villisca_title_01.jpg (18773 bytes)


title_inquest_01.jpg (9444 bytes)

Ross Moore

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

BY MR RATCLIFF:

Q    What is your name?

A    R R Moore.

Q    R R Moore?

A    Ross Moore.

Q    You reside here in Vallisca [Villisca]?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    Will you tell us in your won way what you know of Sunday night, or Monday morning happenings here, just in your own way, will you?

A Well, I should judge the time was about 8:15 or half past eight, Mrs Peckhan [Peckham] called me over the phone and wanted to know what was the matter with Joe's folks, she said it was something unusual, they was always up in the morning, the first ones, there must be some thing wrong, said she called my wife and she did not know anything, and she called told me to come over, and I went over to the store and asked the man, if Joe had been down and he said, no, he had not been down, he said something must have happened, Joe is generally down before this, so I went over to the house, and went up to the barn to see that his team was there, and his team had just been fed, I learned later that Mr Selley had fed the team, then I went to the window on the north of the house, there was a bed room there, and rapped on that and hollered at him, and Mrs Peckhan [Peckham] helped me, and we went around and tried to look in, but the blinds were down, and I said, I believe I will try to get in, there is something wrong, or they would be up, so I took the keys out of my pocket, one key worked easy and went in, and every thing was in there in nice shape, and I went on into the parlor, that is right to the west, and I fastened the door back, and we went on into the other corner of the room, and come back, and I made that door, it was back of the door, come into the parlor and we pushed it open, and I saw what was happened and saw there was blood on the sheets, looked like it had been fastened or pulled down, and did not wait long enough to see any thing else, and I came and told them to telephone to Horton. They telephoned to Mr Horton and Mr Selley and Mr Horton came right over and I stood there until they went into the rooms, and they went up stairs and come right down, and said there is some body dead in every bed, something had happened, and they telephoned for the coroner there, and in the meantime Dr Hough come down, and the women folks thought that some Doctor ought to go through, or just kind of look through to see if there is any body still living. Mr Selley and Mr Horton and Dr Hough went through the house, and that is about all I know. I went into the Peckhan [Peckham] home then.

Q    Well, Mr Moore, do you mean to say when you come out from the dining room into the other room that you fastened the door and came back again and then had to push that door open to get into the bed room?

A    The bed room was shurt [shut], sure.

Q    Clear shut?

A    Yes.

Q    Was the door shut from the dining room to the parlor then?

A    Yes.

Q    They were all shut?

A    Yes. This door that goes into the parlor was shut, I opened that in going in, pushed it, could not, -- and I had been at his house very little, and I forgot where that door was, and was mistaken and shoved over against the wall, and last time I was there, it was last summer, finally saw where I made my mistake and went back to this door.

Q    And that door was shut then?

A    Yes, the door was shut out.

Q    And you opened that door and passed in?

A    I pushed the oor and passed in.

Q    Was there enough light to see?

A    After standing there an instant.

Q    Could see the blood?

Q    Could see the blood?

A    Could see the blood on my end of the bed, and sheet looked like it was pulled and fastened, corner of it hung down over the bed.

Q    Did you notice any oder [odor] of any kind in that room?

A    No, no oder [odor].

Q    In any of the rooms as you passed in, did not notice any particular oder [odor]?

A    Did not notice any peculiar oder [odor] whatever.

Q    Do you know anything about Joe's business which might give us some clue, or some motive in business affairs outside of his store? A No, I do not.

Q    Do not know a thing about it?

A    No.

Q    Did not know of any enemies he might have?

A    Never knew of him to have any.

Q    Has Joe said anything to you recently about Sam Moyer?

A    No, not to me. No. I did not know he had any enemies.

Q    You did not notice the ax down there?

A    I did not notice the ax. Mr Horton told me when he came out that they had found an ax at the foot of the parlor.

Q    Did not notice it?

A    No. Did not go into the room, just opened the door, and pushed it open.

Q    Don't know whether it was the family ax or not?

A    No.

Q    Could not identify the ax, or not?

A    No, did not know whether he had an ax or not.

DR LOMAS:

Q    Do you know of any trouble that Joe had been in with any other man?

A    No, Doctor.

Q    You don't think that there was any ill feeling between Sam Moyer and Joe Moore?

A    There was only rumors that there had been threats made is all, that Moyer made threats.

Q    Do you know how long this has been since the threats has been made?

A    I should judge in the last two or three yers, there has been more or less feeling.

BY ANOTHER JUROR:

Q    Was it through persons, or in the letter?

A    I could not say as to that.

Q    How long has it been since you have seen Sam Moyer?

A    I should judge about four years, must have been more than that.

Q    Did Joe go with you when you saw Sam Moyer about the children?

A    No.

Q    What was Sam Moyers disposition?

A    Oh, he was sour, grouchy, quiet, had a grouch.

Q    Was he a kind man to his family?

A    Well, pretty hard to tell, Doctor, I would not think such disposition, it would be hard to tell, and otherwise it was peacable [peaceable].

Q    And surely, in what way do you mean?

A    It would be plain on occasions, he did, -- with the disposition you could not read it, said nothing to me always grouchy and sourley [sourly].

Q    Was he a man that was of a vindictative [vindictive] nature, that would be likely to carry an invertiable [?] right?

A    Nothing only from that make up of a man, I would say, -- I would judge from that.

Q    He was a German?

A    No, he was Dutch, there is a difference Doctor.

Q    Did you or Joe Moore ever write to Moyer?

A    I wrote Mr Moyer a letter once, stating the circumstances of the family at home, and telling him of the needs of his children and care that they ought to have, and that the Moores not being able to give them proper care that he ought to provide for them in some way, told him he had a nice family, and he should be proud of them, and surely expected you should, told him so.

Q    Did he reply to that letter?

A    No.

Q    Did Joe ever write to him?

A    I could not say whether Joe did, or not.

Q    Did you have any assurance of whether your letter was delivered to him or not?

A    It had a return on it, and was addressed, I believe at the time I wrote to him, it was Pullman, South Dakota.

Q    Your letter never come back?

A    Never come back and had a return on it, ten days time.

Q    You don't know whether Joe ever wrote to him personally or not?

A    I could not say.

Q    Well, Ross, do you know whether there was any unfriendly feeling had existed between Joe and the other brother in law?

A    I don't know Joe's other brother in law. I never saw the man.

Q    Never heard him mentioned?

A    Never heard him mentioned, -- never heard them mentioned.

Q    You don't think that there was any one that has a grudge against Joe through his business dealings in any way?

A    No, and I would not know.

Q        When you went into the parlor you remember how the furniture, how it was left, -- you remember how the lamp was arranged in the southeast corner?

A    No, I was wondering after I was there, and was pretty nervous going in there at all. Fact of it, was only one thing I could see plain in the bed room and blood.

Q    How would you say that the door was locked, that you unlocked?

A    I don't know.

Q    You sure it had been locked with a key?

A    I tried the door before I went int [in].

Q    You tried the door before you went in?

A    I tried the door before I went in. I just put it in and turned right over.

Q    You sure the key you had unlocked the lock easily?

A    I certainly supposed it did.

Q    Did you try the door before you put the key in?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    It was locked?

A    Yes, sir.

Q    There was no key to be found, -- did not push the key when you pushed yours in?

A    I think not, did not hear no key drop.

BY THE CORONER:

Q    You don't know of any body that might have visisted [visited] there that Sunday evening?

A    No, not that I know of.

Q    BY A JUROR:

Q    Was Joe down to your Fathers on Sunday before?

A    Why, Mother told me yesterday morning, that Joe was down Sunday afternoon.

Q    Was the family with him?

A    No, he was down alone, no he would come down and visist [visit] her, a little while before church. Nearly always goes down on Sunday afternoon.

BY MR RATCLIFF:

Q    Do you know of any things or incidents other than have been asked and you have told that would throw any light on it?

A    No, I don't.

Q    That will be all then, Mr. Moore.

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 2000, Fourth Wall Films. All Rights Reserved.