Table of Contents
The Mysterious Murder of Pearl Bryan
The History of the Tragedy
Pearl Bryan’s headless remains buried at Greencastle
The Trial of Scott Jackson
The Mysterious Murder of Pearl Bryan
ort Thomas, Kentucky, is most beautifully located near the banks of the Ohio river, on the Highlands, just above and on the opposite side from Cincinnati, Ohio. Although a comparatively new U. S. Military Post, it has long been a historical point, and in the early days of the Corncracker State, and while yet a portion of the County of Kentucky in the State of Virginia, was the home of the red men. There are persons yet living whose parents fought bloody battles with the Indians on the ground now occupied as a U. S. Fort, and that adjacent thereto; a picturesque portion of which is the scene of this true narrative of one of the most terrible tragedies of the nineteenth Century.
The tragedy referred to was committed at the dead of night in a lonely spot near the Fort, January 31st, 1896.
By the manner in which it was committed, it re-called the days of old, when tyrants beheaded their victims, and the murderer at heart, who was yet too cowardly to commit the deed, hired some one to do it, requiring in evidence that the deed had been done, that the head should be severed from the body and returned to the employer.
To re-call such deeds of horror to the minds of the people of a highly civilized nation at the close of the nineteenth Century by the actual commission of a similar deed, struck horror to the hearts of the people, and they were worked up to a pitch that had never been witnessed in this country before. Telephones and telegraph were called into service, and the finding of the headless body of a young and doubtless beautiful woman in a sequestered spot near Fort Thomas, was flashed around the world. So shocked was the country over this ghastly find that the metropolitan papers from one end of this country to the other informed their representatives in the Queen City to wire full particulars of the horrible deed, without any limit to the words to be used.
It was the most diabolical cold-blooded premeditated outrage ever committed in a civilized community. The entire surrounding country, including the three cities, Cincinnati, OH, Covington and Newport, KY, were startled from center to circumference and aroused as it never had been before. The Sixth Regiment U. S. Infantry, commanded by Col. Cochran, which is stationed at Fort Thomas, was astounded that such an outrage should be committed almost within the guard lines of the Fort. Aged and battle-scarred veterans who had gone through the great civil war, only a generation before, when brother stood in battle array against brother, father against son, neighbor against neighbor, flocked to the spot where the headless body lay, and stood with blanched faces, struck dumb with amazement, at the boldness of the deed and horrible manner in which it had been committed.
In an old orchard in the confines proper of the Fort, about midway between the Highland and Alexandria pikes, on the farm of James Lock, and near the fence which acts as a boundary line for Mr. Lock’s farm, was found by James Hewling, a young man, on Saturday morning, Feb. 1., 1896, the decapitated body of a young woman of Venus-like form, the headless body lying with the neck in a pool of blood.
From the position of the body it was evident that the woman had been thrown down violently and then her head deliberately severed with a dull knife. The severance was made below the fifth vertebra. Judging by the pool of blood, life had been extinct from four to eight hours when the body was found.
The clothing of the woman was of poor quality. The dress was light blue and white, small pattern check, of cotton, worn tight across the back and loose in front. She also wore a dark blue skirt and a union suit of underwear. On her hands was a pair of tan kid gloves, well worn. The black, cloth-topped shoes were of fine quality, in contrast to the other clothing, and were marked within “Louis & Hays, Greencastle, Ind., 22-11. 62,458.” Her stockings were black and blue, new. The rubbers were old and worn at the heels. The corset had evidently been ripped open and torn from her body during a struggle which took place near where it was found. Close by was a piece of the dress, also with blood on it.
In an almost incredible short time after Hewling gave the alarm, the soldiers from the Fort, the citizens surrounding it, and hundreds from the city near-by gathered at the spot and were awe stricken by the sight which met their eyes.
Who was the murdered woman and who could have committed the horrible atrocity? These were questions which were on the lips of every one, and for the answer of which a most thorough and searching investigation was at once begun. The best detective talent was immediately put to work. The people were thoroughly aroused and determined upon having the headless body identified and the cruel, heartless murderer or murderers brought to swift justice.
Leaving the investigation of the deed, we will now go with the reader to a happy home of a happy family, ranking among the oldest and best connected families in the state of Indiana, and living on the father’s farm near Greencastle, Putnam County, Indiana. Alexander S. Bryan, and his wife who had lived to honorable old age, respected and loved by all who knew them, owned this happy home and were the parents of twelve children, of which at the time of this writing, seven were living, Pearl being the youngest, of a fine, voluptuous form, with a sweet, lovely disposition and manners, popular with all who were acquainted with her, cheerful and happy at all times and was first entering her twenty-second year. The Bryan family, taking all the relations into account, is the largest in the state of Indiana, and its standing of the very highest.
Pearl the baby of the family, petted and feted, had graduated from the Greencastle High School in 1892, with the highest honors and was the special favorite of her graduating class. Beautiful in form and features, highly accomplished, well educated, with a doting father and mother, well provided with this world’s goods, and with whom she was a favorite daughter, Pearl Bryan had much to live for.
From the time she left school, aye, even before her graduating year arrived, she had many admirers, and to look on her was to love, to love was to lose. She counted her admirers by the score, but to none did she give her heart, or encourage them in any serious intentions. She was liked by all, but while she was of a lovable, affectionate disposition, she allowed none to go beyond the line of admiration, and cupid’s swift and seldom erring shafts, fell harmless by her side.
Three long years had passed since Pearl had bade “good bye” to her studies in the Greencastle High School, and although a leader in society, a guest of honor where-ever she visited, none of her ardent admirers had made a deeper impression upon her, and her heart was still her own. Men of high moral character, well supplied with this world’s goods and standing well in business and social circles, would have eagerly jumped at the opportunity to claim her as their wife. Their protestations of love however seemed to have no affect upon the mind or heart of Miss Pearl Bryan.
Money and position did not have any effect upon her favors, the young man, struggling hard to make his way in life, was as graciously received and as well treated by her as the young swell, rolling in luxury and wealth.
Will Wood, a second cousin of Pearl Bryan, was one of her ardent admirers, but was treated as one of the family and in no sense as a lover. He was treated rather as a favorite brother by Miss Pearl, who made a confidant of him. Wood’s father who was a good old Minister lived only a half mile distant from the Bryan’s, and Will spent much of his time at Pearl’s home, and was in her company a great deal. Nothing was thought of this, at the time, although evil tongues wagged rapidly afterwards, and many were ready to lay at the door of Will Wood in less than a year thereafter, direct connection and complicity with a crime unparallelled in the criminal history of the Nineteenth Century.
Along in the latter part of 1894, Scott Jackson with his mother moved to Greencastle, Ind., from Jersey City, N. J. One of Mrs. Jackson’s daughters, the wife of Dr. Edwin Post, of Depauw University, had lived at Greencastle for many years, and Mrs. Jackson moved there to get near her daughter. Scott Jackson belonged to a good family, his father being Commodore Jackson, who commanded many vessels and who stood high in social circles in New Jersey. Scott cut quite a prominent figure in both the social and business world. He went to Jersey City with splendid recommendations. His career there was considerably checkered however, and he only escaped a long sentence to the penitentiary, which his partner Alexander Letts is now serving, by turning State’s evidence in a case of embezzlement in which Jackson and Letts had embezzled a large amount, said to have been $32,000 from the Pennsylvania Railroad Company.
Jackson and Letts, it appears, obtained employment of the Pennsylvania Railroad company, in the Jersey City offices. One of Jackson’s duties was to receive and open the mails.
After a few months extensive robberies in the railroad office were discovered. They were said to amount to nearly $32,000. They were traced to Jackson and Letts. It was found, according to testimony during the two trials that followed, that Jackson abstracted checks from the mail, and that Letts, to whom he handed them, had them cashed.
Meanwhile the saloon which they kept had become notorious. They were acknowledged high flyers in sporting circles. Both had become “plungers” on the race tracks. It was reported that they made much money, owing to their lavish expenditures. They “entertained” liberally in their own particular way, and for a time were looked upon as “good fellows” among the sporting fraternity, who sought the privilege of their acquaintance. Jackson was a prominent member of the Entre Nous, an exclusive social club.
Suddenly, the Pennsylvania Railroad officials discovered that these two young men were “sporting” at the expense of the company. Their arrest followed. At the first trial the jury disagreed.
He Turned State’s Evidence
Before the second trial took place the railroad company discovered such proof of Jackson’s guilt that he found it healthy to turn state’s evidence against Letts. The latter was sentenced to a long term in the State Prison. Jackson went free and also went away from Jersey.
News of this escapade and his career in Jersey City never reached Greencastle and his family there ranking among the best. He was at once given an entree into society which might well be envied by any young man. Will Wood, who lived a near neighbor to Mrs. Jackson, and who as stated was a particular favorite with Pearl Bryan, took a great liking to Scott Jackson. They were very intimate, in fact became chums.
The home of Pearl Bryan at Greencastle, Indiana—Drawn by our special artist.
Jackson entered the dental college at Indianapolis, and Wood being of a rather reckless disposition would go to Indianapolis to see Jackson, and together they would have a big time in the city. Both being fond of ladies’ company, they spent much of their time together in the company of women of loose moral character and were in several very unsavory escapades, escaping notoriety however under assumed names, which prevented their families and friends at Greencastle from hearing of them. With no knowledge of his former career and ignorant of his escapades while at college at Indianapolis, it is no wonder that he was a favorite in society when at home. Belonging to an excellent family, he was outwardly a man whom any father would be proud to have his daughter associate with. With dimples on his chin and cheeks, a childish smile on his lips, frank, beautiful, pale violet-blue eyes, he had a most winsome countenance. But behind the angelic front was hidden a very demon. Jackson was a monstrosity if you will, a whited sepulcher, and one of the unaccountable freaks of nature. To those not knowing his habits, a handsome, affable, pleasing man of fine form and features; to those who knew him truly, a villain of the deepest dye, a very demon in human shape.
Notwithstanding Will Wood knew him as he did, and that Pearl Bryan was Wood’s second cousin the same blood coursing through their veins, Wood introduced Jackson into the Bryan family in the spring of 1895. It was a case of love at first sight. From the first meeting between Scott Jackson and Pearl Bryan, at the colonial mansion of the Bryans on the hill, Pearl showed that she was most favorably impressed with him. She who had refused to listen to the wooing whispers of men in high rank and station in life by the scores, fell at once a victim to the darts from cupid’s shafts sent from Jackson’s lips, for after occurrences proved conclusively that the honeyed words and winsome smiles, which won their way so easily into the heart of Pearl Bryan, came only from the lips and never from the heart of him who lent his every effort to win the heart of the belle of Putnam County, as Pearl Bryan was known, but with no manly or honorable purpose. Scott Jackson was void of moral principle and honor, and never did anything with a manly purpose, he was incapable of such action.
The Result of an Examination of Jackson, by the Bertillion System, after His Arrest for the Murder of Pearl Bryan
After the arrest of Jackson for the crime, he was turned over to Sergeant Kiffmeyer, of the Cincinnati police force, who has charge of the Bertillion system of measuring and identifying criminals for the local Police Department, and who is recognized as an authority on criminals.
After he had completed the measurement of Jackson he said, “Every man’s head tells its own story. Jackson is another H. H. Holmes.
“Jackson has the cunning to plot and plan, and to conceal.
“Jackson is a mind far beyond the ordinary. He has a head such as Napoleon would have.”
Picked Out of a Thousand
“Jackson knew fully and realized what lay before him in the murder of Pearl Bryan.
“Jackson is absolutely incapable of any expression of remorse.
“The only appeal that can be made to Jackson is through his fear of punishment.
“Jackson’s skull is abnormal, and unusually long in proportion to its breadth. It is abnormally developed on the right side in front and on the left side in the rear of the head.
“Jackson is a natural monster, or monstrosity, which ever you will. Look at his portrait,” and the Sergeant held up his photograph. “Is that the face of a criminal?”
“Jackson has other peculiarities. His fingers are disproportionately long to his height.
“Jackson has all the characteristics of a criminal by nature.”
Was It Fate or Was It Destiny?
Was it cruel fate which led pure, beautiful, innocent and attractive Pearl Bryan into the toils of such a fiend in human shape? Or was it the blind Goddess of Justice that led Jackson to meet Miss Pearl and sacrifice her life that the demon Jackson might be exposed to the world, his deeds of evil and misdoings brought to light, and he expatiate the many crimes which he had committed on the gallows or by serving a life sentence in the penitentiary?
Be that as it may they met through the intimate acquaintance and friendship of each with Will Wood, who little thought when he brought this pure spotless virgin in contact with the hypocrite and demon, Jackson, that he was committing a sin, which he would regret to his dying day, and which would bring disgrace, dishonor and ruin on two highly respected families and also upon his own head and that of his aged respected and christian father, who was at the time the Presiding Elder of a church for the Greencastle District.
The acquaintance of Jackson and Miss Pearl soon ripened into friendship and that friendship into trusting confiding love on the Part of Miss Bryan, and the accomplishment of the deep, villainous designs upon the part of Jackson. As Will Wood said in a talk afterward, “Pearl was stuck on Jackson from the first time they met, Jackson would come and get my horse and buggy and drive over to Pearl’s house, when they would often go out driving together. Pearl was pretty and ambitious, but I never thought she would do wrong. Now I can see she was perfectly infatuated with Jackson from the start; so much that I am firmly convinced, she was completely in his power, and he took advantage of his influence over her.” Through Jackson’s cunning to plot and plan as well as to conceal, the relations of criminal intimacy between him and Pearl, were never even suspected by anyone. Jackson was not in Greencastle a great deal, and this fact enabled him to carry on his illicit relations with her more boldly than he would otherwise have been able to do. The parents of the erring girl never for a moment suspected anything wrong. Pearl was their favorite, the daughter of their old age, had been raised with every care and precaution, had always moved in the very best of society, and Jackson to them was a gentleman, a member of one of the best families of the country, well-thought-of and respected in the community in which they moved, and was not looked upon as a lover, although they were aware of the fact that Pearl was more seriously smitten with his charms than she ever had been with those of any of the other many admirers and friends who had visited their home as the company of Pearl. Without hesitancy they permitted their favorite daughter to accept the attentions of Jackson, go out with him when he was visiting home, and remain alone with him in their parlor until late hours in the night. They had every confidence in Pearl, and no suspicion of the villainous intentions of Jackson, or the evil influence he possessed over her.
With Pearl Bryan, it was the oft told tale, “She loved not wisely but too well.” Jackson, “a criminal by nature” with his “angelic front”, behind which was hidden a demon, with his low moral character, so well concealed from the public, and with a set design to ruin the pure and innocent girl, which had been thrown in his way, was not slow to take advantage of his opportunities and the influence and power, which he could easily see he held over the unsuspecting girl.
Loving and trusting Jackson as she had never before loved any man, and being of a sanguine nervous temperament, with her likes and dislikes of the strongest possible, with a great deal of animal nature, cheerful and talkative, yet lacking in force, by nature kind and benevolent to a fault, and her development of individuality and self-reliance small, she was one who could be easily persuaded but never driven. Jackson was not slow to learn this, and with honeyed words and protestations of love, he won Pearl Bryan’s heart. This won, the accomplishment of his devilish designs, her ruin, was easy. She fell a victim to his lustful desire, and in a short time discovered that she would soon become a mother. Almost crazed at this discovery she knew not what to do or which way to turn. It was the first blot that had ever come on the name of a member of the proud Bryan family. In her desperation she confided her condition to her cousin, Will Wood. As Wood claimed, no one else in Greencastle knew or even suspected anything of the true condition of affairs between Pearl Bryan and Scott Jackson. They had been keeping company with each other whenever Jackson was in Greencastle, from the early spring of 1895 until September of the same year, when she discovered her condition, no one except Will Wood knowing anything wrong about them.
The discovery of Pearl Bryan that she was in a delicate condition, and Jackson being the cause of her trouble, and as he said in a letter to Wood wishing to get clear of the scandal, brings us to the third, and possibly the most important suspect in the dreadful tragedy near Fort Thomas, KY.
Alonzo Walling, nineteen years of age, was born on a farm near Mt. Carmel, Ind. His father died when he was but three years old, leaving his mother in moderate circumstances with two other boys, Clint and Charles. When Alonzo was thirteen she moved to Greencastle where she kept boarders and Alonzo commenced at once to work in a glass factory to help support his mother. He worked there four years, and was thrown out of work when the factory was closed. Then his mother, by self-sacrifice, sent him to the Indianapolis Dental college, paying all his expenses, and it is learned that he worked hard and was one of the formost in his class. He returned home every evening, and on Saturdays assisted Dr. Sparks, at Greenfield, in his dental parlors. His term expired in March, 1895, when his mother moved to Oxford and made her home with her sister, Mrs. James Faucett. Having very poor health, her only thought was to try and give him a good education.
It was at the Indianapolis Dental College that he first met Jackson and became acquainted with him. By some strange and uncontrollable fatallity Walling was thrown with Jackson again in Cincinnati. Here is his own statement made Wednesday, Feb. 5., 1896, regarding their acquaintance and friendship:
“I met Jackson in Indianapolis, a little more than a year ago. We attended the Indiana Dental College together. I did not know him intimately there, although we attended the same class. When the school season was over, I had no idea of meeting him again here in Cincinnati.”
“How did you come to room together here?”
“Well, I was standing on the doorstep of our boarding-house, at 222 West Ninth Street, the second day of our school term here in October, when Scott came along Ninth Street and recognized me. On the strength of our being acquainted in Indianapolis we roomed together at 222 Ninth Street and took our meals out.”
Walling had no unsavory record, although he did not stand well at Greenfield, while living there. That he was directly connected with the Fort Thomas tragedy there can be no doubt. Sergeant Kiffmeyer, who has charge of the Bertillion System, and who is quoted regarding Scott Jackson, said of Alonzo Walling, after taking his measurement. “Walling’s head is that of a commonplace criminal, he is just the opposite of Scott Jackson, at the same time Walling is utterly void of any ability or cunning to plot and plan and to conceal. Jackson knew fully and realized what lay before him in the murder of Pearl Bryan. Walling had not realized the enormity of the crime, and is supremely indifferent to the consequences and to the crime committed. No appeal, not even the fear of punishment, will have any impression on Walling.”
The History of the Tragedy
Never in the history of the crimes committed in this section of the country has the same interest or the same deep feeling been aroused as has been in the Ft. Thomas (Ky.) murder.
The fact that the head was removed from the body and secreted or destroyed, and the developments which followed fast upon each other, adding day by day new evidence to show the cold-bloodedness of the crime, the preparations which had been made for its successful carrying out and the covering up of all traces of the identity of the murderer and the murdered. The mystery that still surrounds the hiding place of the dismembered head, have led to this result.
A murder so horrible and revolting as to appear to place it beyond the civilization of to-day, had been committed within ear shot of one of the most popular U. S. Military Posts of this country, and within a few miles of the center of population of this the greatest and most highly civilized nation on earth. The murderer had hacked the head from the body of his victim, and carried it away with him. Whether from pure savagory and demon spirit or to prevent the identification of his victim was not known.
The body was found in an orchard at Ft. Thomas on Saturday, February 1., at 8 o’clock in the morning. The neck, where it had been severed from the body, lay in a pool of blood, and from evidences on the body and in the bush under which it lay, a fierce struggle had taken place before the victim received her death stroke.
But Slight Clew to Work
Upon the body or in the clothing there was nothing by which the woman could be identified, excepting the dealers’ names in the shoe, and the murder or murderers had left no other clew behind by which they could be identified. Without the head, the mystery seemed unsolvable, and every effort was made to find it in the vicinity.
The remaining details of the crime, as far as circumstantial evidence revealed them, told a story which was truly horrifying. The dumb evidence given by foot prints, blood-stains, broken tree branches, was terrible to reflect upon.
The body was lying upon the bank with the feet higher than the body, and the clothing so disarranged that the officers were at first led to believe that the woman had been outraged before she was murdered. The clothing could easily have been as much disarranged in the struggle which had evidently taken place and when the murderer threw his victim to the ground.
The upper part of the woman’s dress was open as was the garment beneath, and her bosom was bare. The skirt-band was unloosed, and the skirt of the dress was gathered up about the waist. Beneath the stump of the neck there was a huge pool of blood, and blood was scattered about on the grass and the leaves of the overhanging bushes. One glove lay in the bushes and a piece torn from the woman’s dress was hanging to a bit of brushwood several yards from the body. The officers carefully examined the footprints leading to the spot where the body lay, and they found that the man and the woman had walked side by side for a short distance when, for some reason, the woman had attempted to flee and the man had followed and overtaken her. The tracks were especially distinct here, for the woman had run through a very muddy spot, which she would have avoided had she had time to pick her way. The murderer overtook his victim before she had screamed more than once or twice. He choked her into silence and dragged her toward the bushy bank. She struggled desperately, and he tore a handful of cloth from her dress. He threw her to the ground and slid over the bank with her. He must have drawn his knife after the struggle began; otherwise he would have used it sooner. He slashed at her throat. She clutched the knife with the one hand she had free—her left—and three times the blade laid her palm or fingers open to the bone. Her struggle was useless, and in a moment her life blood was pouring from a gaping wound in her throat.
When she was dead, or, at least, powerless to resist, the assassin searched for some article concealed on her person. He tore off her corset, leaving the marks of his bloody fingers on the garment, which he threw a yard or two from him, and then unbuttoned the under garment beneath her corset, where a letter might have been concealed. Whether he found something which aroused him to jealous rage, or whether he finished his awful work in the hope of concealing the identity of his victim, no one knows.
The murder must have been committed Friday night for the clothing of the dead woman was not wet and the rain Friday night had kept up until near ten o’clock.
The struggle between the murderer and his victim was a most desperate one. Half of a man’s shirt sleeve was found near the dead body, soaked in blood. The woman had evidently torn it from her murderers arm in her desperate struggle for her life.
The lad Hewling upon discovering the body of the murdered woman, was horror stricken by the sight and ran towards Mr. Lock’s house, badly frightened and calling lustily for help. Mr. Lock, his son Wilbert and Mike Noonan, an employ, came running from the house. When they had seen the body, Mr. Lock went direct to Fort Thomas, telephoned the news of the ghastly find to the Newport police headquarters, and notified Col. Cochran the Commander at the Fort.
Jule Plummer, Sheriff of Campbell County, Kentucky, Coroner Tingley and a number of the other County and City officials respondet the telephone summons at once and hurried to the scene. The body had not been touched nor had any one been in touching distance of it when these officers arrived and viewed it.
The body was ordered to be taken to undertaker W. H. Whites in Newport, by Coroner Tingley, at once after he had examined it. Upon this examination he said that there was no evidence whatever that the woman’s person had been outraged.
The work of identifying the victim and running down her murderers was at once begun. The entire detective and police force of Cincinnati, Covington and Newport, was put to work to unravel the mystery, identify the remains and capture her murderers.
There was little or no clew to work on. Detectives Crim and McDermott, of Cincinnati, were assigned to work actively on the case, and sent to the scene at once by Col. Philip Deitsch, Superintendent of Police of Cincinnati. Before these sleuth-hounds of the law, Crim and McDermott, reached the place where the headless body had been found, hundreds of persons from the three cities, and every soldier stationed at Fort Thomas, who could possibly get away, had preceded them. The grass and bushes were trampled down by the crowds of visitors who had come to satisfy their curiosity, but who, through their eagerness to see and learn everything possible, had destroyed so nearly every particle of evidence the murderer had left behind him. The foot prints and other evidences of the desperate struggle were all destroyed and but little was left for them to work on.
Relic hunters were out in great numbers and they almost demolished the bush under which the body was discovered, breaking off branches upon which blood spots could be seen. They peered closely into the ground for blood-spotted leaves, stones and even saturated clay. Anything that had a blood stain upon it was seized upon eagerly, and hairs of the unfortunate woman were at a premium, men and boys, and even young women, examining every branch and twig of the bush in the midst of which the struggle took place, in the hope of finding one. The inherent, morbid love of the horrible the mass of humanity possesses was well illustrated in the scenes witnessed. The heavy rain which fell nearly all afternoon was not deterrent to these relic hunters’ zeal.
At the Undertakers’
The scene at Undertaker White’s establishment, on Fourth Street, in Newport, where the body was taken to, was one of activity. All day long and up to a late hour at night the place was besieged with people anxious to get a look at the remains of the unfortunate woman. The crowd was composed mostly of men, but there was quite a number of women to be seen among them. Several persons came in and gave descriptions of missing friends, and, if they tallied in any way with the corpse, they were permitted to view it.
Owing to the close proximity to Fort Thomas, where the body was found, and the well-known fact that a number of the “women on the town” in Cincinnati were in the habit of visiting the soldiers at the Fort, many suspected that some one of the soldiers had committed the crime, and as the clothes on the body were of the cheapest kind, they thought the victim was one of these lowe women. Col. Cochran, the commander of the Fort, would not allow such a stigma to rest upon his post. He instituted a most thorough investigation, and invited the civil officials to aid him in his investigation. It did not take long to convince those working on the case that the soldiers were in no way involved in the terrible tragedy.
On Saturday night, not many hours after the discovery of the headless body, Arthur Carter, of Seymour Ind., arrived with his trio of famous bloodhounds, Jack, Wheeler and Stonewall.
The hounds are the same animals that tracked Bud Stone, the colored murderer of the Wratten family, at Washington, Ind., to his home. Stone was later arrested, and when charged with the crime made a full confession, for which he was afterward hanged.
Mr. Carter said during his brief stop at the Grand Central Depot that over 20 criminals are now serving time in the penitentiaries of Indiana and Illinois as a result of the work of the hounds.
Before being taken to the scene of the murder the dogs were taken to White’s undertaking establishment and given a scent of the unfortunate woman’s clothing. Carter expressed a doubt as to the dogs ability to do any work in striking a trail by the scent from the clothing, as it had been freely handled by a half hundred of persons. The dogs, with noses close to the ground, ran hither and thither in a confused manner. It was evident that the dogs were useless, as all tracks left by the murderer and his victim had been obliterated by the thousands of people who had crossed over the place where the body was found.
Draining the Reservoir
They followed the scent as far as the Covington reservoir, when they lost it, and were unable to gain it again. In the hope that the head might be found in this body of water the reservoir was drained on Monday, involving an expense of about $2,000, but the head was not discovered, and the hard-working, earnest detectives and Sheriff Plummer were apparently baffled.
Clew after clew was followed up only to be abandoned as fruitless. A large number of young women were reported missing from various parts of the country, but when traced up and pursued to its end, each clew proved to be without any tangible basis. There was nothing to work on, but the officers of the law, kept up the search for the head and the identification of the remains with most commendable persistency. Every Suggestion was received and considered, nothing was left undone that could be done.
The authorities then turned their attention to the only tangible clew, the shoes. Sheriff Plummer, of Campbell County, accompanied by Detectives Crim and McDermott, of this city, proceeded on Monday night to Greencastle, Ind., to interview the dealers from whom the shoes had evidently been purchased. They also took along the dead girls clothing. At the store of Louis & Hayes it was found that the entire lot of shoes, one dozen pairs, had been purchased by them from Portsmouth. Nine of these pairs had been sold, and all but two purchasers were readily accounted for. Then an attempt was made to locate these two pairs, one of which had, without doubt, been worn by the murdered girl. This seemed impossible for a time. In the meanwhile every girl who had left the Depauw Seminary, near Greencastle, was traced down, and found each time.
In the meantime every thing possible was being done at the scene of the murder. Two tramps were arrested at Ludlow, KY, as suspects, but were afterwards released for lack of evidence. Crowds flocked to the morgue in Newport, where the headless body lay; it being identified a number of times as the body of some one who after the identification would turn out to be alive and well.
Probably the strongest case of identification, which did not identify, was that of Mrs. Hart, of Cincinnati, who identified the remains as those of her daughter, Ella Markland. Emil Eshler, a friend of Mrs. Hart, and William Hess, a saloon-keeper, both thought it was the body of Mrs. Markland, and were so strongly convinced of it, that they told the mother of their opinion. She and her husband then went to Newport, where she made a very careful examination, which resulted in her declaring that beyond a reasonable doubt the body was that of her daughter. The woman called at the Cincinnati headquarters and in a long talk with Chief Deitsch declared that she was fully convinced the body was that of Ella Markland. Her story of the identification was told at considerable length and between many sobs.
She said she had been allowed to thoroughly examine the body at Newport and that she identified it by the peculiar shape of the legs from the knee down and by the general contour of the breast, waist and limbs. In talking to the chief she was asked when she had last seen her daughter and replied that it was New Year’s Eve that she last saw her alive. Mrs. Markland was afterwards found on Ninth Street in Cincinnati, where she was working as a domestic.
Without question the most sensational clew upon which the detectives had to work, was the unearthing of a true life story, in which passion and crime were involved, and which for days promised to bear fruit of a most sensational character.
This clew was, that the headless body, was that of Francisca Engelhardt, who had not long ago been married to a Dr. Kettner, who deserted his first wife in Dakota, and whom she had never seen until he came to Cincinnati, to marry her, the acquaintance and engagement having been made through a correspondence advertisement in a Cincinnati newspaper. The pair were married by Squire Winkler, the girl never knowing that her husband was a bigamist.
Three months afterward the first wife, at Mitchell, S. D., heard that her husband had married a woman in Cincinnati. She wrote but received no answer, then came on to Cincinnati, and on finding that the report of her husband being again married was true, she sued for divorce.
Fled to Louisville
Meanwhile Kettner fled to Louisville with his second wife, then to points in Indiana, where he was located from time to time. When his first wife sued for divorce he was traced to Batesville, Ind. He never replied to her petition for divorce, and she would have won her suit had she not been forced to abandon it on account of lack of money. She was determined, however, to prosecute him for bigamy.
Mrs. Anna Burkhardt, of No. 1317 Vine Street, with whom the Engelhardt girl had boarded, called at the Cincinnati police headquarters and told her story. She furnished Chief Deitsch and Mayor Caldwell with pictures of both Kettner and Francisca Engelhardt.
The whole story at once impressed itself so fully upon both the Mayor and Chief Deitsch that work was immediately begun. Telegrams of a private nature were sent to points in Indiana and the West. One from Evansville states that Kettner and his second wife left that town for parts unknown about a month before. He was then traced through various cities and towns until on the same day on which the arrest of Jackson and Walling was made. In response to telegrams from Greencastle, Ind., Dr. Kettner and wife, were located at Marquette Mich., he having had a shady record, at every point he had been traced to. Superintendent of Police Deitsch and Mayor Caldwell, of Cincinnati, considered this the best clew on which the detectives could work.
As soon as the intelligence was imparted to Chief Deitsch, he ordered renewed activity in the case and in the afternoon went over to Campbell County to personally supervise the work of his detectives.
Identifying the Body
Chief Deitsch interviewed both Mrs. Burkhardt and her daughter at their home.
Mrs. Anna Burkhardt said:
“I went to Newport Tuesday morning to view the corpse, and can say almost positively that it is that of Francisca Engelhardt, who married Dr. Kettner. I could recognize her hand out of hundreds. She had remarkably beautiful hands, and always held up the right one in a peculiar position when speaking. When I saw the body at the Morgue I took her hand and placed it in that position, and the resemblance strongly confirmed my first conclusion. The size of the body also corresponds with the stature of the girl I knew.
“When she lived with us I slept with her, and, therefore, know her peculiarities. She had a very pretty foot, of which she was exceedingly proud. She would often hold it up to view and speak about it. The toes were peculiarly shaped, and I immediately recognized them on the corpse.
“Before I entered the room with Detective Keating to look at the body, I fully described her peculiar foot to him. He had never seen the body, either, and was also immediately struck with the resemblance of the foot to my description.
“She came to my house in September, 1893, but she took a position that same fall in Dr. Reamy’s hospital, on Walnut Hills, as telephone girl. She visited us frequently, however, and often stayed all night with us.
Before She Married Kettner
she received letters from Mitchell, S. D., and told us that they were from a Dr. Kettner. On April 13, 1894, he came to see her at my house, and the next day—it was Saturday, April 14—she gave up her position at the hospital and was married to Kettner by Squire Winkler. My daughter was a witness to the ceremony. They lived here for ten days after the marriage, and since that time I have seen neither of them. The woman also stated a very important fact. She says that the girl wore a corset having two inside pockets, and was in the habit of carrying everything of value, such as money and articles that she prized, in these pockets. When she married Kettner Mrs. Burkhardt warned her in a friendly way that perhaps he was not honest. In answer to this the girl drew the marriage certificate from her bosom, displaying it and saying that she would never part with it, but would carry it in her corset. The couple made frequent trips to Ft. Thomas, which seemed to be a favorite resort with them.”
Kettner Had a Motive
Dr. Kettner had a motive, which made this clew seem the right one for such a deed as committed at Fort Thomas. Being a bigamist and fearing that his first wife, who followed him so many miles, would prosecute him, his only hope was to secure the marriage certificate and other evidence against him. The Engelhardt girl always carried the marriage certificate in her bosom, beneath the corset, and more than once said she would never part with it.
Post-Mortem Examination Held on the Body of the Unknown Victim
At 3 o’clock Monday afternoon Dr. Robert Carothers, of Newport, made a post-mortem examination of the body at White’s undertaking establishment. It was made in the presence of Dr. J. O. Jenkins, Drs. J. L. and C. T. Phythian, Dr. J. W. Fishback and Coroner W. S. Tingley. The examination occupied over an hour, and was very thorough. The result was the finding of a fœtus of between four or five months’ gestation. The doctors also came to the conclusion that the woman was not over 20 years of age, and that she had never before been pregnant. The fœtus was removed and taken to A. F. Goetze’s pharmacy, corner of Fifth and York Streets, where it was placed in alcohol for preservation.
The stomach was taken out and turned over to Dr. W. H. Crane, of the Medical College of Ohio, in Cincinnati, and he made all the known tests for the various poisons that might have been administered. This was done to ascertain, if possible, whether the woman was drugged before being taken to the place where the crime was committed.
Dr. Carothers, who was at the time a professor at the Ohio Medical College, had been an interne in the Cincinnati Hospital, and his experience qualified him to judge accurately of other details than those pertaining only to professional matters.
“I am satisfied that the girl was not outraged,” said he. “The man had a reason to kill her, and the result of the post mortem shows it. I judge that it was a premediated and cold-blooded murder. The girl, in my opinion, was from the country and was comparatively innocent. She was brought to Cincinnati to submit to a criminal operation. Once here she was taken to F. Thomas and murdered. Her head was taken away, horrible as it may seem, merely to prevent the identification of her body.”
A Newport Shoe Dealer Does Some Detective Work
L. D. Poock, a leading shoe merchant of Newport, who took a most decidedly active interest in the case from the start, claiming as was proven true afterwards that the marks in the shoes would certainly identify the remains, did some valuable detective work under the direction of Sheriff Plummer. Mr. Poock was struck by the narrowness of the shoes worn by the dead girl, and opened them to discover the size and width. He recognized the fact that 11 and 22 in the shoe would give him the information desired if he had but the key.
While at one of the Cincinnati factories, a salesman stepped forward and recognized the shoe as one manufactured by Drew, Selby & Co., of Portsmouth, Ohio.
Upon this information Mr. Poock, determined upon seeing the whole thing out, took a train for Portsmouth, and, arriving at the factory of Drew, Selby & Co., established in 10 minutes that Louis & Hays had given an order for 12 pairs of black cloth top button shoes April 18, 1895, for fall delivery. The shipment was made September the 3rd., 1895, and among the lot there was but one pair of shoes numbered 22-11.
This clew so thoroughly worked up by Mr. Poock, who kept Sheriff Plummer and the detectives, who had gone to Greencastle, Ind., posted as to the result of his investigation regarding the shoes, proved to be the correct one, the one by which the body of the murdered woman was positively identified and by the investigation of which the arrest of the murderers was secured.
The Detectives and Sheriff Plummer at Greencastle, Indiana
Sheriff Jule Plummer of Campbell County, Kentucky, and Detectives Crim and McDermott of Cincinnati, who had gone to Greencastle, were kept thoroughly posted as to the work being done on the Cincinnati or rather Fort Thomas tragedy. Not a clew or theory with the least resemblance to truth was neglected.
The first persons seen were Messrs. Louis & Hays, the shoe dealers from whom the shoes worn by the victim were supposed to have been purchased. Mr. Hays said that the shoes were manufactured by Drew, Selby & Co., of Portsmouth, Ohio, and showed Sheriff Plummer a telegram from the latter firm which was received that morning. In this it was stated that in the entire lot of shoes which had been especially made to order for Louis & Hays, but one pair was numbered 22-11, which is the Portsmouth firm’s mark for size three. This pair was found upon the unfortunate girl. Upon this theory Sheriff Plummer and Detectives Crim and McDermott went to work. Of that whole lot of shoes made for Louis & Hays by the Portsmouth firm, the officers located seven pairs, leaving but two unaccounted for. The clerks in the shoe store were shown the muddy shoe taken from the girl’s foot. They all recognized it at a glance.
The articles of wearing apparel which were also brought along were shown to nearly all of the leading dry goods merchants. None of them were able to recognize even one of the articles. An effort was also made to identify the gloves worn by the murdered woman. In none of the stores could a similar pair be found.
The officers were not discouraged however. The proof was positive almost beyond a doubt that the shoes worn by the murdered girl had been sold to her by Louis & Hays in their store at Greencastle. This was the only tangible clew they had to work on and with it properly run down, they were perfectly satisfied, they would secure the identification of the beheaded woman, if not fix the guilt of the crime on some one in the immediate vicinity.
Another visit was made to Louis & Hays store at night, the books of the firm were carefully gone over again and again. Only seven of the nine pairs of the Drew, Selby & Co., shoes sold by Louis & Hays could be accounted for, and none of those were the ones worn by the murdered woman.
The Fort Thomas tragedy, and the coming of Sheriff Plummer, Detectives Crim and McDermott to Greencastle, in search of the identification of the shoes had aroused the people at that place, especially so, the suspicion of a Mr. A. W. Early, Manager of the Western Union, to whose noble work, the officers owe nearly all their success and information.
The description of the body of the dead girl, especially that part, which described her fingers as resembling those of a seamstress, and the little wart on the finger, aroused the suspicion of Mrs. Alexander S. Bryan, whose daughter Pearl, was, as the mother thought, visiting friends in Indianapolis, Ind. Nothing was mentioned of these suspicions outside the immediate family, but so strong were the suspicions with them, that Fred Bryan a brother of Pearl telegraphed to Indianapolis to Pearl’s friends, asking if she was there. The answer came that Pearl had not been in Indianapolis, although she had left for that city, Jan., 28.
A. W. Early, the manager for the Western Union Telegraph Company at Greencastle, saw the telegram and answer from Indianapolis. It was then, he knew, that he possessed positive information, not only as to the identification of the headless body at the Morgue in Newport, but also to the fixing of the guilt on one or more persons, one of whom at least was Early’s intimate friend. Realizing this and awe-stricken with the horribleness of the deed in which his friend was, to say the least, indirectly implicated, he rushed at once to the hotel and in an excited manner called the officers out to tell them his story. After a very hurried conference with Early the officers all left the hotel to go with Early to his office where he gave the first real clew to the victim and upon which information, three men Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling, students at the Ohio Dental College, in Cincinnati, and William Wood, a medical student who was with his uncle in South Bend, Ind., were on that same night arrested, charged with the murder and complicity in the murder of Pearl Bryan, whose headless body lay at Undertaker White’s Establishment in Newport, KY.
Early’s story was that he came to Greencastle Oct. 4., 1895. “Soon after my arrival at Greencastle I made the acquaintance of Will Wood, a student at Depauw University. This acquaintance soon ripened into a friendship which brought us together a great deal and made us confide to each other much more than is ordinary among young men.
“So fast did the friendship between Will Wood and myself become that he would show me his letters. Among those he showed, I remember one from Scott Jackson, a young man from Greencastle, who is in Cincinnati attending a dental college.
“In this letter Jackson confided to his chum, Will Wood, that he, Jackson and Pearl Bryan had been too intimate, that she had loved not wisely, but too well, and as a result he had betrayed her, that Pearl would soon become a mother, and asked Wood’s help in this matter.
“He admitted his intimacy with Pearl, and his responsibility for her present condition. He quoted recipes calculated to prevent the evil results of their indiscretion, and asked Wood to get them and give them to Pearl.
“Wood did this, as he said he was willing to do anything he could for Jackson and especially for Pearl, who was Wood’s second cousin.
“These drugs however did not have the desired effect of reversing the laws of nature.
“One letter, I remember was in answer to one which Wood had written to Jackson, informing him that Pearl Bryan was showing the effects of her indiscretion and intimacy with Jackson, and telling him that the recipes sent by him had been furnished by Wood.
“Jackson regretted that his recipes had failed but said something must be done and suggested that the girl be sent to Cincinnati, stating that he could arrange to have an abortion performed on her.
“Wood told me afterward that Pearl had gone to Cincinnati to have a criminal operation performed, and had told her parents she was going to Indianapolis to visit friends. She had money with her, sufficient to cover any expenses she might incur in such an undertaking.”
He then told of Fred Bryan the brother of Pearl, telegraphing to Indianapolis inquiring about Pearl and receiving an answer that she had not been there.
It was midnight when the detectives heard of this and went to the house of Mr. Spivy, of Louis & Hays, and got him to go to the shoe store with them. On arriving there the books of the firm were again examined and the name of Pearl Bryan was found on them, and the fact that she had bought a pair of No. 3 shoes was found. In all their scrutiny of the books this fact had escaped the detectives and shoe dealers.
This settled the fact that Pearl Bryan had purchased the shoes, and at two o’clock Wednesday morning the officers visited the home of the Bryans, taking with them the clothes found on the murdered woman. Here an awful climax came. The mother of Pearl was shown the clothes and one by one she positively identified them between her sobs and cries of “My Pearl, my Pearl.”
The dress was one which had been made over for Pearl out of one which had belonged to a dead sister. The bloody undershirt was at once recognized. The family sought to find something upon which to base a hope that it might not be their loved one, and argued that she might have given her clothes to some one else, but this has positively been disproven. The murdered woman was Pearl Bryan.
The blow to their hopes came when the officers told them that the murdered woman had webbed or deformed toes, and described them to her. Her sister exclaimed: “My God, it is Pearl! We used to tease her about those when she was little.” The scar on the right hand was then told of and added a link to the identification.
Even the hairpins were positively identified as belonging to Pearl. There were two gold-plated and two rubber ones of an auburn hue. There remained no doubt as to whom the missing woman was, and there was but one thing to do—pursue her murderer.
The whole thing became plain to the officers. They at once determined to secure the arrest of both Jackson and Wood. They knew that Jackson was in Cincinnati so they decided to wire Chief of Police Deitsch and have Jackson arrested and to go in person to South Bend, Ind., for which place Wood had left on the Thursday previous, for the purpose of studying medicine with his uncle, and place Wood under arrest.
They at once sent the following telegram:
GREENCASTLE, IND., FEBRUARY 5, 1896.
“Philip Deitsch, Superintendent of Police, Cincinnati, Ohio: Arrest and charge with murder of Pearl Bryan, one Scott Jackson, student at Dental College, about 24 years old, 5 feet 7 or 8 inches high, weighs about 136 pounds, blonde, nearly sandy mustache, light complexion, may have beard of about six months growth, effeminate in appearance. Positive identification of clothing by family. Arrest if in Cincinnati, William Wood, friend of Jackson. Charge as accomplice. About 20 years, 5 feet 11 inches, light blonde hair, smooth face, rather slender, weighs 165 pounds. We go from here to South Bend after Wood as he left here for that place.”
Crim, McDermott and Plummer.
Immediately on receipt of the telegram Colonel Deitsch detailed Detectives Witte, Bulmer and Jackson to look after Jackson. It was learned that he roomed at the house of Mrs. McNevin, at 222 West Ninth, next door to Robinson’s Opera House. Detective Jackson was stationed in the house and Witte and Bulmer in the saloon opposite.
Just when it seemed as though their intended game had discovered the fact that the officers were after him and had left for parts unknown he was captured.
It was after nine o’clock, when almost the last ray of hope had died out of the officers breasts, that Chief of Police Deitsch received word that Jackson had just been seen at the Palace Hotel. The chief started out and ran into a man answering Jackson’s description. He informed the detectives of the fact, the fellow was watched and was seen to walk slowly down Ninth Street, and on reaching 222 he looked up at the windows. He strolled slowly to Plum Street and stopped and again looked back at the house.
He then walked rapidly north on Plum Street toward Court. When he had traversed part of the square Detective Bulmer stepped up to him, saying: “Your name is Jackson, isn’t it?”
The man turned perfectly livid and trembled like an aspen, and as the detective continued to say, “I want you,” he exclaimed, “My God! what is this for?”
At the same time the start was made for the Mayor’s Office.
At Ninth Street Colonel Deitsch met the prisoner and said: “Well, ‘Dusty’ (Jackson’s nickname), we have got you.”
“Yes,” responded the prisoner, “it looks like it.”
At the Mayor’s Office
When the Mayor’s office was reached the prisoner was hustled into the presence of Mayor Caldwell.
The scene in the private office of Mayor Caldwell in the City Hall was undoubtedly the most remarkable ever witnessed there.
The Mayor was sitting in his office with his Chief Clerk, Cliff Lakeman, when Jackson was ushered into his presence by the officers, at the head of whom was Chief of Police Deitsch. A few minutes later the room was thronged with representatives of the newspapers and detectives. Coroner Haerr was also there waiting for possible developments.
Jackson, the prisoner, sat in the center of a long sofa on the east side of the room. On the side of him was Chief Deitsch. The latter conducted the examination, while the Mayor sat in his chair, smoked a cigar and listened.
“Is this Mayor Caldwell?” asked Jackson.
“It is,” responded His Honor.
“The officers say you want to see me.”
“Yes, I want to talk with you.”
“What is your name?”
“You are also known as Dusty?”
“Where is your home?”
“My home is in Greencastle, Ind.”
“Do you know Pearl Bryan?”
“Where did you last see her?”
“It was during the hollidays. I think on January 2.”
“Have you seen her since?”
“I have not.”
“Do you know William Wood?”
“What is his business?”
“I don’t know. He used to be connected with the school at Greencastle. Saw him last about January 6.”
Chief Deitsch here read the dispatch under which the arrest was made.
“What have you to say to that?”
“The charge is entirely false. I don’t know anything about that.”
“That’s what everybody says who is arrested,” said Chief Deitsch, “but the identification of the clothes and other facts point to you as the man who took Pearl Bryan or her body to Ft. Thomas. Where were you last Friday evening?”
“I must have been in my room.”
“What time did you go to your room?”
“I think I had supper about 7 o’clock and went home about 7:30.”
“What did you do?”
“I studied in my room.”
“Was your roommate there?”
“I think he was.”
“Where were you Thursday night?”
“I was home, I think. My roommate was out that evening. When he came in I had retired.”
“How about Saturday evening?”
“I went out with a friend and went to the theater.”
“Who took supper with you Friday evening?”
“I think I was alone.”
“Where did you eat?”
“Ever stay there over night?”
“I did not.”
“Did your roommate?”
“Yes, I think he did last Wednesday night.”
“You have not been home to-day?”
“Yes, I left there about 10 o’clock this morning.”
“Where did you go?”
“I went to see a young lady, and took her to dinner, I was with her all afternoon.”
“Where were you?”
“At the Emery Hotel.”
“Where did you go in the evening?”
“The young lady went to her place of business, and later I put her on the car. Then I went to Heiders for supper.”
“Oh, I was just walking around the streets.”
“Who was with you?”
“I stopped in a barber shop about 9 o’clock and walked a piece with one of the barbers.”
“Did you meet any one else you knew?”
“I did not.”
“Where were you going when you were arrested?”
“I was going to the college to see if the boys were dissecting.”
“Why did you pass the house and look up at it?”
“Well, I don’t know. I am turned around now.”
“What have you to say to the telegram?”
“I don’t know what to say. I can’t imagine why they mention me in it.”
“Did you read of the murder?”
“Part of it. It made me sick to my stomach.”
“Were you in Newport lately?”
“No sir; I was not.”
“Didn’t you take an interest in the murder when you read of Greencastle being the probable home of the murdered girl?”
“I spoke to several people in the house about it.”
“You left the lady this evening and went to supper, and then walked around town?”
“Did you meet any one else you knew?”
“I met Walling, I think, after supper.”
“Where did you see him?”
“Now, I think of it. It was in the barber shop, where I was waiting.”
“See any one else?”
“How long have you been at the dental college?”
“Since October 14., last.”
“Did you come from Greencastle?”
“Where else have you roomed?”
“On Carlisle avenue.”
“When was Miss Bryan up to Cincinnati?”
“Don’t know. Didn’t know she was here.”
“Where did you last see her?”
“On January 2., at her home while I was at Greencastle spending the holidays.”
“Were you friends?”
“Does she live at home?”
“What do her parents do?”
“Her father is a farmer and keeps a dairy.”
“What kind of a looking girl is Pearl?”
“Rather slender. I am a poor judge of height. She was not as tall as I am—almost, though. She was light complexioned.”
“What will she weigh?”
“Suppose about 105 or 110 pounds.”
“Did she ever live out?”
“I don’t know, but I don’t think so.”
“You were in the habit of paying your respects to her?”
“I called on her a few times.”
“Did you ever go out with her?”
“Once, I guess.”
“She was not a farmhand?”
“No, she worked around the house.”
“Was she of a quiet disposition?”
“As far as I know she was.”
“Do you know of any other men she kept company with?”
“Yes, but she never kept company with me.”
“Well, she gave a party some time ago. I saw a number of gentlemen here.”
“Well, Jackson, this is a serious charge. I will have to hold on to you.”
“I don’t see why they accuse me of this.”
“What is your roommate’s name?”
“Did you ever correspond with Pearl Bryan?”
“Once or twice.”
“Ever since January 22?”
“I think not.”
“Have you talked about the murder?”
“Yes; at the house. I don’t know how the subject was brought up. I was very much interested in the case.”
“Did you read of the girl probably being from Greencastle?”
Colonel Deitsch at this point reviewed the evidence against the prisoner and the Greencastle part of it, and said: “And you didn’t inquire about it?”
“I read that the Sheriff of Newport was in Greencastle, and that the shoes found on the dead woman had been purchased from Louis & Hayes—that they had accounted for nearly all the shoes they sold.”
“Didn’t you think the girl would be heard from?”
“There were so many theories that I didn’t know what to think.”
“Do you remember leaving a valise in Legner’s saloon last Saturday night?”
“Didn’t you take it away Monday morning and leave another?”
“Why did you leave the valise at the saloon?”
“I was just going as far as the corner and I didn’t want to carry it.”
“Did you take it away the same day?”
“Yes, I think I did.”
“What was in it?”
“How far was it from your room?”
“Just across the street.”
“You say there was nothing in the valise?”
“I don’t think there was.”
“Where did you get it?”
“I bought it in Indianapolis.”
“How did you happen to take it out Saturday night?”
“I don’t recollect just now.”
“Where is it now?”
“I loaned it to a student of the name of Hackelman.”
“What did he want with it?”
“I didn’t ask him. I took it to him to the college.”
“What kind of valise was it?”
“Strap or handbag?”
“Has it been returned?”
“What is Hackelman’s first name?”
“I don’t know.”
“Have you seen him since?”
“I have not.”
“Where does he live?”
“I don’t know.”
“How did you come to take that valise to the saloon?”
“I just left it there.”
“Did you have it with you in the evening?”
“Yes, but I don’t see why I took it down town.”
“Was it heavy?”
“No, only bothersome.”
“You had two valises, didn’t you?”
“No, only one.”
“Didn’t you leave one over at Legner’s saloon Saturday, and a different one Monday?”
“No, I did not.”
“Why don’t you tell the truth about this?”
“I did tell the truth, all but about the valise. I got that back.”
The prisoner persisted in his story that he knows nothing about the murder, and after a little further examination he was taken down stairs and locked up on the charge of murder.
Locked Up at the Station
Jackson was taken from the Mayor’s office through the long corridor on the Eighth-Street side of the City Hall by Detective Bill Bulmer, who walked on the right side of him and held his arm. Employes of the waterworks, janitors and other attaches of the big building followed in the wake of the couple until Central Police Station was reached. At the station house the receiving room was thronged with curious ones who had heard of the arrest of the dental student. Lieutenant Sam Corbin and Sergeant Billy Borck were behind the desk. Bulmer took his prisoner up to the desk, and immediately a big crowd swarmed in to see how Jackson would act while being registered. Lieutenant Corbin registered the prisoner. The questions and answers were as follows:
“What is your name?”
“Where do you live?”
“I live here now.”
“No. 222 West Ninth Street.”
“Old or new number?”
“I don’t know; it’s next door to Robinson’s Opera House.”
“What is your occupation?”
“How old are you?”
“Married or single?”
“Where were you born?”
“What’s the charge against this man?”
“Murder,” replied Bulmer.
“Is that right?” asked Corbin, looking the prisoner in the eye.
“I believe that’s what they say,” replied Jackson.
Among other things found in Jackson’s pockets were two carriage tickets on the Central Newport Bridge. The tickets may prove to be of a great importance in the case, as it shows that the prisoner was in the habit of crossing the bridge.
After Jackson had been searched he was led back to his cell room by Detective Bulmer and Officer Jake Bernhart.
Jackson had been locked in his cell but a few moments when Detectives Bulmer and Witte walked into the station and suggested to Lieutenant Corbin that the prisoner be taken into the room behind the receiving desk and thoroughly searched. The suggestion was acted upon at once, and what may prove to be most startling evidence was discovered.
The clothing of the prisoner was all removed and two scratches were found on his right arm. One scratch begins just below the elbow and extends almost to the wrist. It is almost three inches long. The other scratch is much shorter and is on the wrist.
Spots of blood were also noticed on the right sleeve of the prisoner’s undershirt. From the appearance of the sleeve attempts had been made to remove the blood from the shirt.
“Where did that blood come from?” asked Lieutenant Corbin.
“I was bothered with bugs the other night and I scratched myself,” answered the prisoner.
Jackson then said he had been troubled with some sort of a skin eruption for some time past, and he pointed to some abrasions on his breast to confirm his story.
Nothing was discovered in neither garments of the man that would show that he had attempted to conceal any papers or other evidence after his arrest.
Alonzo Walling, Jackson’s roommate, was arrested, at 3:30 Thursday morning, by Lieutenant Corbin, and locked up at Central Station. It was thought when Jackson was arrested that night that Walling had no connection with the matter, but later developments went to show that he knew far more than either had admitted.
It was ascertained that the two men had been very intimate, and that they were together on the night of the murder. It was also discovered that Walling had been intimate with a girl in Louisville with whom Jackson was on more than friendly terms, and that both men had corresponded with her.
The cause for Wallings arrest was a chance remark made by Jackson about two o’clock in the morning. Shortly after being locked up Jackson called Turnkey Curren to him and said:
“I want you to get a chair and sit in front of my cell all night,” said Jackson, who then exhibited the first sign of appreciating his position.
“Are you afraid of getting lynched?” asked the turnkey.
“Well, never mind that, I prefer to be well guarded whether I’m in danger or not.”
After ordering his cell watched, Jackson lay down on the bunk in his cell and tried to go to sleep, but he was exceedingly restless and rolled around on his couch for a long time without getting any rest.
About two o’clock Jackson entered into a conversation with the turnkey in which almost his first question was:
“Hasn’t Walling been arrested yet?”
“Why should he be arrested?” was asked.
Jackson refused to answer this question, and his actions showed that he did not care to talk further about his roommate. When Lieutenant Corbin heard of Jackson’s actions he at once went to 222 West Ninth Street and arrested Walling, when he was subjected to a rigid examination by the officer.
“Were you in Wallingford’s saloon with Jackson and a girl last Friday night?” was asked.
“Yes, I was,” replied Walling.
“Who was the girl whom you were with?” was asked.
“I don’t know who she was,” he replied.
“Well you had better tell all you know about this matter,” said the officer. “Now tell me who all were in the party at Wallingford’s last Friday night.”
“I don’t know anything more about it,” said Walling.
“Well, you may consider yourself under arrest, then,” said Lieutenant Corbin.
Walling was taken to police headquarters and locked up, but Jackson was not informed of his arrest until the next day.
At 6.30 the same morning a telegram was received from the Cincinnati Detectives who had gone to South-Bend, Ind., bringing the startling information that Will Wood was arrested there, and confessed to the responsibility for the death of Pearl Bryan, whose headless body was found in the Kentucky Highlands. He said that he had arranged for Pearl Bryan to come to Cincinnati for the purpose of having a criminal operation performed, and that such an operation was performed, resulting in the death of the girl. Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling were both concerned in it. The body of the woman was taken to the spot where it was found and the head removed to prevent identification.
Investigations were still being made at Greencastle Ind., and the wires between Cincinnati and that staid old Methodist town, were kept hot.
Excitement was at a fever heat at both points.
Evidence was accumulating at each end and it seemed the nooses were rapidly tightening around the necks of Jackson, Walling and Wood.
The investigation showed that Scott Jackson had met Pearl Bryan at her home in the early spring of 1895. He left shortly afterward to attend the dental college at Indianapolis and his visits to Greencastle, while not frequent, were always to see Miss Bryan. In September he returned to Greencastle and entered the office of a local dentist. It was then the criminal intimacy between the two began.
He became attentive, and with a veneering of the usages of polite society managed to fascinate the farmer’s daughter. His power over her seemed almost hypnotic. So great was his control over her that she is said to have kept appointments with him in the dental office where he was serving his apprenticeship.
He sought to get rid of her and left the town. Jackson left Greencastle on October 3, and returned to spend the holidays. He seems to have allowed his love to grow cold, for he paid no attention to the girl whom he had robbed of all that a woman holds dear.
In vain did Pearl send for him to come to see her. He answered none of her entreaties, and left the town without seeing her except when by chance he met her on the street.
When it became apparent that she could not much longer conceal her shame, she told her parents she was going to Indianapolis to visit a friend.
Never Parallel Were the Scenes About Police Headquarters
The scenes enacted at police headquarters early in the day, following the arrest of Jackson and Walling, were never paralleled in Cincinnati.
Hundreds of persons thronged the corridors in the immediate vicinity of the offices of the department, while a vast crowd was assembled on the outside of the building.
Upon the arrival of Supt. Deitsch he at once repaired to Mayor Caldwell’s office, where a star chamber session of some length was held. In the meantime the crowd continued to increase, and it became necessary to call for a detail of policemen to drive back the curious people. In the Mayor’s office were Detectives Crim and McDermott with the Mayor and Chief of Police, who for nearly two hours held a seance with the accused men in their effort to reach the truth. The examination of Walling by the mayor was severe to a remarkable degree.
Walling’s Damaging Statement
He told a long story of his acquaintance with Jackson, but the most startling points were when he came down to a conversation held in their room last Christmas day. Then he said: “Jackson took me into a corner of the room and told me that he and Billy Woods had gotten Pearl Bryan into trouble and that he must get rid of her. He suggested two ways in which it might be done. One of the plans he suggested was to take her to a room and kill her there and leave her. Then he spoke up quickly and said: ‘No, I have a sudden thought as something often tells me when I am on the wrong idea. It would not do to leave her there, so I will instead cut her to pieces and drop the pieces in different vaults around town.'”
A few days afterward Walling says that he and Jackson were in Wallingford’s saloon with a number of medical students, and there Jackson made inquiries as to the poison that would kill the quickest. He was told that hydrocyanic or prussic acid was the quickest, but that cocaine was about the next and most deadly.
Jackson Purchased Cocaine
Shortly after that Jackson bought cocaine at Koelble’s drug store, on Sixth Street, between Plum and Elm.
“Do you know where he was going to take her?”
“Yes; he said he was going to take her to Ft. Thomas.
“About two weeks ago he asked me if I would help the girl out of trouble, and I said I would. He said she was coming here in about a week, and he would take me to where she was shopping. Last Monday night he told me the girl would be here that night. The next day Jackson told me the girl was at the Indiana House, and asked me to go down there. I went with him, and he went to her room while I waited down stairs. The next day he told me he had an engagement with the girl at Fourth and Plum Streets, and for me to go there and tell her he would meet her in the evening. That is the last I ever saw of the girl.”
“When did he kill her?”
“I guess he did it Friday night.”
“How did he do it?”
“Well, if you will go to our room you will find a hypodermic syringe, which I think will tell the whole story.”
“What do you mean?”
“Well, he had a bottle of white stuff in the room, and I asked him what it was. He said it was arsenic and cocaine. I asked him what he was going to do with it, and he said he was going to give it to the girl.”
“Did he give it to her?”
“Well, I guess he used the cocaine. I don’t think it killed her at once, and that she tried to fight him off when he went to cut off her head.”
“Where do you think he was on the Wednesday night before the murder?”
Met the Girl at Wallingford’s
“I think he went to see the girl at Wallingford’s saloon. I was there, but I did not go into the back room, where she was.”
“What time did he get home that night?”
“I think it was after midnight. He came in with a valise, and I saw him open it and say, ‘You are a beaut, you are.’ He thought I was asleep.”
“How about Thursday night?”
“I saw him that night, and I was afraid to stay home and I went to Heider’s Hotel.”
“When did he take the girl to Ft. Thomas?”
“This was on Friday night. I was in Heider’s restaurant eating my supper, and Jackson called me out and told me to go to Fountain Square and wait with the girl until he came back. He said he would not be gone over 10 or 15 minutes. He came back, and I left them. I believe he went to the room and got the hypodermic syringe and the poison.”
“What do you think he did with the head?”
“Well, in my opinion he buried it.”
“Where do you think it is buried?”
“I think it is in this neighborhood.”
“What makes you think so?”
“Well, last Monday night I was standing on Ninth and Plum and Jackson came along. He had a valise, and asked me to go with him. I told him I didn’t care to, and he left. He had the same valise which is now in the possession of the police with the blood stains in it.”
“What do you think became of her jacket?”
“Why, she didn’t wear a jacket. It was a long fur cape. I don’t think he could get it in the valise with the head.”
“What do you think became of it?”
“Well, I can’t say as to that. These things have all come to me, and I may recollect something else after awhile.”
A Decoy Letter Sent by Jackson to the Murdered Girl’s Mother
In less than a half hour after making the confession Walling again sent for the Chief of Police and said:
“I want to see you about another thing that may have a big bearing on this case,” said the prisoner.
“What is it?”
“Well, yesterday afternoon Jackson got some paper and envelopes and told me he was going to the Palace Hotel to write some letters. I asked him who he was going to write to and he said to Wood. He said he was going to inclose a letter purporting to be from Pearl Bryan to her mother and that he was going to have Wood sent it, I think, to Geneva and have it mailed from that point to Mrs. Bryan. He said he was going to do this to throw Mrs. Bryan off the track.”
“Do you know that he sent the letter?”
“He told me on the evening he was arrested that he had sent it.”
This information was given to Mayor Caldwell, and the following dispatch was sent:
Cincinnati, Ohio, February 6, 1896.
Postmaster, South Bend, Ind.: Kindly sent all mail addressed to Wm. Wood from this city to me.
John A. Caldwell, Mayor.
Young Wood, who was present, said he had got a letter from Jackson yesterday, which he had torn up. It went on to ask him to stick to him, and not to say too much. Young Wood was perfectly satisfied to have the mail sent back here.
Chief Deitsch after sending the information to Mayor Caldwell continued his investigation with:
“I have just talked with Jackson, and he puts all the blame upon you. He says you performed the abortion somewhere across the river.”
“I don’t know a thing about it, except what he told me.”
“Well, now, did you do it or did Jackson? He says you did it.”
“He’s putting it all on me now, is he? Well, he’s the one who is guilty. I know nothing of it.”
“What did he tell you had become of the head?”
“I understand that he threw it in the Ohio River.”
“Do you know where the operation was performed?”
“No, I don’t. If I did, it would make it much easier for me to clear myself. As it is, I can prove where I was Friday night. It will all come out in a little while.”
“Jackson says that you threw the head into the river, and that the next day you told him to get rid of anything lying around loose at the boarding house by throwing it into the river.”
“I never saw the head, and he told me that he threw it into a sewer.”
“Didn’t you throw the girl’s stockings, skirt and other things, which were covered with blood, into the river Saturday morning from the Suspension Bridge?”
“No, he did this himself.”
“Then he says the skull was cut up and thrown over piecemeal by you.”
“I don’t know about the cutting up part, but deny the other.”
Jackson Tells Chief Deitsch That Walling Committed the Deed
Scott Jackson spent a sleepless night at the Central Police Station, and early next morning was taken to Chief Deitsch’s private office. He had a haggard, restless look, and when asked to make a confession, sought to throw the blame upon Wood, and subsequently upon Walling.
His story was: Wood was the author of Pearl Bryan’s ruin. When Jackson went home to spend the hollidays, Wood told him that Miss Bryan was in a delicate condition, and, knowing Jackson to be studying medicine, asked him what could be done in the matter. Jackson said he could do nothing in the matter, but Wood insisted that he help in an attempted abortion, as this was the only thing which would save him (Wood) and the girl from disgrace. Jackson refused to do this.
“What have you to say regarding the information now in the possession of the authorities that you and Walling were seen in the vicinity of Fort Thomas last Friday night in a hack drawn by a gray horse?”
“That information is erroneous. I was not there, and can establish the fact.”
“Who do you think murdered the girl?”
“Do you think the murdered girl is Pearl Bryan?”
“Oh, there is no question about that. It is her.”
“How, and where was she killed?”
“I do not know.”
“For what purpose?”
“To cover up previous wrong doings.”
“And to shield who?”
“Was Wood supposed to be Miss Bryan’s sweetheart?”
“Yes sir; he was.”
“And how was the affair planned?”
“Wood wrote to me, telling me of the trouble, and asking me to assist him out of it. I showed the letter to Walling, and he volunteered to undertake the job. It was then planned to bring the girl here. She arrived on Tuesday of last week, and what I saw and know of her after her arrival here, I have told.”
“How do you account for the condition of your trousers, which have been found and are now in the possession of the authorities?”
“Well, the only way I can account for that, is that they were in our room and Walling put them on the night of the crime. I have not seen them since, and did not know that there was blood and mud on them.”
Will Wood’s Arrival
It was 9 o’clock Thursday night when Sheriff Plummer and Detectives Crim and McDermott arrived in Cincinnati with William Wood, the third man in the terrible tragedy. Nothing else had been talked of during the day. Both in Newport and Cincinnati the excitement was intense. When early in the morning it was learned that the two men who were undoubtedly implicated in the horrible murder had been arrested in Cincinnati and an accessory to the crime arrested in Indiana and on his way to Cincinnati under guard, expressions of satisfaction at the arrests were heard on all sides. The subject of lynching the fiends,—Walling and Jackson—was freely discussed. That ominous appearance of suppressed excitement, which shows the keen determination of a mob and which they seek to hide as much as possible, was seen everywhere in the crowds gathered in knots all over the two cities. All that was needed in Cincinnati was a few good, trusty, fearless leaders. In Newport it was different. Determination and decision were seen on the blanched faces of men everywhere. Even Chief of Police Stricker and Lieutenant Smith, said it would be a very risky matter to bring the prisoners to Newport. There is no telling what would be done. Excitement has reached a very high pitch. “We will be well prepared for any outbreak of mob violence,” said they, “and upon the slightest indication of any will arrest everybody concerned in the least with it.”
Wood Examined. Says Jackson Betrayed the Girl. He is Released Without Bond
It was just 11:30 o’clock when Wood was subjected to an examination in the Mayor’s private office. The father and uncle of the young man were present. The examination was as follows:
“What is your name?”
“How old are you?”
“Twenty years old.”
“Where do you live?”
“You knew Pearl Bryan?”
“Yes. She was a second cousin of mine.”
“Does your family visit the Bryans?”
“Where you intimate with the girl?”
“Did you know that she had been betrayed?”
“How did you find that out?”
“Jackson told me.”
“What did he say?”
“He told me that he betrayed her in September.”
“Did he tell any one else that?”
“Yes sir, he did. A young man in Greencastle.”
“He will substantiate your statement then?”
“Did you receive any letters from Jackson about the condition of Miss Bryan?”
“About the 10th of January, I think.”
“What did he say?”
“He said that he was going to have an operation performed on her if he could get hold of enough money.”
“Did the girl know of that at that time?”
“How did she find that out?”
“I told her myself.”
“Why did you do that?”
“Because I wanted to shield her.”
“Was the letter you received from Jackson the only way that you knew that the girl had been betrayed?”
“No, she told me herself when I was out at the house several weeks ago.”
“What did you say to that?”
“I told her to wait until I heard from Jackson.”
“You took a great deal of interest in the case, did you not?”
“Yes, I would have done the same if she had been my own sister.”
“What arrangement did Jackson say he had made when he wrote to you?”
“He said he had procured a room in Cincinnati, and that she would be taken care of by an old woman.”
“What else did he say?”
“He said that the operation would be performed by a doctor and chemist who was an old hand at that kind of business.”
“Did he mention the name of the doctor?”
“No, he said the party was a friend of Walling.”
“Did the plan suit you?”
“Yes, I thought it was just the thing.”
“What did you tell her?”
“I told her that I thought it would be best for her to go.”
“At that time you thought you would accompany her?”
“Why did you change your mind?”
“Because my father requested my staying at home.”
“But you met the girl at the depot when she came to Cincinnati?”
“What day was that?”
“Monday, January 27.”
“Did you have a long talk with the girl?”
“Well, I talked with her.”
“About the operation?”
“Did she seem pleased?”
“I never saw her so happy in my life.”
“Did you have any other business at the train?”
“Yes, sir, I came to meet my father.”
“Where had your father been?”
“To a quarterly meeting at Terra Haute.”
“Then Miss Bryan left on the same train that your father came home on?”
“Were you over in Cincinnati before?”
“When did you see Jackson last?”
“When he was at home. It was on a Sunday. I think about the 5th or 6th of January.”
“Where you with him very long?”
“Yes, nearly all day.”
“Where did Jackson go when he left Greencastle?”
“He came to Cincinnati on an evening train.”
“Do you know Walling?”
“Never saw him?”
“Never in my life.”
“Ever see a picture of him?”
“Yes, I saw a tin-type of him when Jackson was at home.”
“Would you recognize that picture if you were to see it?”
“I think I would.”
At this juncture of the examination Chief Deitsch went to get a picture of Walling but failed to find it.
Wood was taken down to Central Station and registered.
He gave his name as William Wood, aged 20, residence South Bend, Ind. After registering he went to the Grand Hotel with his father.
Excitement was running high by this time. The crowds in and around the City Hall, where the prisoners were, steadily increased, and the gravest fears were entertained by the officers. Cordon’s of police lined the passage-ways from the Mayor’s and Superintendent’s offices to the cell-rooms below where the prisoners were confined, and every movement was guarded with the most jealous care.
A Bloody Valise Contained the Girl’s Head. It Was Left in a Saloon.
There were all kinds of rumors floating about the City Hall when John Kugel, the saloon-keeper at Ninth Street and Central avenue, walked into Clerk Vickers office and told him that he thought he had a valise belonging to Jackson.
“Then get it quick,” said Vickers.
Kugel hurried over and in a few minutes returned with a brown leather hand-satchel about 15 inches long. It was taken to Chief Deitsch, who made an examination. There was nothing in it, but the sides were heavily stained with blood. Chief Deitsch closed the valise and asked Kugel who gave it to him. Kugel said that last Monday night about 8 o’clock a young man with a blonde mustache walked in his place and asked him to take care of the valise, saying he would call for it the next day.
After Kugel’s arrival at headquarters Jackson was ordered brought up-stairs and a dramatic scene followed. Jackson was seated facing Chief Deitsch with the valise at the Chief’s feet. Standing around were many persons at work on the case.
“Pick up that valise,” said the Chief.
Jackson picked it up and held it in his lap.
He did so.
“What is in there?”
“Nothing that I can see, except that it is stained.”
“What is it stained with?”
“It looks like blood?”
“Don’t you know it is blood?”
Jackson’s face flushed and his eyes twitched. He pulled his mustache and ran his fingers through his hair. He was only a moment answering, but it appeared to be an hour to those who were waiting for a reply. He finally moistened his lips with his tongue and said:
“I think it is blood, but I have not examined it carefully.”
“Well, then, examine it carefully.”
Jackson picked up the valise and held it close to his face. He peered down the blood-stained bag and his eyes rolled around his head. He put his hand to his forehead and slowly said:
“Yes, that is blood.”
“Isn’t that the valise in which you carried the head?”
“I guess it is, but I did not carry it.”
“Well, who did?”
“Well, then, where is the head?”
“I guess it is in the river.”
Kugel then identified Jackson as the man who had left the valise in the saloon.
“What did you leave it in Kugel’s saloon for?” asked the Chief.
“I wasn’t going to leave it there. I was going to get it and do away with it.”
“Why did you want to get rid of it?”
“Well, it was better out of the way.”
“Well, I wanted to shield myself of all those things.”
“What were you so anxious to get rid of them for?” persisted the Chief.
“I just didn’t want them about,” was the prisoner’s non-committal answer.
“What was in it first?”
“A lot of clothing and such things.”
“Whose clothing was it?”
“Miss Bryan’s, I think.”
“What did it consist of?”
“Well, there was a skirt, a petticoat, some stockings and other things.”
“Where are they?”
“I guess they are in the river, too.”
Night Chief Renkert then produced a small alligator valise that he had found in Lawrence’s barber shop, 133 West Sixth Street, where Walling and Jackson often went. Jackson identified it as Pearl Bryan’s. He said that the blood-stained one was also the property of the murdered girl.
At Wallingford’s. Friday Night with Pearl Bryan, Jackson Left There in a Hack.
David Wallingford, the proprietor of the saloon at Longworth and Plum, which Jackson and Waling frequented, and his colored porter Allen Johnson were brought in by the officers and questioned in the presence of Jackson and Walling by Chief Deitsch as follows:
“You knew Jackson pretty well, eh?”
“Oh, yes; he came into my saloon every night. He frequently brought his lady friends along, too.”
“Was he in your saloon on Friday night last?”
“Yes, he brought a lady in with him and went back into the sitting-room.”
“Do you know who the lady was?”
“Well, I didn’t then. Of course I do now.”
“Who was she?”
“Why, she was Miss Pearl Bryan. I saw Pearl Bryan’s picture since, and haven’t the slightest doubt it was her. They were back in the sitting-room.”
“Did Jackson act queer that night?”
“No; I can’t say that he did. But one thing that looked rather queer was that he came in a carriage and brought a new satchel in the saloon with him.”
“Did Jackson order any drinks?”
“Not after he had ordered whiskey for himself and sarsaparilla for the girl, they then went away in the carriage.”
“What time was that?”
“Oh, about 7 o’clock, I think.”
“Did you see him any more that night?”
“No; he came in the next night (Saturday night), though.”
“Did he bring a satchel with him on Saturday night?”
“Yes, he brought in the same satchel and put it on the table. I noticed that he sat it down rather heavily and I asked him what was in it. He said: ‘Oh, some underclothes,’ and we both laughed.”
“Was Jackson as merry as usual?”
“No, he was rather depressed. He said his head hurt him devilish bad and he looked worried.”
Johnson played an important part in the affair.
He persisted in the statement that Jackson, Walling and the girl, Miss Bryan, were at Wallingford’s place on Friday night, and moreover that Albin the barber who shaved the two chums, was on the box and drove the cab in which they departed.
“I tell you I am not mistaken,” persisted Johnson. “Let Albin put a cap on and I can recognize him; he wore a cap that night.”
“Why are you so sure of the night?” was asked.
“Cause I had an engagement with my girl on that same night, and I remember distinctly.”
Johnson said that he saw Walling on the outside and saw the woman get into the cab and drive away.
All of this Walling denied. Once Walling admitted that he was at the place, but he changed it again and declared that he was not there until Saturday night, when he saw Jackson borrow a dollar of the bartender.
Johnson stood in front of Walling and said:
“I don’t want to get you into trouble, but you know you were there Friday night, and there is no use of you denying it.”
Walling however, still refused any admission.
Once during the talk Jackson shook his finger in the face of Walling and said:
“Be careful; do not go too far.”
Again he said: “You lie, and you know you are lying.”
To which Walling answered: “You show in your eyes that you are lying.”
The colored porter persisted in all the statements made to the authorities that Albin, the barber, was driving the cab.
Albin, the Barber Says He Did Not Drive the Mysterious Cab Friday Night.
Detectives Witte and Jackson were at once sent for Fred Albin the barber, and were not long in bringing him in. He and Johnson, the porter, were seated on the same lounge in the Mayor’s office and Albin was examined by Chief Deitsch when he told the following story:
“I have known Alonzo Walling for about two years. He lived across the street from my home in Hamilton, O. Last fall he concluded to come to this city and study dentistry. He told me this and I offered to come to this city with him. I saw him nearly every evening, and in fact, we chummed together.
“About four months ago he introduced me to Jackson. Jackson came to the shop where I was employed and got shaved about twice a week.
“He was always considered a peculiar fellow—rather eccentric. I know little concerning him.
“I do not know whether it was Friday or Saturday morning that Jackson came into my shop and had me shave his whiskers off. On that day he had a grip when he entered, and I asked him what he had in it. He replied that he would tell me some other day.”
Johnson then repeated his statement regarding Albin’s connection with the crime, after which Chief Deitsch said:
“What have you got to say about the statement made by Johnson which implicates you with the murder?”
“There is no truth in that. I think I wore a cap on Friday night, but I was not in Wallingford’s saloon, as Johnson says. I went home with Walling about fifteen minutes after 9. Jackson came into the barber shop several times with the grip. I naturally had some curiosity to know what it contained but he never would tell me anything definite.
“One day this week I picked up a paper while Jackson was in the shop and read an item about the shoes bought at Greencastle. I knew that Greencastle was the home of Jackson, and I asked him if he had heard about the shoes coming from his town. He said that he had, but that he did not believe it. I suggested that he and I go over and look at the body, but Jackson said that he did not want to see it, as he felt sure that he could not identify it. During this conversation I noticed that Jackson acted somewhat peculiar, but I never dreamed what caused it at the time.”
Col. Deitsch and Mayor Caldwell had a long talk with Albin. He persisted in the statement that he knew nothing of the murder.
Clew after clew was run down. Everything reported to the police regarding the murder, no matter of how little importance was thoroughly investigated and the officers were kept continually on the run.
Satisfied that Jackson and Walling were the murderers, and that the identification of the victim was complete the whole energy of the entire detective and police force was turned to the finding of the head, and the identity of the man who drove the cab and the securing of positive evidence on which the murderers could be convicted.
Jackson’s Letter to Wood
In response to Mayor Caldwell’s notice to the postmaster at South Bend, Ind., the Mayor on Saturday, Feb. 8., received from that city a letter written by Scott Jackson to William Wood, South Bend, Ind.
As soon as he received it the Mayor sent for D. D. Woodmansee the attorney for Jackson, and with his consent opened the communication. It was dated Feb. 5., the day on which Jackson was arrested. It was marked 8:30 p. m., less than two hours before his arrest. It was written on letter-heads of the Palace Hotel, while the envelope bore the style of Al Heider’s Hotel, on Fifth Street. The letter says:
“Write a letter home signed by Bert’s name telling the folks that he is somewhere & going to Chicago or some other place—has a position etc—and that they will advise later about it—Say tired of living at home or anything you want. You know about the way he writes. Send it to some one you can trust—How will Smith at La Fayette—tell the folks that he has not been at I but at La Fayette and travelling about the country get the letter off without one seconds delay—and burn this at once. Stick by your old chum Bill—And I will help you out the same way—some times. Am glad you are having a good time— D.
“Be careful what you write to me.”
“Bert” in the letter means Pearl. In that portion of the communication which explains that “he has not been at “I.” “I” evidently stands for Indianapolis.
After the letter from Jackson to Wood was opened and read, a reporter went to Jackson and asked him if he wrote the letter.
“Yes, sir, I did.”
“What does that signature, the letter D., mean?”
“Why, he called me ‘Dusty,’ and I signed it for that.”
“Who is meant by Bert?”
“That is a nickname we had for Pearl. We always called her Bert.”
“Then Bert means Miss Bryan?”
“Now, why did you write that letter?”
“Walling told me to write it. He said that something had to be done, and I did it.”
“Did he dictate it?”
“Oh, no, I wrote it Wednesday evening after supper.”
“Why did you tell Wood to be careful what he wrote?”
“Because he was writing vulgar letters. He wrote me two postals to the college that were awful.”
“What did you do with them?”
“I tore them right away. Besides all this, I din’t know at what time I might be arrested.”
Walling was then visited and told of the story of Jackson.
“No, I didn’t tell him to write it.
“I met him on the street Wednesday afternoon, and he told me that he was going to write.”
Jackson’s Coat Found in a Sewer
As a result of one of the lengthy cross-examinations to which Walling was subjected in which he said that the coat worn by Jackson when he committed the deed had been deposited by himself at Jackson’s request in the sewer hole at the corner of Richmond and John Streets.
Detective Witte was at once sent to the scene, and, found a bundle wrapped in a newspaper in the mud. It was drawn out and found to be a black coat. On the lining of the sleeves were found blood stains, and in one of the pockets a lot of tansy flower, which, made into tea, is used to produce miscarriages. After a thorough cleaning, it was placed in a box and removed to headquarters, where an examination was made. Blood spots were found on the sleeves and front. The coat was of a blue black material, similar to the clothing worn by Jackson at the time of his arrest.
Walling was told of the finding of the coat. He displayed no surprise, but remarked:
“Well, I knew they would find it. I told them not long ago where it was; that I had put it there myself.”
“Whose coat is it?”
“Why did you put it there?”
“Because he asked me to.”
“Did you know for what purpose?”
“Yes; to get rid of it. It was bloody.”
“And you knew this?”
“Yes, he told me so.”
“Then you know more about the crime than you have admitted?”
“No, I don’t. I have told everything I know.”
In a locker at the Ohio Dental College—Jackson’s individual locker—were found by the police a pair of trousers. Upon the knees were dried mud and blood, and upon the legs were other blood stains. Jackson and Walling each claim the trousers belong to the other.
Jackson’s and Walling’s [Photographs] Taken for the Rogue’s Gallery
Mayor Caldwell and Col. Deitsch Friday morning had a private consultation at which it was decided to hold all examinations of the prisoners in the Bertillion room, behind the iron bars of the Place of Detention. No one but Col. Deitsch and the Mayor were allowed to be present.
It was about 9 o’clock when both Jackson and Walling were brought into the Bertillon room and turned over to Superintendent Kiffmeyer. Both were photographed and had their measure taken according to the rules governing the Bertillon system.
The questioning of the prisoners while in the Bertillon room, related to the disposition made of Pearl Bryan’s clothes.
It was found that Pearl Bryan’s clothes had been conveniently wrapped into five bundles and brought to Jackson and Walling’s room at 222 West Ninth Street. Jackson took two of the bundles and threw them into the sewer on Sycamore street. Walling put the other three under his arm and went down Plum Street with the purpose of throwing into the river the evidences of the bloody and brutal crime in the muddy depths of the Ohio. Jackson says Walling afterwards told him he had disposed of them.
When Turnkey Henry Underwood was passing Jackson’s cell yesterday morning Jackson said:
“Well, I’m going to see the Mayor and tell him about the clothing.”
“What did you do with the clothing?”
“Well, there were three bundles. I threw them in a sewer on Richmond Street.”
“Where on Richmond Street?”
“I don’t know exactly, but west of Central avenue.”
“Was the head in the lot?”
“I don’t know where the head is now.”
“Why don’t you tell where the head is and it will save you a good deal of trouble.”
“Well, Walling told me that he threw it overboard.”
“What do you mean by throwing it overboard?”
“Why, in the river, and that is the truth.”
As soon as the Chief could be seen Turnkey Underwood reported to him the talks he had with the prisoners. Walling was taken before Mayor Caldwell and Chief Deitsch, Detectives Crim and McDermott. Walling was asked what he had to say.
“Well, I’ll tell you how Jackson killed Pearl Bryan.
“For several days before the murder Jackson would sit about our room and read a medical dictionary to try and learn all about the effect of poisons. He finally selected cocaine as the most suitable for his purpose. At last he took four grains of cocaine and put in sixteen drops of water. He told me that he was going to give the cocaine solution to Pearl and make her drink it, and that it would kill the vocal powers. She would be unable to scream or talk and then he was going to cut her head off.”
“Do you think he did that?”
“Yes, I am almost sure that was the way he killed her.”
“I don’t know how he gave her the poison, but think she took it before getting into the cab, so that it would have its full effect by the time she was driven over to Ft. Thomas.”
“Well, what became of the head? You know where it is.”
“I do not. If I did I would tell.”
Jackson was then sent for. He appeared to be worried, and when Mayor Caldwell asked him if he had bought any cocaine he said:
“Yes, I bought some cocaine.”
“Last Wednesday night.”
“What did you do with it?”
“I gave it to Walling.”
“Now Jackson I want you to tell me where the head is. You know where it is, and for the sake of the poor old mother I think you ought to tell.”
“Well, I can’t tell you where the head is. I don’t know.”
Walling and Jackson were then brought together again. They eyed each other and then the questions were put to them, but like in every other interview they denied the charges made by each other. Walling finally said:
“Why don’t you tell where the head is, Jackson? You know they will find it sooner or later.”
“I don’t know where it is.”
“Why don’t you tell? You know where it is.”
“I do not.”
There were two post-mortems held by Coroner Tingley, of Newport over the remains of the headless body of Pearl Bryan. The first held on the Monday following the finding of the body and the second, which was ordered for the purpose of deciding whether the murder was committed where the body was found or the head cut off after death had been caused by the administering of anesthetics. Dr. Charles S. Phythian of Newport, conducted both post-mortems assisted by Drs. Robert Carothers, J. L. Phythian, J. O. Jenkins, W. S. Tingley, C. B. Schoolfield and J. H. Fishbach. The unanimity of opinion was that life was not extinct when the wounds from which the blood found egress were inflicted.
Dr. Charles Phythian said:
“The post-mortem shows beyond a doubt that Pearl Bryan died by the knife and was conscious when she was killed.”
“Had she been dead when she was taken to the Highlands the blood in her body would have been somewhat coagulated no matter how soon after dissolution she was taken there, and while there would have been a great flow of it if she had been placed there within a short time after death there must have been a slight coagulation which would have caused at least a small quantity of blood to remain in the body.”
“The cut on the left hand shows that she fought with her murderer. The cut goes clear to the bone and proves that she did not receive it by making the weak attempt at defense that a person in a semi-comatose condition would have made.”
As was brought out at the first post-mortem there was absolutely not a drop of blood in the body of the woman; all of it had flowed from her.
Not a drop of blood was found in the veins nor was any found in the arteries or heart. Every organ of the body was found in perfect and healthy condition. The blood vessels were entirely devoid of any blood, and all the surgeons gave as their opinion that the girl had bled to death, for had life been extinct before bleeding began the blood vessels would not have been emptied.
A microscopic observation was made of the body in hope of discovering a puncture that might be construed as the place where the needle of the hypodermic-syringe had been inserted, but no such puncture had been discovered, though subjected to the most careful examination with the strongest glasses.
Fred Bryan a brother of the murdered woman and Mrs. Stanley, a sister, together with a number of friends from Greencastle, Ind., arrived in Cincinnati Friday, for the purpose of fully identifying the remains, and having them removed from the Newport morgue to Greencastle for interment. The identification was complete, and permission having been obtained from the authorities, the headless body was prepared for interment and removed to the undertaking establishment of John P. Epply, in Cincinnati.
The body was clothed in a cream white silk dress, the same that the girl had worn when she graduated from the high school in 1892 at Greencastle. The feet were incased in dainty satin slippers.
The casket was one of the most beautiful of its kind made. It was white cloth-covered, and trimmed with cord and tassel. The handles were of burnished silver. In the center of the casket lid, on a silver plate, was the name “Pearl.”
Inside the casket was full-satin-lined, and handsomely trimmed. The absence of the head was made scarcely noticeable the placing of a square satin pillow in the head on the casket down to the shoulders of the corpse.
The Headless Body Displayed to the Murderers
The authorities resolved on a plan which they hoped might make the prisoners weaken. It was to have them look upon their murdered victim and have the crime recalled in all its hideousness.
Mayor Caldwell Chief Deitsch and Sheriff Plummer went to Epply’s morgue, where the remains lay.
In a short time Detectives Crim and McDermott arrived with the prisoners. Crim had Walling in charge and McDermott Jackson. The latter was placed at the head of the coffin and Walling near the foot. Both faced the brother and sister of the murdered girl, who were on the other side of the casket.
Jackson was terribly excited and nervously clasped and unclasped his hands. His eyes roved from one end of the body to the other and he shook his head and sighed deeply. His face was terribly flushed, and he looked as though he might break down every second. On the other hand Walling was to all appearance the coolest man in the room. He gazed at the corpse without a shiver and looked around on the faces of those present. His only noticeable display of agitation was to tap his foot nervously on the floor.
Not a word was said until Chief Deitsch, at the other end asked:
“Walling do you recognize the corpse?”
“I do not.”
“Do you know who it is?”
“I believe it is Pearl Bryan.”
“What reason have you for this belief?”
“What Jackson has told me.”
“Jackson, do you recognize the corpse?”
“I do not.”
“Do you know that it is the body of Pearl Bryan?”
“I have not taken a close and careful look at the body.”
“Would you recognize it if you did?”
“I think I would.”
“Walling did you kill this woman?”
“I did not.”
“Jackson did you kill this woman?”
“I did not.”
“And do you deny, in the presence of the corpse, that you killed her?”
“Who did kill her?”
“I have every reason to believe that Walling did.”
Determined to make one more effort to secure a confession as to where the head was, Chief Deitsch arranged for Mrs. Stanley to ask the prisoners. Almost begging on bended knees, and sobbing heavily she cried: “Mr. Jackson, I come to you and ask where is my sister’s head. For the sake of my poor mother and for my sister and for my brother I beg of you to tell me where my sister’s head is. It is my last chance and I want to send it home with the body. Won’t you please tell me, I beg of you?”
Jackson looked at her, and, without turning a hair, said:
“Mrs. Stanley, I do not know.”
The same question was asked Walling to which he coldly and without any semblance of feeling, replied:
“I do not know where it is.”
The same evening Pearl Bryan’s headless body was taken back to her home in Greencastle accompanied by her brother, sister and friends.
Coroner W. S. Tingley, of Campbell County, began the formal inquest in the famous case, on Tuesday Feb. 11. E. G. Lohmeyer, a jeweler; A. J. Mosset, a steamboat agent; W. C. Botts, a coal dealer; John Link, ex-Chief of the Fire Department; Michael Donelan, a shoe-manufacturer, and F. A. Autenheimer, a retired steamboat Captain, were selected as jurors. The first witness called was Sheriff Plummer.
“Please state if on February 1 you saw the headless body of a woman on the premises of John Lock, in the Highlands?”
“What evidence have you to submit in identifying the body?”
“The body was Pearl Bryan, of Greencastle, Ind. I received information that the body was that of a woman at Greencastle, and went there for that purpose. The clothing found on the headless body and the shoes were identified by Mrs. J. F. Stanley as belonging to her sister, Miss Pearl Bryan. Frederick Bryan corroborated Mrs. Stanley’s identification, and afterward identified the headless body as the corpse of their sister, Pearl Bryan.”
“Have you discovered by what means she came to her death?”
“The evidence we have leads us to believe that she died of having her throat cut.”
Dr. Heyl, Assistant Surgeon of the Sixth Regiment, U. S., stationed at Ft. Thomas testified the manner in which the head was severed plainly showed that an accustomed hand had performed the work, and it was obvious to a professional eye that the work had commenced from the back of the neck.
Detective Cal Crim of Cincinnati gave his testimony as follows:
“I was notified by the Chief of Detectives Hazen, to report to Newport and assist in clearing the mystery of the crime. With Detectives McDermott and Sheriff Plummer I went to where the body was found, and came to the conclusion that she was murdered there. There was so much blood on the ground that it led me to this belief, and I also found blood high up on the surrounding bushes, which I believed to have been caused by the blood spurting from the neck. I found blood on all the under side of the leaves, showing that the course of the blood was upward, as though the body was on the ground when the throat was cut. The ground was literally saturated with blood. The earth was upturned and blood was found to a depth of eight or nine inches.”
“State from your examination to your best knowledge and belief who committed the crime?”
There was a deathlike stillness in the room as the detective answered: “Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling.”
“What have you found to lead you to that belief?”
“The dead girl, Miss Pearl Bryan, left her home at Greencastle to visit a family named Bishop at 95 Center Street, Indianapolis. Her relatives identified her clothing. We discovered that Scott Jackson had been intimate with the girl. He left Greencastle October 14., and pregnancy having become apparent she, at the solicitation of a cousin, named Will Wood, went to Cincinnati to submit to a criminal operation. Jackson was to have the operation performed and Walling was to assist in the performance. The last we know of Pearl Bryan in life was in the company of Jackson and Walling Friday night preceding the finding of her corpse between 6 and 7 o’clock, when the three were seen to enter a hack at Wallingford’s saloon, at George and Plum Streets. We have discovered that Jackson had hired Walling to perform the operation on Miss Bryan. Jackson’s coat was found on evidence furnished by Walling in a sewer where it had been hidden. A pair of Jackson’s trousers, covered with blood and with mud on the knees, were found in Walling’s locker.”
“Has Jackson or Walling made any statements in your presence concerning the crime?”
“Yes, sir. Each accuses the other.”
“Can you account for Jackson and Walling the night preceding the finding of the body?”
“Only up to the time they entered the cab at Wallingford’s saloon. Then all traces are lost. Neither Jackson nor Walling was seen or can give any satisfactory account of their whereabouts from 7 p. m. of Friday to 3 a. m. Saturday.”
“Have you any other evidence?”
“We found two valises, one having blood stains on the inside, in which we believe the missing head was carried from the scene of the murder.”
Detective Crim was excused and Detective McDermott was called. He corroborated Crim’s statements. Sheriff Plummer was recalled and gave testimony corroborative of the two detective’s statements. Dr. Robert Carothers submitted a report of the result of the post-mortem which was held by order of Coroner Tingley.
Dr. W. H. Crane, the chemist who made an analysis of the stomach of the murdered woman, regretted having no written report of the analysis, as it had not then been completed, but testified to having found cocaine in the stomach.
A number of other witnesses testified as to the finding of the body, the discovering of the foot-prints, blood, etc.
The examinations were completed, and after the court-room had been cleared the jury entered into a discussion of the examination.
The evidence as taken by the court-stenographer was carefully gone over and debated. Every little technicality was examined and passed on unanimously, and after an hour’s session the jury returned the following verdict:
“We, the jury, of Campbell County, Kentucky, find that the headless body of the woman found on the premises of John B. Lock, near Ft. Thomas, on the morning of February the 1st., was that of Pearl Bryan, a resident of Greencastle, Ind.
“We further find that cocaine had been administered to Pearl Bryan for some reasons unknown.
“We further find that the decapitation took place while Pearl Bryan was still alive.
“We further find that Pearl Bryan was last seen in company with Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling. The three got into a cab on the Plum-street side of a saloon, corner of George and Plum Streets, and were last seen in the cab turning toward Plum Street.
“We further find in the end of justice that this verdict, and the report of the post-mortem, the chemical analysis of the stomach and the report of the Court-stenographer be filed with the verdict.”
On the Wednesday following, the grand jury of Campbell County Kentucky, in session in Newport, returned an indictment against both Jackson and Walling, charging them with the murder of Pearl Bryan and alleging that the crime was committed near Ft. Thomas, Ky. Sheriff Plummer, at once went to Frankfort, KY., and secured a requisition for the men from Governor Bradley. He then took the papers to Columbus, O., where Governor Bushnell, after a close scrutiny honored them and the Sheriff returned to Cincinnati to serve them on the Sheriff of Hamilton County, Ohio, in whose custody the prisoners were.
The prisoners were arraigned in the Police Court of Cincinnati a number of times charged with murder, and their cases continued, to give the Kentucky authorities an opportunity to take action.
After the indictment of Jackson and Walling in Kentucky, the charge was changed to “Fugitives from Justice” and on this were they held until the requisition papers were procured and served.
In the meantime the detectives, police and Kentucky officers were at work running down rumors and clews which sprang up on every side.
The hat worn by Pearl Bryan, was found on the side of the road just back of Newport and was fully identified by her sister. The hat was weighted down with a stone wrapped in a bloody handkerchief which was identified as the property of Jackson.
George H. Jackson a negro, came forward and told a very plain straight-forward story of having driven, Jackson, Walling and Pearl Bryan in a surey drawn by a gray horse from Cincinnati to the scene of the murder. The police put great faith in this story until it was proven absolutely false, and that the negro had concocted the story with the expectation of securing the reward, or for gaining notoriety. An investigation of his previous record showed it to be a very unsavory one. No one doubted the guilt of the prisoners under arrest, but great difficulty was found in securing evidence on which they could be convicted.
The officers claimed to have sufficient evidence but refused to divulge it, and the granting of the requisition papers by Governor Bradley of Kentucky, and the honoring of those papers of Governor Bushnell of Ohio, showed that there was certainly stronger evidence than had been given the public.
As soon as the requisition papers were served on the Sheriff of Hamilton County, Ohio, and an effort made by Sheriff Plummer, to take charge of the prisoners, and take them to Kentucky, it was evident that a terrible fight would be made by the counsel for the prisoners to keep Jackson and Walling from being taken to Kentucky.
Learned and able counsel had been secured by the relatives of each of the prisoners and from the start it was evident a big legal battle was on and that every effort, would be put forth to them, not only to save the murderers from paying the penalty of their horrible crime but also to keep them from being sent to Kentucky, where in the eyes of the law, the crime had been committed and the only place where they could be put on trial for their lives.
Notwithstanding Gov. Bradley of Kentucky, had promised that he would put the entire Militia force of Kentucky at the command of Sheriff Plummer to protect the prisoners from violent deaths at the hands of a lawless mob, the attorneys for the accused made the claim, and attempted to prove it, that the lives of their clients would not be safe in Kentucky.
Habeas corpus proceedings were resorted to and every scheme and plan for delay was brought into play. A fierce and bitter legal battle was fought between the attorneys for the prisoners and those for the state, before Judge M. L. Buchwalter of the Hamilton County, O., Court of Common Pleas.
Every technicality and motive for delay known to the law was resorted to by the attorneys for the defense. The cases were called again and again in the Police Court simply as a formality, their continuances having been agreed on before the cases were called, notwithstanding the law providing that there shall be a hearing before a Judge of the Common Pleas Court, in extradition cases as soon as the requisition papers shall have been honored by the Governor of the State. The requisition papers issued by Governor Bradley of Kentucky on Governor Bushnell, of Ohio, had been honored by the last named official for weeks previous to the arraignment of Walling and Jackson, before Judge M. L. Buchwalter, of the Hamilton County Common Pleas Court. Interest in the case did not abate in the least. The Jail where the prisoners were confined, was daily literally besieged with visitors, and loud murmurings were heard on all sides. Mob violence was feared, and this fact more than any other caused the delay in the hearing of the arguments on the requisition papers. Everyone felt that the papers would be honored by the Judge, and the prisoners remanded to the custody of the Sheriff of Campbell County, Kentucky, but it was feared the lives of the prisoners would be placed in serious jeopardy, if they were sent to Kentucky, before the excitement had in some measure died out. On April, the 30., the prisoners were brought before Judge Buchwalter, and Saturday March, 7., fixed as the date for hearing on the requisition papers. Rumors of all kinds prevailed, and squadrons of police were placed in line guarding closely every inch of the way from the jail to the court room. It was intended at first to convey the prisoners from the jail to the court room through the underground passage way, or tunnel, which has been prepared for just such cases of emergency. For this purpose the tunnel was cleared of every obstacle, but when all was in readiness, it was discovered that the key to the massive gate at the entrance to the tunnel from the jail yard had been misplaced and could not be found, and it was necessary to take them through the streets. Before the prisoners arrived however, another consultation between the attorneys in the case resulted in an agreement for another continuance, and Jackson and Walling were before the court but a few minutes, when they were again remanded to jail and Saturday March, 7., set for a final hearing on their requisition. Col. Robert W. Nelson, one of the brightest and leading legal lights of Kentucky, an able prosecutor, fearless and aggressive and universally feared by criminals, volunteered his services to aid in the prosecution of, as he termed it, “villains of the deepest dye, who are without doubt guilty of the most heinous crime and greatest outrage ever put upon the fair name and fame of Kentucky.”
The attorneys for the defense had selected Judge Buchwalter as the judge to hear their case for the reason that this same judge had but shortly before refused to deliver a prisoner, a negro fugitive, charged with murder, to the Kentucky authorities although Kentucky’s Governor had made a requisition which had been honored and granted by Governor McKinley of Ohio. Buchwalter held that the negroe’s life would not be safe in Kentucky and refused to hand him over to the Kentucky authorities. This was a ruling without precedent and the attorneys for Walling and Jackson hoped to work on the Judges prejudices against Kentucky and obtain a similar ruling in their cases. Public sentiment however, was too strong, and no matter how much Judge Buchwalter may have disliked to honor a requisition from Kentucky, he saw that public feeling was in no humor to be trifled with in the case of the murderers of Pearl Bryan. At the hearing of the case on March, 7., the State of Kentucky, Jule Plummer, Sheriff of Campbell County, agent, through his attorneys, M. R. Lockhart, Commonwealth’s attorney and Col. R. W. Nelson, appeared in court and demanded the custody of the prisoners, presenting the requisition papers, properly approved by Governor Bradley, of Kentucky, and Governor Bushnell of Ohio. The prisoners were represented by Judge James D. Ermston, of Cincinnati, and Messrs. Andrews and Sheppard, of Hamilton, O. A bitter fight was made, but right and justice won and after a fierce legal battle between the opposing counsel, Judge Buchwalter rendered a lengthy decision remanding the prisoners to the custody of Sheriff Jule Plummer, as the agent of the Commonwealth of Kentucky. He also dismissed the habeas-corpus proceedings which had been instituted but granted a stay of the executive of his orders for eight days to give the attorneys for the prisoners ample time to appeal the cases and take them to the Circuit Court. Judge Andrews for the prisoners, announced that the bill of exceptions to Judge Buchwalter’s rulings, would be prepared at once for presentation to the Circuit Court. The case was at once taken up on appeal and on March, 14., Judges Swing, Cox and Smith of the Circuit Court of Hamilton County began its hearing. When the higher Court convened an immense throng crowded the rooms, the most noteable among the spectators being the aged father of the murdered girl, Alex. S. Bryan, his three sons, Fred, Frank and James, and ten other gentlemen, who had come from Greencastle, Ind., to Cincinnati, to lend their aid to the prosecution of the prisoners. S. A. Hayes, one of the brightest legal lights of Indiana, was one of the party and he will doubtless aid the State of Kentucky in the prosecution of both Walling and Jackson when they are put on trial for their lives.
Alleged Errors Set Forth
The grounds of error set forth were as follows:
“That there is manifest error in said judgement and proceedings at, by and before said Court of Common Pleas in this to wit:
“1. Said court erred in remanding this plaintiff in error to the custody of said defendant in error.
“2. Said court erred in not discharging this plaintiff in error from the custody of said defendants in error and restoring him to liberty.
“3. The judgement and order of said Court of Common Pleas is against the weight of the evidence and contrary to law.
“4. That there was no evidence whatever submitted to said Court of Common Pleas or to said Governor of Kentucky, who issued the said writ of requisition, and there was no evidence whatever submitted to the Governor of Ohio, who issued said warrant on said requisition, that this plaintiff in error was a fugitive from justice.
“5. That the charge of indictment against this plaintiff in error does not accuse him according to law of any crime.
“6. That there was no evidence submitted to said court or to either of said Governors that the offense set forth in said alleged indictment is a crime under the laws of said State of Kentucky.
“7. That there are other errors prejudicial to plaintiff in error manifest in said record and proceedings.”
The prayer of the petition is: “Wherefore this plaintiff in error prays that said judgement and order may be reserved to all things he has lost thereby, and that he may be discharged from the custody of said defendants in error and restored to his liberty.”
After hearing the arguments on this bill of errors, the Court took the matter under advisement until the Monday morning following when the three Judges of the higher court met and rendered a decision sustaining Judge Buchwalter and remanding the prisoners to the custody of the Kentucky authorities. Walling and Jackson were at once informed of the decision of the Court. The effect of the information on the two prisoners was of marked difference. Walling smiled sarcastically, and said:
“I had hoped we would not be taken over the river, and we have fought desperately to prevent going there. We have made the best fight possible,” and winking his eye, added: “We have received no orders to go there yet.”
Jackson grew as pale as death and was visibly agitated and trembling, when told that the Court had decided against him. Said he: “Of course I do not want to go to Kentucky.”
“Do you fear being mobbed over there?”
“I not only fear that we may be mobbed, but I don’t believe we would be given a fair trial. How can I think otherwise when an authority like Sheriff Plummer told me that if we were taken over to Newport the people there would lynch us sure?”
“Did the Sheriff tell you that?”
“Yes, and then modified it by saying: ‘I will, of course, do all I can, as an officer of the law, to prevent it, but we are all Kentuckians over there, and they are hard to restrain.’ Since he told me that, I have not had any great longing to visit his State.”
Wild Drive to Kentucky
St. Patrick’s day, March, 17., 1896, will ever live green in the memory of Alonzo Walling and Scott Jackson. It was on this day they were taken to Kentucky, quietly and without much ado. Sheriff Plummer appeared at the Hamilton County, O., Jail in Cincinnati, and the prisoners were given in his charge. Walling was at once handcuffed to Detective Crim and Jackson to Detective McDermott. The crowds about the Jail and the reporters had no idea what was going on until patrol wagon No. 3, backed up to the door and Sheriff Plummer, followed by his prisoners and the detectives went to get in. Immediately the crowd went wild and a mighty yell went up. “They’re going to Kentucky,” was yelled by a thousand voices. Cabs were telephoned for by reporters, spring wagons were pressed into service and before the officers and prisoners could get in the patrol wagon fully twelve or fifteen vehicles were ready to follow. The horses were forced to a run and those following increased their speed accordingly. The crowd increased. Fear was unmistakeably seen on the countenances of both prisoners. Down Sycamore Street to Eighth the horses went on a wild run. Before reaching Eighth Street, Sheriff Plummer said that it would be impossible to thwart the fast increasing throng and in order to throw them of their guard, ordered the driver to turn west off Sycamore on Eighth and drive to Central Police Station. A large crowd awaited them there and the prisoners were quickly hustled into the cells. The crowds increased until the large iron doors had to be closed to keep the crowds from the driveways and corridors of the big City Building. The prisoners were kept there for two hours or more. Every movement of the officers was watched closely, especially by the reporters. Detectives Crim and McDermott, went quickly to the cells where the prisoners were confined, and without any notice, the prisoners were again handcuffed to them. Suddenly the large iron doors flew open, and patrol No. 1, dashed into the court-yard, when the party was again loaded in quickly. Once in the wagon, a wild drive to Newport was made. East on Eighth Street to Broadway dashed the team of splendid police-horses, down Broadway to Second and over the Central Bridge on a full run thence up York Street in Newport, up to Third to the jail.
Everywhere the people stopped and stared at the strange chase, as patrol and vehicles containing press-representatives galloped by, throwing mud and snow in all directions, and unconsciously the correct conclusion was arrived at in nearly every case—that Jackson and Walling were being taken across the river.
The Newport jailer had been notified that the men were on the way over, but he did not expect them as quickly as they made the journey. It was but about four minutes after 4 o’clock when Patrol No. 1, dashed up to the entrance to the Newport jail, the run from Ninth and Central Avenue having been made in less than fifteen minutes. On the Central bridge the horses broke into a gallop, and everybody in sight began to run. Before the Newport end was reached a surging crowd pushed up York and down Third Streets upon both sides, but they were not fast enough for the horses.
When the trip to Central Station became known in Newport the news spread like wildfire, and soon a crowd of at least one thousand people had assembled and impatiently awaited the coming of the prisoners, the unusual activity at the jail indicating that they were to be brought there.
Policeman patrolled Gate Street and kept the people constantly moving, while the door of the jail office was locked and admission refused to everyone, even reporters being excluded.
About 4 o’clock there was a cry of “Here they come!” from the people on York Street, and in a few seconds patrol No. 1, turned the corner and dashed down to the jail entrance. As the patrol wagon turned the corner the crowd closed in and hurried after it, to check it, and when the jail was reached the entire street was blockaded.
Sheriff Plummer stepped from the wagon, and was closely followed by Walling, handcuffed to Detective McDermott, and Jackson, handcuffed to Detective Crim. Both prisoners were pale and trembling, evidently believing that the crowd was there for motives other than curiosity. There was no demonstration from the people, and the prisoners were quickly hurried into the jail-office and the door slammed and locked in the faces of the crowd of reporters who attempted to enter.
The Newport Jail is by no means a desireable place of confinement from a sanitary point of view and is poorly ventilated. Both prisoners keenly realized the great change in their accommodations. Regarding this Jackson said:
“This is quite different from the Hamilton County Jail, where everything was at least nice and clean. If I could only exercise a little it would not be so bad. I am really losing the use of my legs, and I cannot see what harm there would be in allowing me to walk in the corridor with one of the guards. I am glad that we are to be taken into court on Monday. That will be at least a little relief.”
“What plea will you enter?”
Will Not Plead Guilty
“Oh, that, of course, will be for my attorney to decide, but it will certainly be not guilty.”
When Walling was seen, he appeared to be in much better spirits than Jackson. He was lying on his cot, deeply interested in the novel which he has been reading for the past few days. He arose and pleasantly greeted his visitor. When asked as to how he liked his quarters he replied:
“Oh, I suppose I have no kick coming, although they are not as good as those across the river.”
“What plea will you enter next Monday?”
“Not guilty, of course. What other plea could I make. I tell you that I am not guilty of that murder and I fully expect to be cleared.”
Arraigned in Kentucky Court Monday, March, 23., the murderers, spent the first hour outside the prison walls since the transfer to Kentucky. That hour was spent in appearing in the Circuit Court room of Campbell County for the purpose of entering their plea to the charge of murder placed against them by the Kentucky authorities.
In the court-room by 9:30 o’clock the three hundred privileged ones who had obtained tickets of admission had taken their seats, and every seat was taken excepting the four on the jury gallery reserved for the prisoners and their jail attendants. There were not more than twenty women among the spectators.
Within the iron-rail-bound quadrangle in front of the Judge’s desk thirty or forty members of the Campbell County bar sat, while ranged behind them and just within the railing was a row of tables for the reporters and artists.
Occupying the front chairs in the quadrangle were the attorneys in the case: For the Commonwealth, Messrs. M. R. Lockhart, Ramsay Washington and Colonel William Nelson; for the prisoners, Hon. L. J. Crawford, representing Jackson, and Colonel George Washington, representing Walling. In a few minutes Judge Charles J. Helm and the Clerk of the Court, A. L. Reuscher, entered and took their seats and at once opened the Court.
Fifteen minutes were spent by the Court disposing of routine business and several minor cases before his honor said: “I will now call the cases of the Commonwealth vs. Jackson et al. Mr. Sheriff, bring in the defendants.”
Everybody was at once on the alert, and all eyes were turned to the door leading from the corridor. Instead of going toward that door, however, the Sheriff threw open the ante-room door and out walked Jackson, attended by Jail Guard Veith. Jackson walked quickly and without any evidence of the weakness in his knees of which he complained several days ago. A few steps behind Jackson came Walling, attended by Jailer John Bitzer.
When they came into the room, both men were pale, but that haggard appearance which distinguished them when they were in the Cincinnati Courts was gone. They both looked well and gave evidence that they enjoyed their Kentucky fare. Walling retained his paleness throughout the proceedings, but Jackson, after taking his seat and looking over the assembled crowd, flushed up a little.
“Stand up,” said Judge Helm to the prisoners when the rustle occasioned by their appearance had subsided, “You are arraigned—”
Colonel Washington interrupted the Judge here to say that he wished to enter his demurrer to the indictment before the arraignment. He was overruled.
Both Plead Not Guilty
The men were then arraigned and asked to plead.
“Not guilty, as to Walling,” said Colonel Washington.
“Not guilty, as to Jackson,” said Mr. Crawford.
Judge Helm then asked the attorneys as to whether they desired the defendants tried together or separately. Mr. Crawford said he did not wish to indicate then, but Colonel Washington said he wanted a seperate trial for Walling. The Judge then said, “All right, let an order be entered accordingly. This court will begin the case against Scott Jackson first, and I will set Jackson’s case for April 7.”
Mr. Crawford thought the time was too short. “Until the prisoner came over here,” he said, “I was not connected with the case. Our witnesses are scattered, many of them being in Ohio and Indiana, and I do not wish to risk the chance of their failure to attend court on account of the short time allowed. This trial is for justice, and we ought to be given every opportunity to prepare our case. The prosecution seems to have surprises in store for us, and by a decision of the Court of Appeals the defense has the right to know what the prosecution intends to do against us.”
Colonel Nelson here got up and said: “I am surprised at Mr. Crawford making such a statement. The Commonwealth expects to prove that Scott Jackson killed Pearl Bryan,” a remark that drew a laugh from the audience.
Judge Helm said he knew of no rule requiring the Commonwealth to indicate to the defense what its case would be. “Two weeks ought to be ample time,” continued he, “for the defense to get ready.”
Mr. Crawford continued to press for longer time, but the Judge cut him short by repeating “I think you have ample time between this and April 7. If you have an objection to make, make it then, but it must be a good one to receive my attention. Remand the prisoners.”
No time was fixed for the trial of Alonzo Walling but it was understood that it follow immediately after Jackson’s. The demanding of a seperate trial by Walling’s attorney gave rise to the rumor, which gained considerable credence that Walling could be induced to turn state’s evidence against Jackson and tell all he knows at the trial of Jackson. The authorities have accumulated much important evidence in the matter and the attorneys for the prosecution claimed with perfect confidence that they would be able to prove beyond any reasonable doubt that both Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling are guilty of the murder, and decapitation of Pearl Bryan. It was claimed by them that enough evidence has been secured to reveal how, when, where and by whom Pearl Bryan was murdered; to reveal the secret of her whereabouts on the night proceeding her tragic death; in fact to ring down the curtain upon the most horrible tragedy of the nineteenth century, laid bare in all of its most horrowing details. Like the well-laid plot in the tragedy which has its birth in the imagination of the skillful dramatist, this tragedy in real life, possessed the one element which never fails to fascinate the public mind-mystery.
The day of the trial drew near, and still the mystery seemed almost as deep as ever. It was evident before the calling of the case against Scott Jackson in Newport, KY., on April, 7., 1896, that a hard earnest fight would be made for delay and a postponement asked by Jackson’s attorneys. The day of trial April, 7., at last arrived. Every arrangement had been perfected by Sheriff Plummer, not only for the protection and safe keeping of the prisoners but also for the convenience and accommodation of the Court, to prevent any crowding of the court-room or any unseemly acts of violence or disturbance.
The announcement of the authorities that only a limited few besides those interested in the case would be allowed in the court-room was the reason of the smallness of the crowd. People, knowing that they could not get in to see the trial, did not—beyond a few of the more curious—care to merely get a look at the prisoner.
The twelve jurymen’s chairs were placed directly in front of the Judge’s desk, and the witness box so placed that the witnesses in giving their testimony would be facing the Judge and jury. The witness stand stood almost in the middle of the court-room. On the right side was the prosecution’s and on the left side the defense’s tables, while between it and the jury was placed the stenographer’s table.
The reporters’ tables, six in number, were grouped in close proximity around the witness stand, and the whole arrangement left nothing to be desired. The members of the Campbell County bar occupied seats within and without the railed space, and there was a large gathering of them present.
Scott Jackson Is Brought to His Trial for Life
About five minutes before the arrival of Judge Helm in the court-room Sheriff Plummer, having all his arrangements perfected, slipped out and proceeded to the jail, and in a few moments emerged therefrom with Scott Jackson handcuffed to his arm.
With a nervous smile and a forced jauntiness, which accorded illy with his visible perturbation, Scott Jackson stepped from the old jail door in Newport and started through the dense lines of curious men, women and children for the court of justice, wherein his fight for life will be made. He was handcuffed to Sheriff Plummer, and, as a further precaution, was flanked on either side by a stalwart deputy.
Jackson seemed in good humor as he walked from the jail, and did not show the same dread for the Newport crowds that he had displayed on the two former occasions upon which he passed through them. He was taken upstairs in the Courthouse and placed in the witness room to await the opening of court.
Ordinarily, a man facing death excites sympathy, particularly among the class who waited for two hours to get a glimpse of Jackson. But the most casual observer could not fail to see that the populace was singularly unanimous in its intense hostility to the supposed and accused murderers of Pearl Bryan.
A man may be a murderer and a hero in the minds of many. But nothing but deep-seated and virulent hostility was manifested by ninety-nine out of every hundred of those who gathered about the Courthouse in Newport and reviewed the famous crime in infinite detail. “He’ll hang, and he ought to, —— him,” said one big fellow in the center of a listening group.
“Yes, and Walling out to follow him in five minutes,” said a bare-headed working woman, as she shifted a baby from arm to arm. The same sullen antipathy was apparent as Jackson passed through the crowd. It was indisputably general.
A Remarkable Incident
A significant proof of this feeling was evidenced in a rather remarkable incident which occurred as Jackson was leaving the court-room after the trial. There were probably a dozen women in the audience, among whom was a party of three comely, well dressed and to all appearances, thoroughly respectable women. They sat on the first row of the benches for the general spectators. As Jackson passed from the inclosure wherein he had been seated and started for the ante-room with Sheriff Plummer, one of the women suddenly reached out and kicked Jackson twice. She put all her strength into the blows. Jackson flushed and then smiled the smile which in his case is better evidence of internal anguish and agitation than is a tear on the face of most men. Neither Judge Helm nor Sheriff Plummer, nor in fact, any one outside from three spectators saw the incident. The officers walked rapidly, looking neither to the right nor to the left, and seemed, from their grimness, to realize the great responsibility which rested upon them.
Opening of the Trial It was just 9:40 o’clock, April, 7., when Judge Helm entered the court-room. Immediately the hum of conversation which had been going on at a lively rate stopped, as, with hardly a pause after sitting down, the Judge ordered the Sheriff to open the court. Every seat in the spectators gallery by this time was taken. Judge Helm at once went to the business of the day, calling “Case 2,296, the Commonwealth vs. Scott Jackson,” and directing the Sheriff to bring in the prisoner.
There was a perceptible movement on the part of the assemblage as Jackson followed Jailer Bitzer and the Sheriff into the court-room and took his place on the left of the witness box and slightly in its rear. His chair was next to that of Attorney Andrews, of Hamilton, Walling’s counsels, and the narrow table separated the prisoner from Hon. L. J. Crawford and Colonel George Washington. As on his former visit to the court-room, Jackson flushed slightly after taking his seat. He paid close attention throughout to every thing that was said by the Judge and the lawyers.
Around the table to the right of the witness box were seated Commonwealth’s Attorney M. R. Lockhart, Colonel R. W. Nelson and Attorney Silas Hayes, of Greencastle, all representing the prosecution. The Sheriff called the names of the jurors summoned for duty, and these having been disposed of the Judge asked:
“Is the Commonwealth ready?”
To which Mr. Lockhart replied: “The Commonwealth is ready.”
“May it please Your Honor, Scott Jackson is not ready,” stated Mr. Crawford, rising. “We desire to file a motion for postponement.”
He read the affidavit as follows:
“Affiant L. J. Crawford says he is still the only attorney herein for defendant, Scott Jackson: that affiant has been ill with la grippe during the last ten days; that for more than a week one of his children has been and still is very ill and under the care of a physician; that, in consequence of his own and his child’s sickness, he has been unable to give this case the attention necessary to properly prepare it for trial; that, so far as he has been able, he has constantly and assiduously worked upon the preparation of it; that the commissions to take depositions in Cincinnati, O., Greencastle, Ind., and Brooklyn, N. Y., have not been returned; that the persons named in the former affidavit of affiant as residing in joint places will testify as follows, viz: While in Greencastle that Scott Jackson’s general reputation among the neighbors in said town, until charged with the offense mentioned in the indictment, was good; that he resided there for about two years just before or shortly before being so charged; that each and all of said witnesses knew him and his general reputation in said town during said time.
“That the reputation of Will Wood, of Greencastle, Ind., whom the prosecution will introduce, for truth, can be successfully impeached by witnesses residing in Greencastle, if time is given in which to take their depositions.
“Affiant says he was not aware until April, 1., 1896, that said Wood would be introduced; that affiant will be able by the 10. inst. to file a list of names of persons who will testify upon Wood’s reputation and to file a list of interrogations to be addressed to them.”
Objections of the State
Mr. Lockhart repeated that the State was ready to try the case, and he did not think the Court ought to allow a month’s further time. He said that Mr. Crawford, upon a former occasion, had agreed that a month was sufficient in which to prepare the case. It was therefore Mr. Lockhart’s opinion that two weeks further continuance was as much as Mr. Crawford could look for. That, he said, would make the full time allowed one month.
Mr. Crawford said he did at first think a month would be sufficient, but his work during the past two weeks had shown him that it would take hard work to be ready inside of another month. “I most earnestly and sincerely state,” continued he, “that we should have a month, and do not see what particular difference it would make to the Commonwealth. My client is not enjoying himself in jail.”
The Judge said that the difficulties attending the prosecution were infinitely greater than they were for the defense, the defendant knew everything in reference to himself, whereas the prosecution had to find out everything. He had also pointed out that other counsel had been engaged in the case.
Crawford’s Earnest Appeal
Mr. Crawford stated that he had only been engaged after Jackson came to Kentucky, a little less than three weeks. In concluding an earnest appeal for a month’s extension of time, he said:
“It is a question whether this man shall be hanged, go to the penitentiary for life, or whether he shall leave the court-room a free man.”
The Judge replied: “You are not entitled to any continuance at all. Tuesday, April, 21., will be sufficient time. The case is continued until that day. Witnesses’ names will now be called.”
The following witnesses for the prosecution were in court and were placed upon their recognizances of $100 each to be in court on April, 21.: J. B. Lock, Dr. A. B. Heyl, Henry Motz and Harry and Will Hedger.
While the court proceeded to other business of the day the officers removed Jackson to the witness room, where he was kept for about fifteen minutes before being returned to the jail.
The attorneys for the Commonwealth were sure of having sufficient testimony to convict both Jackson and Walling of murder in the first degree and objected strenuously to any continuance. Col. R. W. Nelson, who volunteered his services for the prosecution, worked hard and earnestly and through his efforts much valuable and conclusive evidence against the prisoners was unearthed. He said regarding the disposition of the head: “Without a doubt the head of Pearl Bryan is rotting in the Ohio river. At the proper time we will produce witnesses who saw Jackson and Walling make two visits to the Suspension Bridge and throw bundles into the stream. One of these bundles the witnesses will say undoubtedly contained a human head. The witnesses who will testify to these facts have positively identified both Jackson and Walling and will do so again at the trial, and their testimony will be of the most sensational character.”
On Monday, April, 13., Judge Helm fixed the day for Alonzo Walling’s trial, for Tuesday May, 5., 1896. Walling’s Hamilton O., attorneys, Morey, Andrews & Shepherd, withdrew from any further connection with the case.
Pearl Bryan’s Headless Remains Buried at Greencastle
The headless body of poor Pearl Bryan, taken to Greencastle, Ind., from the Newport, Ky., Morgue on that cold, bleak wintry day in February, lay in its beautiful snow-white casket in the vault in Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle, until March, 27. The heart-broken sisters, urged on by the friends of the family, had pleaded with their aged and grief-stricken parents to have the remains buried, but their pleading was in vain. Mrs. Bryan could not bear to even think of consigning the remains to mother earth without the head, and Mr. Bryan, the aged and heart-broken father, would only reply when the suggestion of burial would be made to him, “The head must be found,” “It must be found.” It was only after long and hard pleading that he at last agreed to permit the burial of the headless remains. Hundreds of people had visited the cemetery and gazed longingly on the stone receptacle in which the body lay. At last the consent of Mr. Bryan was secured and arrangements were at once put on foot to consign to mothers earth, all that was left of the beautiful and loved, but misguided girl. Friday, March, 27., was the day fixed for the funeral. It was a beautiful day and the sun shone brightly from an almost cloudless sky. The warm weather of the preceding days had caused the grass and foliage in the beautiful cemetery to assume a decidedly bright greenish tint, and the trees were beginning to bud. It was in every respect a most typical day. The cemetery lies just south of Greencastle, surrounding a lofty hill within plain view, and but a short distance from the colonial mansion of the Bryan’s, where the lovely Pearl was born and had grown to womanhood, from which she had attended the Greencastle school and graduated with the highest honors. It was here in the city of the dead, where lie her relatives and friends who have gone before her, in sight of her home, at the highest point in the cemetery, where the fond loving mother and father, whose hearts are broken over the sad, sad ending of the life of their favorite daughter, can look from the window of their room and see the tombs of “the loved and lost”, that the grave was dug. Mr. and Mrs. Bryan had insisted on Pearls’ grave being located on the highest point in the cemetery. Early in the afternoon of the day fixed, an immense concourse of relatives and friends, and of the curious, assembled at the vault in the cemetery, where the remains lay.
Notwithstanding the large crowd, present, a deathlike stillness prevailed. At last the hour arrived, and a few moments afterward the carriages containing the grief-stricken family, arrived on the ground. These carriages, bearing the possessors of so many heavily grief burdened hearts, had hardly stopped at the vault when the large black doors of the vault swung outward, and the dead girl’s class-mates of the “Class of ’92”, with bowed heads and aching hearts, filed slowly into the sepulcher, and took their places around the plain white coffin, on the lid of which was a silver plate with the single word “Pearl” engraved thereon. It was indeed a most solemn and impressive scene, one never to be forgotten by those who witnessed it. With heavy hearts, tear-bedimmed eyes, and trembling hands, the loved and loving class-mates of the beautiful victim of the crime of the nineteenth century, grasped the silver bar handles of the casket which contained all that was mortal of the poor, erring, misguided, but loved Pearl Bryan, and bore it to the outside of the vault. Tender hands and loving hearts bore the headless remains of the once bright, cheerful and petted Pearl, to their last resting place. The remains were not exposed to view at the funeral services. Slowly following the carriages, containing Rev. Dr. Gobin, the officiating pastor, the family and intimate friends, the beautiful casket was carried by the class-mates along the broad cinder path to the grave where it must rest. Following the casket was one of the largest crowds ever seen at a funeral in Greencastle. Arriving at the grave, the casket was let down into the receptacle prepared for it. Simple services appropriate and tender, were said. Dr. Gobin, made a few touching remarks, a hymn was sung by the class-mates with voices filled with emotion, and the services concluded with a short prayer. A new grave was made, the horrible tragedy which cost poor Pearl Bryan her life was recalled vividly to those who had known and loved her all through life, and the headless body of Pearl Bryan, dressed in her magnificent white dress in which she graduated from the Greencastle High School, borne by the loving class-mates in that graduating-class, were consigned to earth from whence they came, and covered from the view of those who loved and knew her. Already a verdant carpet furnished by nature covers the new made mound which is kept covered with beautiful flowers and one would not think that this grave was a new made one, but the girl who lies beneath that mound, whose tragic death startled the whole civilized world, will never be forgotten by those who visit Forest Hill Cemetery.
The Trial of Scott Jackson
The trial of Scott Jackson began on April the 22nd, before Judge Helm. It is very remarkable that a jury was secured on the first day. Perhaps this promptness has never been equalled in Kentucky. The completed jury was as follows:
John M. Ensweiler, grocer, Bellevue; William White, plumber, Newport; John Boehmer, teamster, Dayton; Merty Shea, retired merchant, Newport; Louis Scharstein, grocer, Newport; D. B. Mader, carpenter and builder, Dayton; William Motz, reporter, Dayton; Millard Carr, carpenter, Bellevue; G. P. Stegner, grocer, Newport; John S. Backsman, cutler, Newport; Fred Gieskemeyer, grocer, Bellevue; David Kraut, coal merchant, Dayton.
When all the preliminaries had been completed the attorney for the Commonwealth arose and stated to the jury what the prosecution intended to prove. He said:
“In the spring of 1895, the accused, Scott Jackson, commenced living in Greencastle, Ind., where also resided the deceased, Pearl Bryan, who was the youngest daughter of one of the oldest and best families in that vicinity. Her father at one time was a Kentuckian, having lived a long time in Bourbon County, Ky.
“The accused, Scott Jackson, became acquainted with Pearl Bryan, shortly after he arrived in Greencastle. By reason of his elegant dress, polished manners and fluent conversation, shortly after his acquaintance with her he became a frequent caller upon her and they were often seen together. Succeeding this the Commonwealth will show, beyond a reasonable doubt, that this innocent young lady became infatuated and yielded her chastity to this man, and later on she advised him of the fact of her condition. It will be clearly demonstrated to you, gentlemen of the jury, that while she was in that condition she left Greencastle and came to Cincinnati, so that her people would not be aware of her unfortunate condition.
“That, in obedience to a request from Scott Jackson, she came to Cincinnati on Monday, January 28th. We will introduce a witness to show that he met her at the depot, and that she inquired for Scott Jackson. That he met her on the following morning, Tuesday, January 29th. It will be shown that he was seen not only in Cincinnati, but in Kentucky, and that he was seen with her up to Friday night, and about that time he was with her in a vehicle, and that he took her out to Fort Thomas, where her headless body was found February 1st, 1896.
“That Scott Jackson was found in possession of Pearl Bryan’s satchel. We will show by two or three persons, to whom he made this confession, that he left the satchel with two different persons after the finding of the body of Pearl Bryan. That upon Friday night a light rain fell, and when the body was found on the Lock property, near Fort Thomas, headless, there was a large quantity of blood lying in clots near the corpse.
“The Commonwealth expects to show you the condition of the body at the time; that at that place the decapitation of this unfortunate girl was done, and this man, Scott Jackson (pointing to the prisoner), is the fiend who decapitated the unfortunate girl.
“We will also show to you, gentleman, that this fellow led a double life—as Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Up at Greencastle he was a gentleman, but in Cincinnati, he was in society of ill repute, and he made no discrimination of color in his choice of women.
“That a week or two before the crime was committed he displayed a fine dissecting knife, and that he was experienced in the use of a knife that could have done that kind of work.
“Through Jackson Pearl Bryan was brought to Cincinnati, and the evidence tracing her will be established beyond a reasonable doubt, and that the decapitation was done by one who is deft in using the knife, as he is known to be.”
John Hewling, a lad about sixteen years of age was the first witness. He testified to the finding of the headless body on the farm of J. D. Lock.
The second witness was Dr. Tingley, Coroner of Campbell County, Ky. His testimony was very important. He described the spot where he first viewed the corpse and testified that the bushes in the vicinity were spattered with blood that had spurted from the headless trunk. Restated that the head had been removed by some one who had practised in surgery.
The following dialogue occurred during his testimony:
“On viewing the body I found it had been severed rather high. The knife had struck the vertebra, then its course was changed slightly downward.”
“Did you notice any other cut?”
“Yes; one across the fingers of her left hand.”
“Her four fingers, near the tops.”
“Did you observe no cut on the thumb?”
“Did you make any other examination?”
“Can you say whether or not the cuts on her hand were recently inflicted?”
“Yes, they were.”
“I will ask you if, in your opinion (you have described the condition of the body), whether or not the head was cut off at that place?”
“I think so.”
“Can you say whether the head was cut off before or after death? Or, if death resulted from the severance?”
“I think the artery was cut while the heart was still beating.”
In view of the fact that the defense was seeking to establish that the head was removed after death the last remark coming as it did from an expert was very damaging to Jackson. The same witness was asked, concerning the cuts on the hand which he had referred to.
“Will you explain to the jury whether the cuts on the fingers were made before death?”
“Before death,” replied the witness promptly.
He was then questioned more particularly as to the result of his investigations as an expert. The fact that Pearl Bryan had been murdered with a knife (though cocaine was found in her stomach by the chemist), was established beyond peradventure by the witness. He also identified the clothing of Pearl Bryan which was produced all soaked with blood.
On the second day of the trial the prosecution sprung a sensation. A headless dummy was brought into the court-room dressed in the clothes that Pearl Bryan wore when her body was discovered. The dummy was placed in an erect position at the left of the witness box and facing the jury. A lively tilt followed between counsel as to the legality of this proceeding. The court finally ordered the figure removed and the clothes produced separately.
When this was done Mrs. Mary Stanley, the sister of Pearl Bryan was called. She gave a list of the articles that Pearl had when she left home and identified all the valises and clothing which the prosecution had brought into court. She also identified some handkerchiefs found in Jackson’s room by detectives after his arrest and named the store where Pearl had purchased them in Greencastle.
The first evidence of the trial that directly connected the prisoner with the murder was given by John A. Caldwell, Mayor of Cincinnati.
Jackson became flushed and nervous and at times fastened his watery eyes on the witness with an intensity that became painful.
He stated that he was present when Jackson was examined immediately after his arrest in the office of Chief of Police Deitsch, of Cincinnati. Mr. Caldwell said Colonel Deitsch handed him a telegram; he took it in his hand and leaning over and looking at it for quite a time, with his eyes in this way, cast down, he finally uttered: “Oh, my God what will my poor mother say,” then he turned his eyes on Colonel Deitsch.
When he asked me the question he rose from his position and began to walk up and down the room. He says to me, “What shall I do?” I says, “Do you ask me the question?” He says, “Yes.” I says, “Tell the truth.” He said, “Many an innocent man has been in as serious trouble as I am to-night,” or something to that effect. I do not know that I get his exact words.
After what I have related Colonel Deitsch asked: “Where is Pearl Bryan?” Jackson said he did not know; that he had not seen her since he was home during the holidays. He was asked where he was on Friday night. He said at first he was at his room; he was not certain, but he was there. Then he said he was not out of his room after 7:30 o’clock; he remained there all the evening. He was asked who his room-mate was, and he said Alonzo Walling. He was asked if his room-mate was with him. He said that he believed he was. He was asked where he was on Thursday evening, and he said he was at his room. He was then asked as to where Walling was. He said he did not know where Walling was Thursday evening, and afterwards said that Walling did not come home on Thursday evening. That was about the substance of the conversation that evening. The newspaper men were then allowed to come in, and a conversation was then held with him by them as to where he was, much of which I did not hear.
“The next morning about 10:30 I went to Colonel Deitsch’s office, where the prisoner was sitting. Colonel Deitsch asked him where he was on Friday and Thursday nights, and his answers were the same as he made the evening before. I am not positive as to whether it was at that meeting that Walling was brought into his presence, and the conversation turned as to where Pearl Bryan was and as to whether either of them had seen Pearl Bryan the previous week.
“Mr. Jackson admitted to Colonel Deitsch that he had seen Pearl Bryan; that she came to the Dental College on Court Street for him; that he was informed she was in a cab, and that he met her afterward, I think on Tuesday, at the Indiana House, on Fifth Street; that he met her again on Wednesday about one o’clock at the corner of Fourth and Vine or Fourth and Walnut. He said in the presence of Walling that he had sent ‘Wally’, as he called him, to notify her that he was going out that afternoon and he would meet her that evening. Then he said he did not see her again after that Wednesday.
“Walling said he went down and saw Pearl Bryan and that he went that evening to Heider’s Restaurant, on Fifth Street, and met Jackson, and Jackson told him to go up to the Postoffice and he would find Pearl Bryan, and to wait there until he went to his room and returned; that he went over to the Postoffice and saw Pearl Bryan standing inside the corridor, and he went on from there and wrote his letters.
“Either on that day or the next day Mr. Jackson was asked about the satchel, and he said that he had left the satchel at Legner’s saloon, across the street from his room; he said that he brought it there and loaned it to a student and he intended to take it to the college and give it to him, but he did not give it to him. He afterwards admitted that it was Pearl Bryan’s satchel.
“I want to say that in the meantime, in one of these conversations, I told both of these young men that they did not have to make a confession to any person, that they were at perfect liberty to refuse to answer any of the questions that were asked them.
“Walling in this conversation, when Jackson was present, said that when Jackson came back from his holiday vacation he took him in the corner of his room on Ninth Street, where they were rooming, and told him that he was in trouble with Pearl Bryan and that he intended to kill her. When asked how, he said, ‘I propose to get a room and take her to the room and give her some cocaine poison and leave her there.’ Then again, he says he changed and said. ‘No, I will cut her up in pieces and take the pieces and deposit them in different places about the city.’ He said that before he saw Pearl Bryan at the Postoffice—I believe that was Thursday evening instead of Wednesday evening—-he said that Jackson had made arrangements to take her over to Bellevue, I think it was, or over to the sandbar, or some place there and kill her, take her head off and bury her. He said that Jackson asked all the physicians as to the effects of different kinds of poisons; that he had a standard medical dictionary in his room and studied the effects of poisons, and that he asked one physician particularly as to the effect of cocaine.
“He said that Jackson went to a Sixth Street pharmacy and got cocaine and brought it back, that he took out a small teaspoonful and dissolved it in two teaspoonfuls of water and put it in a bottle, as he said, to give her so as to paralyze her vocal organs or throat, and then cut her head off. Jackson turned to Walling and said: ‘Wally, why do you talk that way; you know you are not telling the truth; you know that you killed Pearl Bryan.’ Whereupon Walling says, ‘No, you know that you killed her; and why don’t you tell where her head is?’ Then, when Jackson was talking of where Pearl Bryan’s head was, he said, ‘I don’t know; Wally says he threw it overboard.’ Then he said he took the clothes and made one or two trips to the river and threw part in the river and some in the sewer, but he could not tell where.”
“Jackson then said that there was a bundle that he had given Walling. Walling was then asked what he done with it; he said that it was up in his locker at the college; the bundle was sent for and brought in their presence. It was a pair of pantaloons, which Jackson identified as his, and said that he had not seen them for some time; that Walling must have worn them.
“I asked the men as to where the other clothes were. Walling says, ‘Jackson, why don’t you tell him where those things are, you might just as well do it now as any time?’ Jackson said that upon Saturday night, I believe it was, they were walking up Plum Street with a bundle and they saw some young physician or one of the students coming towards them, that Walling changed and went down Plum Street to Ninth and out Ninth, and Jackson said he went along little Richmond Street and from there on around to the room, and then down Ninth to Richmond, and out Richmond Street, westward, where he threw the bundle in one of the manholes of the sewer, but he could not state which. The sewers were drained and searched and a bundle brought to the department which Mr. Jackson identified as his coat. He first denied that it was his coat, and said it was Wallings’, but afterwards admitted that it was his coat, but that Walling must have worn it.”
A valise was shown to Mr. Caldwell and he identified it as the one that Jackson had been confronted with. It was the satchel which had once been Pearl Bryan’s and the witness stated that Jackson accused Walling of having brought away the head of the murdered girl in it.
The witness then spoke of the occasion when Walling and Jackson accused each other of having murdered the girl. After this he described the scene and last effort that was made to get a confession from the prisoners at Epply’s Undertaking Establishment (see page 84). This ended the Mayors testimony.
The mother of Pearl Bryan was then called to identify her daughter’s clothing. The scene brought tears to every eye and a sob to every bosom not wholly bereft of human qualities.
Allan Johnson, employed in a saloon at George and Plum Streets, gave testimony that proved to be highly important. He knew both Jackson and Walling as visitors to the establishment referred to—and which the witness admitted was a house of ill repute. On the night of the murder the two students called with a woman in their company. The woman must have been Pearl Bryan for the witness identified the clothing worn by Pearl on the night she was murdered. The party, consisting of Jackson, Walling, and Pearl drove away from the house in a carriage.
George H. Jackson, a colored man, was called. His testimony was of the most startling character.
He told that on the night before the murder he was approached by Alonzo Walling at the corner of George and Elm Streets. Walling inquired if Jackson wished to earn five dollars by driving a cab across the Newport bridge. The colored man accepted. On the next night he proceeded to Elm and George Streets to discharge the contract. A cab soon drove up with Walling on the box. Walling gave him the reins and instructed him to drive to the Newport bridge, giving route. This was done. Then Walling got up on the box with him to further direct the way. Before long he heard a noise that sounded like a woman suffering and they moved around and shook the carriage and they broke a glass, and then I was scared and I put my left hand out and my right hand on the lantern and it kind of bent down and I started to jump off, and I said there is something wrong in the back part of that carriage and I don’t care anything about this job, and I went to hand the lines to him and when I went to look at him I was looking at a gun. He said, “If you don’t drive this horse I will blow you to hell”; of course, I understood and began to drive the horse.
At length the carriage stopped at the command of a man inside the carriage whom the witness identified to be Scott Jackson. The witness said, “I stopped the horse and the man inside of the carriage got out, and when this man on the front seat jumped down and went behind and got on the other side of the lady then I got down to shut the door and this here man who sat in the rear says, ‘Drive down and turn around and come back and wait until I whistle,’ and then I shut the door and they moved off; the woman was in between these two men. I went down the hill and turned around, and when I came back I saw them in the act of getting over the fence. It was a kind of a three-board fence.”
The witness then related that a panic seized him and that he ran away from the scene as fast as he could, leaving the horse tied where he stood.
If George H. Jackson’s story was true there can be no doubt of Scott Jackson’s and Alonzo Walling’s guilt.
The next witnesses of importance were the two detectives Crim and McDermott.
Crim testified first. He said:
“I live in Cincinnati. Have been connected with the Police Department about ten years; on the detective force two years. I was detailed on the Pearl Bryan case. I went to the point where the body was found, Saturday, February 1st, in the neighborhood of one o’clock, in company of McDermott and Mr. Plummer, Sheriff of this county.
“I went out with Mr. Plummer and he described the position that the body was lying in when found. I noticed a few spots of blood on the ground, one on the side of the bank and the other down near the bottom, where the neck was supposed to be lying. I noticed blood on the bushes and on the edge of the bank. Mr. McDermott pulled the leaves through his hand and the blood stuck to his fingers; he rubbed it on the back of his hand and it made a red mark. I took one of the leaves and have it with me now. This is the leaf. (The leaf was then exhibited to the jury). I have kept that leaf in another book until I filled that one up and then I placed it in this. It is a leaf I plucked from the bushes there. There were a number of the leaves that had blood upon them, drops like rain-drops would glisten on the same. I found near these blood spots an impression in the ground as though some one had been sitting there. During the time I was there some person took a stick and dug down in the ground six or seven inches. There was blood down as far as he went, or some red substance I thought was blood. On the top of the bank, I judge three feet from where this impression was, there was a track which looked as though it had been made with a rubber shoe of small size. About the size of the rubber shown me. The witness also testified that he had made a search of the room occupied by Jackson. He found a pair of ladies stockings behind a trunk pointed out to him as Scott Jackson’s trunk and which had on it the letters “S. J.” He also found, in the trunk, a ladies pocket-book with a piece of gold chain in it. In a closet was found a cap. McDermott was present when the search was made and testified exactly as Mr. Crim did.
John W. Legner was called and testified.
“I live in Cincinnati. I kept a saloon at 225 West Ninth Street, nearly opposite where Walling and Jackson roomed. Scott Jackson had been in my place quite frequently; he came for a pitcher of beer.”
“State whether at any time he left any article of any kind at your place.”
“On Saturday night, the 1st of February, between 7 and 8 o’clock. Mr. Jackson, whose name I did not know at the time, but had seen on two or three occasions, opened the door and asked if he could have the permission to leave a satchel there; I told him certainly he could. He set the satchel down close to the ice chest, left it there and went away, and the satchel remained there until Sunday evening about 10 o’clock, when he came in and took it away. He left no directions as to its disposal. On the following Monday night he came and brought it and set it down in the same place where it was sitting before, and it remained there until about 10 o’clock, or a little bit earlier; then he came and took it away. I had no occasion to handle the valise on either occasion. The valise shown me looks like the valise that he brought here. He roomed right across the way from my place.”
Little Dot Legner, a child belonging to the saloon-keeper testified that the satchel was much heavier on the first night than on the second. It has been conjectured, very plausibly, that the valise contained Pearl Bryan’s head, on the first night.
William D. Wood, of Greencastle, Ind., was called. Wood’s name has been very prominently connected with the case on account of his knowledge of Pearl Bryan’s condition and the part he played in sending the girl to Cincinnati. In answer to questions he stated that he introduced Scott Jackson to Pearl Bryan in August, 1895, and that some time afterward Jackson boasted that he had become intimate with the girl. According to Wood, Jackson left Greencastle in October to take a course of dentistry in Cincinnati and that soon afterward Jackson wrote and inquired if Pearl Bryan was sick. Wood investigated and replied that she was sick. Then Jackson sent a prescription for medicine and said:
“Tell her to take two or three good doses before she goes to bed at night.”
The medicine had no effect. Additional prescriptions were then sent. They were unsuccessful. Pearl continued “sick.”
Wood then stated that Jackson went to Greencastle again during the holidays. The condition of Pearl was becoming more threatening and it was plain that something had to be done. Then it was that Jackson suggested an operation. The witness testified on this point.
“He said that it was very frequently done, done every day and if he had the instruments he could do it himself. Such operations, he said, were every day occurrences and if we got it done she would be all right in three or four days.”
Before Jackson left Greencastle he tried to make Wood agree to send her to Cincinnati where the matter could be attended to, but Wood claimed that he refused, not wishing to have anything to do with it.
On January 4th, Jackson left Greencastle and returned to Cincinnati and on January 25th, Wood received a letter from him in which he said that he had secured a room for Pearl. Wood claims that he gave this letter to Pearl. She read it and expressed her intention of going on the next Monday. Accordingly on January 27th, she left Greencastle on the 1:35 train, going east.
On February 6th, 1896, Wood received another letter. He was then on the train in charge of the officers, as an accomplice of Scott Jackson who had been arrested. The letter was destroyed by Wood but he remembered the contents. The letter read.
“Hello Bill—I have made a big mistake and we will probably get into trouble. I want you to stand by me.”
On the day before this Wood received the following strange letter which was produced in court and which we already published on page 77.
The witness stated that the above letter never reached him—that it fell into the hands of Chief Deitsch. The letter was most damaging to Jackson’s case.
The next and last witness for the prosecution was Chief of Police, Colonel Deitsch, of Cincinnati. He said:
“On February 5th, about 10 o’clock at night I met Jackson in charge of a detective officer named Bulmer on the corner of Ninth and Plum Streets, in Cincinnati. I went up to Scott Jackson and said then, “We want you at the Mayor’s office.” We walked into the Mayor’s office—Mayor Caldwell, of Cincinnati—and there was no one present at the time except myself, His Honor, the Mayor, and Scott Jackson. Detective Bulmer came into the office but walked out. I told Scott Jackson I had a dispatch for his arrest. He sat on the settee, and I asked, “Where is Pearl Bryan?” He said, “I have not seen her since the 2nd day of January, 1896, at Greencastle, Ind.” The Mayor partly read the dispatch and gave it to me, and I had handed it to Jackson, and said: “Jackson read the contents of that dispatch.” He read it carefully, and then said: “Oh my God, what will my poor mother say?” I asked the question, “Do you know where Pearl Bryan is?” He said he did not. He got up off the settee and made the remark over again. “Oh, my God, what will my poor mother say?” He walked backward and forward. He made the remark. “Must I tell about this?” His Honor, the Mayor, said, “Not unless you want too.” The Mayor repeated that twice. He said, “Jackson, you need not tell unless you want too.” I then again asked him if he knew anything about Pearl Bryan. He said that he did not. Shortly after that conversation the reporters from the daily press were admitted and my interview with Jackson at that time ended.”
The Colonel stated that on the following day Jackson requested an interview. Following are the Colonels words:
I asked Jackson. “Did you have anything to do with the woman down at Greencastle?” He said: “Yes, I did.” “Did you write a letter to Wood advising him to give her —— of ——?” He said he did, and shortly afterward got a letter again from Will Wood, saying that it had no effect. And in the meantime he had a conversation with Walling about the subject. Walling advised him to give —— of ——; then in a conversation again with Walling about the matter Walling made the remark: “Bring her up here and we will….” I repeated to Jackson: “Is that statement correct?” He said that it was. “And did you send for Pearl Bryan then?” He said that he did. When that conversation was ended a satchel was brought into the office—a red satchel. Opening the satchel I asked him to look into it; says I, “Jackson, what is in this satchel; look.” He says, “There is nothing.” Says I, “Did you observe anything unusual?” and I called his attention to some blood that was on the inside of the satchel. He says, “I did not notice that before.” I asked him whether he had opened it; he says, “Yes; I took part of Pearl Bryan’s clothing on Saturday evening on the Suspension Bridge and threw it overboard into the Ohio River.”
He furthermore described a meeting between Jackson and Walling in his presence in the course of which Walling and Jackson accused each other of having murdered Pearl Bryan. The witness also repeated a conversation between the two that took place in a peculiarly constructed cell, called “The Sensitive Cell.” A telephone attachment connected this cell with other apartments in the building, hence its name. This part of the testimony was ruled out by the court.
The defense began its testimony by placing Scott Jackson on the stand. All the man’s natural shrewdness came to his aid while on the stand. His words were clear, frankly spoken and there was no hesitation in his manner. He acted the innocent man to perfection.
There is little about his testimony that is very remarkable or startling as he disclaims all the manner of knowledge of Pearl Bryan’s death. Neither does he accuse anyone of the murder. He merely adheres to his theory that Walling is guilty—that is all. He maintains that Walling was confused and panic stricken when he saw the articles in the newspapers describing the finding of the body at Fort Thomas. Then it was, says Jackson, that they hastened to get rid of all the effects belonging to Pearl Bryan which were in their possession. He also maintained that Wood sent the girl to Cincinnati and that finding her here he tried to hit upon means of best taking care of her.
He concluded to allow her to remain at the Indiana House temporarily until he could secure her private accommodations. As these could easily be had he took her valise and started away to hunt for convenient quarters. That is how he happened to have Pearl Bryan’s effects in his keeping.
His narrative was very smooth.
Miss Rose McNevin at whose home Jackson was staying testified that Jackson had not left the house on the night of the murder, she stated that she always knew when her fourteen roomers were at home. She is able to remember for two weeks the exact hour of the night when each of her guests came into the house. Her memory is quite a good one.
A certain individual who gave his name as Wm. Trusty was introduced by the defense. Trusty claimed to have driven the cab containing Pearl Bryan to Fort Thomas. He stated that she was dead and that Jackson and Walling were in charge of the corpse. He claimes to have been told that an abortion had been attempted and that the woman had died from the effects of it, and that Jackson and Walling had undertaken to get rid of the body.
Immediately after testifying Trusty flew for parts unknown. None believed his story.
On May 12th, Colonel Nelson began his speech to the jury. It was a most remarkable effort, being intensely dramatic and spell-binding in its eloquence.
Colonel Crawford replied for the defense and made an able argument.
On May 14th, Colonel Lockhart made the concluding speech for the Commonwealth and the case went to the jury.
After a short session the jury returned and informed the court of their joint agreement that they find Scott Jackson
GUILTY OF MURDER IN THE FIRST DEGREE.