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Madison County, Illinois Crime News Stories

Two Granite City men were, killed when a stolen car in which they were riding collided with the engine of a 92-car train at the Chicago and North western Railroad crossing on Meadowlark Lane in Nameoki Township.
The two men were  identified as Raymond Eugene English, 19, driver of the car, and John Michael Kesterson, 19, a passenger.   Madison County Sheriff & deputies said English was trapped in the vehicle after  the collision.  Kesterson, they said, was found lying outside the car about 10 feet from the roadway.Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Madison Co Illinois)  1970  November  7

The Harrisburg Chronicle states that the wretched being who, under the name of Isaac Heler, lately massacred his family near Brookfield, Ind. For fear they might become a charge to the country ? is the same person who, as Isaac Young, was some years since, tried for cutting off the head of a girl in Middletown, PA, and acquitted by the jury, on the ground of insanity. [The Alton Telegraph, April 13, 1836]

- Robert Allen, Esq, formerly of Nashville, Tenn., was stabbed by a black leg, by the name of Hamilton Taylor, on board the steamboat Selma, on the Mississippi River, of which wounds he died in New Orleans. Hamilton was secured and will be tried at the May term of the Filiciana criminal court. Mr. Allen was a young man of high promise, a member of the bar, and was on his way to Alexandria in the State of Louisiana where he intended to settle himself. Nashville Banner. [The Alton Telegraph, April 13, 1836]

-A speech delivered by Isaac Hendershot, Esq. In an action of trespass vi et armis, tried at the February term of the St. Clair circuit court in which Harvey Green, a Mormon minister, was plaintiff and Miles Vanwinkle et all, of Methodist principles were defendants. [The Alton Telegraph, April 20, 1836]

-$30 reward for a bluish grey mare in Morgan County near the head of Apple Creek on Friday night last, including saddle, a brass mounted rifle, flask, a drab great coat with two capes...Said articles are supposed to have been stolen by a man calling himself James W. Johnston, but whose proper name has since been ascertained to be George Wilkinson. He has passed in this county by the name of William Dunlap. Said Wilkinson is said to be about 5 feet 9 inches, heavy and well built with black eyes and hair and of a dark complexion. Is fond of gambling and drinking and smoking. Says he is a cooper by trade. Contact William T. Givens, Franklin Post Office, Morgan Co., IL. [The Alton Telegraph, April 27, 1836]

We learn from Galena that John B. Smith who shot Woodbury Massay at Debuques Mines last fall and whose call was dismissed by a late circuit court held at Mineral Point, for want of jurisdiction, was shot down in Galena on the 13th ult. by Henry L. Massey, a younger brother of the deceased. Smith lingered a few days and died. Massey had left the country. [The Alton Telegraph, March 9, 1838 Vol 1, issue 8]

- We learn from Dubuque that a very tragical affair occurred in that place, during the for part of this week. Miss Massey,sister of Henry L. Massey, who shot down the elder Smith, in this town some two weeks since, shot Wm. Smith, the son of the aforesaid deceased, on Monday afternoon last. The ball entered his right side just above the third rib and lodged. Our informant thinks he cannot survive the wound. This unexpected occurance has set afloat so many rumors, that we are compelled to wait for more authentic information, before we say further - Galena Gaz. [The Alton Telegraph, March 30, 1836]

Edwardsville Intelligencer, Illinois
16 June 1870

A BRUTAL AFFAIR - On Thursday last news reached this place that
Wm. Hilgedick, who rents a farm 2 ˝ miles north from town, had beaten his wife to death with a board. An officer and a physician were immediately dispatched to the spot. Upon arriving there they found Mrs. Hilgedick in a very dangerous condition, she having received 12 cuts over the head. She is a young woman and was married in March 1869. As soon as the officers arrived, she made a statement to the following effect: I was feeding the pigs this morning before breakfast; my husband called me into the barn and pointing to two eggs on the floor he asked me if I had put them there; I told him I did not; he said: I guess you did; and while I was stooping down to pick up the eggs he struck me on the head with a board. I called for mother, then he struck me again. I recollect that he put his knee on me and held my nose with one hand and struck me many times with a board which he held in the other. He then picked me up and threw me under one of the horses' feet; that is all I remember till now. Mrs. Hilgedick made other statements to the effect that her husband was going with other women and that he had not performed the duties of a husband since the first two weeks of their marriage. Hilgedick tells quite a different story. He says that his wife went up into the loft over the stable to hunt eggs; that she stepped on a loose plank which tipped up and threw her below under the horse's feet, and that the cuts on his wife's head were done by the horse. Hilgedick was committed to jail to await the result of his wife's injuries. It is very doubtful whether she will recover.

Edwardsville Intelligence, Illinois 30 June 1870

CONFESSION OF HILGEDICK - Our last issue contained the particulars of a most brutal and murderous attack made by
William Hilgedick upon his wife, on the --th 15 last, and it will be recollected that Hilgedick was committed to jail to await the recovery of his victim. Since his lodgment in the county jail he has freely given vent to his feelings, and has confessed to the jailor and other parties, the full particulars of his crime. His object was to get rid of his wife, so that he could marry another woman, whose name in this connection has not so far appeared. He contemplated the deed two weeks previous to the morning of the 15th, and it was by the merest chance that he did not succeed in his murderous attempt. Mrs. Hilgedick is slowly recovering, but her scalp was so lascerated(sic) and bruised from the number of blows she received, that her physicians fear that the flesh will eventually fall away and leave her disfigured for life. As soon as she is sufficiently recovered to make her appearance in court, the case will have a hearing. Story about Arrest, Trial and Clemency

Illinois State Chronicle (Decatur, Illinois) March 27 1856

At Alton, on the 11th inst., a man named
William Mitchen killed his father, stabbing him three times with a butcher-knife. He has been arrested, and committed to prison.

Illinois State Chronicle (Decatur, Illinois) April 17 1856

Perry Sanderson, one of the Conductors on the Terre Haute, Alton and St. Louis railroad, was severely stabbed in the chest and back, by a passenger coming from the West, last evening. The difficulty originated, we understand, in the passenger refusing to pay his fare. Mr. Sanderson’s wounds are not considered dangerous. – Paris Beacon, 11th.

Two convicts escaped from the penitentiary, at Alton, on Thursday. They were engaged, near the prison, when watching their opportunity, they jumped into a skiff, and pulled across the river. They were fired at by the guards several times, but they escaped unhurt.

Collinsville Man Held for Murder
Clifford James Finley, 60-year-old Collinsville laborer and ex-coal miner, was lodged in the Madison county jail as a murder charge Thursday in the shooting of his 52-year-old brother. The brother, Leslie J. Finley, a Vandalia Bus Line driver, died Wednesday night at St. Mary's Hospital, East St. Louis, after being wounded in the abdomen. The shooting occurred at the latter's home, 124 Collinsville avenue, in Collinsville. State's Attorney Austin Lewis said Clifford Finley admitted in a written statement that he shot his brother. Unable to speak because his vocal chords were removed about three months ago in an operation for cancer of the throat, the elder Finley wrote out and signed his version of the slaying, Lewis said. A murder warrant was issued by Justice of the Peace M. G. Schwartz upon a complaint signed by the state's attorney. The defendant is being held in the county jail without bond pending action of the Madison county grand jury. He said in his written statement that he had been "having trouble" with his brother since the throat operation and alleged that the brother had told him not to "come around the house" or drive by the premises. Authorities said the two men had been feuding for some time and that Leslie twice complained to police that his brother was going to kill him. Officers said he refused to swear out a warrant, however.
Wednesday afternoon according to authorities, Clifford drove to the brother's home, where Leslie; his wife, Elsie; his mother-in-law, Mrs. Emma Neutzling; a stepdaughter and her small daughter were in the back yard. Leslie ran into his house, police said, followed by Clifford who has a gun. Three shots were fired into the victim's abdomen, and the .32 caliber revolver used showed five cartridges had been discharged. After the shooting, Clifford waited for the arrival of the police.
Edwardsville (IL) Intelligencer, August 21, 1952 - Submitted by CAK8948@aol.com


Granite City, Ill., Jan. 15 – Abraham Kalosian, aged 39, cousins, fought a duel to death with a revolver and razor last night over Dick Kalosian’s divorced wife, who arranged the fight, the police announced today.

The woman suffered a bullet wound, Abraham was shot and Dick slashed to death. Neighbors heard the men arranging the duel, the police reported. (El Dorado Times, Monday, January 15, 1923, transcribed by Peggy Thompson)


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