Clay County Missouri
Missouri Genealogy Trails
Genealogy and History


Clay County Missouri


William Carr
Child Murderer Pays the Death Penalty
Executed at Liberty, MO.
Strange Conduct of the Condemned Man and Wife on the Last Day and Night, Laugh and Joke to the Time of Parting, Execution is Witnessed by Many Sheriffs
Liberty, Mo., Dec. 17 th

William Carr, the child murderer, was hanged this morning at 10:20.  Prayers on the gallows were offered by the Rev. Mr. Ewing and Professor Love, who have been every attentive to Carr since his confession. The noose was placed around Carrs neck by Deputy Sheriff Ed Cave, the black cap by Deputy Sheriff John D. Thompson, the trap was sprung by Sheriff Humer.
Carrs body was given to his wife. It will be taken to the home of his wife, and buried Sunday near Randolph. Mrs. Carr bought black goods to wear in mourning of him.
The hanging was seen by nearly a dozen sheriffs from different counties.  The record of legal hangings probably affords no parallel in the conduct of the condemned man during his last night on earth to that offered by the child murderer, William Carr, last evening. He had been a sullen, ugly and morose prisoner. During the few visits of his wife it had been seen that she exerted a wonderful influence over him. She saw him yesterday afternoon for the first time in days. She saw him for several hours, for the last time, in the evening.
Yet this murderer and his wife sat and whispered and joked and laughed together during almost the entire time. They even joked about the stockade in which Carr was hanged, and styled it a hencoop.For his foster mother and relatives who called, Carr had only formal, sullen words.  They say he was hypnotized. To everybody else he was viciously ugly.
The transformation of the man under his wife's presence and influence has been startling. His conduct yesterday and last night has strengthened the suspicion that Carr has never told the truth as to his little daughter's murder. In Liberty there is an intense feeling against Mrs. Carr.  Carr's actions since his arrest, his mad, fierce, earnestness in shielding his wife from suspicion in every possible way, her powerful influence over him as shown yesterday, open the door to wide speculation.  The woman herself is a wonder of assurance and defiance. She walks the streets with head up, her black eyes snapping defiantly into the faces of people she meets. She slams the door of her home in the faces of people who call to see her out of curiosity. She says:  If Carr is guilty, let him hang. He ought to be punished for it.  Carr said in his confession that he murdered his child to please his wife. She could not get along with the little girl, and threatened to leave him unless he got rid of it. That's why he threw her in the river. Those confessions were made in Kansas City before Carr had seen his wife. Since he was brought to the Liberty jail and saw his wife, he refused to talk about the crime to anyone.
(The Guthrie Leader; Guthrie, OK; December 18, 1897. Transcribed by Dale Donlon)

Elvira Owensy
An Aged Colored Woman Murdered

Liberty, Missouri, September 3. -- At a farm house three miles west of this city, on Monday, Elvira Owensy, a colored woman, 70 years of age, was murdered by some unknown person, the assassin firing two bullets through her heard, after which he dragged her body to a brush thicket, about a hundred yards from the house, and her clothes set on fire to cover up the trace of the crime.

The aged woman was left at home while the family of John Griffin, with whom she was living, came to this city. On their return she was missing and search was at once instituted, the neighbors being called in to aid in the hunt. About midnight her body was found, with the clothes all burned off and part of the flesh from the arms and body.

John Griffin, a son of the farmer, is suspected of having committed the crime and is under arrest.
Source: Times Picayune - September 4, 1890. Transcribed and contributed by: Frances Cooley - 2009


Genealogy Trails History Group
© Copyright  by Genealogy Trails