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Clay County

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Crime News

Something Concerning the Exercise of Executive Clemency in Illinois.
A List of Pardons Issued to Prisoners Under Sentence for Manslaughter and Murder.
ucien Cannon; April 1871; Murder; Clay County; 14 years; pardoned June 21 1875. In this case twenty attorneys in the court, Judge Allen, the County Attorney, the Assistant State's Attorney, several of the jurors, and several hundred citizens unite is asking pardon. All speak of him as a boy, honest, industrious, impulsive, and generous, without any clement of a criminal.
 [Inter-Ocean Springfield, January 17 1876, submitted by BZ]

The town of Flora, Clay County, was startled the other evening by the explosion of a can of gun-powder at Simon Ulrich’s grocery store.  Mr. Ulrich had just lighted a cig ar and carelessly threw the match over the counter.  He had stepped but a few feet away when a terrific noise which jarred the earth of squares was heard.  Volumes of fire and smoke were seen issuing from the building, the entire front end of which was blown out.  Boxes, cans and other articles were hurled promiscuously about, but, strange to say, Mr. Ulrich and his clerk, who were standing but a few feet from the can, were unhurt.  Mr. Ulrich had his hair and eye-lashes badly burned and his shoes were blown entirely off his feet. [The Henry Republican, April 19, 1883]

Shocking Murder Committed by an Illinois Farmer Near Xenia.
ST. LOUIS, Mo., Feb. 13.—There appears to be an epidemic of bloody crimes in Southern Illinois. The latest addition is the murder of a woman by her husband. Lee Darth, a prosperous and prominent farmer, whose home was in Wayne county, fifteen miles from Xenia, quarreled with his wife about property, and last Saturday she left him ??? and went to the house of a neighbor. This morning about 9 o’clock, she was passing along the highroad with her sister when her husband, who had apparently been lying in wait for her, sprang upon her from behind. He seized her by the hair with his left hand, and placing his knee in the middle of her back, bent her backwards until he could get a good, clear sweep at her throat. Then, with a large butcher-knife, apparently sharpened for the purpose, he nearly severed the head from her body. Hurling the corpse into a fence-corner, he shook the bloody knife at her sister, who had ran a sort distance, and who stood a horror-stricken witness to the affair. He turned and fled, and has not been caught.
[Source: Date: February 14, 1888 Paper: Inter Ocean Transcribed by Angelia Carpenter.]

Shoots Son and Turns Weapon on Himself, SON WILL RECOVER
Slayer Glad Son Will Recover, but Has no Regrets for Killing Wife.
Julius Turner, 69 years old, a Civil War veteran and wealthy farmer of Clay City, shot his wife to death from ambush, seriously wounded his 15 year old son and attempted to commit suicide near Saylor Springs, Ill., on Saturday night. He is under arrest and refuses to partake of food, declaring he will starve himself to death. Turner and his wife had been separated four years. She was 20 years his junior and he was insanely jealous of her. The tragedy was caused by his mistaking his own son for another man. When he saw the youth, who is large for his age, join his mother outside a church where an entertainment was in progress, his jealous frenzy overmastered him, and he opened fire on the pair from his ambush. About 9:30 p.m. Mrs. Turner stepped from the church for a breath of air and as she did so her son, Glenn, arrived from the farm, where he was working. He stepped forward to greet his mother in the shadow, and they stood conversing there a few seconds. Turner, from his position in the ambush of the grove, had a distinct look at his wife as she left the church door but the face of his son was hidden as the boy approached from the roadway. He saw only vaguely the form of a man standing close to his wife, in earnest conversation, and all the jealous rage within him rose up and fired his mind. Drawing a 38 -caliber revolver, he glided to within a few feet of the couple and opened fire on them. The first bullet struck Mrs. Turner in the back. As she started to run another bullett struck her in the head. She died within fiifteen minutes. Then the weapon was turned on her companion, and two more shots rang out. One of the bulletts struck the son in the groin and he fell unconscious beside the bleeding form of his mother. The shots attracted the merrymakers in the church, and the farmers hurried to the scene. Turner was standing over the bodies of his victims, with the revolver in his hand, Glen, the wounded son, had fallen face upward. As Turner stooped down to look at the face of the man whom he suspected to be his wife’s admirer, he recognized his son. With a cry of anguish he straightened up and staggered back. Then, placing the muzzle of the revolver against his temple he pulled the trigger and dropped across the body of his son. The boy’s injury, although serious, not regarded as necessarily fatal. Turner’s wound is not a serious one. His hand shook when he fired the bullet into his temple and it glanced downward, emerging from his cheek. Young Turner denounced his father for the shooting, and the latter freely admitted having fired the shots. When told his wife was dead he said he had no regret for the act. He reproached himself for having injured his son, and said he had no suspicion of his identity when he shot him. He begged the boy’s forgiveness and inquired anxiously of the doctors if Glenn would recover. As for himself, he declared he had no further desire to live, and regretted that he had not killed himself instantly. Mrs. Mary Turner was a most estimable woman, and enjoyed the highest respect of her neighbors. She had been a hard-working, industrious wife and mother before the separation, and there had never been the breath of scandal to attach to her conduct. Since his arrest he has refused to partake of nourishment. He declares his purpose to starve himself to death. He is being closely watched to see that he does himself no serious injury. Prosecuting Attorney R. S. C. Reaugh was called to the scene on Sunday, but Turner’s condition was such as to cause a postponement of the preliminary examination to a later date, and the prisoner was lodge in the jail at Louisville. [Source: Southern Illinois Record (3 July 1908). Transcribed by Angelia Carpenter.]

Illinois Town Shaken by Explosion— Burglars Get Away But Are Captured.
(Associated Press by Leased Wire.)
Peoria, Ill., Dec 13.—Four men are under arrest, three here and one at Xenia, Ills., as the result of a safeblowing at Iola, Ills., Saturday night and the subsequent pursuit of the robbers by posses with bloodhounds. The Xenia prisoner resisted arrest and was shot and dangerously wounded.
The town was aroused by a telephone operator who heard the explosion, which shattered the safe in a store. The robbers left on a handcar, but abandoned it two miles out and struck across country. At Flora, the dogs, which had been sent from St. Elmo, Ills., led the posse to three men who refused accounts of themselves, and they were arrested. From this point the trail led toward Xenia. The fourth man was sighted near that place. He was shot by the city marshal of Xenia.
[Source: Washington Bellingham Herald December 13, 1909 Transcribed by Angelia Carpenter.]

Mrs. Wm. Campbell Slays Husband in Fit of Jealous Rage.
One of the most cruel, cold-blooded murders ever perpetrated in Clay county occurred Tuesday morning about 4:00 o‘clock, two miles west of Xenia, when Mrs. Amy L. Campbell killed her husband, Wm. Campbell, with a shot gun and an axe.
A neighbor heard the shot and secured another neighbor and together they went to the farm and discovered the woman acting crazy and trying to get away. She denied knowing anything about her husband, so they secured a lantern, it being yet dark, and on going into the house discovered Campbell lying on the floor with a shot gun wound just above the left nipple and his head chopped with some sharp instrument. A further search disclosed an axe hidden in the wood shed, covered with blood and hair. The murderess made her escape on foot across a wooded field, but was captured and Sheriff McElyea placed her in the county jail without bond, State’s Attorney Shriner acting at once in the matter.
Coroner J. M. Dean, of Xenia, impaneled a jury Wednesday morning and the verdict was that Wm. Campbell came to his death by a shot gun used with murderous intent by his wife.
Jealousy the Supposed Cause.
From the story we get, it seems that Mrs. Campbell had become insanely jealous of her husband and their son’s wife, though it is said there was no foundation for her suspicions. The couple had been married several years. Deceased was in the Spanish-American war. Mrs. Campbell’s maiden name was Amy Lou Dyer.
[Source: Flora Journal Record (2 September 1920). Transcribed by Angelia Carpenter.]

Mrs. Lou Dyer Campbell Sentenced at Louisville for Murder of Wm. Campbell
The trial of Mrs. Amy Lou Campbell for killing her husband, Wm. Campbell at their home near Xenia, Ill., on the night of August 31, 1920, was brought to a conclusion at Louisville Tuesday afternoon. The defendant was found guilty by the jury and sentenced to a term of twenty years in the penitentiary. The prosecution was ably conducted by H. W. Shriner and James H. Smith, Mr. Shriner making a strong appeal as prosecuting attorney for conviction upon the law and evidence. Referring feelingly to the fact that this would ever appear before a jury in Clay County as the prosecuting attorney and he wished for nothing but justice and the vindication of the law.
The defense was represented ably by Rose and McCollum, making a plea that the defendant was insane and not responsible for her acts. The opinion of those who heard the trial seemed to be that the decision was justice tempered with mercy.
[Source: Flora Journal Record (23 September 1920). Transcribed by Angelia Carpenter]

Wm. Floy Malinsky Shot and Killed Last Saturday Night at the Wm.Woods Home on East Seventh Street
INQUEST SUNDAY AFTERNOON Last Saturday evening between six and seven o’clock Flora citizens were dumbfounded to learn that Wm. Floy Malinsky, son of Mr. and Mrs. E. F. Malinsky, had been shot at the Wm. Woods home, on East Seventh street, and that he was fatally wounded. He passed away between six and seven o’clock Sunday morning. Mr. Woods, who is a brakeman on the Springfield branch of the B. & O., lives in the Warren Smith property, formerly occupied by E. B. Gorrell until he moved to Louisville. Both Mr. and Mrs. Woods were away from home, the former out on his run, while Mrs. Woods had gone to the country in a car, to visit relatives. She returned home about 7:30 p.m. Supposed to be a Burglar It is difficult to get all details of the shooting and the causes that led to it, but the story, as near as we can get it, seems as follows: Mr. Malinsky appears to have gone to the Woods home to get some articles left there on Thursday night. Mrs. E. G. Brydon, who lives across the street east, noticed a light in the Woods home and knowing the family were away, thought a burglar had invaded. She gave a burglar alarm, notifying C. E. Gibson, who aroused the neighbors in an effort to capture the supposed burglar, there having been several burglaries in the neighborhood previously. Eber Phillips, of south of Xenia, who graduated from the Flora high school last June, was visiting at the Gibson home, he having boarded there when he attended school. It is claimed that he rushed out of the house and seeing the fleeing man, fired at him with a revolver, but supposed he was shooting above his head. Malinsky ran to the street just east of Mrs. Mary Campbell, Fifth and Locust, where he dropped. W. C. McCaully and Leo Lents, who had been pursuing him as a supposed burglar, saw him fall and he was taken into the Mrs. Campbell home where three physicians, Drs. Bowman, Finch and Young, did all possible, but he died the next morning. A bullet had pierced his right lung and his left side had been grazed by another bullet. Coroner’s Inquest Held Coroner James M. Dean of Xenia held an inquest Sunday afternoon at the city hall, the jurors being W. E. Wood, foreman, Dr. P. H. Bayles, I. H. Altom, Stephen Golden, Harold Luse and Floyd Hockman. The jury found that Malinsky had died from a gun shot wound and recommended holding Eber Phillips for further investigation. Mr. Phillips gave bond for $1,000 and was released. A preliminary hearing has been set for next Saturday at 11 o’clock before Squire M. S. Dickerson. Attorney Jas. H. Smith has been retained by the defense as their lawyer. Funeral services were held Monday afternoon at 1:30 at the E. F. Malinksy home, conducted by Rev. G. W. Zink, pastor of the Christian church, followed by interment in Elmwood cemetery. Deceased had been employed in the B. & O. shops. He was an Odd Fellow and a Mason. The circumstances surrounding this tragedy make it especially lamentable, as the victim was evidently shot as a supposed burglar in the heat of excitement, with no one having previous malice or forethought of taking human life. [Source: Flora Journal Record (7 December 1922). Transcribed by Angelia Carpenter.]

Body Brought to This City on Monday and Funeral Held on Tuesday Afternoon.
St. Louis dailies have been carrying the story of the murder of Mrs. Elsie Barnhouse, of East St. Louis, formerly Miss Elsie Murray of this city.
From the Post-Dispatch we get the following:
The bullet-riddled body of a woman found Saturday morning in a clearing near Horseshoe Lake, east of Granite City, was identified Saturday night as that of Mrs. Elsie Barnhouse, an East St. Louis dance hall cashier.
The identification was made by her husband, Theron A. Barnhouse, with whom she lived at 518½ North Sixth street, East St. Louis. He is proprietor of Yociss’ Hall, a notorious resort at 527 Collinsville avenue, where she was employed.
Mrs. Barnhouse was a principal witness in the inquest into the death of Wm. Ragen, who was killed by Patrolman Herman Gerking in a brawl at the Yociss place last Jan. 24th. Gerking, who is a traffic cop, was one of the last persons to have seen Mrs. Barnhouse on Friday night before the murder, was arrested and placed in the Madison county jail at Edwardsville, pending the coroner’s inquest. When arrested at his home at 1:00 a.m. Sunday by police, he was in a drunken stupor on a bed. It is claimed that Mrs. Barnhouse was a drug addict.
Authorities fix the time of the murder about 8:00 o’clock Friday night on the statement of two fishermen who heard shots and a woman’s scream about that time. Two bloodstained spots 10 feet apart just off the Eagle Park road, east of Granite City, and a few hundred feet from the shore of Horseshoe Lake, located the murder scene. Two tin mill workers who were in a club house nearby related that there were three shots first. In about five minutes there were two more and then a sixth. The bullet wounds were two in the right side of the chest, one in the left side, one in the right shoulder, one under the right arm and one in the right thigh.
Deputy Coroner John Tate, a former Flora citizen, was to have held an inquest at his undertaking establishment at 2118 State street, Granite City, at 3:00 p.m. Tuesday, but the date has been changed to Thursday of this week.
The body of Mrs. Barnhouse was brought to Flora Monday morning and the funeral services were held from the C. R. Mann home Tuesday afternoon at 1:30, conducted by Rev. J. C. Fowler, pastor of the U. B. church, who delivered an impressive sermon. Interment was in Elmwood cemetery.
Mrs. Barnhouse was a daughter of the late Conductor Harry Murray and the family resided in west Flora until Mr. Murray’s death. Her sister Mrs. Margaret Mann, wife of Fireman C. R. Mann, is now residing at the old home place.
Besides her husband she is survived by a ten-year old daughter.
[Source: Flora Journal Record (27 May 1926). Transcribed by Angelia Carpenter.]




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