The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Friday, June 28, 1929

William Day Murdered Rug Salesman, Threw Body In Creek Near Athens, Wife Says

Centralia, June 27 (AP) -- William Day, an itinerant scissors grinder, was taken to the Marion county jail at Salem late today to await action by Menard county authorities. Day was charged by his wife with killing a man and throwing his body into a creek near Athens about a month ago.

Day, who was questioned by Chief of Police Erwin C. Kaelin here, denied knowledge of the alleged crime and claimed he had been no nearer the scene than the vicinity of Kankakee. Chief Kaelin said Day failed to throw any light upon his whereabouts during the time in question.

Takes $150
It was reported that Mrs. Day had told authorities her husband had murdered a rug salesman from Ohio and had taken $150 and an automobile from him which bore an Ohio license. It was also said Mrs. Day had described the scene of the murder as "near Greenville and the stream as Salt creek" which it was said would establish the scene as a point near where a body was removed from the water on June 9.

Day who is being held without charges, was taken into custody by Chief Kaelin when Mrs. Day said he had threatened her life. According to what Chief Kaelin said of the woman's story, she was somewhat "foggy" in her memory of the location of the alleged killing, especially in relation to towns in Menard and Sangamon counties. Her description of the actual crime, Kaelin said, was given clearly and readily and included: "I heard a scream in the night and awakened and found my husband gone. I started to search and saw him strike the man with a hammer or hatchet, then throw the body into a creek. It sank quickly and did not rise."

Mrs. Day also said she recognized the man Day attacked as one who had allowed them to use a cook stove the night before and also that he sold rugs. She could not say whether the body had been weighted. The body found by two fishermen on June 9 was weighted with an angle bar weighing about 50 pounds.

Question of Marriage
In questioning the pair separately today, Chief Kaelin said their stories differed as to their marriage, and led him to believe they might not be wedded. Kaelin says Day claimed the woman procured the license and Mrs.Day said Day had gotten the papers.

The Days left the scene of the alleged murder immediately, Mrs. Day said. She has been staying near here while Day has been at the home of relatives near Sandoval, his former home. Hazel Scarborough, at the home of whose parents Mrs. Day stayed, dropped dead of heart disease last night after she had ran into the house and cried, "She is coming to kill us all."

According to the coroner's report on the body found in Menard county, the body had been in the water some time. The coroner's jury held the man came to his death by the hands of unidentified parties, "the body having the appearance of being strangled and dumped into the river."

The Daily Illini, Champaign-Urbana, Sunday, June 30, 1929

Salem Officers Hold Man Accused By Woman
Salem, June 29 -(AP) - Deputy Sheriff R.W. Barnhill of Salem reported late today that a three-pound hatchet had been found in a truck owned by J.W. Day, itinerant scissors grinder held in jail here on the story of a woman who traveled with him that he had killed a man in Menard county several weeks ago.

The woman's story was that she saw Day kill the man with a hatchet and throw his body into a creek. Barnhill said the hatchet he found bore no blood stains.

Contributed by Kristin Vaughn