Friday, March 29, 2013

The Mysterious Death of a Civil War Veteran, Part 3

Tonawanda Evening News
March 29, 1902

Police Investigation Fails to Reveal Cause of Stark's Death.
Says It Was Accidental
But do Not Account For Dead Man's Presence In Such an Out of the Way Place
Bruise at Base of Skull
Relatives May Continue Investigation.

 The police department of the South Side has given out that after investigating the case thoroughly, the conclusion has been reached that John Stark, whose remains were found in a ditch Thursday morning, met death as the result of the accident. Chief O'Day as well as Coroner Edwards say they have found no marks of violence upon the body. Several persons who saw the remains when they were first taken from the ditch say that there was an ugly looking bruise on the back of the neck at the base of the skull. 
A sum of money, which the dead man was supposed to have had on his person cannot be accounted for. This fact with other mysterious features lead to the belief that Stark was followed from the saloon where he was last known to have been seen alive and foully murdered with robbery as the motive. 
It is said that the dead man's surviving relatives will continue in efforts to unravel the mystery of Stark's movements after he left the saloon and if there was foul play, the guilty parties will be apprehended.  

Remember this picture? It's actually of Charles Sumner being beaten by an angry man from South Carolina for his statements opposing slavery or secession. Or something like that.  
I just think it looks a lot like the crime described in the news story.

Don't you just love a scandal? The townfolk were just eating this stuff up. His family seemed to be in denial of the evidence, or lack of it, and still insisted he was murdered and robbed. So what really happened? Stay tuned for the conclusion to this case tomorrow!  

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