4/27/1895-Murder of BCC Member

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4/27/1895-Murder of BCC Member - WOLFE IS QUESTIONED ABOUT THE MURDER He Wore...
WOLFE IS QUESTIONED ABOUT THE MURDER He Wore Garments Like Those Worn by Theodore Durrant. I HIS HAT WAS SIMILAR. George R. King Tells What He Knows About the Death of Miss Williams. THE PRISONER GROWS ANGRY. He Issues Orders to His Keepers, and Will Lose His Privileges In Consequence. Dark coats with long skirts and slouch hats, the fashion of the day, played another important part in the Durrant hearing yesterday. It was noticed by close observers among the spectators that when Elmer Wolfe was called to the witness-stand yesterday morning he wore a long dark blue overcoat similar to that worn by Durrant on the fatal Friday night and which now reposes among the gruesome articles which have gone to constitute the people's exhibits. It became patent that the coincidence did not escape the lynx-like eyes of Deuprey and Dickinson, for as soon as the witness was turned over to them by the prosecution Mr. Deuprey asked Wolfe to remove his coat in order that a comparison could be made between the two garments. Wolfe objected at first He avowed that he had no particular reason for desiring to keep his coat on, but he displayed a certain amount of nervousness which became apparent as the counsel persisted in the effort to get the two coats side by side. The witness, who had chewed gum or some other plastic substance throughout his examination, gave a number of extra triturations and as his jaws increased their speed the sun and weather painted color on his cheeks deepened. He finally consented to oblige the defendant's attorneys, and his coat and that of the accused were placed side by side. Thru the similarity in shape and color became apparent, and to every observer the thought must have occurred that at night no difference would be noticeable between the two coats. The same is also true with regard to the slouch hats. The incident, though having no particular significance so far as the witness is concerned, has a direct bearing on the general identification of the defendant. The coat and hat he is said to have worn on Friday night, April 12, are so common among young men who make any pretension to keeping in touch with the styles of the day that hundreds of them might have been noticed on any street in the City the same night without exciting passing notice or comment. So far the counsel for the prosecution has failed signally in establishing conclusively the identity of the accused with that of the man said to have been seen by several witnesses on the fatal Friday night in the vicinity of Emmanuel Church. Their case up to the present writing is weak. As has been said none of the witnesses called for the purposes of identification have been positive in their opinions or their recollections. They have differed one from the other and not one has been able to say that Durrant was the man. though he did wear a long-tailed coat. They had all seen the coat, hue none have been able to say he or she saw his face. Then, too. they have been much in doubt as to his build, his height and his voice. It will also be remembered that much of the evidence brought out so far differs materially from the stories told by the same witnesses to the newspaper representatives and at the inquest. For particular example it is understood that Dr. Vogel said when Durrant arrived at his house the latter was much excited and had blood on his hands. On the stand Dr. Vogel said Durrant was overheated and that his hair was disheveled, but not a word passed his lips under oath concerning his excitement and the problematic blood-stains. He also testified under crossexamination that Durrant acted perfectly natural while at the church gathering that night. This latter statement was corroborated by all the other witnesses who were at the house the same evening. Elmer A. Wolfe was the first witness to take the stand. "What is your occupation?" asked Mr. Barnes. "I am an accountant." "Where is your place of business?" "I am not employed just at present." "Where is your residence?" "At 630 Twenty-third street." "Do you know Theodore Durrant?" "Yes, sir." "Do you know Dr. Vogel?" "Yes, sir." "Did you attend the Young People's meeting at Dr. Vogel's on Friday evening, April 12?" "I did; yes. sir." _, "Whom did you go with?" "Miss Miriam Lord." "Did you see Mr. Durrant there that night?" "Yes, sir." "Was he there when you got there?" "No, sir; he got there after the business meeting, at about half- past 9 o'clock." "What time did you leave Dr. Vogel's that night?" "About half-past 11." "Did you leave there alone?" "No, sir; there were MissFales, Miss Lord, Miss Stevens and Dr. Vogel." •Did you see Durrant after you left the house?" :, "Yes, sir; he joined us about 100 feet from the house. He went with us as far as Twenty-third and Capp streets and then left for home." i -. " ... ■ '■ ';'■."• ." "Did he say anything when he left you?" "He said something about going to Mount Diablo the next day, and that he must tret up early." "Where did you go after you left Miss Lord at her house?" "I went up Twenty -third street to our place of residence and changed my clothes, and then went to mv brother's stable, at the cornerof Twenty-fifth street and Orange alley, to get mv horse. When 1 got there I remembered that I had left my horse at the company's stable, and there I went subsequently." ':.",?: "Did you see any one standing near the Emmanuel Baptist Church when you passed there on your way home?" "Yes, sir; as 1 ncarcd the corner of Bartlett and Twenty-fourth streets I saw a man standing near the corner." "Did you recognize him as Durrant?" "No, "sir." "How was the man dressed?" "He wore a long dark overcoat and slouch hat." "Had you been in attendance at the Young People's meeting before?" "Yes, sir.'' "Did you know Minnie Williams in her lifetime?" "No, sir." Cross-examination then followed. "How far is your place of residence in town from the Emmanuel Baptist Church?" asked Deuprey. . 'About a block, perhaps." Witness then described his movements on the afternoon of Friday, April 12. prior to the Young People's gathering at Dr. \ogels, including bis visit to a barbershop on Valencia street and a stroll about town with bis brother. He ate supper at the « reamerie between 5 and 6 o'clock and then went to look for a book which he desired to get for his sister. He did not aucceed in getting the desired book, and took the Mission-street car a few minutes before 7 o'clock. "How long did you remain at your rooms?" asked Mr. Deuprey. -'„**'• "About five minutes." "What course did you take from the corner of Mission and Twenty-third streets to your rooms?" " - "I walked up Twenty-third street." "Where did you go to when you left your rooms?" "I came out of the house about 7:30 with my cousin, Walter Wooden." "Where did you go?" "Up to the corner of Twenty-third and Valencia streets. We separated at the corner of Twenty-second and Valencia streets." "Where did you go then?" "Down Twenty-second almost to Folsom street." "Where did you stop?" ._'.--> "At Mr. Fit-Patrick's, 411 Twenty-second street, to deliver a note which I had brought from the house." "Whom was the note for?" "I think it was for one of the girls." "From there where did you go?" "To Miss Lord's house on Capp street, and from there we went to Dr. Vogel's house." "What clothes did you wear at Dr. Vogel's house that night?" "The same that I had bought downtown that afternoon." "Have you any part of those clothes at home?" "Yes, sir." "Is that overcoat you have the same you wore that night?" "Yes, sir." "And that hat you wore that night also?" "Yes, sir." ! 7V' : "Would you have any objection to taking off that overcoat for a minute?" "Yes, sir, I would object." "Have you any particular reason for objecting?'' "No, sir; I simply don't want to, that is all." "Will you let me look at that hat?" Witness handed over his hat and Mr. Deuprey compared it with that worn by the defendant on the fatal Friday night. The hats were almost identical. After handing back witness' hat Mr. Deuprey asked if the court would order witness to remove his overcoat for a moment. Judge Conlan said he did not know whether he had any authority to compel witness to remove his coat, but he could see no reason why the witness should not wish to oblige counsel for the defense in so small a matter. Then Mr. Wolfe took off his coat, the gum which he had been chewing during the examination suffering an incessant mastication as the jaws of witness received a nervous impulse in their action. The coat was held up beside that of the prisoner, and the lengths and general style were found to be the same. There was a slight difference in the color, Durrant's coat being a darker blue, though at night the difference could not possibly be noticed. Coming around by a tortuous interrogatory route to the meeting at Dr. Vogel's Mr.'Deuprey asked: "Do you * know the exact time that Durrant arrived at the Young People's meeting?" "About half-past 9." "Could not Durrant have been in the house some time before you knew of his arrival?" ' " "I don't think so. I heard the bell ring and in a minute Dr. Vogel said, "Here's Theo.' " "Where did you go after leaving Miss Lord?" "I went north on Capp street to Twentythird, and along Twenty-third to my house." "After arriving at your house how long did it take you to change your clothes?" "A very few minutes." "What* time did you leave your room?" "About 5 minutes after 12 o'clock." y-' : Then followed a series of questions relative to the witness' movements from the time he changed his clothes, went to his brother's stable at the corner of Twentyfourth street and Orange alley, and from there to the corner of Twenty -fourth audi Howard streets, where he took the car to I the junction of Twenty-fourth street and I Potrero avenue. When he got at the stable where he had left his horse he found two men William Potter and Robert Buchanan. "What did you do when you got your horse?" was next asked. "I saddled him and rode to our ranch in j San Mateo County, a distance of five or six miles." "Did you come into town the next day?" "No, sir." "When did you next come into the City?" "On Sunday morning." "What is your height?" "I don't know." "About what height?" "About 5 feet and 8 inches." "What is your age?" "Twenty-live." "Do you know what your weight is?" "No." About 160 or thereabouts." Wolfe was soon after dismissed with the request that he remain in the courtroom, as the counsel for the defense thought he might be needed again. George R. King of 521 Capp street, the organist at the Emmanuel Baptist Church, was then called. "How long have you been the organist at the church?"' asked Mr. Barnes. "About two years." "Have you had anything to do with the Sunday-school?" "Yes, sir; I have been the secretary and looked after the library and books." "Do you know Durrant?" "Yes", sir." ■'.. V ■;•• "Did he hold any office in the Sundayschool?" ;,'' lie was the assistant superintendent." "Have you a key to the church, Mr. King?" "No. sir." "Did M*-. Durrant have a key to the church?" "I think he did." "Did you have a key to the library?" "Yes, sir." "D.id Durrant also have a key?" "Yes, sir." "Do you know who put the new lock on the library door?" "Yes, sir; Theodore Durrant and myself." Witness was shown the broken lock and identified the same. "Do you repieraber when you and Durrant put that lock on the library door?" in "I think it was the last Saturday March." General Dickinson broke in with the question as to how witness could identify the lock. "By the nicks and the way in which it is cut," responded the witness, rehandling the brass mechanism and pointing out the features of identification. "What was the object in putting that lock on?" asked Mr. Barnes. - „", V.-"The old lock was so simple that it was easily picked." "You kept the Sunday-school books in that room?-' "Yes, sir." "Who had keys besides yourself and Durrant?'*' "No one." "Were you in the church on the night of Friday. April 12, between the hours of 7 and '■) o'clock?" "No, sir." "Were you in the church at any time that day?" v . ■ "Yes, sir; I was there in the morning to practice.*' "Did you notice anything wrong with the lock that morning?" , "No, sir." . ; ;> f0.i.1 "You had to pass the door in going to the organ loft?" "Yes, sir." "How did you go into the church that day?" '■Through the front door." "Did Durrant ever say there was anything peculiar about the key he had to the lock on the library door?" "Yea, sir; I believe he "did. He said something about the way he had to* handle the key in making it work." "What did you do with the key you had to the door?" "I gave it to Sergeant Burke of the police force." " t'. :-; "Is this the key?" handing witness a key. • "I think it is, though of course I cannot positively identify it, as there are no particular marks on it." The lock was then handed witness, and, on slipping the key into the ward, it shot the bolt. Cross-examin ation General Dickinson handed witness two keys, one "People's Exhibit .1" and the other "People's Exhibit W," and the latter announced that they were identical and both operated the lock. ' " v : :;■ No further questions were asked by the defense. On the redirect witness answered that by the lock in question the door to the library could not be fastened from the inside. "Do you know what tools you used in fixing the lock on the door?" "We used one of those combination handle and tool attachments." "One of those where several small tools come in the handle?" "Yes, sir." "Do you know whether there are any tools kept in the church?" "Yes, sir; Dr. Gibson had two, a hammer and chisel. I have used the chisel." At 12:05 o'clock a recess was taken till 2 p. m. -v.-..;. The afternoon session was opened with the calling of Officer Riel, but as there was no response Dennis Welsh, a police officer of Alameda, residing at 2076 San Jose avenue, took the stand. , "Did you know Minnie Williams?" "Yes, sir; about two years." "Did you know Theodore Durrant?" "By sight, yes, sir." "Did you ever see them together?" "Yes, sir." "What was the last time, as near as you can remember, when you saw them together?" "About the 30th or 31st of March." "Where was that?" "On Park street and Encinal avenue." "When did you last see Durrant in Alameda?" "On the Bth of April." "Did you talk with him then?" "No, "sir." "When did you see him last to talk with him?" "The night of the 25th of February." "What occurred then?" "I was on watch at the police station and Durrant came in and said he could not get any place to sleep in the Park Hotel; that he had missed the last boat and wanted some place to stay. He lay on a settee in the station until about daylight." * \; Cross-examination — "How long have you been a police officer?" "About eight years." "In Alameda all that time?" "Yes, sir." "How did you come to be a witness in this case?" "I came over here to the Coroner's inquest to see the body of Minnie Williams." "Why did you want to see the body?" "Well, because I was curious to see what kind of a butchering job had been done." "What day was that?" "I think it was Tuesday." ••Well, what did you do at the Morgue?" "I went to a fellow at the Morgue and asked to see the body, but I did not see it." "Who was the fellow in the Morgue you saw?" "I don't know." "Was that fellow in the Morgue dead or alive?" "Alive, of course." "How did you come to be a witness in this case?" "Well, I told Officer Gibson that I knew the girl, and that I had seen her with Durrant in Alameda, and I asked him if Durrant was the fellow that did the killing." "How long did you know Minnie Williams?" "About two years." "Do you remember where you first met her?" -n ':-;■ "No; I cannot tell just where I first met her." : '.'/- "When did you see her last to speak with her?" "It was last October." "How did it come about?" "It was one night on the street, and she asked me if I would walk home with her, that it was dark and she was afraid." "How far away did she live from where you met her?" "About three blocks; and as it was on my beat I walked home with her." "Can you name any man, woman or child who ever spoke to you about Minnie Williams?" "That would be a hard matter for me to tell." "Then, how did you know who she was and where she lived?" "Well, it is our business to find out the names of people on our beats and where they live. "Where was she stopping at that time?" "With a daughter of Mr. Nolan's." "How do you know?" "The same way that we know anything, by inquiring." ""Did any one ever tell you that she lived with Mr. Nolan's daughter?" "That would be a hard thing to say." "Was this daughter of Mr. Nolan single or married?" "That I cannot say." "Did you ever see Mr. Nolan's daughter with any children on the street?" "Not that I know of." "Do you think she was married?" "I think she was, though." "Do you know the name of her husband or what his business is?" "I cannot tell." "How often did you see Minnie Williams at Mr. Nolan's daughter's?" "Oh, I can't tell." "Was it once, twice, three or four times?" >'.. "Yes, I suppose so; and many more times, probably." "Well, your memory seems to be much clearer as to the times you have seen Durrant and Minnie Williams than on other subjects?" "Oh, I don't know. We brother officers have talked the matter over, but never as to what should be testified." "How long has Mr. Nolan's daughter lived on your beat?" "Oh, about a year and a half." "Have you seen Minnie Williams there any time lately?" '■■Oh, I can't tell. I think it was about a year ago." "How do you fix that time?" "No, I can't tell. I don't keep dates." "Did you use to see her going in and out as though she was going back and forth to the city?" "I may. I don't know whether she was working there or living there." "You knew her well, did you?" "Yes, tolerably. She was short and had dark brown hair." "What was the last time you saw her?" "I think it was the last of March or first part of April." :•-. > "How do you fix the time?" •Well, because I was on duty then." "I thought., you were on duty all the times?" "But we change our watches from day to night." "You haven't refreshed your memory lately, have you?" "No, sir. I said the officers sometimes talked the matter over when the papers came." '-* "When did you first meet Durrant?" "Oh, I think it was some time last summer. I used to see him get off the train at Chestnut street, and then I have seen him and Minnie Williams get on the train?" "How long did you remain in conversation with Durrant the night last October when you saw Durrant at the Chestnutstreet station?" ' -';*':;',; "Oh, I can't just tell; a lew minutes." "When did you speak to him next?" "In the latter part of December at the same station. He took the twenty minutes to 12 train. 1 think he usually took that train'" -^''':-i'^ "How did you know the last time you met him was on Sunday night?" "Because it was private business of my jwii which made me remember it." "Well, tell us your reason." Witness hesitated, and the defense asked ,he court to compel an answer. The court instructed witness to answer fhe could, and witness said; ' ';•*">■ *?^v,-: * "Well, I'll tell you. I was up to the Catholic church, and had to run to get back on my beat when I heard the train coming." " ""';<- *yv'. :>.j:J. "What officers came in the police station at the time Durrant asked to stay all night?" "Officers Chano and Delaney." "How do you know that was on the 25th of February?" . -fr.;- -.; rp. "Because an engine on the narrow-gauge broke down on that night." "Did Officers Chano and Delaney speak with Durrant at that time?" "Oh, I suppose so. I think it natural they should." "You haven't thought about what you were going to testify to or refreshed your memory by consulting the records in the police station since this hearing was set?" "No, sir." After some further questioning witness was dismissed, and Dr. J. S. Barrett was called. Prosecuting Attorney Wakeman suggested that as the testimony of the next witness would be of a delicate nature it would be well for the ladies to leave the courtroom. , Judge Conlan took the same view of the matter, and a general hegira of the feminine portion of the spectators followed. Dr. Barrett took the stand and sat nervously stroking the down on his adolescent upper lip. evidently nursing a vain regret that the" gaudily attired female contingent had seen fit to leave the courtroom while waiting for the lawyers to have their traditional fling at the iEsculapian disciple. But the lawyers only consulted. As the medical witness sat nervously and expectantly in his seat he might have been mistaken for a young dry goods clerk or a member of the Burlingame Country Club waiting for a lesson in drag-driving from Captain Wainright, or a leader of the Cotillon Club resting after the social triumph of an evening of unusual eclat — anything, in fact, but a regularly graduated physician about to give evidence of a grave and important character at a trial when life and death were the stake. He was dressed with the exquisite grace and neatness of a dancing master and his hair, if laid under surgeon's silk plaster, could not be smoother or more glossy. His eye and lips smiled sweetly on counsel and court, and it was a bitter disappointment to him. when the smooth voice of Deuprey was raised in preferring a request to the court that an adjournment be taken until Tuesday morning of next week. Mr. Deuprey thought it would be impossible to finish with the young medico before adjournment or midnight; and the court, glancing at the witness-stand, thought so, too, and an adjournment was ordered. The police have not relaxed their vigilance and wariness as to female visitors to the City Prison, who desire to .«ee Durrant and afterward testify in .lis behalf. Though Mrs. Williamson was the only one who gained access to the courtroom, there have oeen several others who desired to inform the court that the accused was the wrong man. Four of them were at the prison yesterday and day before, two of them claiming to be the vicegerents of Jesus Christ wanted to bear witness to the prisoner's innocence. One of them said she knew by the glance of his mild eye that he was as guiltless as the babe unborn, and still another thought the size and shape of his neck preclr. led all possibility of his being capable of even . entertaining such indescribable and incomprehensible motives toward any human being, man or woman. The arrest of Durrant seems to have brought to the surface all the spiritualistic cranks in the community, and some new advocate of his innocence appears on the scene daily. Most of them never had an acquaintance with the prisoner and merely judge him by means of some esoteric or hypno-psychic system of their own. It is expected all the testimony for the prosecution will be in Tuesday, and from what the defense has allowed to be inferred, but little time will be consumed by that side before the case is submitted to the court. Accordingly a decision may be expected from the court next Wednesday. IN BAD TEMPER. Durrant Becomes Very Insolent to the Ser- geant in Charge of the Prison. Durrant is chafing under constant confinement and has given several exhibitions of an ugly temper. Last evening he was as autocratic as a Czar, and gave orders to Sergeant Shields as if he were not a prisoner charged with murder. Durrant's mother called on him early in the evening and was with him for some hours. When his mother arrived Durrant asked that his cell be cleaned and a waterbucket be removed. Sergeant Shields ordered a "trusty" to see that Durrant's desires were carried out. Durrant then said, in a most haughty tone: "I want you to see that you keep this place clean. " It is what yon are paid money for, and you will have to attend to your duty better in the future.".. This caused some lively words between the sergeant of police and. the arrogant alleged murderer, and Durrant flew into a passion which took his mother some time to overcome. It was not exactly the action of an insane man, so the outbreak on Durrant's part was attributed more to his ugly temper than to an attempt to prepare the way for an insanity dodge. In the future, however, Durrant will not be granted special privileges, and he will be treated just like an ordinary prisoner. He was never any too popular and his outbreak on Sergeant Shields, who is a most accommodating officer, has done him no good. Proof against misrepresentation always —Dr. Price's Baking Powder. The people know and like it. STRIKE OP THE SAILOES. Another Vessel Leave* for the Sound With v Non-Union Crew. A number of vessels are lying at anchor off Meiggs wharf waiting for crews, the owners of which have declared their intention of keeping them there all summer until they are tilled with non-union men. The bark General Fairchild got to sea yesterday with a crew of non-union men. The craw was furnished by John Cane, the new assistant shipping master of the Shipowners' Association. Cane got the men together on Thursday afternoon and kept them hidden until the early hours of yesterday morning, wken he slipped them aboard while the vessel was out in the stream. About noon yesterday word was received at the office of the Sailors' Union that two men had been shanghaied and were being kept on the Fairchild against their will. Secretary Furuscth immediately went to the harbor police and reported the occurrence. Sergeant Mahoney was on duty at the time, and he advised the secretary to go to Meiggs wharf and report the matter to Sergeant Bunner. Furusetb started for the wharf and the sergeant telephoned to the police station. He received an answer to the effect that Officer Ferguson had boarded the Fairchild and mustered the crew, and that all of the men had declared themselves satisfied with their berths. Before Secretary Furuseth reached Meiggs wharf the Fairchild had gone to sea. Among the • vessels lying off Meiggs wharf is the bark Arcturus. Her destination is Birds Inlet, where she is to take on a cargo of lumber for Santa Rosalia. The schooner Azelea'is waiting for a crew, to take her to Grays Harbor, and the schooner General Banning will load for Seattle as soon as she can get a crew to man her. : Among the vessels lying* in other parts of the stream are the schooner Orient and the barks Sonoma and Chehalis. The Orient is destined for Grays Harbor. The Sonoma is bound for I the Sound, from where she will proceed to Unalaska, and the Chehalis has a cargo on board for Siberia. The Chehalis has all her crew in but two men. -;..-,;• ■■ _---■ It was rumored yesterday that Mr. Mighell, who recently threw all his vessels into the Ship-owners' Association, would remove several of his vessels from the coast.' "It is understood that the -ship Eiwell has been chartered to go to Australia. '' • ''' " v !,'•'"*'->/;-.-:'- :-■' ■ I at in to of , in of in the be the the

Clipped from
  1. The San Francisco Call,
  2. 27 Apr 1895, Sat,
  3. Page 5

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  • 4/27/1895-Murder of BCC Member

    megwb – 15 Sep 2013

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