Gene Notes

Some random and some not-so-random thoughts on family history.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Thriller Thursday - Chinn Murder continued

From the  Lexington Leader, page 1 and page 8.

Police Send Out Circulars to Central Kentucky Towns.
Suspicious Characters Chased on Winchester Pike, But Get Away

   The chase after the murderers of Mr. A. B. Chinn, who was shot to death in his house at an early hour this morning, was taken up at once by the police department, although in formation of the crime was not communicated to the station house for probably fifteen minutes after its commission.

   Patrolman James Peel was the first officer on the scene. Detective Harry Stough was also communicated with, and he summoned his department together and the search began.

   The various all night sallons were searched adn the roads, pikes and railways leading in and out of the city were watched, while Captain Stough, Lieutenant Jenkins and Detctive Hayes went on to the fair ground and searched the different stables in the hope that the murders might have made their way out there and hidden themselves until daylight. No clue could be found and after hunting till daylight the officers went out on another track.

   The only things left by which the murderers may possibly be identified if the officers are successful, are the bullets  picked up and the footprints left of the men as they went away. This morning as a LEADER reporter was exmaining the premises he found and a clear and distinct print of the heel of a man's boot on the window sill. Careful measurement of it was taken which was preserved.


   At 8 o'clock this morning Lieutenant of Police Charles Overly, Sergeant Thomas J. Ready and Dective D. J. McCarty were at the residences when Mr. Jacob Graves of Chilesburg, a cousin of the murdered man, arrived. He at once told the officers that on his way to Lexington and when about six miles from the city, he met two men on the road, both of whom acted in a very suspicious manner. One of them he stated, appeared as if frightened and sought to avoid being seen. He said they acted so strangely that his close attention was directed to them and at one time he thought of stopping and questioning them. He did not, however, and continued his journey to Lexington.


   With this information Lieutenant Overly, accompanied by Fire Chief G. W. Muir, in the latter's buggy started for Winchester. As soon as they left Sergeant Ready telephoned to both Winchester & Chilesburg asking the officers at both places to llok out for one or two men, and if strangers to pick them up and hold them. At noon Lieutenant Overly communicated with the local department from Pine Grove saying  that he had not come across the two men as described by Mr. Graves.


   The entire police and detective forces are at work on the case, Chief of Police Reagan caused several hundred circulars to be mailed to different points in Kentucky describing as nearly as possible the men and peculiar features of the crime.

   By noon today nine persons of a suspicious character had been arrested and held pending an investigation into their whereabouts last night and early this morning. Their ages arange from 18 to 35. No formal charges were preferred against any of them, but they are simply held on suspicion. They will be released, however, on giving satisfactory accounts of themselves or if no evidnece can be found against them.


   James Alexander, colored, a servant at the residence of George Denny, at the corner of Mill and Pine streets, tells a story which indicates that he probably saw the men who did the terrible deed at the Chinn residence.

   Alexander had been out late and returned at 12:30 o'clock. He went at once to his room in the basment adn prepared to go to bed. He heard footsepts on the street in front of the house, which sets very close to the street. He threw open the shutters of his room with considerable noise and saw two men go out Pine street at a brisk run. Alexander says they went toward the east. They were, he says, men of small stature. He is convinced that shes were the men who did the deed, since hearing the description given by Mrs. Chinn of the men who killed her husband. Alexander's description of them and hers are similar.


   Chief G. W. Muir and Lieut. Overly returned to the city shortly after 1 o'clock, after having a long chase after the men Mr. Graves saw on the Winchester pike and who appeared to him to be acting suspiciously. This chase was fruitles. Chief Muir said on returning: "We drove as fast as we could out the Winchester pike, and although we inquired of every person we met and the residents along the road, no one seemed to have seen the men. We drove to Pine Grove, about four miles this side of winchester, but nodbody there had seen the men. We then went down the Clintonville pike, crossed into Bourbon passed through Clintonville and returned around by the L & E Road to the Bryan Station pike, inquiring as we went. No trace could be found of the men.

   "It is my opinion that these men were probably the men. If they had been all right there would have been no occasion for them to leave the pike as they evidently did. Their taking through the country indicates that probably Mr. Graves' suspicions were well founded. All of the poeple out in that section that we could reach were notified to be on the lookot and others were asked to notify all whom they met. I think the report was pretty generally scattered."

   The fact that the men were masked when seen by Mrs. Chinn by the light of the match prevented her from being able to determine whether either of the men wore whiskers.

   Before the LEADER went to press this afternoon fully thirty men had been arrested on suspicion, but a larger portion of them were released on giving satisfactory accounts of themselves. No positive clue had, up to that time, been discovered.

Copyright 2010, ACK for Gene Notes


  1. Did you correct "clue" in the section heading? Or did they really spell it differently than in in the headline. Linguistically, this fascinates me, that so recently ago, it was acceptable to use the spelling "clews."

  2. That's exactly how they spelled it. Recently was 108 years ago. Maybe they used their allotment of "U".