A Most Remarkable Case | Coroner Comments on the Suicide of Karl Pilger (Aug 1894)
A MOST REMARKABLE CASE, Coroner Kelly Couimeuts on the Suicide of Karl I'ilger. "That case of Karl Pilger in Petersburg Petersburg was one of the most remarkable thafl ever saw," said Coroner Kelly to a Republican man yesterday. "Tho entire top of his skull, from the eyes upward, was blown away ; yet, when I mado an examination, I found no powder marks, aud there wasn't tho trace of a bullet or even of wadding." "I freely admit that I was puzzled and thought the case suspicious. The skull could not have been kuocked away more cleverly had the job been done with an axe. iMy inquiries elicited the fact that Pilger had no insurance on his life, aud there was no motive for murder, so it must have been suicide." "Later I was informed by an old man who had served in the German army that he had known a half dozen cases in which men had blown their heads off without using any lead in their guns. They would first put in a charge of powder, jam it down tightly, and then fill the barrel to the muzzle with water, corkinsr it ud. This creates an explosion that is fearful in its effects, and Pilger probably suicided in that way."