Female Killers · Momento Mori and Post-mortem Photography · New York

Husband, wife, child buried together after mother kills all 3

January 25, 1894
Auburn, New York
Maria Keller, who was later suspected of suffering from an undiagnosed mental illness, shoots her husband in the heart, fatally wounds their infant daughter whose lung was punctured, and shoots herself in the temple

Their obituary, published in the Auburn Bulletin on January 26, 1894, reads:

Three in one casket. Emil Keller, wife and baby united in death. The little one died at the hospital last night-The funeral will be held from the Universalist Church tomorrow afternoon. Shortly after 6 o’clock last evening death came to the relief of little Anna Keller at the city hospital. It was found that the bullet from the mother’s revolver had penetrated the infant’s right lung and came out on the left side. The body of the child was removed and prepared for burial with its parents. Throughout the day throngs of people have visited the undertaking room to view the remains. Father, mother and daughter will be buried in the same casket, which is a special order about 4 inches deeper and 9 inches wider than the ordinary, and covered with gray embossed plush. The plate reads: EMIL KELLER Aged 30 years. MARY, the wife aged 29 years. Another plated is inscribed “Our Darling.” The head of Mrs. Keller rests on the left shoulder of her husband thus hiding from view the wound in her temple and partly covering a discoloration of the right eye. There are traces of suffering in the woman’s face but her husband looks as if he was in slumber. His left arm around the body of his wife while his right rests on his hip. Between the mother and father is the infant, a handsome plump child. It’s right hand is clasped by the left of its mother’s left arm. The mother and the infant laid out in plain white shrouds while the husband and father has a coat and vest of plain black and trousers of a dark pattern. The funeral will take place tomorrow afternoon at 8:30 from the Universalist church and the interment will be in Fort Hill.

Photo credit: Thanatos.net

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