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Crime News
Macoupin County, Illinois



Jesse Hall was released from the county jail Saturday after serving a sentence of sixty days on a charge of malicious mischief.  He was a paroled prisoner and kept the parole strictly for one year, the required time, but the day after it expired, became intoxicated and attempted to take a horse and buggy tied at the public square in Virden.  Deputy Sheriff W. E. Morris noticed his action, placed him under arrest and brought him to this city [Carlinville] where he was arraigned in the county court on a charge of malicious mischief and sentenced to serve sixty days in the county jail.  [Illinois State Register (Springfield, IL) – Monday, February 26, 1917]


A Son Kills His Father
Carlinville Democrat, Thursday, February 14, 1878
On Sunday night last, Wm Lancaster Jr, while laboring under a fit of insanity, beat on the head of his father, Wm Lancaster Sr with a club causing his death. The circumstances of the sad affair as well as we can gather them were about as follows.
The son, now a man of about 32 years of age, has always been more or less afflicted with insanity, and at times dangerous. The father kept him at his house near Clyde, this county, where also a daughter of his son about 17 years of age resided. Richard Botkin who
worked for the old man also had a sort of care over the son and slept with him at night. His wife has been dead about 6 or 7 years and since that time he has been gradually growing more dangerous. Sunday night about 1 o'clock Botkin was awakened by the son getting up and exclaiming "Old Ireland has got to go this time sure." and proceeding down stairs; he thought nothing unusual---but soon heard the blows which caused the fathers death. At the same time Calvin Drennan (son-in-law of the father) and wife who were sleeping in an adjoining room were awakened and Drennan opening the door of his room was met and struck over the head by the now infuriated maniac with the club that had done such deadly work upon the father. The blow staggered him when young Lancaster rushed past him into the room and seized his sister, Mrs. Drennan, by the hair and dragged her out of bed shouting that he was going to "free old Ireland this time for good". By this time Botkin who had sprang out of bed and rushed down stairs reached the scene and with the assistance of Drennan, promptly secured the frantic man.
The father lived in an unconscious state until 11 o'clock on Monday. He was about 68 years of age, a hale, hearty old man, a brother of our townsman, John, and well known in the county.
The son was brought to the city and placed in jail Monday evening.

Lancaster, William Sr
Bunker Hill Gazette, Thursday, February 14, 1878
Horrible Murder, William Lancaster Killed by an Insane Son
From Clyde came particulars of the murder of William Lancaster, a man nearly 70 years of age, under the most horrible circumstances. The murdered man lived in a house with his son, William Lancaster junior, a son-in-law Cal Drenning or Drennan and family. William junior was subject to fits of insanity and while out of his mind was accustomed to tell neighbors that his wife (who died almost two years ago) had been killed by the old man and that he would murder him (the old man) in revenge. Little attention was paid to these threats as they were believed to be the ravings of an irresponsible and harmless man.
On Sunday night however William arose from bed and with a heavy cudgel(?) sought the room where the old man was sleeping. He threw a blow with little effect and the old man drew the bed clothes around his head to protect it. Then the maniac pulled away [the bed clothes] and plied blow after blow in rapid succession upon the defenseless skull producing fractures from which death ensued within a few hours. Aroused by the noise Drennan came down and was with his wife attacked by the madman both receiving severe bruises. A well-planted blow with a stick, however, disabled the murder and he was secured. On the following day he was taken to Carlinville for custody and examination. William Lancaster, the murdered man, was a hale vigorous person, and much esteemed by all who knew him. He was the brother of Frank Lancaster, senior, of this city.
[submitted by: Lynn Boyd Reener]



Two Macoupin Officers Arrested on Embezzlement Charges
County Clerk and Former County Treasurer Have Given Bond
Carlinville, Apr 26 - County Clerk, Bert B Wilson and former County Treasurer, David C Deffenbaugh were arrested yesterday afternoon on a charge of embezzlement of county funds. Both were released later on bonds of $5,000 each. State's Attorney L M Harlan personally signed the complaints.
The warrant for Wilson's arrest…alleges a shortage of $10,531 and the warrant for Deffenbaugh…charges of embezzlement of $15,000 from county funds.
…Wilson's bond was signed by Frank and Homer Wilson, brothers of Wilson… [Litchfield Daily Union, Tuesday, April 26, 1927 - submitted by: Lynn Boyd Reener]
 

 



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