September 26, 2014

Man Kills Brother-in-Law for Deplorable Treatment of Family, Rockcastle, 1890



[March 4, 1890] -

Saturday evening near Wildie, this county, Aus. Henderson was shot and instantly killed by James Bunlin, his brother-in-law.  The weapon used was a 44 Colts.  Four balls passed through Henderson's body, tearing great holes.  The cause of the shooting is said to have been on account of the bad treatment of his wife by Henderson, who has been in numerous escapades with other women.  Bunlin, who lives in Garrard county, with two men came to Henderon's on the above date and went into the house.  Henderson stepped out to get some wood followed by Bunlin, who drew his pistol.  Henderson cried don't shoot.  Bunlin replied "That's my business" firing with above result.  Bunlin and the other two men left.  No arrest. [1]


[April 1, 1890] -


Develops a Most Bestial State of Affairs.

(Special Dispatch to the Interior Journal.)

The examining trial of James Burdin for the killing of "Aus" Henderson took place before Judge Colyer at Mt. Vernon, Saturday.  The case, as brought out at the trial, is without precedent.  It showed Henderson to be a most brutal and inhuman father and a libertine.  The trial was held with closed doors, none being admitted except the officers, witnesses and those directly connected with the affair.

The family affairs of Henderson were most deplorable.  The man, or brute, has by threats and intimidation for the last two years had carnal knowledge with his 20-year old daughter.  He has at various times left his family for months at a time and gone off with other women.  About 6 weeks since Henderson made an attempt on his 9 year old daughter and when remonstrated with by the mother he knocked her down and threatened to murder her if she said anything about it.

Four weeks ago a sister of Mrs. Henderson came up from Garrard on a visit.  Henderson, true to his brutal instincts, attempted to accomplish his design but was repulsed.  Mrs. Henderson was told of it by her sister, who immediately prepared to depart.  Before leaving Mrs. H. told her of her husband's brutality, which upon hearing the 20-year old daughter startled them by telling what relations her unnatural father had forced her to maintain under fear of death.  Mrs. H. was prostrated.

They decided to inform their brother, James Burden, of the awful state of affairs.  Upon being told of the matter, Mr. B. was of course dumfounded, but he soon decided what course to pursue.  He with two friends mounted their horses and went to Henderson's home where Burden put four balls in the wretch's body, killing him instantly.  Burden went to Mt. Vernon two weeks afterward, gave himself up and trial set for Saturday, when he was promptly acquitted.

Henderson, it will be remembered, was arrested some years since with Bishop, charged with with murdering Mary Sigman, "the scarlet woman of Round Stone," and her mother, in the house where a brother of Bishop and young Hysinger were killed in a row.  No positive evidence being adduced at the trial Henderson was released, though there is no doubt he was along when the killing occurred.  Henderson's has been a chequered career.  He is accused of having burned a number of houses in Rockcastle and having killed Charles Krieger from the roadside some three years ago while on his way to Jackson county to buy walnut trees. [2]


[1] Excerpt from "Mt. Vernon, Rockcastle County." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 4, 1890. Page 2. LOC.

[2] "Another Murder in Rockcastle." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. April 1, 1890. Page 1. LOC.


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