Newspaper clippings · Ohio

Two infants beaten to death in hospital

June 6, 1947
Massillon, Ohio
Two infant girls are beaten to death in their cribs

The girls, Rosemary Morton (9 weeks old) and Diane Brand (8 weeks old) were found in their cribs by a nurse making her rounds. The babies were still alive when found, but fatally wounded. They died shortly after.

The hospital’s superintendent, E. J. Lincke, believed the children had been swung by their feet and their heads smashed against a wall or crib post. He mentioned one baby’s skull had a mark that may have been made by a post and the side of her face was “flattened in.”

Due to the sensational aspects of the murder, suspects began to emerge immediately. A “sex fiend” was initially suspected of the murders, but this theory was quickly dropped. A 6-year-old boy, recovering in the hospital with a broken arm, confessed to the killings, stating he was “playing nurse” with the babies when he accidentally dropped them on their heads. The police seriously doubted his version of the events and the investigation continued. A nurse reported seeing a man in a “short white coat” entering the pediatrics ward approximately 10 minutes before the children’s injuries were discovered, although the nurse who reported seeing this man could not give any identifying characteristics.

The case enraged the community for a short while before other issues distracted them. The number of reports dwindled significantly, with only an occasional article written in the two years following the murders. The last piece I could find about the incident was in 1950, mentioned when the hospital’s superintendent resigned. The case remains unsolved.

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