June 11, 2014

The Pearl Bryan Murder: Woman Beheaded Alive by Seducer, 1896

The murder of Pearl Bryan received national attention due to the outrageous details of the crime and the surprising lack of remorse shown by the defendants during their trials.  The facts of the case according to the articles below are basically this:  Bryan became pregnant by one of the defendants. The father refused to marry her, and was adamant that Bryan secure an abortion.  Several botched abortion attempts, including force-feeding her cocaine, apparently failed to produce quick enough results for the father and his accomplice, who then disposed of her in a very gruesome way--by beheading her alive.

There are also a lot of articles claiming that Pearl Bryan's ghost haunts this or that building in the vicinity where she was murdered, and that her killers' ghosts haunt near where they were hanged, and other occult claims, but I have only gathered articles here on the murder investigation and trials details.

The Mary Cloyd murder in Laurel County, 1899, was referred to by papers as the "next Pearl Bryan case." You can read about that murder here


[February 3, 1896] -


The Beheaded Woman Still Unidentified.


Advanced As to the Cause.  The Head Cannot Be Found.

By Associated Press.

CINCINNATI, Feb. 2.-- A hundred different clues to the murder and beheading of a woman near Ft. Thomas, Ky., on Friday night are floating today.  Many of them have been traced to worthless origin.  The Sheriff of Campbell county, Ky., and all the detectives on both sides of the river are working on the case.

Not a single arrest on suspicion has been made, and not a single suspicion has been made, and not a single suspicion settled on any man as the perpetrator; nor has any thread been discovered likely to lead to lead to the identification of the woman.  All the ponds, as well as the Covington reservoir, have been dragged.  The water is going out of the reservoir, but it will be noon tomorrow before it will be empty.  Then search in the mud for the head can be made.

In the meantime rumor is busy on all the streets tonight.  One story generally circulated is that the head has been found, and that the murderer is a Ft. Thomas soldier, who committed suicide.  Ample investigation at hand has shown this to be wholly false.  There is one theory on which there is a general agreement, and that is that the woman was murdered in an attempt to take either money or papers from her person.  This inference is justified by the signs of a struggle and the torn condition of the clothes.

The latest and apparently the most plausible theory of the Ft. Thomas murder mystery is that the murderer was a jealous husband, and the victim a wife.  It is thought he suspected that she had letters from her guilty lover hidden under her corset.  The corset was found some distance from the body badly torn, as if forced violently from the body.

It is believed a butcherknife was drawn as a menace.  The woman's right hand was cut, showing she had grasped the blade desperately two or three times.  Then, according to the theory, the murder followed, and the search for letters failing the murder severed the head, and overcome by remorse, plunged into the reservoir or river and drowned with it. [1]


[February 4, 1896] -


Who She Is and the Perpetrator Still a Mystery.

CINCINNATI, O., Feb. 3-- After Mrs. Hart and others had been claiming the body at the Newport (Ky.) Morgue as that of Mrs. Ella Markland the latter turned up to-night alive.  It is still believed that a soldier at Fort Thomas murdered some Cincinnati woman on account of jealousy, and cut off her head to prevent identification and detection.  The Tawnship Trustees have offered a reward of $500 and Governor Bradley of $1,000 for the guilty parties.

LATER-- Two tramps have been arrested and are now in jail at Ludlow.  One, named Hanrahan, was found washing a bloody shirt in the river.  It is not believed he will be held. [2]


[February 6, 1896] -


The Murderer of the Beheaded Woman Still a Mystery.

GREEN CASTLE, IND., Feb. 5.--The detectives and newspaper men who have been here from Newport and Cincinnati in the murder case all left the city today, part of them going north and the others returning to Cincinnati.

The latest rumor here tonight is that the clothing and bonnet pins found on the body have been fully identified by a woman here who made the clothing found on the body of the woman, who resided here, but left the city about a week ago.  Some arrests are expected to be made soon. [3]


[February 7, 1896] -


It Stands In a Fair Way of Being Fully Solved.


And Her Home was at Greencastle, Ind.-- Scott Jackson, a Dental Student, and William F. Wood Arrested-- Jackson's Statement.

GREENCASTLE, Ind., Feb. 6. -- The family of A. S. Bryan, a leading farmer living less than two miles from this city, have identified the clothing brought here by detectives from Cincinnati and Newport, Ky., as that of their daughter, Pearl Bryan.  They furnish other information and circumstances of which leave no doubt in the minds of the officers that the body of the woman murdered and beheaded near Fort Thomas, Ky., last Friday night, is that of their daughter, Pearl, aged 23 years, who left home January 28 ostensibly to visit her friend, Miss Jane Fisher, in Indianapolis.  They have made every possible inquiry, and find that she did not visit Miss Fisher, but that she was taken to Cincinnati by Scott Jackson.  She took with her a switch of hair, which was brought here by the officers and identified, as well as the clothing and locks of her own hair.  The shoes that were brought by the officers were bought of Louis & Hays by Pearl Bryan, November 18, 1895, and the marks were identified by the dealers.

As soon as the officers interviewed Mr. and Mrs. Bryan and other members of their family, they sent word to Cincinnati to have Scott Jackson, a student at the Ohio Dental college in Cincinnati, arrested.  The mother of Scott Jackson lives here, and the families were intimate and highly respectable.  The Bryan family also gave information that led the officers to order the arrest of William F. Wood, the son of Rev. D. M. Wood, a South Bend, Ind.  Detectives Crim and McDermott, of Cincinnati, and Sheriff Plumer, of Newport, Ky., left here Wednesday night for South Bend to arrest Wood.  The families of Jackson, Wood and Bryan are all well known here, and the tragedy has created the greatest excitement that was ever known in this part of Indiana.

Scott Jackson's Statement.

CINCINNATI, Feb. 6.-- Scott Jackson, the dental student who was arrested here Wednesday night, charged with the murder of the girl found near Fort Thomas, has made a statement.  He says his friend, William F. Wood, had come to him and informed him that Pearl Bryan, whom they both knew, was in [...] delicate condition.  Wood asked Jackson to perform an operation, which he declined to do.  He however, [...] of Alonzo Walling, his present roommate.  The girl [...] here and was put in charge Walling, with whom she was left. Jackson asserts he knows nothing of Walling's or Wood's actions in the matter after that.  He declares his believe that Wood murdered the girl.  Wood has been arrested at South Bend, Ind.

Jackson's Reputation None of the Best.

INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Feb. 6.-- During the 1894-95 term of the Indiana Dental college Scott Jackson and his mother roomed at the home of J. R. Lotshar, on New York street.  Mrs. Jackson was very solicitous for the welfare of her son, who had not been following the path of rectitude, according to those who knew him.  The police records show that Jackson was arrested and fined January 1, for associating with prostitutes, and he was sent tot he workhouse to serve out a fine of $10 and costs.  The woman with whom he was caught was Nellie Crane, or Cannon.  It is said that the woman made much over the young man and was accustomed to call at his rooms.  This is one of the reasons why Mrs. Jackson left Indianapolis and did nto permit her son to finish his college course here.  The dental college students knew him very well, and among them he had the reputation of being a coward.  Young Jackson is a brother-in-law of Dr. Edwin Post, who holds the chair of Latin in Depauw university.

Wood Arrested.

SOUTH BEND, Ind., Feb. 6. -- William Wood, aged 20, son of Rev D. A. Wood, of Greencastle, Ind., was arrested here Wednesday afternoon.  He is wanted for the murder of a girl at Fort Thomas, Ky., near Cincinnati.  The girl was found with her head cut off in an orchard.

Walling's Story.

CINCINNATI, Feb. 6.-- When taken before Chief Deitsch, Walling declared that Jackson killed the girl.  He professed to be ignorant of the details.  When asked about the whereabouts of the girl's head, he said he supposed it was in the river.  He told of the meeting of the girl on Fourth street Wednesday when he told her that Jackson was too busy to see her.  That was the last he saw of her.

Walling says that after the discovery of the body Jackson remarked that "those shoes are doing mischief; they will give us away." [4]


[February 8, 1896] -

Where the Murder Strikes Hardest.

GREENCASTLE, Feb. 8.-- An innocent girl murdered and beheaded and three families plunged into the deepest grief by reason of the tragedy is the situation that confronts this community.  The aged parents of Pearl Bryan were visited by a reporter.  She was the youngest of a family of twelve [...] seven of whom are living. The daughters, eight in number, were noted for their beauty and accomplishments.  Alexander Bryan, the father, is in his 71st year.  The other is eight years younger.  "The blow comes upon us with crushing force in our old age," said the father and his eyes filled with tears.  "Our sorrow is more than we can bear, yet we would rather stand over the grave of an innocent daughter lured to her ruin than that of her assassin." [5]


[February 8, 1896] -


Little New Light on the Murder of Pearl Bryan.

Suspects in Fear of Lynching.

They Continue to Accuse Each Other and Are in Dread of Being Taken Into Kentucky, Where Threats of Violence are Freely Made -- Jackson's Blood Stained Coat Found in a Sewer -- Wood Released on Bail.

Cincinnati, Feb. 7.--Although it is just one week since the decapitated body of Pearl Bryan was found near Fort Thomas, Kentucky, there has been more excitement today over the tragedy here and in the Kentucky suburbs than on any previous day.  Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling, the suspects, who were roommates while attending the Ohio Dental college, have been confessing against each other all day.  They were examined separately and together.  When they are confronted  face to face with each other's confessions they call each other liars and exhibit murderous feelings toward each other.

All efforts have been directed today to finding Pearl Bryan's head.  In the series of confessions Jackson says Walling carried it in a valise to the Covington suspension bridge and he thinks Walling threw it in the river, or he might have carried it with him to his home at Hamilton and thrown it from the Miami bridge at that place, but Jackson says he did not go with his roommate on these trips and cannot tell just where he left the head.

Walling says he had nothing to do with the decapitation or disposal of the head, but he recited long stories, which led the officers to believe that Jackson had buried the head in a sandbar in the Ohio river, opposite Dayton, Ky., a suburb of this city, or dropped it in the sewer on Richmond street.  Large forces worked all day at both places and they secured the bloodstained coat of Jackson out of a sewer at the corner of Richmond and Central avenue, near Jackson's room.

William Wood of Green Castle, Ind., as well as Jackson and Walling, were arraigned in police court today and their preliminary hearings were fixed for next Thursday, Feb. 13.  Wood, on the charge of aiding and abetting an abortion, was admitted to $5,000 bail.  The other two suspects on the charge of murder were refused bail.

Sheriff Plummer of Newport, Ky., immediately after the arraignment of the three suspects, demanded them as his prisoners.  As the feeling across the river is intense and the Campbell county jail is an old frame structure, with which Jackson and Walling seem familiar, this demand caused the two suspects to turn pale as death.  They fear lynching.  One object of the present inquisition is to determine whether the murder was committed in Ohio or Kentucky, and who has jurisdiction over the prisoners.  The authorities think the woman may have been murdered in this city and the body taken across the river in a cab.  Sheriff Plummer's constant demand for the prisoners has had much to do with the profusion of confessions.

The friends of both Jackson and Walling today employed counsel.  Together they have retained a dozen eminent lawyers from here, Hamilton, O., and Indiana.  Those lawyers did not get to see their clients until tonight, when a stop was put to confessions and interviews.  The brother of Walling brought ex-Congressman Morey and ex-Prosecutor Shepard of Hamilton with him.  Dr. Post, the brother-in-law of Jackson, engaged counsel here.

Fred Bryan, brother of the murdered girl, arrived today from Green Castle, Ind., accompanied by J. W. Cooper, M. D. Ricketts, Frank Klineburg, Charles Priest, Ed Black, Richard Gilespie, C. W. Gildwell and W. G. Fogarty, all of Green Castle.  They took part in the investigation.

Edward Black is an undertaker at Green Castle and was sent by the parents to bring home the body.  The mother had told him to look at a mole on the body and a wart on the left hand and other marks.  He found them just as Mrs. Bryan had indicated.  As there has been no inquest yet, Coroner Tingley at Newport would not give up the body.  He said they wanted to find the head and also to hold another post-mortem examination, but that he would deliver the body to the family if the head had not been recovered at that time.

There was a post-mortem examination held today, at which the physicians held that the head of Pearl Bryan had been cut off while she was alive, and they could find no trace of drugs.  There is quite a dispute among the physicians as to whether the head was cut off after the murder in order to prevent identification and discovery or whether the girl was murdered by having her throat cut to the extent of decapitation.  The lawyers are anxious for positive evidence on this point in order to establish beyond a doubt the charge of murder on the two suspects.  If the girl was chloroformed to killed by a hypodermic injection or otherwise before the body was taken to Fort Thomas, it is believed that Jackson and Walling will get off with the light sentence of abortionists.

Scott Jackson tonight sent for a friend, to whom he said: "Walling once told me that one time he seduced May Smith.  He said he had performed an operation on her and it had been successful and that the Smith girl subsequently went to Louisville and the thing was hushed up.  When Wood told me that he had Pearl Bryan in the same condition, I suggested Walling.  I was in Green Castle then.  On my return I talked to Walling, and said he would perform the operation on Miss Bryan.

"No, I cannot tell you the rest, Send for Brother Tibbetts, secretary of the Y. M. C. A,; I will tell all to him."

Later Tibbetts wrote the confession, as it was dictated by Jackson, but the latter signed it, as follows.

"Here, with the Bible in my hand on my knees before God.  I swear I was not guilty of murdering that poor girl.  I did get her to come to Cincinnati to undergo an abortion.  Walling was to get $50 for performing it.  I was guilty of getting him to do it, but not of murdering that poor girl.  I don't know where he killed her or how he killed her, or what he did with her after he killed her.  I did not kill the poor girl.  He is the guilty man.  Will Woods was to send $50 to him through me for performing the operation.  This is the truth, so help me God."

The confession was made by Jackson in the presence of no one but Secretary Tibbetts.  It was then delivered to the mayor and chief of police. [6]


[February 11, 1896] -

Another Confession.

INDIANAPOLIS, Feb. 10.-- Another confession was wrung from Lulu May Hollingsworth late to-night by the police superintendent, in which she says she herself officiated at the criminal operation which Pearl Bryan underwent, and that Miss Bryan came from Cincinnati here for that purpose accompanied by Walling, and returned to that city by the first train.

It was two days later Miss Hollingsworth received a letter from Jackson saying that Pearl was very sick, and within a day or two afterwards there was a second letter saying that she had died in his room, and that he and a negro took the body to the Kentucky side of the river where it was beheaded with a butcher's cleaver, after which he tossed the head into the river as he crossed the suspension bridge on his return to Cincinnati.

Miss Hollingsworth claimed that the first letter from Jackson she burned last night when the officers came to arrest her, and that the second has bee placed with an attorney with instructions not to make public its contents, unless it becomes necessary as evidence in relief of Jackson and Walling. [7]


[February 1, 1896] -

Pearl Bryan death record.  Cause of Death: "Was Beheaded." [8]


[February 18, 1896] -

The only new development in the Pearl Bryan murder case is the discovery of the man who drove the rig in which she was conveyed to the spot near Ft. Thomas, where she was so brutally murdered.  He is George H. Jackson, colored, and was employed for the occasion by Walling and Jackson, both of whom he readily identified in a crowd of 40 people.  On the night of the 31st ult. he says, they engaged him to take them to Ft. Thomas in a surrey, drawn by a gray horse, which was in waiting.  In the conveyance was a girl, who was beyond doubt Pearl Bryan.  Jackson drove the surrey to a point within 50 yards of where the body of the unfortunate girl was found.  There the two men took the girl from the surrey and walked her away.  She appeared to be stupefied.  A few minutes later Jackson heard groan coming from the direction in which the girl had been led, and this so frightened him that he ran away, leaving the surrey and party behind and walked back to Cincinnati. [9]


[April 30, 1896] -


Pearl Bryan, the  Murdered Girl, Was Beheaded While Alive.

Some Knowledge of Surgery Possessed by the Murderer--Mrs. Stanley Identifies Her Sister's Clothing, Etc.--A Dummy in Pearl's Clothing Removed.

NEWPORT, Ky., April 22-- Scott Jackson is now on trial for his life, before Judge Helm, charged with the murder of Pearl Bryan.  At noon Tuesday the state had exercised one peremptory challenge of the permitted five, and had accepted eleven jurors.  The defense had challenged three of the permitted fifteen.  Nine jurymen had been finally accepted by the attorneys on both sides.

The Kentucky law, under which Scott Jackson stands for trial, embraces three degrees of crime--murder, voluntary manslaughter, unintentional killing.

The law upon which the jury and judge must fix their decision is as follows.

Punishment for Murder.-- If any person be guilty of willful murder he shall be punished with death or confinement in the penitentiary for life, in the discretion of the jury.

Punishment for Voluntary Manslaughter.--Whoever shall be guilty of voluntary manslaughter shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than two nor more than 21 years.


Punishment for Unintentional Killing.--Any person who shall willfully strike, stab, thrust or shoot another, not designing thereby to produce or cause his death, and which is not done in self-defense or in an attempt to keep and preserve the peace, or in the lawful arrest or attempt to arrest a person charged with felony or misdemeanor, or in doing any other legal act, so that the person struck, stabbed, thrust or shot shall die thereof within six months next thereafter, shall be confined in the penitentiary not less than one nor more than six years.  But this section shall not be construed to change the law of malice in respect to any other offense.

At 2:45 p.m., the last of the twelve jurors were accepted.  Following are the names of the jury:  Murty Shea, William White, L. Sharstein, F. B. Maiter, John M. Ensyler, John Boehmer, William Motts, George P. Stegner, John T. Backsman, Freg Giskemeyer, Jacob Kraut and Willard Carr.

After the jurors were selected it was agreed to go ahead with the case.  The witnesses present were sworn in and instructed by Judge Helm not to talk among themselves or with other parties regarding the case, or to suffer themselves to be talked to about the case, an that if any person or persons persisted in talking to the on the subject, it was their sworn duty to report such person or persons to the court.

Attorny Lockhart then stated the case, and then John Huling, the first witness, was called.  He testified to the finding of the headless body of Pearl Bryan on Mr. Locke's farm on Febuary 1.  He described the position of the body, how the dress was arranged, and the wet condition of the ground, it having rained the day previous.  Testified to noticing blood on the ground where the neck was, probably about a pint.  The defense did not cross-examine Huling.

Coroner W. S. Tingley was the next witness called.  He testified to holding an inquest on the dead body found at Ft. Thomas.  The coroner then described the position of the body when he arrived there.  The body was [l]ying on slight rise or terrace on the abandoned roadway.  The feet were upon the terrace and the body below.  It was lying prone, with the trunk on the roadway.  She was clothed in combination underwear, shoes, [s]tockings, tea gown, dark blue skirt and about two feet away was a corset.  A little way off [h]e found a glove.  The clothing was up about [t]he chest, and the upper part of the clothing was soaked with blood.

The blood had soaked in the clothing and lots of blood were on the terrace, one large [l]ot on top of the terrace.  The head was gone: think it had been carried away.  He saw [le]aves of the privet bushes on which was [bl]ood.  I found a pair of rubbers on her feed [?]ed to an extent.  Dirty in different parts.  There was no thick clay on them, however, to [in]dicate that they had been worn or walked on the ground where the body was found.

On viewing the stump of the neck I found a irregular cut on the back, and upon turning over found a smooth cut.  The incision was [as] through a clean disarticulation had been attempted.  Also noticed cuts across the fingers [of] the left hand; also cuts across the palm [di]agonally.  The wounds were of recent origin. [T]he coroner testified that he thought the [he]ad was cut off at the place where the body was found and that the heart was still [be]ating when the artery was severed.  The [he]ad must have been severed by an expert, as [sh]own by the clearness of the disarticulation. [T]he fetus was in a healthy condition, and [?] indications must have been alive up to [th] time of the woman's death.  Witness was [th]en cross-examined by Attorney Crawford, [bu]t nothing new was elicited.  Adjourned un[til] Wednesday.

NEWPORT, Ky., April 23.-- The most damage[in]g testimony offered Wednesday was that of [Dr.?] Robert Carothers, who performed the post-[m]ortem examinations.  His opinion was that [th]e girl was beheaded while she was still alive.

The relatives of Pearl Bryan, lead by the [w?]ary father and the aged mother, had hardly [ta]ken their seats after being sworn, when [De]puty Sheriff Hindman brought into court [?] the clerk's office and placed in front of [?] witness stand a lay figure dressed in the [?]apper that Pearl Bryan wore at the time of [he]r death.

The garment was a grewsome sight, covered [] it was in part with the stains of mud and [blo]od.  Especially was the bodice stained [he]avily.  Hindman placed the figure erect un[der] Attorney Lockhart's directions and re[..]ed.  Attorney Crawford sprang to his feet.  "I object," said he, "to such display in this [cou]rt."

"I think that the lay figure should be re[mo]ved." said the Judge. "It is too sugges[tiv]e."

The figure was then removed and the dress [thr]own on the table.

Coroner Tingley was recalled.  His examina[tio]n occupied about ten minutes.  He identif[ied] all the clothing that had in the meantime [bee]n placed on the table.

Mrs. Stanley, sister of Pearl Bryan, took stand.  She said: "She was my sis[ter.] She left Greencastle on Monday after[no]on, January 27.   have never seen her since [...]. I saw her body a week after the follow[ing] Satuday in the morgue at Newport.  We [...]ked upon her in death.  She was robed in [...]ely white.  I did recognize the body as my [sis]te's.  I feel I could have fully recognized [her] without any marks by her limbs, her [...], her bust, her igure.  She had a wart on [her] thimble finger.  She had often spoken of [...] the wart off, because it hurt her when [she] used the thimble.  The wart was taken off [a cou]ple weeks before she left home.  There [was] another wart on the inside of her left [th]umb.  There was a scar from an old cut on [her] left hand, between the first and middle [...]. 

[...] the right foot, between the second and third toes, there was a slight growth of flesh.  It was a deformity and coudl scarcely be called a deformity.

"I found the scar of a wart on the thimble finger of the corpse and another scar from a wart on the thumb of the left hand.  I found on the hand the scar of a cut which I distinctly remembered my sister sustained."

The bloody dress, the stained underwear and the other ghastly articles were spread in full view before the witness box.  Mrs. Stanley leaned forwarad, and with wonderful composure, considering what she has suffered, she identified the blue skirty, the underwear and the green figured dress of Pearl Bryan.

The valise, shoes, hat, etc., of the murdered girl were also described and positively identified by the witness.

Mrs. Stanley testified she knew Scott Jackson from seeing him twice on the streets during the holidays.  Jackson was then face to face with the witness.

"That is Scott Jackson," she said.

Mrs. Stanley was not cross-examined by the defense.

Druggest Joseph E. Peary, of Greencastle, who is only 18 years old, took the stand.  He identified the pocketbook found in Scott Jackson's valise as one which he sold Pearl Bryan January 23.  The cost mark on the pocketbook assisted him in making its identification complete.  He had similar pocketbooks in his stock, but none have been sold.

Dr. Robert Carothers, who conducted the autopsies on the dead body, was placed on the stand and testified that the body was that of a woman perfectly healthy till her death.  He also testified to finding the unborn child.  It was about five months gestation, and he thought it was quickened.  It was a male.  The stub of the neck indicated that decapitation was done cleanly, with a sharp instrument, except at one part of the neck, in front and to the right, which was ragged.  The skin was contracted.  The witness believed that the person who cut off the head had some knowledge of the art.  It could be done with a dissecting knife about two inches long.  He believed the death took place after decapitation.  The witness was severely cross-examined by the defense.  The doctor said he judged that decapitation took place in life from the absence of blood in the body, from the abrasion of the skin, lack of post-mortem discoloration and absence of rigor mortis.

Attorney Crawford endeavored to make the doctor admit that a "retraction" of the wound in the hand would have taken place if it had been inflicted after death, but the doctor insisted that such would not be the case.  He also answered "no" to a question as to whether the conditions of the body might not indicate that the girl was asphyxiated and then beheaded.

Dentist Gillespie, of Greencastle, Ind., was called.  Dr. Gillespie identified several letters written to him by Scott Jackson.  He testified to seeing Jackson with Pearl Bryan frequently in Greencastle.  One day Jackson came to the witness and said he was in a great deal of trouble over Pearl and wanted to know what to do.  Witness told him he had better marry her; he said he could never do that.  That was about five days before Jackson returned to Cincinnati during the holidays.

Mayor Caldwell, of Cincinnati, was then called and narrated the statements Jackson had made to him after his arrest, all of which has been published.

Dr. J. O. Jenkins was the next and last witness called for the day.  He stated that he was a practicing physician and surgeon in Newport, Ky., where he had lived for 15 years, and that he assisted the coroner and other physicians in the post-mortem examination of the body of the woman found near Fort Thomas, being present as a spectator and investigator.

he recited at length the findings of the examination, stating the condition of the various parts of the body, in all of which he corroborated the facts brought out by the testimony of Dr. Tingley and Dr. Carothers.

NEWPORT, Ky.,--April 24.-- Court opened at 9:22 Thursday morning.  After the prisoner was brought into the courtroom, Health Officer J. O. Jenkins was cross examined by Attorney Crawford.

The cuts on the hand would not indicate that the head was cut off during life--not strictly, the witness said.  The cuts on Pearl Bryan's hands were found slightly open, and the prosecution, through Dr. Carothers and Coroner Tingley, assert that this condition proved the girl was alive when her head was severed.  The object of Crawford's cross-examination was to disprove this.


He said that rigor mortis had passed off in the case of Pearl Bryan's body before the autopsy, and if rigor mortis had passed away there could be a retraction of the skin.  There are some circumstances, as poison notion, excessive bodily heat or cold, watery condition of blood vessels, lack of oxygen, and there may be other conditions that might cause suspension of coagulation of blood in the body after death.  The drugs are chlorine and carbonic acid.  It is an undecided question if chloroform would cause a suspension of coagulation.  Chloroform kills by paralyzing the heart.  It suspends the contraction of the smaller arteries and tissues.  Dr. Jenkins said there was possibly two pounds of blood in the body when the autopsies were made.  This showed that about eight pounds or pints had flowed out.

On redirect examination Dr. Jenkins said that in the autopsies no abnormal condition of any part of the body was found.  No sign of any disease that might retard the coagulation of the blood was found.  An incision in a dead body may cause the wound to gape, but not the skin, the latter being the case int he wounds on Pearl Bryan's neck and hand.

The doctor said that in the autopsy no sign of any drug was found in the body that would have a tendency to retard coagulation, but chloroform evaporates very quickly.

The prosecution said that Dr. F. W. Fishback would be the last physician they would put on the stand.  He assisted in the autopsy on Pearl Bryan's body.  The head had evidently been cut off by a knife, passing from left to right.  It was a clean cut, but for evidence of hacking on the vertebrae.  He said the blood clot in the pulmonary artery was four inches from the heart.  The other doctor said one inch.  Otherwise he corroborated the testimony of the previous experts.

He said if the head was cut off before the heart ceased to contract the blood would be drained from the body completely.  If cut off five minutes after death the blood would leave only by gravitation.

Col. Nelson asked the witness what the blood splattered on the privot bushes would indicate.  Crawford objected to the broad manner in which the question was asked.

Judge Helm put the question.  Dr. Fishback said the spurting came from a live body.  The cross-examination then began.

Dr. Fishback contradicted Jenkins on several technical points regarding the coagulation of blood.

A bunch of white wild flowers were on Judge Helm's bench when he opened court at 2 o'clock Thursday afternoon.  The judge consulted a law book several minutes and Commonwealth attorney Lockhart stepped forward and talked with the judge.  Neither Attorney Crawford nor his client, Scott Jackson, had entered.

When Col. Crawford came he also had a private conversation with Judge Helm.

The court said: "I understand that the prosecution has decided not to present arguments."

"Yes, sir."

Speaking  to the jurors, the court said:

"Judge Caldwell Wednesday said certain things that Alonzo Walling told in the presence of Scott Jackson.   You are to determine by the evidence that will be offered whether Jackson by his conduct admitted on that occasion the truth of Walling's charges.  That is all."

The points involved in this decision, as shown by Mayor Caldwell's testimony, are Walling's assertions that Jackson told him Pearl Bryan was in trouble, that he wanted to poison her, and that he would cut her body to pieces.

Edgar Schofield was the first witness called by the prosecution at the afternoon session of the court.  He testified to being the agent by whom the stomach of Pearl Bryan and its contents were taken to Dr. W. R. Crane, in Cincinnati.


Dr. W. D. Litter, of near Leesborough, Ky., followed Dr. Schofield.  He knew Scott Jackson for six months prior to his arrest, and not very well.  The acquaintance was begun at his room in Cincinnati, and he saw little of him.  He as present at a conversation between Jackson and Walling about the effects of cocaine in the two prisoners' room.  This was about ten days before the finding of the body.  The witness was passing the room and Jackson called him in.  Jackson said that he had claimed that one grain of cocaine in a gramme of water would have the same effect as the same amount in one-half gramme, and Walling claimed it would not, and they wanted the witness' opinion.  The witness said that it was his opinion it would.

Mrs. Bryan, Pearl's mother, was the next examined.

She testified to the fact that Scott Jackson had been a frequent caller at her home in Greencastle and often took Pearl out riding in a buggy.  She identified the clothing on exhibition as that of her daughter.

Dr. H. C. Uhlen, a Cincinnati druggist, testified to selling Jackson cocaine a few days before the finding of the body.

Mrs. Mary Morgan testified as to how and when she found the hat and handkerchief of Pearl Bryan.  Undertaker White described the embalming of the body and its identification.

Fred Bryan, brother of the murdered girl, was then put on the stand and testified to his engaging Undertaker White to embalm the body of his sister.  The remains were taken to Greencastle, identified by his father, other and other members of the family, and then placed in a vault.  He also testified to Scott Jackson calling on Pearl frequently.  Witness identified the satchel that Pearl brought to Cincinnati as one he bought in Indianapolis five years ago. He drew from his pocket a bunch of keys, one of which he placed in the lock and turned, and having locked it handed it to Col. Nelson.  The key was entered in evidence.  The witness then pointed out Scott Jackson to the court.

Mr. Bryan was then cross-examined as to has acquaintance with Will Wood.  The witness said that Wood was a frequent caller at the house, and was the one who introduced Jackson to his sister Pearl. 

Allen Johnson, a colored porter, was the last witness examined Thursday.  He testified to knowing that both Jackson and Walling for some months. Jackson called at the saloon of Dave Wallingford, where witness worked, with a woman, and remained in the ladies room about fifteen minutes.  Jackson borrowed two dollars from Wallingford.  Walling was at the George street entrance to the saloon.  This was on Friday, January 31.  Jackson and the girl drove away in a cab.  Johnson identified Pearl's clothing spread before him as the ones the girl wore that night.  Witness said that the woman with Jackson was not of the class that generally visited the saloon.  On cross-examination by Col. Crawford the witness said he was not mistaken as to the date of Jackson's and the girl's visit to the saloon.

Allen Johnson, in his sworn statement, said that Attorney Shepperd, of the defense, had offered to make it pay him (Johnson) if he would not be a witness.  Adjourned until Friday morning.

NEWPORT, Ky., April 25.-- Friday morning the cross-examination of Allen Johnson continued.  The defense failed to break down the testimony wherein the colored porter said that Pearl Bryan was at Wallingford's saloon with Jackson on the night before the murder.

Mrs. Bryan was recalled and spoke of Pearl's confiding nature and inexperience in the ways of the world.

The prosecution put L. D. Poock, the Newport shoe dealer, on the stand.  Poock stated that he merely knew Scott Jackson when he saw him. "I was present in Col. Dietach's office February 6 and heard Scott Jackson say, "Shall I tell it in my own words?"

"I object," exclaimed Col. Crawford.  "I suppose were are now to hear a supposed confession.  It must first be shown that such a confession was voluntary.  I can show you the section in the first Greenleaf."

The book was sent for, and handed to Attorney Crawford.  When he found Section 219, he read in substance: "Evidence must be addressed to the judge to prove that confession in a third party's presence was made without fear."

The court ruled that the prosecution might go ahead with its questions, it being the presumption that the conditions  under which the confession was made were proper.

Crawford filed an exception and the testimony proceeded.

"Scott Jackson was brought in and Chief Deitech asked Mr. Kuegel if he knew who Jackson was.  He said: "Yes, that is the man who brought me a valise and asked me not to give it to any one.  Jackson said he knew Kuegel, and admitted having left the valise at Kuegel's place.

"Kuegel identified the valise.  Then Jackson was asked about it, and said: 'Yes, that is Pearl Bryan's valise.  She brought it with her. She had her clothes in it.'

Deitech put the valise on Jackson's knee.  He told Jackson to open the valise and put his hand in it.  Jackson hesitated, but he opened the valise and put his hand in it.

"What are those stains?"

"They look like bloodstains," answered Jackson.
"Are they bloodstains?" asked Deitech.
"Yes, they are," he replied.
"Was Pearl Bryan's head in that valise?" Deitech asked.
"Yes, it must have been, but I am not certain." Jackson asnwered.
"Did you leave the valise at the saloon?" asked Deitech.
"No, Walling did." answered Jackson.
"What became of her clothes?" asked Deitech.
"I made several trips to the river and disposed of them," Jackson replied.
"What became of the head?" Col. Deitech asked.
"Was cut up in pieces and then thrown away," the prisoner answered.
"At that time," Poock continued, "I was called out of the office."

Poock then identified Pearl Bryan's valise as the one which was on Jackson's knee during this conversation.  The bloody satchel was gain handed to the jury for identification in this connection and passed fro man to man.

Poock took up the famous clew of the little cloth-topped shoes.  "I have been int he boot and shoe business since 1877," he began. "I formerly traveled for wholesalers, bu have been in the retail business for three years for myself."

The dead girl's shoes were handed to the witness, and he continued: "I first saw these shoes in a room adjoining White's morgue, in Newport, with the other articles found with the body.  These are the rubbers I saw there."

"We retailers sell very few of these shoes--so narrow and small.  There is a French system of marks, and this shoe is stamped in that system 22:11.  There is also a stock number, 62,438, in the shoes.  There is also a retailer's stamp, Louis & Hays, Greencastle, Ind."

"Where were these shoes made?" asked Attorney Lockhart.

"At Portsmouth, O., by Drew, Selby & Co.  The rubbers were made in Williamsport, Pa."

"Mr. Poock," asked Col. Crawford, in cross-examination, "how did you first come to go to Col. Deitech's office?"

"Through interest.  I have taken a deep interest in this case.  I had gone to Portsmouth and found that the shoes were made there."

"Isn't it possible," asked Crawford, "that you may be mistaken as to what took place in Col. Deitech's office?"

"No. I don't think I can ever forget that scene.  It can never be wiped out of my memory."

"Aren't you anxious that Jackson be convicted?" Crawford asked quizzically.

"No. I went to Portsmouth at the instance of the county authorities.  I have been to Greencastle once; but I had been to Lafayette to see my brother and dropped down that far."

Dr. W. H. Crane, of Cincinnati, then stood up and was sworn.  He testified that the stomach of Pearl Bryan was brought to him for analysis.  The doctor stated he made a number of tests which corroborated each other, and showed cocaine present in the stomach.  He tasted the crystals, and his tongue was numbed.  He tried it on the eye of a rabbit; the cornea was enlarged, and touched the cornea with a match without sensation.  Ordinarily the cornea is extremely sensitive to the least touch.

"In the portion of the stomach I analyzed I found one and a half grains of cocaine.  I think it entered the system through the mouth.  The membrane of the stomach, however, sometimes gives off a little cocaine if given by hypodermic injection.  The arsenic and mercury came from the embalming fluid.  There were more than two grains of cocaine int he stomach.  I recall only two instances in which cocaine was introduced to produce criminal operations.  Both failed.  They are the only ones I know of in medical records.

There was no trace of chloroform: the embalming fluid would destroy that, however.

Dr. William Dickore, the chemist who analyzed the mud stains on Jackson's trousers, testified that he found the mud to be identical in nature with that at the spot where the body was found.

At the afternoon session Dr. Dickore stated that he also analzyed the mud stains on the inside of the valise and found them likewise to be of the same character as the soil on the Locke farm.

Jackson's coat found in the sewer was then shown to the witness.  Much to Jackson's delight Prof. Dickore said he found no traces of blood spots on it.  Col. Nelson said he would show that the gases and refuse in the sewer would sweep away all blood stains, and asked the witness what the effect the sewer gases and refuse would have on the coat.

"It would dissolve the blood, the sewer water would wash out the blood, I think."

Will Wood , son of a Greencastle minister and a cousin of Pearl Bryan, was called Friday afternoon to the stand.  Questioned by Col. Nelson he said that his relations were quite confidential with Jackson.

Wood told of Jackson's acquaintance with Pearl Bryan, and of his statement that he had sustained illicit relations with her.  The witness said that after Jackson left Greencastle he wrote him, including the prescription filled the witness mere gave it to Pearl.  Witness admitted that he knew Pearl was going to Cincinnati to escape the consequences of her shame, leaving her parents with the idea she was going to visit her brother in Indianapolis.  Wood went on to tell of a letter from Jackson to him, received on the day after the murder, and another which was mailed to him on February 5, four days after the murder, but intercepted by the police.  The first letter, said the witness, began: "I've made a big mistake.  I want you to stand by me," and then, in the words of the witness, "went on in a raving manner."  This letter the witness said he destroyed.  The second letter was offered in evidence.  It certainly indicated that the relations between Wood and Jackson were quite confidential.

Four nights after the murder he got paper and envelope at the palace hotel and wrote a letter to the cousin of the girl, then in Crawfordville, who knew that she was coming to Cincinnati to leave her fate in his hands.  There was the desperation of fell terror in the beginning of that missive.  "Write a letter home and tell Bird's folks that she has gone away to Chicago and that she has not been at I----," it said.  "Tell them she's tired living at home or anything you want.  Get the letter off without a second's delay.  Be careful what you write me."  Then, as though to reassure the man to whom this desperate duty was confided, the writer adds: "Glad to hear you're having a good time."


This letter never reached Will Wood.  While it was on the way detectives at Greencastle discovered that the dead woman wore Pearl Bryan's shoes Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling were arrested for the murder, and Will Wood was taken into custody as their accomplice.  The letter was intercepted by the police at the post office in Greencastle.  It was offered Thursday in evidence and read in court.  Scott Jackson heard it read without a tremor.  Will Wood then testified that his relations with Pearl Bryan had always been innocent.

Cross-examined by Mr. Crawford, Will Wood spent a half hour which he will probably remember for some time.  The attorney was cool and deliberate.  He referred frequently to sworn depositions which were on the table before him.  He asked if he had not admitted to William J. Groom, of Greencastle, that he ha a girl in trouble.  He asked him if he had not boasted of his relations with Pearl Bryan in a conversation with Edward Hunt in Indianapolis.  He asked him if he had not told Homer Newhous, in Greencastle, that on one occasion, when the Bryans were away, he had found Pearl alone and in bed and had occupied the room with her.  There were more questions of a similar import.  To all of them Wood replied positively in the negative.  Before Wood left the stand Mr. Crawford, made a demand upon the prosecution to produce two letters written by Wood to Jackson and found in Jackson's possession.  The letters were not forthcoming, and Mr. Crawford was given permission to recall Wood when the letters shall have been obtained.  Mr. Crawford made a further examination of the witness, his questions being based upon the hypothesis that the case against Wood had been notified in consideration of his appearance as a witness against Jackson. 

John Bell, a cabman, was the next witness.  He testified that he had driven Pearl Bryan from the station to the Palace hotel, and later to the medical college, in search of Jackson.  He then took her to the Indiana house, and on the next morning carried a message from Jackson to her.

NEWPORT, KY., April 27.-- A large part of Saturday morning's testimony was taken up with a description of the scene where the body was found by Judge Bennett, D. W. Weaves, William Newell and W. S. Boyce.  The damaging evidence brought out was that the blood on the privet bushes was wet when the body was found.  A witness named Boyd found three knife cuts in the ground where the missing head should have been. 

Mrs. Bryan was recalled and produced a lock of Pearl's hair and her picture.

W. D. Pinkard testified to seeing a girl who looked like Pearl back of the Atlantic Garden with Jackson and Walling the afternoon before the murder.

The prosecution next turned its attention the clews unearthed in Bellevue, Ky., and Druggisst W. L. Foertmeyer was put on the stand.

"The first time I saw Scott Jackson was on Thursday or Friday before the murder.  He was in company with a dark young man, whom I have since identified as Alonzo Walling, and a blonde young woman.

"I can not give a very good description of the young woman.  I saw the left side of her face.  The wind was blowing her cape about her.  She was clutching at her hat, which had feathers on it.  She was plump, her fresh, clean appearance showed she was from the country.  

She stood in front of my store, and Jackson and the dark young man came into my store.  All my conversation was with the dark young man."

"I object to what was said," exclaimed Crawford, but he was overruled. 

The witness  then went on to say that the dark-complexioned man inqured if there was any skiff ferry at the foot of Washignton street, Bellevue.

"I said no.  He bought a cigar and the two went out.  They and the girl went east toward Dayton.  The dark young man asked what was the most direct way to Walnut Hills.  I said by the Dayton ferry."

"How are you able to fix the time?"

"It was about eleven o'clock Friday, possibly Thursday.  The way I fix the day is because it's the rule in the store to clean the windows on Friday, and the boy had just cleaned the windows.

"I got a telephone message from Scott Jackson," Foertmeyer said.  The objection of the defense stopped any further testimony along this line, disappointing a high curiosity.  Further questioning brought out the fact that the druggist saw the girl and her two companions going down the west side of Washington avenue a half hour after they left the store.

"Is there any doubt about Scott Jackson here being the man who came into your store?"

"There is none," the druggist replied, and his voice was determined.

After the prosecution ended its questions Attorney Crawford moved that all evidence whatever regarding the telephone message be stricken out.

"I am inclined to give the defendant the benefit of a doubt," the court said. "It will be stricken out."

"Have you seen Jackson or Walling since then?" asked Col. Crawford.

"Yes, sir."
"Once in the Hamilton county jail and once in the Newport jail."
"Did you ask to see them?"
"No, sir."
"What did you go to the Newport jail for?"
"At the request of the sheriff."
"What for?"
"To accompany Mrs. Holmes, one of the witnesses at Bellevue,w ho wanted to identify the prisoners."
Co. Nelson--"What was your best judgment of the day you say Jackson and Walling and the woman were in Bellevue?"
"I think Friday morning."

Mrs. Katie Holmes, of Bellevue, was the next witness.  Col. Lockhart examined her.  She said she had lived in Bellevue four years, on Washington avenue.  She testified that she saw Scott Jackson on Washington avenue, Bellevue, but was not positive.  He was with a dark complexioned man and a lady.  The man was Walling.  This was either on Thursday or Friday.  The dark complexioned man talked to Mr. Foster while the other man and the lady stood back a bit.  This was at the foot of Washington avenue.  The witness was washing windows at the time.  They stood there about fifteen minutes.  Saw them go down Washington avenue and come back.

"Did you notice the lady with the men?"

"Yes, pretty closely.  She was a country girl."  Mrs. Holmes then described Pearl Bryan and the clothes she wore.  She was then excused, and John Foster called.  The defense did not question Mrs. Holmes.

Col. Lockhart examined Mr. Foster.  Said he lived at No. 35 Washington avenue, Bellevue.  Knew Jackson and pointed him out to the court.  Saw Jackson in front of his house foot of Washington avenue, with a woman and a dark complexioned man.  Thursday morning at 11 o'clock, January 30.  The woman was a blonde, fair complexioned, and wore a black hat with black feathers and red on it.

"Did you notice anything particular about the woman?"

No; except that she was rather slovenly dressed and appeared countrified."

Witness was turned over to the defense, who did not want to examine him.  He was then excused.

At the afternoon session ex-Sergeant of Police Stegner was called by the prosecution.  He was not in readiness and the sheriff was asked to bring Joseph Kugel, saloonkeeper at Ninth and Central avenue, Cincinnati.

His story on the stand was this: "I have known Scott Jackson and Alonzo Walling since December, 1895.  They used to come into my place almost every night and would drink.

"The last time I saw Scott Jackson was Monday night between nine and ten o'clock, after the headless body of a woman was found at Ft. Thomas.  He took a glass of beer and give me that satchel there.  He told me not to give it to anybody but himself. I did not open the satchel.  I kept the satchel until Thursday morning.  I read then that Jackson had been arrested, and went over to the police station and told them I had a satchel Jackson left with me.

"Fred Albion came several times to my place, always by himself."

"Did Scott Jackson or Alonzo Walling come to your place and inquire for the other?"

"Jackson come one night, and said if Walling came to tell him to wait until 11 o'clock.  I don't remember what night it was.  Jackson came back about 11 o'clock, but Walling was not there.  It was a short time before the murder.  It was the same week.

Walling came in about 10:30 o'clock, but he did not wait.  He was there only a few minutes."

Detective Herman J. Witte next stood in the witness box and was sworn.  "I got a coat and vest from a catch basin at Richmond and John streets.  It was about February 11."

Witt described the condition of the coat as wet and slimy.  There were bloodstains, apparently, on the coat when it was taken out of the sewer; but the detective thought the stains had since faded.

Lieut. Renkert was not allowed to testify to the alleged confession of Jackson in Col. Deitson's office, Judge Helm overruling his former decision, stating that after consultation of the New York legal authorities he had come to the conclusion that the prosecution would first have to present testimony to show that the alleged confession was made under circumstances that were entirely proper and that there was no duress.

Pat Kinney, watchman at the Grand Central depot, testified to seeing Pearl Bryan and Walling together on the afternoon of January 31; the lady was crying; they sat in the waiting room for two hours; witness watched the couple and they did not take a train, but got up and walked out about 4:10.

Aloysius Stenger, saloonkeeper, testified to Scott Jackson being in the habit of carrying a scalpel in his pocket.

Lieut. Renkert was recalled and testified to recovering a small valise, the one owned by Mrs. Stanley, from a barber shop.  The valise was at the wash stand of Fred Albion.  Walling told the witness where he could get it.

Detective Bulmer was then put on the stand and testified to the arrest of Jackson.  When searched Jackson had in his possession three handkerchiefs, three or four tickets, one of which was a bridge ticket.  The handkerchiefs were then identified, also the tickets. [10]


[August 17, 1896] -


Detective Seward Now in a Newport Cell.


And Thought the Fellow Told the Truth.

To the Prisoner Declared to a Reporter.

Detective John Seward, of Pearl Bryan murder-case fame, was brought to Newport at 8:45 o'clock Monday morning and locked in the Newport Jail.

Seward, it will be remembered, produced William R. Trustee, who claimed that he drove a cab on the fatal night with the body of a woman in it.

After the trial, Seward and Truste disappeared. The grand jury indicted Seward for subornation of witnesses and Truste for perjury.

Declares His Innocence.

A Post reporter called at the [N]ewport jail a few moments after Seward's arrival. The detective said: "I have no fear of going to trial, as I am innocent of the charge. I was hired in the Jackson case to hunt up testimony, and was paid a fixed salary for doing it. I was told not to produce any testimony except the facts. I did that. The money I was getting did not depend on whether Jackson was convicted or acquitted."

"Didn't you know that Truste was perjuring himself?"

He Believed in Truste.

"No, sir. I thought he was telling the truth. He told me and the attorneys in the case that he drove that cab. I visited Cincinnati and made inquiries. I believed his story."

"How did you leave Newport when you disappeared so suddenly shortly after you had testified? the reporter asked.

"I went to Cincinnati and took the Southern train for Somerset, KY., Seward replied. "I never saw Truste from that day to this, although I tried to find him. When in Somerset I wrote to Sheriff Plummer, asking him  if he wanted me then, as I saw in the papers that I was indicted, but I received no answer.

Caught at Rockwood.

"From Somerset I went to Rockwood, Tenn., where I got work running an engine with the Roan Iron Company, and never lost a day until I was arrested. The Marshal of Rockwood arrested me and 

"Detective Griffin, the Mayor of Somerset, brought me here."

Seward says that he wants a speedy trial.

"I have the documents to prove that I was hired in the case," he said. "I am not afraid." [11]


[August 18, 1896] -

John Soard is again looking thro' bars. He was arrested by Detective T. R. Griffin at Rockwood, Tenn., where he had been working in an obscure capacity in an iron foundry since he was indicted for suborning perjury in the Scott Jackson case. He made no protest, but quietly submitted to the handcuffs and was taken to the Newport jail. Folks here [Stanford] who know him are satisfied that he should never have been released from the penitentiary to which he was sent for life for murder committed in Casey county. [11.5]


[August 26, 1896] -


The Detective Writes a Letter to The Post in Which He Declares That He Has Seen Pearl Bryan's Cloak in the Possession of Mysterious Anna Baker.

John Seward, the detective who claimed that he could clear Scott Jackson, and who is now awaiting trial in Newport on the charge of suborning testimony in the murder trial, has written a statement for The Post. In this he claims that the mysterious woman, Ann Baker by name, can tell all about the death of Pearl Bryan. He even asserts that Ann Baker took away from Cincinnati with her many of the missing articles of apparel which Pearl Bryan brought with her to Cincinnati late in January. Seward's story is as follows:

The Woman Ann Baker.

"I have known Ann Baker, or Burton, 8 or 9 years at Lexington, Louisville and Indianapolis. She was brought up in Pulaski County, Ky., not far from Somerset. She killed a relative of hers in Somerset by the name of Burton. He had promised to marry her, and on the day of his wedding to another she called him from the house and stabbed him. She was brought back to Somerset, tried and acquitted. 

"After I had been hired in the Jackson case I met Ann Baker in February on Court Street, Cincinnati, either at No. 90 or 92; it may have been at No. 120 or 192. I had a tip that she knew something about the case. Through her I finally learned that a woman named Carrie Evans had brought Pearl Bryan to her. 

Room on George Street.

"Ann Baker agreed to show me both Carrie Evan and the room where an attempt had been made to perform an operation. She pointed out the house of a family named Stoker, on George Street. Later she told me it was Mabel Pitner's house.

"She then pointed out this Carrie Evans to me on the street. I first saw Carrie Evans at George and Plum Streets. I got her to go with me to the Stoker house. As we started in she stopped and said: 'Are you acquainted here?' When I walked into the room I put on a bold front and said: 'This is the room where Pearl Bryan died.'

"She dropped on her knees and said: 'Are you a detective? For God's sake, mister, I don't know anything about Pearl Bryan.'

"A Private Detective."

" 'I am a private detective from Somerset, Ky.,' I said, 'and all I want is facts.' The woman broke down completely, and I could get no information from her at that time. As I learned from the Baker woman that some cocaine had been left in the room, I used every art of my profession to get the stuff from Carrie Evans. I even went so far as to make love to her.

"When the Baker woman learned that Carrie Evans had become a stool-pigeon for the police she was greatly alarmed. The Evans woman had disposed of some things belonging to Pearl Bryan, and also a light overcoat which had figured in the case, and it was impossible for her to give these to the police. The Baker woman had secured possession of them.

The Sealskin Cape.

"The Baker woman went to Covington and stayed there during the Jackson trial. She said she was married. A man with her was represented to be her husband.

"To my certain knowledge she took away with her when she left a sealskin cape or cloak, a brown dress and some other wearing apparel, two gold rings and a breastpin. I saw these goods at Rugby, Tenn., a village in organ County, eight miles west of the Rugby Station, on the Southern. I met her there by appointment. It was June 29. I advised her to correspond with the Bryans at Greencastle, Ind., and turn these articles over to them.

"The Baker woman knows very well that I did not know the Truste story was concocted.

More About Ann Baker.

"This woman is also known by the name of Burton. She is about 36 years old and of medium height. Her hair is coal-black and curly. At one time she was very pretty. She comes from the numerous Burton family, of Pulaski County, Ky. At one time she lived in Evansville, Ind., and she once told me she married a soldier at Ft. Leavenworth, Kas.

"People may say that my story is false, as Carrie Evans and Mrs. Stoker have both denied it. One thing is sure. Ann Baker could not have manufactured the articles now in her possession, if she manufactured the story. If Ann Baker, or Burton, did not conceal Pearl Bryan from Wednesday noon until Friday night, let the police tell who did. I have every reason to believe the Baker woman's story.

"I both wrote and telegraphed to Sheriff Plummer that I was ready to surrender myself whenever wanted." [12]


[December 8, 1896] -

Court of Appeals of Kentucky.


 38 S. W. 1091. 1 For opinion on rehearing, see

Dec. 8, 1896.

Appeal from circuit court, Campbell county.

“Not to be officially reported.”

Scott Jackson, having been convicted of murder, appeals. Affirmed.

*422 L. J. Crawford, for appellant.

M. R. Lockhart and W. S. Taylor, for the Commonwealth.


The appellant was jointly indicted with one Alonzo Walling in the Campbell circuit court for the murder of Pearl Bryan, and on his separate trial was found guilty, and sentenced to be hanged. It will be necessary to submit only a brief summary of the facts disclosed in the voluminous record before us to render *423 intelligible the various complaints urged on this appeal against the judgment of conviction. On the morning of Saturday, February 1, 1896, the headless body of a woman was found on the farm of one Locke, near Newport, in Campbell county. Every effort to find the head proved futile, but the shoes the dead girl wore were marked “Lewis and Hoes, Greencastle, Ind.,” and this circumstance led to the identification of the body as that of Pearl Bryan, a young girl of that city. Her clothes were saturated with blood, particularly about the neck, and a large quantity of it was found on the ground, near the neck, covering a circular spot some six or seven inches in diameter, and also a spot of a similar kind some feet away. Extending near to or over this last–named spot there were some privet bushes, the leaves of which were spattered with blood, and drops were discovered pending under the leaves, as though the blood had reached the underside of them by spurting from the neck, which it might do, as disclosed by the testimony, if the decapitation had taken place or been commenced at the spot near the bushes, and if the victim were alive at the time. These and other circumstances led the authorities to proceed on the theory that the murder–for such it evidently appeared to be–occurred in Campbell county. An autopsy disclosed that the girl was pregnant, and a healthy foetus of some five months' development was found, which, in the opinion of the experts, was probably alive until the death of the mother. The inquiries which led to the identification developed the fact that appellant, Scott Jackson, a dental student at the Ohio Medical College, but who formerly lived at Greencastle, was probably the author of the girl's ruin. It was established beyond question that Pearl Bryan, after trying without success certain remedies prescribed by the appellant, left home on the Monday preceding her death, ostensibly to go to Indianapolis, to visit friends, but in fact to come to Cincinnati, in order that appellant might in some way procure relief for her; and it was shown that when she arrived in the city, where she was a stranger, she applied to him, or to him and Walling, the room mate and intimate associate of Jackson, for the purpose indicated. On several days succeeding her arrival the three–Jackson, Walling, and Pearl Bryan–were seen together in different parts of the city, though where she stayed during this time does not clearly appear. By one witness, and by only one, does the commonwealth directly connect the appellant and his associate, Walling, with the girl at about the time she must have been murdered. This witness, a negro, George H. Jackson, testifies that at about 1 o'clock on the night of Friday, the 31st (or, rather, the morning of February 1st), he was employed to drive, and did drive, a hack or cab from Cincinnati across to Newport, and out to a point near where the body was subsequently found, and was accompanied by Walling, who rode on the seat with him, and by appellant, who was in the interior of the vehicle with another person, whom he could not see, but whom he took to be a woman in distress, etc. This witness was discredited by proof seriously affecting his reputation for truth and veracity, and by other circumstances, though it is fair to say that he appears to be corroborated in some material respects. To discard his testimony entirely is by no means to affect the state's case against the prisoner. It is shown that on the Wednesday preceding the murder the accused bought some 17 grains of cocaine, and an analysis of the girl's stomach discloses that cocaine had been administered to her. Her is shown to have had possession, after the girl's death, of the valise belonging to her, on the inside of which were blood stains, and in which were also found some strands of hair, believed to have come off her head, and also dirt or mud, from its color, etc., corresponding in microscopical appearance with that where the body was found. On Jackson's pants, found, however, in Walling's locker, were found blood stains. On the knee was also found some earth, which, under the microscope, or by chemical analysis, is found identical with the earth found at the point where the body was discovered. His coat is also found in the sewer, where he admits having thrown it, stained with blood. He is found in possession of her clothing, which he attempted to dispose of. He admits that he attempted to get rid of the valise by throwing it into the river, and by attempting to place it in an outgoing train. There is produced, and he admits writing, a letter to his friend and associate, one Wood, in which he asks Wood to write in Pearl's name to her parents from Chicago or elsewhere, saying that she was tired of living at home, and was at the place of writing, and concludes with these words: “Get this letter off without one second's delay, and burn this at once. Stick by your old chum, Bill, and I will help you out the same way, or some other way, some time.”

The theory of the defense is, and the accused so testifies, that Wood was the author of the girl's misfortune, and sent her to Cincinnati, where he had made an arrangement to turn her over to Walling, who was to perform, or have performed, an abortion. He says that he last saw the girl at noon of Wednesday, and affects not to have inquired of Walling thereafter of the success or failure of the plan, or to have known anything of her whereabouts. That he knew nothing or suspected nothing wrong until while at supper with Walling, on Saturday evening, he read a newspaper account of the finding of the headless body on the Locke farm, and at once had a presentiment that “this was Walling's case.” He discovered from Walling's conduct on that occasion, and from what Walling confessed to him, that his suspicion was well founded. He then became panic–stricken, and attributes to this mental condition his subsequent conduct in helping Walling to dispose of the dead girl's effects, and in writing the damaging letter to Wood. All this, he testifies, was done at the instance of Walling, and while he was under Walling's *424 influence, and in the mental condition named. This recital, without an elaboration of the proof, some of which is wholly at variance with the theory of the defense, serves to show that the facts in evidence conduce to establish the guilt of the accused; and further than this was are not authorized to examine the testimony, being confined exclusively, under the express language of the law, to a review of errors of law appearing of record, and then only where they are such as to affect the substantial rights of the accused.

By his demurrer and motion in arrest of judgment the appellant first raises the question of the sufficient of the indictment. This instrument is as follows: “The grand jury of Campbell county, in the name and by the authority of the commonwealth of Kentucky, accuses Scott Jackson and Alonso Walling of the crime of murder, committed as follows, to wit: The said Scott Jackson and Alonso Walling, on the _____ day of _____, 1896, before the finding of this indictment, in the county aforesaid, did willfully, feloniously, and with malice aforethought kill and murder Pearl Bryan, by the one or the other, the said Scott Jackson or Alonso Walling, with a knife or other sharp instrument, cutting the throat of the said Pearl Bryan, so that she did then and there die, the other being then and there present, aiding and abetting the same, the exact manner whereof is unknown to the grand jurors; and which did the cutting, Scott Jackson or Alonso Walling, or which aided and abetted the same, is unknown to the jurors; against the peace and dignity of the commonwealth of Kentucky.” It is urged that this indictment is not direct and certain as regards the party charged, but charges in the alternative that one party or the other committed the offense, when it is permissible only to charge in the alternative the different modes or means of committing an offense. The indictment, however, charges directly and certainly that Jackson did kill and murder Pearl Bryan–First, by himself cutting her throat with a knife, or, secondly, by aiding and abetting Walling in doing so. The cutting by himself is one mode, and the aiding and abetting Walling while he did the cutting is another mode, of committing the murder; and these modes and means may be charged in the alternative. The indictment is sufficient, and its accuracy and conciseness of expression is to be commended.

Prior to the trial, the appellant sought to prevent the sheriff of the county from performing his usual duties, and for that purpose filed his affidavit stating that that officer had taken an unusual and remarkable interest in bringing about a conviction of the accused, and had frequently denounced him and his co–defendant, Walling, as the guilty parties, and had devoted his whole time to hunting up evidence against him, and had endeavored by threats of punishment to force the defendants to confess the crime. The court's refusal to relieve the sheriff furnishes another ground of complaint. Unquestionably, if it should be shown in any case to the satisfaction of the court that a sheriff was a “party” or was “interested” in the proceedings (Civ. Code, § 667, and Cr. Code, § 151), then another officer should be designated to execute the process; and so in criminal proceedings “the court may for sufficient cause designate some other officer or person than the sheriff to summon the petit jurors” (Cr. Code, § 193). In this case it is not pretended that the sheriff had any personal feeling or bias against the prisoner, or was personally interested in the trial. While “the sufficient cause” named in the law is not defined, this court, in Forman v. Com., 86 Ky. 605, 6 S. W. 579, said of a somewhat similar complaint that the unsupported affidavit of the defendant that the officer “was not a suitable person,” and was “biased against him, and would not summon impartial men to act as jurors,” did not furnish sufficient cause for his removal. It does not appear from the record here, and it was not intimated during the trial, that the sheriff or his deputy failed to execute all process placed in their hands by the accused. As to the jury, it does not appear whether any member thereof was summoned by the sheriff or any of his deputies; and certainly there is no evidence in the record that he or they failed to perform any duty in their behalf. In this connection, as it involves the conduct of the sheriff, we notice the complaint with respect to what is termed the “ticket system” of admission, adopted by the sheriff to control the attendance at the trial. The affidavit of the accused, filed several days before the trial commenced, was to the effect that Sheriff Plummer “had announced his intention of permitting no one to enter the court room upon the trial herein, excepting members of the bar and court officials, who shall not hold a ticket of admission issued by him, and that such tickets should be good for only one–half for a daily session, and that no person shall receive tickets more than once; and that, if said Plummer shall be permitted to carry out said programme, friends of affiant, and all others who are not favorites of said Plummer, will be denied admission to the court room during the trial, and that affiant will thus be denied his right to an open and public trial, free from partiality and favoritism,” etc. Accompanying the paper was a motion “that the court direct the sheriff to permit any and all well–behaved and respectable persons, who desired to attend the trial herein, to do so, so long as such persons can be conveniently accommodated in the court room, and to refrain from admitting some and excluding others merely to gratify his own caprice, and at his own pleasure, and to refrain from excluding any persons for the sole reason that he may not hold a ticket of admission,” etc. Here is an effort to forestall the action of the sheriff, as well as a charge in advance that the sheriff would prostitute his office out of mere caprice, or his own pleasure. The court properly *425 refused to take any notice of the affidavit or motion. It is significant that when the trial was over the accused was not able to say that any of his friends, or that any other person who desired to attend, had been prevented from doing so, but contents himself with filing an affidavit that the ticket system had been carried out during the trial, and the admission of persons regulated thereby. While much has been said in oral argument and by brief on this alleged error, there is not the slightest indication that the ticket system was carried out, and the tickets of admission issued otherwise than to those who first applied for them, and for the sole purpose of preventing an overcrowding of the court room. This plan was carried on under the eye of the trial judge, and we quote his ruling on the point when discussing this ground for a new trial: “The fifth ground is stated to be error of law committed in refusing to permit defendant to have an open and public trial, free from favoritism and partiality. There is absolutely no foundation for such a statement. There is no suggestion made that there was the slightest discrimination in the admission of persons to the court room. The court, to enable it to transact business, and as a protection to the defendant, directed the sheriff to have tickets of admission to the court room limited in number to the seating capacity of the room, and to give them in the order in which requests were made to him for them; that, if strangers applied for them, to satisfy himself they were not persons who might do violence to the defendant. The court had no knowledge that while the tickets were not exhausted any person was refused one. The ticket system prevented disorder in the corridors of the courthouse.” In People v. Murray (Mich.) 50 N. W. 995, relied on by counsel for appellant, the order of the trial court to the police officer was to stand at the door, and see that the room was not overcrowded, but that all respectable citizens be admitted, and have an opportunity to get in, whenever they should apply. The supreme court of Michigan said: “It is shown beyond question that during the whole trial the court room was not overcrowded, nor were the seats provided for spectators occupied to any great extent. This officer was under the control of the court; and when the court was informed that he was excluding citizens and taxpayers, he refused to take any notice of the complaint, and left the officer to exercise his discretion as to what respectable citizens he should admit.” It is not pretended that any such exclusion or discrimination was practiced in this case. Had the court adopted the suggestion contained in the motion of appellant's counsel, and directed the officer to admit “all respectable persons,” then the vigorous language of the case cited, denouncing the plan as violative of the constitutional right of “public trial,” would have been applicable here; for, as indicated in the case, no citizen is required to present to a police or other officer a certificate of respectability before he is entitled to attend a public trial as demanded by the constitution of his country.

Counsel next discusses the alleged errors of the court in admitting and excluding testimony. These are quite numerous, and, while all have been examined carefully, only the most important seem to demand special comment. It is to be remembered in this connection that the true solution of this mysterious case rests largely, not upon direct testimony explaining the immediate transaction, but upon circumstances affecting, or supposed to affect, the main transaction, so that, as said by this court in the O'Bryan Case, 89 Ky. 362, 12 S. W. 473: “The evidence should be allowed to take a wide range, otherwise the guilty would often go unpunished. It is true there must be some connection between the fact to be proven and the circumstances offered in support of it, yet any fact which is necessary to introduce or explain another, or which offered an opportunity for any transaction which is in issue, or shows facilities or motives for the commission of the crime, may be proven. Even evidence tending to prove a distinct offense is therefore admissible if it shows facilities or motives for the commission of the one in question.” “The purpose,” says the court, “is to weave a net about the guilty, and often this can no more be done by proof of a single circumstance than the building of a house with a single brick.” This language is particularly applicable to the first complaint of counsel on this subject. The autopsy held by the coroner developed that he found a healthy foetus, which must have been alive up to the time of the mother's death. This is claimed to be error, because no mention is made of the murder of an unborn child in this indictment. We think that the existence of the foetus conduces to furnish a motive for the killing. Its age would show the necessity for immediate action if relief was to be afforded, or concealment made longer possible. Moreover, it appears that when death is caused by hemorrhage there is less flow of blood in cases where the subject is pregnant, owing to the mysterious effort of nature to maintain the life of the foetus. And this question of the quantity of blood found about the body affects the very jurisdiction of the court trying the case, as upon it depends chiefly the solution of the question whether the decapitation occurred during life, and at the spot where the body was found.

Serious complaint is urged against the competency of Mayor Caldwell's testimony, to the extent particularly that the witness gave any conversations between Jackson and Walling after their arrest. The point of objection can be understood the better by quoting from the bill of evidence: “Mr. Jackson was asked about the satchel, and he said he had left the satchel at Legner's saloon, across *426 the street from where he roomed. When asked why he brought that satchel out, he said he wanted to loan it to a young doctor, whose name I do not remember, and he intended taking it to the college, to give it to him; but he did not give it to him, and finally admitted that it was Pearl Bryan's satchel. Walling then repeated– I want to say in the meantime, in one of these conversations we had told both these young men that they did not have to make any confession to any person; that they were at perfect liberty to refuse to answer any and all questions that were asked them. Walling then stated in his presence that when Mr. Jackson came back from his holiday vacation he took him into the corner of his room on Ninth street, where they roomed, and told him that he was in trouble with Pearl Bryan, and that he intended to kill her. When asked how, he said, ‘I propose to get a room, take her to the room, and give her some quick poison, and leave her there.’ Then again, he says, he changed, and said, ‘No; I will cut her up into pieces and take the pieces and deposit them in different places about the city.’ On this evening he said that he saw Pearl Bryan at the post office,–and I believe that was Thursday evening, instead of Wednesday. He said that Jackson had made arrangements to take her over to Belleview (I think it was), or over at the sand bar some place, and then kill her, take her head off, and bury her. He said that Jackson asked of the physician as to the effects of the different kinds of poison, and that he had a Standard Medical Dictionary in his room, studying the effects of poison, and that he asked one physician particularly as to the effects of cocaine; and he said that Jackson went to Sixth street, to a pharmacist's, and got cocaine, and he brought it back, and he said there was a level teaspoonful,–a small teaspoonful as he described it; that he poured it out, and dissolved it in two teaspoonfuls of water, and put it in a bottle, as he said, to give her to paralyze her vocal organs or throat, and then cut her head off. Jackson turned to ‘Wally,’ as he called him, at the time, and he says: ‘Wally, why do you talk that way? You know you are not telling the truth. You know that you killed Pearl Bryan.’ Whereupon Walling says: ‘No. You know what you killed her; and why don't you tell where her head is?’ Then, when Jackson was asked where Pearl Bryan's head was, he says: ‘I don't know. Wally says he threw it overboard.’ Then he (Jackson) said that they took her clothes, and made one or two trips–I can't remember–to the river, and threw part of them over into the river, and some in the sewer; but he could not tell where. Mr. Jackson then said there was a bundle that he had given Walling; that Walling had a bundle, and asked him what he did with it. Walling says, ‘That bundle is up in my locker at the college.’ The bundle was sent for, and brought into their presence; and it was a pair of pantaloons, which Jackson identified as his, but said that he hadn't seen them for some time; that Walling must have worn them; and thereupon I asked them as to where the other clothes were, whereupon Walling says: ‘Jackson, why don't you tell him where those things are? You might just as well do it now as any time.’ Whereupon Jackson said that on the Saturday, I believe it was, that they were walking up Plum street with the bundle, that they met there some young physician or dental student coming toward them in an opposite direction, when they changed around, and went down Plum and out Ninth. Jackson, as he said, went in Little Richmond street, and emerged from there after the other man had passed, and came back down Plum to Ninth, from Ninth to Richmond, and out Richmond street eastward, where he threw the bundle in one of the manholes or sewers; but he could not state which. The sewers were drained or searched, and the bundle brought to the department, and Mr. Jackson identified it as his coat, first denying that it was his, said it was Walling's, but afterwards admitted that it was his coat, but that Walling must have worn it. There were several conversations of this character, one time Walling accusing Jackson of killing the girl, then Jackson accusing Walling of killing her.”

It is altogether clear that the statements of both Jackson and Walling were made voluntarily, and are free from the suspicion of having been procured by promises or threats. It follows, therefore, indisputably, that Jackson's statements are competent. These, however, without the corresponding portions of the conversation as made up by Walling's statements, would be unintelligible. The whole must be taken, in order to get the sense of it. Here Walling discloses where a bundle is,–a bloody coat,–and it is found where he locates it. Jackson also tells where a bundle is,–a pair of pantaloons, muddy and bloody,–and the bundle is found where he locates it. There is no confession by either party, and no admission of any fact intended to be inculpatory. The conversation was voluntarily entered into by each party to it, and we think the whole of it was competent. But on the following day the court said to the jury: “When, upon yesterday, I permitted Judge Caldwell to detail to you what Walling had stated concerning the conduct and statements of Jackson to him in Jackson's presence, it was done and admitted to you as testimony in this case, for the sole purpose of your determining from what Jackson said, or his conduct at the time, in Judge Caldwell's presence, whether he admitted or denied the statements made by Walling; and you will determine from all the testimony you hear in this case whether or not Jackson, by his conduct, expressly or impliedly admitted or denied what Walling said.” We are not satisfied*427 that it was proper to thus limit this testimony. On the contrary, it would seem that these portions of Walling's statements which Jackson did not deny, or, in other words, remained silent about, were the portions which were incompetent, if any were. This is true, because Jackson was not called on, or it was not incumbent on him, to speak at all. He had the right to remain silent when charged with the crime, and guilt is not to be imputed to him by reason of that silence. As we have seen, however, he did not remain silent, but voluntarily entered into the conversation, denying every imputation of guilt. Later on, the witness Crim was testifying to conversations between Jackson and Walling and the officers, and testified that Walling said that the Saturday before the arrest he met Jackson in Cincinnati, with a Penny Post in his hands; that Jackson told him that they had something to work on; that “if it were not for those damned shoes, we would be all right,” and further said that, “I see the detectives have gone to Greencastle, and it looks damned blue.” In response to this, Jackson answered, “It is not true, and you know it is not true, Walling.” Thereupon the court said to the jury: “You are to disregard every statement this witness has detailed that Walling made which Jackson denied the truth of. I take this occasion now to charge you further that you will do the same as to all the testimony that Judge Caldwell gave as to what Walling said upon this same occasion to which Jackson answered, ‘Walling, you know you are not telling the truth.’ All that testimony you will disregard, and will not consider it, in coming to a conclusion in this case.” Still later in the trial, and after the defendant had testified minutely as to these conversations, and his conduct and manner towards Walling, the witnesses Caldwell, Crim, Deitch, and others were brought back in rebuttal, and were allowed to testify to the manner of Jackson's denial of Walling's statements; the court saying: “The court now tells the jury that for the purpose of rebutting the testimony of Scott Jackson, and for that purpose only, the jury will consider statements made by Chief Deitch, Mayor Caldwell, Col. Crim, McDermott, Julius Plummer, and Mr. Poock, in reference to conversations that they detailed between Walling and Jackson, in the presence of Chief Deitch and Mayor Caldwell, in reference to what Jackson had said to Walling when in Jackson's room, and Jackson's denial of it;” and finally, in a written instruction (No, 13), the court told the jury that all the evidence offered by the commonwealth as to any statement of Alonzo Walling, the truth of which the defendant Scott Jackson denied and as to the manner and language of the denial, are to be considered by them “solely in rebutting the defendant's testimony thereto; that is, to contradict, weaken, or explain Scott Jackson's statements in reference thereto, and not as testimony upon which to find him guilty. The defendant's own statements of what Alonzo Walling said, and the language and manner of his denial, are before the jury for every purpose.” As in all the conversations Jackson did in fact deny the truth of every charge looking to his guilt made by Walling, the effect of the court's ruling was to exclude from the jury all that Walling said to Jackson's detriment, except affecting his own statements on the stand with respect thereto. This, we have seen, was more favorable to him than he had the right to demand. We are of the opinion further, in view of the fact that cocaine was found in the stomach of the dead girl, and that the accused had inquired into its effects, that the witness Cullen was properly allowed to state the use of this drug in the production of abortions, and its effects on the system. It is insisted that the witness Poock was allowed to testify what Jackson said in his presence, after his arrest, without it being first shown that the circumstances surrounding the statement were proper. It is clear, however, that in no case was any statement of the accused admitted without a full opportunity for a preliminary examination, and until the court was satisfied that the statement was voluntarily made.

Complaint is also made that questions intimating other acts of doubtful propriety on the part of Jackson, and touching matters wholly foreign to the trial, were allowed to be asked. Objection to them, however, was sustained, and counsel cautioned not to indulge in such conduct further. We think, too, that the various acts of Walling during the week preceding the death of the girl, and after the arrival in Cincinnati, were properly shown, by the proof of Rogers, Morton, Skidmore, and others. These acts were “single bricks in the building,” and Jackson was shown to have been closely connected with them. So, too, we think competent the conversation between Jackson and Walling when confined in the “sensitive cell.” The talk was wholly voluntary. Nor do we think incompetent the testimony of the negro witnesses who were introduced in person by the state after their depositions taken for the defense had been read. The jury heard each statement. Many other rulings of the court touching the admission and rejection of testimony are complained of, but the decision of the court in each case is easily sustained on principles already announced.

The instructions of the court have been examined carefully, and need no extended comment. The first is on the theory that Jackson did the cutting and killing; the second, that Walling did this, and that Jackson aided and abetted him. The third we quote in full: “If the jury believe from all the evidence, beyond a reasonable doubt, that the defendant, Scott Jackson, willfully, feloniously, and with malice aforethought himself attempted, or aided or abetted or procured*428 another to attempt, to kill Pearl Bryan, but she was not thereby killed, and that said Scott Jackson, in this county and state, before the 14th day of February, 1896, though believing said Pearl Bryan was then dead, for whatever purpose, cut her throat with a knife or other sharp instrument, so that she did then and there, and because thereof, die, they will find said Scott Jackson guilty of murder.” The conclusion is fairly deducible from certain portions of the testimony that an attempt was made to kill the girl by the administration of cocaine, while in Cincinnati, and that this was done by the defendant, or at his instance, but that she was not thereby killed. It is to be remembered that, according to the testimony of Jackson, he did not see the girl in life after Wednesday, and, according to Walling's, he did not see her after that day. But the proof conduces to show that they were both with her Friday night, when she was in the cab, and that they brought her over to Campbell county. If she was dead then, as might be supposed from her making no outcry, a verdict of guilty could not have been rendered; but, if she was then alive, though appearing to be dead, and by the cutting of her throat she was killed, while in Campbell county, then the jury might find a verdict of guilty, although the cutting off of the head was merely for the purpose of destroying the chance of identification, or for any other purpose. At best, the instruction does not authorize a verdict of conviction unless Jackson is shown to have cut off the head of his victim in Campbell county, and while she was in fact alive; and if he did this he was guilty of murder, though believing her already dead, if the act succeeded, and was but a part of, the felonious attempt to kill her in Cincinnati. Some of the facts on which this instruction is based do not appear as distinctly in proof as others, but there is some basis for the hypothesis put, and the whole arises naturally out of the circumstances in evidence. The fourth is the same instruction, with Jackson as an abettor, and Walling as principal. The fifth is based on the theory that Jackson feloniously administered, or procured another to administer, drugs to Pearl Bryan for the purpose of producing an abortion, when she was so far gone with child as to make it necessarily dangerous to her life, or when the drugs were in themselves or in the manner of their administration dangerous to her life; and, though believing her to have been killed in this way, he cut her head off, in Campbell county, when she was in fact alive, yet he was guilty of murder. The sixth is identical with the fifth, save that appellant is treated as an abettor and Walling as principal. Keeping in mind the purpose for which, as appears from the proof, the girl was brought to Cincinnati, the fact that cocaine was found in her stomach, and the defendant's inquiries with respect thereto, we think these instructions fairly suggested by the proof, and embody correct principles of law. The seventh and eighth are with reference to voluntary manslaughter, and are not seriously objected to. The ninth also authorizes a verdict of voluntary manslaughter, and is fashioned after the fifth, with the exception of the words, “she not being then so far gone with child as to make the same necessarily dangerous,” etc. And the tenth is like the sixth, with the exception of the above words. Our disposition of the fifth and sixth therefore disposes of the ninth and tenth. The eleventh was on the subject of voluntary manslaughter, and authorized such a finding if Jackson cut the throat of Pearl Bryan, in Campbell county, under the belief that she was already dead; and did so, not intending to kill her, but merely for the purpose of concealing her identity, unless he had theretofore himself attempted to kill her, or procured another to so attempt, or had administered drugs, or procured another to do so, for the purpose of procuring an abortion, in which event they were to “find as elsewhere instructed,”–meaning, it is evident, that if the attempt was to kill her, or if the drugs were administered when dangerous to her life, he was still guilty of murder as theretofore defined, or of voluntary manslaughter, if the drugs were administered when not dangerous. The twelfth is the same, except that the accused is treated as an abettor and Walling as principal. The thirteenth, we have already seen, is a limitation on the scope of certain testimony, and is unobjectionable. The succeeding instructions are the usual ones on reasonable doubt, presumption of innocence, etc., and substantially embrace those asked for by appellant on these subjects.

Complaint is made that counsel for the state referred in his argument to the state of public sentiment in the case, but what was said on this subject was wholly in response to statements of counsel for the defense on the same subject, and was presently stopped by the court.

The references to the Webster–Parkman Case and to the Durant Case were merely historical allusions to celebrated cases of circumstantial evidence, and cannot be said to have been an improper argument, or furnish ground for a reversal.

Upon the whole case, we are convinced that the accused has had a fair and impartial trial. If, upon his arrest, and when first confronted with the charge of having committed so horrid a crime, he was so disconcerted–as he might naturally be, even if ever so innocent–as to tell an incoherent and contradictory story of his connection with it, yet, when time had been given him to come to himself, he seems not to have availed himself of the opportunity to tell a story at all compatible with that of an innocent man, or even of one who had committed a grave error by inadvertence, ignorance, or mistake. *429 The explanation of his damaging letter to Wood, his claim of utter ignorance of the whereabouts of Pearl Bryan after Wednesday, and his claim of failure to even inquire where she was, or what success had attended the plan for her relief, his reasons for disposing of the satchel and other effects of the dead girl, are all improbable stories, and it is not to be wondered at that the jury could not accept his statements as true. The judgment must be affirmed. [13]


[December 12, 1896] -

Court of Appeals of Kentucky.


For opinion on rehearing, see 38 S. W.

Dec. 12, 1896.

Appeal from circuit court, Campbell county.

“Not to be officially reported.”

Alonzo Walling, having been convicted of murder, appeals. Affirmed.

*429 Geo. Washington, for appellant.
W. S. Taylor and M. R. Lockhart, for the Commonwealth.


The appellant was indicted for the murder of Pearl Bryan, jointly with Scott Jackson, whose appeal has just been determined by this court (38 S. W. 422), and on his trial below was likewise found guilty, and sentenced to be hung. The case has been gone over carefully, but a restatement of the facts is unnecessary. It is sufficient to say that Walling's connection with the movements of the girl during the weeks preceding her murder, and his attempts to dispose of her effects after that occurrence, are clearly established by the proof, to say nothing of the direct and conclusive testimony of the negro cab driver. The verdict, thereto, cannot be disturbed for lack of evidence to support it. What we determined as to the sufficiency of the indictment and correctness of instructions in the Jackson Case is conclusive of the same points here raised, and this ground need not be again considered. We are also of the opinion in this as in that case that the conversations between Walling and Jackson when they were interrogated by the officers are competent, as well as the statements of the accused to the officers and newspaper reporters when Jackson was not present. These conversations and statements were freely and voluntarily made and entered into, and were not obtained by threats, promises, or the like. In fact, while Chief Deitch did say to Walling in one of the talks that “it would be well for him to tell all he knew,” yet no confessions were thereby obtained, or any statements intended to be at all inculpatory. Besides, the statements made at the time of the alleged promise or suggestion from the chief were afterwards excluded. The objectionable remarks of the attorney representing the state with reference to the finding of the napkins and tablecloths in Walling's trunk were not calculated to prejudice the accused, or have the slightest bearing on the case. Besides, the remarks were denounced as improperly by the trial court. It is most seriously insisted that the rejection of a portion of Fred Albion's testimony was a prejudicial error. This witness was the intimate friend of Walling. He roomed in the same house, was his barber and companion. The valise of the dead girl was found in the barber shop where he worked, and in his stand. The proof comes suspiciously near showing that he had some connection with, or at least some knowledge of, the crime, or of Jackson's and Walling's connection with it. About the first thing said by Jackson to Walling in the “sensitive” cell was, “Fred is all right, ain't he?' He was not present at the trial, but by his deposition taken at some point in Ohio, when he was cross–examined, he proves that he was slightly acquainted with Walling, and was with him on Thursday night, January 30th, visiting a number of places in the city (Cincinnati) in his company, until about 1 o'clock, when he parted from him. He then offered to testify, but the state's objection to it was sustained, that when he and Walling separated “Walling told him that he was going to stay at Heider's Hotel all night,” and that he was going to do so because “he had a fuss with Jackson.” The commonwealth had shown in the Jackson Case, and in this, that Walling came to Heider's on Friday night, the 31st, or, rather, on Saturday morning, at about 3 o'clock, and stayed there the remainder of the night. This fact is established by Martin and Rogers, night waiter and clerk at the hotel; and circumstances are shown which render it certain that this was on Friday, the night of the murder, and not Thursday night. It seemed important, therefore, for the accused to explain away the circumstances of his being out on this night, or rather to contradict it outright, and he attempts to do so by himself testifying that it was Thursday night he stayed at Heider's, and by having his friend corroborate him by testifying to his declared intention of staying there on that night. The value of this declaration of intention, conceding it to have been competent on the ground that it was res gestae, depends on whether it was made by Walling in good faith, and in the ordinary course of things, or was manufactured to meet an emergency, and the seeming necessity of rebutting the positive proof of the state. This, it is true, was not a question for the trial court, because, if competent, the declaration should have been admitted; but when this court is asked to nullify the trial below because it was not admitted, an inquiry into all the circumstances attending the alleged declaration, whether it was genuinely made, and by whom it is proposed to show it was in fact made, becomes vital. Testimony*430 may be technically competent, but when its rejection below is urged as a ground of reversal the circumstances surrounding it may be such that this court may be entirely satisfied of its worthlessness as a factor in the trial, and be convinced, as we are in this case, with respect to the testimony offered, that its admission would not and ought not to have affected the verdict. To reverse the judgment below under such circumstances, and when so convinced, would be to do so on most unsubstantial and unsatisfactory grounds. We are not the triers of fact, but we are authorized to determine what errors affect or do not affect the substantial rights of the accused. Besides, if the appellant ever made such a declaration, it is entirely satisfactorily established that he did not carry out his declared intention, and stay at Heider's on Thursday night. As further discrediting the declaration, the motive alleged to be assigned for staying there is shown to have been groundless, and evidently the result of an afterthought. Walling had no fuss with Jackson, nor semblance of one; on the contrary, their intimacy continued as usual, even after the pretended suspicions of Walling on Wednesday. Perceiving no errors of record prejudicial to the substantial rights of the appellant, the judgment below must be affirmed. [14]


[December 18, 1896] -

GETS HIS DESERTS AGAIN. -- "Detective" John Soard, indicted for subornation of witnesses and perjury, and William Trusty, for perjury, in the Scott Jackson case, pleaded guilty at Newport. Soard was sentenced to two years in the penitentiary and Trusty one year. Both men are well-known in this county. Soard was sent up for life from Casey for murder, but was pardoned by a too handy with that power governor. He has been in many bad scrapes and has been run out of several localities for his meanness. [14.5]


[March 5, 1897] -

The Cincinnati Commercial Tribune publishes the most astounding story that the Rev. J. A. Lee, of the 3d Baptist church, Covington, the self-appointed spiritual adviser of Jackson and Walling, has used his sacred office for the purpose of getting alleged confessions from them, which he offered to sell that paper for $3,000, remarking, "I am not in this thing for fun, but mean business." Four or five reporters corroborate the story, together with a concealed stenographer, who took down every word and proposition of the clerical scoundrel. Lee says that on the strength of his position and the further fact that he and Jackson are Odd Fellows, he obtained his entire confidence and a full confession of his part in the notable tragedy. It is almost past belief that a minister of the gospel should be guilty of such a thing and this wolf in sheep's clothing deserves the execration of everybody and should be severely punished. This and other scandals growing out of the efforts scandals growing out of the efforts of certain newspapers to pander to the morbid tastes of their readers, to the extent of having reporters arrested for alleged misdemeanors in order to be confined in the jail with the prisoners, hoping to get something out of them, has caused Judge Helm to have them removed to the jail at Alexandria, where they will not be disturbed by such ghouls. [15]


[1] "Murder Mystery." Morning Herald, Lexington, KY. February 3, 1896. Page 8. Genealogybank.com.

[2] "Beheaded Woman." Morning Herald, Lexington, KY. February 4, 1896. Page 4. Genealogybank.com.

[3] "One Arrest." Morning Herald, Lexington, KY. February 6, 1896. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[4] "Headless Mystery." Evansville Courier and Press, Evansville, IN. February 7, 1896. Page 5. Genealogybank.com.

[5] "Where the Murder Strikes Hardest." Elkhart Daily Review, Elkhart, IN. February 8, 1896. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[6] "Hunt For The Head." Plain Dealer, Cleveland, OH. February 8, 1896. Page 4. Genealogybank.com.

[7] "Another Confession." Evansville Courier and Press, Evansville, IN. February 11, 1896. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[8] Kentucky, Death Records, 1852-1953 [database on-line]. Provo, UT, USA: Ancestry.com Operations Inc, 2007.

[9] Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. February 18, 1896. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1896-02-18/ed-1/seq-1/

[10] "Jackson's Trial." The News-Herald, Hillsboro, OH. April 30, 1896. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85038161/1896-04-30/ed-1/seq-2/

[11] "Put in Jail." Kentucky Post, Covington, KY. August 17, 1896. Page 1. Genealogybank.com.

[11.5] Excerpt from "City and Vicinity." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. August 18, 1896. Page 3. LOC.

[12] "John Seward's Story." Kentucky Post, Covington, KY. August 26, 1896. Page 3. Genealogybank.com.

[13] Jackson v. Commonwealth, 18 Ky.L.Rptr. 795, 38 S.W. 422 (1896).

[14] Walling v. Commonwealth, 18 Ky.L.Rptr. 812, 38 S.W. 429 (1896).

[14.5] Excerpt from "City and Vicinity." Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. December 18, 1896. Page 5. LOC. 

[15] Column 1. Semi-Weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, KY. March 5, 1897. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn85052020/1897-03-05/ed-1/seq-2/

[16] Photo Excerpt from "Pearl Bryan's Fate." Pullman Herald, Pullman, WA. April 18, 1896. Page 2. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn88085488/1896-04-18/ed-1/seq-2/

Also see the following sources for more of the trial dialogue:

[17] "Walling's Defense." The Evening Bulletin, Maysville, KY. June 9, 1896. Page 1. LOC. http://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn87060190/1896-06-09/ed-1/seq-1/


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