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Warren County Illinois
Genealogy and History

Crime News

Listed in loose alpha order by the surname of the first criminal mentioned in the story

John Baxter, one of the murderers of Col. Davenport, has been again sentenced to death.  The court then read to him the act of the last Illinois Legislature, granting him the choice of being hung or imprisoned in the penitentiary for life. He chose the latter punishment. – St. Louis Union  [The Ottawa Free Trader, Ottawa, Illinois, June 11, 1847]

Chicago, 13.β€”In the trial of John Kudle, Monmouth, Ill., merchant, for conspiracy with the employees of Phelps, Dodge & Palmer, to steal the firms goods, the testimony developed the fact to-day that Henry Spaulding, stockkeeper of the flrm, had been stealing from them for ten years. He could not say how many thousand dollars in the aggregate. He had been promised immunity.
[The Salt Lake Herald.(Salt Lake City [Utah), February 14, 1883]

Near Monmouth, Ill., Edward Nash, an insane youth, shot and killed his mother and sister. [Little Falls Transcript, (Little Falls, MN) April 10, 1885, page 3; Sub. by R. Line]

Negro Captured After Search Lasting Three Years.
Victims Were Slain With Ax as They Slumbered β€” Scene of Operations Covered States of Missouri, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa and Kansas, St Louis
Police Make Arrest of Man Accused of Killings.
St. Louis, March 22. - The investigation of thirty ax murders committed in five states since 1911 was reopened here after the arrest of
Loving Mitchell, a negro. The warrant on which Mitchell was arrested charges him with the murder of William B. Dawson, his wife and daughter, who were slain in their home at Monmouth, Ill., the night of Sept. 30, 1911. Since that time communities in Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Colorado and Kansas have been terrorized by similar crimes. In every instance the murderer killed an entire family as they slept by the blows of an ax. Scores of persons have been arrested, but invariably the police were forced to release them for lack of evident. A list of some of the most notable ax murders follows:
H. C. Wayne, wife and child, and Mrs. A. J. Burnham and two children. Colorado Springs, Colo., September, 1911.
William E. Dawson, wife and daughter, Monmouth, Ill., September, 1911.
William Showman, wife and three children, Ellsworth, Kan., October, 1911.
Rollin Hudson and wife, Paola, Kan., June, 1912
J. E. Moore, four children and two girl guests, Villisca, Ia., June 1912.
Mrs. Mary J. Wilson and Mrs. George Moore, Columbia, Mo., December, 1912
Jacob Neslesla, his wife, their daughter and the latter's infant, Blue Island, Ill., July, 1914.
Mrs. E. B. Matthews, 80, Hartsburg, Mo., October, 1914.
Mitchell's arrest followed a search of more than three years. He had been employed near Monmouth, but disappeared after the murders in the Dawson house. He was later traced to Independence, Mo., and from there to St. Louis. The prisoner was taken back to Monmouth by Chief of Polite Morrison and Mayor Brown of that city. Before leaving, Chief Morrison said: "Dawson, his wife and daughter were murdered by three negroes, two men and a woman; revenge for attentions which the negroes believed Dawson had shown their relatives was the motive for the crime; the negro woman in the case I will arrest soon; the other man is now in the Joliet (Ill.) penitentiary." He added that he had no evidence that these negroes were connected with any other ax murders.
[The Democratic banner.(Mt. Vernon, Ohio), March 23, 1915]


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