Annie Dorman Mystery, 9/7/1897

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Annie Dorman Mystery, 9/7/1897 - OPPOSING THEORIES IN THE Many Circumstances...
OPPOSING THEORIES IN THE Many Circumstances Point to Self-Destruction, While But Few Support the Murder Theory. ELF MURDER. That Is how It Is now thought Annie Dor-man, the 18-year-old girl who was found on Wednesday afternoon lying In a pool of blood In the bed room of her half brother, John Dorraan, who lives at Sixty-fourth and Market streets. Just west of Cobb's creek, in Delaware county, came to her death. Such Is the opinion of the majority of those with whom she had lived for years. Such is the tenor of many circumstances connected with the finding of the body, and such is the conclusion arrived at in the light of several Important facts unearthed yesterday for the first time, all of which go to undermine the murder theory, on which the Delaware county officials are now working. Took the Revolver From It Hiding Plaoe. When John Dnrmnn rushed upstairs and Into the room, after he had been notified by his 6-year-old daughter Ella that "Annie Is upstalre dead," he found the girl lying on the floor with her head facing toward, the front of the house, the revolver, which he had kept loaded for over two years on a shelf behind a s tchel In his room, under her arm, and her dress opened at the bosom as low down as the heart region. He did not disturb the body, but at once rushed downstairs and gave the alarm. Then he went back to the room and made an Investigation. He found that the room was in perfect order, but for an upturned carpet rug. and what looked like prints of two feet In the small child's Vied, which stood close to the wall under the shelf wher he had placed the revolver twenty-four months before. He went Into Annie's room, which adjoins his, and fouid that, too, In perfect condition. No sign of a! struggle anywhere, no clue that could give flse to the Idea that a stranger had entered the house. MarkH of Violence Lacking. Then friends and neighliors came and some authorities. All searched. They examined the two stairways lending to tho room and the approaches to the house. Nowhere did they find trtioes of blood prints which would most likely have been made by the escaping murderer, for all about that part of the floor where tho tiody lay was flowing blood. He could scarcely have followed his victim from one end of the room to the other without tracking in her life blood. And whei) they turned their attention to the dead girl herself they found her body free from jiny marks of violence and her clothing In no wise disarranged except for the opening of the dress at the bosom; and where on the unrtervest were great powder marks like Ihose made by holding a revolver close to a piece of cloth, or even against it, nnd then firing. On Thursday night the Coroner of Delaware county and hi physician went to the house and held a post-mortem examination. It developed two Important facts that no assault had been made and that the bullet which caused death was the one over the heart, thus exploding altogether the theories that one crime had been used to cover up nn-other, and that at least two of the bullets which took effect were separately sufficient to cause dtfnth. Her Lover Mad Grown Cold. From thai time until yesterday nothing new was discovered. Then, however, new and Important circumstances were unenrthed and here they are: First, the girl could not have been killed In order that the house might he ransacked for valuables, as some hold, for in the very room where she lay In death wire two gold watches, one her own, two gold chains, money nnd other valuables. This on the statement of John Dornian himself. Then, too, from nil other part of the house was any. thing found missing. Everywhere was perfect brder. Again, several dnys before Annte and Mrs. Dornian wore working together. Their conversation gradually drifted to personal matters nnd suddenly Anulo said In a burst of confidence:! "He has jiot fronted me lately like he used to." And iben she added: "I don't know what to make of It." She alluded to Ernest I'eudlebury, the young man who for a year had been "keeping steady company," w ith her, but who a short time befors the girl's death had seemingly grown cold. This neglect seemed to cause ber some Worriment. Now In regard to the footprints on the child's bed, under the shelf whereon rested the weapon. Annie was short of statnre. Rhe knew that on that shelf was the revolver; she also knew from former experiences that she could not reach the shelf and get hold of anything placed olo to the wall, unless she clnmbered on the bed first. She had often done so, de-clnre her relative. Why would she not do so again? t ley ask. Are not, then, the marks discovered on the bed her own, made when she got tile revolver with the purpose of killing herself? A Strange Letter to Her rtrothrr. John Dornian yesterday came back from Mlllshnro, Delaware, where Annie was burled Sunday afternoon. He found a letter awaiting hlin. It bore the postmark of the I'biladelphla and Manaynnk railway post office, and the words "Twenty-eighth trip." It read: "rriif.ADKi..rm a, Septomlier,4, 1WT. "John T. Dornian, Esq. "Annie bifenme acquainted with a man named that she sHld was a llfclnsurnnceiiKcnt from Camden. hey visited a house 'on Kalrniount avenue, hi low Thirteenth utreet, was ron-n Miss lie Haven. He was freer to that house. The clipping ducted by quent vlsl DORMAN CASE found with Annie he composed (referring to the poetry). I saw the same clipping in Annie's possession at that house. The man was dark complected and wore eye-glasses. I have not saw Annie since she had returned home to live. "Yours respectfully." It had no name, but the wilting was plnlnly that of a woman. "I do not know," said Mr. Dornan, after he had read the letter again and again, "how much truth there is In it. We generally knew where Annie went. She seldom rrmalnd away at night later than 11 o'clock. But the writer Beems to know about Annie's movements, for the last sentence indicates that. She returned to us in July after being with a family by the name of Barker, living at Ardmore, since May 14. I have notified the police." Does Not Remember Annie. Mrs. Louisa A. DeHaven was located at 1030 Toplar street. "Did you used to live at 122S Fairmount avenue?" asked the reporter. "Yes, I did, but I moved away from there in February." She produced rent receipts to back up her words. On being further questioned she admitted that she had had rooms to let while at 122S Fairmount avenue, and that she was still engaged In the same business. "Was that girl ever here?" and she was shown a picture of Annie Dorman. Not to her knowledge, she replied. Of course, she couldn't remember everybody who came there, and. Indeed, she did not see everybody, for the maid often attended to the door, and she has a new mnld now. Mrs. De Haven was equally Ignorant of any man who had come to her house, having the same name as that given by the letter writer. Inquiry In Camden last night failed to throw any new light upon the letter, for those men who may figuro in the case could not be located, all being absent from their residences when the reporter called. Such at present are the strong circumstances which point to suicide, and pitted agulnst these Is the one statement In favor of murder that has not been shattered and probably cannot be, that the girl was too religions and happy to do such a dreadful deed. MINSHALL SURE IT IS MURDER The Coroner and Ills Thyaiclan Foint Out the Reasons Why They Doubt the Suicide Theory. Special Telegram to The Times. Chester, September 8. Coroner Mlnshnll and the authorities of this city are firmly convinced that Annie Tiorman was murdered, and are expecting soon to cause an arrest. The thing that has led the Coroner nnd those who have assisted hlin to the positive conclusion that she wns murdered Is the report of the Coroner's physician. Dr. S. H. Crothers. lie to-day reported to the Coroner that Annie Dorman at the time of the death was a pure woman. The Coroner said to-night that he had been convinced from the first that the girl, with all of ber Christian training, would not have taken ber life except to cover up a life of shame, nnd now that this reason has been removed he Is more thnn ever convinced thnt It is murder and thnt the crime which led up to It was not robbery. Could Not Have Fired Roth Shots. Dr. Crothers was seen to-night at his home in South Chester, and said that he had made the post-mortem and was not at liberty to say all he knew about the rase until he said it before the Coroner's Jury, lint If It would nssist the cause of Justice he would speak. When asked If the wound In the Jaw was necessarily fntal, he said he thought not if it had been attended to at once. But It was such a severe wound that the person who received it would have fallen to the floor unconscious for a few minutes at least, aud during thnt few minutes would have bled to death. He thinks it would have been Impossible for Miss Iiorman to Inflict the wound In the neck nnd the one through the heart as well. Police Talk of an Assault. The theory that the police are working on Is that a man went Into the house nnd Into the room where the girl was and mads an attempt to nssault her. During the struggle, they say, he secured the revolver fn m the mantle and started to shoot, while she seined his hand, thus causing the first bullet to go wide of the mark and make the holes In the wall. There were two bullets In the celling and one In the washboard near the floor. The Coroner says he believes that the wound In the heart wns made while the girl lay on the floor and was une nisylous from the wound in the Jaw. The Coroner also snld: "Annie Dorman, who has been working for her half brother, had something over six years' wages due her at the time of her death, and It was generally thought aiming her friends that the money was lu ber possession." Will Ask the Courts for Money, At the time the esse was reported to the Coroner he telephoned for the body to be left where It was. When he arrived he found the house cleaned up, the blood washed away anil no evidence of a struggle. Chief of I'ollce Berry will assist the Coroner lu the esse to-morrow and will try nnd And some evldenee that will locate the supposed murderer. The Coroner Is unable to get the assistance of the I'hllsdelphls detectives In the case for the reason that they have not been paid the nmney actually expended by them at the time that they Inveatlgstiil the Marshall rase for lilni. District Attorney William I. Hcl'afler has been advised to go before the eonrt to-morrow and lay the esse before Judge Clayton and see If he will not make some provision fur the In of this esse and make some arrangement to compel the County Coniinissli'iiera to pay the actual expenses of the Investigation. A representative of Tub Tunica made a test of the revolver thnt was used In the shooting and found that It was one of the old-fashioned kind, with I hammer to raise, SCENE DURING MR. and that it worked so hard that ho was unable to cock It every lime, failing three times out of six. Chief of Police Berry, who Is accustomed to firearms, also made un examination of the revolver and he, too, was unable to raise the hammer of the revolver every time. Three times out of seven he had to lower the hammer aud start over again before he could cock It. WOMAN'S SUDDEN DEATH AROUSES SUSPICION The Body of Mrs. George Holland, of Preston, Delaware County, Likely to bo Exhumed. The . Inhabitants cf Preston, Delaware county, are very much excited over the death of Mis. George Holland, which occurred at that place Inst Thursday morning. She was supposed to have died of heart disease, and without any Inquest being held was burled In the Methodist Cemetery, at Garrett 11111. Since the funeral suspicion has arisen, and the case Is being thoroughly Investigated. Policeman David Knaphle, of Iiosemout, yestenlny notified District Attorney W. J. Schaeffer, at Chester, and the District Attorney advised Coroner Thomas Mlushall to make a personal Investigation. The Coroner took the llrst train for Bryn Mnwr and spent the entire afternoon In making Inquiry into the case, returning to Chester lu the even. Ing. From Information received It appears thnt Pr. Bevan, the physician called lu to attend Mrs. Holland in her Inst Illness, aud who pronounced ber death due to heart disease, had never seen the woman until alsiut ten minutes before she died, when he was called to the house. The family physician. Dr. William C. Powell, who had attended Mrs. Holland for many years, declared that she had never shown the slightest symptoms of any derangement of the heart, but admitted thnt she wns subject to severe and prolonged fainting spells. Mrs. Holland was about 32 years of age and lived with her husband, who Is a day Inlmror. and their two llitle children. Il U hinted that between the two there was an lucompaiaiiuity or ii-mperaineni, ami neign-bors asM-rt that a quarrel took place the night before Mrs. Holland's death. Sev- 1 eral of the people living In close proximity to the house thought tney nearil a pistol shot about 1! n'oha-k In the morning, but the noise wns attributed to the lireuklng of a glass lamp In the parlor. The woman who prepared Mrs. Holland's body for burial says that her right shoulder was limbed. Coroner Minshatl cnsiiml the authorities for permitting tin- body lo lie burled without an Inquest, and Policeman Knaphle and his brother, Special Policeman ('. M. Knaphle, will meet him In consultation this morning at District Attorney SrhaotTer'a ollli e, In Chester, to consider the advisability of exhuming the remains aud performing an autopsy. ATTEMPTED SUICIDE ON HIS WEDDING TOUR Prominent Pittsburg lltislneas Man, Recently Married to an Heiress, Tries to Kill Himself. Special Telegram to TlIK TIMES. I'lTTSnt'Bil, September 0. L. D. Leech, secretary of the Pittsburg Chemical Compnny, ami a prominent busbies man of Pittsburg, attempted suicide to-day In hi room at the Hotel I. owls, at New Alexandria, a country reeort In Westmoreland county. Five weeks ago he was married to Miss Mary Sntlon, a Pittsburg Iron mnster's heiress, whose fortune Is estimated at over three hundred thousand dollars. It was a fashionable wedding and the couple Immediately left for the Catskllls nnd White Mountains. They were Just returning and topped over at New Alexandria. While the bride was at dinner to-dny Mr. Leech remained In Ills roon, saying he did not feel well. A porter found II I ill unconscious on a couch. Both wrists had been slashed, his throat was rut and there was a gaping wound In Ills abdomen. A penknife with which the Wounds hail been liifllitod was close by. The flow of lib! was stopped and he msy recover. No cause except Ill-health Is asslgmd for his action. 11. J. I.yurh, his brother-in-law, inld this evening Mr. l,occh was not worried over finances, as he had a gissl Income and ills wlfe't fortune Is over a quarter of a million. A residing in terrible j on

Clipped from
  1. The Times,
  2. 07 Sep 1897, Tue,
  3. Page 1

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