May 19, 1911
Fred Husted, a wealthy farmer, informed his wife he felt too unwell to accompany her to run an errand. With Mrs. Husted out of the home, Fred convinced his 12-year-old son Lester to pull the trigger of a shotgun under the pretense he wanted to hear the firing mechanism to ensure the gun was in good working order. Lester refused multiple times and stated he was afraid the gun was loaded. Fred reassured his son it was unloaded and put his head near the barrel. Lester pulled the trigger as he was instructed, Fred was killed instantly, and Lester ran to a neighbor’s for help.
Husted had the grip (influenza) for some time which was thought to have led to his decision to end his own life. The death was officially ruled as a suicide.
Clipping: Pittston Gazette. May 19, 1911.
“Deed Called Suicide.” The Washington Post. May 20, 1911
“Father Forces Son To Slay Him.” Belvidere Daily Republican. May 19, 1911