villisca_title_01.jpg (18773 bytes)


title_inquest_01.jpg (9444 bytes)

Dr. F.S. Williams

Having first been duly sworn, on oath testified as follows, upon examination,

BY MR RATCLIFF:

Q    You have been sworn Doctor?

A    Yes.

BY THE CORONER:

Q    You were called Monday morning?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And who called you?

A    I was coming down the street, Mr. Selley, -- a block west of the First National Bank, and said there was wanted a doctor over at Joe Moore's for an examination in there, he though [thought] that Doctor Copper [Cooper] was too.

Q    And were there any body in the house when you arrived there?

A    No body in the house, Doctor Cooper and another party was just leaving the house, a number around there.

Q    And you went into the house?

A    I went in, yes, sir.

Q    Who went in with you?

A    Doctor Cooper did, I think, I believe Hank Horton did, I know Doctor Cooper did any way.

Q    When you got inside of the rooms did you notice any order of anesthetic?

A    No, sir.

Q    No order of lamps having burned?

A    No, sir.

Q    Was there anything displaced?

A    Not, that I could see.

Q    Were there faces still covered?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    They told you of removing to look?

A    I removed some of them and looked at them, yes, sir. Lifted up the clothes.

Q    And the blood was dry?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Clotted?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Did you try to lift the bodies at all, any of the bodies?

A    Lifted the bodies to see if Rigor Mortis had set in, I examined two of them on that.

Q    You see any lantern on the floor?

A    I did, I saw on just to one side of the room, the upstairs, and they told me it had been at the foot, and some party carried the lamp, set it on the floor, up nearer, before I got in.

Q    Ho [How] was the burner?

A    Turned back, top of the burner turned back.

Q    Top of the burner turned back?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    And you did not notice any windows open?

A    There were no windows open, I looked at that, one blind up, blind on south room was turned down. I think the blind in parlor down stairs were up, they told me that they were up, and the blind just off the door to the parlor, rather to the dining room door.

BY THE CORONER:

Q    You may describe in your own way how the bodies were of the different onces [ones] in each bed?

A    Well, I think we went up stairs first, and I went up and went into the room at the head of the stairs, hall bed room, I suppose you would call it, and Joe laid on the south side of the bed, the bed was facing east, and were laying with their heads to the west, and were laying full length on his back, left hand on his chest, and went over and looked at him and saw the faces was all beaten in, and glanced over to the other side of the bed, and saw Mrs, -- his wife laying beside him, with her head all beaten in, and went on into the south room, and there just at the left hand, -- east side of the room was a cot, and another bed standing there with a little boy in it, he was sleeping on his stomach, and top of his head was all beaten in, was gause undershirt on top of his head, soaked up with blood and I lifed that off, lifted it off to see which one it was, then in the bed, angling at the foot of the bed, southeast corner of the room was another bed with a little girl, and her head was all beaten in, and on the top of her bed was a little dress and it was all blood spattered, and I think it was partly curled up over her head and covers pulled up over her face, and in the bed to the southwest corner of the room were two little bys lying with both of tops of their heds [heads] beaten in, and blood spattered on every thing, and bloof [blood] over the pillows, did not look as though they were moved at all. Down stairs were two girls. From their appearances one was a big woman and a little girl, and that the girl out to the outside of the bed next to the east side, there were in, -- head facing to the north, she had evidently moved after having been struck, or had been moved, the blood was all scattered over the pillows, apparently she had been struck on the head, squirmed down in the bed, perhaps one-third of the way, and left hand was thrown back, was sticking up below the pillow, and her head was all beaten in, and I took particular attention to an ax wound, and that the edge had come out on the forehead, so I could see the sharpe [sharp] edge Well the top and side of the head, and the little girl, back of her head was all beaten in. I did not recognize either one of them little girls. Little girl in front of the bed, I thought looked familiar, but she was so mutilated that I wasn't able to identify her at that time, and I think over the girl to the back of the bed was a little boys grey coat, and it had been thrown over her head, and there was clothing, some clothing on the floor, some underwear, and noticed some under the bed and also the dresses hanging up, laying or hanging up on the wall, or the foot of the bed, I forget which, there was no blood on it.

Q    You noticed some white dresses at the foot of the bed of these girls?

A    Yes.

Q    Were they blood stained?

A    Some of them were and some not.

Q    Did they seem to be driven, -- that is had been driven?

A    Well, -- gave me the impression looking over them, as though the clothing had been picked up and thrown over afterwards, thrown onto the bed, I could not tell.

BY A JUROR:

Q    Dr Williams, if you hadn't of know [known], or seen the ax, that is there, what do you think would have been your idea of what had been used?

A    Well, it looked to me like it had been both chopped and pounded by looking at some of the wounds, you could see the ax cuts in some of the wounds.

Q    You think there is no question?

A    There was some sharp instrument of some kind, also you could see the regular wounds of the ax. I was looking at them last night afterwards, like that they had been beaten, they were beaten up so much.

Q    Do you say by the marks they would indicate they had been beaten with anything?

A    I noticed one mark on the, -- I think it was one of the boys, I spoke to Dr Lomas speaking about, looked like the pole of the hatchet, I don't know may be hit edgewise with the ax, it was a smaller wound, I think on the forehead of one of the boys.

Q    Well, Dr Williams, did you notice anything in the orgin [origin] of the room, south of the bed room there, that south room, did you observe the couch in the corner?

A    Yes.

Q    Was there anything there that would indicate to you that there had been a bed prepared there?

A    No, on there was some, -- was a girls coat hanging, up on the back of that, and there was a ladies sweater on the railing on the north end of that couch, and some other clothing, I did not look to see what it was, I did not pay any attention at all.

Q    I did not notice the walls in front?

A    No, I noticed there was some clothing pushed right up there, just looked like to me that they had been thrown down there, the way it looked to me.

BY A JUROR:

Q    Was there any thing about any of the bodies there to indicate there had been any attempt of intervourse

[intercourse]?

A    No, sir.

BY ANOTHER JUROR:

Q    Did you notice this blood stain mark on this arm of the girl?

A    I did not.

Q    You see some blood stains there on the body?

A    No, I looked at the girls limb there, I was not particularly looking for it, I looked to see if there was any possible, might have been, attempted intercourse, or rape, or something, but I did not notice any.

Q    Did you look through the closets any other part of the house?

A    Yes, sir, I looked through the closets up stairs and down stairs.

Q    And did you see any signs of any one having been secreted in any of the closets?

A    I did not see anything that would indicate to me that any one was concealed in there. Coset doors were all open, clothing hanging up there, and some on the floor, some of their clothing that they had got out of, some underwear on the floor that they had gotten out of in going to bed.

Q    You did not examine any clothing in this closet hanging clothing up after they come one [in], or not?

A    No, I did not, no.

Q    Notice no tracks or foot prints around the house?

A    We looked all around and could not find a speak, or windows that had the appearance of having been raised, or attempted from the outside, the back kitchen door, parlor door was fastened on the inside.

BY THE CORONER: -- That will be all now.

WITNESS EXCUSED.

Purchase a bound facsimile of the original Coroner's Inquest


e.mail / The Inquest Index / The Mystery / Main Menu

Website design and all content including text, art, and photographs 2001, Fourth Wall Films. All Rights Reserved.