mrs. pitezel's story

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mrs. pitezel's story
 - WAEREN, PA., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 81. 1895. Here,...
WAEREN, PA., THURSDAY, OCTOBER 81. 1895. Here, both MRS. PITEZEL'S STORY. Pathetic Tale Poured Out In the Witness Box. SWINDLING SCHEME JREHEABSED, The Heartbroken Woman Tells How, In Addition to the LOBS of Her Husband Husband and Children, She Was Bobbed of the Insurance Money. PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 81.-- Four long hours, under the scrutinizing gaze of a courtroom crov. (led with strangers to her, a paid, worn woman underwent an ordeal which well might have broken the nerve of many n strong man. She was Mrs. Carrie Alice Pitczel. With bravery and fortitude she stood the test, in spite of the fact that her physical condition has been so shattered by the multiplicity of woes, under which she has all but succumbed, that she was obliged to interrupt her pitiful pitiful narrative at frequent intervals to accept accept spoonsful of medicine from the trained nurse who attended her. In a voice broken with grief she told the whole distressing story. How her bus band was spirited away from her and murdered out of sneer greed of gain; how she bade her little ones goodby. confiding thorn to tho cure of Holmes in all trustfulness, trustfulness, littlo thinking that when next she would set oyos on them the two little girls would be lying side by side on the marble slab of a morgue, cold in death, and the boy a parcel of mouldering bones. Brtween her bitter sobs she related every every detail--from the first meeting with Holmes up to today, and so affecting was the story that even District Attorney Graham, long used to tales of misery and distress, paxisod in the examination to wipe away a furtive tear. The woman's physical condition waa such that the court crior had to repeat her testimony after her because of her weak voice. Throughout it all, the shrunken, pallid figure in tho dock--who would never be taken for the arch-criminal of the age--sat unmoved. But novor onco did the' woman look to ward him. During every moment of the long examination she kept her eyes rivited on tho commonwealth's officers or counsel for the dcfonbo, as if she fuared to shift them to either side lest In thoir course they should fall upon the face of the man in tho dock. There wore other witnesses called, but, naturally, Mrs. Pltezel's testimony was tho featiue of the day. An easel was brought out, and placed upon it wore two ctayons of Holmes as he appeared when arrested, one a full fqce picture and the other in profile. Between them was the crayon of Pltezol, which has alioady been exhibited. Two big photographs photographs of tho Cullowhill street house were also produced. F. X. Quiun an employe of the Fidelity Fidelity company, identified Holmes.' signature to a statement prepared by Quinn, as notary notary public. This statement was read and is in substance as follows: While in jail In St. Louis Holmes had met Hcdspeth, who said they could get out of jail for $400, Holmes to get $300 and other parties 1100. Holmes told him of a scheme to defraud an Insurance company but that ho needed a lawyer. Hedspeth referred him to Howe, and after several visits to him Howe confirmed Hedspeth's etatomeiit about the money needed. They discussed the insurance scheme, and Howe asked where they would get a coipse. Holmes replied that that would bo all right, as ho hod plenty of experience In that line. The details were carried out and Holmes made arrangements in New York on Aug. 9 to get a body, but the one obtained lacked tho wart and other marks peculiar to Fitozel. Holmes meanwhile came to Philadelphia and saw Pitezel. While hero he got word from New York that a body was ro.vdy. Ho went there, got it and brought it back hero to Pitezel. Holmes and his wife then loft town. He went to St. Louis, wheie he found Pitezel's wife and children much excited. Tho money was finally obtained and Howe kept $2,500 of it, Mrs. Pitezel being given tho balance. This concluded the statement. During its reading thn^,women were ushered into court by a side uoor. One was Dessa Pite- zel and another her mother. There was a buzz In the courtroom when District Attorney Graham called: "Miss Pitozel." A tall, slender woman, dressed in shabby shabby black, her face pale and worn, took the witness stand. In answer to a long series of questions from Mr. Graham, she said: "My name is Carrie A. Pitezel and Benjamin Benjamin F. Pitozol was my husband. In July, 1894, wo lived in St. Louis. My husband husband had taken a policy in the Fidelity company for $10,000. On July 29 he left for Philadelphia in connection with the matter. I know tho prisoner. Before July, 1804,1 had seen him several tlmea with my husband while he was in Philadelphia. Philadelphia. I knew he was living under the name of Perry." '·Did you know anything about the property of Holmes -- the Slxtythird street 'Castle?' " "By my husband tolling me about it." "Did ho huvo any Interest in that?" "My husband said he did." An objection being here made on the ground of irrelevancy, Mr. Graham said he proposed to show that the Fort Worth and Chicago pioporties were in the name of Lyman and that both Holmes and Pit- ezol--Lyman being an alias of the latter-were latter-were interested in them. This, he said, related to the motives in addition to the desire to get the insurance money, that actuated actuated Holmes in killing Pitezel and the Ihildren, and would be followed by proof if a quarrel between Holmes and Pitezel concerning tho ownership and title to the property. "Did you have any talk with Holmes ubout the insurance case before it was carried carried out?" "Onco he spoke to me about it when he tame back from the South and he asked me if-Ben had told me about it. I said, 'Yos,' and I did not want anything to do with it. He said Ben would be home from the South soon; that be was sick down there." Containing, Mrs. PiteMl said: "I know Howe through Holmes. By his advlco I employed Howe and gave him the power of attorney to collect the money. I don't know who prepared it, but How* brought It to be signed. "I saw in a paper that ft man named Perry had been killed by an explosion, but Holmes told BM mj husband was all care did Alice leave St. *'In \\ hose louis?" | "In Howe's. She went at Holmes' suggestion suggestion to Philadelphia to identify the 1 body, because I was sick I asked Howe\ J to take care of Alice, and Holmes said he? would. Mlnnio Williams, Holmes' cousin, 1 he snid, would take care of her, and if I grew very sick ho would send Benny to take* care of mo. "I next saw Holmes on Sept 27, when ho oaino to our house and said he had brought Alico back to Cincinnati, He said Vte would take Howard and Nellie to Alico so that' she would not be alone and had mode arrangements for Alice to meet thorn m Indianapolis. I took Nellie and Howard to the depot, Howe was there and said the insurance money had been paid. ' 'Hoi mea said to me: 'You had better give her some money,' and Howe gave me $5. I bade the children goodby and they got on I he car. "On Oct. 22, Holmes came to the house in St Louis and we wenjb to Howe's office. Holmes was there and Howe said the scheme waa a fraud and he washed his hands of it. They wanted me to sign a paper in regard to Howe's fee and after being assured that I would no* be implicated implicated in the affair, I did so. Holmes there went under the name of Howard. He demanded 8300 or $400 of me and I gave it. "He wanted to go to some bank to pay off the note due on the EWt Worth property/ property/ I got the 15,000 and he took it, We went around to tho bank. The money was in $100 bills, all but one old note, a $1,000 bill. He took;the money and went to a side window. Then he came back and brought the note, saying it was paid. He told me to take care to show It to Ben when I saw him." "How much did you get in all of this insurance money?" "I received $300. That was all I over got." "After this money transaction what became became of Holmes?" "Ho took another $100 for the children, who, he said, would need some in Indianapolis. Indianapolis. He went away and some time afterward sent me a letter from Detroic to oome on there to see my husband." "Did you sea your husband?" "No. He then sent me to visit my parents parents atGalva, Ills." In answer to further questions Mrs. Pitoisel went on: "When I went to Detroit Detroit with Dessa and the baby he met us and took us to Geese's European hotel. I said I expected to hear from the children and he said they would write in a few days. Holmes registered for me as Mrs. Adams. We remained in Detroit until Oct. 18." "Did he explain why your husband was not there?" "He said ho hod looked all over the town and could not find a vacant house where it would be convenient for me to see Ben. On the morning of the 18th he said we had better go to Toronto. Ho thought Dessa should join the other children In Indianapolis, Indianapolis, -where" they wew te-ohwge'Gf-ft- wldow, he said. I asked him the name of the widow my children were with and he said: 'It's a peculiar name. I cannot think of it now.' We went to Toronto, where he also registered me as Mrs. Adams. My husband, he said, was in Montreal waiting for word to come on. "One day ho brought me a letter from Nellie. It was in cipher and he read it to mo thus: 'Dour Mamma -We are all well and going to school, but Howard won't mind Alico. Ho will got dirty. We havfc plenty to eat and tho woman is real good to us.' "We were in Toronto from Oct. 18 to Oct. 25 Holmes did nob stop at the same house with us I don't know where his different stopping places were. On the afternoon of the 85th he came to the hotel and said he wanted to hurry up and go to Proscott, Canada, and there cross over to Ogdensburg, N. Y. We went to Prcscott and stayed at the National hotel until Nov. 1. "From there we went to Burlington, Vt. Holmes had here rented a furnished house on Mmooka avenue. He told me that I had worn out the name of Adams and to go by tho namo of Cook. "The second week we were at Burling ton I said I was not going to stand it any longer. I wanted to see Ben, and I told Holmes I believed he was. lying to me. He denied this. I said; 'I do not hear from my children, and you said I would get the rent from the Fort Worth property, and I have not a scratch to show.' I said I would go to the children in Indianapolis, but he said: 'No, not until you see Ben.' He said he was going to take Ben to the States, get him to sign papers about the Fort Worth property and sell it. "For two or three daya I did nofe see him, and then he came and told me he had taken the children to Toronto. He said he had put heavy coats on them so they would not catch cold aud that they were perfectly happy. He said he would have to go to Montreal as Ben had been drinking and wa^not taking care of tho diamond dyes he had been sending him. He told me to go into the cellar and under the potato bin I would find a bottle of dynamite dynamite which I should carry to the attic. I did not carry it up stairs, though. "Holmes was there known as Judson. He told me Bon had been drinking and was sick and asked me what I'd do if he should die. Ho said: 'I have one grave marked for him.' All my letters were given to Holmes to mail. He said he sent them to Chicago, where Pat Quinlan, I the janitor of the 'Castle,' took care to get 1 them to my husband." A number of letters written by the witness witness and given to Holmes to mail were identified by her. None had been mailed. She waa shown two others written by Alice and Nellio. That from Alice was marked by childish affection for her al ' gent mother and bore a rude drawing of ' "Uncle Tom's Cabin," which the little one had been reading. At the sight of this the mother's heart overflowed and she wept bitterly. The woman who accompanied accompanied her and Dessa arose and, walking to the witness stand, gave the bereaved woman a toaspoonf ul of medicine. There was no one in the crowded courtroom courtroom who did not appreciate the pathoa of this scene, but the only change it In Holmes' expression WM a malicioui grin on his thin lips, "Have you ever seen your husband since be left St. Louis for Philadelphia?" "I have never seen him since July 29, 1891, nor beard from him since Aug. 29, when I got the last letter in his own hand writing," she answered tearfully, "That wwfrom Philadelphia." 1 "Have you seen or heard from Alice! ' Nellie or Howard since thla man got pos- oesslon of them?" "I have not hoard from them." "Have you been them since?" Sobbing bitterly, the woman answered: "I saw Nellie and Alice lying tide by side in the morgue at Toronto. I never saw Howard, except what belonged to him t In . Iduanapolli, in the coroner's office." Thfai ended the examination In chief. IB mutwar to qmrtionm txgm Mr. Botaa. the witness said slie was married to cel in Galva, Ills., in 1878, She did know where he and Holmes had Sjie thought it was in 1889. She first Holmes in the restaurant at Sixty-third and Wallace streets, Chicago, the when she was with her husband .893. She did not see much of Holmes iil this insurance matter came up. The court reassembled at 7 o'clock, during the few moments that lapsed lore tho business of the case was Eolmcs sat in tho dock reading Digest of the Law of Evidence." ' At 7:16 o'clock Mrs. Pitezel's trying leal was resumed, after she had Iboral dose of medicine from the nurse who accompanied her and her daughter, Dtssa. The crossexamlnation was continued until 8:S5, bufc developed nothing to controvert her evidence in chief. District Attorney Graham then her the crayon portrait of Pitezel, said: "Yes, that Is a good picture iusband as he left home." This concluded Mrs. Pitezel's and at 8:30 o'clock she gave way for daughter, Joai-nette (Dessa ) UUHer testlni'bny was largely corroborative )f that given by her mother concerning the departure of the children and the subsequent travels of Dassa and her under Holmes' guidance to the various cities named. DURRANT MURDER TRIAL District Attorney Barnea Opens the ineut For the Prosecution, SAN FBANCISOO, Out. 31.--District At- iorney Barnes appeared as the high ;ral figure in the last scene of the Theodore Durrant. While the spectators in the crowded court room strotched their necks to every word of the speaker, he delivered what is considered in many respects, of the strongest arguments ever made alifornia jxiry. Aside from being logical and n his discussion of the testimony, ;wo or tin c-o dramatic by-plays that severe test to the Iron nervoa of the prisoner, Of these scenes, the most impressive ;ook place hi the early part of bis argument, when he spoke of how counsel ;he defense had invoked tho spirit of Blanche Lumcmt, and voiced her by saying: "3jet him go free; he me not." While looking intently at tho fraim learing Miss Lament's dress which near the jury box, and telling how the long-days of the trial he had young school girl clothed in all her innocence and purity, Mr. Barnes reached climax of tho scene. Turning upon Durrant, who was seated only three feet the district attornoy, j£th clinched and in a voice of thuudw. exclaimed: "I see hoi* now. There she stands lind him at this very moment, not praying for vengeance for her deep and remediless wrongs; not for the law of n upon her murderer, but with iiand and streaming oyea, praying 3od will not put it into your hearts, the mockery of a verdict of not set free this monster to prey upon souls, pollute with .vile hands the sunned snow of other children and anew that God of justice whose pou arc." Dnrront was the least affected person she court room, while, Mrs, Noble, dead girl's aunt, wept silently, and everybody else was thrilled with theimpresslve- of the scene. Durrant sat stolid and indifferent As the district attorney's last words were uttoied, the prisoner whispered dung in the ear of his mother, who near him, and smiled as if pleased wit of his own remark. The district attorney will conclude argument today, when the jury will charged and tho fate of Durrant placed their keeping. NEW YORK CANAL PROJECT. The Engineering News DlsottiMi the Feasibility of the Plan. NEW YOBK, Oct. 31.--Engineering In this week's issue discusses editorially the proposed expenditure of $9,000,000 the New York state canals. It shows that if the proposed improvements reduce the cost of carriage 1 bushel, which appears probable, the saving, with a traffic on the Erie canal to that of 1894, will amount to $1,018,000 per annum. It deems it likely, however, that canal deepened and improved as the traffic will increase to what it 1880, and if this occurs, the annual in coat of freight transportation will amount to $2,182,000, or a return of per cent per annum upon the expenditure which the state proposes. . Concerning the objection, that a canal might suporcede the Erie canal, says: A canal rate as low as 1^ cents bushel from Buffalo to New York seems likely to be reached when the proposed improvements are made) amounts to only 1-10 of a cent per ton per Remembering that freight rates on open ocean lines of heaviest traffic lowest rates are often ae much as seldom less than half of this, It be easy to see that even were a free canal open to the Great Lakes, It means follows that ocean vessels could afford to use it in competition with built barges on the Erie canal. Railroad Suffering From Drought.; PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 31.--As a result the prolonged drought the reservoirs the line of the Pennsylvania railroad between this city and Plttsburg are water and the supply for the operations the road is kept; up only by the ning of a dozen water trains. Every morning loaded water trains start from this cily and Plttsbnrg and distribute their cargo along tbe line. Trains also run from points in the interior state, where sufficient supply-can secured. By these heroic measures the Is kept in operation without any difficulty, bat the expense Is largely Increased. Mr*. Ward Probably Located. LIVIKQSTON MANOB, N. Y., Oct. 81.-Officers 81.-Officers have gone to Hancock Junction, on information, that Mrs, Ward, lupposed to have been murdered a *go, and Kilcy Carl, with whom It .supposed she eloped, bad been located there. f __ Affidn In Pern* LIMA, Oct. 31.--The senate upholds government in Its idea of suppressing district boards, but the deputies have rejected the project No cabinet crisis resulted, as the government does not consider the question a political one, Qoftkm Defeat Browas. PHILADELPHIA, Oct. 81.--Th* Unlversi- ly football eleven defeated the team Brown university by tfa* score olia two £5iuiaat* hahm f * f *%*- i^aijf.sJiiftLtV^sS'tit ^OLa-

Clipped from
  1. The Evening Democrat,
  2. 31 Oct 1895, Thu,
  3. Page 1

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