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Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Satanic Abortion Murder

          The funeral of Pearl Bryan was held at Greencastle, Ind., and the services were spoken over a headless corpse.  While the relatives were in the vault there was a meeting of the young and middle-aged men of the city, and it was said later that some twenty-five or thirty of these pledged themselves to each other to avenge the girl's death if the murderers were not hanged by the law.  The organization thus formed is said to be regarded simply as the nucleus of a larger one which will take the law into its own hands if Scott Jackson, Alonzo Walling and Wm. Wood escape the extreme penalty in the Cincinatti courts.
       The morning of Saturday, Feb. 1 {1896} there was found at Fort Thomas, Ky., the headless corpse of a young woman.  For a time, identification was impossible.  But inquiry was being made for Pearl Bryan, a Greencastle girl, who had left her home with the avowed purpose of visiting a friend at Indianapolis.  She was accompanied to the train by Wm. Wood, son of a Methodist minister, and went to Indianapolis, stopping there only between trains.  She then went on to Cincinatti.  Nothing was thought of her temporary absence from home;  but when the time came for her return, and she came not, the family began to wonder.  Then came the account of finding the headless body of a woman near Cincinatti, and the announcement that the corpse wore shoes that had been purchased from Louis & Hays, of Greencastle.  After that identification was quick and certain, and investigation led to the arrest of the three men named.  Jackson and Walling were students at the Ohio Dental College at Cincinatti.  They and Wood are said to have been intimate with the girl.  But a maze of contradictory confessions by all of them has made impossible the fixing of direct responsibility:  and thus confusion is complicated by the assertion of Lulu May Hollingsworth, of Indianapolis, a friend of Pearl's.
       In the series of confessions Jackson says Walling carried the woman's head in a valise to the Covington suspension bridge, and he believes Walling threw it into the river, or he may have taken it to his home at Hamilton and thrown it from the Miami bridge at that place.  Jackson says he did not go with Walling on the trips.  On the contrary Walling says Jackson buried the head in a sandbar in the Ohio river opposite Dayton, Ky., or dropped it in the sewer on Richmond street, Cincinatti.  Each affirms the belief that the other administered a fatal drug to produce a criminal operation, and neither confesses knowledge of time or place of decapitation of the corpse.  Each charges young Wood, of Greencastle, with responsibility for the girl's condition, and Jackson says he was the medium through whom Wood was to remit $50 to Walling for performing the operation.  On the other hand, young Wood denies his responsibility, but admits knowledge of the girl's predicament, because Jackson, who was responsible for it, told him of it.  He says the only part he took in the matter was to advise Pearl to undergo an operation.
       To make the matter more unintelligible, Lulu May Hollingsworth, of Indianapolis, who was arrested, suspected of complicity in the murder, said:  "I shall be able to clear Jackson.  He is responsible for Miss Bryan's condition, but he was not responsible for her death.  I don't think, either, that Wood had anything to do with this case.  I became interested in the girl because I had once known her and chanced to meet her at the Union station.  She told me what had happened, and said Jackson was to blame.  When I told her what drugs to get she said. . . and die there and then so as to throw suspicion upon Jackson and get him into difficulty." 
       Miss Hollingsworth afterward said she administered the fatal drugs at the request of Miss Bryan.  The police discredit this.  Miss Hollingsworth is regarded as a notoriety seeker.  She once figured in an elopement from Terre Haute.
        Cincinatti police found Jackson's bloody coat in a sewer. Jackson claims that Walling wore his clothing on the night of the murder.

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