June 9th (or) 10th marks the 110th anniversary of one of the most notorious crimes in American history - the brutal axe murders of Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children (Herman, Katherine, Boyd and Paul) and Ina and Lena Stillinger, two neighbor girls who had the terrible misfortune of sleeping over that night. It's a case steeped in mystery, with a gruesome crime scene, puzzling evidence, twists and turns and compelling suspects.
My guest - Dr. Edgar Epperly - has spent almost seventy years interviewing eyewitnesses and key figures and pouring over historical records related to the crime. He is considered the foremost authority on the case. The culmination of his decades of work is a comprehensive book on the subject published at the end of 2021, called "Fiend Incarnate: Villisca Axe Murders of 1912". This is an absolute must read for anyone interested in the case.
Our interview went so long that it was divided into three parts. Part one is about the scene of the crime and the evidence that left investigators scratching their heads. Part two, out next week, is about F.F. Jones, whose adversarial relationship with Mr. Moore made him an early suspect. The third part of the interview, which will be released during the week of the 110th anniversary, is about the very peculiar Reverend Lyn George Jacklin Kelly, who would ultimately be tried for the murders. Also in part three, Dr. Epperly gives his opinion on the likelihood that a recent popular suspect, Paul Mueller, known as "The Man From the Train", might have committed these homicides as a serial murderer.
Listener discretion is advised on this episode, as it contains adult themes and language.
Dr. Epperly's website: https://villiscabook.com/
More about the documentary "Villisca: Living with a Mystery" here: https://www.villiscamovie.com/
Dr. Epperly's Villisca Axe Murders Blog: https://docublogger.typepad.com/villiscamystery/
In the years following the 1906 Atlanta Race Riot, a wave of terror rocked the city. Over twenty black women were brutally murdered, often in a fashion that mimicked the infamous Jack the Ripper murders twenty years earlier.
My guest is Dr. Jeffery Wells, author of "The Atlanta Ripper: The...
Chattanooga, Tennessee, 1906. When a young white woman is assaulted in a dark cemetery, the town erupts. Despite questionable evidence and a flawed trial, a black man named Ed Johnson is convicted of the crime and sentenced to death. Before he can be executed, the U.S. Supreme Court intervenes....