Man hanged for killing wife, children with axe

March 30, 1899 Harrisonville, Missouri Edwin Bates Soper is hanged for the murder of his wife and two children In April 1891, Soper suddenly announced to neighbors and acquaintances he had heard of a local “blind tiger” (an illegal saloon) and had decided to move there, then quickly sold his butcher shop and moved away.…

Man beats two women to death with axe during robbery

March 5, 1873 Smutty Nose Island (now spelled Smuttynose), Maine Two women are beaten to death with an axe while a third manages to escape On the evening of March 5, 1873, John Hontvet, his brother Matthew Hontvet, and John’s wife’s brother Ivan Christenson left their home to go fishing and trapping. A man known…

Woman is attacked by husband with knife and axe

February 12, 1885 Monroe, Georgia William McGaughey fatally attacks his wife Mollie The attack was in part witnessed by Mollie’s teenaged daughter from a previous marriage. The daughter, Mattie, stated she heard a thump come from a closed room and peeked through a knothole in the wall to investigate. When this proved too difficult to…