there and be taken into

more can be

clone I fear. There some letters at the City Hall that I promised Alice I would save for her, as I did not dare let her carry them with her, and if after they get through with them, you can get them, I wish you would do

court, nothing

are

so, also

I

Howard has the other things. know what you will do meantime, if you

Ben's watch.

don't

gain your liberty here, but rest assured I will do all I

can at the earliest possible moment.

as the children's bodily health

sure

is

I feel

can say to you the}- are as well to-daj' as

I

though with you,

among

adrift

also that they will not be turned

two reasons.

strangers, for

Miss W., although quick tempered, hearted to do so; second, their letters could not

tained,

the}^

if

among

answer

would write

to her letter to

First,

too soft

others where

to their grandparents,

me.

if

W.

from Boston

she heard of

my

we were

lost

or our arrest, to have children think

crossing to London.)

is

be looked over and de-

(not to 3'ou, as I instructed Miss in

So far

concerned,

They have no doubt writown safety, has

ten letters which Miss W., for her withheld.

any questions you wish to ask me, them and send to one of my attorneys. I have refrained from asking you anj^lest you would think that the object of my letter. I have no desire to do anything to cause your lawyer or the prosecution any unnecessary work If there are

make

a

list

of


The pitezel children.

i7i

if you write me, shall isimply answer questions asked. Shall not advise or question you, nor would 1 have done so if allowed to have seen you during past months, though it would liave saved them much unnecessary delay and expense to have had us eliminate some of the features of the case by comparing memories. hope your suffering here is nearly I, at least,

or annoyance, and

ended.

Yours Trul3^ H. H. Holmes.

The foregoing narrative the case,

known

to,

substantially presents

and considered by the District

Attorne3''s office at the time arrangements were perfected, which permitted of the release of Mr.

Geyer from

his routine

duties in the Police De-

He had been for twenty years an esteemed and trusted member of the Philadelphia Detective Bureau. He had had a vast experience in [)artment.

detective work, and cases

and

more particularly

justly enjoyed the friendship

in

murder

and

confi-

dence of the District Attorney, and his assistant, as

much

his skill

because of his high personal character, as

and dexterity

in his profession.

Funds

to

defray the expenses of the search were readily fur-

nished by the officers uf the Insurance Company,

notwithstanding their belief that

little

more could


DETECTIVE GEYER.

172

be accoinplislied than threshing over old straw.

On and

the evening of

courage

journey.

June 26th, 1895,

Detective

But we

will let

Geyer

him

full of

started

tell his

own

on

hope his

story.


DETECTIVE GEYER'S NARRATIVE. CHAPTER ON THE

IX.

Til AIL.

— Arrival at Ciucin— Holmes Located two

Defective Geyer Uudeitakes the Seaicli nati

—Searching

Hotel Registers

at

— Hotel Clerk Reoogviizes Photographs of Holmes and the Children — Holmes Rents a House under Another Alias — Holmes gives Away a Stove

Hotels under

—Geyer

upon

my

the time of I

liim

was sent

tlie trial

for

1

decided to send

made with

then

me

to

call

On

was informed that Mr. Graham

me West

the missing Pitezel children.

detail

and conviction of

by Mr. Barlow,

District Attorney's office.

at the

arrival there,

liad

Aliases

Starts for Indianapolis.

About Holmes,

Two

to

make

a search for

Arrangements were

the snperintendent of police to

for the task,

and preparations were com-

pleted for the start.

Several

conferences were

held with the officers of the insurance company,

and the District Attorney and

his assistant,

and

I

soon became familiar witli every point of the case.

Eight months having elapsed since the children liad

been heard from,

it

did not look like a very

encouraging task to undertake, and

it

was the {17V


m

ARRIVAL AT CINCINNATI.

general belief of

all

interested, that the children

The

would never be found.

District Attorney

believed, however, that another final effort to find the children

should be made, for the sake of the

stricken mother,

if

nothing

for

else.

I

was not

placed under any restrictions, but was told to go

and exercise to follow

my own judgment

in the matter,

wherever the clues led me.

I

and

was well

piovided with money, and with a Godspeed and well wishes from all Avho weie interested,

my

on

left

I

I

started

journey.

Wednesday evening,

on

Philadelphia

June 2Gth, 1895,

for Cincinnati,

there on the 27th at 7.30 P.

^[.,

Ohio, arriving

registered at the

Palace Hotel, and after partaking of some lunch, I

proceeded

ni}-

to police headquarters,

old friend, Detective

plained to him nati,

the nature of

and he requested me

and have Dietsch.

my

rest.

and the

I

met

I

ex-

to call in the

morning

a conference with Superintendent Philip

An

hour

two

or

was

spent

with

stories, after

returned to the hotel for a good night's

Bright and early the next morning, after eating a hearty breakfast, city

T

visit to Cincin-

Schnooks rehearsing some of our old

which

where

John Schnooks.

hall,

where

I

met

I

I

arose

started for

Superintendent


O.V

One

Dietsch.

THE

TRAIL.

hour

half

l?o

more was spent

or

with him going over the case and givhig liim

my

Holmes had had

the

for believing that

reasons

Reaching

children in Cincinnati, Ohio.

under

his

was placed on

desk, his finger

his

hand

a touch

summoned a messenger from the who was instructed to send Detective Schnooks into the office. A moment or two later Schnooks made his appearance, and the superintendent instructed him to render me

button

that

detective department,

all

the assistance in his power, in the effort to

locate the children.

good

Bidding the superintendent

Schnooks and

da}-,

twenty years' experience

When

I

have ever had in

I

my

in the detective business.

Philadelphia,

left

the office and com-

I left

menced the greatest search

I

was provided with

photographs of Holmes, Pitezel, Alice, Nellie, and

Howard baby,

Pitezel,

also

of

Mrs.

Mrs.

Holmes borrowed from her saying that he wanted ting

Ben out

Dessie and the

Pitezel,

Pitezel's

it

trunk,

in Detroit,

for the

(the

one

Michigan,

purpose of get-

of the town, as the detectives were

onto him), a photograph of a missing trunk which

belonged to the children

;

ing to Mrs. Howard.

As

had

left

St.

also of a I

knew

trunk belongthat

Holmes

Louis on September 28th with the


SEARCHING HOTEL REGISTERS.

176

two children, Nellie and Howard, Schnooks, that we

first

the depots to see

and two

girls.

but niet

^^â&#x20AC;˘ith

a

if

who had

that da\-,

suggested to

I

search the hotels around

man

registered there on

three children with hiui, a boy

We

called at a

no success.

number

We

of hotels,

finally struck

a

cheap hotel at Xo. 164^ Central Avenue, known as the Atlantic register,

House, and upon examining the

we discovered

that on Friday, Sejjtember

28th, 1894, there aj^peared

Cook and

three chihlren.

Holmes and clerk,

tlie

name

the three children were

who could not

of Alex. E.

The photographs

s;iy [)Ositively

shown

of

to the

that they were

the photographs of the people wh(; had sto})ped there,

much.

but thought they resembled them Recalling to

Mrs. Pitezel living

in

of Mrs. A. E. Cook,

I

the right track. l)arties

The

my mind

that

Burlington under the name felt

convinced that

I

was on

clerk informed us that these

only remained over night, leaving the

lowing morning.

very

Holmes had

fol-

Tiianking the clerk for his kind

we left the hotel and continued our among such hotels as we had not visited, and when we arrived at the Hotel Bristol, corner

attention,

search

of 6th

and Vine

Streets,

we discovered

that on

Saturday, September 29th, 1894, there appeared


ON THE on

register the

tlie

childieii,

TRAIL.

177

name

Clevehuid.

of A. E. Cook and three They were assigned to room

No. 103, a room whicli contained two beds.

W.

L. Bain, a clerk at

tlie

liotel,

Mr.

recognized

tlie

photographs of Holmes and the children, as the

who

party

registered there under that name.

showed that they

register

left

The

the Bristol on Sun-

day, September 30th.

Knowing that Holmes was in the habit of renting houses in most every city he visited, I determined

to

give up the search

make some inquiry among

among

the hotels

and ascertain whether he had rented Cincinnati.

we

them,,

and

the real estate agents

After visiting quite

a

called at the office of J. C.

a house in

number

of

Thomas, No.

15 East 3d Street.

His clerk informed us that Mr. Thomas had gone to his home in Cnmminsville, a

clerk,

suburban town about

five miles from Cinphotograph of Holmes was siiown the who had a distinct recollection of having

cinnati.

A

seen the original in the office with a small boy.

The photograph and he

identified

of it

Howard was as the

then produced

boy who was with

Holmes.

The clerk was unable to give us any further information in regard to the renting of the houses, as the books were locked up, and

Mi'.


HOLMES RENTS A HOUSE.

178

Thomas Lad to

tlie

keys.

Cumminsville and

started,

We find

then delermiued to go

Mr. Thomas, so

off

we

and when we reached Cumminsville, we

were unable

to locate

know him, and in name did not appear to

our man,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; nobody appeared

consulting the directory his in

it,

lived there long enough.)

We

returned to Cin-

cinnati somewliat disappointed, and as

we were

business hours,

had not

([)robably he

it

was

after

cum2)elled to give np the

search.

The next morning we were office

Thomas

of Mr.

arrived,

we

lost

again,

no time

at the real estate

and

as soon as he

in consulting him.

We

showed him the pictures of Holmes and Howard Titeze],

of a

which

immediately recognized as that

lie

man who had

a small

boy

v.ith him,

and who

rented a house from him at No. 305 Poplar Street,

on Friday, September 28th, 1894, paying $15 in

advance

for it

and giving the name of A. C. Hayes.

Mr. Thomas informed us that remained

in the

daj^s,

unknowji, but suggested

left for parts

on Miss

his tenant

house about two

Hill,

who

had only

when he

tliat

we

call

lived at No. 303 Poplar Street,

(next door), as he thought she would be able to give us

some information concerning him.

immediately

left for

We

No. 303 Poplar Street, where


ON THE we met Miss Hill, ing to

us

tell

all

TRAIL.

whom we

she

179

found to be very

knew about

the strange ten-

She said there was really very

ant.

The

will-

little to tell.

she noticed of him was on Saturday

first

morning, September 29th, when a furniture wagon

was driven a

man and

key out of

in front of

No. 305 Poplar Street and

The man took

small boy alighted. his pocket,

and

of No. 305, a large, iron cylinder stove, such as

used the

barrooms or a large

in

wagon and

carried into the house.

and she spoke of

curiosity

neighbors.

doing 30th,

it

is

was taken out of

hall,

was no other furniture taken

a

opening the door

after

in, it

As

there

aroused her

to several of her

She was doubtless observed by Holmes

this, for

on

tlie

next morning, September

(Sunday) he rang her

was not going

to

bell,

occupy the

and told her he and that she

liouse

could have the stove.

Having located Holmes and the children two hotels false

in Cincinnati,

names he assumed. Cook and Hayes,

justified

of the

in believing that I

end of the string which was

I

was not able

significance of

tlie

to

I felt

had taken firm hold

timately to the consummation of sion.

at

and discovered the two

to lead

my

me

ul-

difficult mis-

appreciate the intense

renting of the Poplar Street


ON THE

iBb

TRAIL.

house and the delivery of a stove of such immense size there,

and

several of tin

but

I

felt

sure

I

was on the right track

so started for Indianapolis, tlie

cliildren's letters

box had been dated.

from Avhich point found

in

Holmes'


^I^Z'C-^t.^^


CHAPTER

X.

THE UNTIRING PURSUIT. ludiauapolis — Holmes Took Alice Pitezel to —The Three Canning Children Identified as the Pitezel Children — Mrs. Holmes Registered as Mrs. Georgia Howard — Represents Her Husband as Wealthy —Holmes as an Uncle — Holmes' Schemes to Get Rid of Howard The Children Homesick — Chicago — The Search for a Trunk —Geyer Calls on Pliimmer— Plnmmer Admits Knowing

The Search

iu

Cincinnati

Holmes, bnt Denies Ever Seeing the Children— A German Chambermaid Recognizes Photographs of the Children How the Children Passed Their Time— The Picture of the Trunk Identified— Holmes as Harry Gordon Mrs. Gordon Interview with a Janitor The Williams Girls Again

Search for a Bricklayer.

Saturday I

evening, June

the Spencer House. I

29t]i, at

7:30 o'clock,

arrived at Indianapolis, Indiana, registering at

started out in

which

found

I

After partaking of a lunch,

search of police headquarters,

to be located

south of Washington Street. ing, I

Entering the build-

met Captain Splann, who

detective corps.

what

on Alabama Street,

my

quested

is in

charge of the

Introducing myself,

I

told liim

business was in Indianapolis and he re-

me

to see Superintendent Powell.

this time a report

came

in that a

About

man had been


Id4

HOLMES TOOK ALICE PITEZEL TO

CINCINNATI.

shot and killed in the Jiorthern part of the city,

and that the murderer had escaped. was compelled

and invited me

der,

The

captain

to start for the scene of the

mur-

accompany him, which

to

I

On our arrival at the house, we learned that the man was not dead, but was suffering from the result of a pistol shot wound in the neck. The did.

usual preliminaries were gone througli with, and

obtaining an accurate

after

would-be murderer, we

left

description

Superintendent Powelb and

while

looking for

him, I met several of the city detectives. tain

the

of

the house in search of

Cap-

Splann gave them a description of the man

who was wanted, and requested search for him at once.

superintendent,

who

tiiem

Shortly after

advised

me

detail a

good man

would render me

all

to aid me,

Powell,

the

me

that he

and that he

the assistance in his power.

Sunday morning, bright and police headquarters,

make

to call at police

headquarters the next morning, telling

would

to

we met

where

I

early,

I

called at

met Superintendent

who introduced me to Detective David me that he had assigned

Richards and informed

him olis.

and

to assist

me

in

my

investigation in Indianap-

Richards and I retired to a private room after explaining the case to

him we

left

head-


THE VNTIEINO PURSUIT.

Ih",

quarters to continue the searcli for the missingchildren.

suggested to Richards that we

I

quiry

among

tlie

we found

was an entry

St.

sel,

that on

in

tlie

September 24th,

name

of Etta Pit-

on the morning of September

left

Further inquiry elicited the fact that the

28th.

was brought there

girl

in-

Mo., and that the hotel records

Louis,

showed she

make

Depot and

Stubbins House and examining

on going to the register, 1894,

first

the hotels near the Union

b}-

a

man known

to

Mr.

Robert Sweeney, the clerk, as Mr. Howard, and that on Friday morning, September 28th, he had

received a telegram from Mr. Howard, dated St. Louis, requesting him to have Etta Pitsel at the

Union Depot nati,

Ohio.

to

meet

St.

Howard

with Nellie and

mother that he was going apolis,

Louis train for Cincin-

This was the day Holmes Pitezel, to take

Louis

telling

their

them

to Indian-

where they would be taken care of

kind old lady.

Mr. Sweeney

full}^ identified

picture of Alice Pitezel, as the girl at the Stubbins

the

left St.

man whom

House he

;

knew

for Cincinnati, Ohio.

Holmes, as

Howard and

he had given Alice Pitezel on the

a

the

who stopped

also that of

as

b}-

St.

to

whom

Louis train


THE THREE CAAXfX(; CHILDhEN.

18(i

Feeling confident that Holmes had returned to Indianapolis,

continued

1

The

hotels.

register of a

among

search

to

number

the

of hotels was

examined

in the

neighborhood of the depot, but

we

to get

any further information regard-

failed

We

ing the children.

known

as

We

liotels.

then went to the place

the Circl'3, where called

there

severat

are

upon the proprietor of the

Hotel English, and asked permission to examine his register of Septem!)er, 1894.

Turning

to Sep-

tember 30th, we discovered on the register tUe

room No

three Canning children, Galva, Illinois, 79.

i\Ir.

Duncan, the clerk was shown the

who were

tures of the children

pic-

registered there

under the name of Canning, and positively identified,

He

them.

Holmes,

as

also

identified

that of the

picture

the

them there and who took them away on morning, Monda}^ October tiie

1st.

children's grandparents'

and that they lived vinced that

I

was on

newed energy,

I

tlie riglit

apolis

the next

Knowing

name

Avas

at Galva, Illinois,

track,

I

that

Canning was con-

and with

re-

determined to find out where

they were taken to ou 1st.

of

man who had brought

Monday morning, October

Every hotel and lodging house

in

Indian

was searched, but no record could be found


THE VXTIRING PURSUIT.

187

of where the chiklreu had stopped.

dawned upon

Kicliaids, that in

of

the

known

small hotel

Circle, a

it

18*.'4,

Meridian Street within

there had been on feet

Finally

September,

fifty

as the

This hotel had been closed for a

Circle House.

long time, but we determined to find the proprie-

Mr. Merman Ackelow.

tor, a

Circle as to

find him,

Indianapolis, but that ]\Ir.

we could

find

a hotel south of

the

brought to

his

Reisner, near the Union depot.

started at once to find the clerk in

moved

the information that he had

fortli

a

Inquiry around the

where we could

West clerk,

Off we

and located him

depot, and ascertained

from him that the register and

all

the records be-

longing to the Circle House, were

We

an attorney named Everett.

in charge of

then made

ar-

rangements with Mr. Reisner to meet us at the lawyer's

office

July

1895.

and

1st, I

the following morning, ^londay,

According

to promise,

were at lawyer Everett's

Richards

office at 9

Monday, where we met clerk Reisner. was produced, and turning over

ister 1st,

A. M. on

The to

reg-

October

found a similar entry to that in the Hotel

English, three

Canning children, Galva,

room

^Ir.

-No.

24.

Illinois,

Reisner in looking over

tlie

cash account, informed us that thev had left there


188 3IRS.

October

UOUIES REGISTERED AS MRS. HOWARD. It

6tli.

was easily observed that the

books of the Circle House were kept without

much

we had

system, cuusequently

to rely ou

dates giveu us by Reisuer as being accurate.

In making

covered

my

search

among

Holmes had

that

the hotels,

the Circle Park Hotel under the

Georgia Howard. ber 18th, and

slie

This was

2-lth.

Howe and

name

of Mrs.

The entry was made Septemremained there until September tlie

time

when Holmes, with

Alice Pitezel was in Philadelphia for

the purpose of identifying Pitezel's body.

While

Park Hotel, Mrs. Howard became

the Circle

at

I dis-

his wife registered at

very intimate with the proprietress, a

IVIrs.

Rodius.

She informed her that her husband was

a very

wealthy man, and that he owned real estate and ranches

cattle

in

Texas;

also

had considerable

Germany, wJiere they

in-

tended to go as soon as her husband could gel

Ijis

real

estate

in

Berlin,

business affairs into shape to leave.

The phice

Circle

known

Park Hotel as the circle

is

also situated in the

and

is

within one hun-

dred feet of the Circle House, where Holmes had the

name

children. re appears

September 30th, Mrs. Howard's on the Circle Park Hotel register

and she remains there

until

October 4th, showing


THE UNTIRING PURSUIT.

189

that she was almost within speaking distance of Pitezel

the

ignorance of I

children, yet

she

was

in

absolute

it.

West

suggested that we go to

Indianapolis

and have an interview with Mr. Herman Ackelow, the former proprietor of the Circle House, to see if

he could throw any light upon the whereabouts

When we

of the children.

we found

apolis,

that Mr.

reached

West

Indian-

Ackelow was running

It

ceremony

introduce ourselves, after which

to

spoke to him about the children. tinct recollection of

uncle, sister,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; their

his hotel.

mother,

Holmes

who was

said that

a

widow,

Howard was

boy and that he was trying institution, or bind

wanted

Holmes

Ackelow, that he was

and that she would be with them

days.

I

a dis-

man who brought them

and took them away from INIr.

He had

them and recognized the pho-

tograph of Holmes as the

represented to

a

did not require a great deal of

beer saloon.

him out

in a

few

a very bad in

some

some farmer,

as he

to place to

their

Avas his

him

to get rid of the res]3onsibility of looking

after him.

Mr. Ackelow also informed me, that on numerous occasions he had sent his oldest boy up to the children's

room

to call

them

for their meals.

His


THE SEARCH FOR

190

Avould return

son

found

to

children

the

liini

TRUNK.

A

and

crjing,

tell

liini

heart-

broken and homesick to see their mothei", or from

liear

iier.

From

the fact that

low that he wanted to

he

tlitit

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; evidently

the conclusion

Holmes had

to get rid of

I

came

I

had murdered

at once that he

him, but where, up to this time,

Mr. vVcke-

told

Howard,

was unable

to

deternjine.

]n an interview

Moyamensing

I

had with Mrs. Pitezel

that the trunk the children had with

they

left

in the

me

Prison, Philadelphia, she told

them when

her at St. Louis, Mo., was missing.

1

then interviewed Holmes, as to what he had done

with

it,

and he informed

a hotel on

me

West Madison

that

lie

had

Street, about

left it in lift}-

feet

from the corner of Ashland Avenue, Chicago, Illinois.

Information Fidelity

had

Company,

Detroit, Michigan

also

been sent

that their general

While

I

Holmes had rented felt

left

in

in Detroit, Michi-

a house.

somewhat reluctant

dianapolis, as something

Howard never

the

manager

had positive informat^ion that

Holmes and the boy were seen gan, where

me by

seemed

there alive,

I

to

to leave Intell

decided

me I

that

would


THE UNTIRING PURSUIT. abandon the

there for the time being, and

searcli

go to Chicago, Illinois and see

At

the trunk story. I

left

191

could verify

1

it"

11:40 A. M., July 1st, ISUl,

Indianapolis, Indiana,

l\)r

Chicago,

111.,

riving there at 5:30 P. M., and registei'ed

Imperial Hotel.

After supper

I

went

at

artlic

to Police

Headquarters, and after going through the usual preliminaries of

introducing myself,

I

informed

the ("aptain in charge of Detective Headquarters,

why

I

was

interest to

the A. M.,

in

Chicago.

in

my

story

He

listened with

and requested me

much

to call early

when he would introduce me

to In-

spector Fitzpatrick.

Tuesday morning, July

2d,

I

called at Police

Headquarters, and learned that the Inspector had been detained on some business and would not be at the office for

some time.

I

was then introduced

Detective Sergeant John C. McGinn, and was

to

informed that he was assigned

to assist

me

in

my

investigation in Chicago. llie

story of the finding of the

body

at No.

1316 Callowhill Street, and the mysterious disappearance of the children was

all

told to i\Ic(iinn.

We

then

left

Police Headquarters, and

tliat

we

call

on Wliarton Plunnner

I

in

1218 Chamber of Commerce Puilding.

suggested

room No.

Plummer


GEYEll CALLS ON PLUMMER.

192

was Holmes' attorney and had represented him S(;me of his business ventures.

Holmes had

in in-

formed me prior to leaving Philadelphia, that

Plummer had taken dinner with him

at the hotel

where

West Madi-

tlie

children were stopping on

son Street, and that he (Plummer) had seen the girls.

Entering the

handed m}^ card

office, I

Mr. Plummer, who requested ns

to

be seated.

to I

then opened up a conversation with him regarding

Holmes and

the missing children.

He

ad-

mitted having seen Holmes in Cliicago about the

time referred to and said that he met him on the

North

side,

and thought

it

was on Division

Street,

and that they went into a restaurant and had some lunch. the

Pie

hotel

positively

denied

having been at

where Holmes stopped, and declared

most emphatically that he had never seen the children.

Having learned

in Indianapolis, that the

bermaid, Caroline Klausmann,

cham-

who had charge

of

the room in the Circle House, which the children

occupied, had

moved

to Chicago, I

locate her if possible.

stopping at No. 223

making inquiry

We

West Clark

at the

determined to

learned that she was Street and upon

above number, we ascer-

tained that she was employed at the Swiss Hotel,


THE UNTIEING PURSUIT. on

Wells

Ohio

between

Street

We

Avenues.

where we met Miss Klausmann,

English.

As I

showed

her

and

Indiana

then proeeeded to the Swiss Hotel

be a middle aged

language,

193

I

whom

I

German woman, unable

found

was familiar with the German

explained wh}^

I

came

photograplis

the

of

to see her

the

and

children.

She recognized them at once, and with tears her eyes described to

me how

their time while she

was

apolis.

in

they would employ

at tlie hotel in Indian-

She said that the children were always

drawing pictures of houses, or engaged ing,

to

speak

to

and that she frequently went into

and found them crying. were alone at the

hotel,

she naturally believed

them crying, she thought they

when

she found

Avere crying over

the loss of their father and mother.

much

room

Observing that they

they were orphan children, and

grieved her very

in writ-

their

to think she

She said

was unable

it

to

speak English, so that she might have sympatliized

with them.

She identified the picture of the

missing trunk, as the one the children had with

them

at the

Circle House.

After leaving Miss

Klausmann, we concluded we would go

to the

West

where

side

and endeavor

Holmes claimed

to

to locate the hotel

have

left

the missino- trunk.


HOLMES AS HARRY GORDON.

UM

We

went

West Madison

to

Avenue, but were unable described

by

Street and Ashland

to locate

However,

Holmes.

any hotel as

we

made

a

search of the register of every hotel within a mile of

Holmes

where

had

the

said

children

stopped, but were unable to h)cate them.

had

We

returned to the City Hall, and after a half hour consultation,

we agreed

to

Avenue and West Madison other search hotel,

for the hotel.

We

make

an-

did not find a

but succeeded in finding a lodging house,

about

fifty

feet

from

the

Avenue on West Madison by Holmes.

corner of

Ashland

Street, just as described

This house had beeu occupied at that

time by a Miss Jennie Irons, five

return to Ashland Street and

blocks further west on

The photographs

of

whom we found about West Madison Street.

Holmes and the children

were then shown to Miss Irons, but she failed to identify the the man.

that Holmes, under

the

occupied apartments

having

thought she had seen

children, but

Subsequent developments have proved

witli

him

a

name

with

of

]\Iiss

Harry Gordon, Irons in 1893,

woman who was known

as

Mrs.

Gordon, and has been since identified as

jNIiss

Emily Cigrand, a wonuin who mysteriously

disappeared

from

No.

701 Sixty-Third

Street,


THE rxrrnrxa Chicago,

tlie

as "

Castle."

The

that

lioiise

As Holmes had no

rrn.'^rFr.

lias

i!tr.

famous

since hecoiue

lived with

INIiss

Irons, he had

difficulty in describing the place to

ever, neither the children, nor the

How-

me.

tiamk had been

there.

As to

was nothing

there

Irons,

I

concluded that

from Miss

next move would bo

Pat Quinlan, Holmes' janitor

visit

block, Sixty-third

and Wallace

Englewood Station. we started

at

the

Streets, opposite

So getting on a cable

for Quinlan's

we discovered

there

to be learned

my

car,

home, and on our arrival

there was only one entrance

Going up

to the upstairs of the big building.

a

dark winding stairway, we reached the second

and knocking

story,

quested to come feet,

in.

at the

we Avere man about

door,

Quinlan

is

a

refive

eight or nine inches, slim build, light curly

sandy

hair,

mustache, and

thirty-eight j-ears old. hiui

I

and he requested me

which

I

began

my

looks

to

presented to

be

my

about

card to

be seated, after

conversation about

and the missing Pitezel children, trying

Holmes to im-

press Quinlan all the while, that I believed he

knew

all

about them.

Quinlan told me the

time he saw Holmes, was in the

fall

last

of 1894, on


INTERVIEW VnrH A JANITOR.

196

He was

the North side in Chicago.

man,

whom

Quinlan

Qiiinhm

spoke

to

Holmes and

:

" I

have just come from home."

lan thought he

meant Wilmette.

Quinlan closely

in

He

I

Quin-

questioned

regard to the Pitezel children.

admitted that he knew them very well, but

positively denied

knowing anything whatever

their whereabouts,

and that

would be only too willing

if

belief, that if the

he did

of

know he

to render all the assist-

ance he could to locate them.

hill

"Hello,

said:

Holmes answered

where did you come from?" and said

with another

did not know.

he

says

body found

He

expressed

liis

131G Callow-

at No.

Street was that of Pitezel, that

Holmes had

murdered him, and subseqnently murdered the cliildren,

and

if

such

should be liung for

it,

were the

case.

Holmes

and that he, (Quhilan)

would only be too willing

to

spring the trap.

Quinlan said from what he had read of Holmes since the case has gained publicity, he sincerely

believed that

Holmes

set fire to the

tended to destroy him and his

During

my

last interview

block and in-

famil}'.

with Holmes in Moy-

amensing Prison, he told me he had given the children to a

man named Edward Hatch, who

was formerly

a

bricklayer

and had done odd


THE UNTIRINQ PURSUIT. chores

197

around the block in Chicago.

with

quainted

thought tunit}',

I

He

said

and Dr. Robinson were well

that QuinLin

him, so

while at

ac-

Quinlan's,

1

would take advantage of the opporas to wliat he knew He informed me tJiat he knew a by that name, who had done some

and question Pat

about Hatch. bricklayer

work

Holmes, and that he was a hardworking,

for

then told him about what

industrious

man.

Holmes had

said about giving

I

denounced

Quinlan

and

scoundrel

said

Hatch the children.

Holmes that

as

a

dirty,

lying

Hatch would not be

guilty of doing anything tliat was Avrong.

interviewed Qainlan in regard to the

I also

Williams

who were formerly at tlie Castle. He said knew Minnie and had met her at the block.

girls,

he

No. 701 West Sixty-third Street, and that Holmes introduced her to him and his wife, as his cousin,

and

also

cousin.

introduced her to Mrs. Holmes as his

He

said positively,

that he never saw

Nettie Williams after this case was I

tor

made

public.

next interviewed Dr. Robinson, the proprieof the

Castle.

drug

He had

store

on the

first

floor in the

no recollection of knowing a

man named Hatch, but

said he

had seen both

Minnie and Nettie Williams tosrether at the block


SEARCH FOR

198

BRTCKLAYER.

A

June, 1804, and saw iMinnie

ill

month

one

Holmes was not

The

The

later.

a very

tliere alone

Doctor's

about

opinion

of

good one.

Holmes gave me about Hatch and

story

the children, was his very latest, and was told

immediately after he learned that

make

a

new

ways stuck

I

was about

He had

search for the children.

romance about giving them

to his

to al-

to

Minnie Williams, but he was evidently anticipating

tlie

possibility of just

what followed,

rigged up the Hatch tale and arranged

it

so he to suit

possible future developments.

The next move we made was

We

Hatch. a

man by

layer

by

Street.

so

the

This

is

of

lived

and locate

Edward Hatch, a brickNo. 6248 Sangamon

at

about six blocks from the Castle, to

find him.

we found that ily

name

trade,

we concluded

we could

to try

found by consulting a directory, that

it

go there at once and see

On

if

our arrival at the house,

was occupied by

a colored fam-

and that Hatch had moved out about ten

months

before.

Inquir}'

was made

in the neigh-

know where he Mr. Glenister, who

borhood, but no one appeared to

had gone. resides Street,

We

then visited a

on Union Street above Twenty-eighth

who

is

the Secretary of the Bricklayers'


Nellie Pite/el.


THE UNTTIilNa PrnSUTT. Union and

tried

to

ascertain from

201

him

there

if

was such a person connected with their Union Hatch. ns,

but

went tion

Mr. Glenister searclied the records ^^â&#x20AC;˘as

to a

unable

number

to find the

We

name.

as for

then

of buildings in course of erec-

and made inquiry among the brickhayers, but

no one appeared

to

know

a

man

b}'

that name,

wlio followed the trade of a bricklayer. I tlie

then decided to leave the search for Hatch

hands of Detective McGinn, and

Detroit. 12

to

in

go to


CHAPTER AN EXPERT

— Holmes

IN CRIME.

Rents a House Howard with Him Alice New Western Hotel Holmes as G. Howell Search iu Holmes' House Alice and Nellie Again Identified Picture of the Trunk Again Recognized Mrs. Pitezel at Geis' Hotel Under Great ]\[ental Mrs. Pilezel and Her Children but a Few Blocks Strain

Detroit

Nellie at the

jind

.

XT.

— — — — — — Apart — Holmes' Skillful plotting.

On Wednesday

morning, July 4th,

Chi-

I left

cago for Detroit, Michigan, arriving there at G

M. and

P.

registered at the Hotel Normaiidie.

Avent at once to police headquarters,

Thomas Meyler, an

Detective

of mine, to visit.

I

whom

I

old personal friend

was then introduced to the captain

my

He

requested

I

met

explained the nature of

I

charge and repeated dren.

where

my in

story of the missing chil-

me

to

morning

call in the

and see Superintendent Starkweather. Early on the morning of the 5th, headquarters, where

police

tendent

me was

in

who

my

I

was at

met the superin-

assigned Detective Tuttle to assist

search in Detroit.

told to

I

him and

off

we

The same

old story

started. (203)


HOUTES

â&#x20AC;˘?0t

The

first

PxENTS A HOUSE.

we

jilace at wliicli

called

was

at

of the Fidelity j\Iutual Life Insurance

ciffice

R

pany, where we met Mr. Frank general manager for

JNJicliigan.

from liim the name of the

went

to

Alderman, the After obtaining

real estate

rented a house to Holmes, we

left

agent who

the office and

No. 60 Monroe Street, where we met a

Mr. Bonninghausen, the agent referred ing him

the

Com-

my

card,

I

which he granted, and questions to him,

I

to.

Hand-

requested a private interview after

propounding several

learned that on or about the

13th of October, 1894, a gentleman called at his office,

for a

representing that he wanted to rent a liouse

widowed

sister

who had

said he desired a house that

of the city,

if it

three children.

lie

was on the outskirts

were possible

to get one.

This just suited the agent, as he had a house at

No. 241 E. Forest Avenue

in wdiich

he had a per-

sonal interest, and which had been without a ten-

ant for a long time.

The agent

identified the pho-

tograph of Holmes, as that of the

man

^^ho in-

quired for the house and said that Holmes took tlie

number and was informed

tliat

he would find

the kej's at Mr. McAllister's drug store on Forest

Avenue, which

is

About two hours

just a later

few doors below No. 241.

Holmes returned

to

Mr.


AX EXPERT BdiHifiigliauseiis office

IX CRIME.

and inforiued

liiui tljat tlie

He

was just what he wanted.

lioiibe

2iir,

arrived, which

would be

would return and pay

six

in tliree or four days,

months' rent

as he did not intend living with her, to see that

in

Holmes had

he

advance,

and wanted

she was properly provided for.

Ijonninghausen said he was under the that

paid five

advance, and said that when his sister

dollars in

Mr.

ini[)ression

boy with him when he

a small

rented the house, describing him as a boy about nine or ten years old.

A

the office at the time

Holmes rented

and who by the wa}'

the present occupant, cor-

is

Mr. Moore, who was

roborated Mr. Bonninghausen as ing the boy

Howard with him

Leaving the

was somewhat

real estate office, I

wrong.

However,

among

the hotels,

left I

my

see

if I

could locate the

children, suggesting to Tuttle that

failed to give

when

Ave

the

name

The

first

us any further

examined the

ern Hotel. P.

W.

we

first visit

few we

visited

information, but

register of the

Cutter, proprietor,

of Etta

theory, that

Indianapolis alive, was

decided to make a search

and

those near the depot.

Holmes hav-

to

while in Detroit.

impressed with the belief that

Howard had never

in

the house,

New

we

and Xellie Canning,

West-

discovered St. Louis,


20G

ALICE AXD NELLIE AT THE GREAT WESTERN.

Mo., room No.

5,

made October

12th, and evidently

The photographs were shown

about midnight.

Mr. Cotter, who positively

identified the girls as

having stopped there, and that of Holmes as the

man who had brought them names, and who called

tlie

there, registered their

next day and took them

Mr. Cotter was quite positive that there

away.

were but two children and that they had no trunk

The

with them. Indianapolis,

register of the Circle

House

showed that the children had

in

left

that hotel on the 6th of October, and they ap-

peared to have arrived tober 12th.

was

Tliis

eration, as

it

in Detroit, ^Michigan,

Oc-

a matter for serious consid-

made an

interval of six days to be

accounted for between Indianapolis and Detroit.

Having

satisfied

been in Detroit,

I

myself that the two

determined

Holmes, and ascertain him, so

if

we continued our

and on the

to

try

girls

had

and locate

the boy had stopped with

search

register of the

among

Normandie,

the hotels, I

found an

entry October 12th, 1894, " G. Howell and wife,

Adrian."

name felt

Having

become

thoroughly

familiar

Holmes' handwriting and knowing that the

witli

" G.

Howell

"

convinced that

was one of it

his

many

M^as his registry.

aliases, I

The pho-

tographs of Holmes and his wife were shown the


AX EXPERT Clerk,

who was not

sure that

stopped at the hotel

The record

about that time.

Holmes and

that

liad

207

Holmes, but was

positive as to

woman

tlie

IX CRIME.

of the hotel proved

his wife left there

October 13th

after supper.

After leaving the Normandie, the

house No. 241

I

decided to

we were met by Mrs.

arriving there

visit

On

East Forest Avenue.

who

INIoore,

very kindly admitted us to the house and gave us the privilege of examining the cellar. that

it

was divided into three

parts.

found

I

The

front

which extended across the entire width of the house, had a cemented floor and contained a

and coal

bin,

wood

and a large portable heater about

four feet in diameter.

The

part in the rear to the

west side of the house, was used as a wash room,

having a large stationary washtub in board

The

floor.

purposes, and

for storage floor floor.

it

and

a

part to the east side was used it

also

had a cement

and

cellar steps leading to kitchen

on

A

careful examination of both the

cement

and board

floor,

first

proved that they had not been

tampered with.

There was

a dijor

to a stairway, is

opening out of the wash room

which leads

to the

covered with a cellar door.

back yard, and

The stairway

w^as


SEAKVJf IX HOLMES' HOUSE.

208

encased by a brick wall, which served as a foundation for a rear porch.

Tlds foundation

about

is

three feet six inches above the cellar floor and

was tliscovered

after

Holmes

left

had been dug back of the wall facing the

a hole

cellar steps,

and three

about four feet long, three feet wide,

feet six inches deep.

Mr. Boninghausen and

INIr.

Moore having

formed me that they had seen a

when he rented I

it

the house, that

bt)y

in-

with Holmes

the house, Detective Tuttle and

searched every spot of ground adjacent to the

premises to see

if

the earth had been disturbed,

but we could find no evidence of

made an examination

of

tiie

it.

We

cellar heater

and

then dis-

covered the door to be thirteen inches wide and eight inches high, and the cylinder about four feet in diameter,

but there was no evidence, nor had

there been, that the furnace had been used

any improper or unusual said.

sion

I called

to

JNlr.

for

i\loore

on Dr. McAllister who had posses-

of the keys.

I

showed him the picture of

Holmes, and he identified

man

])urpose, so

whom

it

at once as that of a

he had delivered the keys.

We

then returned to Police Headquarters, and after a short

consultation,

hunt

for

Alice

we decided

and

Nellie,

and

to

keep up the

also

to

locate


AN EXPERT Holmes and

liis

wife.

IN CRDIE.

had a

1

209

iiieiuoraiiduin of

the address given by Aliee in her letter written in Detroit,

October 14th, 1894, at No. 91 Congress

Street.

This house was ke[)t by Mrs. Iviieinda

Burns.

She distinctly lemembered having

commodated two

little

October 13th and

left

who came

girls,

October 19th.

gentleman had called on her on tlie

tiie

ac-

thei'e

on

She said u

morning of

13th of October, rented the room and paid

one week's rent in advance, after which

and returned again

in less

He

the little girls with him. j\Irs.

Burns

jNlrs.

their

as Miss

Burns

introduced them to

said the children

were never out of

their entire time reading

They had no trunk

each carried a small satchel. <j[uiet

left

Annie and Miss Amy.

room and occupied

and drawing.

lie

than an hour, bringing

and reserved, and

at

w ith them, but

They were very

no time did

tliey reveal

their identit}-.

When shown and Alice as the

Holmes

the pictures of Holmes,

and Nellie

Pitezel, she identified the girls at once

children as the

who had stopped with her, and man who had rented the room for

them.

Not having been able other hotel,

to

we concluded

trace to try

Hulmes

to

any

the boarding


210

ALICE

houses, so

AXD NELLIE AGAIN

away we journeyed, and

imagine the task ringing the

showing the pictures and

bells,

finally located a

kept by a Mrs.

who came

May

Holmes and

as a couple

who had come

remained four or

known

represented

the

them

there in October, 189-1, for

one week, but

While

days.

five

as

that

who when shown

his wife, identified

room

paid the rent for a

telling

to the doors.

house at No. 54 Park Place

Ralston,

pictures of

they were

the reader can

going to many, many houses,

in

the story to every person

We

IDENTIFIED.

onlj^

at Ralston's

Mr. and Mrs. Holmes, and he

they

theatrical profession.

were

The

members

of

the

pictures of the trunks

were shown Mrs. Ralston and she picked out the

picture

of

Mrs.

Howard's canvas covered

trunk as the one the couple had in use at her house.

The disappearance the source of

termined,

if

of the children"s trunk

much annoyance

possible to locate

to me,

and

I

was de-

Several days

it.

were spent among expressmen, freight depots,

omnibus companies, express liver^mien, but

offices,

we could get no

hackmen, and

clue to

Mrs. Pitezel having informed

me

it.

that she liad

stopped at Geis's Hotel while in Detroit,

mined

to

I

deter-

go there and interview the jiroprietor


AX EXPERT

IX CRIME.

211

and others connected with the hotel, from I

whom

might obtain information which would be of serv-

ice to

me

in

the effort to locate the children.

found in looking over the party

who had

I

register, that the only

stupj)ed there, and

who would

an-

swer the description of Mrs. Pitezel, Dessie and the baby, had registered on October 14th, 18iJ4,

name

m

C.

A. Adams, and daughter,

Chicago, room No. 33.

Miss Minnie Mulholland,

the

the

of Mrs.

housekeeper,

Pitezel,

identified

the picture of Mi-s.

Dessie and the baby as the parties

had registered there

in

who

October under the name of

Adams, and had occupied No.

33,

having with

them two trunks, one

a large top flat trunk,

the other very small.

Miss Mulholland identified

the picture of the

top trunk

flat

I

showed

and

her, as

one similar to that which Mrs. Pitezel had with her while at the hotel.

Miss Mulholland

in describing Mrs. Pitezel, alias

Adams, says she looked

bowed down with

trouble.

like a

woman who was

She was never out of

her room, and was apparently suffering great mental

anxiety.

She occupied a back room, but

Miss Mulholland had a room facing the consented to allow her the use of da}'.

When

it

as

street, she

during the

Mrs. Pitezel said she was going to


LWDER a BEAT MENTAL STRAIN.

â&#x20AC;˘212

leave, Miss

Mulholland told her she would send

omnibus company

for the

to

move her trunk

Mrs. Pitezel objected to

her.

this,

and said

for

thai

she would look after that herself, and went out

This was

and emploj^ed an ordinary car man.

evidently done so that the detectives could not

baggage through the express

trace her

doing

this,

In

office.

she was acting under instructions from

Holmes, who never transferred his baggage by express, but

do

always secured a man on the street to

it.

Hotel

Geis's

is

not more than

three or four

blocks from Mrs. Burns' house at Xo. 01 Congress Street.

The Pitezel (ieis's

and Nellie had arrived

children, Alice

the last

named

at

place on October 13th, and Mrs.

and Dessie and the baby had registered on the 14th, so

it

at

become perfectly evident

that the mother, Alice and' Nellie were in Detroit at the

same time, and but

a

i(i\\

blocks apart, the

former supposing her children to be apolis,

and the

that their

very

latter led to

mother was

tin^e the

in

children

believe

Galva,

in

Indian-

by Holmes

Illinois.

At

this

wrote a letter from No.

91 Congress Street to their grandparents at Galva, in

which thev sent

a

messaoe

to their

mother.

In


AX botli

})laces

I

F.xrEur IX crime.

learned

tliat

213

the travellers

011

this

sad journey kept close within their rooms.

What up hy tlie

what fabrications were made

falsehoods,

this

little

accomplished

girls to

keep

liar, to

in

induce or loice

may never

doors

he

To

he for once sjjeaks the truth.

told,

Tuiless

Mrs

Pitezel, of course,

possibility of

he held up the terrible

Ben being traced by

tile

detectives

through her movements, hence the necessity

for

seclusion. I

found that Mrs. Pitezel and the two children

who were baby, had

travelling left Geis"s

witli

her,

Dessie and the

Hotel on October 18th, and

Alice and Nellie from No. 91 Congi'ess Street on

October 19th, and that Holmes and his wife from No. 54 Park Place on October 18th. It

must have taken very

careful

management

to

have moved these three separate parties from Detroit

to

Toronto, without either of the three

dis-

covering either of the others, but this great expert in crime did

wife (or

j\Irs.

it,

and did

it

successfully.

Howard, who supposed she was

His his

wife) was in total ignorance of the whole scheme.

She was not only unaware of the proximity of Alice

and

Nellie,

and of Mrs. Pitezel and her

other two children, but she did not

know them


HOLMES' SKILLFUL PLOTTING.

214

and

liad

never seen them, and supposed that her

husband (Holmes) was travelling from selling leases

upon an alleged patent

lecting mone3'S from corporations

it is

and merchants

This was his story to her,

using such copiers.

and

city to city

copier, or col-

the only bright spot in this entire story.

might be said to the credit of Holmes, that

It

though he had deceived and betraj^ed into marrying him,

(and

still

when he had a lawful

another wcmian

who

wife

called herself

wife) living, he never permitted Miss

Yoke

cover that he was a swindler or worse.

al-

woman

this

liis

to dis-

He

evi-

dently desired to hold her respect for him until tlie

very

I

last.

concluded

July 7th, and train

my in tlie

for Toronto,

search in Detroit on Sunday,

evening of that day, took the at

wliich

place

I

arrived the

next morning at half past nine o'clock.


CHAPTER

XII.

THE SEAKCH REWARDED.

— —

The Telltale Register G. Howell aud Wife Again The Children in Toronto H. Howell and Wife Gej'er Plans a Campaign Meets the Newspaper Men The Aid of the Press Invoked A Disheartening Search The House in a Field The Pile of Loose Dirt Sales of Half-tickets Geyer Visits Prescott and Niagara Falls— Back in Toronto— Holmes Traced to No. 16 St. Vincent Street Spades are Trumps The Search in the Cellar Finding the Bodies of Alice and Nellie Pitezel Disposition of the Remains The St. Vincent House Besieged by Reporters and Sketch Artists.

Arrival at Toronto

— — —

I

WAS

not a stranger in Toronto.

had previously called me to that occasions,

and

so

when

directed the

cabman

House, where

I

fast

arrived at the station,

to take

me

had stopped before.

and a short

ride, I

I

rest

gathered up

from

my

M^- business

city on several

ni}^

to the

I

Rossin

After break-

long and tiresome

bundle of papers and

photographs and proceeded to the police headquarters.

On

entering the detective department, I met

another old friend, Alf. Cuddj^ and after shaking

hands with

all

the boys,

whom

I

had met before.


I

was

ble

HOWELL AND WIFE AGAIN.

a.

21 (J

t;ikeu into tlie office of the ever kind, affa-

and courteous

I told the

inspectoi-,

Mr. Stark, to

He

oft repeated story.

whom

listened to nie

very attentively, and then took nie into the room of Chief Constable Grassett,

whom

sented

my

I

had not had

To him

the pleasure of meeting before.

1

pre-

from the super-

letter of introduction

intendent of police of Philadelphia, and recounted

him the object

to

sured

me

of

my

errand.

The

chief as-

would do every-

that his department

thing in their power to assist me, and sent a mes-

senger for Inspector Stark to come into the room.

He

instructed the inspector to detail a

work with me

as long as he

was needed.

man

to

Tliank-

ing the chief for his courtesy and attention,

I re-

turned with the inspector to the detective de-

my old friend Cuddy ^-as asme out in Toronto. Tliis suited as I knew Cuddy to be an energetic

partment, where signed to help

me

very well,

fellow and

not afraid of work, and willing to

keep on until every clue the

investigation

either

Into a private room entire

what

story to lie

liad

a

been run out, and

success or a failure.

we went, and

Cuddy, so that

lie

I

narrated the

would know

was doing.

Proceeding as

I

did before, I thouglit

it

wise to


Howard

Pitezel.


THE SEARCH REWARDED. examine the

Grand Trunk Depot, and we

way

to the

We

had been packed away

it

if

to get

it

it

wended our

were informed

in the storeroom,

was important they would send

but

boy

sider

first

Walker House and asked permission

to see the register of 1894.

that

219

the hotels around the

registers in

We

it.

told the clerk

a great favor

if

he would do

few minutes we had the register

we found

so,

con-

and

in a

iu our possession.

Turning over the leaves until we came 18th,

a bell

we would

to

October

that " G. Howell and wife,

Co-

lumbus," had registered for supper that day and left

after

dinner on the 20th, occupying room

No. 14.

Our next

visit

was

to the

the same request was

Union House.

There

made and complied

with,

and on the 18th of October we found the name of " Mrs. C. A.

Adams and

daughter, Columbus."

Having located Holmes and Mrs. thing to do was to locate the

ued our search among the

Pitezel, the

girls, so

hotels, until

next

we continwe reached

the Albion, and upon examining the register there

found the names of " Alice and Nellie Canning, Detroit."

This registry was made October 19th

and had evidently been written by one of the girls.


THE CHILDREN IN TORONTO.

220

The photographs to

of the girls were then

shown

Mr. Herbert Jones, the chief clerk of the hotel,

who

positively identified

them

as the pictures of

the children

who were brought

their porter,

George Dennis, on Friday evening,

October 19th.

to the hotel

Mr. Jones also informed us that

on the morning following their

man

by

called to see

arrival, a gentle-

them and was there on almost

every succeeding day during their stay at the hotel,

of it

The

with the exception of Sunday.

Holmes was shown Mr. Jones.

man who

as the

He

picture

recognized

called at the hotel for the chil-

dren in the mornings of the days they stopped at the hotel.

He

away with him

man took

said this

the children

for the day, but they usually re-

turned alone in the evening for supper.

morning of

the 25th

of

October,

this

On

the

same man

called as usual at the hotel, paid the children's

board

bill,

took them away with him, and that

is

the last time they were seen by him or any one in the hotel.

Holmes having

left

the

Walker House on the

afternoon of October 20th, and knowing that he

was in Toronto to

as late as the 25th, I determined

discover whether he had registered and re-

mained

in

another hotel,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so

I

continued

my


:

THE SEARCH REWARDED. search until

we

arrived at the Palmer House, and

under date of October

there,

21st,

name of Columbus," room No. 32.

"

registered under the wife,

221

So thoroughly convinced was

we found him

H. Howell and

Holmes had

I that

rented a house in Toronto, Ontario, that after hearing Mr. Jones' story, the

Superintendent of

I

wrote

Police

my

in

in

report to

Philadelphia,

dated at Toronto, July 9th, 1895, the following ^'It

is

my

impression that Holmes rented a

house in Toronto the same as he did in Cincinnati,

Ohio, and Detroit, Michigan, and that on

the 25th of October he murdered the girls and

disposed of their bodies by either burying them in tlie cellar, or

them

some convenient

in the heater.

estate agents

and see

I

place, or

intend to go to

it

for a

that he wanted

it

burning the real

they can recollect having

if

rented a house about that time to a

occupied

all

man who only

few days, and who represented for a

widowed

sister."

Inspired by the belief that perseverance and

energy would bring forth some good

result, I de-

termined to get a Toronto directory and prepare a list of real estate agents,

and every one of them, ing,

and interview each

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so on Wednesday morn-

July 10th, I went to Police Headquarters,


GEYEB PLANS A CAMPAIGN.

222

where

I

him. in

we

It

started

off the

my

met Cuddy and suggested was

had

a big task, yet it

upon the

names while

time to prepare the

directory,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Cuddy reading

copied them.

I

list,

idea to

to be done, so

It

took some

and when finished we

who were

started, first going to those

ness portion of the city.

in the busi-

took considerable

It

time to impress each agent with the importance of

making a

knew offices

it,

careful search for us,

and before we

night was upon us and the real estate

were closed.

Seriously meditating as to

the best method to pursue to arouse the citizens of Toronto, I then determined to meet the news-

my

paper men, give them

my

explain to them

views of the case and

theories, so that the matter

would be brought before the

public, and the story

of the disappearance of the children read in every

household in the

That night

city.

by a number of reporters who in

the

story,

Rossin House.

and told them

I I

I

was besieged

called at

my room

gave them the whole

was prepared

to let

them

have the photographs of Holmes and the children,

and would esteem them.

I also

it

a favor

if

they would publish

requested them to

call the attention

of real estate agents and private renters to the

matter, so that

if

any person had rented a house


THE SEARCH REWARDED. under such circumstances

223

as I described, I

would

The

be glad to have them communicate with me.

next morning every newspaper published in Toronto, devoted several columns to the story of the

disappearance of the children, and requested

good

citizens to

might have

all

forward any information they

to Police Headquarters, or to

me

at

the Rossin House.

Thursday morning, July 11th, Detective Cuddy and

I

continued our search among the real estate

agents. to

meet

We

found a majority of them prepared

us, for

they had read the morning papers

and our task was thus the afternoon,

facilitated very

we decided

much.

to visit several

In

suburban

known as Mimico and North and South away we went singing the same old story to each and every agent we came across. However, we kept fighting on, hoping against towns,

Parkdale, so

hope, with no word or sign of encouragement.

Another day went by and there was not the est clue to give us a grain of comfort.

slight-

On

our

return to Police Headquarters, we received word that a

man

giving the

name

of

Holmes had rented

a house on the outskirts of the city,

stood in the middle of a

by a board fence

field,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a house that

and was surrounded

six feet high.

This house was


THE HOUSE IN A FIELD.

224

situated at Perth and Bloor Streets.

nothing more, and away we journeyed.

We wanted We found

the house situated as already described, and occu-

pied by an aged couple with a son about twenty

After introducing ourselves as

years old.

we

officers,

ascertained from the old gentleman, that they

had only lived there a few months, and did not

know who occupied

We

ber.

said that

the

the house

we believed

children,

"

under the house.

"

so the

previous Octo-

that

Holmes had murdered

and had buried them somewhere

That accounts

loose dirt under the

man.

tlie

explained to them our suspicions and

for that pile of

main building,"

said the old

Get a shovel " was Cuddy's suggestion,

old

man

way

led the

to

show us how we

could get under the house, while the young

went

in search of a shovel.

and taking

off

He

man

soon returned,

our coats, we crawled into a small

hole and were soon underneath the floor of the

main building. feet

The

floor

above the earth, and

to discover

was not more than two it

did not take us long

what the old gentleman meant by the

pile of loose dirt.

As

it

was getting dark, we

quested that some light be furnished.

le-

The boy

crawled out from under the floor and in a short time we had several coal

oil

lamps burning and


THE SEARCH REWARDED, commenced

digging,

feeling

positive

A

would unearth the children. about four feet square, when give

it

up

for the night

we

that

hole was

dug

was decided

it

to

and return the next morn-

Friday morning, July 12th,

ing.

225

I called at

Police

Headquarters and met Cuddy, and proposed to

him that we go and

tif}^

tlie

who rented

see the agent

house Perth and Bloor, and see

if

photograph of Holmes as the man who

had rented the house.

The agent was not

early riser, consequently our patience

a very

was taxed

However, when he came and

in waiting for him.

looked at the picture, he said that

it

was not the

Again were we disappointed, and the

man.

the

he could iden-

bal-

ance of the day was spent at the Grand Trunk Depot, in trying to ascertain

if

there had been

any half tickets sold on the morning of the 25th of October from

The

Toronto to Suspension Bridge.

ticket agent treated us very courteously,

examined there

his records

had been only one whole ticket sold

Niagara Falls, or Suspension Bridge. to a question,

and

and found that on that day, for

In answer

whether a conductor would take a

whole ticket for two children, he said he would, so

we were unable

had not sent the

to say positively that

girls to the

Holmes

Suspension Bridge to


m 226

GEYEB

VISITS

FBESCOTT AND NIAGARA FALLS.

meet Minnie Williams, done,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he

as

he claimed to have

going as far as Parkdale.

We

endeavored to learn through the freight

what amount of baggage was shipped

then office,

to Prescott,

Canada, on the night of the 25th of October and

We

the morning of the 26th.

learned that two

had been sent there on the night of the

pieces

and one piece on the morning of the 26th.

25th,

This corresponded with the amount of baggage

by Holmes and Mrs.

carried

vinced

gone

me

that Prescott

and

to,

in the

Pitezel,

and con-

was the place they had

event of not meeting with suc-

cess in Toronto, I determined that Prescott

be the

my

Walker House on

20th,

As

next stopping place.

and

would

Flolmes had

left

the afternoon of October

whereabouts from that time until

his

the afternoon of the 21st not being

known,

I

was

impressed with the belief that he had taken his wife to Niagara Falls

July ]3th, see

if

I

whether

I

;

so on

concluded that

I

Saturday morning,

would go

could locate them, and the}^

if

so,

tliere

and

ascertain

had the children with them.

Tak-

ing the boat to Lewistown, and from there the trolley cars, I arrived at Niagara Falls,

side)

among

(Canada

about eleven A. M., and began a search the hotels, and in a short time

my

labor


THE SEARCH REWARDED. was rewarded bj locating them

227

at King's Imperial

Hotel, where they arrived on the afternoon of the 20th,

and

left

on the afternoon of the

There

21st.

were no children with them, and they had dently gone there simply to view the Falls.

eviI re-

turned to Toronto and visited a number of the

newspaper their

files,

call

upon every one of them

intended to I

was

I

so

of the children

could not think of leaving,

I

had made a more extended search.

evening for

I

in person.

Holmes had disposed

Toronto, that

in

until I

who

of private renters

list

advertised their houses to rent, as

positive that

examining

for the purpose of

offices

and made a

Tliat

met Cuddy, and we discussed our plans

Monday morning.

Sunday, July 14th, was devoted to writing home

and

to meditating over the case,

and the probable

chances of success.

Monday morning, July

15th, I

Headquarters and joined Cuddy,

went

to Police

He appeared

be somewhat more cheerful than usual, and I

suggested that

among

we would

out and search

me

that

another report about a

man

the private renters, he informed

they had received

who had rented whose

start

a house

description

to

when

on

St.

corresponded

Vincent Street, with

that

of


BACK IN TORONTO.

228

Holmes, and he suggested that we run out before doing anything his

fine

many

the

he remarked that he guessed

spirits,

would prove

it

be a wild goose chase, similar to

to

that

this clue

Notwithstanding

else.

we had already enjoyed.

ing over the newspaper

files, I

In look-

discovered that

there was a house to rent at No. 16 St. Vincent Street and to inquire of Mrs. Frank Nudel, at No.

54 Henry Street. ally acquainted

Detective

Cuddy was

person-

with Mr. Frank Nudel, who

is

connected with the Educational Department of Toronto, and he suggested that we stop and see

him before going

We

to the St.

Vincent Street house.

found Mr. Nudel, who told us that

was the owner of the house No. 16 Street and that she had rented

time last October,

one week.

we

who

it

St.

to a

only occupied

Thanking him

his wife

Vincent

man some

it

for

about

for this information,

started for the St. Vincent Street house, but

instead of going to No. 16, see

we

called at No. 18 to

an old Scotchman named Thomas William

Ryves,

who had notified one of the inspectors of man answering Holmes' description,

police that a

and whose picture with the Pitezel seen

in

the

girls

he had

Toronto papers, had occupied the

house No. 16, next to him, and had told him he


THE SEARCH REWARDED. had rented

it

widowed

for a

sister,

229

who was

Hamilton, Ontario, and that he expected in

We

few days.

a

pleasant old

man

lier

at

there

found Mr. Rj^ves a very

to talk to,

and

after

ing the usual questions to him,

propound-

immediately

lie

recognized the photograph of Alice, but he was

He

not positively sure of Holmes.

got a good look at

whether or not

it

was her picture.

man asked him

that the

said he never

and could not say

Nellie

to loan

He

told us

him a spade,

as

he wanted to arrange a place in his cellar for his sister to

put potatoes

He

in.

said that the only

furniture that was brought to the house

old

bed

was an

The

and mattress, and a big trunk.

trunk was taken away from the house, but the bed

and mattress were had heard

left

sufficient to

By

there.

this

time

we

convince us that we were

on the right track, and bidding the old gentleman

good day, we requested him

We

to

meet us again

at

no time in going

his

house in one hour.

to

Mrs. Nudel's house, and ringing the bell the

lost

summons was answered by her daughter. We asked if Mrs. Nudel was at home and received an answer in the affirmative "

we want

tant."

We

to

see

;

" Tell

her at once,

were requested

it

her," I is

said,

very impor-

to take a seat in the


SPADES ARE

230

and

parlor,

in a

TRU3IP.

few minutes Mrs. Nuclei made her

appearance, and without giving her a cliance to say much,

produced the pliotograph of Holmes,

I

and asked her

if

that picture.

Mother and daughter both looked

at the

same time, and answered together,

at

"

it

Why,

yes, that

she had ever seen the original of

is

the

Vincent Street house

man who

October and only occu-

few days."

Mrs. Nudel said the

pied

it

man

represented that he wanted

for a

rented the St.

last

it

for a

widowed

sister,

who was coming on from

gan.

This seemed too good to be true, and our

Detroit, Michi-

anxiety to examine the house was so great, that

we hurriedly thanked her and

left.

We

at

once

returned to No. 18 St. Vincent Street where

met Mr. Ryves anxiously awaiting

we

for our return.

Requesting him to loan us a shovel, he went into the house and came out with the same spade he

had loaned

to

Holmes.

16 St. Vincent Street.

We

rang the

bell at

No.

The door was opened by

the lady of the house, a Mrs. J. Armbrust.

Mr.

Ryves introduced us and told her we would

like

to

go into the

cellar.

She kindly consented and

ushered us back into the kitchen. piece of oilcloth from the floor,

Lifting a large

we discovered

a

small trap door, possibly two feet square in about


THE SEARCH REWARDED. the centre of the room.

Raising

this, I

that the celhir was not very deep but

Armbrnst

dark, so I asked Mrs.

us with some himps.

cellar

was very

to

set

from

was very

kindly provide

into the

we went.

cellar

small, about ten feet square,

and not more than four and a half

A

discovered

it

In a short time she had

them ready, and down

The

231

feet in depth.

of steps almost perpendicular lead to

it

old-fashioned trap door in the middle of

tlie

the kitchen floor.

Taking the spade and pushing whether

so as to determine

up,

we

it

it

into the earth,

had been

it

about one

foot, a horrible stench arose.

easy digging, and after going

vinced us that

we were on

thrown

coats were

dug,

dug

Forcing the spade into the earth,

west corner.

we found

off,

the

down

This con-

the right spot, and our

and with renewed

we continued our

dence,

lately

finally discovered a soft spot in the south-

digging.

confi-

The deeper we

more horrible the odor became, and

when we reached

the depth of three feet,

we

dis-

covered what appeared to be the bone of the fore-

arm of

a

human

being.

Throwing some

the hole, in order to keep

much

as possible,

we

the kitchen, where

I

left

down

dirt into

the stench as

the cellar and went into

had a conference with Cuddy


232

FINDING THE BODIES OF ALICE AND NELLIE.

and advised him Stark and

tell

to

him

communicate with Inspector

of our discovery

and have him

suggest over the telephone what undertaker

we

Cuddy

ac-

should employ to remove the bodies. quiesced in what

I

office

St.

and we started

said,

nearest telephone, which

we found

for the

in a telegraph

on Yonge Street, a short distance from the

Vincent Street house.

inspector,

Cuddy

called

up the

him of our discovery, and

told

re-

quested him to recommend an undertaker to take

The inspector

charge of the bodies.

gratulating us, told us to go to B. D.

after con-

Humphrey,

an undertaker on Yonge Street, and make any proper arrangements with him.

Humphrey him I

at

his

We

found Mr.

establishment, and requested

to assist us in the

exhumation of the bodies.

suggested to him to take several pairs of rubber

gloves with him, as the bodies were in such a state of putrification,

it

would be impossible

out of the hole without them. to the St

to lift

them

then returned

Vincent Street house, accompanied by

Mr. Humphrey and into the

Mr. Humphrey task,

We

jumped

after

cellar

into the hole already

and myself and

we went

again.

preparing himself for the

made by Cuddy

assisted us in the work.

In a


THE SEARCH REWARDED. short time

we unearthed

little girls,

Alice and Nellie Pitezel.

233

the remains of the

two

Alice was found lying on her side, with her

hand face,

Nellie was found lying on her

to the west.

with her head to the south, her plaited hair

hanging neatly down her back.

making preparations a messenger

to lift

was dispatched

While we were

them out to

of the hole,

Humphrey's under-

taking establishment to send two coffins to No. 16 St.

Vincent Street.

and

arrived

kitchen, and

of the hole.

ing on

the

decomposed

As

first

the

remains out

were found

began with

her.

rest-

We

state of the body, the weight of her

down her

A

it

back, pulled the

sheet had been spread

to lay the remains,

ceeded in getting in the sheet,

wagon

into

gently as possible, but owing to the

scalp from off her head.

which

taken

to lift the

Nellie's limbs

we

plaited hair hanging

in

were

we proceeded

Alice's,

lifted her as

In a short *Âťte the coffins

and

after

out of the hole,

it

we

suc-

was placed

taken upstairs, and deposited in the

coffin.

Again we returned lifting

what remained

to the

and gently

cellar,

of poor Alice,

we placed

her in another sheet, took her upstairs, and placed her in a coffin by the side of her

sister.

The


THE

234

ST.

VINCENT HOUSE BESIEGED.

bodies were immediately removed to Mr. rey's

Humph-

establishment, after which they were sent

to the nioigue.

with excitement. part of the city.

By

this

time Toronto was wild

The news had spread to every The St. Vincent Street house

was besieged with newspaper men, sketch and

others.

Everybody seemed

to

artists,

be pleased

with our success, and congratulations, mingled with expressions of horror over the

discovery

were heard everywhere. I

then telegraphed the

to District

first

result of

Attorney Graham and

my

ent of the Philadelphia police, and thus

proved that this

little

it

was

children cannot be murdered in

day and generation, beyond the

of discovery.

search

to superintend-

possibility


CHAPTER

XIII.

FORGING THE LINKS. IG

iSO.

St.

Vinceut Street

—Fair

Without, a Charnel House

Wooden Egg— Clothing Identified— Great Excitement in Toronto Mrs. Pitezel Summoned

Witluu— Tlie

Little

—The

—Arrival —A Mother's Anguish —Mrs. Pitezel Identhe Bodies— Mrs. Pitezel's Testimony — Testimony of Mr. Ryves — The Burial — Mrs. Pitezel in Kind Hands, from Galva,

Illinois

Preliminary Inquest

of Mrs. Pitezel tifies

The quaint

house where the children were found, little

ple style of architecture. feet

is

a

two-story cottage of an old and sim-

from the sidewalk,

It stands

back a few

— the narrow plot of

lawn

in front being enclosed with a wire net fence five feet high

flowers.

and beautified with

A

clinging clematis, adds

pearance of the place. into a hallway,

and continues tains six

a

few blossoming

veranda tastefully decorated

which divides the house

to the kitchen.

medium

Avith a

much to the homelike apThe front doorway opens The

in half

cottage con-

sized rooms, below, including a

kitchen and a pantry, three on either side of the hall,

and there are four small rooms above. (237)

A


THE LITTLE WOODEN EGG.

238

single gable

window looks from

the street.

At each end

small windows, none of them

window

the

small,

and

the

in

the upper stor}- to

of the house are three

front.

much

larger than

The back yard

is

reached from the kitchen by a short

is

set of steps.

Feeling somewhat fatigued over the day's work, I

determined to spend the evening at the Rossin

House

in writing to

my

superintendent and others,

and to map out a plan

for the next day, as our

As

work was not completed.

the bodies were

badly decomposed, personal identification might be possible to find

some

evidence which would aid in establishing

tlieir

difficult

identity,

and

I

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so

I

determined

if

concluded to learn

if

possible,

had occupied the house after Holmes had

The next day,

after

we

headquarters,

after

We

started off to find the tenant in the St.

were not long

Holmes had

left,

in

Vincent Street

ascertaining, that

the house had been occupied

by a family named MacDunald, who only

mained a very short time, but no one was able tell

us where they had

diligent search Street.

We

it.

meeting Cuddy at police

who succeeded Holmes house.

who

left

we

moved

located

them

called at their

to.

re-

to

However, hy

at No. 17 Russell

home, where we met


FORGING THE LINKS, Mrs.

MacDonald and

239

after introducing ourselves,

told her the object of our visit.

She said that

all

she had found at the house No. 16 St. Vincent Street,

was an old bedstead and mattress.

I

then questioned her as to whether she had any children,

and she informed me that she had

a

boy

about sixteen years old whc was not at home at that time.

I

requested her to send him to police

headquarters as soon as he arrived home, and bring with him anything he had found in the St.

Vincent Street house.

Bright and early the next

morning young MacDonald, appeared

wooden

at police

which

headquarters with a

little

when parted

middle, would disclose

snake, which

found

this

in

the

would spring

egg

oat.

list

when

just such an It

I

found

one of

had been sup-

in this

list,

my

surprise

and

a description of

egg as the MacDonald boy found.

was one of the

links

which contributed

to

mak-

Another link

in this

was supplied by Mrs. Armboust.

The

ing the identification sure. chain

I

a

had

of the playthings the children had

with them, and one can imagine elation

said he

in a small leather caba, in

the closets on the second floor. plied with a

He

egg,

children were found buried in a nude condition,

and the manner

in

which their clothing had beao


CLOTHING IDENTIFIED.

240

disposed of was one of the points of

A

my

inquiries.

part of a waist, and wliat appeared to be a

piece of ribbon were found

When

were exhumed.

when

the children

Mrs. Armbrust was clean-

ing the house after moving

in,

she noticed some

rags and straw hanging from the chimney in the

north front room.

These she pulled down and

found a part of a striped waist of a

graj^ish color,

a piece of a woolen garment of brownish red, and a part of a dress of bluish color.

been

lit

The straw had

but had not burned, as the clothing had

been shoved into the chimney too tightly. pair of girl's button boots were found in the

box

;

also

A

wood

one odd boot and other parts of the All this had been thrown

clothing of a female.

away by Mr. Armbrust, but they answered the description of the clothing girls,

worn by the

Pitezel

given by their mother.

The missing trunk had not been forgotten ing

all this time,

and

it

by Cuddy and myself.

dur-

was frequently spoken of After having heard from

Mr. Ryves, that a large trunk had been brought to the house, the idea suggested itself to us, that

possibly

Holmes might have murdered

Detroit, placed

him

to the St.

him

in

the boy in

the trunk, and shipped

Vincent Street house to dispose of


FORGING THE LINKS. the body.

determined

I

on

point,

this

such were the case,

if

not to leave Toronto until

241

had

I

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; consequently

men to dig. up every inch and we thoroughly examined eral

satisfied

myself

we employed

sev-

of the entire cellar

the barn

and out-

houses, but without result.

The

finding of the bodies, as I have said before,

caused great excitement

good people of that an opportunity, sliort

shrift of

for the

I

am

Toronto, and

made

Preparations were made

was

inquest, which

in the

to be

conducted by

meantime

I

was

re-

dispatches from District Attorney Gra-

ham, of Philadelphia, regarding Mrs.

was

the

if

sure they would have

Holmes.

Coroner Johnston, and ceiving

in

had been furnished with

city

at Chicago,

Pitezel,

who

and whom he had

Illinois,

in-

structed to go to Toronto, Canada, to meet me,

and

if

possible identify the children.

On Tuesday morning, ton at

summoned the

o'clock,

a

July 16th, Coroner Johns-

number

of jurors to be present

morgue that evening also

requesting

the same hour.

my

at half-past seven

attendance there at

This was to be the preliminary

inquest to view the bodies. 7:30 P.

M. we

all

appeared at the morgue, and

Coroner Johnston opened the inquest, after which


GREAT EXCITEMENT IX TOROXTO.

242

Then

the jury was sworn. of the

morgue was sent

for

the superintendent

and everything being

ready, the coroner directed the jury to examine

In the dead house they went, but I

the bodies.

assure you that their stay was a very limited one, as the odor from the

bearable,

decomposed remains was un-

and Coroner Johnston adjourned the

in-

quest until Wednesday evening, July 17th, to be held in the Police Court, City Hall.

day evening

On Wednes-

attended the inquest and was re-

I

quested to recite the story of Holmes, and the

in-

surance swindle, and the disappearance and the finding of the children.

I

was kept on the

wit-

ness stand about two hours and a half, and then after hearing several other witnesses, the investi-

gation was adjourned to await the arrival of Mrs.

Thursday morning, July 18th,

Pitezel.

I

re-

ceived a dispatch from her, stating that she had left

Chicago and was on her way

watched

all

at 7:30 P.

to Toronto.

M.

I

again went to the Grand

Trunk

many

people

Depot, and was surprised to see so there.

I

incoming trains during the day, and

This was due, however, to the fact that

Mrs. Pitezel had been interviewed by a number of newspaper

men

before leaving Chicago, and

they had wired her time of departure for Toronto


FORGING THE LINKS. to the

Toronto papers.

at the station, the

Chicago came

my way

my

Shortly after

arrival

Canadian Pacific train from

and

in,

getting off the car.

243

I

I

had

observed Mrs. Pitezel

make

a difficult task to

through the crowd to reach her, but as

quickly as possible

I

placed her in a carriage and

took her to the Rossin House, where

I

had made

arrangements to have her placed in a room oppo-

my

site

own, and

disturb her.

I

requested that no one should

Mrs. Pitezel reached her room

absolutely prostrated raaid

condition.

The

had very kindly volunteered

in

an

cliamber-

to render her

such assistance as was possible, and after applying restoratives, she soon revived sufficiently to talk to me. "

Amid

Oh, Mr. Geyer,

is

her tears and moans, she said, it

true that you have found

Alice and Nellie buried in a cellar

?

"

I

did

all I

could to calm her, and told her to prepare for the worst.

up with

She told me that she would try it

to

bear

and would do the best she could.

I

then told her as gently as possible, that I had

found the children, but did not describe their horrible condition, nor

stances they were discovered.

with her a short time,

I

to her

under what circumAfter remaining

asked several of the

ladies connected with the hotel to visit her

room


A 3I0THER'S ANGUISH.

244

and say a comforting word

and

it

seemed

to her,

have a good

to

Frida}^ morning, July 19th,

PitezeVs door, and

She

said

upon

knocked

I

rested.

did,

her. at Mrs.

found that she had improved.

I

she had not slept very well,

somewhat I

which they

effect

then

I

left

but

felt

her and told her

would go out and make arrangements

for tak-

ing her to the morgue during the day to look at the children.

then went to Police Headquarters

I

and met Cuddy,

which we called

after

Johnston's house.

He

at

Coroner

informed us that he would

have the bodies so arranged that we could bring the mother to look at them at four o'clock that

Cuddy and

afternoon. hotel,

I

then returned to the

where every care that human forethought

could suggest, had been taken to prepare Mrs. Pitezel for the awful task necessity imposed her.

I

told her that;

it

upon

would be absolutely im-

possible for her to see anything but Alice's teeth

and

hair,

and only the hair belonging

to Nellie.

This had a paralyzing effect upon her and she

most the

fainted.

Rossin

At

-i

M. we had

P.

House, and

were ready to proceed

I

al-

a carriage at

informed her that we

to the

morgue.

In a few

minutes she was ready, and after supplying ourselves with brandy

and smelling

salts,

we

started


FORGING TEE LINKS.

morgue, where we found a number of cu-

for the

on the outside awaiting our

rious people

Mrs.

was seated

Pitezel

while

went

I

into

arrival.

the waiting room,

in

the dead

house to see that

everything was in readiness, before her

245

we conducted

in.

found that Coroner Johnston, Dr. Caven and

I

removed the putrid

several of his assistants, had

from the skull of Alice

flesh

;

the teeth had been

nicely cleaned and the bodies covered with can-

The head

vas.

and a hole so

of Alice

in

it,

The

had been carefully washed

on the canvas sheet which was covering

laid

Coroner Johnston said that we could now

Alice.

bring

had been cut

Mrs. Pitezel could see the teeth.

that

hair of both children

and

was covered with paper,

sufficiently large

Mrs.

room and on one

Pitezel

told her

side

of

I

in.

entered

the

waiting

we were ready, and with Cuddy and

her,

I

on the other, we

entered and led her up to the slab, upon which

was lying

all

that remained of poor Alice.

In an

instant she recognized the teeth and hair as that

of her daughter, Alice.

me

she said,

"Where

is

Then turning around

to

Nellie?" about this time

she noticed the long black plait of hair belonging to Nellie lying in the canvas.

She could stand

it


246

no

PITEZEL IDENTIFIES THE BODIES.

3rRS.

and the shrieks of that poor forlorn

longei",

creature are trickling

still

down

my

ringing in

The

stood about us.

Tears were

ears.

the cheeks of

men who

strong

sufferings of the stricken

We

mother were beyond description.

gently led

her out of the room, and into the carriage.

She

returned to the Rossin House completely over-

come with

grief

and

and had one fainting

despair,

The

spell after another.

ladies in the hotel visited

her in her room and spoke kindly to her, and expressed their sympathy with her in her sad be-

reavement and her mind.

this

At

seemed

7 P. M.,

I

Coroner Johnston, that

would

like

quest

that

While

I

to have

evening

in a

measure to ease

received word

were

he

Mrs. Pitezel attend the

in-

and

it

give

testimony.

her

did not think she was in a

to leave the hotel, I

from

possible,

if

communicated

fit

condition

to her

what

Dr. Johnston had said, and she said she thought she would be able to go and get through with

About

7:30 P.

M.

I called

for the City Hall,

a carriage

where

I

it.

and we started

gave Mrs. Pitezel in

charge of the matron and then went into the court room and informed Coroner Johnston that

Mrs. Pitezel was ready to

me

to bring lier into the

testify.

He

requested

room, whereupon Detect-


FORGING THE LINKS.

Cuddy and

ive

her in and placed her on a

I led

seat beside the Coroner,

and

in a

few moments,

necessary oath, she began her

after taking the story.

247

For two hours and a half

this

poor

was kept on the stand and prodded with

woman

all

kinds

So weak did she become, that at

of questions.

times her voice was inaudible, and several times

we

feared she would totally collapse.

Finally the

Crown's Assistant Attorney thought he had heard

enough and consented stand.

and was scarcely

there,

and her shrieks

ical,

to allow her to leave the

She was returned to the matron's j'oom

ard, could

when

she became hyster-

for Alice, Nellie

and How-

have been heard a block away.

Sev-

doctors present at the inquest immediately

eral

prescribed for her, and after working with her

about one hour, we got her in a condition to move

The matron

her to a hole..

professional nurse,

at the City Hall

and volunteered

to

was a

accompany

Mrs. Pitezel to the hotel and remain with her

during the night,

if I

so desired

too willing to have her join us

woman

poor sible.

the

hotel,

night.

all

I sent

the assistance

for

it.

I

was only

and render the

and sympathy pos-

a carriage and

we returned

where Mrs. Pitezel spent a

to

terrible


TESTIMONY OF MR. EWES.

248

The

story as revealed by the witnesses at the in-

quest was very clear, after

Holmes and

his wife

had

it

had been unravelled.

left

18th, arriving in Toronto the

ing at the

Walker House

Detroit on October

same day,

as G.

register-

Howell and

wife,

Columbus. Mrs. Pitezel and Dessie and the baby, left

Detroit the same day, but two hours later,

Union House under the name of

registering at the

Mrs. C. A.

Adams and

daughter.

Alice and Nellie left Detroit the following day,

October 19th.

Trunk

Holmes met them

at the

Grand

Station and turned them over to George

Dennis, a hotel porter, tion of

Holmes

to the

who took them by

remained until the morning of

Holmes

direc-

Albion Hotel, where they

called for the girls

October 25th.

on the morning of the

20th and returned them to the hotel about six o'clock in the evening of the

same day, and

this

he repeated every morning and evening except

Sunday

until the

took them away

morning of the 25th, when he finally, for

they did not return.

He

paid for their board every morning and the

last

payment was made on the

On

25th.

October 20th Holmes rented the house No.

16 St. Vincent Street of Mrs. Christiana Niidel,

and said he wanted

it

for his

widowed

sister,

who


FORGING THE LINKS.

He

was coming from Detroit. for six

rented the house

months, at ten dollars for the

and twelve

dollars per

He took

term.

the

249

month the

first

month,

remainder of

for the

key and went awa}^

Mrs. Nudel heard nothing more until nearly the

end of the month, when she learned that the house

was empty, and that the key

liad

been

left

with

Mr. Ryves, the next door neighbor.

Mr. Ryves saw the

little girls

on the veranda of

the house and once in the yard.

He saw Holmes

Holmes

there.

him

told

different stories.

The

day he met him he said he was renting the

first

house for a sister who was coming from Hamilton.

He

had a family of four children, and

said she

that he

would board with them

had secured

as he

a situation in Toronto.

He brought

a

him

a mattress

and bedstead

Avere

first,

and

brought and remained on

two days. yard,

later on

Tiie

veranda for

day Ryves saw the

girls in the

Holmes came over and borrowed a spade

from him, saying that ill

tlie

trunk with

lie

was going

the cellar to hold potatoes.

spade about four or

and returned

it

five o'clock in

the

the afternoon

between eight and ten o'clock

the next morning, handing

Mr. Ryves.

to fix a place

He borrowed

it

over the fence to

Mr. Ryves never saw the

girls again


TESTBIONY OF

250

after seeing

them

in

Holmes returned the

The

latter

day and into the were

to

came

left the

after

to the house

key with Mr.

went into the house the next

cellar to look

where the potatoes

go and he found fresh earth scattered

around the bottom of the boards lying on top. little

The day

the yard. spade, he

and removed the trunk, and Ryves.

EYVE8.

3IB.

wooden egg

cellar

as a trinket

and which she used

and some loose

Mrs. Pitezel identified the

which Alice had,

to carry in a little leather

caba.

Nothing could be more surprising than the apparent ease with which Holmes murdered the two little girls in

the very centre of the city of To-

ronto, without arousing the least suspicion of a single person there.

It startles

how

one to realize

such a hideous crime could be committed and deSurely

tection avoided.

if

the investigation and

search for the children had not been

made by

the Philadelphia authorities, these murders

never have been

would have gone

discovered, to her

grave without knowing

whether her children were

alive or dead.

was the one consolation she had est

hour of her

life.

would

and Mrs. Pitezel

This

in the very dark-

She knew the

fate of her

unfortunate daughtersâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; the mystery of their

dis-


FORGING THE LINKS.

251

appearance had been solved, and the only remaining problem was the discovery of her

Howard.

son,

little

She could not believe he was dead, and

clung fondly to the hope that he would ultimately be found

alive.

Holmes was

successful in maintaining the

same

conditions in Toronto, as he had in Detroit. Pitezel

was

at the

Mrs.

Union Hotel, and Alice and

Nellie at the Albion, although each party

was

ig-

norant of the proximity of the other.

On

the afternoon of July 19th, 1895, the re-

mains of the

little girls

were buried

in St. James'

cemetery, the expense being borne by the authorities

of Toronto.

meantime

I

It

was

a sad scene.

In the

received orders from District Attor-

ney Graham to return to Detroit and resume search for the boy Howard. day, July 20th, (in

and arrived

same day.

I left

company with Mrs.

in Detroit

my

Toronto, SunPitezel)

on the afternoon of the

Mrs. Pitezel did not stop in Detroit,

but continued on to Chicago

in

charge of some

good women, of a Christian Endeavor Society,

who volunteered I

to see to her.

had finished a part of

my

part

Where was

Howard?

the boy

task,

now

fillment of the other

and the

ful-

confronted me.

Had

he

been


FORGING THE LINKS.

252

placed in some institution, as Holmes had

mated

his intention of doing, or

some obscure

Was

he alive

plussed,

to

or

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

do

I

dead?

I

?

was puzzled, non-

in the dark.

I

could not

go on, and

I deter-

hoping that patience and

persist-

was directed

so,

in

beyond reach or discovery

and groping

turn back,

mined

i)lace

inti-

was he hidden

to

ent hard work might finally lead

me

to the light.


CHAPTER HOW

XIV.

TO FIND THE BOY.

— —

Geyer Agaia iu Detroit Where is Howard Pitezel ?— Did He Leave Detroit Alive? Reviewing the Evidence Another Search at No. 241 E, Forest Avenue Geyer Does Some Hard Thinking Review of Holmes' Movements Copy of Letter

From

Alice to

Her Grandparents, Found

iu the Possession

Holmes —Its Pitiable Tale Holmes' Fiendish Treatment of Both Mother and Children A Friend Warns Holmes to Leave Detroit The Murder of the Children Postponed The Furnace Theory. of

About

5 P.

M.

went

I

to the Detroit Police

met Detective Meyler, who,

Headquarters, where

I

after congratulating

me upon my

ronto, informed

not be in his

me

success in To-

that the Superintendent

office until the

That Sunday evening

would

following morning.

I spent in

Meyler the story of finding the

recounting to

girls, after

which

I retired for the night.

Monday morning, July Headquarters weather, assist

me

who in

and

met

22d,

I

reported at Police

Superintendent

Detroit.

I

decided to go over with

greater care, the evidence which proved to

Stark-

agaiu detailed Detective Tuttle to

Howard

have been seen in Detroit, and called with

Tuttle on Mr. Frank R. Alderman, the manager 15

(255)


REVIEWING THE EVIDENCE.

256

of the Fidelity

When

igan.

Mutual

of the

detectives

the

Life Association for Mich-

the case was

first

investigated by

insurance

company, Mr.

Boninghausen, the real estate agent who rented No.

2-11

E. Forest

the latter

when

Avenue

to

Holmes, said that

was accompanied by a small boy, but

I called

upon him

again, in

company with

Mr. Alderman, he declared that he had no absolutely positive recollection of the matter, but that

Mr. Moore, who subsequently rented the same house, had said that he had noticed a boy with

This knocked out one of the supports of

Holmes.

the Detroit theory, and

Moore and found him

at

we then sought out Mr. No. 241 E. Forest Avenue.

Mr. Moore said that he had never been positive about the presence of the boy with Holmes. eral

Sev-

persons with children were in Mr. Boning-

hausen's

office at the time,

and he said he

tliovght

one of them, a small boy, was with Holmes, but he was not sure.

At

this

time

we made, with Mr. Moore's

per-

mission, another thorough search of the premises,

No. 241 E. Forest Avenue, including the barn, outhouses and yard, and I if

felt fully

convinced that

the boy had been murdered there, his body had

been consumed

in the large furnace of the house.


HOW

We

TO FIND TEE BOY.

Wabash

then went to the

number

to ascertain the

257

railroad station

of half tickets,

which

ar-

rived from Chicago at 11:15 P. M., on October

An

12th, 1894.

effort

was made

celled tickets of this date all

been destroyed.

about Howard, and

facts

I

was

to find the can-

but they had

train,

still

very

much

known

Holmes

me.

to

I

reviewed

arrived

He

Detroit on the evening of October 12th.

and

the girls into the station

there wife,

and wait

(who was

at sea

did some very hard thinking

Time and time again

on the subject. the

I

and

told

He

for him.

also with him,

them

to

in

sent

remain

then rejoined his

but ignorant of the

presence of the children) and took her to the hotel.

He

station

and took the

then

left his

wife and returned to the

girls to

the

New Western

Hotel, where they were registered as Etta and Nellie

The

Canning.

moved them

to a

next day, the

13th,

he

boarding house kept by Mrs.

Lucinda Burns, No. 91 Congress

Street.

At

this

house Alice wrote a letter to her grandparents,

which she gave

to

Holmes

as usual, omitted to do. ters

to post,

and which

This was one of the

he, let-

found in the possession of Holmes when he

was arrested.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

TREATMENT OF MOTHER AND CHILD.

258 H0L3IES'

This letter was unsigned, but Alice, because

in her

it is

fers to her sister Nell.

it

was written by

handwriting and she

The

letter enclosed

re-

two

pages of note paper, on which the children had

made rude drawings the

of houses, one of which bore

caption " Uncle Tom's Cabin."

This was

copied from a picture in Mrs. Stowe's book, which

Under

the girls had.

the drawing of the cabin

was written, "All these pictures was drawn

at

No. 91 Congress Street, Detroit, Mich."

This letter

is

dated October 14th, 1894, just

two days subsequent

to their arrival in Detroit,

and on the very day their mother, (Mrs. Pitezel), their sister Dessie,

and the

little

baby, Wharton,

ariived in Detroit, where they were to meet Pitezel, so

Holmes

This

said.

little

at Geis's Hotel, as Mrs. C. E. ter.

Geis's Hotel

is

not over

91 Congress Street, so

was writing

to her

when

party registered

Adams and daughfive

this

blocks from No.

poor child Alice,

grandparents to Galva,

Illinois,

complaining of the cold, sending a message

to

her

mother, asking for heavier and more comfortable clothing,

wishing for

little

Wharton, the baby

who would

help them to pass

while

wearied, lonely, homesick

this

away

the time, child

was

writing this letter, her mother and her sister and


sow the

TO FIND THE BOY.

much wished

Wharton,

for

ivere

259 ivithin

ten

minutes ivalk of her^ and continued there for the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

More than that, this unparalleled who had robbed the Insurance Company of

next five days. villain

Ten Thousand

and

Dollars,

in

turn fraudulently

secured Sixty-Seven Hundred Dollars of the swag

from Mrs. Pitezel, was at that very moment making arrangements to

kill

at No. 241 East Forest

the girls and bury

The

Avenue.

them

hole wliich

he had dug, (which he admitted he had dug to

bury therein, he able papers,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

half feet deep

said, a tin

box containing valu-

hole four feet long, three and a

and three

feet

wide) was intended

as a grave for the little girls.

This was the rea-

son he did not purchase them any warmer clothing,

notwithstanding

it

was coming winter.

to

when they were

to die so soon.

The reason troit,

It

spend any money for clothing,

was unnecessary

this plan

was because of

was not executed

in

De-

a notice he received from

one of his Chicago friends, wlio knew of the surance swindle and from

whom

in-

he received a

friendly tip, warning him that detectives were on his track.

This notice came to him by telegram

and caused him Toronto.

to

move

his field of operations to


260

A FRIEND WARNS IIOUIES TO LEAVE DETROIT.

To me

the significant part of this letter was the

expression, "

Howard

Why

not with us now."

is

did not Alice say to her grandpaients where tliey

A

had separated from Howard?

simple phrase or

sentence would have told the story. these

children,

after

believe

I

Indianapolis

leaving

and

reaching Detroit, the city to which Holmes had

brought her mother, and

sister

and her

little

brother, were kept in a state of fear or apprehension.

The evident design

of

Holmes was

the children in ignorance of their

mother and he quite

their identity

to

keep

the proximity of

likely told

were discovered, their

them that

if

father, wlio

was being hunted by detectives, would be apprehended.

name

They gave

their

name

as Canning, (the

of their grandparents) at his suggestion,

and kept close indoors just proposed boat ride

the}'

as he advised.

speak of in their

The letter,

and which was not taken because the weather was too cold, was deferred most likely by their sup-

posed friend. In one of his

numerous statements made

in

prison to various persons, and to District Attorney

Howard

to

Miss Williams in Detroit, who had taken him

tu

Graham, Holmes

Buffalo.

I

said

he had given

did not believe a

word of the Wil-


HOW

TO FIND THE BOY.

liams part of this statement, but

261

my

still

cion of Mr. Holmes' character for truth

not assist

ity did

me

clearing

in

suspi-

and verac-

up the

veil of

mystery which surrounded the disappearance of the

boy.

little

The

hole in the cellar of the Forest

Avenue

house, and the great size of the cellar furnace, the

expression in the letter

uncertainty of

have quoted, and the

I

Mr. Moore's memory as to the

presence of a boy in Boninghausen's

came the

basis of

numerous

be-

office,

One

theories.

idea

clui]g to

me

Howard

separated from his sisters the night of

tenaciously.

I

could readily imagine

the arrival of the party in Detroit

of

:

Holmes

taking him to a quiet place until he was wanted of the renting of the Forest

the digging of

Holmes

the hole

;

of

the discovery by

of the great size of the

which caused him to change of disposing of the

body

cineration of the corpse

;

;

Avenue house and

his

of the

cellar furnace,

proposed means

murder and

by the method

in-

so readily

at hand.

Nothing had ever been discovered nace by the

new

in the fur-

tenant, Mr. Moore, which indi-

cated that a body had been consumed therein, after the fullest consideration of all that the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so

most


THE FURNACE THEORY.

262

persistent search could reveal,

that the separation from

prior

to

and not

the arrival of Alice after,

and

I

I finally

concluded

Howard had taken and

Nellie

i)i

place

Detroit,

decided to search for him

where, and wired to Philadelphia return to Indianapolis.

my

else-

purpose to


-^^^â&#x20AC;&#x201D;c-â&#x20AC;&#x201D;^^

^:X^

-^vo---t^-^

Fac Simile of Letter from Alice to her Grandparents.


(Found in Holmes' Posession when

Akricsted.)


CHAPTER XV. THE DETECTIVE PUZZLED.

— —

Once More in Indianapolis Days of Fruitless Work Everybody Willing to Aid Scores of People Suggest Clues-

Has the Clever Criminal

Outvpitted the

Detective?

— Keen Analysis of their of an Envelope— Geyer Ordered

Copies of the Children's Letters

Contents

—The Evidence —Chicago Police

to Chicago

Child

—The

Philadelphia for

I

Dig up the Skeleton of a Geyer Goes to Consultation and Rest.

Skeleton

not Hovrard's

is

LEFT Detroit on the afternoon of July 23d,

and arrived in Indianapolis the next morning, having been delayed on the route at Peru, InI again registered at the

diana.

and

lost

where

Spencer House

in going to police headquarters,

met Superintendent of Police Powell,

I

whom

no time

I

confided

my

purpose of resuming

search for the Pitezel boy in Indianapolis. tective Richards

was again detailed

to assist

to

my Deme,

and we at once mapped out a plan of operations.

We list

procured a directory of the city and made a of every real estate agent in Indianapolis

vicinity

and commenced

and

to interview every one of

them with the hope of finding a house that had (267;


SCOEES OF PEOPLE SUGGEST CLUES.

2{i8

been rented early

who wanted cnpied this "

it

October of 1894,

in

for a

widowed

widowed

same falsehood

Our

ii

man oc-

story in Cincinnati, De-

sister "

and Toronto, and

troit,

to

and wlio

Holmes had given

but a short time.

it

sister,

I

believed he had told the

in Indianapolis.

manner

search continued in this

me

yet I learned nothing which gave sistance in obtaining the clue for

anxiously seeking.

for days,

the least as-

which

I

was

so

The newspapers had published

my

columns of the Toronto story and

return to

Indianapolis was heralded abroad in conspicuous

head of

All of the papers published pictures

lines.

Holmes and Howard

Pitezel,

and

was

alert

and watchful, and aiding me

seemed as

it

though every man, woman and child

in

Indiana

in the

work

of finding the missing child.

Scores of citizens called upon

me at the Spencer me many

House, making suggestions and giving

supposed clues,

all

The number

out.

of

which were

faithfully

of mysterious persons

run

who had

rented houses in and about Indianapolis multiplied from

and

I

day

were

to

day, and Detective Richards

not permitted to rest a moment.

Days came and passed, but

much

in the

I

dark as ever, and

continued to be as it

began to look as


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

,

THE DETECTIVE PUZZLED. though the

269

bold but clever criminal, had out-

witted the detectives, professional and amateur,

and that the disappearance of Howard Pitezel

would pass into history

About from

this

time

Assistant

I

as an unsolved mystery.

received a communication

who

District Attorney Barlow,

was holding up the Philadelphia end of the with great hopefulness and patience.

He

line

sent

me

an anal3^sis of three of the children's letters written from Indianapolis, which threw

more

upon the matter, and brought me more

light

closely to

the track of the destroyer of innocent children.

These three

now

letters

given, are exact copies of

the originals.

" Indianapolis, Ind

October

6,

1894.

Dear Mamma, Geandma and Grandpa

We to-day.

are all

There

is

so

:

warmer many buggies go by that you

well here.

cant hear yourself think. ter with a crystal pen,

but

It is a little

I first I

wrote you a

let-

made some mistakes

and then I am in a hustle because Mr. H. has to go at 3 o'clock I don't know where. It is all glass so I hafto be careful or else it will break, it was only five cents. Mr. H. went to T. H. Indiana last night again. Their was a poor boy arrested


COPIES OF THE CHILDREN'S LETTERS.

270

yesterday for stealing a shirt he said he had no

home

the policeman said he would

and then send him

of clothes

The in

Louis

&

they wanted

get pie

a suit

reform school.

patrols are lots different here than they are

St.

if

buy him

to a

We

hafto get up early

if

we

We

have awful good dinners and sometimes cake at supper and this

breakfast. fruit

Chicago, they couldnt get away to.

They are all men that eat at the tables we do not eat with them we have a room to ourselves. They are dutch but they can cook awful Their is more bicycles go by her in one day nice. than goes by in a month in St. Louis. I saw two great big ostriges alive and we felt of their aint half.

feathers they are awful

with white

tails

smooth

|

they are black

they are as big as a horse.

Why

have buffaloes got big rings in their noses for I want Grandma and grandpa to write to me. Is the

baby well and does he like coco I want you to why dont you write mama. I will close this time goodby wiite Yours truly, Nellie Pitezel

write

all

for

over Alices ej-es hurts so she

wont write

this time.

Indianapolis Ind. Oct. 6th 1894.

Dear Mamma.

We a

bad cold and

I

are all well except I have got

have read so

much

in

Uncle


THE DETECTIVE PUZZLED.

271

Tom's book that I could not see to write yesterday when Nell and Howard did. I am wearing my new (ders) dress today because it is warmer to day. Nell Howard and I have all got a crystal pen all made of glass five cents a piece and I am writing with it now. I expect Grandma and Grandpa was awftd glad to see you. The hotel we are staying at faces right on a big wide bulvard and there is more safties and bugies passing than a little bit and how I wish I had a safty. Last Sunday we was And I at the Zoological Garden in Cincinnati, O. expect this Sunday will pass away slower than I dont know what and Howard is two dirty to be seen out on the street to-day. Why dont you write to me. I have not got a letter from you since I have been away and it will be three weeks day after tomorrow. It is raining out now quite hard. Nell is drawing now. The hotel is just a block from Washington Street and that is where all the big stores are. There is a shoe store there And there has been a man painting every day this week. They give these genuine oil painting away with every $1.00 purchas of shoes with small extra

charge

pictures

for

frames.

You

cant

get

the

with out the frames though I wish I

know how pretty they go there every day and watch him paint. He can paint a picture in IJ minutes aint that quick. Nell keeps joring the stand so I can hardly write I mad half a dozen mistakes on the could get one you dont are.

We


COPIES OF THE CHILDREX'S LETTERS.

272

other side just because she is

for

you

I

you

all

guess

love to

all

I

because

I

have told

made me.

This letter

cant write to so all

the

news

so

many

of

good bye

and kisses Your loving daughter E.

Alice Pitezel.

Write soon Howard got a box of coland took one out and lost box and all the

P. O. lars

contents.

Monday morning.

Do Mamma J ust got a letter from you saybabe was cross and Dessa and Grandma was sick. How is Grandpa I hope you will all feel better I thought you would not be

ing

that

home

the

sick at all when you got there but it seems though you are awful homesick Who met you at the depot did you get there Satarday or Sunday. I dont like to tell you but you ask me so I will have to. H. wont mind me at all He wanted a book and I got life of Gen. Sheridan and it is awful nice but now he dont read it at all hardly. One morning. Mr. H. told me to tell him to stay in the next morning that he wanted him and he would come and get him and take him out and I told him and he would not stay in at all he was out when he came. We have written two or three letters to you and I guess you will begin to get them now I will send this with my letter that as


THE DETECTIVE PUZZLED. I wrote yesterday will all

and didnt send

273

Hope you

off

keep well

continued have just finished Uncle Tom's Cabin and it is a nice book. I wish I could see you all. This is another cold day. We pay $12.00 a week for our room and board and I think that is pretty cheap for the good meals we have Yesterday we I

had mashed potatoes, grapes, chicken glass of milk each ice cream each a big sauce disli full awful good too lemon pie cake dont you think They are Germans. I guess that is pretty good. I will have to close so good bye, love to all and kisses. Write soon keep well Yours Truly E.

Alice Pitezel.

In Mr. Barlow's view, these letters negatived

made by Mr. Ackelow,

the statement tor

of the

left that hotel

letter written

but

it

The

on October 6th.

written by Nellie,

is

dated October

by Alice,

is

letter

first letter

The next

6th.

also dated

October 6th,

was evidently written the day

had written her

the proprie-

House, that the children had

Circle

after Nellie

and should have been dated

the 7th. "â&#x20AC;˘Alice's

eyes

hurts,"

won't write this time."

writes

Nellie,

" I have read so

"so she

much

in


KEEN ANALYSIS OF THEIR

274

CONTENTS.

Uncle Tom's book," writes Alice, "that

when

not see to write yesterday

Nell and

I could

Howard

did."

October 6th was on Saturday, the next day,

was of course, Sunday, the

It is quite evi-

7th.

dent, that Alice wrote on Sunday, the

cause she speaks of wearing her

than

I don't

dirty

to

know

what," that "

If there is an}^

doubt that

third

the

letter

this letter

which she letttrs

to

is

too

da}-, etc."

was written

completely dispelled

it is

with

simple heading,

its

Monday morning," without any

my

that

;

Howard

be seen out on the street to

on Sunday, October 7th,

"

7th, be-

dress

expects " this Sunday to pass away slower

slie

by

new

date affixed in

sjDcaks of having written tivo or three

her mother, and

letter I

"I

will

send this with

wrote yesterday and didn't send

off,"

ice

cream and an extra good

dinner the day before.

This letter was evidently

and that they had

written,

Monday, October

Sth,

and the children

had evidently continued at the same Circle House, I

and had not

left it

again interviewed Mr.

House

proprietor, and

hotel, the

on October 6th.

Ackelow the

Circle

examined the books of the

hotel with greater care and soon discovered, that

the last

payment

of their board was

made on

Octo-


THE DETECTIVE PUZZLED.

277

and not on

her lOtli, on which day they

had

left.,

October Glh,

As

had ascertained

to

first

;is

stated.

I

a certainty tliat the 'cliildren liad arrived in

Detroit on

tlie

evening of October 12th,

was hot on the

found

I

I

and with only forty-eight

track,

hours to be accounted

Howard had

for.

disap-

peared in the forty eight hours, and either in Indianapolis, or between that city

The Monday morning cance in

"

havior.

him

its

letter

signifi-

Howard's alleged misbe-

relation of

One morning Mr. H.

told

me

to tell

to stay in the next morning, that he wanted

him and would come and

and

and Detroit.

was of great

I

told

"vas out

This

when he is

him and take him out

get

him and he would not stay

in at

all,

he

came.''^

precisely

'

what Holmes did

Hotel in Toronto; he called for

at the

the gi7'ls

Albion

and

took

them out on the morning of October 26th, and they never

returned.

known

Poor

little

Howard,

he had

if

the fate that was in store for him, he

would have continued

to

stay

out "

when he

came."

Mr. Ackelow told

Howard trol,

me

as a mischievous

that

Holmes spoke

boy and hard

and said he intended placing him

stitution or in 16

in

of

to con-

some

some good home on a farm.

in-


THE EVIDENCE OF AN ENVELOPE.

278

Holmes

told this story so that

was separated from

would arouse neither

worked well

too,

when Howard

his sisters, his disappearance

curiosity nor suspicion.

It

because neither Mr. Ackelow

nor any attache of the hotel was able to say,

whether Howard girls

left before or at the

same time

the

left.

Mr. Barlow further informed me, that the envelope which had enclosed a letter written by Alice to the Fidelity IMutual Life Insurance Association,

thanking them for the prompt payment of

the insurance policy had been mailed on October 11th,

and was postmarked " Chic. Richmond

Cin. R. P. O.,"

Thus

it

Cincinnati

Indianapolis,

Chicago,

&

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; a government post route between and Detroit.

appeared reasonably certain, that the

party were on a train somewhere between these cities

on October 11th.

Thursday morning, August

1st,

received a

I

telegram from District Attorney Graham, directing

me

to

go

to

Chicago and have an interview

with the police authorities reported to have

Holmes'

dug up

Block, No. 701

That

in the city,

who were

the skeleton of a child at

West 63rd

Street, Chi-

Indianapolis

and

reached Chicago the next morning (Friday).

At

cago.

evening

I

left


THE DETECTIVE PUZZLED. police

headquarters,

I

whom

and Inspector Fitzpatrick, with conference lasting several hours. to convince

me

279

met Chief Brandenaugh

I

had a

I

heard enough

that they had not found the re-

mains of Howard.

Another telegram then reached me from Mr. Graham, requesting me for a consultation,

and

to return to Philadelphia

immediately

I

left

on the

Pennsylvania Limited, arriving home the next

day at 4:17 P. M. I

went

in the

direct to the District Attorney's office

City Hall, where

I

was warmly greeted by

Mr. Barlow, who informed

summoned home sultation,

for a

and that

I

me

few days

was

to

that I had been rest

and

for con-

resume work

in the

case again as soon as the preparations for a fresh start

were completed.

Mr. Barlow's confidence

Howard never

faltered.

searched every real estate

and had

for

in

our ability to find

The mere office

fact that I

had

in Indianapolis,

days run out every supposed clue

presented, and had failed to find even a trace of the

He

boy, had no effect upon him.

that skill and patience

believed

would yet win, and

that

when Mr. Graham and he and

day,

we would

I

said,

met on Mon-

consider further plans for search-


280

GEYER GOES TO PHILADELPHIA.

ing in Indianapolis and vicinity, and ful there, then

among

if

not success-

the junction towns between

Chicago, Indianapolis, Cincinnati and Detroit.


CHAPTER

XVI.

THE BEGINNING OF THE END. Consultation

the

in

Attorney's

District

Ofl&ce

—Holmes

Again Questioned The Monumental Liar Repudiates His Former Statement Introduces the Mysterious Hatch A Fresh Start W. E. Gary Associated with Geyer Chicago Again The Janitor of the "Castle" and His Outlying Towns Searched for Clues "Wife Interviewed Third Return to Indianapolis Kindness of Authorities and Citizens Nine Hundred Clues Run Out— Irvington,

Ind.— The Veil About

Monday trict

to Lift.

morning, August 3d, I met the Dis-

Attorney and his assistant in their

the city hall,

and remained

them the greater part

of the day.

and Nellie had been found had been brought to the

in

Toronto, Holmes

city hall in Philadelphia

and vigorously examined

finding

with

After Alice

in the

hope of securing

from him some admission which would in

office in

in consultation

assist

Howard, but not a word did he

me

say,

which threw a particle of light upon the matter. His former statement

in

which he had given with

great detail, the particulars of his meeting with

Miss Williams, and

how he had

given

Howard (281)


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

28:3

OUTLYING TOWNS SEARCHED FOR CLUES.

into her care in Detroit,

him

whence she had taken

to Buffalo, he repudiated,

duced

the

mysterious

and he now

intro-

According

Hatch.

to

Hohnes, Hatch was the miscreant who had probably shed the blood of innocent childhood, and

not he, and he was willing, he said, to do his

power

to ascertain

what

this

all in

bad man Hatch

had done with Howard. This examination, which had been conducted

by Mr. Barlow, was

fully related to me, but

we

obtained not a grain of comfort from anything that this king of fabricators had said.

The took a

officers

new

of the

company now

insurance

grip on the case, and expressed their

determination to hold on until the mystery which

shrouded the disappearance of the cleared

up,^so the preparations

included the assignment of Mr. chief inspector of the

on the journey.

little

boy was

for a fresh start

W.

E. Gary, the

company, to accompany me

This was agreeable news to me,

because Mr. Gary was not only a pleasant companion, but he was able and skillful in detective

work, and possessed a large stock of patience,

an absolutely essential element in such a case as

we had in charge. On Wednesday

evening, August 7th,

we

left


THE BEGINNING OF THE END.

283

Philadelphia and went direct to Chicago, arriving the next afternoon. Fitzpatrick,

we

In

company

witii

Inspector

w^ent to the Harrison Street Sta-

and had an interview with Mr. and Mrs.

tion

Patrick Quinlan,

who were under

arrest on suspi-

cion of having been associated with

Holmes

in

alleged crimes committed in the Sixty -third Street

house,

known

Our

as the " Castle."

to ascertain if

Holmes had taken

object was

the children to

Chicago, after leaving the Circle House in Indianapolis on October 10th.

Both Quinlan and

his

wife stoutly maintained their ignorance of any

knowledge of the children, and say

I

On

to

am bound

Sunday, August 11th, Mr. Gary and

Chicago for Logansport.

went

I

to

believed them. I left

From Logansport we

to Peru, Indiana, thence on following days

Montpelier Junction, Ohio, and Adrian, Mich-

igan.

In each of these towns we spent days in

searching

among

hotels and boarding houses

in interviewing real estate agents,

purpose, and

we

finally

Indianapolis and settle District

but

and

all to

no

concluded to return to there

Attorney Graham and

and search

until

his assistant,

Mr.

Barlow, told us to stop, or until we had found the boy.

I

must

<3onfess that I returned to Indian-


284

KINDNESS OF A UTHOBITIES AND

CITIZENS.

and the large

apolis in no cheerful frame of mind,

jtock of hope which I had gathered

up

in the

District Attorney's office in the Philadelphia City

There was noth-

Hall was fast dwindling away. ing to do, however, but to go at

My

established.

again, so head-

House was once more

quarters at the Spencer

cess,

it

confidence in our ultimate suc-

was sustained

at all times

by

faith in the Indianapolis theory.

boy had been murdered

my

nearby town, but

much

house, after so licity,

greatly

The

to

I

some

success in locating the

effort

and such wide pub-

and

puzzled me.

The

be impenetrable.

on the part of the police authorities

desire

of Indianapolis to assist

wavered.

continued

believed the

in Indianapolis, or in

ill

annoyed

mystery seemed

my I

On

this,

my

me

in the search,

never

third return to that city,

was greeted with the same kindness and un-

varying courtesy occasions.

In

I

fact,

had enjoyed on the previous this

of the police authorities in

can truthfully be said all

the

citi'es

embraced

within the circuit, from Cincinnati to Toronto,

where

my

mission had taken me.

Everywhere

I

found kind hearts and willing hands, ready to assist

me

in

running to earth one of the most

complished villains of modern times, and

if

ac-

ancient


THE BEGINNING OF THE END.

285

times produced his equal, I have yet to read of

him.

The Indianapolis newspapers, published nouncements of the renewal of the search city,

and reports from many kind and well

posed persons, of mysterious people

who

an-

in that dis-

rented

houses for a short time and then disappeared,

came pouring

in

Not a

again.

single suggestion

was unheeded and every report was carefully and

The advertisements

patiently investigated.

of

private houses for rent early in October of 1894

were

No

listed

less

and each one

and examined.

visited

than nine hundred supposed clues were

We

run out.

then commenced a search of the

small towns just beyond the city of Indianapolis,

and

finally finished the

About

ton.

this

work

in all,

except Irving-

time I wrote a letter to District

Attorney Graham, repeating

to

him

all

that I had

reported almost daily to Superintendent of Police

Linden, and concluded by saying

we

will

cept that.

shall

:

"

By Monday

have searched every outlying town, ex-

Irvington, and another day will conclude

After Irvington, I scarcely go."

we took

On Tuesday

know where we

morning, August 27th,

the trolley line for Irvington, a most

beautiful town, about six miles from Indianapolis.


NINE HUNDRED CLUES RUN OUT.

286

As

there are no hotels in the town,

A

look up the real estate agents.

from wliere the cars real estate office,

we decided

stop, I noticed a sign of a

and

in

we went.

Opening up

package of papers and photographs which

and which

carried,

I

I

it

had become soiled and

asked a pleasant faced old

gentleman who greeted us

knew

he

office, if

had been rented 1894, by a

owed H.

sister.

II.

be Mr.

I

Brown

wanted

for a wid-

then handed him a photograph of old gentleman

who proved

remember

a

man who

under such circumstances

1894, and this picture looks like

in

rented

October of

him very much.

did not have the renting of the house, but

my

office

very well, because I felt that

my

I

had

man came into and in a very abrupt way said, I want for that house. I remember the man

the keys, and one day last

the keys

to

quietly listened, and then adjusting

" Yes," said he, " I

I

it

took a long look at the photograph.

his glasses

a house

said he

the

which

October of

for a short time in

The

Holmes.

we entered

as

of a house in his town,

man who

a

had

I

had untied and tied over a

thousand times, until ragged from wear,

to

short distance

I

fall, this

did not like his manner, and

he should have had more respect for

gray hairs."


THE BEGINNING OF TEE END. While the good old man was and

stood

I

When

still.

talking,

287

Mr. Gary

he had finished,

We

looked at each other and sat down.

found the clue All the travel,

toil

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; toil

at last. ;

all

the weary days and weeks of

and travel

the year, alternating

in the hottest

between

discouragement and despair, in that lift,

one moment, when

and

the poor

realized that little

we had

I

faith

all

months of

and hope, and

were recompensed

saw the

we were soon

veil

about to

to learn

where

boy had gone with Holmes, " when

he came." " Truth, like the sun, submits to be obscured

but like the sun, only for a time."


CHAPTER

XVII.

"WHEN HE

CAME."

A Warm

Trail— The One and a Half Story Cottage—SearchBroken Trunk Under the Piazza A Strip of Blue Calico Amateur Detectives Finding the Charred Eemains The Boy's Coat Geyer Has a Good Night's

— —

ing the Cellar

Eest.

Mk. Gary and long.

I

Mr. Brown

did not remain seated veryoffered

to

take us to

Dr.

Thompson, the former owner of the house, and we thankfully accepted his invitation. son's office

Dr.

Thomp-

was near by and when we entered,

Mr. Brown introduced us as two detectives from Philadelphia in search of one of the Pitezel children.

The doctor

at

once recognized the photo-

graph of Holmes and identified him as the man

who had rented He said further

the house he formerly occupied. that a boy in his employ,

Elvet Moorman, had seen Holmes and a he had with

dispatched

him for

Elvet,

boy

messenger was

and the instant he saw

Holmes' photograph he said

man who

A

at the time.

named

little

lived in our house,

:

"

Why

tliat is

the

and who had the small (289)


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

SEARCHING THE CELLAR.

290

He

boy with him."

recognized

also

picture as that of the boy

and

We

agined.

way.

On

Howard's

he had seen at

Our anxiety

the house with Hohnes. the house

whom

to get to

to search the premises can be im-

asked the doctor to show us the

our arrival at the house, I found

to

it

be a one and a half story cottage, standing some little

distance from Union Avenue, in the extreme

Across the street

eastern part of the town.

is

a

Methodist church and two hundred yards to the

The

south are the Pennsylvania railroad tracks.

house stands

secluded place, and there are no

in a

To

other houses in the immediate neighborhood. the west

and

is

a small grove of

to the east

is

a large

young catalpa

common.

trees,

There are two

roads leading to the street cars which run into Indianapolis.

On first.

entering the house, I

found

it

we searched

the cellar

divided into two apartments,

the rear having a

cement

floor

and evidently

in-

tended for a wash room and the front having a clay floor, but as hard as

flint.

It

was quite

evi-

dent that there had been no disturbance of the floor in the cellar,

and so we decided

search on the outside.

house

is

To

to

make

a

the right wing of the

attached a small piazza, with open lattice


"

WHEN HE

work under the lattice

work,

trunk.

It

under

I

201

In looking through this

floor.

discovered the broken remains of a

I

took but a

up

steps leading

CA3IE."

moment

to

to the piazza floor,

remove the and crawling

brought out what proved to be a strong

piece of evidence against the distinguished crim-

who was

inal

County

my

feet

sitting in his cell in the Philadelphia

prison,

on

and wondering how near

his tracks.

When

I

had

I

set

brought out the

piece of the trunk, I discovered that a strip of

blue calico had been pasted along the side seam

and evidently intended to repair and cover

The

calico

printed on

it.

was about two inches wide, and had it

the figure of a white flower.

I felt

sure that I had found at least a portion of one of the trunks that had given

and

I

was very careful

me

so

to see that

much

it

anxiety,

was deposited

in a safe place for future use as evidence.

I ob-

served, under the piazza, that the earth had been

disturbed,

and procuring a shovel dug very deeply

to ascertain if a

body had been buried

there, but

no evidence of that nature was discovered.

We

then turned our attention to the barn and other outhouses. stove, called

In the barn I found a large coal the

" Peninsular Oak," and

other articles of furniture.

some


A STRIP OF BLUE CALICO.

292

The

stove was three and a half feet high, and

about twenty-two inches

in diameter,

On

top working upon a pivot.

what appeared amined the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the entire

the top I found

to be blood stains.

We

then ex-

barn and the grounds

floor of the

about the house, and wherever we discovered a

we dug deeply

soft spot in the earth,

to see if a

body was buried there.

By

this time, several

hundred people had gath-

ered about the house, seriously interfering with

our operations, but

all

expressing great sympathy

with us in our work, and as I

was almost evening

it

decided to defer a further search until the

lowing day.

I

ascertained also that the

had been rented by an agent the

name

of J. S. Grouse

before the sun

and

in Indianapolis

I

wanted

to see

Mr. Gary and

went down.

fol-

house

I

by

him then

took the trolley car into Indianapolis and called at

once upon Mr. Grouse.

I

house had been rented to a for his

widowed

sister

by the

learned that the

man who wanted it name of Mrs. A. E.

Gook, who intended to open a boarding house.

He

paid one month's rent in advance, and was

never seen again.

When

graph of H. H. Holmes, fied as that of the

it

produced the

plioto-

was promptly

identi-

I

man who had

rented the house.


The Spade with which Holmes Buried Alice and Nellie JN the Cellar


:

"

As Holmes had

WHEN HE

295

registered at the Hotel Bristol in

Cook and

Cincinnati as A. E. certain that I

felt

came:'

was working

three children,

I

in the right direc-

tion.

After leaving the real estate

office, I

sent the

following telegram to Mrs. Pitezel, Galva,

Illi-

nois:

"

Did missing trunk have a

strip of blue calico,

To

white figure over seam on the bottom."

telegram

I

this

received the following reply

" Yes, missing trunk had a strip of blue calico

white figure on the bottom."

Cakrie a. Pitezel. While

I

was

at the telegraph office, I received

a telephone from the Indianapolis Evening Office, requesting

At

the

news

me

office

I

News

to call there without delay.

met Mr. Brown,

their city

who told me that Dr. Barnhill the partner Dr. Thompson was on his way from Irvington

editor,

of

and that he had something of importance municate to me, and that

The doctor a

small

to

com-

I

should wait for him.

arrived in a few

moments and opened

package

containing

several pieces of

charred bone, which he declared were a portion of the femur and skull of a child between eight and

twelve years old. 17

The

piece of the skull

showed


AMATEUR DETECTIVES.

296

Dr. Barnhill then explained

the sutures plainly.

that after Mr.

Gary and

search.

I

had

Irvington

left the

Thompson had continued

he and Dr.

house,

They were accompanied by two

the

boys,

One

Walter Jenny and Oscar Kettenbach.

of

the boys suggested that they should play detective

and they went together into the part of the having a cemented a

floor,

and

in

cellar

which there was

chimney which extended above the roof of the

house.

In the chimney was a pipe hole about

three feet

six

Jenny put

his

inches from the

arm

in the

a handful of ashes,

Young

floor.

opening and pulled out

among which was one

of the

pieces of bone, which Dr. Barnhill brought to me.

The boys continued

to bring out ashes

of bone and then ran

and

and pieces

who

called the doctors,

soon determined the character of the discovery.

This information induced

me

to return to the

house that evening, and upon our arrival, we

found the entire neighborhood assembled there. I

requested the Marshall of Police

who was

pres-

ent to clear the house, which he did in short order.

The doctors and

several

members

of

the

Press were then admitted, and we. proceeded to the cellar, and with

down

hammer and

the lower part of the chimney.

chisel I took I

then took


"WBEN HE an old

used

fly

it

screen which

as a sieve,

and

came:'

297

found in the house, and

I

and soot were

as the ashes

taken from the chimney,

passed

I

through the

it

screen and found an ahiiost complete set of teeth

and a piece of the jaw, which

turned over to

I

Dr. John Quiucy Byram, a dentist, for examina-

At

tion.

chimney was found

the bottom of the

quite a large charred mass, which disclosed

a

the

of

baked quite hard.

spleen,

found.

also

Avas

portion

All

upon being

stomach,

The

liver

pelvis of

tlie

was handed

this

to

cut,

and

body Dr.

Barnhill for examination.

In

tlie

chimney we

fastenings

also

found some of the iron

which belonged

to

the

trunk, some

buttons, a small scarf pin, and a crochet needle.

Upon

searching for outside evidence,

we found

a

boy's coat in possession of a grocer in Irvington.

The grocer

man

said that early in October, of 1894 a

called at his store

and

left the

saying that a boy would call for ing,

but the boy never came.

it

coat with him, the next morn-

Thoroughly con-

we had found all that remained of litHoward Pitezel, we returned to Indianapolis

vinced that tle

and

at once repaired to the City Hall

where we

had a consultation with Superintendent of Police Powell.


298

GEYER HAS A GOOD NIGHT'S

The superintendent advised us oner,

BEST.

to see the cor-

Dr. Castor, a suggestion which

we acted

upon the next day. That night had had

in

I

enjoj-ed the best night's sleep I

two months.

was complete, and as I

thought that after

for the truth

man.

It

is

I

was sure that

I fell

all,

my work

into an easy slumber,

the business of searching

was not the meanest occupation of

the

manner

for that sometimes

makes

in

which

it

ignoble.

it

is

searched


-

CHAPTER

XVIII.

THE CHAIN COMPLETE. A

Again

Coroner's Inquest

— Mrs.

Summoned from Trunk—Identifies the

Pitezel

Galva, 111.—Identifies the Piece of

Clothing and Toys Moorman's Testimony Other Pertinent Testimony—Surgical Instruments Sharpened—Thanks Return to Philadelphia This Monster for Generous Aid

Must be Punished.

The

day following our discoveries at the

Ir-

vington house, we were requested by the Sheriff of the county in which Irvington

appear before the Grand Jury.

is

situated, to

This request we

complied with, and we recited the whole Holmes Pitezel story to that body.

The quest.

coroner, Dr.

To

summoned. little

in

Hiram A.

this sad scene,

Castor, held an in-

Mrs. Pitezel was

She had hoped to the

jigaiii

last that her

son had been placed in some institution, or

the care of some person in a secluded part of

the country. It will be this

to be

remembered that Holmes declared

his

purpose to Mr. Ackelow, the pro-

prietor of the Circle House,

and Mrs. Pitezel (299)

al-


300

MOORMAN'S TESTIMONY.

ways clung

to the

mately be found

came

hope that Howard would

The Irvington

alive.

with

her, therefore,

to

shock and

dreadful

it

ulti

revelation

the force of a

all

was a great tax on her

strength to leave Galva again and

make another

sad journey to Irvington.

She

number

of places

and had no

The

the

at

She had repaired

Howard's.

as

found

overcoat

the

identified

grocer's,

it

and sewed a new pocket

in a

in

it,

difficulty in

proving the identification.

was

easily recognized, because

piece of trunk

of the strip of calico which her father had pasted

along the bottom.

A

little

spinning top and a tin

man, which Pitezel had bought

for

Howard

I

were

also

Mrs. Pitezel had placed

them

in

identified.

had found

at the

World's Fair and which

the trunk herself at the time of the de-

parture of Holmes with Nellie and St.

A

Louis.

she also

needle

little

identified

that

These had Elvet

in the house,

all

scarf-pin

as

belonged

Howard from

and a pair of shoes

Howard's, and a crochet to

her daughter Alice.

been found in the Irvington house.

Moorman

testified

that he went over to

the house one afternoon early in October of 1894

and saw a transfer wagon with furniture unloading,

and a

man and

a boy assisting in transferring


THE CHAIN C03IPLETE. Later

the articles to the house.

same day he went over

of the

was kept

in

301

in the

to

afternoon

milk a cow that

the barn, connected with the house.

While he was milking, the man who was with the boy,

came

to

him and asked him

putting

up a stove, which he

asked the

man why

he did not

to assist

him

in

Moorman

did.

make a gas connection the

man

said that he did not think gas ivas healthy for

chil-

(for natural gas)

A

dren.

and use a gas

had assisted

in

was

that

it

as the

of

the

Howard Pitezel shown

boy he had seen with

Holmes, and who was present when

He

also said that after

had

disappeared,

he

found a

of corn

seemed

lot

man whom he He also

putting up the stove.

said that the photograph of

up.

and

photograph of Holmes was shown the

witness and he identified

him,

stove,

the stove

was put

Holmes and the boy

examined the house and rubbish on

to indicate that a fire

the floor that

had been made with

corn cobs.

Dr. Byram, a dentist, identified the teeth and portion of the jaw as those of a child between the

ages of eight and eleven years, and Dr. Barnhill

declared the

bones found to be portions of a

skeleton of a child between the ages of seven and

ten years.

The

large portion of charred remains


SURGICAL INSTBU2IENTS SHARPENED.

302

found, contained the liver, the stomach and portions of the intestines.

Albert Schiffling

testified that

he keeps a repair

shop at No. 48 Virginia Avenue, Indianapolis.

On

whom

the 3d of October, a man,

Holmes, came into

as

his

Holmes had two

small boy.

he identified

shop accompanied by a cases of surgical in-

He

struments, which he wanted sharpened.

re-

turned for the instruments on October 8th, paid for the repairs

mony and

and took them away.

identifications of

were heard, but dence which

all

in

Dr. Byram,

the dentist, very cleverly and skillfully the

teeth

on

wax

testi-

corroboration of the evi-

have briefly stated.

I

Other

Holmes and Howard

jaws,

mounted

which exhibited

their

character and their age most admirably, and Doctors Barnliill

and Thompson, made

a very exhaus-

tive

and

the

chimney which had been found, and the

scientific report of the other contents of

coroner's jury had no difficulty in finding tle

Howard

Pitezel had

come

to his

tjjat lit-

death at the

hands of H. H. Holmes.

Our work being

done,

we

visited the City Hall

and thanked Superintendent Powell and sistants for their

during our stay

his as-

kind and courteous treatment

in Indianapolis.

In fact we were


THE CHAIN

C03IPLETE.

grateful to everybody, for all citizens tlie

to

we had

the most generous

performance of our task,

many

our

riving

we

friends,

Barlow and

I

had

a

left for

Philadelphia, ar1st.

his Assistant,

happy meeting.

and we

a

all

summer

Mr.

They, like

myself, had been giving to the case, the days

weeks of

in

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so bidding farewell

Attorney and

District

received from

and unselfish aid

home Saturday, September

The

303

and

of almost unprecedented heat

rejoiced over the success

and end of the

search.

Much

remained, however, to be done.

The

greatest of criminals had yet to be brought to an-

swer for his foul deeds. earthed,

would count

for

All that had been un-

but

little, if this

wretch

were permitted to elude the firm grasp of the law or to avoid a punishment, not such as he deserved,

but that which

is

provided under the orderly

forms of legal procedure, and we then and there fully

and

us, to the

freely consecrated the best that

consummation of that great end.

was

in


CHAPTER

XIX.

JUSTICE CRIED "AMEN." The

Desperate Fight for Postponement Application Postponement Refused Holmes Dismisses his Counsel Holmes Conducts His Own Case Holmes' Shrewdness Playing for Sympathy Holmes' Lawyers Re-enter the Case Mrs. Pitezel's Heart Breaking Narrative The Murderer Unmoved Testimony of Miss Yoke Holmes Cross-examines the Woman He had Foully Wronged Admissions of Prisoner's Counsel Testimony of Physicians The Worthless Note How Holmes Deluded Mrs. Murder in the First DePitezel All Doubts Dispelled gree Press and People Congratulate Prosecutors and Trial

for

— —

Detective.

Herman W. Mudgett, was indicted on the

alias

H. H. Holmes,

day of September, 1895,

by the grand jury of Philadelphia County,

murder of Benjamin

F. Pitezel on

On September

1894.

for the

September

1895, the

2,

prisoner

was arraigned and entered a plea of "not guilty," and

in

by the

How

answer

to the question

crier of the court, "

will

you be

God and my Upon this

tried

?

propounded

to

him

Pleading not guilty,

"

He

answered, "

By

country." occasion he was represented by two (305)


30G

DESPERATE FIGHT FOR P0STP0NE3IENT.

young

who had been

attorneys,

his incarceration

since

November

of 1894, and one of

his trial for conspiracy in

had visited him

whom

officers of the

assisted in

They

June of 1895.

in prison, scores of

and

familiar with every point

The

him

advising

the county prison in

in

times and were

detail of his case.

commonv\^ealth had been grop-

ing in the dark, following this clue and then that,

but his own attorneys were, or should have been in the

broad light of knowledge of

knew concerning

Pitezel

and

all

that

Holmes

and the de-

his fate,

After the entry of the

struction of the children.

plea of " not guilty " by the prisoner, and issue

had been joined between him and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the District Attorney

asked the court to

fix

a day for the

He

trial.

suggested that a time be set so remote, that ample

opportunity should be given for the prisoner, as well as for the

commonwealth

to 23repare for the

great contest which should decide the guilt or in-

nocence of the accused.

The court then

stated

to all parties, that the trial should take place

Monday, October,

28th, five

gave notice to both sides of this notice,

when

to

weeks

distant,

be prepared.

on

and

In spite

the day fixed arrived, Octo-

ber 28th, the prisoner and his counsel

made one


JUSTICE CRIED ''A3IEN." of

307

the most desperate fights for postponement

ever witnessed in a criminal

One

trial.

of the city newspapers said

that the struggle

was

fine display of legal generalship,

painful and impressive while the wild

mad

cries

" It

:

was not

long, or conducted with any-

it

but

it

was

fierce,

lasted, suggesting

and writhings of a murderer,

already condemned and battling with inexorable jailers

on the way

The

to the scaffold."

application for a postponement

was refused,

thereupon counsel asked permission to withdraw

from the

case.

This was also refused,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the Court

reminding counsel, that they had represented the prisoner for for the

many months, and had ample

preparation of the

trial.

time

Counsel then

had a consultation with the prisoner, and returned to the bar of the court with the astounding state-

ment that the prisoner had dismissed them from the case, and that he had declared

purpose to conduct his

own

defense.

it

to be his

The court

then warned counsel not to leave the case, even in

the face of a dismissal by the prisoner, and

directed them to proceed and defend their client.

This the attorneys refused to do, and they the court room. presided at this

left

The Hon. Michael Arnold, who trial,

is

not only a good lawyer


HOLMES CONDUCTS HIS OWN

308

and a wise judge, but

conspicuous for his

is

lie

CASE.

abundant stock of good common sense, so notwithstanding the desertion of the attorneys for the

he directed

defence,

Then followed one

of the

the

case

to

proceed.

most remarkable scenes

ever witnessed in a court room.

The

trial for his life, cross- questioned

each juror as he

appeared for examination on his

prisoner, on

voire

dire,

and

with an ability and shrewdness which astonished every person within hearing.

It

soon became

quite evident, that the wily criminal was playing for

sympathy, but he did

few among

the

it all

spectators

in

too well, for not a

the

court room

quickly determined that Holmes was quite as able as his counsel, to him.

and that their absence was no

Apart from

and challenging of the

this,

loss

amid the examination

jurors,

both the Court and

District Attorney were careful to see that a fair

and impartial jury was empanelled,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not

a

man

being accepted who exhibited any prejudice or bias against the prisoner. fair play,

The American love

even to one so base and

vile as

of

Holmes,

protected the prisoner in his rights, and nothing

was permitted

to enter the case

tify the slightest criticism.

tion of witnesses

which would

When

jus-

the examina-

commenced, the Court repeatedly


JUSTICE CRIED instructed

tlie

''

AMEN.''

309

when

prisoner as to his rights, and

sustaining or overruling his objections, explained to

him the reason

On yers,

for so doing.

the second day of the

the day before, returned, in

trial,

the

young law-

who had departed with such dramatic and the

trial

effect

proceeded

an orderly manner to the end.

The

trial

was distinguished by a dignity and

decorum, which was maintained at the

spite

all

times, de-

and dramatic disclosures

sensational

which came naturally from the testimony, or the characteristic

squirmed

When

behavior

in tlie net in

the

entire

of

prisoner,

the

he

as

which he was caught.

audience was dissolved in

tears at the pitiful, lieart-breaking narrative of

Mrs. Pitezel, the

prisoner sat

unmoved

the

in

dock, scribbling notes and occasionally glancing at the

woman, whose husband and

so cruelly

When had

children he had

murdered.

Miss Yoke, the young

woman whom

so grievously wronged, appeared

stand, the prisoner suddenly

began

he

upon the

to weep,

and

industriously applied his handkerchief to the tears

which came or appeared

At

the close of

insisted

lier

to

come from

examination in

his eyes.

chief,

Holmes

upon conducting the cross-examination


PITEZEUS HEARTBREAKING NARRATIVE.

310 3IRS.

himself,

the face of the protest of

iii

and he did

his best to catch her eye

counsel

liis

and

to

break

the face of the terrible disclosures she had made.

The

character of the prisoner's grief

better understood,

when

may be

remark he made

a

to his

counsel, just before he arose to cross-examine Miss

Yoke, will

known.

is

now

He was

let loose the

overheard to say

fount of emotion."

has ever seen or heard of his equal

The lished.

details of the trial

" I

Who

?

have been widely pub-

Whatever doubt existed

of Pitezel

:

as to the death

was dispelled by the admission of the

prisoner's counsel at the trial,

who

said that the

body found at No. 1316 Callowhill Street on the second day of September, 1894, was Benjamin F. Pitezel,

and therefore the testimony of the more

or less

numerous

citizen,

who had

declared that

he had seen Pitezel alive in St. Louis, Mobile,

Chicago and other places a week or so before the trial

and who was

so evidently

drawing upon

his

imagination, was not required in evidencePrisoner's counsel also admitted that

was present tember

2d,

at

Holmes

No. 1316 Callowhill Street on Sep-

but contended that Pitezel had been

found dead,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

he

had

committed

suicide.

Three physicians, one of them an eminent expert


JUSTICE CRIED ''AMEN.''

313

Dr. Henry Leffman,

in toxicology,

testified

all

body wlien found ex-

that the condition of the

cluded the possibility of suicide, and that the

man

had been killed by chloroform poisoning.

His

robbery of Mrs. Pitezel of the insurance money, his repeated assurances to

was

manner

alive, the

in

her that her husbaiid

which he had taken her

from Galva to Detroit, " to meet Ben," then from Detroit to meet him " because

by detectives," on

to

Toronto

Ben was followed to

meet him

there,

then upon her arrival in Toronto, his declaration that

Ben had gone

trip to Burlington, lies to

her were

all

to Montreal, their

Vermont, and

recited in pitiful tones

distressed and grief-stricken

One

subsequent

many, man}'

his

by the

widow ani mother.

of the hardest blows received

by the

pris-

oner,

was from the testimony of Sidney L. Sam-

uels,

Esq., a

member

of the bar of Fort

Worth,

Texas, an accomplished lawyer and gentleman,

who when upon the stand referred to Holmes, (much to his disgust) as " the individual sitting in

Mr. Samuels came

the cage."

from

liis

home

in

Texas

that the note which

was

worthless.

Mr.

all

the

way

to Philadelphia, to prove

Holmes gave

to Mrs. Pitezel

Samuels had written the

body of the note himself and gave

it

to

Holmes

to


THE WORTHLESS NOTE.

314

have

it

signed by Benton T. Lyuuin,

other than Titezel himself,

February of 1894 was

Holmes

in

who

Worth

P^ort

and

assisting

one of his Minnie

in the perpetration of

When Holmes

Williams schemes.

who was no

in Jiinuary

returned, he

produced another note, and told Mr. Samuels that he had

This note he gave

lost the first note.

Mrs. Pitezel.

It

was not endorsed on the back,

and had never been negotiated, and

The note he

worthless piece of paper.

had

pahned

he

lost,

off

woman, taking from hev

on

all

five

hundred

dol-

seven;y-two hundred dollars she had

lars of the

received from

Howe.

Miss Yoke was with Holmes the timie

Avas a

poor deluded

the

but

it

alleged he

of the murder.

evening of September

in

Philadelphia at

She said that

1st, a

man

in the

called at

No.

1905 TTorth 11th Street, where she and the man slie

The from

s

apposed /isitor,

an

ivas

her husband were stopping.

Hjlmes

official

of

told her,

the

was

a me.ssenger

Pennsylvania Railroad

Coripany, who had advised him that this gentleman would meet him the next morning at Nicetown, a suburb of Philadelphia. (He afterwards admitted to her that this man who called, was Pitezel.)

She said that Holmes

left

the house on


JUSTICE CRIED ''AMEN."

315

the morning of September 2d at ten or ten-thirty

and returned about four

o'clock,

He

o'clock.

he.

had seen the Pennsylvania Railroad

man but had

not completed the business matter

then said

with him and might return, and that he would like to leave for the

her to

tell

West

that evening.

He

told

Dr. Alcorn, that they were going to

Harrisburg, Pa., and not to let her their destination

time he said

was Indianapolis.

he went

to

know

that

This was the

No. 1316 Callowhill

Street and found Pitezel dead in the third story of the house, discovering that he

had committed

suicide.

His presence at the house at the time of death, his

concealment of the death both from the au-

thorities

man had

and from Mrs.

Pitezel, the proof that the

not died from chloroform self-adminis-

tered, his robbery of Mrs. Pitezel

and the

insur-

ance swindle, mingled with his audacious fabrications,

made up one

of the strongest cases of cir-

cumstantial evidence ever presented in a criminal court,

and when the jury returned a verdict of

murder

in the first degree, in the

language of Mr.

Amen

" to the verdict,

and the people and press poured

in their congrat-

Samuels, Justice cried "

ulations

upon the District Attorney and

his

As-


316

sistant

MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE. and the able and faithful detective, Mr.

Geyer, whose noble work, revealed the bloody tracks of a

human monster, whose

never to see again.

like

we hope


CHAPTER XX. LOOKING BACKWARDS.

The Motive For the Murders— Pi tezel Knew too Much The Entire Family in the Way of The Arch Plotter— The Insurance Fraud the Means to the End Separating the Family A Grave Dug for Alice and Nellie Chloroform

— — — Found in the Burlington House — Mrs. Pitezel's Suspicious — Aroused The "Eye That Never Sleeps" — Holmes'

Arrest Prevents Three More Murders.

What Why did

was he

motive for

the

kill

committing that foul deed, why was to

remove

And

Pitezel's

family?

the baby, Wharton,

Apart from

is

after

it

necessary

That he

fully in-

tended to murder Mrs. Pitezel and

tion.

murders?

these

Benjamin F. Pitezel?

Dessie and

too evident for contradic-

his suspicious behavior at

Bur-

lington, recited by Mrs. Pitezel in her testimony at the

trial,

the

commonwealth had further

dence on this point which

it

evi-

was not permitted

to

disclose.

The

cellar of the

Burlington house was never

searched until the week of the murder Philadelphia,

when

trial

in

a thorough investigation of (317)


THE 5I0TIVE FOR THE 3IURDERS.

318

made by request

the premises was

cliief

of District At-

Jerome Dumas, the Burlington

torney Graham.

of police ordered every part of the cellar to

be carefully examined, with the result of finding in a little

back of a

recess

and under the

As every

or ten ounces of chloroform.

Mephistopheles

is

marked by a track

the devious paths of

Holmes, bear

alias

tlie

Holmes found

form.

the

in

joist

cellar

a bottle containing eight

first floor,

of

step of

fire,

so do

Herman Webster Mudgett, scent of the deadly chlorothat

it

was

a

more

difficult

task to dispose of Mrs. Pitezel and her eighteen

months' old baby and her daughter Dessie, a vigorous girl of sixteen years, than

had been

it

to de-

stroy the younger children, so he deferred that

part of his scheme until the

discovery

of the

where he had placed

it

was too

bottle it.

late,

and hence

of chloroform just

He was

arrested before

he was able to return to Burlington, Vermont, after his visit to

fact he

Gilmanton,

New

Hampshire.

knew he was being shadowed by

ives while he

was

visiting

Gilmanton, and jour-

neyed to Boston, where he believed for escape

his

chances

were greater.

But we have asked what was the motive these

In

detect-

murders?

The

for

reader will remember a


LOOKING BACKWARDS.

Holmes makes

statement

Pitezel just

in

liis

letter to Mrs.

was released from the

she

before

'M

He

Philadelphia county prison.

said " VVe never

quarreled," alluding to the relations which h.id

This was a

existed between Pitezel and himself.

base falsehood

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; they had quarrelled.

Chicago

a dispute in

The

;

in

They had

June or July of 1894.

subject of the dispute was the interest wliich

own

Pitezel claimed to

He

Worth, Texas.

in the Castle

told

Holmes

of scheming

and wanted

(which was

in

peaceful

with his family.

life

property in

Fort

Williams real estate in

Chicago, and the

St.

to

that he was tired

return to his home,

Louis) and lead a quiet and

He

was part owner of the Chicago

declared that he real estate,

title

his alias,

Benton T. Lyman, and he wanted

to the

and

Fort Worth property was in

that the

to be

paid the value of his interest and play quits. Pitezel drank heavily

fluence of liquor,

possible to say just

how much

Holmes, Pitezel knew he carried his lips

;

in his breast

what

in-

It is im-

of the past

life

of

secrets of the Castle

and whether

if

he opened

he could have sent Holmes to prison or

the scaffold.

him

and while under the

talked a good deal.

in his

He

certainly

knew enough

cups a dangerous associate.

to

make


HTEZEL KNEW TOO MUCH.

320

Holmes quieted

Pitezel,

by suggesting that they

should work out one more scheme together and that should end their relations. to cheat

That scheme was

and defraud the Fidelity Mutual Life As-

sociation of Philadelphia, in the perpetration of

which, Holmes saw the opportunity to rid himself

of every person, Pitezel, his wife

who could

cliihlren,

and

his

lay claim to a dollar of the

value of the real estate.

Incidentally he proposed

to reap every dollar of benefit

from the insurance

swindle.

Proceeding to carry out his scheme, he directed Pitezel to lease a house in Philadelphia, to

he

Si!

id

which

he would bring the body which was to be

substituted for Pitezel's.

Pitezel advertised him-

self as a dealer in patents,

but Holmes showed him

a

splendid

clothes,

recipe

for

a

solution

for

cleaning

containing chloroform., benzine, and am-

monia and which they should manufacture and sell.

Thus chloroform was introduced an unspicious manner.

house

in

Pitezel

was waiting

for the cadaver

into the

While poor which Holmes

assured him he was arranging to obtain. Holmes

He went to St. Louis and saw He did not dare to tell her that her husband was dead. No tale of suicide would have murdered him.

Mrs. Pitezel.


LOOKING BACKWARDS.

321

been accepted by Mrs. Pitezel, who had been ceiving cheerful letters from her husband.,

re-

and mure-

over he wanted to dispose of her eventually and

would present

the opportunity to do that

when he

led her from

husband.

He

city to

told her that

suggested that some

member

city to

Ben was

itself,

meet her alive,

and

of the family should

return with him to Philadelphia to identify the

body.

This was the

first

move he made

in sepa-

Alice Pitezel went to Philadel-

rating the family.

phia and after identifying the body as that of her father, he

took her to Indianapolis where he

her in the Hotel English.

Louis again.

St.

money was of

paid.

left

Holmes went back

to

By this time the insurance He then robbed the poor woman

most of the $7,200 she had received from her

attorney Howe, and holding up to her the horror of discovery of her

husband by detectives,

family should separate.

knows

"

that you have five children, and

separate," said Holmes.

said the

The Insurance Company Nellie

you must

and Howard were

then handed over to his tender care and they went with him to Cincinnati, "where Alice was under the care of such a good

woman, and where they

could go to school until

all

by."

the clouds had rolled


SUPABATING the FAMILY.

322

He moved

the tliree children October 1st, 1894,

and on the 10th of that month

to Indianapolis

killed

Huward

two of

his victims

and the

in the

hired the Forest

the father

Alice and Nellie to Detroit and

Avenue house where he intended

them and bury them

to kill

of,

son.

He now moved

To

dug.

Thus

house at Irvington.

had been disposed

in the hole

he had

Detroit he also invited Mrs. Pitezel and

Dessie and the baby, " where

Ben was

Avaiting to

see her."

Some his

hitch occurred in Detroit, and he

moved

three parties to Toronto, where on October

25th,

two other members of

were disposed

He had

of.

He

this

obnoxious family

wasgetting along very well.

killed four people in three different places,

and without arousing the interest or any inquiry

The promise

from anyone.

was not

moved ton,

fulfilled.

Ben was

to see

Benin Toronto

in Montreal, so he re-

the remainder of his

company

to Burling-

Vermont, where he thought he would be able

to clean

up the

job,

by removing Mrs.

Pitezel

and

her youngest and eldest child.

He found

the task a hard one.

Mrs. Pitezel's

suspicions w^hich had been dormant so long, were

now

aroused and she was on the

alert.

To

give


LOOKING BACKWARDS.

323

himself an opportunity to think over the matter

more in

time

tlie

Hampshire, where for the

quickly discovered

and he went hurriedly

himself,

walk into

had

New

" eye that never sleeps " rested

No one more to

home

carefully, he concluded to visit his old

Gilmauton,

failed

of

cell

tlie

after

tlie

felon.

first

liim.

than Holmes

to Boston,

He was

all.

tliis

upon

but only

His scheme

quite content to

stand the punishment of imprisonment for the in-

surance fraud, but he was awfully afraid of the gallows. lias

He

used

all

become famous,

might end

in

his

was

cunning for which he

avoiding an issue which

death to him.

struction to others,

followed

tlie

in

He who had

afraid of

confessions

and

it

dealt de-

himself,

and

statements

so

and

counter statements as he squirmed and struggled in the net.

The destruction

of Pitezel and his. family with-

out detection, would have

left

and undisputed owner of the jointly

held,

as

well

as of

the

from the Insurance Company.

Holmes the real

sole

estate, they

money

received


CHAPTER

XXI.

A TRIPLE ALLIANCE. Holmes' Desperate Fight to Exclude Miss Yoke's Testimony Declared Her to Be His Lawful Wife His Unexampled Duplicity With Women Mrs. Herman Webster Mudgett Mrs. Harry Howard Holmes Mrs. Henry Mansfield Howard He Lies About His Parents When the Truth Would Have Done as Well— He Tells to His Sister Ihe Greatest Lies He Ever Told.

There

is

just one

clean, bright spot in the

career of Mudgett, alias Holmes, alias alias etc., etc.,

credit,

and that

ing from the

Howard,

for

which he should have some

is,

the care he exercised in keep-

women whom

he had deceived, his

various schemes and crimes, and especially true of Miss Yoke.

He

was Holmes, but that

his uncle,

is

told her that his

this

name

Henry Mansfield

Howard, of Denver, Colorado, had devised property to him, provided he would assume his

and thus he married Miss Yoke

name of Howard. From the time of

in

name

Denver under

the

engagement, and

their meeting, during their

after

that followed, Miss

the

marriage ceremony

Yoke was taught

to believe (32.5)


;

A TRIPLE AUJAKCE.

326

that her supposed

husband was engaged prin-

cipally iu the business of selling or leasing a

and improved patent

copier,

new

and had acquired

considerable property by devise from his Denver

Their journey to Texas was made for the

uncle.

alleged purpose of taking possession of a ranch,

which

his uncle

had willed

to him.

Upon

arriving

Worth, he told her, that squatters were

at Fort

in possession of the

ranch and as squatters' rights

received more seiious recognition in the South

than in the North, and as he was afraid he might be in personal danger ajipeared as the field

if

he announced himself or

owner of the ranch, Henry

Howard, they had

]\Ians-

better, for the time being,

name of Pratt. Thus he appeared in Worth with Pitezel as D. T. Pratt, and Pitezel, who was also there at the time, took the

take the

Fort

name

of

Benton T. Lyman.

Miss Yoke never until

Holmes was

knew

that

Lyman was

arrested in Boston.

she had accompanied

Holmes on the tour from

Detroit to Burlington, she never Pitezel to city,

Pitezel,

Although

knew

that Mrs.

and her children were travelling from

city

under the care of her supposed husband

nor had she the slightest knowledge of the scheme to defraud the insurance company, or of the

ficti-


A TRIPLE ALLIANCE. tious

names

was giving, or of the hideous crimes

lie

Nor did Mrs.

Holmes had committed on the way.

know

Pitezel

327

Holmes was

that

travelling with

Miss Yoke, nor had she ever heard of her and never

knew

Upon

the

jury said:

of her until the arrest in Boston.

Judge Arnold

trial,

"Truth

Mrs. Pitezel's story

is

ful exhibition of the

in

charging the

stranger than fiction, and

is

true

it is

if

the most wonder-

power of mind over mind

have ever seen and stranger than any novel

I

I

ever

read."

The claim made by Holmes Miss Yoke was his lawful wife,

at the trial, that is

entirely in keep-

ing with his record for deceit and audacity.

He

was married to Clara A. Lovering on July 4th,

woman is now living in Tilton, He was married to Myrta Z.

1878, and this

New

Hampshire.

Belknap on January 28th, 1887, under the name of Hariy

Howard Holmes.

On February

14th, 1887, a

after his marriage to

Supreme Court

of

Cook County,

city of Chicago, a petition

from Clara A. of infidelity.

was dismissed

over two u<eeks

little

Miss Belknap, he

praying

the the

for a divorce

Lovering on the ground

3Iuclgett nee

On June

filed in

Illinois, in

4th, 1891, this petition

for failure of prosecution

and hence


A TRIPLE ALLIANCE.

328

that his lawful wife

clearly appears

it

Clara A. Mudgett,

New Hampshire. On September the

to

who now

19th, 1893, he

made

application

Mutual Life Association

Fidelit}'

ilO,000 policy of insurance and in his

own handwriting

Myrta

Z.

At

Holmes."

named

as beneficiary,

in fact

married

for a

therein

"My

wife,

this very time, Septembei",

1893, he was engaged to be married to Miss

and

Mrs.

is

resides at Tiltoii,

lier in

Denver

Yoke

in the following

January, 1894.

need cause no surprise therefore, to learn

It

when Miss Yoke was

that

stand at the

trial,

called to the witness

she gave her maiden

name.

She had become familiar with the marriage record of her supposed husband, and was fully convinced that she

was not

his lawful wife

and had been

grossly and cruell}^ deceived.

When sister

arrested in Boston, Miss

Yoke met

the

and brother of Holmes, and her eyes were

opened and her

real position

made

had told her that he was the

clear.

Holmes

last of his race

and

that his parents and brothers and sisters had long since departed this

life.

This

lie

he had evidently

told also to Miss Belknap, for in his application for

insurance

in

September, 1893, he declared


A TRIPLE ALLIANCE. that his

mother had died

329

at the age of fifty-eight

years of a disease he did not remember, and his father at the age of sixty-two from injur}- to his foot.

One may

readily imagine Miss Yoke's amaze-

ment when she learned of the existence Mudgett, at Tilton,

New

when

she learned

at Burlington,

New Hamp-

further shock she experienced that

upon leaving her

"to go on a business

shire,

his real wife at Tilton,

her, took her to the

and

of Mrs.

Hampshire, and of the

trip,"

resumed

he had revisited

his relations

with

house of his parents who were

good health

and

re-

mained with her and them at the homestead

for

two or three days, and upon leaving promised

his

living

wife

to

in

at Gilmanton,

return the following April, and never

desert her again.

This

is

the position in which

himself at the homestead

:

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

Holmes found

wdfe at Wilmette,

Illinois,

another waiting for his return at Bur-

lington,

New

Hampshire, and

his real wife, taking

him back and receiving him with a loving and forgiving spirit,â&#x20AC;&#x201D; notwithstanding his petition for divorce for alleged infidelity, a charge which was

doubtless as false and as wicked as his

praved heart, 19

own

de-


A TRIPLE ALLIANCE.

330

His situation was one fraught with

peril, so

concluded to open up a line of retreat.

He

he

told

one or more members of his family, that he had

had a remarkable experience. to this story

was certainly

(His introduction

He

true.)

said he had

been in a railroad collision in the West and had

When

teen severely injured.

he awakened out

of the unconscious condition caused by the injury,

He

he found he was in a hospital. covered to his amazement that

former his

had been blotted

self

name,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the memory of

Who

home,

all

had

further

memory

out.

his occupation, his

his friends,

all

dis-

of his

he was,

his parents,

fled.

On

tha

night of the accident a curtain had dropped be-

tween him and

his past,

and

all

idea or knowledge

of his former self had been swept into oblivion.

To

the hospital in which he was treated,

beautiful

and read

woman, who brought to

came

a

flowers to the sick

them from good books, and with her

gentle voice sought to bring cheer into the dull hospital

wards.

flowers

and read

This

sweet

to him,

and

with him and he with her. cence they were married.

woman brought finallj' fell in

Upon

love

his convales-

This good

woman was

very rich and was deejily touched when she observed the suffering he constantly endured, as he


A TRIPLE ALLIANCE. in

endeavored

vain

memory

of his

a great surgeon

to

upon

When

her

in-

his

marrying the sweet

tered to

him

hospital.

Pie

married

as

lie

a wonderful oper-

he came out of ether,

memory had

back upon him and

horror he realized what a

to

his

like a flood

unspeakable

wrong he had committed

woman who had

lay helpless

adminis-

and sick

in the

remembered then that he was a

man and

Mudgett, was

He

threads of

Finally, through

who performed

his head.

amazement

his

come

in

regain the

to

past.

and wealth, she secured the assistance of

fluence

ation

331

that

his

real

wife,

Carrie

living.

further said to his family that he had not

told this lovely

woman

that she was not his wife,

and betrayed to them the deep grief and distress from which he was suffering in the unusual tion in

which he found himself and

for

situa-

which he

was really not responsible. This alleged patroness of the hospital and reader to the sick

was Miss Yoke,

for this he told his

sister.

It is scarcely

necessary to say that there was

not a word of truth in this story, from beginning to end.

Miss Yoke was not the patroness of a

hospital, nor

had she visited or read

to the sick,


A TRIPLE ALLIANCE.

332

nor had she met him

in

such an institution, nor

was she wealthy.

What

a wonderful meeting

these three

women,

and Mrs. Howard.

it

If

each would

the tales he had told, what an less liar "

would

be,

between

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mrs. Mudgett, Mrs. Holmes, *'

tell

infinite

they would prove him to be.

the other

and end-


CHAPTER

XXII.

A FEIEND IN NEED.

Geyer Receives a Cipher Letter, with the Key Attached Was It an Efifort to Divert the Detective from His Pursuit? Letters from the Insane Holmes Taught Ciphers to His

Friends.

Holmes was never friends as he

hunt for the

much in need of his summer of 1895. The missing children, was known to the was

so

in the

uttermost ends of the country, and

Attorney's

office

if

the District

received suggestions of

all

sorts

and kinds, anonymous and otherwise, so did Mr.

That he had sympathizing friends out-

Holmes.

side, friends

who would have been

had opportunity

offered,

These friends were aware that

Holmes

to the

it

all

mail sent to

Philadelphia County prison was

inspected before

some of

helpful to him

cannot be questioned.

delivery

to

the

prisoner,

and

for proper public reasons, never reached

the prisoner.

One

of these friends undertook by

a device to divert Detective Geyer from the pursuit of the track of

Holmes, just as he was leav-

ing Indianapolis after his second

visit.

The ism)

de-


A FRIEND IN NEED.

334

tective

mous

House an anony-

received at the Spencer

letter in cipher, ivith the key attached, advis-

ing him that an important letter had been sent to

Holmes

to Philadelphia

;

that the writer was ad-

vising the detective at great personal risk and

that the letter should be opened and inspected

The

before delivery to the prisoner. in

due course and a copy of This letter

the boy

;

he

is

" to

Holmes not

tells

safe

and sound," and

the impression, that

letter

came

given elsewhere.

it is

Holmes had

in

worry about

at first

it

gave

some way con-

veyed to an outside party the place where the

re-

mains of the boy had been buried, and that the boy's remains had been removed from the place of

concealment.

After careful deliberation, the District Attorney's office concluded that

it

for a purpose not very clear

was a trick or device

and

it

was

totally dis-

regarded, and the search subsequently continued

with the result already narrated. the

many

letters,

ceived and are

some

This

now among

great

the

manuscript which have accumulated

Newspapers evidently make

their

is

one of

which were

in cipher

re-

mass of

in the case.

way into

lunatic

asylums, for letters from the insane came in by the score.

The name

of

Holmes

also

seemed

to


A FRIEND IN NEED. become as common

Brown

as

letters referring to this

the

name

of

335

or Smith, for

many

person and that person by

Holmes and requesting infoimation

as to comparisons of points of identity with the

prisoner were received.

One below.

of the letters received in cipher

This letter

is

is

given

very easily read by drop-

ping every other sentence, separated by commas.

'Aug.

Friend H. H.

I, and Jim, will not, saw and, They, can't and, don't, want to,

the wood.

split,

2d, 1895.

H :â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

know, whether there

around

anything,

is,

about, the, conservatory or, green house,

I,

or,

think,

will leave, the dog, for, Mrs. John, Cleveland, at

Bleak House, to-morrow. cover,

and

fix,

Same, time I

Will, join

board,

circus

all,

will, sigh for,

him under,

signs,

there.

Ponto's fate and yours

in his misfortune.

R.

I.

T. U. A. L.

Friend, L. S.

"

Friend H. H.

H :â&#x20AC;&#x201D; I

will

know anything about cipher."

not

split.

conservatory.

for Cleveland to-morrow.

Same

Page.

They I will

Will cover

all

don't leave signs.


A FRIEND IN NEED.

336

This letter was apparently written by some one familiar with the famous Chicago " Castle,"

referred to a place, a " conservatory " not to

the police.

As

Philadelphia case,

and

is

it

it

had no relevancy

created

little

given simply to illustrate

or no

how

and

known to

the

comment

the habit of

writing ciphers into which this great criminal had drifted,

made

a

had been taught to

his friends

and was

method of communication between them.


CHAPTER

XXIII.

THE EXCLUDED TESTIMONY. Witnesses liom Six States and the Domiuion of Canada Thirty-five Witnesses Positively Identify Holmes Holmes Grows a Beard "The Individual in the Cage " The Dis-

trict

Attorney Thanks

Officials

and

— — Witnesses— Devoted

Services of the Officers of the Insurance

Company.

Thirty-five witnesses, who were not of the state of Pennsylvania

citizens

and who were not

subject to the subpoena or process of the Phila-

delphia court, responded to the request of the District

Attorney to appear at the

trial.

These wit-

nesses were from Cincinnati, Indianapolis, Irvington,

Detroit,

Toronto,

Burlington

(Vermont),

Boston and Fort Worth, Texas.

At

the proper time after Mrs. Pitezel had told

her sad story, District Attorney to

zel at Irvington, Indiana,

Pitezel at Toronto, Canada. to

Graham

prove that Holmes had murdered

and Alice and This

offered

Howard

offer

Pite-

Nellie

was made

show what the prisoner had done during

his

flight

from Philadelphia around the

cities

he made until he reached Boston, where he

circuit of the

(337)


THE EXCLUDED TESTIMONY.

338

was

murder of Pitezel and

Tliat the

arrested.

the murder of the children were really paits of

one transaction, with one design, to wit, the extermination of the Pitezel family, and the evidence

was admissible

in

proving the motive and purpose

The

of the prisoner.

Trial

Judge sustained the

objection of the defence to this offer and the case

went the

to the jury

on the testimony produced by

commonwealth, which

solely to the

murder of

simply and

related

Pitezel at No. 1316 Cal-

lowhill Street.

The

much

witnesses, produced with so

and expense, were,

in

consequence of

of the Court, not called, and

labor

this decision

what they would

have said on the witness stand was not given to the public. It will be, therefore, of

that

they each and

all

Holmes had permitted his confinement,

much

interest to note

identified

his

the prisoner.

beard to grow during

but his active participation

in the

examination of jurors and witnesses as the

trial

proceeded, together with large and finely executed pliotograplis of the prisoner as he appeared with-

out a beard at the time of his arrest, enabled every

witness to identify him at once and beyond a

question or shadow of doubt.

He was

identified


THE EXCLUDED TESTIMONY. by W. L. Bain, clerk of the Hotel

man who brought

the

nati, as

339

Bristol, Cincin-

the three Pitezel

to that hotel on Saturday, September and registered as " A. E. Cook and three

children 29th,

children "

;

by

J.

C.

Thomas

as the person

who

rented No. 305 Poplar Street, Cincinnati, under the

name

of " A. C.

as the person

whom

Hayes

"

;

by Miss Etta Hill

she saw take a large stove

into the Poplar Street house

and who the follow-

ing day came to her, said he had concluded not to

keep the house, presented her with the stove and departed.

Of

Wm.

the Indianapolis witnesses,

Sherman

Welch, of the Stubbins House, said Holmes iie

saw

in court,

whom

was the man who brought Alice

Pitezel to that hotel on

September 24th, registered

her as " Etta Pitsel," and took her away four days later.

He was

also identified

by Herman Acke-

low, proprietor of the Circle House, as the person

who brought Howard,

the three children, Alice, Nellie and

to his hotel on

them away on the 10th the

man who

sister,

son,

;

October 1st and took also

by

J. C.

Wands

as

rented the Irvington house " for his

Mrs. A. E. Cook;" by Dr.

who saw him

at the

J. L.

Thomp-

house at Irvington, after

he had taken possession, and by Elvet

Moorman


THE EXCLUDED TESTDIONY.

340

who

up the

assisted hira in putting

Howard

Pitezel, the

The Detroit

little hoy,

stove, while

stood hy looking on.

witnesses were equally positive as

to the identification.

New Western

Peter Cotter, of the

Hotel, iden-

tified the prisoner as the

man who brought

and Nellie

and registered them as

"Etta and

to his hotel

Nellie Canning."

Alice

Mrs. Lucinda Burns

was positive he was the man who brought Alice and Nellie

to her

boarding house. No. 91 Congress

was from

Street.

It

her last

letter, in

most

freezing

in

tliis

house that Alice wrote

which she complained of " that

thin

jacket,"

and

al-

said,

No one

can read

that letter without the conviction that

Holmes

"

Howard

is

not with us now."

had cautioned the children about speaking of

when and where Howard had

left

them.

It is in-

conceivable that Alice would have written a ter to the

home

folks,

simply saying that

was no longer wath them, and no

let-

Howard

more, unless she

had been following the instructions of the archfiend

them

who was waiting for his opportunity to put to death, and who had already made an end

of the boy.

George Dennis, runner

for the

Toronto, said Holmes was the

Albion Hotel,

man who

placed


THE EXCLUDED TESTIMONY.

341

Alice and Nellie in his care on the evening of

October 19th, and instructed him to take them

Holmes

identified little

to

Herbert Jones, clerk of the Albion,

his hotel.

as the

man

wiio called for the

every morning, returning them ev^ny

girls

evening, until the morning of October 25th,

he paid their board

in full,

when

and took them away.

They never returned. Nudel and her daughter, Miss Minnie,

Mrs. said

Holmes was the man who rented

No. 16

the house

Vincent Street, for "his widowed

St.

sis-

ter."

W. Ryves

Thomas

of

No.

18 St. Vincent

Street, identified the prisoner as the

man who on

October 24th, borrowed his spade, " to dig a for potatoes," in the cellar of

Street,

25th.

and who returned

He

told Mr.

to

St.

pit

Vincent

the next day, the

Ryves that

and her children were

W.

it

No. 16

his

widowed

sister

occupy the house.

B. McKillip, said Holmes was the

man who

rented the house in Burlington, Vermont, gave his

name

as

Judson and

" for his widowed

Sydney L. Samuels Worth, Texas,

said he

sister,

wanted the house

Mrs. A. E. Cook." Esq.,

a

lawyer of Fort

at the request of District

Graham, journeyed

all

the

way from

Attorney

his

home

to


THE EXCLUDED TESTDTONV.

34'J

the

city

of

Holmes

testify

to

Philiideli)hui,

to

the fraiululeut

and bogus note

knowledge of used

in

robbing

Samuels came North on

Mrs.

:is

Mr.

Pitezel.

and tiresome

this long

journey, to assist the law officers of the

Common-

wealth in administering public justice, and. fused

the

compensation

his

wliieli

re-

which he could have

properly claimed for such a protracted absence

from his professional duties and business His identification of the prisoner.

"the

individual

in

tlie

The tone

it.

of

home.

(meaning

cage,"

prisoner's dock) will never be forgotten

who witnessed

at

Holmes, as the

by those

contempt with

which Mr. Samuels used the expression, drew the hot blood to the prisoner's cheek, and he threw a

quick

glance

at

the

lawyer-witness,

malevolence and which boded prisoner been

free,

ill

full

for him,

of

had the

and a bottle of chloroform

handy.

The reader marked was discovered.

will not fail to observe

He used

and rented a house

in

the same

plainly it

was

names repeatedly

each of the

nati, Indianapolis, Detroit,

ton,

how

the track of the prisoner, once

cities,

Cincin-

Toronto and Burling-

and told practically the same falsehood in

each instance.


THE EXriA'DED TESTLWONY. The detection preparations for labor,

and

of tlie

3VZ

great eriniiiial and

tliis

but the burden was made easier by

citizens

Holmes and After the

in all the

his victims trial

tlie

was a work of great

trial,

cities

officials

and towns where

had been traced.

had ended, District Attorney

Graham

sent to each of the police officials of Cin-

cinnati,

Indianapolis, Detroit, Toronto, Burling-

ton and Boston, and to

attended the ing

official

trial

the witnesses

all

from distant

communication

who had

parts, the follow-

:

Nov. 6th, 1895. I desire to

express to you

my warm

manner in which you so kindly aided the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, in the appreciation of the

Hermann W. Mudgett, alias H. H. Holmes charged with Homicide. Your loyalty and fidelity, and your willingness

recent trial of

to so cheerfully assist in dispensing justice, deserve

my

highest commendation.

The

result of the trial will be of benefit, not

only to Pennsylvania,

but to all communities wherever justice is vigorously and impartially administered through the orderly procedure and

under the forms and protection of Law. Sincerely Yours,

George

S.

Graham.


THE EXCLUDED

344

In

TESTI310NY.

connection and as a conclusion to this

this

story of unparalleled crime,

it

is

proper to speak

of the unselfish and devoted services of the ficers

of

the

Fidelity

of-

Mutual Life Association.

Mr. L. G. Fouse, the distinguished President of

Company and

the

ficials

tion,

of the

with

his associates furnished the of-

county, charged with the prosecu-

every possible

measured neither by what effort,

of

it

aid

and

cost in

assistance,

money nor

in

and prompted by the highest considerations

humanity and the demands of public

justice.


CHAPTER XXIV. CHRONOLOGY. 1800. ifinu teth.

1S7S.

July

-ith.

1SS7.

Jan. 2sth.

Herman Webster

New

Gilmanton,

He

is

married to Clara A. Loveriiig

New

at Alton,

W. He

jNIudgett born at

Hampshire.

Hampsliire, by John

Canrrier, Justice of the Peace. is

married to Myrta Z. Belknap

under the name of Harry Howard Holmes.

tsst.

Feh. 14th.

He

files

in

the

Cook county,

Superior Court of

Illinois,

a libel in di-

vorce against his wife, Clara A. Levering

Mudgett, praying that their

marriage isoi. j-iiÂŤe 4th.

The

may

be dissolved.

said court orders this suit to be

dismissed for default of appearance of complainant.

1S03.

He meets Miss Georgiana Yoke

March

Chicago.

1S93. Sept. Moth.

He makes

in

application for a twenty

year optional insurance for 110,000 in the Fidelity

Mutual Life Associa(345)


CHRONOLOGY. tiou in wliich at oS, doiit

lie

ivjary

Xoi'. Oth.

Mother died disease, tio

to Ids foot.'"

Mutual Life Association

Fidelity

sures Benjamin F. Pitezel in the of

Snuie Slottth.

^'^

tlie

Father died at 62 from

acute disease.

isoa,

avers:

remember

'tl

in-

sum

0,000.

Holmes

engaged to be married

is

to

Miss Yoke under the name of Henrj' Mansfield Howard. ISO-t.

Jan. iifh.

He

is

married to Miss Yoke in Den-

by the Rev. Mr. Wil-

ver, Colorado,

cox, and the}' journey on their honey-

moon

Worth, Texas.

to Fort

Mudgett

and

Pitezel,

(the former

Sun,

under the name of D. T. Pratt and

feb.

the latter under the

T. April.

Lyman)

where store

Ajiril.

they

in

engage

property

name

of

Benton

Fort Worth, Texas,

on

in

building a

land

formerly

owned by Minnie Williams. Pitezel leaves Fort Worth and goes to Chicago.

Mudgett and Miss Yoke leave Fort

Worth and journey orado.

to Denver, Col-


CHRONOLOGY make

Tliej-

their

?A1

appearance

in

St.

Louis.

About

this

date Holmes (Mudgett)

and Pitezel go

to

Memphis, Tennes-

In this vicinity they

see.

sider the location of

tlie

first

con-

place Avhere

they propose to execute the insurance fraud.

June June

Sfh. lath.

Holmes and wife return Holmes purchases

a

to St. Louis.

drug store

Missouri, under the

Louis,

in St.

name

Howard, upon which he gave

of

a mort-

gage. July tOth.

Holmes

arrested in St. Louis

is

the Merrill to prison

"

mortgaged property.

Brown,"

supposed

by

sent

under a charge of fraud and

for selling

man

Drug Company and

to

to

whom

have been

he sold

Pitezel.,

The it is

Dur-

ing his imprisonment in the St. Louis jail,

July 29th.

He He

July

He

July

3Stti.

he meets Marion C. Hedgepeth. is

released on bail.

is

rearrested and again committed

to prison. 3l8t.

is

again released on bail furnished

by Miss Yoke.


CHRONOLOGY.

348 Anattut

3

9.

atiii s.

Aua. 4th.

He

New York and

in

is

Philadel-

pliia.

Miss

Yoke

Lake

Bluff,

Howard)

(Mrs. Illinois,

leaves

where she was

and journeys to Philadel-

visiting,

phia. 1S04.

Aug.

3th.

Holmes meets Miss Yoke

Sunday. at

Broad Street Station, Philadelphia,

and takes her

to a boarding honse,

No. 1905 N. 11th Street (Mrs. Dr.

He

Alcorn's.)

tells

Miss Yoke he

is

selling a patent letter copier.

Aug. 9th.

Holmes telegraphs $157.50,

(the half

yearly premium on the Pitezel policy), to the Chicago office of the Fidelity

Mutual Life Association. Aug.

17th.

under the name of B. F.

Pitezel,

Perry,

rents

No.

1316

Callowhill

Street and pays |10 on account of to

Walter W. Shedaker,

Holmes and

Pitezel purchase second

the

rent

Agent. Aug.

mn.

hand furniture of John F. Hughes, No. 1037 Buttonwood Street, which

was

sent

Street.

to

No.

1316 Callowhill


CHRONOLOGY. Aug. tsth.

Pitezel

at

calls

the furinciire store

alone and purchases a cot and some old matting. Aug. ana.

Eugene Smith

Holmes

sees

calls

upon Pitezel and

pass into the house and

go upstairs. Aug. 22a to Sept, 1st.

Pitezel

is

seen in and about No. 1316

Callowhill Street by a large

number

of persons. Sept. 1st.

Evening. at No.

Sept. Xd.

Pitezel calls

upon Holmes

1905 North Eleventh Street.

Holmes

1905 N. 11th

No.

leaves

Street at about 10.80 A.

turns

wife (Miss

M.

He

about 4 P. M.

He

re-

tells his

Yoke) that the man who was a mes-

called the evening before,

senger from the Pennsylvania Rail-

road

Company and

that

he could

have an interview with a Pennsylvania Railroad at Nicetown.

official

the next day

This Sunday morning

he said he was going out to Nice-

town

to

see the official

and that

if

he was successful, and as their week

was

West

up,

they would probably start

that night.


CHRONOLOGY.

350

Sept.


CHRONOLOGY.

About

Howe

this time

company

351

writes to the

in Philadelphia, stating that

he was counsel for Mrs. Pitezel, the

under

beneficiary

the

would come on with

a

policy

member

and

of the

family to identify the body, etc. Sept. 13th.

Pitezel's

body buried

Perry

as B. F.

in Potters Field, Philadelphia. Sept. oth to Sept. 10th.

Holmes was with Miss Yoke mother's

home

at her

in Franklin, Indiana,

leaving her he said to go to St. Louis

again or to Cincinnati, and then to

At

Indianapolis.

this time

was occasionally with at

Wilmette,

Illinois.

Holmes

his other wife

He was

likely

with her on September 11th. Indianapolis he tells Miss

Yoke

At that

he had heard from the Pennsylvania Railroad ofBcial in Philadelphia about the

copier and they were ready to

pay over the money, and they had directed him to left

dianapolis, Sept.

inh.

He

come on

at once.

He

her at the Circle Park Hotel, In-

and went

to Philadelphia.

writes a letter to Mr. Cass, Chi-

cago Cashier of the Fidelity, stating


CHBONOLOOY.

352

(Wilmette wife) had

that his wife

him that information was wanted

told

who was found

of B. F. Pitezel,

in

Chicago as B. F. Perry. Sept. istit.

He

writes another letter to Cass, say-

ijig

that he overhears the body was iu

Philadelphia and not in Chicago, and that he would go to Philadelphia his

See these Sept. ioth.

Holmes delphia.

Pages 26 and

letters.

He

again stops at No. 1905

Mrs. Alcorn's.

;

He

calls at the office of the

in

Philadelphia,

He

Street.

dent of the

tells

No.

company

Fouse about which

Holmes case,

said

Walnut

914,

Mr. Fouse, Presi-

Company

that he had

corresponded with Cass.

death,

29.

leaves Indianapolis for Phila-

North 11th Street Sept. zoth.

if

expenses were paid.

He

Fouse relates it

and asked

asks

circumstances of the

the

briefly.

was a very peculiar INIr.

Fouse the cause

of death, etc. Bept. 20th.

Alice

home

writes her folks.

first

letter

to

the


CHRONOLOGY.

353

Philadelphia, Pa., Cor. Filbert & llth sts., Dear Mamma and the rest

Sept. 20, 1894.

:

Just arrived in Philadelphia this morning and 1 wrote you yesterday

Mr. Howe and I have each a room at the above address. I am going to the Morgue after awhile. We stopped off at Washington, Md., this morning, and that made it six times that we of this.

Yesterday we got on the C. and O. Pullman car and it was crowded so I had to sit with some one Mr. Howe sit with some man we sit there quite awhile and pretty soon some one came and shook hands with me. I looked up and here it was Mr. Howard. He did transferred to different cars.

not

know my

was

his girl's face so he

jacket, but he said he thouglit

went

it

and it was me. I don't like him to call me babe and child and dear and all such trash. When I got on the car Tuesday night Mr. Howe ask me if I had any money and I told him 5 cents so he gave me a How I wish I could see j^ou all and hug dollar I hope you are better. the baby. Mr. H. says that I will have a ride on the ocean. I wish you could see what I have seen. I have seen more scenery than I have seen since I was born I don't know what I saw before. This is all the paper I have so I will have to close & write again. You had better not write to me here for Mr. H. says that I may be off to-morrow. to see


:

CHRONOLOGY.

354

If all

to

you are worse wire me good-bye kisses to and two big ones for you and babe. Love all.

Alice Pitezel.

E.

Sept. atat.

Howe and

Alice Pitezel called at In-

Holmes

surance Office. time.

Tliey

meet

calls

same

strangers, al-

as

though they had travelled together from some point

in

Ohio

Howe and

ton, D. C.

to

Washing-

Alice got off at

Washington and Holmes took for

Howe and

Philadelphia.

came

to Philadelphia

on

train

Alice

later train.

That day Holmes took Alice out see

to

the sights of the city and then

to Mrs. Alcorn's that night, stating

that she (Alice) was his

little sister.

Alice slept in the 3d story next to

Holmes' room which communicated with

Howe

Alice

it.

at

the

and Filbert

had stopped with

Imperial

Streets,

she wrote two letters. copies

Hotel, 11th

from which place Following are


CHRONOLOGY.

355

Imperial Hotel,

Eleventh, above Market Street,

Hendricks

&

Scott, Propr's.,

Philadelphia, Pa.,

Dear Mamma and Babe

Sept. 21, 1894.

:

I

have

to write all the

time to pass away the time.

Mr. Howe has been away all morning. Mamma have you ever seen or tasted a red banana? I have had three.

They

are so big that I can just

and have my thumb and next finger just tutch. I have not got any shoes yet and I have to go a hobbling around all the time. Have you gotten 4 letters from me besides this? Are you sick in bed yet or are you up ? I wish that I could hear from you but I don't know whether I would get it or not. Mr. Howe telegraphed to Mr. Beckert and he said that he would write to you toniglit. I have not got but two clean garments and that is a shirt and my white skirt. I saw some of the largest solid rocks that I bet you never saw. I crossed the Patomac Itiver. I guess that I have told all the news; So good bye Kisses to you and babe. Yours loving daughter, Miss E. A. Pitezel. If you are worse telegraph to the above address. reach around

it

Imperial Hotel,

Eleventh above Market Street.


CHRONOLOGY.

856 .'.mperial Hotel,

Eleventh above Market Street, Hendricks & Scott, Propr's.,

Philadelahia,

Dear Dessa

189-.

:

I thought T would write you a little and when I get to Mass. you must all write to me. Well this is a warm day here how Did you get your big washing done is it there. if I was there you would have a bigger one for I have a whole satchel full of dirty clothes. I bet that I have more fruit than all of you. Dessa I guess you are without shoes for I guess they don't intend to get me any. H. has come now so I guess I have to go to dinner. Dessa take good care of mama. I will close your letter and write a little to Nell and Howard next time so good bye love to you with a kiss.

letter

Dear Mama

:

was over to the insurance office and Mr. Howe thinks there will be no trouble about getting it. They asked me almost a thousand questions, of course not (;[uite so many. Is his nose broken or has he a Roman nose. I said it was broken. I will have to close and write more tomorrow so good bye love to all I

this afternoon

with kisses to

all.

Your loving daughter, E. Alice Pitezel.


CHRONOLOGY. Sept. 21st.

At

the conference at the company's

office

on

tliis

tification Sept. S2d.

357

Pitezel's

Field.

day, the marks of iden-

were agreed upon.

body exhumed

Holmes

finds

and other marks of says the body

at Potters

wart on neck

identification,

and

that of B. F. Pitezel.

is

Alice recognizes teeth of her father.

He

takes Alice to No. 1904 North

11th Street. Sept. 23â&#x201A;Źi.

Holmes and Alice make fore

affidavits be-

Coroner Ashbridge that the body

found as B. F. Perry at No. 1316 Callowhill Street was that of Benja-

min

That evening Holmes

F. Pitezel.

and Alice leave Sept. 24th.

They

arrive

for Indianapolis.

in

Indianapolis.

He

registers Alice as Utta Pitsel in his

handwriting. Sept. 24th.

Insurance

Company pays Howe

<f9-

715.85, face of insurance policy, less

expenses. Sept. 24ih.

Alice

another

writes

The person alluded as 4, 18, for

8,

Holmes.

is

letter

home.

to in these letters

the children's cipher


crrRoxoLonv.

358

Stubbins' Euro[)ean Hotel,

One square north

of

Union Depot on

Illinois

Street.

Indiana POL rs,

Ind.,

Sep. 24, 1894.

Dear Ones at Home, I am glad to hear that yon and that you are up. I guess you will not have any trouble in getting the money. 4, 18, 8 is going to get two of you and fetch you here with me and then I won't be so lonesome at the above address. I am not going to Miss Williams until I see wliere 3'ou are going to live and then see you all again because 4, 18, 8 is afraid that I will get two lonesome then he will send me on and go to school. I have a pair of shoes now if I could see you I would have a nough to talk to you all day but I cannot very well write it 1 will see you all before long though don't you worr}'. This is a cool day. jNIr. Perry said that if you did not get the insurance all right through the lawyers to rite to Mr. F'oust or Mr. Perry. I wish I had a silk dress. I have seen more since I liave been away than I ever saw before in my life. I have another picture for your album. I will have to close for this time now so good bye love and kisses and squesses to all. Yours daughter,

are all well

Etta Pitezel. P. O.

I

go by Etta here

4, 18,

8 told

me

to

O


CHRONOLOGY. Dessa, O & Howard

Howard O Nell

you

Mamma Mamma

and Dessa

359

O Mamma, O

Nell

Baby.

will

come with

4, 18, 8,

later

on won't

you or

&'

as

says.

Etta Pitezel. Holmes goes mained there Sept. atth.

to

Louis and

St.

re-

until the 28th.

Holmes gets $6,700 of the insurance money out of the S7,200 received by Mrs. Pitezel from Howe. He gives her the bogus note.

Sept. ftSth.

Holmes takes

Nellie

from Mrs. Pitezel at

them

joins

and Howard

and she

at Lidianapolis

goes with Holmes, Nellie and

at

the

Atlantic of

Howard

where Holmes registers

to Cincinnati,

name

Alice

St. Louis.

House

under

Alexander E. Cook

the

and

three children.

He Mr.

rents No. 305 Poplar Street from J. C.

Thomas and

stove to this house.

takes a large

Over night

of 28th

he remains at Atlantic House and on the 29th he takes them to Hotel Bristol,

registers there as A. E.

Cook and

three children, and remains there un-


CHRONOLOGY.

360 til

Sunday, September 30th when he

left

with the children for Indianapolis

and

registers them at Hotel English Three Canning children."

as " Oct. 1st.

Mrs. Pitezel

Motuuiii.

Illinois

left St.

Louis for Galva,

with Dessie and the baby.

Galva was the home of her parents.

Holmes takes

the children to the Cir-

cle House, Indianapolis (registers as

"Three

Canning children") where

they remained until October 10th. oet. 1st.

Alice and Nellie write letters as

lows

fol-

:

Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 1st, 1894.

Dear Mamma.

We was in Cincinnati yesterday and we got here last night getting that telegram from Mr. Howe yesterday afternoon. Mr. H. is going to-night for you and he will take this letter. We went us three over to the Zoological Garden in Cincinnati yesterday afternoon and we saw all the different kinds of animals. We saw the ostrich it is about a head taller than And the I am so you know about how high it is. giraffe you have to look up in the sky to see it. I like it lots

better here than in Cincinnati.

such a dirty town Cin.

It is


CHRONOLOGY.

363

There is a monument right in front of the hotel where we are at and I should judge that it is about 3 times the liight of a five story building. I guess I have told all the news so good bye love

&

to all

kisses.

Hope you are all well. Your loving daughter,

Etta Pitezel.

Indianapolis, Ind., Oct. 1st, 1894.

Deae Mamma, Baby and

D.

We Mr. H.

is

not here

are all well here.

He

going on a late train to-night.

now

I just

is

saw him go by the Hotel He don't know where I think he

went some place I went to get his ticket.

We it

are staying in another hotel in Indianapolis

a pretty nice one

is

we came

here last night

from C. I like it here lots better

worm

than in C.

here and I haveto wear this

becaus

my

close

an't

ironet.

We

It is quite

warm ate

dress

dinner

over to the Stibbins Hotel where Alice staid and

they

knew her

to.

We

are not staying there

we

H. We have a room right in front of a monument and I think it was A. Lincolns. Come as soon as you can because I want to see you and baby to. It is awful nice place where we are staying I don't are at the English

21


CHRONOLOGY.

364

think you would like

Mr. H.

sais

he likes

it

it

in Cincinnati either but

there.

Good bye your dau. Nellie Pitezel. Oct. 5th.

Holmes

rents the house at Irvington

Mr.

from

sister,

Grouse

He

clerk.)

C.

(J.

said he

wanted

Wand's it

for his

Mrs. A. E. Cook and her

chil-

dren, and that she intended using

it

as a boarding house. Oct. eth, 7th,

Oct. loth.

Same

day.

Children write letters home.

Howard

disappears on this day.

Holmcs takes Alicc and

Nellie from

the Circle House. Oct. lath.

Evening.

Holmes

arrives in Detroit.

Himself and Miss Yoke in one party Alice and Nellie in registers

the

children

Western Hotel Canning, ters

another.

as

St. Louis,

at the

;

He New

Etta and Nellie

Mo.

himself and Miss

He

Yoke

regis-

at the

Hotel Normandie " G. Howell and wife, Adrian." Oct. lath.

Mrs. Pitezel, Dessie and the baby leave Galva, Illinois for Detroit, stop-


CHRONOLOGY.

Holmes has

ping in Chicago. ten to her that "

Ben

"

writ-

was waiting

to see her in Detroit.

Holmes and Miss Yoke remove from Hotel Normandie

He gave

Place.

to their

No. 54 Park

names

as

Mr.

and Mrs. Holmes. Mrs. Pitezel, Dessie and the baby

and

rive in Detroit,

Adams

and

register as C.

daughter

at

ar-

A.

Geis's

Hotel. Alice writes her last letter.

Holmes takes Alice and

Nellie

to

boarding house of Lucinda Burns at

Oct.

15th.

No. 91 Congress

Street.

About

Holmes

this date,

rents of Mr.

Boninghausen the house No. 241 E. Forest Avenue.

does gave.

not

Mr. Boninghausen

remember name Holmes

In the rear of cellar under

porch of the house, Holmes digs a hole four feet long, three and a half feet wide, three feet six inches deep. Oct.

ISth.

Holmes and Miss Yoke leave Detroit for Toronto,

Pitezel that

Canada.

He

tells

Mrs.

Ben had gone to Toronto.


;

CHBONOLOGY.

At Toronto Holmes Walker House and

wife,

Geis's

at

H. Howell

Some day Mrs.

Columbus. Dessie

Pitezel,

registers

as Geo.

and the baby

left

Detroit for Toronto

Hotel,

were met at Grand Trunk depot by

Holmes and the

taken

where

House,

name

of

to

the

Union

they register under

A.

C.

Adams and

daughter.

and Nellie leave Detroit

Alice

Toronto

;

8 o'clock

for

arrive in the evening about

were met by Holmes who

;

turned them over

to

George Dennis,

a hotel porter, for the Albion Hotel,

and they were registered

and

as Etta

Nellie Canning, Detroit.

Holmes rented house No. 16

St.

cent Street of Mrs. Nudel.

Said his

name

was

wanted

it

Howard and

Vin-

that

he

for his sister.

Same day Holmes and Miss Yoke went

to Niagara Falls.

They returned and

registered at the

Palmer House under the name of Howell.


CHRONOLOGY. Oct.

24th.

Holmes borrows

367

spade from Mr.

a

Ryves, No. 18 St. Vincent Street to dig a

hole

storage

Holmes

for

" for the

cellar,

While

potatoes."

of

Toronto,

Hotel

the

in

called

at

and Nellie

Alice

in

Albion every

morning, returning them in the evening. Oct.

25th.

On

the morning of this day, he takes

and Nellie from the Albion

Alice

Hotel, paying their account for board

The

in full. Oct.

2sth.

He

Ogdensberg. Montreal.

children disappear.

Mrs. Pitezel to go to

requests

He tells her Ben is in He said that he had

rented a house in Toronto, but that

two

for Oct. 2eth.

on

detectives

watching

Ben

it,

and

it

were

bicycles

would not be

safe

to visit h-er there.

Holmes and Miss Yoke leave Toronto and go

to Prescott,

Canada remained ;

there over night. Oct. 3ist.

He

is

found at Burlington at the Bur-

lington

Hale, to

House

;

registered

Columbus, Ohio.

rooms

at

as G. D.

He moved

Mr. Aherns, where he


CHRONOLOGY. gave the names of himself and Miss

Yoke

He

as "

Mr. Hall and wife."

Winooski

rents a house No. 26

Avenue name

of

W.

B. McKillip under the

of J. A. Judson, for his sister

Mrs. Cook.

Between these dates

Xov. leth.

New

visited his par-

home

ents at his old

Hampsliire

;

in

Gilmanton,

resumes his

tions with his real wife, Mrs.

He

gett.

tells

rela-

Mud-

a romantic story ac-

counting for his absence from home. Nov. 17th.

He is arrested in Boston. He makes his first confession. says

Pitezel

alive

is

in

He South

America, or on his way there, and that the children were with him. said Pitezel

dor.

That

cation

was bound their

was

He

San Salva-

means of communi-

be in

to

for

personal

the

column of the New York Herald. Mrs. Pitezel

is

arrested on the same

day.

Holmes and Mrs. Philadelphia; prison.

Pitezel brought to

committed

to

county


CHRONOLOGY.

369

Mrs. Pitezel makes a

and Mr. Perry of the

Mr, Fouse Fidelity nee. iSth.

statement to

full

Mutual

Holmes now

Life Association.

says Pitezel

is

dead, and

that the children were given to Miss

Williams, nee. 17th.

who took them

Makes another that Pitezel was

had committed 1S9S.

June

3â&#x201A;Źj.

Holmes

is

to

Europe.

confession, declaring

dead and that he

suicide.

tried

conspiracy

for

cheat and defraud the Insurance

to

Com-

pany, and on the second day of the trial,

June

filth.

pleads guilty.

Detective Geyer leaves Philadelphia

and commences

his

search for the

children.

July 15th.

Geyer

finds the bodies of Alice

Nellie in the cellar of the

House, No. 16 Aug. 27th.

Geyer in the

St.

and

Toronto

Vincent Street.

finds the remains of

Howard

house at Irvington, a few miles

from Indianapolis. Sept. 12th.

Holmes for

the

is

indicted in

murder

of

Philadelphia

Benjamin

F.

Pitezel. Sept. 23d.

He

pleads not guilty.

The Court


CHRONOLOGY.

370

fixes

day

the

of the

trial

to

be

October 28th. Oct. xsth.

Motion

for continuance denied. Trial

and

commences,

November dict

:

2d.

continues

until

Jury render a ver-

" Guilty of

murder

in the first

degree." Nov. isth.

Motion

for a

Nov. 3oth.

Motion

for

new trial argued. new trial overruled.

Holmes sentenced

to

be hung.


APPENDIX

I.

SPEECH OF HON. GEO. S. GRAHAM, DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

With submission the Jury

:

I

am

your Honor

to

quite sure that

;

Gentlemen of with a

it is

feel-

ing of relief that you see the end of this trial rapidly approaching,

and that you, who have been

taken from your homes, your places of business,

and

practically

imprisoned

during

length of these proceedings, are

the

now

whole

to be re-

leased and permitted to return and resume your

usual places and duties in society. that

you

I

know,

also,

because the speaking at the

feel relieved,

conclusion of the case

is

to

be somewhat limited.

Instead of the three speeches that were contemplated yesterday afternoon, in view of the illness of Mr. Shoemaker, T have voluntarily waived that

which close to

;

is

the

right

of

the right of the

the

Commonwealthâ&#x20AC;&#x201D; to

Commonwealth

open or sum up, but

to close the

is

not only

argument

in

this case. I propose, therefore, to

with

me

ask you now, to join

in reasoning for a little while

about the


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

372

evidence which you have heard this case.

I

am going

to ask

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the testimony in

you

to give

me your

best attention, and your best thought, while I try

your recollection, and aid your reason

to refresh

in reaching right conclusions from the evidence.

After which

I

my young

to

at the Bar.

propose to leave the friend I

final

argument

represents the prisoner

ask you to listen to him, and the

may

reasons he

who

assign,

and

if

they are consistent

with the evidence in the case, and in your judg-

ment more nearly accord with the see

it,

adopt them

you

points

and

set

;

and

truth, as

you

the firm finger of duty

if

in that direction, acquit this prisoner

him

free.

The Commonwealth

of

Pennsylvania

the

is

You will take up this Bill of Indictment and read, "The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, against Herman W. Mudgett,

prosecutor in this case.

alias

H. H. Holmes."

The Commonwealth

Pennsylvania wants no victim.

of

The Common-

wealth of Pennsylvania does not ask for the conviction of this man, though he

with the evidences of guilt less in this specific case

mony

that

his guilt

in

may

be covered

other matters, un-

now on

trial,

the

testi-

you have heard points indubitably

and authorizes

his conviction.

I

to

ask


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. your attention to say to

my mind

you is

to the evidence, because I propose

that, after a careful perusal of

forced to the conclusion that

upon you the discharge

press

haps to you, a trying duty.

of a great,

to

and lead you through

it

I

it,

must

and

per-

that I can

I believe

take up the testimony in this case just as to-day,

373

it

stands

by a straight path

but one conclusion, and that conclusion abso-

lutely inconsistent with the innocence of the pris-

oner at the Bar.

my or

duty if,

to

If it

abandon

were not

this case.

in that review,

so, it

If

would be

were not

it

my mind would

so,

hesitate in

reaching a conclusion, because of the weakness of the evidence or any defect in the proof, then

would be

my

duty

to say that there is a

this prisoner's guilt efit

of that doubt,

and he

is

it

doubt of

entitled to the ben-

and upon that doubt he ought

to be acquitted.

The

task laid before

me

is

this

I

:

must point

out from this evidence the facts which prove conclusively that this prisoner at the

Benjamin F.

Pitezel, at

Bar murdered

No. 1316 Callowhill Street,

on the 2d day of September, 1894,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so

conclu-

sively that there will not be a single doubt left

lurking in your minds feel

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; so positively that you will

under your oaths as jurors that there

is

but


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

374

one course

open

left

for you,

and that

is

to find

the verdict pointed out to you in the opening of this case

dict of It is

— the

murder

to the

law

— a ver-

in the first degree.

true, as

my

said, this case has

that a large

known

higliest

friend on the

consumed

amount

other side has

five days.

It is true

of testimony has been pro-

duced; that a great number of witnesses have been called to the stand for the purpose of estab-

Commonwealth's

lishing the

case

but that ought

;

not to be a subject of complaint from the defendant

—that care has been taken

;

that the testimony

has been mar-

has been carefully selected

;

shalled in court

has been presented to

you, with

all

;

that

it

that

it

the time necessary for

and consideration

its

of complaint from the prisoner; for the

wealth step,

is

bound

down

requisite to

inspection

—that ought not to be a subject to

prove

its

Common-

case from the initial

to the very last syllable of testimony

make

it

complete.

The Commonwealth has done

so in this case.

The Commonwealth has proved by testimony every step in this important proceeding, out of the lips

of thirty-five witnesses

amined before you. tablish

it

link

by

We

link,

who have been

have endeavored to

exes-

one by one, each one sepa-


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. rate

and

from the others, but together

distinct

making the chain complete and

May

I recall to

375

perfect.

your attention, without attempt-

ing to read this mass of testimony, but with a

word here and

a suggestion there,

what we have

listened to during these past five days I

am

sure there

is

man

not a

but will be grateful to

me

?

in that jury-box,

for redirecting his at-

tention to that which must be the basis of his ac-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to wit, the evidence in the case.

I am sure know it I am sure you want to remember it I am sure you want to act intelligently upon it and I am firmly convinced that

tion

you want

to

;

;

:

you wish

to reach a right conclusion

The testimony began with

Jeannette Pitezel to the stand. her.

That was her

first

from

it.

the calling of Miss

You remember

appearance in the case.

She has been called quite a number of times

She was called then but

for

since.

one single purpose.

This picture (liolding up picture of Benjamin F. Pitezel)

question,

was shown *'

Whose

ness identified

this

during the

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

trial

is

picture,

that

?

"

That

wit-

used so frequently

picture of the dead man.

" That's the picture of Pitezel."

and she was asked the

to her,

picture

That was her

my

father,

Benjamin F.

identification.


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

376

The next witness

called

the Detective Bureau, tity of

was

who

prisoner

the

We

Holmes). his

young man from

two other pictures that you and

I

have

These are the pictures

used so often in this case. of

a

established the iden-

up two pictures of

(holding

feared, since the prisoner during

imprisonment had chosen to cultivate a beard

upon

his face, that

when the witnesses would be room during the trial, there

called into this court

might be

difficulty in

Commonwealth's

case

identifying him, and the

might be imperilled

for lack

of identification, and so, as a precautionary measure, we procured these pictures of him as he was when these witnesses saw him, in order that we

might have them here, in

this enlarged form, for

the use of the witnesses in identifying him, and so that they might not be puzzled in so doing by his

changed appearance. cell, his

face

was

When

he entered the prison

like that (holding

up the picture

of the prisoner without a beard).

He

has not

shaved since that time and this beard has grown.

Why ?

Of

course, I do not

know

;

but

it

was

my

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and that of my colleague, Mr. Barlow, who attended to these arrangements â&#x20AC;&#x201D; was our duty duty

it

to see that

no injury should come to the Common-

wealth's case

by reason of any change

in his ap-


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. pearance while in the prison

cell,

377

and that our

witnesses might be aided in their identification by this counterfeit

presentment of what he was at

the time of these occurrences.

The next witness you gene Smith.

I

am

listened to

was Mr. Eu-

not going to read the

testi-

mony

he gave you, but simply ask your attention

to

again.

it

He came

and told you the

in here

He knew No. He had visited the place times. He went into the store

story of the finding of the bodyo

1316 Callowhill Street.

on business several or office on this

Monday

afternoon, the 3d of Sep-

tember, and he saw no sign of Pitezel, everything

was

in place there,

but no

door closed, but not locked. clothing hanging in the

some time and unable

man was

there

He

articles of

found

;

the

room.

After waiting

to wait

any longer, he

passed out, but returned again the next morning.

He found the room Monday afternoon

precisely as he

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no

even the the

articles of clothing that

room were

picious to tion,

He

him

in the ;

it

same

it

on

were hanging in

place.

It

looked sus-

immediately excited his atten-

and he commenced

tells

had seen

change in appearance;

to look

through the house.

you how he went through that

store part of the building,

back

office

or

to the entrance to


ABGmiENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

378

the stairway, and passed on up to the head of the

you how the door

tells

He

or the landing on the second floor.

stairs,

on

to his left

this

landing

opened into the back room, and that along the entry

way

in front of

leading into the

him there was another door

front room.

Hastily glancing

from where he stood into that front room, he saw a cot, but

it

Then

there.

door at his

was empty

;

no one seemed to be

turning, he looked into the open

side,

when,

lo

!

there upon the floor he

Looking

discovered the body of a man. ily,

been killed or descending the officers

who

;

shot,

he did not enter.

stairs,

and they,

in

;

the

position of its

the

tells

Scott, re-

you what they

body lying perfectly

back on the

floor,

laid across the breast, the left side, the

police

All of them

lived in the neighborhood.

straight on

Instantly

summoned two turn, summoned Dr. he

turned to the house, and he

saw

in hast-

and supposing that the man had probably

the right

hand down

arm

at the

limbs straight out from the body, the

heels together, the feet in position, the whole in-

dicating

all

absence of struggle and a condition

of perfect tranquility and repose.

Smith was examined and questioned on

this

matter with a wonderful amount of insistance,


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. where

it

v/as

wholly unnecessary, about a

381 little

incident which occurred and which he related of the

Commonwealth

the

course,

show that the prisoner had been there

to

that he

knew

of visiting zel.

Of

prisoner.

wanted

it

this ;

house

;

that he was in the habit

;

that he was not a stranger to Pite-

This was one of the steps in that direction,

and therefore Mr. Smith was asked

to relate

occurred on the occasion of one of his

He had

this store.

visited this store before the

Monday and Tuesday to which I have attention. He says, " I went in there While

business with Mr. Pitezel. this prisoner

came

what

visits to

called ;

I

I

your

had some

was

there,

room and, with some

into the

sign or motion, that called Pitezel's attention, he

He seemed

passed directly on."

with the place

knew where known place creature,

whatever

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;to

to

go

to be familiar

be no stranger there. ;

to him.

Pitezel

He

was no un-

house

that

was

his tool, his

and with a wink, or a nod, or a beck, or it

moned him

might be

called,

to attend him,

he silently sum-

and then passed, as the

witness said, through this door (indicating on the

plan of the house) up the

stairs.

by the prisoner, " Well, did you the stairs?" 22

Of course he

He was asked me pass up

see

did not.

The

wit-


;

382

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

ness said what any witness would say under those

circumstances,

—"

saw him

I

— that

door being

open, and the stairs being there and starting at the door, and of the

my

chair being

room with

down near

the front

a direct view to the door

him pass and turn

Of

in that direction."

I

saw

course,

that meant, speaking about such an event as

you

or I or any other person would, that he

saw him

what he meant.

There

That

pass upstairs.

was no other stairs.

But

is

exit in that direction, but to go up-

the prisoner, with insistance, thought

he had made a point upon Mr. Smith that might effect his credibility

How

upstairs?

when

and

said, "

Did you

could you see

see

me go

me

go

upstairs

the stairs are not in view from where you

sat?"

Why

it

was perfectly

He saw him

plain.

turn in that direction, and possibly step upon the first

step

vision,

;

that would be within the line of his

and therefore he would

say, I

saw you go-

ing upstairs to the upper story.

But, gentlemen, that the

case,

and

of

is

is

only a

whether or not they went up or whether they

is

incident in

in the

second story,

went out into the back yard,

does not matter at wealth's case

little

very minor importance

all,

so far as the

Common-

The

that this

concerned.

fact


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. man Holmes was

there

terms of intimate

fact that he

was on

acquaintance with the pro-

and had knowledge of the

prietor of that place,

place itself as

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;the

383

shown

in his leading the

beckoning the deceased to follow

way

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; these

after

are the

facts that rise out of this little circumstance,

are important as showing at home mony of

how

That was the

in Pitezel's house.

and

completely he was testi-

Smith.

Then you

will

remember that the

had been conducting

his

own

prisoner,

who

case, interrupted the

examination of Smith and said that he would like to

have a plan of the house.

employed

We

complied with

and called Marshall Pugh, who was

his request

in the

Board of Surveys, one of the City

Departments, and proved the making of this plan,

and that

had been correctly made.

it

ination of Mr. Smith its

The exam-

was then proceeded with

to

end.

Our next rapher,

step

was

to call

who presented

Mr. Ran, the photog-

for our better understand-

ing of the situation, two pictures, one picture of the front of the house No. 1316 Callowhill Street,

where the body was found, and the other

a picture

showing the rear of the same house and for our information the double window, in the second-


;

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

384

story room, with

its

These

large white shutters.

photographs were then offered in evidence.

We

then proceeded with the facts of the case,

and called Dr.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;a

and strong told

Scott,

witness

He came

in his talk.

all ;

remember

crisp, plain,

to the stand

and

you what he saw when he went into No. 1316

Callowhill Street,

We

whom you will

clear, bright, intelligent

when summoned by

the officers.

have the advantage in Dr. Scott of not simply

an ordinary witness. sician

;

We

have an intelligent phy-

an observing man, who looks closely and

who takes particwho pays particular atteneverything there. He corroborates Smith

scans everything in that room

;

ular note of the body, tion to

in all the details

the body,

with relation to the position of

and the position of the man's arm, and

the burning of the body, the singeing of the moustache, the singeing of the hair on his head, and

how

how

the skin was taken off his hands,

the

clothing over the chest was burned through to the flesh,

and the

flesh

underneath burned

the position in which the

arm was

;

how,

in

placed, the un-

der side of the arm being against the body,

it

was

absolutely protected from the flame, so that not one particle of fire touched the

and demonstrating that

it

under side of that arm

was burned while lying


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. upon the body, and

in that position

also described

the skin hanging off the hand where the

flame had blistered points.

He

He

it.

tells

was

it

tucked

trousers, with nothing disturbed fixes

and

fire

you about these

goes into minute description of the

clothing — how

man

385

own

his

clothing

down

the

into

—everything as a

when about

to start

out upon the highway, or go about his business.

He

gives you

There

ranged. in

this

these details, and tells

all

reposefuUy and

how it

lay.

connection,

stance that

may

arriving at

the

you how

tranquilly the body I

want you

was

ar-

remember

to

gentlemen, another circum-

be of some importance to you in truth.

When we

take up the

story of this prisoner, as told in his confession,

may

it

be important to remember another thing

stated

by the Doctor.

from the mouth.

There was a discharge

There was a

fecal discharge,

the bladder also was empty. sults of a condition that

imminent

—the

and

These were the

re-

comes on when death

relaxation

of

muscles of the body, so that what a

is

involuntary

the

man

could do

in health to prevent these discharges could not be

done in that condition, and the contents of bowels and bladder flowed from him.

his

That, gen-

tlemen of the jury, was the condition of

this

body


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

386

on the second floor of this house

— the

flow from

the mouth, and the other discharges from his per-

The dead man died

occurred on that floor.

son,

There was no trace of any discharge on

there.

the tliird-story floor.

Dr. Scott not only testified to what took place at No. to

1316 Callowhill Street, but he also

what took place

You

tion.

will

at the post

remember

will recall that he covered

found

in the

his

testimony.

two points

You

— what was

room No. 1316 Callowhill Street and

what Dr. Mattern found

in the

body

at the time

he made the post mortem examination of told

testified

mortem examina-

it.

He

you about the congested condition of the

lungs.

He

told

you about the empty condition

— paralysis — that the man died instantly, quickly.

of the heart, indicating speedy death of the heart

He

told

you about the condition of the stomach,

the kidneys, and

tlie

alcoholic condition,

liver, these all

denoting an

showing that the man was a

heavy drinker of alcoholic stimulants, and that irritation of the

stomach due

to alcohol

was

also

irritation there

due

to the action of chloroform, although he told

you

present, but that there

another thing,

was no

— that there were about two ounces

of chloroform found in the stomach.

The doctors


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

387

both told you the smell was strong, and could not

Otherwise the stomach was what

be mistaken.

an empty stomach.

they

call

mean

literally void of

practically an there,

That does not

every particle of food, but

empty stomach.

but remember he

There was mucus

testified that that chloro-

form in the stomach had not produced any tion of the

membrane

That chloroform

not a particle.

had never produced the dead man.

irrita-

or lining of the stomach

That was Dr.

in the

slightest effect

stomach

upon the

Scott's testimony.

Maintaining the order of proof, we next Dr. Mattern

Dr. Mattern told you very

:

the same things that Dr. Scott did. to

He

call

much

repeated

you the story of the post mortem examination

of the

body of

Pitezel.

He

told

gested condition of the lungs.

you

He

of the con-

told

you of

the condition of the heart, the condition of the

stomach, the cera.

of this

The

liver,

the kidneys, and all the vis-

result of the examination of the

man was

body

to enable these doctors to say to

you, as a positive fact in this case, and one that is

not disputed, for there

is

no one to contradict

the statements that they make, (and that of the things

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;that

this

it is

man

is

one

important for you to remember) died from chloroform poisoning.


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

388

That you have an undisputed

He was

fact in this case.

poisoned with chloroform

doubt about the cause of

;

there

his death.

stands before you undisputed.

fact

that

man

died from the effects of chloroform.

that,

may

although you

is

a

This It

chloroform poisoning that took away his

no

is

That

was

life,

so

find in the description

given by Dr. Scott, and by Mr. Smith, that there

was an attempt

to create

an appearance

in the

room where the body was found whicb would lead one into the belief that an explosion had taken place in that building, you are freed from the further consideration of

ing taken place.

all

idea of an explosion hav-

Indeed

it

explosion killed this man.

is

admitted that no

While

it is

true that

the flames touched his clothing, and partially con-

sumed

it,

and burned and

blistered his flesh,

While the broken

they did not kill him.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;yet

jar,

and

the other evidences of that explosion were present,

they were

artificially

produced by somebody

with the intention to mislead and deceive.

was no explosion. himself broke this

There

Holmes now admits that he jar,

strated the fact that

it

and Doctor Scott demonhad not exploded.

Even

the smartest, even the brightest, even the keenest criminal will

make

mistakes, and

when Holmes


AEGU3IENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. broke that ticles or

jar,

he broke

389

leaving the glass par-

it

fragments lying inside the bottle, whereas

an explosion would have scattered them the room.

I

want you

to

all

about

remember, therefore,

gentlemen, at this stage of the argument, that the

Commonwealth has contradiction, killed

established one fact beyond

which

is

that this dead

witnesses have sworn to this fact

contradicted them this

— and

— no

Two

one has

the defence admits that

was the cause of death.

The next witness was ness in this case. attention to ject

man was

by the use of chloroform poisoning.

I will

what he

upon which he

now

simply

and

testified to,

testified, for I

to discuss the effect of his I refer to the

a very important witcall

your

to the sub-

do not propose

testimony at this point.

testimony of Dr. Henry Leffman,

one of the most distinguished analytical chemists perhaps in this country

—a

man

of fine scientific

attainments, of splendid intelligence and culture.

He comes upon

the stand and gives to you his

story as an expert

and

upon the subject of chloroform,

states certain facts to you, to

which

I will

advert in a short time, and by the help of which I will discover to

you, not only that this

man was

poisoned with chloroform poison, but that that


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY

390

chloroform poison was not self-administered.

In

other words that the deceased did not commit suicide.

After

Leffman,

Dr.

bridge,

Coroner.

the

comes Samuel H. Ash-

You

remember,

will

of

course, that he did not testify to any facts from

own knowledge. That was not the The Commonwealth was

his

calling him.

second step in the progress of this case.

object in talking a

It

had pro-

duced the evidence of the finding of a dead man,

and that

this

man had been

dead

poisoned.

It

had shown by the aid of Dr. Leffman, and the circumstances of the finding of the body and the post

mortem examination, that he was not

Now

poisoned. to

show you,

the

for

we can assume

dead man was Benjamin F.

named

in

We

murder.

We

man

the

indictment as the subject of this called

Coroner Ashbridge

him before the Coroner

her to prove that that

corpse,

;

stiff

;

why ? who

we could not

and disfigured

upon which her young eyes gazed

Potter's

We

nothing, that that Pitezel,

could not call Alice Pitezel, the child

identified call

this

self

Commonwealth must proceed

field,

was the body of her dead

at the father.

could not produce her for that purpose, for

the mother had told us that the last she saw of


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. morgue

her was her dead body in the

in

city of Toronto, in a foreign jurisdiction.

that piece of evidence the

391

the

No,

Commonwealth could

not produce, but the Commonwealth proceeds formally, and in an orderly manner, to establish to

your satisfaction that

of

Benjamin F.

Pitezel.

take the prisoner's

this

body was the body

Is it

not strong proof to

own statement

for it?

Is it

not beginning at a good point to ask the Coroner

own

to identify the prisoner's

affidavit, in

which

he swore that that was the body of Benjamin F. Pitezel that lay in that upper for us, for the prisoner it

to the Coroner,

him,

we were

room ?

Fortunately

was the man who handed

and so made

it

evidence against

able to get Alice Pitezel's affidavit

on that point, as delivered by him

By Coroner Ashbridge we

to the Coroner.

begin to establish the

second point, and take the second important step

by proving the identity of

this corpse.

But, gentlemen, we did not stop with the two affidavits,

one made by this prisoner, and the

other by Alice Pitezel.

abundant evidence,

Benjamin F.

Pitezel.

We

prove that this was

determined to do

it

we did not know how much of an would be made by the defence upon the

thoroughly, for attack

The Commonwealth had

I think, to


ARGU3IENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

392

We

question of identity.

had no knowledge

where the attack might be made, and

seemed

as

this

marshalled

one bit of

until there can be

evidence after another,

no doubt

in the

mind

of any-

one about the body of Benjamin F. Pitezel. it

to

was

we

to be one of the points threatened,

body cannot be

his

Let

gainsaid.

you once more gentlemen, and

That

me

say

be said so

let it

man

as to set at rest this question forever, the

who was

sent from time into eternity in that sec-

ond-story

room

Benjamin F.

was

at No. 1316 Callowhill Street

Pitezel, the

companion, the friend,

the colleague of the prisoner

who

and he knows

for he identified

as well as

it

I,

the dock,

sits in

and he took the dead man's

to the Coroner,

daughter there to swear that

it

was her

him

little

father's

body.

We

next went into the neighborhood

duced William Moebins, Richards' Pitezel

saloon.

was

Street, the

called

He had

him

there,

upon

living

seen him before.

talking

saloon keeper, and he F. Perry.

waited

while

we

pro-

Mr.

in

Perry,

as

Callowhill

Saturday night before his body was

found. in

He

;

bar tender in

a

Now,

He had

seen

with Mr, Richards, the

knew Mr. Perry

of course,

it

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Mr.

B.

would have done us


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. very

good

little

to

393

have simply stopped there, and

proved that this was B. F. Perry, who lived in

we go

that house, but

to him,

this picture

Perry

?

"

" Is this the

that

you knew

as

B. F.

(handing to the witness the picture of

He

Pitezel.)

the

and we hand

man

of the

picture

a step further,

and ask him,

man

I

said,

knew

"Yes, that

is

the picture of

So we estab-

as B. F. Perry."

lished clearly that that

man who

lived in No. 1316

Callowhill Street as B. F. Perry was B. F. Pitezel.

We

called the last witness's employer, the sa-

loon keeper himself, Mr. Richards.

Mr. Richards

had changed two ten dollar

him that day,

bills for

the Saturday before the murder, the Saturday before this

body was found, and he says he knew

Benjamin F. Perry. picture of

Perry

?

"

asked, " Is that the

man you knew

the

as

replied, " It is."

and he

zel's picture.

He was

Benjamin F.

That

Pite-

is

Another witness says Pitezel and

Perry are one.

We

also called

Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Lampen,

and they established that ture of Perry. persuasive, but

this picture

Well, now, it

all that,

was the

only goes part of the

way

tablishing the identity of the corpse, for I

discuss this testimony with

you

pic-

gentlemen,

frankly,

is

in es-

want and

to

as I


ARGmiENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

394

my own

would with

We

the truth.

self,

trying to ascertain only

prove but a single

fact, to wit, that

You

B. F. Perry and B. F. Pitezel are the same.

understand that that proves the identity of one person under these two names, which rative only, of the identity of the

But we went

found there.

abandoning wish to

call

were these

corrobo-

and now,

further,

for an instant the order of proof, I

your attention

was

to this fact.

but we produced the

Pitezel,

And

patrol sergeant of police.

here came in a

The other witnesses had

of testimony.

looked on the living

Not only

neighbors called to prove

five or six

that Perry

new kind

is

body that was

man

called B. F. Perry,

then they had looked upon this picture, and "

The man who was

was the same man

living

whose picture you present

and

said,

to

But Police

us."

Sergeant Sauer comes upon the stand, and he

is

asked the question, " Were you in that room that

day

?

you

"

see the

floor ? "

to

and

He He

says, " Yes."

man

all that.

;

it

asked, " Did

that lay stretched out on the

says, " Yes, the

decompose

able to

He was

body was beginning

was considerably discolored,"

He was

asked further, " But are you

identify that picture?"

member gentlemen how

that

man

Why, you told

re-

you he was


ABGmiENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

395

standing or sitting over there in this court room

among

Commonwealth, when

the witnesses for the

he happened to see this picture, as

you and

before

identified

subsequently placed by

it

was handled

by the witnesses, and

me

standing upright on

that desk and facing where he sat, and identified it

dead

as the likeness of the

Why,

"

point.

that

man from

a picture of the

is

that distant

man

I

saw

lying on the floor at No. 1316 Callowhill Street,"

he stated to you when placed on the witness stand.

That

That picture of B. F.

identification.

is

Pitezel

is

man who was

the picture of the

by the use of chloroform poison

in No.

killed

1316 Callow-

hill Street.

But, gentlemen,

we

did not stop even there in

Not only has Holmes

our efforts at identification. or

Mudgett

him

identified

Pitezel identified

him

;

not only has Alice

;

not only have these half

dozen people said Perry and Pitezel were the

same

;

not only has the police sergeant told you

that that picture was the picture of the

was poisoned and from

its

man who

but we go out to the grave

itself,

dark recesses, we bring forth

silent

;

but persuasive testimony on the question of identity.

Pieces of the clothing that was around the

dead body were taken from

it

by the Doctor.


;

ARGU3IENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

396

Here

is

a piece of the shirt that this

man wore

poor Mrs. Pitezel was called back again to that

and you may remember the broken sobs

stand,

with which

slie

exclaimed, " Oh, that's Benny's

shirt that he took with

him Avhen he

That burned

Philadelphia."

for

left St.

Louis

fragment

is

part of the clothing that the wife identifies as that of her husband's, buried with the body, deep

down

in that dark grave,

it

comes forth

to the liv-

ing light to proclaim that the body resting there

was not the "

stiff "

gotten from

was the body of Holmes'

New

York, but

Benjamin F.

friend,

Pitezel.

Look man.

at this necktie

grave, for

the necktie of a poor

was taken from

it

Pitezel said ter,

;

This has been disfigured by being in the

it

his

dead body.

comes upon the stand, and

tells

incident that must have impressed

One

truthfulness.

than the

rest,

left,

you

one day,

if

a little

you with

part of the necktie

you observe, and she

papa before he

Mrs.

Dessie, the daugh-

was Benny's.

is

says, " I

he wouldn't

its

better

asked let

me

take that lower portion to put into a crazy quilt."

What more thing

?

natural than for a girl to do that very

That piece of

clean, because

it

silk

that was fresh

and

had been covered by the vest


f/' Fac-Simile of Letter from

"Jim"

to Holmes.

X


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

399

and the coat when worn and was thus protected and preserved

make up

to

She

do.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; she

says,

" That's

Does anyone doubt

The So

wanted

my

father's

necktie."

it ?

trousers were identified in the same way.

that,

gentlemen of the jury, out of the very

tomb comes the voice what

to cut off that portion

into a crazy quilt, just as girls will

all

of identification, confirming

these living witnesses have said,

and what

the police sergeant has so emphatically said " This is

Pitezel's identification

Pitezel."

is

complete.

So the Commonwealth has taken the second step in this trial.

advance. this

It has

man was

It has

reached another point of

proved to your satisfaction that

killed

by chloroform poison.

proved, in addition, that the killed

was Benjamin F.

prisoner.

Before finally leaving the question of

what took place

will

thus

Pitezel, the friend of this

identity, I simply, in a word, call to

It has

man who was

in the

your attention

Potter's Field;

remember that the body was exhumed

you

in the

presence of Dr. Mattern, Mr. Fouse, Mr. Perry, the prisoner, Jeptha D.

Howe,

of St. Louis,

and

Alice Pitezel, whom, the prisoner had taken from her mother, and sent in Philadelphia, and 23

whom

company with Howe

to

he had with him up at


ARGUMENT OF THE

400

DISTBIOi ATTORNEY.

No. 1905 N. 11th Street at that boarding house.

He had

taken her out to the Potter's Field.

body was

identified

by the marks upon

This it,

the

wart upon the back of the neck, the mark across the bone below the knee, the bruised finger, the

and of the mustache.

color of the hair

It

was

there identified as the body of Pitezel again.

Now

after this testimony

had been

Mrs. Alcorn

;

offered, the

You

next witness was Dr. Alcorn.

will recall

she kept a boarding house at No.

1905 N. 11th Street, at which Holmes boarded with Miss Yoke, under the name of Mr. and Mrs.

She came upon the stand

Howell.

to

prove that

he was there, and to prove that Miss Yoke was there as Mrs. Howell, as she honestly believed herself to be; to prove the length of time that he

was the

there, first

from the beginning of August

week

in

August

— down

— about

to that fateful

second day of September, and to prove that he left

this

da}' of

sick,

to be

city hurriedly, quickly,

on that second

September 1894, although

and part of the time confined up and about

a long journey fateful in No.

Sunday

— not in a

fit

his

wife

was

to bed, unable

condition to take

yet on that Sunday night, that

night,

when

this

man was

1316 Callowhill Street, Holmes

in

killed

company


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. with his wife practically

fled

401

from the city of

Think

Philadelphia, and went out to the West.

Not

of the circumstances under which he left!

those of an honest man, travelling in the ordinary

You

way.

or I

not wish to that

to Mrs. Alcorn,

tell

if

we did

her where we were going"; but

not the characteristic of this

is

ever a

man

wher-

;

could serve the purpose, he preferred

lie

But he had

to the truth. if

would have said

none of your business, Madam,

" It's

it

a reason for concealing,

where he was going, fearing subse-

possible,

quent inquiry as to what his destination would be, so he told

Miss Yoke to say

told Mrs. Alcorn, "

when

We

in point of fact,

so,

and he himself

are going to Harrisburg,"

they were not, but took the

10:25 train for Indianapolis.

Why

did he go

Why

away hastily?

conceal the place of his destination cause

that transpired on that

all

?

did he

Was

Sunday

it

be-

in No.

1316 Callowhill Street was haunting him and pursuing him

Yoke

in

her trunk

and

left

?

As

lie

tells

you, he came into Miss

an excited condition ;

;

he helped to pack

he hastened to catch the 10:25 train,

Philadelphia leaving a

lie

behind him at

the boarding house, as to where he v/as going.

That was Mrs. Alcorn's testimony.


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

402

The next witness You will remember house

called

was John Grammar.

that he lived

the same

in

that he was one of the boarders in Mrs.

;

Alcorn's house, and he corroborates what she says

and

as to their residence there,

their time of leav-

ing.

Then came

three witnesses

of identification.

I

One

their testimony was.

witness procured Perry

or Pitezel his boarding house.

whom

who kept

how he came

We

in to

buy

cigars, identifying him.

then took up another branch of the case

He began

Mr. Perry was

;

was

called.

to tell the story of the insurance con-

the policy of insurance was identified

policy issued on the ceipt

Miss

the cigar store, testified as

the insurance conspiracy.

spiracy

Mrs. Harley, with

he boarded, identified his picture.

Alice Pierce, to

upon the question

have already adverted to what

life

of B. F. Pitezel

also identified,

;

;

a

the re-

showing the settlement

that was made, and how, by reason of this conspiracy, nearly 110,000 were

treasury of that company. dent.

The insurance

taken out of the

This

is

only an

matter, except as

it

inci-

plays the

part of being the beginning of these occurrences,

each connected with

tlie

death of Pitezel, and

sheds light on the motive of the prisoner,

is

prac-


-

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. The insurance company

tically uniiuportant.

self

is

403

wealth of Pennsylvania

is

it-

The Common-

not a factor in this case.

the prosecutor.

The

insurance company has nuthing whatever to do

with

it,

beyond having been the victim of the con-

spiracy and having paid

its

of insurance, on Pitezel's

The money was

paid.

the policy

The conspiracy had been Holmes was

successful appaiently. the result.

money upon

life.

profiting

by

Pitezel was dead, and out of the way,

and very soon

his

widow and

children were taken

on a curious journey, and the

effort

is

made by

the prisoner to conceal everything pertaining to the family.

Mr. Gary comes upon the stand, and gives us an inkling as

to

how

covered awa}^ out

the conspiracy was

in

the St. Louis

jail.

first dis-

Hedge

peth, a fellow prisoner with this man, to wliom

part of the proceeds had been promised, tells the Cliief of Police of St.

Louis that he and Pitezel

and others had perpetrated ance company.

a fraud

upon the insur-

Gary interviews him.

said in that interview

is

What was

not given in evidence to

you, but in consequence of that interview, search is

made

effort

for this

man, the prisoner, and an earnest

was made

to find him, only, at that time, be-


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

404

cause

was supposed

it

he was guilty of a

tliat

fraud and a cheat, and that he had succeeded in

cheating the insurance

The

company out

of money.

search for him led through the States, up into

Canada, back into the States again, and to

finally n[)

Boston, where he was arrested and brought

back

Then

Pliiladelphia.

to

was

it

we

that

proved that part of our case to which Mr. Hanscorn,

Deputy Superintendent, from Boston,

the

Holmes was not arrested

has testified.

upon

this

in

Boston

charge of cheatii]g the insurance com-

pany, but was arrested npon another charge of being a horse thief.

who was wanted

horse thief,

wanted

Texas

in

their law,

He was

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

accused of being a

in

Texas.

He was

be dealt with according to

to

upon the information that he was

horse thief.

He was

a

Boston, held

arrested in

there until he voluntarily said to the Chief, fear-

ing the kind of Southern justice that to horse thieves, for they

vor in the South, or

is

meted out

do not stand in high

among

fa-

the rural populations,

the prisoner bethought himself, " Well, all they

have got on me in Philadelphia

is

the charge of

conspiracy, for which I will get two years' impris-

onment

at

the

outside;

I

will- be

housed and fed and taken care

of,

comfortably

and

at the

end


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. of

two years,

I'll

get out again, and probably es-

cape this pending accusation

Texas," and so

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; shrewd,

down

go to Philadelphia."

It

He was

Worth, he

is,

volunteer to

I'll

speaks well for the hospi-

He

of our City.

at Fort

skillful fellow that

he says to the Chief of Police, "

tality

405

preferred

to

it

need any warrant to bring him here.

Texas.

It did not

willing to go to Philadelphia.

He was

not

waiting for any requisition from the Governor of

Pennsylvania upon the Governor of Massachusetts,

asking for the return of

gett, alias

dispensed with.

Ho

Hermann W. Mud-

These formalities were

H. H. Holmes.

*'

said,

I'll

go

Philadel-

to

phia," and Detective Crawford brought

Philadelphia.

Before he

left the city of

he made a statement to Mr. Perry.

He

him

to

Boston,

confessed

the fraud that had been perpetrated upon the in-

surance company, and voluntarily and of his free

will

and accord, told Mr. Perry about

cheat and this fraud.

You remember,

what Mr. Perry related It

was

to the effect that

Jeptha Howe, of

was

in

jail,

am

this

sure,

as his statement to him.

himself and Pitezel, and

St. Louis,

had joined

I

own

in

a

and Hedgepeth, who conspiracy to cheat

the insurance company, and he said that they had

sent to

New York

to procure a

dead body that

â&#x20AC;˘


406

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

would look

much

possible,

and

that they were going to use that dead body,

and

and

you

as

that they did use Avill

it,

like Pitezel

Pitezel himself,

tliat

remember, was living and

and had the boy,

at that time,

him.

That

is

his first story.

They

to these statements.

a^i

South America

in

little

Howard, with

want you

I

to listen

are marvellous produc-

tions in the line of fiction

;

they are wonderful

statements, with scarcely an element of truth in

The

them.

facility

with which this

man

could

utter one falsehood after another must be appar-

ent to you

in

your observation of

this testimony,

and from the statements that you have heard, not only from the pure, good

officials,

Think of

Yoke.

but from the

woman, whom he it

!

Think

deception and the falsehood to her

I

He meets

!

of

it

Think

!

Think

her in St. Louis.

He

to engage her as his wife.

lips of this

called his wife, Miss

then

of

tlie

of his deceit

He

is

tells

gohig

her the

story of a fictitious uncle, with his millions, or

whatever the estate may have been, and who had requested that he, H. H. Holmes, should take the

name

of Henrj^ Mansfield

forth be of the

known

Howard, and thence-

He

enters into one

in life

with deception

as his heir.

most sacred relations

and deceit upun him.

He

marries her as

Henry


ARGmiENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. Then he goes down

Mansfield Howard.

Worth masquerading

"

Pratt.

as

407

to

Fort

Why,"

said

he to this confiding woman, "I have been out

one of

to

tlie

ranches that

my

uncle left

of those ranches of this fictitious uncle tious ranch,

— " and

" ;

— one

—a

ficti-

fonnd squatters down there,

and you know the people of the South favor squatters more than the people of the North do so

it

wouldn't be safe for

me

Henry Mansfield Howard, and the claimant of

this

his

during

all his

known

the heir of

ranch

he masquerades as Pratt. story,

to be

;

oh,

my

no " !

as

;

Mr.

uncle,

Then

In the line of this

journeys, he never once places

own name upon

the register of a hotel, and

never once places upon the register the real name of

anyone that

is

with him.

of the truth at every point,

Lies supply the place

and

false registry is

Upon we go through

the order of his journey at every hotel.

every step, from point to point, as this evidence,

fabricator

But to his

and

we

find

Mudgett,

alias

Holmes, a

a falsifier.

this is a degression, so I ask

statement again.

was substituted.

Was

He

tells

there a

your attention

you that a body

body substituted

?

Don't you believe with me that that man (pointing to Pitezel's picture) was the

man who was


ARGUME\*r OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEV.

408

buried

in

fijund

in

But he

man was

says,

"B.

man whose body was

Pitezel

F.

Oh, gentlemen, that

What

the

second story room

tliat

America, and he has

ment.

Don't you think with

Potter's Field?

that that

nie

1.

South

in

an awful, a frightful state-

and destruction of

fearful twisting

Pitezel in South

the truth!

Lie No.

?

down

Howard with him."

little

is

is

America

He had

!

seen his body taken up out of the Potter's Field,

and made

wonder

Alice testify that

little

of her father

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; down

that the

lie

in

it

was the body

South America

It is a

!

did not scorch his lips, as the

flames scorched the dead body of Pitezel and con-

sumed the in

Little

flesh.

South America

!

Howard with

his father

Gentlemen, think of

it,

and

then recall in that connection the broken utterances of that poor woman, Mrs. Pitezel, as she was

about

to leave the stand,

to the question

" I last

saw

when

she said, in answer

where did you see Howard

little

Howaid's belongings

oner's office in Indianapolis."

South America with

his father

Little !

God

last ?

in the cor-

Howard

in

help such a

liar!

But he to

his

is

not done yet.

I

now

call attention

statement to Mr. Hanscom.

going to repeat

all

this

I

am

not

statement of his to Mr.


:

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. Hanscom.

do not want

I

weary you, but

to

I

do

obliged to go over the testimony at some

feel

length in the performance of what be a solemn duty. to listen to

me

Therefore

while

A

was taken down at that

how

man

it

this

man

with

all

frailt}^

We

this instance.

said in

the

you

Rtjbbins, a ste-

do not depend

human memory

of

has said.

Boston, and

this stand, told

was taken by Miss Annie

upon the

in

Mr, Hanscom, the

city.

who came upon

nographer, word for word.

to recall

what

comes

to us

It

strength and power of a written

statement, taken it

this

statement was made by him

police official,

conceive to

I

ask you j^atiently

1

your attention to a

call

I

few more of the things which

as

409

down

question and answer, just

transpired in that office in Boston, where he

poured out new fabrications

purpose of

for the

He was examined as " Q. What is PiteHanscom

misleading and deceiving. follows zel's

Q.

By Mr.

:

name? A.

When

did

you

you the da3^ Oh, how fencing

sly

in

" State it in

:

B. F., I think last see

I'll

answers

It

A.

I can't

was

is

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;how

fill it

give in."

skillful in

Mr. Hanscom says

!

your own way.

last in Detroit.

?

leave a blank and

and sharp he

his

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Benjamin Fuller.

him

in

A. Well,

I

saw

liim

the neighborhood of


"

410

ARGUMENT OF THE

three weeks ago, but

date by consulting

DISTRICT ATTORNEY. can give you the exact

I

my

who was with him then was has been on that date,

when he had seen Mr. ?

find out the date?

Not

knew

effort to

Why,

a single one.

was made

effort

She

solely

in

He

Detroit.

could gain nothing

woman.

She

by consulting or questioning

tliis

had not seen him

He had never

in Detroit.

in Detroit; that

was a falsehood told

He was

lead the authorities.

you know where he was '*

gen-

because he

that Pitezel was then rotting in his grave,

and was not

him

as to

Pitezel alive in

Did he make any

the city of Detroit

tlemen, no

alleged wife

Mrs. Howard.

Did he consult her

stand.

tlie

The

wife."

seen

to mis-

then asked, "

stop[)ing in Detroit

Do ?

know he had been there several me to come there." Would he have known where he was stopping? Why

A. No,

I

don't

;

days waiting for not

did he not in his

name some

answer?

hotel

He was

and thus seem candid

afraid the officers

send to the hotel to find out.

When

up.

" Q.

that

you saw him

was the ?

him but once since

"

" A.

last

He

is

might

covering

time before

Well,

I

it

tliat

had not seen

this Philadelphia occurrence."

(Quoting further from the statements made in Boston.)


ARGUMENT OF TEE DISTRICT ATTORNEY,

He

told Mr.

Hanscom

in Philadelphia,

New

411

that he had seen Pitezel

and having procured a corpse

York, had packed

it in

a trunk,

in

and that he

put that trunk on the express, and had given the

check for near the

it

Of

Pitezel.

to

first

Sunday

in

made

course, he

it

He was

September.

telling a falsehood for the purpose of misleading

the officer,

and yet

was with relation to the

it

frauds that he had confessed.

Gentlemen, there tion that has always

me, and

I

one point in this connec-

is

been a subject of thought with

conceive

it

argument

to be a strong

man and his defence in this case. Will you follow me a moment, while I point it out. Remember that he had confessed to the against

story

this

about

was nothing had

the

confessed

There

fraudulent insurance.

in that

that

cheated this company.

be concealed, because he

to

he

was

He had

guilty.

He had

confessed, and he

was going back to go into prison

for

under those circumstances, was

necessary for

him

to lie ?

then.

It

it.

The truth would have been

cannot be said that

money from

it

it

was

Wh}-,

sufficient

to get the

the insurance company, for that

already secured, and was in his pockets. not for that purpose.

Why

did he lie?

It

was was

What


412

ARGUMENT OF THE

was his motive

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

What was

?

he concealing by these

falsehoods about Pitezel living?

fraud was exploded

;

The money had been

cheating the company. ceived

way

The insurance

he had confessed his guilt in

nothing was to be gained either

;

money

of

re-

in the

or freedom from imprisonment, for

he had admitted his crime, and he was going back to Philadelphia to is

go to

Gentlemen, there

jail.

only one thing that explains that falsehood, ut-

tered by the prisoner to Mr. Hanscom.

saw Pitezel

said he

alive,

he

was dead, murdered by him. There

tion for that murder. tion

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; no

is

no other explana-

The cheating

other reason.

When he

knew that Pitezel He feared prosecu-

surance company had been confessed

;

of the in-

the

money

secured upon the policy had been divided, yet he lied

about Pitezel and about the children.

Perry, he said, " Pitezel

Howard

is

is in

To Mr. Hanscom, he

with him."

To

South America, and said,

" Pitezel was in Detroit three weeks ago," and

then subsequently he nati."

Then he

body.

That

it

said, " I

tells

saw him

in Cincin-

about the use of a dead

was not

Pitezel,

but merely some

corpse that was used to stand for his body, and

goes through the long story of the cheat and fraud

upon the insurance company, with which you are


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. familiar

and with

I

vvhicli

413

now weary

will not

yoii.

While we were on the confessions of his,

of proving these

line

we proved

another, which was

The

taken after he came to Philadelphia.

first

confession was simply taken by question and an-

This one

swer.

now come if,

is

in a

more solemn form.

an oath bound statement.

to

when he has taken

I

We

wonder

the solemn obligation of an

wonder

now,

oath, he will tell the truth.

I

when he

us really what has

sworn, he will

is

taken place

;

let

tell

Being

us see.

first

duly sworn,

he says, " That while incarcerated in Louis, Missouri, he then,

man

it

if

jail in St.

met one Hedgepeth."

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; Well,

was true that Hedgepeth was with

out in the St. Louis

jail,

panion in the conspiracy

and was

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " who

said

his

this

com-

that for

$400, he could secure his release from imprison-

ment."

Think in

he

(Quoting further therefrom.) of the audacitj^ of the man, afterwards,

Mr. Fouse's is

office, after

these occurrences that

speaking about, but before this confession

was made.

After the insurance was claimed by

Jeptha D. Howe. into the office,

Holmes was

When

Jeptha D.

Howe came

Mr. Holmes was announced.

in waiting

outside.

]\Ir.

Mr.

Holmes


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

414

walked

Mr.

in.

Howe Wcas sitting there. He preknow Mr. Howe â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not he. Ananother fraud He does not

tended he did not other deception

;

know Mr. Howe

"Why,

INIr.

!

JMr.

!

Howe,

Fouse has

me

let

to turn

and

say,

present Mr. Holmes,"

and Mr. Holmes bows and shakes hands with Mr.

Howe,

Think

of

it,

makes

and

new

a

and remember he

acquaintance.

lias

known him

out there in St. Louis for some time.

Howe had

been sent for by Hedgepeth, and as Miss Yoke said,

was brought

er's counsel,

with him in the tion

to the jail to act as this prison-

and saw him

and fraud run

from beginning

to

How

to

all

end

Then he goes on

Howe

in the jail

and talked

Oh, how deceit and decep-

jail.

through every statement,

I

telling about the relation of

the conspiracy

;

that

Howe was

in it

he got word while in Philadelphia, that they

had a body which could not be used, and that he sent to

New York

and got another body which

had a small wart on the neck

;

that he then con-

cluded not to take any more chances to carry out the scheme, and that he brought that body to

Philadelphia and left

it

in

the care of Pitezel.

This "stiff" that he procured in

brought to Philadelphia, he

left

New

York, and

with Pitezel, who


H r


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. was

to carry out the details of the

He

place.

then

company with as

lie

and she was taken

no, that

away while

he hurried her

sick,

not true for she was

is

when he took her away.

sick

at that

Philadelphia at 10:30, in

left

his wife,

But

says.

scheme

417

she

The

truth

was

sick.

that

is

Then

he stopped off at Indianapolis, and stayed there

one night, reaching

when he went

& Howe

ald

Louis on Tuesday night,

St.

directly to the office of

that he afterwards

;

went

McDonto

Pite-

house, in St. Louis, and found his wife and

zel's

children very

much

excited about the

they had seen in the paper

;

news which

that he then

went

about 9 o'clock the next morning to Howe's

and asked him

fice,

He

to help

of-

etc.

then goes on with the story of the identifica-

tion,

and

tells

about the meeting

met

to

Howe's

The tle

out in the matter,

tells

divide office.

spoils

He

the story of the fraud.

the

in

St. Louis,

plunder

at

INIcDonald

Mrs. Pitezel was there

were divided

;

then

when they

&

present.

Mrs. Pitezel got her

lit-

share out of the proceeds of the

money from

Ten thousand

dollars were

her husband's death. paid, but

zel?

how much

of

it

went

to

poor Mrs. Pite-

She was a party to the conspiracy, as

say, but she

was

in the

hands of a sharper.

the}^

Five


ARGUMENT OF THE

418

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

thousand dollais were taken on one pretext, and

how

with reference to

was taken, departing

it

again, slightlj-, from the order of testimony,

that you will

remember Mrs.

on that subject. "

Now,

we'll

go

She

you that Holmes

tells

to the

ask

I

Pitezel's testimony

bank and pay

said,

a note there

that your husband owes,"' and he took her to the

They went

bank.

tains from this

He

walks around

then

and there Holmes ob-

inside,

woman, out

window, and pietends

in

of her satchel, -15,000.

the bank to another

to be

paying

this note.

I

say " pretends," because the evidence in this case

shows conclusively the the

man beyond

and absolutely deceiviug her did.

and deception of

falsity

question, and that he was

Fortunately,

we have

in

this note.

and we have also a picture of handle with more safety. the note

is

for $16,000,

what he

You

dated

it,

due September 16th, 1894, drawn Mr. Samuels. that

it

You

will notice

bears no endorsement.

endorsed that note. it

was not negotiable.

Here

and it is,

which we can

^^ill

May

literall}-

said

notice that

16th, 1894,

and

to the order of

on the original note Mr. Samuels never

Y'ou can see, therefore, that It

could not pass from one

man to anotlier. That simply says Lyman owes Mr. Samuels this money.

that

Mr.

If

had

it


AROUMEKT OF THE been deposited

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

Lank

in

for collection,

410

upon the

back would have been found the words "deposited for collection," and the signature of Mr.

Samuels, and his signature would have given the

bank the

right to collect

But

it.

no, this note

In point of fact, no

has never been negotiated.

There was nothing

note was at that bank.

to be

paid there, and a fraud was being perpetrated

upon Mrs.

But doubt

Pitezel.

if

we had any doubt

is

absolutely removed

lawyer from Fort Worth

"the body of that note

trouble in telling "

my

is in

Why,"

you

says he,

handwriting,

I

that in for this man," or " for that individ-

ual there," for that if

sure that

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; his clear-cut, plain, and

He had no

the story of that false note.

filled

am

when we hear Mr. You remember him, the

Samuels on the stand.

frank answers.

before, I

is

the

you may remember^"

dividual

brother

;

Pitezel.

that in-

he came to negotiate a loan from

;

the note was

drawn

took the note away to get

Benton

way he designated him, I filled it in for

F.

it

for $16,000,

my

and he

signed by his partner,

Lyman," that being the name used by

He was

Pitezel to sign

did he do?

it,

to take the note

away and get

and then bring

back.

He came back

to

it

What

Mr. Samuels, and


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

420

said, "

lie

Oh,

note

handed over

man

this

mislaid

I

know where made to take

doiTt

note

place,"

it

this

it

;

and the new note

new note

T

new is

he loans

it

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

real

this

dead man stands debtor

to-day, unpaid, uncancelled, while

by Mr. Samuels in

this note written is

had

iiave

the hands of these gentlemen in Fort

them upon

writing

its

I

Mr. Samuels, and upon

Worth, Texas, and to

is,

$2,500, and that

in

is

to

note or lost

that

but

it

his

own hand-

fraudulently concealed by Holmes, and

fraudulently produced to

were a living debt, though

Mrs. it is

Pitezel

as

if it

nothing more than

a piece of paper, and does not stand for a single

profit

The money

So the story goes.

dollar.

and Holmes gets

He

this $5,000.

by the transaction.

He

is

the

is

divided

has matle his

man who

re-

ceived the proceeds from the insurance on the of Pitezel, and he starts away.

life

Then

c

^mes the story of Mrs. Pitezel.

men, you remember that story;

weary you by of

my

its

repetition.

service in this office,

story that stirred ties

like

when,

my

I

am

In all the fifteen years I

heart or

do not remember a

moved my

the broken sentences of

Avith

Gentle-

not going to

that

sensibili-

womnn,

evident suffering in every line and

jnark upon her face, in the supreme effort that she


AllGUMEXT OF THE DISTRTCT ATTORNEr.

made

to

control herself, and to avoid breaking-

down, she told that

how

of

this

man

pitiful,

how he coukl

of me,

moved and look her must

sit

I

do not

see, for the

there in the dock un-

in the face, conscious, as lie

awful wrong that he has perpe-

be, of the

trated upon her

yet uiurvellous story,

led her from place to place in

the pursuit of her husband. life

421

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; how he could

sit

there

and look

her in the face, and listen to the harrowing tale of suffering and

agon}-,

changing a muscle

without wincing, without

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; he

is

a

man

of steel

5

with a

heart of stone, and remains utterly unmoved.

Gentlemen, there was once during the course of this trial that tears

and he appeared

seemed

to

come

came upon the wituess stand the it

to his eyes,

moved when Miss Yoke

to be

first

day.

But

was a subject of such universal comment that

you must have noticed that

when

it

as well as

I,

and others

she was recalled to the stand the sec-

ond day, no

tear

of his lawyers

dimmed

day were summoned

to

The questions

his eye.

showed that the

tears of the first

influence her-, to excite

her pity for him so that in telling her story she

might be induced

ond day, when malice,

to favor him.

his lawyer's shafts

But on

the sec-

were dipped in

and question upon question was thrust


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

422

at her regardless of liow

tlie}^

placed

lier

before

the world or the coiiimuiiity, he sat as stony, as

immovable, as when

jMrs. Pitezel told

her pitiful

story from the witness box.

That was and

I

that

a strange stor^-,

had read

it in fiction,

;

if

you

had overdrawn or overstated

novelist

the

gentlemen

we would say perhaps

that he had overdrawn the story, and

the facts

;

made

stronger than our imagination or fancy

it

could tolerate.

Now,

let us return to that story.

was taken

He went

she was taken back to Indianapolis. St. Louis,

the other

After Alice

to Phikidelphia to identify the father,

and saw

tlie

to

mother, and took from her

two children.

There are now three

children started upon the journey in one group.

In

a

few days, he

travels,

starts

forming a second group. that,

the mother

upon

lier

and with her are Dessa and the baby, In a

little

Miss Yoke proceeds with him.

while after

They

are

travelling in three detachments, each utterly ig-

norant of the location and proximity of the other. Mrs. Pitezel does not

know where

:

Mrs.

travelling with

Pitezel

is

the three chil-

Miss Yoke does not

dren are located

know

that

Dessa and the

babv, and that the three children are also under


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

4J:i

Another exhibition of the marvellous

his control.

power of

ingenuity, craft, cunning, and

this

man.

Travelling in three separate detachments, and in the city of Detroit, stopping within a few blocks

The

of each other.

hotels have been

named

at

which they stopped, within a few blocks,â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

mother yearning

to see her children,

and yet

ig-

norant of their whereabouts, and kept from com-

municating with them; the children pleading to

communicate with

mother, and yet, kept

their

from communication with her of each other in the

same

Poor Mrs. Pitezel

The

!

;

within four blocks

and kept apart.

city,

will

o'the

wisp,

the

hope of meeting Benny, held out, and held out her day after day!

She

be in Detroit."

He

parents.

"Benny

to

"

Oh," said

is

at Galva, Illinois, with her

he,

will

her to come in the middle of

tells

the week, but no, her eagerness to meet her hus-

band prompts her for Detroit

"

Where

ronto."

to start early,

"

"

They go

to

is

Ben

?

Well, well find Ben

Toronto.

the days they spent there.

here and see you to

come and

present

;

and she leaves

from her home on the 13th of October.

it'll

see

when

I

"Oh,

in

To-

You remember he'll

come over

get a house; he wanted

you without the children being

never do to permit the children to


JEGUiVEXT OP THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

424

know

that

lie

is

living; he can't

Gentlemen, right

story.

me

that connection, let

in

to

In that statement to Mr. Hanscom,

remarkable story.

this

tells

in

Holmes'

is

your attention to something he said

call

Mr. ITanscom. \\v

show himself That

the presence of the children."

Said he, "Pitezel

and of course

was keeping

\\ ;is

in

Detroit,

<!!i!

(jf

the sight of the children, but one day he

gii;

to

drinking while in Detroit, and before

knew

it,

he walked right in

tin'

three children were,

;iii.l

they

all

knew

and they

all

away with him." Let us

now

That see

what he told Mrs. Pitezel.

saw him,

what he told

is

how

that

fits

never do to have Mr. Pitezel come and

it

visit

Why

and have your children see him."

to will

you,

he told

that he had called on those three chil-

that hotel in Detroit, and that the chil-

dren

in.

dren

knew

until

I

all

about his being

alive.

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Oh, wait

can get a house for you, and then with the

children away, he can see you,

man

with

"Oh," says he

Mrs. Pitezel, " wait until I get a house;

Hanscom

I

where

permitted him then to take the

and

cliiMren

[{.ijiscom.

to the children,

hira

him, and he was there with the

chiUlren,

I

I

come

and the children

has to be a good

liar,

into the house and

will not

know

it."

A

with a strong memory.


;

ARGUMENT OF THE if

he wants to

Poor Mrs.

finally is

fit

vitally

Mrs. Pitezel.

to

taken to Prescott,

thence to Ogdensburg, lington,

Vermont, and

rested.

He

What

is

however, was lured on and on

Pitezel,

and

425

the stories that he tells

from his story told

different

on,

all

His story told to Haiiscom

each other.

and

make

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

New York at last to

Canada,

in

thence to Bur-

;

Boston

to be ar-

brings her to Boston to be arrested.

Here

talent he displays!

are the three de-

tachments travelling separately, each kept in

ig-

norance of the existence of the others, with this prisoner the postmaster for Mrs. Pitezel and the

children

;

with orders to collect her letters at

every post-office upon their route; this postmaster for these innocent little children,

cepted,

and those

found

letters

identified in broken sentences

the witness stand "

when

Oh, that's Alice's "

was done by Alice

who wanted

Mamma â&#x20AC;&#x201D; every

write letters to Dear

in

tin box,

his

by Mrs. Pitezel on

she exclaimed in anguish

;

" That's Nellie's "

;

" That's

"

to

letter inter-

my

;

"

letter."

That

Was

ever power over a family more complete than this

man's power over these people tercepted

?

one syllable from child to mother ble

Every

letter in-

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;no communication between them.

from mother

to child.

Did

;

I

not one

Not sylla-

speak wrong-


426

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. geiitleiiien, or

fully,

statement when

was

cruel in

I

steel,

with a heart of stone

take

tliese

children's

?

addressed to their

letters

mother, and hide and conceal them,

charged with

He

family.

No,

He

of

other,

is

the jailor of the

whether

it

it

for in

;

be Providential for the detection

but somehow the

in his efforts at

fact

telltale

almost eveiy

and criminality, somehow or

villainy,

and punishment of the rascal or tell,

justly be

suppresses and destroys their mail.

does not destroy

lie

case

may

and with being

being heartless,

beyond comparison.

cruel

making the

man was a man of Anyone that would

said that this

I

not, I

cannot

overreaches himself

villain

concealment, and here and there a

comes

and points the uner^

to light

ring finger of accusation at him, saying " That's the guilty man."

and

tlie

than the

Yes, this

conclusion of

it

is

is

a marvellous story,

not less marvellous

rest.

Mrs. Pitezel and Dessa have appeared before you.

Mrs. Pitezel was asked, "

see those children again?"

When

did you

and her heartrending

answer some of us may remember for many, many years to come

;

it

was

was

pitiful, it

infinitely sad

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; " Oh,

coming from a heart broken with grief didn't

see

them

acfain

until

I

I

saw Alice and


ARGU3IENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. Nellie in the

longings of

morgue

woe

is

woman's

ever}'

infolded in

man

Toronto, and the last be-

What

in Indianapolis."

this

in

Howard

little

tliat

of us

to

in

the Coroner's office

a tale of horror and of

treat

my

gentlemen, that

I

say to you,

blood boiled with indignation

yesterday when counsel, with mistaken

tempted

to

to press her with questions

disguise, for the purpose of

;

knew what

soul,

under

making her appear

party to the conspiracy in this case. course, she

zeal, at-

harrow up that poor woman's

and attempted

do

moved

her with the^ utmost

and kindness, yet

consideration

How

harrowing sentence. plight should have

pitiable

427

a

Wliy, of

her husband was going to

she was particeps crhimiis to the extent that

she concealed that fact to protect her husband,

and that

is

all

The counsel

that they can charge against her.

the prisoner was compelled to

for

probe with questions, and he arrested in Boston

under arrest? " prison

?

"

"

"'

?

"

"

said,

"Weren't

3-ou

Weren't you brought back

Weren't you put

in the

county

Weren't you indicted for conspiracy

" ?

In the name of justice, has there not been enough

done nnn-e

?

Yes, they think this

burden must be added.

make her appear

to

is

One man wants to

necessary.

This

have been as black as he

in the


ARGVMENT op the DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

428

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to aigiie against â&#x20AC;&#x201D; to make her appear to be a co-con-

That was the object

conspiracy.

her credibilit}^

spirator with him, lief.

But every

and therefore not worth}^ of

step of that journey

orated practically by Dessa

curred

in it

;

everything that oc-

was corroborated by

cipher letters that he prepared uous, uncandid, and villainous

be-

was coriub-

her.

Think

of

tiie

What a disingenman it is who would !

prepare a cipher letter to bring into that mother's presence, and read to her as little

if

coming from her

Those children whose voices she

children.

could never hear again were to be misrepresented

by that cipher

letter as if

speaking to her.

Think

also of the other cipher letter, purporting to

come from her husband. cipher. in

\\''ell

Well might he attempt

have

might they be to disguise

in

them

some form, pretending that one came from the

children,

(then dead,) and that one came from

Benjamin

F. Pitezel,

(who was mouldering

in his

grave,) telling her of his whereabouts in Montreal.

Was

there ever a case of moi-e wicked and inex? Why did he adopt all Why was he guilty of all this Why was it that he deceived every-

cusable deceit than this this duplicity?

subterfuge

?

body with these

stories

one answer, and

it

is

?

Gentlemen, there

that in the

is

but

room on the


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

429

second story of No. 1316 Callowhill Street, he took the

do

life

of

Benjamin F.

say that?

I

shows

it,

and

I

say

I

it

am going

to

demonstrate to you

that fact out of this testimony

you the

fact that this

Now why

Pitezel.

because this evidence

man

—demonstrate

to

did destroy Benjamin

Pitezel in No. 1316 Callowhill Street.

He was

telling these malicious lies to cover up a horrible

murder. it

In the

place, there

first

is

no doubt that

was Pitezel, whose body was found as described.

There

is

no doubt that he came

That

chloroform poisoning. uncontradicted

fact

in

is

this

duubt that he was seen

an unquestioned,

There

case.

alive

from

to his death

up

is

no

until about ten

o'clock on Saturday night, out buying his whiskey to take his dilnk

—buying

his cigars at the cigar

He had

written to his wife a

store to smoke.

few days before that he expected see her,

to

and he had told her that

go home and if

he could

succeed, he was going to bring her and the chil-

dren on to Philadelphia. case,

Nothing

from beginning to end,

whole

— not

a particle of

for the purpose of

showing that

intent or purpose on his part

evidence produced

in the

to indicate a suicidal

he ever attempted to commit suicide.

word from the wife

;

not one

Not one

word from

his


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

430

not one word

letters;

what indicated

IVdm

liis

neighbors, but

u hopeful outlook on the future

a building up of plans a« to what he was going to

do

He

in that future.

St.

Louis

but

;

"

I

am

going to

visit

can succeed in establishing a

I

if

saj'S,

business here, I'm going to bring you and the

That was the out-

children on to Philadelphia."

He was buying

look of the man.

his

whiskey;

he was a free drinker; he was buying his cigars;

he was a smoker, laying

Sunday

—not

was going

laying

to

live

in

in

a

stock for that

death for

— he

himself

he was going to drink

;

his

whiskey, and since he could not, under the Excise laws, get

it

on Sunday, he was laying in a stock

on the Saturday night before, so that everything indicated a purpose of

life,

and not a purpose of

suicide.

Now, parently

then, all

we

see

right

him

at

doubt, gentlemen,

in

out of this man's

own

alive

that this lips,

and

time. case, for

well,

and ap-

There it

is

is

no

proved

(pointing to the pris

oner) and out of the lips of ]Miss Yoke, that on that fateful Sunday, he, the prisoner, spent the

greater part of the day at No. 1316 Callowhill Street

;

done to

in other deatli,

words the day that Pitezel was

Holmes was

ni

that house

;

he

is


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. fixed in that house by

liis

own

statements made

more than once, and by the testimony of

Remember

leged wife, Miss Yoke. says "

is

431

his al-

that what she

very significant.

Somebody came on Saturday night

to

his

and sent a message upstairs; the man,

house,

wlioever

was,

it

would not come

Holmes went down

upstairs,

so

and came back

to see him,

" â&#x20AC;&#x201D; and there again comes in the old â&#x20AC;&#x201D; deception "it a man from the Pennsylvania

and told her

is

Company, with whom

Railroad

am

close a deal,

and

I

morrow

see

him."

to

afterwards in that the

about to

Nicetown

F.

to-

Yoke

called on that Saturday night

Benjamin F. Pitezel

Pitezel.

The man with

he had an engagement the next day was

Benjamin

F. Pitezel

;

and

I

asked Miss Yoke

question whether Holmes was at day.

am

This was not true for

that Saturday night.

called on

whom

to

Philadelphia, he told Miss

man who

was Benjamin

I

going out

The answer was

:

ten or half past ten in

come back

" No, he tlie

tlie

the next

went out about

morning, and did not

until the afternoon,

three or four o'clock."

home

about half past

All of those intervening

hours he spent in No. 1316 Callowhill Street, on the day of the murder.

Here, then, we find Pite-


ARGUMENT OF THE

43-3

zel

was

alive

and well on Saturday night, His body

about ten o'clock.

morning dead

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

in a state indicating that

fur

was about

Smith came

tliere;

On

Tuesday and found the deceased. Pitezel was killed; on

house with him

hours

in

Sunday Holmes was

He

and Herman H. Mudgett, Street

met on that Sunday.

why

F. Pitezel

No. 1316 Callowhill

Now we

can under-

this

was a substituted

then he cannot be convicted of murder.

He

confessed the insurance fraud.

money ment that

for the insurance.

to lie is

in the

these stories about Pitezel

tells

If

on

man who was

Benjamin

in

stand

being alive.

the

is

Pitezel died.

he

in

Sunday,

on Sunday he spent several

;

that house.

when

present

he had been

On Monday, no

probably two days.

living person

at Ox

found on Tuesday

is

cor])se,

He

has

has got the

No motive

or induce-

on that account; but because back of

the crime of murder, therefore he denies

these stories, explaining that Pitezel lives, and tliat

a

substituted

place, and he

He the

tells

tells

body has been put

in

you himself that he was

that

there.

you, by his questions to the witnesses on

stand,

that

he was there.

M'hat he said to Miss Yoke.

purpose, but

I

argue

to

you

He

You remember did

it

with one

a totally different


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

AE0U3IENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

He

effect.

43;i

"Miss Yoke, did you notice my

said,

appearance when

came

I

in

on thai Sunday after-

She

noon, between hali past three and four?" said

"Yes."

Now

this

He

man, with

discovered by

"V/asn't

aslced, liis

excited?"

I

story of Pitezel's suicide

wants to make us believe that

liim,

he came in excited, because of that discovery, but

you the secret of

I will tell

Yoke

said to him,

of course,

was worried,

lie

to be worried, because those

were spent in doing a fellow-being worried

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; yes.

start for the

fear that

It

West

get

worried that night excited.

;

I

excited.

would.

that

hours

death

was worriment that made him

made him

make him

to

that night with his wife

away from

there

is

;

it

was

this city before

He had

the body was discovered.

He was

Miss

his excitement.

No, you looked worried, and

Why,

you were hot," and had reason

''

cause to be

no doubt of that.

suppose such a thing would I

do not

You have

know

seen him

;

of

much

else

you have a

right to observe him, not only as he sits here

now, but as he stood there and conducted

him

case.

Y^ou observed

cians,

as a physician, a skillful

them upon the

scientific subjects.

man whose 25

very

his

own

as he addressed physi-

life is at

man, addressing

You observed him, stake, in this awful


;

AnavMFXT or the

4;m

more calmness than even

displaying

ordeal,

could, conducting

Yet

think there

I

him nervous;

I

would make him

and manifesting an

other, fear,

all

I

examination of the wit-

the

nesses, one after the

absolute want of

Disriurr attorney.

nervousness, or fright.

one thing that Avould make

is

think

there

\vorried,

one thing that

is

and that was what took

place at No. 1316 Callowhill Street on that day,

not the discovery of a suicide, but the recollection of a murder.

Now

let

us consider

place there.

We

all his

have put

stories of

have elapsed since the murder before is

made.

These

the substitute body

Months

Captain Linden.

sion or statement to

ment

what took

in evidence his confes-

stories that

this state-

he has told about

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; about Pitezel living and the

children have been discounted and disbelieved

everybody who has come

in contact with

told

him that they did not believe them.

it is

necessary to frame a

in

Moyamensing

new

him has

He

tliinks

story, as he sits

down

Prison, with nothing else to do

He

but to coin narratives to exculpate himself. fashions a

upon the what that

is it

new statement which authorities,

Pitezel

to be

palmed

and upon the public.

that statement? is

is

who

is

off

Now,

That statement admits dead

;

no longer are we


ARGUMENT OF THE

DTSTRICT ATTORXEY.

435

sent roaming- into Soutli America, or off to De-

up

troit or

He now was

to Montreal, in

Canada,

admits that Pitezel has

It

Pitezel.

to find Pitezel.

dead, and that this

is

become evident that the

much

story of a substituted corpse has been so

discredited and is

now

is

so generally disbelieved that

necessary to

bow

to the inevitable

" Oh," he

mit the body to be that of Pitezel. says, " but I did not kill

This

cide."

him

man who was

;

it

and ad-

he died from sui-

out the night before,

apparently happy, and making provision for his

comfort for the next day, not intending to but intending to

live,

and intending

die,

have some

to

of those things that he considered necessar}' fur

comfort

his

next day

tlie

committed suicide ing to his wife, "

I

J'hiladelphia, I

am going

be very dear to him

you

to Philadelphia,

to

conduct business

— and

and

I

has writ-

out to see you, and

to bring

—"

claims

man who was

am coming

children and the baby " to

— Holmes

this

make arrangements

can

if I

— that

that

am

baby seemed

going to bring

we'll live here "

man, Holmes says, committed

in

you and the

suicide.

this

All the

surroundings in this case deny that he thought of suicide

of the

;

the evidence springing from the finding

body denies that he committed

suicide,

and


AM]

ARGUMENT OF THE

the

story that

which

pof^sil)lt\

and

and

case,

Holmes

alleges

lie

is

will

I

DISTHTCT ATTORNEY. tells

of

was committed

how

the suicide

absolutely im-

is

rebutted by the testimony in this

show you,

I believe, as clearly as

mathematical demonstration, that Pitezel was not

was destroyed by a

self-destroyed, but that he

ond person do

in that house,

I say that?

rants

say

I

Holmes

it.

there, and

I

want

it

tells

I

Then

lie

in

your attention specially

— " When

I

went

found Pitezel lying on the

into that

floor

dead."

constructs a remarkable story telling of

own

all

coined in the mint

fancy, intended to explain

had committed is

sec-

Why

room.

you that when he went

a wonderful arrangement, of his

in that

because the evidence war-

to direct

to this remarkable story

room,

and

suicide, Avhich

how

Pitezel

you can readily see

keen mind and thought, and

wortliy of his

which never came from the mind, or from the thought of Pitezel,

him

in

the

till

— an ignorant

one of his confessions.

man, as he

Why, up

id floor, he says, Pitezel

calls

there on

had arranged

mpchnnical contrivance that would do justice the ingenuity of a gptt.

On

lon bottle

Holmes

— to the

skill of a

a chair, according to his story,

is

a to

IMud a gal-

— a bottle that would hold a gallon of — an enormous quantity — put on a

chloroform


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

4:J7

chair; underneath the bottle on the seat of the

chair on each side

chair, the

the

There cork tle,

is

is

—a

is

a block holding

up the

bot-

bottle so that as the bottle reclines on

tom of the

bottom

is

higher than the neck.

carefully inserted through the cork, which

fastened tightly into the quill,

mouth

and then over the

of the bot-

quill is fixed a

rubber tube, which leads down fioni the chair,

down

to a

towel that

is

spread over the face of the

deceased, the rubber tube, using his

being " constricted at the center."

own language, The tube was

tied at the center so as to i)revent the fluid from

flowing rapidly down, and he says that, in that condition, this

man came

found him there

— that he

third-story room,

away from this

slight,

this

man, and took

slim

built,

thin

Pitezel, weigliing 175 or stiff,

room

That he in that

this

man

himself

man, Holmes, took

180 pounds, who must

rigid corpse,

stairs

to the second-story in

death.

and dragged

did not attempt to carry him across

dragged him down the

him

liis

and that he took those things

have been then a

him—he

to

found him there

— but

from the third-storv

room, and there placed

the position of repose in which he was

found lying, and he

tells

you that that condition

of repose in which he was found on the second-


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

AoS

story floor was precisely the same as that in which

he was found on the third-story

him

in precisely the

Was Where Where

is

that gallon bottle

is

any part of

Nothing of has

men,

it

is

it

Where

?

is

found, not a trace of

it

that tube?

it

anywhere

so mysteriously disappeared ?

Gentle

never had an existence except in the fab

why,

name

in the

of

The

first

common

was there

for bringing

Could he not

second-stor}^ ?

question

sense, did he

not leave him on the third-story floor? cessity

there.

this strange suicidal device!

ricated story of this prisoner.

ask

describing

he describing a real scene or a fancied one?

Why

I

floor,

same position down

What

him down

ne-

to the

just as well have

burned and disfigured him up there on the

third-

story floor, as he could on the second-story, and

would not

his deception

have been as successfully

practiced on the third floor as on the second floor?

Gentlemen, that body was never on the story floor.

The

tliird-

relaxation of the invokintary

muscles, and the involuntary discharges from the

person took place at or immediately before dissolution.

These discharges were found on the

ond-story

floor,

not on the third-story

sec-

floor, clearly

indicating that death took place where the body

was found.

This

is

a very significant fact.


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. The next second-story

that

ask your attention

I

was

floor, it

The

in perfect order.

had never been dragged down those

it

is

body was found down on the

order in which everything was showed

perfect

that

which

to

tliiiig

When

this.

439

by a second person. Dr. Scott

arranged.

The is

stairs

clothing was not dis-

you that

careful to tell

the shirt and underwear were carefully tucked

down

into the trousers, with everything in their

perfect place, just as a just as

no one

else

man would

could do

it

fix himself,

for him,

and

and any-

body who knows anything about the preparation of a corpse for

A

why. rule,

corpse

burial, is

readily understand

will

not dressed in clothing, as a

but covered, because of the difficulty of

dressing the corpse, and a second person not being able to adjust the clothing in nice order

the person.

This man's body showed

never been dragged down those

all

tliat

stairs.

over

he had It

was

not disordered.

Now

gentlemen, unless he had found him be-

fore rigor mortis set in

the corpse

— he

—that

position on the second floor

done

it;

for him.

it

is,

the stiffening of

could not have fixed him in that ;

he could not have

would have been perfectly impossible

Yet the very period that he

fixes

— the


ARGUMENT OF THE DTSTEICT ATTORNEY.

no

very time that he fixes as the time of his that place after

it is

after that corpse

is

dead and rigor mortis has set

now ask your

I

to

wish one of you would

I

your room

might appear

— to side,

and

the

He

back and

its

when you go it

here, for

flat

it

of 3^our back, with

and the head turned

floor,

whether any

see

;

in.

an effort after theatrical effect

like

down upon

lie

tr}',

do not want to do

I

your head on the

visit to

and cold

attention to another thing.

body was lying upon

said that the flat.

stiff

is

to

one

order to go

fluid, in

through that tube called the oesophagus, into the stomach, would

ni^t

have

self in that position,

cording to the passed from

prisoner's

the

bottle

towel, thence into the

stomach.

run up

Now,

to

run up

and see

hill.

the

so.

Ac-

chloroform

story the

down

Put your-

not

if it is

tube to the

mouth and then

into the

Gentlemen that chloroform did not

hill.

the prisoner must account for this fluid or

chloroform

in

the stomach.

Do you remember He said ?

what Detective Geyer said he told him he told him that, as part of what Fitezel to do stiff,

be

—he

as they called

substituted

lie

had told Pitezel it

and

this

to

had informed to take this

dead body that was

put chloroform in

to its


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

He

st.)mach.

said to put

in the

it

mouth

dead corpse, and then work the body hnvs, so as to force

That

what he

is

that

how

to

knew how

it

I

into

to

of the

like a bel-

the stomach.

argue to you that

the chloroform into

man who

This

stomach.

do

And

way he passed

the

is

Pitezel's

down

it

said.

441

do

it

told

Pitezel

himself,

and the

chloroform which was found in that body, that

had never

irritated the walls

and surface or lining

of the stomach, was put in there after death,

and

the testimony of two physicians positively shows that

never flowed into that stomach, as Holmes

it

says.

Now

let

me

call

your attention to another

In his questions to Dr. Leffman, and to

point.

Dr. Scott, he tried to create the impression that this

was

bottle

chloroform flow

eighth-tenths

down

full,

if

would not

that pipe, and on to the

towel, into the man's throat, filling up the throat

and forcing there are

did

itself

two

was.

It

When he, "

about that theory that he

not anticipate, and

Leffman made

it

was

Now

through into the stomach.

difficulties

his

answer

like a

I

could see

to him,

when

what the

Dr.

effect

stunning blow in the face.

Dr. Leffman answered him,

"Why,"

couldn't flow hardly faster than

it

said

would


ARGUMENT OF THE DTSTRWT ATTORNEY.

442

evaporate in the condition in which you put

Now

think of

Here

that.

tightly, a quill

is

a

drawn through the

leading from that quill

down

it."

corked

bottle

cork, a pipe

to the towel

not one

;

and unless

particle of air can get into that bottle,

the air can get into the bottle, the fluid will not flow out.

The

can pass

air

the passage

in

and that pipe was strict

it.

When

not flow faster than the

fluid will

it

wnj

of that pipe,

tied in the center so as to con-

You and

I

have seen

illustrated.

it

a barrel of liquid of any kind

is

opened,

they knock the bung out in the top or bore a hole through to let the air

in,

or the contents will

They bore

not flow out freely at the spigot. hole in a barrel, that the air

flow out. " It

may

evaporate."

common

Gentlemen, it

a

in, so

get in and cause the liquid to

faster

if it

than

sense could it

it

The Doctor has

this,

would

in

the

name

collect in the throat in

would

the stomach after death?

it

would not flow out

would evaporate, how

such quantity that

culty.

the spigot

Dr. Leffman says, in speaking of

would not flow out

faster than

of

when they put

force itself

down

Again, another

said to you,

into diffi-

and that

is

uncontradicted here, that a dead oesophagus will

not pass any liquid.

With

the beginning of every


ARGUMENT OF THE

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

act of swallowing, there

The

part.

transfers food

will

you

of the tongue, and

the

closing of the

opening of its

place.

it

A

start

beyond the point

upon

it

After that,

to the stomach.

443

a voluntary act on your

is

its

way down

involuntary, by

it is

oesophagus behind, and the

in front, pressing the food

down

to

dead cesophagus or a dead tube

leading to the stomach will not pass any liquid in that way.

There must be

ing in his position could do the body and

make

He would

it.

a bellows of

it,

vacuum, and draw the liquid down. he would do, and that

dead oesophagus

is

there

artificial aid, or

A second person stand-

must be a second person.

what he did

take

and create a

That is what do.

But

the

another difficulty in the way

is

of his story.

Now

gentlemen, you are to try this case accord-

ing to the evidence else,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; not

according to anything

but according to the evidence.

of the

Commonwealth

It is the

of Pennsylvania to

out this case beyond a reasonable doubt.

duty

make

It is to

be decided according to the evidence that you

have heard, the testimony that the only testimony before you these witnesses to

whom

I

is is

before you, and the testimony of

have referred.

It is


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

444

from their testimony, standing uncontradicted, that this man's fate must be determined.

Let me now read you a few important answers This

from Dr. Leffman's testimony. portant,

and

it

testimony to which

is

He

careful attention.

" Q.

You

is

I

very imask your

testified as follows:

are a graduate of

what school

A

Jefferson Medical College.

Q.

Are you an

A.

Yes,

Q.

You have taught

A.

Yes,

Q.

You

?

analytical chemist?

sir.

chemistry,

I

believe?

sir.

are a professor of that branch

A.

Yes,

Q.

Are you connected with any

?

sir.

(He then goes on and

tells

what

institutions

institutions he

'"

? is

connected with.) " Q.

Are you

familiar with the effects

and use

of chloroform ?

A.

many

I

have seen chloroform administered

times in the course of

college,

and

I

have administered

times to small animals.

from chloroform Q.

What

lialation of

my

in

my

are the

chloroform

I

it

a

great

attendance in a great

many

have never seen a death

experience.

immediate ?

effects of the

iii-


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. The

A. form

first effect

of the mhahitioii of chloro-

some excitement and stimulation,

is

varies a great deal

445

\vhirh

in different individuals,

and Ex-

also varies with regard to the administrator.

pert operators can administer chloroform so as to

produce very

disturbance.

little

a spasmodic condition

it

animals the effect

is

not exactly

is

soon followed by a

is

and

relaxation

of

It

rather one of intox-

is

which

icating excitement,

condition

;

In

insensibility.

usually violent, in the nature

becomes that of

in-

So that the tendency of a person under the

in-

of a fright, but the effect soon sensibility."

fluence of chloroform

would be

to

move

there being an inclination to motion,

could not compose himself and "

put this towel over

will

I

this

tube come

chloroform, and

do

it.

down and I'll

my

lie

face,

and

a

man

down, saying, and

have

I'll

feed the towel with

just go to sleep."

It is physically

restlessly,

He

couldn't

impossible for him to do

so.

There would be a spasm; there would be contortion

;

there

would be motion of the body that

would displace that pre-arranged condition.

why?

Because he cannot control himself

proaching unconsciousness.

beginning might say, "

I'll

I

do

think a

man

And in ap-

at the

this," yet the chloro-


ARGUMKXT OF

41(i

form takes away that he

TlfF DIsTUICT

liis

Ihought and

unable to do

is

scious in the

ATTORNEV. his reason, so

and becomes uncon-

it,

very act of struggling.

If

any of

you gentlemen have ever taken any anesthetic preparatory to having a tooth extracted, yon

may

remember that while you breathed

you

found

it

the gas,

grew harder, and that suddenly, with

a

gasp and a struggle, you passed into unconsciousWell, you could not arrange yourself after

ness. that,

because the next thing you

you on

the dentist taps

and

says, " Sit

unconscious

up

all

what was done

;

to

examined

" Q.

Is there

takes place

it's all

when

right."

You have been

you, with no power to place

Now

Dr. Leffman was

:

any struggle before insensibility

?

There very often

A. tient

is

that time, absolutely ignorant of

yourself in any position. furtlier

know

the chin or on the head,

is

a struggle

by the pa-

being apparently not exactl}- aware of the

character of the struggle.

It is

rather an involun-

tary struggle, or at least, a semi-conscious condition.

Q.

An

effort of nature, is it not, to resist the

effects ?

A.

To

resist

the effects.

Also

it is

probably


ARGU3IENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY. connected with the dh"ect intoxicating

447

effect

of

this case

by

the drug.

Q. those

The description given us in who found the body describe

as

it

being

found lying upon the back with one arm placed thus (indicating) across the bod}-, the right arm,

and the

arm

left

close to the side, the feet stretched

out, heels together, in a

on the back. is

I

want

man

possible for a

composed condition, lying

to ask to

you whether or not

it

administer chloroform to

himself and then compose himself into such a position as that?

A.

I

Now subject, is

think not."

this

and

is

the only testimony

his

answer

opinion as an expert

his

you have on that

" I think not."

is,

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; that

it

That

cannot be

done. ''

Why ?

Q.

No one

A.

is

aware of the time when con-

sciousness ceases. rience,

I

Judging from

my own

of anesthetics, there

is

a condition of confusion

before true insensibility comes on, and be, I think, impossible for

body

in a perfectly

entirely

expe-

have been four times under the influence

anyone

composed condition

by the person's own

act.

it

would

to arrange the

It

like that

would

not, I


— ;

448

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

think, be a natural position into which the

would come by

body

a person administering chh)roform

to liimself."

A man

would be

had had

apt, if he

caused a struggle, and have thrown

He

displaced that tube.

found as this condition,

if

man

it

was self-administered.

could be administered

without awaking a person.

shown you

If the

pleased.

sleep, if he

The testimony has

a key.

and he could enter

man happened

it

to be in a

when he drunken

had a pint of whiskey, and was

intoxicated sleep, then

how

in

an

easy the task to ad-

chloroform to him, and then compose

minister

him, while the body was

still

put him in

—how

be done

man

This

to ring the doorbell to enter

He had that,

down and

describes him, in that composed

Holmes did not have this house.

put to

floor, or

could not have been

the chloroform

Dr. Leffman said that in sleep

it

have fallen forward on the

his lace, to

this position

fresh

and warm, and

easily that could

Holmes could enter with

!

had access

to

the

house

— access

to

his

key

the

;

he

man

knowledge of the condition around the house ability to use the chloroform

favor

;

it

was no trouble

— everything

in his

to him.

Dr. Leffman was further examined as follows


"

ARGUMENT OF THE DISTBTCT ATTORNEY. " Q.

A.

Is

chloroform easy to swallow

It is rather objectionable

an irritable substance, and

taste

its

greeable sweet character, so that cult for persons to swallow

He

illustrated

by

a

it

few drops

is

even

diffi-

amounts."

:

was lying on his back,

If a person

It is

of a disa-

in water.

This question was then put to him " Q.

is

in small

it

?

the taste.

;

449

flat

on

the floor, with a tube leading from a bottle con-

taining chloroform to the mouth, could there be

any of that pass into the stomach tion

Now

this is the

testimony of a competent ex-

pert on the subject, a

ment

;

it

is

man

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;not

of keen, clear judg-

the uncontradicted testimony in the

and there has been no

case,

is

in that posi-

?

effort to conti'adict

one word said against

it

by anybody.

it

It

the absolutely uncontradicted testimony, and

counsel accepted statement.

"A. quantity

it

on the other side as a true

The answer was

If it ran into the it

:

mouth

in considerable

would produce a choking

would cause the prisoner turb the condition.

I

to

effect

which

move about and

do not tliink

it

dis-

could flow

quietly without disturbing the individual, from the tube 26

down

into the stomach.


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

450

State whether or not the direction would

Q.

be rather up

hill

than down

hill, to

stomach through the oesophagus A.

Yes,

Q.

If lying

flow into

tlie

?

sir.

on the back>

would have

it

to flow

uphill?

A.

Rather up

Q.

How

ity

hill,

connecting with

They

A.

a little higher level.

about the bronchii and the lung cavit

in that position

are stiff walled

?

The bronchii

are always distended.

and there would be some

ity of the chloroform,

possibil-

probably of some of It is a volatile

ting into the bronchii.

some of the vapor would pass the temperature of the

body

it

get-

vapor, and

in there also.

it is

At

decidedly vola-

tile.

The absence

Q.

of chloroform in the bronchii

would indicate what, under those circumstances?"

You in

the

would

remember that there was none found

will

bronchii.

indicate

quantity in

His answer was that

there

the mouth."

"

:

A.

It

was no very great So that the physical

conditions in this dead man's case deny the piis-

His theory and

oner's theory.

flowed self

down

down

in

his story

such quanlllios that

into the stoinaeh, but

it

is

that

forced

it it-

none was found


ARGUMENT OF THE DISTEWT ATTORNEY. in the bronchii

trated there,

none was found to have pene-

;

I said to him, " Doctor, wliat

and

does the absence of

it

there indicate

" It indicates that there tlie

mouth."

fore, there

forced

it

451

?

"

He

There could not have been.

was not

said,

was never very much

this quantity that Avould

into the stomach,

in

There-

have

and the very physical

condition of this corpse denies the story of the

other side, that was artfully pahned off upon the officials, to

explain the death of Benjamin F. Pite-

zel.

Dr. Leffman further testified " Q.

:

Could the chloroform pass a dead oesoph-

agus without outside aid of a living person

A.

I

think not.

The oesophagus

in its active condition,

and

I

is

?

collapsed

do not think a dead

oesophagus could swallow any appreciable amount of chloroform.

Q.

Explain to the jury what the oesophagus

A.

It is the

the stomach.

It is the

food passes.

It

food

is

passed

is?

tube leading from the mouth to

is

tube through which the

a muscular tube which the

down by

a sort of contraction, the

tube contracting after the food and expanding before

it,

so that the food

the stomach.

The

is

quickly passed on into

bronchii, or trachea,

which are


ABQUMENT OF THE

452

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

the bronchial divisions of trachea, are the tubes

They

leading to the lungs. waj's open,

At

are

They

the upper part, at least.

sub-divide,

stiff

walled,

al-

and rather larger than the oesoiDhagus. divide and

becoming very small, penetrating

all

parts of the lungs.

Does or does not the

Q.

quire an effort of the will

A.

act of swallowing re-

?

requires an effort of certain muscles.

It

Not exactly

of the will.

Q.

A

A.

It requires 'the act of certain muscles, of

voluntary act

It is really

living tissue.

involuntary in the sense

when

the food once starts

After

it

that it.

?

first

we cannot

we cannot

starts

part of the act

is

control

control

The

it.

voluntary, but back of

tlie

back part of the tongue the food goes without our control. It

is

It requires the

a reflex effect

tion of

tlie

tube, which to the

Q.

;

that

surface of the is

action is, it

returned by a nerve current back

tliere

due to the taking of

stomach

in life ?

act.

be any effect upon the lining

of the stomach visible in a post tion

irrita-

mouth and swallowing

muscles that perform the

Would

of living tissue.

requires an

mortem examina-

chloroform

in

the


AMUMENT A.

I

tated

OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

would expect

â&#x20AC;&#x201D; the

lining

see

to

membrane

tlie

453

stomach

irritated

as

irri-

by an

ordinar}^ irritant.

Would

Q.

the absence of that irritation indi-

cate that the chloroform had been inserted in or after death

The absence

A.

that

cate

of the irritation

would

chloroform had not been

the

stomach long enough It

life

?

would indicate

to

produce any of

at least

indi-

the

in

its effects.

an introduction of the

chloroform very near to death.

After death would

Q. tion

it

produce an

irrita-

?

would produce no

A.

It

Q.

So that

would not No,

A.

Now tion

if it

irritation after death.

were inserted

find the irritation

after death,

you

?

sir."

both doctors are positive that an examina-

upon the post mortem disclosed no

irritation

of the walls of the stomach due to chloroform.

Q.

So that

you would not A.

No,

Q.

If

if

it

were inserted after death,

find the irritation ?

sir.

it

were inserted

in life,

you would

ex-

pect to find that as one of the natural conse-

quences?


ARGmiENT OF THE

454

A.

DISTlilCT

ATTOKNEY,

Yes, sir."

Now

I

" Q.

given

ask your atteutioii to this question:

Taking the history of

this case as I

you say whether

to you, could

it

your opinion as an expert, the chloroform case

"The Prisoner: that

object to that question,

1 I

think

should be stated

it

distinctly as to wliat the District Attorney as this case has been stated.'

The tor,

it,

I

:

have stated to you. Doc-

that this body was found lying upon

in this

floor,

wise

means

"

District Attorney then stated

" I will repeat

upon the

a

?

for this reason,

'

in this

was self-administered or administered by

second person

by

have

or not, in

its

back

with one hand laid across the body

(illustrating),

and the other lying

close to the side, both limbs stretched out, heels

together, and the whole

body

in a condition or

pose of repose, and there was congestion of the lungs,

and empty

heart,

and while there was an

alcoholic condition of the stomach, there irritation of the lining, in

was no

but there was chloroform

the stomach, a pipe filled with tobacco lying at

the side, a burned match beside

it.

Those are

the conditions as I intended to describe them.'*

That

is

the answer to the statement of this


ARGUMENT OF THE man

wise of this body indicate that

own hand.

then

If he did not die

"Q.

No,

by

for he

was

at the time.

?

sir."

you are

case

this

die

own hand

his

could not have been self -ad ministered

It

to try this case according to the

evidence, and that in

by

who was with him

under those conditions

Now

could not have

was by the defendant's hand,

it

the only person

.\.

it

That man did not

been self-administered. his

455

very condition physically and other-

the

;

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

the

;

is

the uncontradicted evidence

evidence that this could not

have been self-administered, the finding of that body, the place where conditions

all clearly

it

was, the surrounding

indicate that this

man was

not self-poisoned, but was poisoned by a second person.

See

how

we have

we have come.

far in our progress

have established that established

this is

Benjamin F.

We

Pitezel,

that he has died of chloro-

form poisoning, we have established that that was not self-administered, but administered by a sec-

ond person

;

we have shown

that house on that fateful

dead man by him

,

we

have'

that he was there in

Sunday alone with

shown that every

to explain his presence

was

false

the

story told ,

we have


4r>(J

ARGUMENT OF THE

shown

lliut his

DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

theory and therefore his allegation

we have shown

of suicide was false;

the effort at

concealment when there was no other object unless it

knew he had committed

be that the defendant

murder and was

telling these falsehoods

the other to conceal esis

Upon no

it.

other hypoth-

can his conduct be explained than that

was concealing the crime of murder.

what made him

flee

made him take

this wife

from city to

derful journey, that

That

city, that is

lie

is

what

with him upon this won-

what made him take even

is

the children along, that

the letters and that

a

one after

what made him conceal

is

is

w^hat

made him shut

off

communication between the different members of This

that household.

shadow

of

murder

;

man was

fleeing

from the

that was the crime he was

seeking to avoid, that was what he was fleeing from.

It w'as the

tion that

menace

made him take

of pursuit

this

had not been interrupted

and detec-

journey which,

at Boston,

if it

would only

have terminated when he reached Berlin with his alleged wife. Miss Yoke. I

have now occupied joxxv time a great. deal

longer than tribute

it

I

expected, and I trust you will

only to the desire

by every thought

I

I

at-

have to fully aid you

can present on this testimony.


ARGmiENT OF THE DISTRICT ATTOENEY. You side.

are to listen to counsel

know what

otlier

do not

I

You

of defence will be.

their line

remember

must

upon the

do not know what they will say,

I

457

Commonwealth

the

that

obliged to grope in the dark

we have not

;

is

the

my friend to inam left completely

aid of an opening speech from "^e the line of defence, so I

di'

\n the

the

dark as to what course the argument on

other side

to call

is

But

going to take.

your attention

to the limitation

Under

want

I

put upon

it

by the evidence.

is

only one thing the counsel can argue to you,

which

is

this evidence

there

that Pitezel committed suicide and was

There

not murdered.

is

nothing else in this case

but that narrow question, and of that thought

I

it

is

in

the line

have called your attention to

and the testimony of

the facts and circumstances,

the experts which exclude the theory of suicide. It is

in that

connection

tion to Pitezel's

and

did,

future,

own

I

have called your atten-

declaration and what he said

indicating his hopeful outlook on the

and shown that there

is

not a scintilla of

evidence here to indicate any intention upon his part to sible

commit

suicide,

and

I

upon the statements of

ask you this

if it is

pos-

man concerning

the mechanical contrivance of a bottle,

a tube


458

A Rd CM EST OF THK DL'^TRlCr ATTORNEY.

and

a towel

was

[ihiced

the

the condition in which the deceased

;

and the circumstances under

body was found, you are going

weight of this mass* of

whicli

to set aside the

testimony pointing to

a guilty crime and say that this subterfuge, this tricky statement shall prisoner,

when

work an

the charge

is

acquittal of the

so thoroughly

and

completely brought home to him by the evidence in

this

case

;

such evidence as that of Dr. Leff-

man, who says

it

would be impossible

the

for

chloroform to be self-administered, the untenable description of the contrivance

the alleged self-

ftir

adminstration in which, the Doctor says, there

no provision made for an

air

vent so that the

is

air

might enter and the liquid flow out of the bottle.

The

committed

how

how

suicide

was

will not stand the test of criticism,

and

story of the explanation of

the defence of suicide

is

by any reasonable argument derstand.

going to be sup[)orted I

am

at a loss to un-

ask you to confine yourselves to the

I

testimony concerning the facts in this case

:

not

the statements of counsel, not the things outside of the case, but to the evidence as it

and as

call it to

I

you have heard

have endeavored to review

it

and

re-

your memory so that you ma}^ be able to

be guided by

it

in

reaching a proper result.


ABGUMEXT OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY.

Now

this btrange trial

is

drawing rapidly

has been dramatic in

It

close.

459

its

tu a

incidents, but

those incidents have nothing to do with the case.

The

fact that

this

man

appears without counsel

and then with counsel has nothing

to do with the

The simple

question of his guilt or innocence.

question

is,

vania, as

it

bound

is

it

beyond a believe

Has the Commonwealth

made out

to do,

and reasonable doubt

fair

has, then

murder

dict of

of Pennsyl-

your duty

?

its

case

If

you

to find a ver-

is

of the first degree against this

man. I told bill

you

in the

opening that, while iu

this

of indictment there were several degrees of

which you might

guilt

find in

your verdict, and

that you might also find a verdict of not guilty,

yet the evidence would point indubitably to one result

;

this

man

be acquitted, or gree. is

There

is

is

is

either innocent

and ought

guilty of murder in the

no middle ground

the highest crime

known

to

first

de-

in this case.

It

to the

law under the

circumstances surrounding the deceased, fur he

was poisoned

to death,

and the poisoning

indicates a clear intent to

kill.

If this

poisoned then there was the purpose to it

was

a wilful, premeditated

itself

man were kill,

and

and deliberate mur-


ARai'MKXT OF THE DISTRICT ATTOKNEr.

-16(1

and

der,

lliis

prisoner

responsible in the highest

is

form of verdict you can render.

know

I

it is

not a pleasant or agreeable duty to

be called upon as you

are,

nary pursuits and selected

taken from your ordi-

and

to sit here

as part

of the administration of criminal justice, to

judgment upon the doubtless find I can

it

life

sit in

You

of a fellow man.

repugnant and disagreeable,

how you might

readily understand

from finding such a verdict as the one

I

volving the consequences

my

cluding thought

I

it

does; so as

appeal to your

ai.d

shrink ask

in-

con-

manhood and

sense of right and ask you to do what the crier of

the court has asked you to do, " Stand together,

good men and true."

You have hearkened you

to complete the

upon you by claring your

to the evidence.

work

fearlessly,

ask

I

law has cast

Avhich the

manfully and honestlj' de-

judgment upon

this

evidence,

no

matter what that judgment may involve to this

man the

;

no matter what

Commonwealth.

may

its

consequences

It

requires courage to dis-

charge one's duty in times of peace

;

in the

be to

tem-

ple of justice, as part of the administration of the

criminal law, just as tle

in

its

it

does upon the

flame and smoke.

field of bat-

The man who

faces


ARGUMENT OF THE DISrRTCT ATTORNEY.

4G1

month, the man who faces the charg-

the cannon's

ing legiment, has no greater or higlier conrage tlian

man who

tlie

sits

calmly in the place of a

might and strength as

juror, rising in his majesty,

man

an individnal

to discharge fearlessly a great

and solemn duty. if

you believe

I

this

ask you to stand as men, and

man

is

guilty, aye,

though

it

consign him to punishment that involves death, he true to your conscience, be true to your oaths,

God

discharge that duty fearlessly in the sight of

and man, and remember you are not responsible for his

that

That was sealed

fate.

Sunday

in

in the silence of

He

No. 1316 Callowhill Street.

wrouglit the facts and fashioned the circumstances that brought

him

here.

You

are not responsible

for his being here or for his trial

you are only

respojisible as

upon

this

charge

good men and true

;

for

the finding of a righteous, an honest, and a just verdict. I

ask you, therefore, while

peal, not

and not though

to

to it

guarding against

while guarding against any false

prejudice,

ap-

be afraid to do your duty like

men

cower

duty

in the presence of that

involves things upon your part whicii

are repugnant,

things that are repellant, things

that you would far rather shift

away from you and


ARGUMKXT OF THE

4(1.!

encountering.

uvoicl raid

ask you to Tace the duly

I

acquit j-ourselves

great stress

men.

like

be laid upon

will

the benefit of

to

So he

it."

A is,

that

\iwo\\

I

"

i

easonable

"If you have a doubt this man

doubt." tled

DISTBICT ATTOllXEY.

but

enti-

is it

must

not be a doubt suggested by the desire to avoid

performance of an unpleasant duty.

tlie

evidence

make

to

fails

to his acquittal,

the case out he

If the

entitled

but you are asked to perform no

higher function here than in your

own home

If this evidence

place of business.

office or

is

or

would

convince you as men outside of this Court of this

man's guilt

ought

it

convince you equally in

to

the jury box.

There are no tuo standards of judgment, there are no

two standards by which

Your minds must operate lioiiest

men.

Isecause 3"0u

you are given no

yourselves as

this

If

are

and only sworn

as plain

as jurors;

higlier [lOwer of discrimination,

no greater judgment ([liit

to reach the result.

siin])ly

;

you

in the

are asked sini[i]y io ae-

everyday

affairs of life.

testimony convinces you of his guilt you

must say

so

;

if

it

convinces you of his innocence

lionestly then yt)U should acquit. I

you

ask 3'ou to remember this testimony, to

remember

that

it

is

I

ask

uncontradicted, that


ARGUMENT OF THE there

DTSTniC'T

ATTOUNEY.

not one scintilla of evidence to attack

is

statement of Dr. Leffnian, that there scintilla

of evidence

to attack the

Dr. Mattern

Dr. Scott or of

;

stand before you unchallenged.

is

are admitted in this case.

dence and his statements

tlie

not one

statement of

those statements

Nay,

I

go further

and say they stand before you admitted.

far

MX:.

They

In the face of this evi;

in the face of his flight

away, there can be but one conclusion in your

minds dock

I

am

sure,

and that the

guilty in

is

is

that the

man

manner and form

in

in the

which

stands indicted of this ciime.

lie

I

thank you iiave

tion.

I

liours

and a

your patience and earnest atten-

for

been talking to you for nearly two half,

very

much

longer than

I

ex-

pected, and although perhaps uninteresting and

rather prosaic and full of detail, you have given

me your I

earnest attention from beginning to end.

ask you to give

to the dict

it

now

to

my

adversary and then

Court and to the end, and with your

whatever

it

will be satisfied.

may be

ver-

conscientiously reached

I


APPENDIX Commonwealth

1

vs.

I

Herman W. Mudgett,

alias (

H. H. Holmes.

II.

Court of Oyer & Terminer Philadelphia County. Sept. Sessions, 1895.

J

No.

466.

motion for new trial,

Arnold,

new

trial,

J.

The

first

three reasons assigned for a

to wit, that the verdict is against the evi-

dence and the law, render necessary a statement of the were developed by the evidence at the

facts, a? +,hey trial.

The defendant aud Benjamin F. Pitezel,the deceased, were engaged in a conspiracy to cheat and defraud the Fidelity Mutual Life Insurance Company of Philadelphia. In pursuance of their scheme, Pitezel obtained a policy of insurance on his life, dated November 9th, 1893, for $10,000, payable to Carrie A. Pitezel, his wife. Pitezel lived in St. Louis, and the defendant at Wilmette, a town about fourteen miles from Chicago. Pitezel left St. Louis to come to Philadelphia on July 29th, 1894, rented and occupied the house No. 1316 Calassumed the name of B. F. Perry, and held himself out as a dealer in patents. The defendant appears to have come to Philadel[)hia shortly thereafter, and took board for himself and putative wife on August 5th, 1894, at No. 1905 N. 11th Street, a distance of nearly two miles from the house in which Pitezel lowhill Street,

On Tuesday, September 4th, 1894, Pitezel was found dead in his house his body was lying on the lived.

;

27

(465)


NEW

MOTION FOR

466 floor,

composed

tion

his right

;

arm was

in position,

arm was

TRIAL.

but decomposed

in condi-

laid across his breast; his left

lying by his side his breast was burned, except that part of it which was covered by his arm his face was black from decomposition, and there was a strench arising from his body, which indicated that he had been dead for several days. Beside him was a pipe, filled with tobacco, but not smoked also a burnt match. There was also a broken bottle, containing a mixture of benzine, chloroform and probably ammonia, near to his side, so that the appearance of things indicated that there had been an explosion. Pieces of the bottle, however, were not scattered about the floor, nor sticking in the side of Pitezel, as might have been expected in case of an explosion, but they were all on the inside of the bottle. Pitezel was last seen alive by several witnesses on Saturday, September 1st, 1894, on the evening of which day he purchased a pint of whiskey, and took it home with him. Subsequent developments proved that Pite;

;

;

came to his death on Sunday, September 2d, 1894, and that his body lay unseen by any witness, so far as knuwn, until Tuesday, September 4th, 1894, when it was discovered by a man named Eugene Smith, who had called to see Pitezel on the day before, but not finding Pitezel, and getting no response to his call for Pitezel, went away and returned the following day, Tuesday, and upon going to the second story, saw Pitezel's body lying on the floor. Smith went immediately to the police station, obtained two officers, and also a neighzel

boring doctor, with all of whom he returned to the house, and found the body in the condition above described. The coroner's physician was also sent for, and upon an examination of the organs and vital parts of the deceased, the conclusion of the coroner's physician, and Dr. Scott, who took part in the examination, was that Pitezel had been killed by chloroform poisoning, and that the chloroform was not self-administered.


MOTION FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

467

his heart was empty, which there was very little food in his stomach; his kidneys were alcoholic and so was his stomach. The doctors found half an ounce or more of chloroform in the stomach, but as the stomach was not irritated, their conclusion was that the chloroform was put in after death. On the night of September 2d, 1894, the defendant suddenly and hurriedly left Philadelphia, giving a false destination to his landlady. He had been away from his boarding house from 10:30 A. M. to 4 P. M. that day, and when he returned he was excited, nervous and worried, and his underclothing was wet with perspiration. Pitezel was buried, under the name of Porry, as a pauper in the Potter's Field. Several days thereafter, the officers of the life insurance company received word from the defendant that the man who was buried under the name of B. F. Perry, was the person who was insured in their company under the name of Benjamin F. Pitezel, and he offered to furnish proof of identification of the body. The agent of the company went to see the defendant at his house at Wilmette, but did not find him. He found, however, a lady who said she was the defendant's wife. Shortly thereafter, a letter was received from the defendant, stating that he had heard, through his wife, that he was wanted, and in due course the defendant came to Philadelphia after having arranged that Alice Pitezel, the daughter of the dead man, should also come here for the purpose of identifying the body. Accordingly the body was exhumed on September 22d, 1894, and was fully identified by the defendant and by Alice Pitezel as the body of B. F. Pitezel. On that identification, the insurance company paid the amount of the policy, on September 24th, 1894, to one Jeptha D. Howe, attorney in fact for Carrie A. PitezeL After the money was obtained, it was taken to St. Louis, where Howe retained $2,500 for a fee $5,000 was obtained from Mrs. Pitezel by the de-

His lungs were congested

indicated sudden death

;

;

;


3I0TI0N FOR

468

NEW

TRIAL.

fendaat, upon his statement that her husband owed that amount on a note; and the balance was used in paying sundry expenses, Mrs. Pitezel retaining only $500 of the money. The note which the defendant stated he paid with the $5,000 was not a valid note; nothing had ever been advanced on it; nothing was due upon it and nothing was actually paid upon it, the defendant, in fact, keeping the money. After the money was received, the defendant deceived Mrs. Pitezel by telling her that her husband was not dead that he would return to her as soon as possible, coming to her by way of Puget Sound. He also obtained from her the custody of her two children, Howard and Nellie, taking them to Indianapolis, as he said, to meet their sister Alice, where the family were to be reunited. He also induced Mrs. Pitezel to leave her home, taking her remaining daughter and a babe with her, and going to Detroit, upon the promise of the defendant that he would produce her husband in that city. There he registered her under a false name, kept her two or three weeks without producing her husband, giving her, among his excuses for not doing so, his assertion ;

;

that Pitezel was being watched by detectives. From thence to Prescott, Detroit, he led her to Toronto ;

Canada; thence to Ogdensburg, New York; and thence to Burlington, Vermont, all the while promising to produce her husband to her, and her children also. In

some

of these places, he rented furnished houses for

In Burin, and set her to housekeeping. Vermont, he put dynamite in the cellar among the potatoes, telling her to take the dynamite from the cellar and carry it to the top of the house. She did take it from the cellar, but did not take it to the top of the house, for the reason, as she said, that it might explode, and do damage to the things stored there. From Burlington, Vermont, Mrs. Pitezel, and the two children she had with her, went with a messenger sent l-.y the defendant, to Boston, where the defendant and her to live lington,


MOTION FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

469

Mrs. Pitezel were arrested about November 19th, 1894, aud held to await requibitiou. The defeudant was wanted by the authorities iu Texas upon a charge of horse stealing, aud also by the authorities in Peuusylvania to answer for cheating aud defrauding the life insurance company, or any offense which miglit be alleged against him During all the journey in search of her husband aud children, the defendant told Mrs. Pitezel that ho was in correspondence with her children, and had seen her husband, and would produce him and them at the various places to which he took her; but all this was a deception and a falsehood, for she never saw her husband, and all she saw of her children were the dead bodies of two of them at the morgue in Indianapolis. After the defendant was brought to Philadelphia, he was indicted upon the charge of conspiracy to cheat and defraud the life insurance company, by palming off a spurious body as that of Pitezel, and on that indictment, pleaded guilty, and sentence was suspended awaiting further investigation by the authorities. Mrs. Pitezel was confined iu prison seven months aud then discharged. In consequence of further investigation, an indictment was found by the Grand Jury on September 12th, 1895, charging the defeudant with the murder of B. F. Pitezel on September 2d, 1894. At the tiial, it was proved by several witnesses, and admitted by the defendant's counsel, that B. F. Pitezel was dead. It was also proved by the statement of the defendant to the superintendent of police, and one of the detectives of Philadelphia, as well as admitted by defendant's counsel, that the defendant was in Pitezpl's house on Sundaj^ September 2d, 1894, the day on which, according to the evidence, Pitezel was killed. The theory of the defendant's counsel, for no evidence was offered by him to substantiate the theory, was that it was a case of selfmurder; and that the defendant, fearing that the policy of insurance would be vitiated by the suicide of


MOTION FOR

470

NEW

TRIAL.

Pitezel arranged the body in the manner in which it was found, set fire to and burned it, and placed tlie

broken bottles alongside of it, for the i)urpose of making it appear that Pitezel had died an accidental death, caused by the explosion. Three questions were submitted to the jury to determine. First, was Benjamin F. Pitezel dead. Second, did he die a violent death and third, if he died a violent death, did he commit suicide or did the defendant kill him. An answer to either one of these questions in favor of the defendant would have entitled him to an acquittal. The jury resolved them all against the defendant, and found him guilty of murder of the first degree. Upon the hearing of the motion for a new trial, I had the valuable aid of my colleagues, Judges Thayer and Willson. The evidence was lehearsed and it is our unanimous opinion that the verdict of guilty of murder of the first degree is fully justified by the evidence, and upon the facts of the case, there is no ground shown for a new trial. The fourth reason assigned is new matter discovered since the trial. At the argument it was developed that this so-called after-discovered evidence was manufactured for the purpose and is utterly unworthy of belief, and we will not notice it farther. The fifth and sixth reasons assigned are that the District Attorney, in his opening speech, made statements which were not proven, and which related to other crimes which could not be part of the evidence; and that the Court erred in not allowing an affidavit to be filed, and an exception to the statements made in the District Attorney's opening speech. These reasons, no doubt, are based upon a recent ruling of the Supreme Court, in Holden vs. The Penna. E. E. Co., 1G9 Pa., 1, in which that Court granted a new trial because of the remarks of counsel in summing up the evidence abuse of witnesses, and other outrageous misconduct, which the Supreme Court properly re;

;


BIOTION FOR

NEW

buked, by granting a new

TRIAL.

471

A

similar decision S. 360 and cases cited, ''t is manifest that there is a difference between opening speeches and summing up. In sum-

was niade

in

Waldron

vs.

trial.

Waldron, 156 U.

case, counsel can be and should be kept within the evidence given at the trial, and abuse of witnesses without cause, and without decency, should be promptly checked, and if repeated, should militate against a verdict obtained by such means. In the opening, however, counsel often state matters which they expect to prove, but fail to prove^ either from want of witnesses, or by reason of the evidence being excluded by the Judge, who cannot be expected to know in advance whether the case outlined by counsel will be permitted to be proven. As to the exception, it must be noticed that an exception is always preceded by an objection, and the exception is then taken to the act of the Judge in sustaining or overruling the objection. In this case, no objection whatever was made, and consequently an exception has nothing upon which it can be based. An exception, like an objection, must be taken at the time the objectionable act is done, either in offering evidence; or in remarks to the jury. The District Attorney's opening speech was made on Monday, October 28th, and no exception thereto was asked for until November 1st, or four days

ming up a

strictly

thereafter.

The remarks

of

Judge Dean

in

Commonwealth

vs.

Welier, 167 Penna., 164, are so apropos in this connec" The attitude of tion, that we quote them verbatim defendant's counsel, as exhibited by the record, is in substance this: Counsel for the Commonwealth erred in the matter of his addressing the jury. I erred by :

remaining

silent

when

I

should have promptly brought

his error to the notice of the Court by objection

;

the

Court committed no error, but its judgment should be reversed because I did not perform my duty." This illustrates the dilemma in which counsel are placed by


MOTION FOR

472

NEW

TRIAL.

own conduct. According to all law and reason, the exception was- asked fur too late, even if it had been preceded hy an objection made in time. If it be said that the defendant was at this time without counsel, the answer is that it was his voluntary and deliberate choice. He was indicted September 12th, 1895. On September 23d, he was arraigned. The record shows that his two counsel were present with him at the arraignment. October 28th, or five their

weeks thereafter, was fixed for his trial. Counsel stated at the arraignment that they would not be ready, and when the case was called for trial moved for a continuance, which being refused, they first threatened to withdraw from the case, and on being told that they could not wiilidiaw without leave of the Court, tliey entered upon the trial by questioning the talesmen, as they were called to serve as jurors. After being thus engaged for some time they held a consultation with their client, and the defendant then announced that he had dismissed his counsel and would thereafter conduct the case himself. Other counsel were assigned him, but he rejected their services.

The Constitution of Pennsylvania as well as of the United States, secures to persons accused the right to have counsel to assist them at their trial, but it does not attempt to force counsel upon them. The right of

man

to plead his own cause is a natural inherent The right to have counsel is given by the Constitution, and no man can be deprived of the right to

ever}'

right.

defend himself or be compelled to have the services of counsel. The Constitution also secures to the defendant the right to a speedy public trial. This was given in return for the right which the Commonwealth possesses to a like speedy public trial, and it is not within the

power

of persons accused to say

when they

will be

willing to be tried, or to defeat a trial by dilatory

mo-


3I0TI0N FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

473

and practices such as were resorted to in tliis Nor was the defendant without counsel, for during the recesses of Court and in the morning before the openiog of Court he was in consultation with the same counsel whom he had dischai'ged, and on the tions case.

evening of the second da3^ the counsel determined to return and take part in the trial, but [permitted the defendant to make another dilatory motion, which was overruled, and the counsel immediately returned to the conduct of the case. The opening speech ot" the District Attorney contained no statement not induced and justified by the remarks of the counsel for the defendant at the very beginning of the trial, when they asked for a continuance, because, as they said, there were to be three cases of murder tried, two of which were alleged t<j have been committed out of the jurisdiction of this Court. In Commonwealth vs. Hanlon, 8 Philadelphia Eeports, 423, it was decided by Judge Ludlow, that reference in opening by the prosecuting attorney to the fact that the prisoner had been guilty of other crimes is not a reason for a new trial. The Court very properly considered an opening speech like an offer of evidence which is rejected. An offer of evidence, which is rejected, does not furnish a reason for the release of a prisoner charged with murder or to annul the verdict and require a new trial. Com. vs. Crossmire, 156 Pa., 310.

summing up of the District Attorney, no was made to these extra-territorial murders, evidence of which had been excluded, for the reason that no such connection between them was shown, as was required in Shaffner vs. The Commonwealth, 72 Pa. 60, another case of murder by poisoning in order to obtain insurance money; although there are c;ises in which evidence of two murders at the same time may be given on the trial of one, as in Brown vs. The In the

allusion


MOTION FOR

474

NEW

TRIAL.

76 Pa. 319; or cases in which an insecured by the killing of two persons at

Commonwealth, heiitauce

is

different times, as in 99 Pa. 388,

and

Goerson

vs.

The Commonwealth,

106 Pa. 477.

In charging the jury I was careful to instruct them that it was their duty to lay aside all impressions, and not be influenced by anything which they heard of other cases than the one on trial and decide the case only on the evidence given at the trial. Here I am tempted to say that the offer by the District Attorney of evidence of the murder of other members of Pitezel's family might well have been admitted to show the defendant's purpose to kill them all in order to rid himself of their claims for the money he had illegally obtained horn Mrs. Pitezel, and therefore the opening speech of the District Attorney was not open to objection. The violent death of at least four members of the family after they were within the defendant's toils, woidd justify the belief that they were murdered by the defendant, and that the murders were all part of one common design, and included the entire Pitezel household. The dynamite placed in the Burlington house by the defendant with his directions to Mrs. Pitezel to remove it, looks as if he intended to take her off by an explosion. The seventh reason is that the District Attorney, in his closing speech, mentioned the death of the children, and the finding of their dead bodies in the morgue. In all cases of crime, especially cases of alleged murder, we naturally want to know what was the motive for the killing, although absence of proof of motive is not fatal to the prosecution. Commonwealth vs. Buccieni, 153 Pa. 525. The motive alleged for the killing in this case was a desire to obtain the insurance upon the life of Pitezel. The insurance money was payable to his wife. When she received the money, the defendant obtained from her at least $5,000 of it, in payment of an alleged debt which Pitezel did not owe. It became


MOTION FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

475

necessary i'or him to induce Mrs. Pitezel to believe that tiie money was obtained by fraud, and tlierefore did not belong to her; that her husband was still alive, and the defendant promised to produce Pitezel to his wife in the several cities to which he took her. He also obtained possession of three of her children, and lured her through the several cities in the vain search for her children, as well as her husband. As his motive was thus to obtain her money by deceiving her, it was necessary to receive her evidence of the deception practiced upon her in the several cities to which he took her, and having entered upon the story of her travels with him it was impossible, as well as improper, to receive only part of that story, and not hear all of it to its conclusion, which was that she did not find her husband, and that she never saw her childien until she saw their dead bodies in the morgue. No evidence was received as to the manner of the death of the children, or who caused their death, if they had been killed, but a simple statement completing the story of his deception and falsehood practiced upon her, without in any

way whatever incriminating him

in their murder, if they were killed. Eighth, ninth, and tenth reasons. Much of what has been said under the seventh reason applies to these reasons. As Mrs. Pitezel's story was clearly competent evidence in the case, it could not be broken up into pieces and only part of it given. The effort of the defendant to drag into the case troubles which Pitezel had in Terre Haute, Indiana, had nothing whatever to do with the case, and we think the evidence was properly rejected. Eleventh reason, (a) Puling that defendant's wife was a competent witness. A lady named Georgiana Yoke, who was married to the defendant under the name of Howard, on January 17th 1894, was called as a witness to testify against the defendant. It was alleged that, at that time, he had a wife living at


476

MOTION FOR

"Wilinette, Illinois, to

whom

NEW tlie

TRIAL.

agent of the insurance

Company went when he was looking for the defendant. The agent of the company obtained from the lady who answered to the name of Mrs. Holmes a photograph of herself, with a babe in her arms, which ai)pears to be from three to six months old. Shortly thereafter, the agent of the company received a letter from the defendant, stating that he wrote it in consequence of the message left with his wife. In another letter from the defendant he alluded to his marriage to this lady in Illinois. Upon these statements made by the defendant in writing, it was considered that tlie marriage with Miss Yoke was null and void that she was not his wife; and consequently she was permitted to testify against him. When the testimony was offered, I was inclined to believe that the jury were to pass upon the ;

question of his previous marriage, in order to determine the competency of the witness, but subsequent reflection, led me to the opinion that, as the Judge is the trier of the competency of the witnesses (Lyon vs. Daniels, 12 Pa. 197) the matter should not be referred to the jury, and consequently it was not in my charge; but I quoted her testimony to the jury and treated it as competent, upon my judgment that the marriage between the defendant and Miss Yoke was absolutely null and void. Second marriages, where there is a former husband or wife living, are not only voidable, but they are absolutely void ah initio. Thomas vs. Thomas, 124 Pa. 646. Divorces are not granted in such cases, but decrees of nullity of marriage may be obtained, according to the forms of procedure followed But a decree of nullity is not esin divorce cases. sential, the only object of obtaining a decree being to make certain, positive, and record evidence of the nullity of the marriage. In 1st Greenleaf on evidence, Section 339, it is said that, " On a trial for polygamy, the first marriage being proved and not controverted, the woman with whom


MOTION FOB had

NEW

TRIAL.

477

a competent witness, for the second marriage the second marriage is void." "It seems, however, that a reputed or supposed wife may be examined on her voir dire, as to facts showing the invalidity of the marriage." * * * "Where the parties had lived together as man and wife, believing themselves lawfully married, but had separated on discovering that a prior husband supposed to be dead, was still living, the woman was held a competent witness against the second husband, even as to facts communicated to her by him during her cohabitation." In this state, it was decided by Judge Pearson, of the Court of Common Pleas of Dauphin County, that a party to a second marriage is a competent witness to prove its illegality. Shaak's Estate, 4 Brewster, 305. In the present case. Miss Yoke testified that, after her marriage, the defendant talked with her about his is

is

.

.

.

first wife, who lived in Gilmanton, New Hampshire, and told her that he had received word that the woman in Gilmanton was dead. At the argument, the District Attorney produced a certified copy of the record of a proceeding in divorce in Cook County, Illinois, by Herman W. Mudgett against Clara A. Mudgett, and in his petition sworn to December 11th, 1886, the present defendant swore that he was married to Clara A. Mudgett on July 4th, 1878, at Alton, New Hampshire. The case was dismissed by the court on June 4th, 1891, for want of prosecution. As the competency of this witness was

a question for the court, the production of this record satisfies me that he was not only married to the lady in Wilmette, Illinois, but that he had a former wife living in New Hampshire at the time he married Miss Yoke, and consequently the marriage with her was null

and

void.

Proof of the ceremony of marriage in such cases is not necessary. No better evidence is required than a man's declaration against himself in a question involving the competency of a putative wife to testify against


â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

3I0TI0N FOB

478

NEW

TRIAL.

him. This is called direct proof, and is as effective as proof of a ceremony. Heffner vs. Heffuer, 23 Penna. 104; Greeuawalt vs. McEnelley, 85 Penna. 352; even in criminal cases arit^iug out of marriage Commonwealth vs. Wyman, 3 P>rewster, 338; 2 Greenleaf on Evidence, ;

section 461, and note. In Forney vs. Hallaeher, 8 Sergeant 159,

Judge Gibson decided

&

Eawle, page

:

That, "to support an action for criminal conversation there must be an actual marriage, but it is quite another thing to say that such marriage shall be proved only by the oath of an eyewitness to the marriage ceremony. We at once feel the good sense of the rule that excludes the mere reputation of marriage which always arises fi'om the declarations or ads of the plainBut how a defendant's unqualified and tiff himself. positive acknowledgment of the marriage in fact can be excluded on any principle or rule of evidence I am at a loss to discover." Inasmuch as the defendant had in writing admitted that the lady in Wilmette was his wife, and also written

about his marriage to her, I have no doubt whatever that his declaration against himself justified me in considering him a married man at the time he entered into the contract with Miss Yoke, and therefore that she was not his lawful wife. Consequently she was a competent witness against him, and as such she was properly admitted. Eleven, (b) Allowing evidence of the whereabouts of the children and finding their dead bodies in Toronto. This has been sufficiently answered in the consideration of the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth reasons.

Permitting jurors to enter the box who (c) their voir dire stated that they had formed or expressed an opinion regarding the guilt or innocence of Eleven,

upon

the defendant.

The question

raised by this reason has


MOTION FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

479

been so often considered by the Supreme Court of this and decided in favor of the competency of such jurors, that it would be a work of supererogation to cite all the authorities in support thereof. I refer to Commonwealth vs. Crossmire, 156 Penna. No 304, as probably the latest decision on the subject. more can be required of persons called as jurors than their oath that they can decide the case according to the evidence, laying aside any impression they may have or opinions they have formed. That evidence may be required to change their opinion does not militate against them as jurors, for it is manifest that with jurors as well as judges evidence is required to change impressions or opinions. There was no talesman reState,

ceived as a juror

who

did not

come

clearly within the

and was not entirely competent to serve as a juror according to all the law on that subject. The jury was an uncommonly intelligent jury, selected by the prisoner himself, who seemed disposed to reject all who were untidy and unintelligent in appearance. The defendant certainly had twelve intelligent and thoughtThey were selected by himful men to decide his case. self, with discretion and judgment. They were unbiased by fixed immovable opinions, listened attentively to the evidence, and rendered a verdict according to their oaths on the evidence only. The twelfth reason is that the court erred in charging the jury by giving undue prominence to the evidence given by the Commonwealth, and not sufficient prominence to the evidence favorable to the prisoner. The statement upon which this reason is based is not There was no evidence given by the defense, true. and, therefore, nothing of that character for the judge rule laid down,

to call to the attention of the jury.

In the argument it was alleged that the cross-examination furnished the prisoner's defense. As before said, there was a theory advanced that Pitezel committed suicide that he arranged a bottle containing ;


480

3I0TI0N FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

chloroform and attached it to a rubber tube with a quill outlet; that he put the bottle on a chair beside him, and that the chloroform ran down through the tube into or upon a cloth on his mouth, and thus produced his death, but there was no evidence that such a bottle or tube was found in the house. Detective Geyer stated that the defendand told him that the body found at No. 1316 Callowhill Street was a substituted body which he had procured from a medical friend in New York, and brought to Philadelphia in a trunk; that he met Pitezel in Philadelphia and gave him the check for the trunk, and then left for the West, and the next place he saw Pitezel was in Detroit, Michigan. He stated that he told Pitezel how to prepare the substituted body, by laying it on the floor, placing an arm across its breast, pouriug a liquid iuto the stomach and then setting fire to it. Geyer testified in a subsequent interview, that the defendant told him that the story about there being a substituted body in No. 1316 Callowhill Street was not true, and that the body found there was really the body of Benjamin F. Pitezel. He also told the detective that when he went to the house on Sunday, September 2, 1894, he found Pitezel dead on the third story, lying on the floor, with his arm across his breast, with a bottle of chloroform on a chair with a gum hose and quill attached to it, so arranged that the chloroform would fall on a piece of cloth across Pitezel's mouth; that he found a note which told him to look in a bottle in a closet, that he broke the bottle and found a note in

him that Pitezel was and had committed suicide that he found the body in the third story and dragged it to the second story back room and placed it in the position in which it was found, taking a bottle of liquid and placing it cipher from Pitezel, which told

tired of life

;

alongside the head, breaking it, lighting a pipe, throwing the pipe on the floor, lighting matches and throwing them down, to make it appear as though an ex-


MOTION FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

481

He told Captain Linden, superintendent of police, the same stories, retracting the first before telling him the second. The testimony of Detective Geyer and of Captain Linden on this subject was read in the charge to the jury. Tliat the first story, to wit, that there had been a substituted body placed in the house, was false, is proved by the defendant's own admissions. In an affidavit made before the Coroner on September 23, 1894, the defendant swore that he learned of Pitezel's death through the newspapers, and saw and identified the body at the City Burial Ground. He also swore that the last time he saw Pitezel alive was in November, 1893, in Chicago, which was another deliberate falsehood. The truthfulness of tiie second assertion, to wit, that Pitezel had committed suicide, was submitted to the jury with as much emphasis as any other part of plosion had taken place there.

the case.

A

repetition in detail of these inconsistent

would only tend to bring out

in a stronger light the untruthfulness of the defendant, and his utter unreliability. To dwell on these inconsistent stories would only bear so much the harder upon the defendThe condition of the body when found, to wit, a ant. discharge of the bowels and the bladder, which the physicians testified generally accompany death, and which takes place at or immediately before dissolution, showed that Pitezel was not killed on the third floor, but on the second floor, where he was found. There was evidence in the case which proved that the defendant was furnishing money to support Pitezel, that Pitezel was addicted to the use of liquor to excess, and that he had purchased a pint of whiskey the night before the day on which he was killed. It is not a violent presumption to infer that the defendant found Pitezel under the influence of liquor and then resolved upon killing him in order to get rid of the burden of supporting him and to obtain the money from ihe insurance company. Confiimation of this 28

stories


482

MOTION FOB

NEW

TRIAL.

may be found in a question put by the defendant to Dr. Mattern in Avhich the defendant aslced the doctor whether he was prepared to give a professional opinion as to the effect that one-half hour before Pitezel died or at the time of his death, he was not in an insensible condition from the excessive use of alcohol. This suggestive question, like several other questions put by the defendant to witnesses, indicates his knowledge of Pitezel's condition, and justified the inference of the jury that the defendant administered the chloroform to Pitezel.

Under our code of criminal procedure it is not necessary to set forth in the indictment or prove in detail the exact manner in which a murder has been committed. If it were it would be impossible in many cases to furnish such proof, and therefore many guilty persons would escape. In Twitchell's case, 1 Brewster's Eep., page 551, the defendant was convicted on the theory tliat he killed his mother-iu-law by striking her on the temple with the angle of a poker. After Twitchell's death it became generally known that he had killed his victim with a sluDg-shot. In Bell's case, 164 Penna. 517, the defendant was convicted of killing his victim by choking her. This was inferred from well defined thumb and finger marks on the neck of the deceased. In The Commonwealth vs. Johnson, 162 Pa. 63, the defendant was convicted of killing his own child by drowning it. There were no marks of violence on the body, which was not found until six days after the last day the child was seen alive. In Crossmire's case, 156 Penna. 305, the defendant was convicted of strangling the deceased, which was the opinion of a medical expert, and there was no direct proof as to the manner of killing. In Gray vs. The Commonwealth, ini Pa. 380, the deceased was last seen alive on February 20th, 1877. On


MOTION FOB

NEW

April 4th, 1878, or nearly fifteen

TRIAL.

months

483 thereafter, a

human

skull and jawbone were found in the river near by. The skull was identified as the skull of the deceased. There were wounds on it which it was testiThe defendajit fied were sufficient to produce death.

while in prison for another ofTence, admitted to a fellow prisoner that he had murdered the deceased with a hatchet. The defendant was convicted and executed, yet there were no eyewitnesses to the murder. The present case is not singular by any means.

There is much similarity between it and Udderzook vs. The Commonwealth, 76 Penna. 340, in which Chief Justice Agnew commenced his opinion with this " This is indeed a strange case, a combinatwo to cheat insurance companies, and a murder of one by the other to reap the fruit of the fraud." In that case the murdered man was supposed to have been burned in his shop on February 2d, 1872. On July 1st, 1873, which was seventeen months afterwards, the prisoner and the man who was supposed to have been burned were seen together. On July 9th, 1873, a man travelling on the turnpike observed buzzards in the woods, and smelled a very unpleasant odor. Obtaining aid, he uncovered the earth and leaves around the place, and found the body of a man, with the legs and arms cut off, and hidden sixty-five feet away. This body was subsequently identified as the man who was supposed to have been burned. The defendant was indicted, convicted and executed upon circumstantial evidence. There was no proof as to the manner of killing. The deceased, like Pitezel, had an alias name, was in the habit of drinking to excess, and his clothing was found burned in the woods like Pitezel 's was in the house. In the present case, as in the cases above referred to as examples of kindred cases, there was no eyewitness to the crime. The defendant was convicted on what is called circumstantial evidence; that is to say, a sue-

phrase

tion of

:


484

MOTION FOB

NEW

TRIAL.

cession of circumstances tending irresistibly to the conclusion that the defendant killed and murdered the deceased, as charged in the bill of indict uient. That condition of his victim, that is, whether he was aslerp or under the influence of liquor, is a matter not only difficult of proof, but entirely unnecessary. The maiu question was whether Pitezel had been killed, and, if killed, whether by himself or the defendant. The jury found that the defendant killed Pitezel, on evidence which was as convincing as human evidence can be

made.

The thirteenth reason is that the Court erred in charging the jury as follows: "You will notice by the testimony which w-as read to you that the doctors who examined him say his death was caused by chloroform poisoning, and that it could not have been self-admin-

Now if it was not self-administered who w;is administered the poison to him ? Who poisoned him and who took his life ? " Exactly what error appears in this reason I confess myself unable to see. It was simply a submission to the jury of the question they were sworn to try, which was whether the defendant killed Pitezel, without in any manner whatever indicating any opinion on the subject. The fourteenth reason is that the court erred in charging the jury as follows: "If you are not fairly satisfied with the evidence of his guilt he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt." It has been so often said that it is not necessary to cite authorities to prove it, that a charge is to be considered as a whole and not by selecting sentences and criticising them by themselves. If it is not proper to select sentences apart from the entire context, how much more important is it that parts of sentences should not be separated and alleged as error. The sentence from which the above is taken is to be found in that part of my charge in which I was treating of the question of doubt, wJiich was fully and eraistered. it


MOTION FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

485

The entire sentence phatically laid before the jurj\ as found iu the charge is as follows "If, after considering the testimony, you are unable to come to the conclusion that he is guilty, there is a doubt about it and you hesitate, or, iu other words, if you are not fairly satisfied by the evidence, of his guilt, he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt and should be acquitted for that reason." The counsel for defendant omitted the first, as well as the last and most important part of this sentence, to wit: "That if the jury are not fairly satisfied by the evidence of the guilt, he is entitled to the benefit of the doubt and should be acquitted." The word " fairly," when used in connection with the measure of proof required as a defense has been held by the Supreme Court to be the proper word to use in such cases. Commonwealth vs. Bezek, 168 Pa. 603, is the last case on this subject. It is true that the word was used in connection with the proof offered by the defendant as to his insanity, and the Supreme Court said that the defendant was bound to satisfy the jury by fairly preponderating evidence, while to hold him to proof by clearly preponderating evidence was to hold him to too strict a burden in other words, that the rule is that the defendant's proof should, like the Commonwealth's proof, be of a character that will fairly satisfy the jury of the matters attempted to be proved. The word "fairly" was not the only word used in this connection. In the next sentence, the jtiry were told that if upon a consideration of the entire evidence, they were firmly convinced of the defendant's guilt, then it is a case of murder as charged and in answer to defendant's fifth point, the jury were told that unless they were thoroughly satisfied with the evidence that the defendant is guilty, he cannot be convicted. In Turney vs. The Commonwealth, 86 Pa. 54, it was held that, "A conviction can be had only after the :

;

;

jury have been convinced beyond a reasonable doubt


486

3I0TI0N FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

There no qualifying adverb WHS used. The jury must be convinced or satisfied by the evidence. Having in view the decisions of the Supreme Court in which this subject has been considered of late years, I used the word " fairly " because it is the jjroper adverb to be used in that connection. The fifteenth reason is that the court erred in not affirming points No. 3 and No. 6 submitted by the deof the defendant's guilt."

fendant.

These points were based upon the theory that Pitezel committed suicide, and asked the Judge to decide as a matter of law that the evidence does not establish beyond a reasonable doubt the commission of the crime alleged. These points were refused, and the question was submitted to the jury upon the evidence to find whether Pitezel had been murdered by the defendant or committed suicide. As to the question of doubt, that is a condition of the minds of the jurors after they have heard the testimony. It is not for the Judge to say that there cannot be a conviction for murder, because it was possible that Pitezel killed himself. In every case of murder such possibilities may exist. A man who is shot may have died from heart disease caused by the fright of being chased by another with a pistol in his hand. A man who is struck with a club may not receive his death in consequence of that blow, but may strike his head upon a stone and thereby come to his death. But in all cases, and especially in a case like the present, where the evidence tended unmistakably to prove the willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing by the defendant, the mere theory of his counsel that the deceased committed suicide, without any evidence whatever to sustain the theory, does not create a legal doubt, such as to require the Judge to decide the question as one of law. The case is for the jury, and to the jury it was submitted.


MOTION FOR

NEW

TRIAL.

487

mere theory without evidence is to prevail over alleged by the commonwealth and proved by evi-

If a

facts

dence, tending irrisistibl}' to but one conclusion, then will be impossible to convict anyone of crime except by the proof of eyewitnesses and not even then if cunning devices such as were resorted to in this case shall be set up as probable truths and accepted as positive facts, to be declared and enforced by the Judge, to the exclusion of every other possibility. Upon the whole case, we are convinced that the commonwealth proved such a chain of circumstances as lead irrislstibly to the conclusion that the defendant did kill and murder Benjamin F. Pitezel on September 2d, 1894, as charged in the bill of indictment; that Piteit

;

was killed by chloroform poisoning administered by the defendant and whether Pitezel was asleep or under the influence of liquor at the time the chloroform was administered is not important. The theory advanced by the defendant, and argued by his counsel to the jury, that Pitezel committed suicide, and that the defendant arranged his body in such a manner as to make the death appear to have been the consequence of an explosion, has no substantial evidence upon which it can be based. An act of that kind would require coolness and deliberation, whereas the testimony shows that the defendant, immedi-

zel

;

ately after he had left Pitezel, was excited, nervous and worried, and his underclothing was wet with perspiration. This was the condition of a man who had committed a great crime, rather than one who was trying to conceal the evidence of a suicide. The defendant's flight must not be overlooked in this case. If Pitezel had committed suicide, and the defendant

simply tried to conceal the suicide, it is not probable that he would have fled from the city. Flight is the act of a guilty man, and not the act of a cunning man. Being firmly convinced of the guilt of the defendant, we approve the verdict and refuse a new trial.


APPENDIX

III.

THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT. This

shows

is

a voluminous record. An examination of it the trial of the defendant furnished some

tliat

unloolied for situations and dramatic incidents, but no one of them seems to have been the result of anything irregular or sensational in the manner or rulings of the learned trial Judge. On the other hand, it is apparent that they were due to the extraordinary character of the circumstances with which the defendant had surrounded himself, and to his interference with the usual methods of trial. Indeed, the assignments of error, although thirteen in number, have been intended to raise no questions except such as may be characterized as general questions of law, and they have been presented in this Court and discussed in the oral argument in a thoroughly lawyer-like manner and with de-

cided ability.

We

proceed to consider them in their

order.

The

first,

second, third and fourth assignments re-

late to the admissibility of the

testimony of Georgianna

by the Commonthe defendant alleged to be his lawful wife. At the time this witness was called there was evidence before the Court showing that the defendant had an establishment of some sort at Willmette in the

Yoke who was wealth and

called as a witness

whom

State of Illinois which was known, at least to some of his acquaintances, as his home, where as H. H. Holmes he lived with a woman who was understood to be his wife. The evidence further showed that a letter which

had been

left at this

his absence

establishment with this

woman

in

by the witness Cass, had been promptly (489)


490

THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT.

replied to by H. H. Holmes; and that in the answer he referred to this woman as his wife saying, "I am in receipt of a letter from mj' wife stating that you called on her in regard to Mr. Pitezel. She also enclosed me clipping from paper which I presume you gave her." All this evidence tending to show that the prisoner

was a married man, and that his wife lived in Illinois and was known as Mrs. Holmes, wtis before the Court when Georgianua Yoke was called. There was nothing in the name of the witness and there was nothing in her testimony when she was first on the stand to suggest that she was the wife of the prisoner, or to throw any doubt upon his being, as he appeared to be at that stage of the evidence, the husband of the woman of whom he had written as his wife. An objection to her competency taken when she was first called and examined would have had nothing on which to rest. At a later stage of the trial she was recalled by the defendant and examined upon this subject. She then stated that she had been married to the prisoner by a clergyman in the city of Denver in January, 1894: that his name was then Howard, and that she was married to him by that name. She stated further that, during much of the time between January and the following November, she had lived with him ;

as his wife supposing that she occupied that position towards him, but that she had learned before his arrest that he had been married some time previously to a woman living in Gilmanton, N. H., whom she understood to be still living. She had heard still earlier of the woman at Willmette, but did not understand that Howard had been lawfully married to her. She had talked with him about the woman at Gilmanton while they were at Boston, not long before his arrest. His sister had told her that the prisoner had accounted for having married her while his wife was living at Gilmanton by telling his father's family that he had been seriously injured in a railroad wreck; that she (Miss


THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT.

491

Yoke) had nursed him and had been instrumental in saving his mind, but had married him before he linew where he was or what he was doing. This story she told the prisoner. He did not deny or explain the story, but said in his own defence that when he married lier he had been told that the woman at Gil manton was dead. The witness was apparently satisfied that her marriage was not valid, and she had resumed the use of her maiden name. As she was competent, prime facie, when called and examined, the burden of showing her incompetency was on the prisoner who alleged it. The testimony of Miss Yoke, to which we have just referred, was given for that purpose, and it was all the evidence upon that subject. The fair effect of it was to show that no legal marriage had taken place, that Miss Yoke had been cruelly deceived, and that the legal wife of the prisoner lived at Gilmauton, N. H. Let us grant that if the defendant had been on trial for bigamy the testimony of Miss Yoke might not have been sufficiently definite as to the fact of the first marriage to justify a conviction

we must remember that, so far as the competency of the witness was concerned, the burden of proof was not on the Commonwealth. She was apparently competent. The burden of establishing her incompetency by proof of a lawful marriage between himself and her was on him who alleged it. The learned Judge would have been justified in doing what the prisoner's counsel complain that he did not, of the <lefendant, yet

competency as a question and overrule the objection to her testimony at What he did was more favorable to the prisoner than he had a right to ask. He submitted the quesviz: treat this question of

of law,

once.

tion of the legality of the marriage to the jury, in-

structing them that, if they found it to be valid, they should reject the testimony of the witness altogether. We do not see how the prisoner can expect successfully to complain of a ruling that gave him one more


492

THE DECISION OF THE SUPKE3IE COURT.

chance for a favorable decision upon tlie question of the competency of tlie witness than he had a right to aslf.

The

and sixth assignments are in effect but a of raising the question we have just considered. They complain of the submission of the testimony of Miss Yoke to the jury. She had been examined very fully as to the movements of the prisoner on that Sunday on which he had stated to Mr. Linden, Superintendent of Police, that ho saw and arranged the dead body of Pitezel in the Callowhill Street house. This evidence the learned Judge referred to and subfifth

different

mode

mitted to the jury. It is not suggested that her evidence is not fairly repeated, nor that any statement is attributed by the Court to her that she did not make. The burden of the assignment of error must therefore be that the testimony was treated by the learned Judge as competent and as properly before the jury. This was not an error for the reasons given when treating

competency of the witness, and was inconsistent with the action

of the question of the

we do not

see that

it

Judge in submitting that question to the was necessary, at least provisionally, to call their attention to the effect of the testimony and the questions to which it was related. These assignments are therefore overruled. The thirteenth assignment should be considered in of the learned

jury, since

it

this connection, as it is directed against the action of the Court in submitting to the jury the question of the existence of a legal marriage between the prisoner and Miss Yoke at the time she was called as a witness, and the direction to them to consider, or to exclude from consideration, her testimony as they might find upon that question. We have already said that while the submission 'of the question might not have been necessary, we cannot see that it did the prisoner any harm. The verdict undoubtedly shows that the jury decided this question against the prisoner, but so we think the-


THE DECISION OF THE SUPRE3IE COURT.

493

learned Judge should have done if he had undertuken to pronounce upon the effect of Miss Yoke's testimony iu regard to the legality of her marriage to the prisoner. The prisoner cannot complain that he should be taken at his word upon this question and the story told by him to his father's family, which Miss Yoke afterwards called to his attention and his excuse made to her for marrying her while he had a wife living at Gilmanton, are enough to discredit the alleged marriage. We do not see how the jury or the Court could have done otherwise than say that the prisoner had not successfully shown the witness to be incompetent; and whether the Court had disposed of the question in the first instance by an instruction, or allowed the jury to dispose of it without any controlling direction upon the subject, the prisoner had no ground for complaint. The twelfth assignment is to the refusal by the learned Judge to allow an exception to the opening address of the District Attorney, As we understand the situation, the objection to the opening address was not made at the time of its delirery, but several days later, near the close of the trial. The District Attorney had in his opening stated the case of the Commonwealth. He had detailed in their order the incidents connecting the prisoner with Pitezel, with the procurement of the policy of insurance on his life, with his subsequent death, the identification of the body, the absorption of the insurance money by the prisoner and his subsequent movements. He called attention to the part taken by Alice iu the identification of her father's body, and to the fact that she was kept thereafter from a meeting with her mother whom the prisoner had led to believe that her husband was still alive. He then spoke of the remarkable journeys upon which Alice and her brother and sister were moved in one group, Mrs, Pitezel and her other children in another, and Georgianna Yoke by herself or in company with the^prisoner in a third. He told how they went from place to place, near ;


494

THE DECISION OF THE 8UFBE3IE COURT.

each other, were housed at the same time in the same city, but always without meeting, until one by one the He then three members of one group disappeared. spoke of the finding of their remains, and of the powerful array of circumstances connecting the prisoner with to

and the disposition of their bodies. The theory of the Commonwealth was that the motive for the killing of Pitezel was to secure the insurance money; and the killing of Alice and the two children who were with him grew out of his desire to prevent Mrs. Pitezel from knowing of the death of her husband, and of her consequent right to the insurance money. The several homicides were thus alleged to be connected, to have a common motive and to form parts of one general plan. In opening his case it was natural for the District Attorney to state, indeed it was his duty towards the prisoner, to state fully what he intended to offer for the consideration of the jury bearing upon his guilt. This he did do, and, so far as we are advised, their death,

without objection from the Court or the prisonei*. The trial proceeded upon the lines indicated in the opening, until the subject of the disappearance and of the children was reached. An objection was interposed by the prisoner's counsel on the ground that the evidence offered was intended to show the commission of an independent crime not charged in the indictment. After some consideration the objection was sustained by the learned Judge and the evidence excluded. Then, as we understand the course of the trial, and not until then, the application was made for leave to except to so much of the opening address of the District Attorney as related to the excluded evidence. The learned Judge well said, in answer to this request, that there was no method by which an exception could be sealed by the Court to statements in the address of an attorney, days after they had been made and that, if any statement made by the District Attorney had been deemed objectionable, the attention of the Court

murder

;


THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT. should have been called to

made, and when

its

it

correction

495

when it was was possible. To this

at the time

â&#x20AC;&#x201D;

add another consideration viz, that such a practice would require the trial Judge to anticipate the course of the trial and decide upon the admissibility of evidence in advance of its being of-

we are disposed

to

fered.

We

have no doubt of the power, nor in a proper case Court to supervise the addresses of

of the duty, of the

may be necessary to protect prisoners or parties litigant from injurious misrepresentations and unfair attack, and the jury from being misled. When this power should be exercised must be left to counsel so far as

the sound discretion of tlie Judge, and he should not hesitate to act where the fair administration of justice

requires him to do so. But there was nothing in the addiess of the District Attorney in the opening of the case of the Commonwealth that either the defendant's counsel or the Court seemed at the time to think required the exercise of The subsequent action of this discretionary power. the Court in rejecting a part of the case of the Commonwealth did not have a retroactive effect upon the opening address. It is probable that the learned Judge entertained some doubt about the admissibility of this evidence and gave, as he should always do, the benefit of his doubt to the prisoner. But if he had admitted it, we are not prepared to say it would have been error. Assuming the correctness of the theory of the Commonwealth, the evidence was admissible under the authority of a line of cases, among which are Turner vs. the Commonwealth, 8G Pa. 54; Kramer vs. the Commonwealth, 87 Pa. 299; Commonwealth vs. Goerson, 99 Pa. But 398, and the Commonwealth vs. Bell, 166 Pa. 405. the decision of this question is not necessarily involved. It is enough for the purposes of this case to dispose of the question raised by the assignment and hold that


496

THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT.

there was no error in refusing the request for an exception to the address of the District Attorney made several days after the address liad been completed. Tlie next question, following the natural order of the assignments, is that raised by the eighth. It relates to the admission of the story told by Mrs. Pitezel about the manner in which she saw and recognized the remains of three of her children within a few weeks after the death of her husband. This was part of the general story of her search after her husband, whom she supposed to be still alive, and the three children, who were kept just a little ways ahead of her until, one by one, they had disappeared. The search was made under the control and direction of the prisoner. She

followed on where he promised her husband would come and her children would meet her. During all this time he knew her husband was sleeping in the Potter's Field. He knew that first the boy and then Alice and her sister had gone out of sight while under his general care and their bodies had been mutilated or concealed. She saw them, or their remains, at last. When and how she saw them she was allowed to state, and to that extent, at least, it was competent for her to speak of her children regardless of the question raised by the assignment of error last considered. The whole story of Mrs. Pitezel has a unity of character, and its incidents are so affected by the prisoner's acts and declarations in regard to her husband and his whereabouts, that we do not see any reason for rejecting as think also that it had irrelevant any portion of it.

We

At a direct bearing upon the question of motive. least it was for the jury to say from it whether the persistent concealment of Pitezel's death from his wife and his representations to her that the insurance money had been obtained by fraud were not induced by his desire to escape litigation over the money and to avoid the suspicion of murder being started against

him

in her

mind.


THE DECISION OF THE SUPBE3IE COURT. The ninth assignment is directed towards a ment made by the learned Judge in his charge

497 state-

to the

"

Speaking of the death of Pitezel, he said You by the testimony which was read to you that the doctors who examined him say his death was caused by chloroform poisoning, and that it could not have been self-administered." This, it is alleged, was wholly unwarranted by the evidence. As to the first part of this statement there could be no complaint, for the fact that the deceased came to his death by chloroform poisoning was practically conceded by the prisoner. The contest was over the question whether the poison from which he died was self-administered and his death was due to suicide, or was feloniously administered by the prisoner and his death due to mur-

jury.

:

will notice

der.

In the interview which was testified to by E. J. Linden, Superintendent of Police, the prisoner gave his own account of Pitezel's death. He found him, as he alleged, on the floor of a third-story room in the Callowhill Street house, dead. He said he was led to the third floor by a note left for him on the table in the front room on the first floor, directing him to search for a letter in a bottle in a closet opening off the same room. In the bottle, he says, he found a long letter telling of the purpose of the writer to commit suicide, and that his body would be found on the third floor. Going to that floor he alleges he found Pitezel, dead. A large bottle with the chloroform stood near by, and leading from it to the dead man's mouth was a tube with a quill inserted in it so as to reduce the aperture for the flow of the fluid. He says he felt that the appearances of suicide should be removed or a defence might be made to the policy upon that ground. To do this he dragged the body down to the second floor, broke the bottle, scattered some inflammable liquid over the face and beard of the dead man and set it on fire to give to the body and the 2^


498

THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT.

of an explosion and the happening of death by accident. The theory of the defence included, therefore, the idea that Pitezel's death was due to chloroform poisoning, and the objection must relate, therefore, only to the statement that the doctors had testified that the The poison could not have been self-administered. post mortem examination had disclosed the presence of an ounce and a half of chloroform in the stomach at

room the appearance

that time. How did it get there ? As the story of the prisoner indicated, by a slow process of self-administration by means of the tube, or in some other manner? Upon this subject medical experts were called. They explained the effects of the drug upon the nerves and brain, and upon the lining of a living stomach. They gave two reasons why the chloroform could not have been self-administered in the manner alleged by the prisoner. In the first the intoxicating quality of the drug would cause such semi-conscious or purely involuntary motions of the muscles, and changes in the position of head and body, as would break the connection between the bottle and the mouth by means of the alleged tube. In the next place the chloroform had not affected the lining of the stomach, in other words, it had been introduced into the stomach after death. This testimony fully justified the statement of the learned Judge now complained of, and the assignment of error is overruled. The eleventh assignment alleges error in the answer to a point submitted on behalf of the prisoner. The instruction asked by the point was somewhat involved. It was in substance a request for an instruction that, if the jury should believe the deceased died from chloroform poisoning, and that it was possible for him to have administered it to himself, and that this theory was as consistent with the facts in the case, as that it was administered with criminal intent by the prisoner, then the verdict should be not guilty. This was an-


THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT

499

the theory of suicide was as other consistent with the facts as the theory of murder, then tlie prisoner should be acquitted, and it might have been affirmed without more. The answer, though not categorical, was in effect an affirmance. It was, "If you believe he (the deceased) did it himself, why of course the prisoner is not guilty." When to this is added the general instruction that the burden of proving the guilt of the prisoner beyond a reasonable doubt remains upon the Commonwealth from the beginning to the end of the trial. If, therefore, the jury adopted the theory of suicide, or if, being unable to adopt it, they were yet unable to accept beyond a reasonable doubt the theory of murder, in either event they were told the verdict should be not guilty. This fully guarded the rights of the prisoner, even if it be conceded that a categorical affirmance of the point would have been in better form. This brings us naturally to the tenth assignment of error which denies tlie clearness and adequacy of the exposition by the learned Judge of the doctrine of the reasonable doubt. The passage from the charge embodied in the assignment of error is the least important part of the instruction given to the jury upon this subject, and does not fairly represent the learned Judge. He said in immediate connection with the passage complained of " In all criminal cases, gentlemen, it is essential that the defendant shall be convicted by evidence which persuades the jury of the guilt of the prisoner beyond a reasonable doubt. By a reasonable doubt I do not mean an obstinacy or a resolution not to consider the testimony of the witnesses carefully. But it is that condition of the mind in which hesitancy arises after having given the evidence a fair consideration, and you find yourself unable to come to a conclusion as to the guilt of the prisoner." This was a full and adequate presentation of the subject. Take the passage embodied in the assignment in connection

way

of saying that

:

if


:

500

THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT.

with that we have just given (and they stand in immediate connection in the charge) and it is apparent that the prisoner has no just ground of complaint because the doctrine of the reasonable doubt was not fully stated and brought into sufficient prominence. The remaining assignment is to the whole charge, which, it is insisted, was wanting in clearness, was not impartial, but was calculated to prejudice the minds of the jurors against the prisoner by giving undue prominence to such circumstances and considerations as were hurtful to him. It must be borne in mind that the defendant called no witnesses. The evidence before the Court and jury was only that of the Commonwealth, which had been gathered together for the purpose of clearing up the mystery surrounding the death of Pitezel and fixing responsibility for it upon the prisoner. His real reliance was upon the reasonable doubt. The web of circumstantial evidence that had been woven about him consisted of many threads, but the web taken as a whole was strong. It was impossible for the learned trial Judge to present the case to the jury in an intelligent manner without the strength of the circumstantial evidence being This was not due to the rhetoric of the learned felt. Judge, for he indulged in none. It was due to the convincing character of the facts and circumstances themselves, and to the completeness with which an adroitly arranged and badly executed scheme had been unravelled by the Commonwealth, and its detail laid before the Court and jury. "We have examined this charge as a whole carefully, and with a view to the question raised by this assignment, and we cannot agree that it is inadequate or that it is wanting in fairness of spirit. The evidence was reviewed, for the benefit of the jury, with reference to its bearing upon the great questions submitted to them for final determination. These were stated in their proper order


THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT.

501

Was the body that was found in the CallowThis Street house the body of B. F. Pitezel? seemed to be quite clear of any difficulty. Second. If the body was that of Pitezel, did his death result from chloroform poisoning ? This was asserted First.

hill

as a fact by the medical witnesses, and was assumed by the prisoner in his statement to Superintendent

Linden. Third. If Pitezel died from chloroform poisoning, was the poison self-administered, with suicidal intent, or was it feloniously administered by the prisoner? This was the only real point of controversy. Finally, was there upon the whole case a reasonable doubt of the prisoner's guilt of the murder charged in the indictment

?

This review was not elaborate, but it was adequate. It presented the questions of fact clearly, and laid down the legal rules by which the jury should be guided in "We are satisfied investigating and determining them. that this assignment is without merit and that it should be overruled. The defendant had a fair trial, and that is all he has a right to demand. At one stage of the trial he was placed perhaps at a disadvantage for a short time by his own conduct in dismissing his counsel and assuming the responsibility of conducting his own defence; but the Court was in no sense responsible for this. The prisoner and his counsel were; and the learned Judge did all that could reasonably be done to protect him from himself, as well as to secure to him a fair trial, upon evidence restricted to circumstances of the admissibility of which there was no reasonable doubt. In no respect has any just ground of complaint been made to appear, and the judgment must be affirmed. It may be well before concluding this case to say that the object of a trial before a jury is to ascertain with as much certainty as can be attained in a human tribunal the guilt or innocence of one charged with crime.


502

THE DECISION OF THE SUPREME COURT.

When,

as the result of such a trial, a verdict has been reudered against the prisoner, it ought not to be set aside by the trial Judge, or by proceedings in a Court of Error, unless in

some

essential particular the trial

has been erroneous. No merely technical or formal objection not affecting the result should be listened to. It is neither for the credit of the Courts, for the interit tend towards the repression violence or the preservation of good order, that the course of justice should be blocked or turned aside by technical objections which, however valuable they may once have been, are now, and long have been, empty shells; or by verbal distinctions that in this age mark no real differences. The prisoner has been found guilty of murder in the first degree by a jury after a protracted and a fair trial. No substantial error in that The evidence fully sustains trial has been pointed out. the verdict and we are not disposed to disturb it. All the assignments of error are overruled and the judgment appealed from is affirmed.

ests of society, nor does

of

mob

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The Holmes - Pitezel Case: A History of the Greatest Crime of the Century  

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