Murder of Charles W. Severance

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Murder of Charles W. Severance - The Severance _Iyster_-B__.y of the Missing Man...
The Severance _Iyster_-B__.y of the Missing Man Found. San Rafael, April 15th.— At last the mournful mystery which overhung the fate of Charles W. Severance has been dispelled and the shocking details of his murder are revealed. For the past three or four days detectives Lees and A van have been investigating THE case, Their only guide in unveiling the mystery being the statement of the Chinaman, Ah Lung. During the process of their examination of the scene of the murder they preserved the utmost secrecy, and until 3 o'clock this evening, at which hour the body of Severance was discovered, nothing was known of the condition of the case by the outside world. The detectives, remembering the storm and darkness of the night on which Severance was murdered, attached much importance to the statement made by 'A T Lung to C. C. P. Severance, that he thought the Portuguese had buried the body in the woodshed. This woodshed is partitioned off from the stable, and is located some thirty feet in the rear of the farm-house. Here the traces of blood were found which have been previously referred to. Near here the bloody ax was lying. The farmers who spent last week in looking for the body, not attaching due weight to that portion of the Chinaman's story relative to the woodshed, neglected to explore it with much care. The result of the researches of the detectives led them to dig up the ground in the northeast corner of the woodshed, and THE REMAINS 01' SEVERANCE Were found four feet beneath the surface. He lay on his side, with his face toward the south. His body was in a fair state of preservation. Around his neck was a rope, with which he evidently had been dragged to his grave. A deep cut and two bullet wounds were found in the back of the head, one of which penetrated through the left eye. A bullet wound was found just above the left nipple, and a jagged bullet wound perforating each wrist showed the brutally barbarous way in which he met his death. The gash in the back of the head was in all probability inflicted by the ax, stained with blood, which has been described in previous dispatches. On the body of the murdered man was found $101 50. Buried beside him was his saddle and . a pair of rubber pantaloons, probably put there to cause the belief that he had absconded. The earth had been firmly packed over his body, so that the ground was harder there than in any other part of the shed. THE PREVAILING THEORY Here now is that the Chinaman murdered his master without assistance. It is probable that while Severance was milking the cow Ah Lung stole behind him with the ax in his hand, and after dealing him a murderous blow on the head, inflicted the other wounds with a revolver. The fact that five wounds were found on the body of the murdered man server to explain the statement of the Chinaman that he heard the Portuguese fire four or five gun shots.. He evidently thought that this story might explain, the condition of his master's remains in the event of their discovery. Ah Lung was a crack shot, and spent most cf his leisure time in hunting about the ranch. The finding of the body throws A FLOOD OF LIGHT On the hitherto rather obscure incidents connected with the tragedy the disappearance of the Chinaman's working clothes ; the finding of his shoes, stained with blood, in the _.._ ; the hair on the ax. All these circumstances become doubly significant, when viewed in connection with tc-Jay's mournful denouement of the terrible tragedy. After the first sad shock occasioned by the finding of the body of the murdered man had partially subsided, the decomposing corpse was wrapped from sight and conveyed hither in a wagon. When the news of the horrible discovery reached this place, the great excitement of last week seemed to vanish in comparison. Trom every point friends of the murdered man came to view his mutilated corpse, and made many fervid expressions of sorrow, coupled with vehement threats against the murderer when his identity should be revealed. The body was given in charge of the Coroner. Sheriff Mason and the detectives from San Francisco refuse to state the means by which they gained their INFOBMATION AS TO THE WHEREABOUTS OF THE BODY And the circumstances of the tragedy. This is believed to be to prevent a possible demonstration cgaicst the Chinaman, who at present is in solitary confinement. While everything indicates Ah Lung as the slayer of Severance, it is claimed by some that the officials are makicg every effort to divert suspicion and accusation from him. For nearly a week it has been an open secret that a carefully planned attempt was being made to get a confession from the Chinaman. There are at present two Chinamen in jail awaiting trial for murder. It was understood that one of them tad been induced, by promise of Executive clemency in case .of success, to seek to persuade a confidential confession from Ah Lung while confined in the same cell. It is believed that this course was followed, and that after continual torturous working on the fears of Ah Lung, his confidante and betrayer succeeded in gaining an admission of his crime. The detectives deny this, but couple their denials with the strongly inferential remark, . "If we tell how we got it it will warn other?, and the same plan might not again succeed." The belief in tho innocence of Joe Peters is strengthened, but an effort may be made to implicate him. He remains in jail, to the great indig-, nation of his countrymen, who threaten most terrible vengeance on the Chinaman if opportunity offers. ... REMARKABLE PHASES OF THE CASE PROMISED. The Sheriff states that to-morrow some remarkable phases of the case will be revealed, but refuses to indicate in which direction. An autopsy and ; inquest will be held to-morrow, and some new facts of importance may be drawn out, positively fixing the crime and t completely " solving the half-divulged mystery. ._."_.' .. ';'""•":-' . The shock jof awful certainty, following the agonizing . suspense which for . the pa. week or more has threatened ■ to . terminate Mrs. Severance's frail tenure of life, has completely prostrated the delicate lady, and it is feared tbat she will die.

Clipped from
  1. The Record-Union,
  2. 16 Apr 1880, Fri,
  3. Page 2

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  • Murder of Charles W. Severance

    donna122 – 09 Sep 2013

  • donna122
    Body of Charles W. Severance Found

    donna12204 Nov 2013

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