TOMBSTONE MURDER STORIES
[St. Louis Globe-Democrat.]
“Abroad last summer I found a number of tombstones with murder stories on them,” said a detective. “The poor folk under the stones were the victims of murderers undiscovered and unhanged.
“One inscription was in the English town of Merrington. I jotted it down in my notebook. It was on the tomb of two murdered children. Here it is:
The detective read from his notebook:
“‘An unknown hand caused all our pain,
Sleeping we were slain.
And here we sleep till we must rise again.’
“Another was in Samdridge, the tomb of a Custom House officer shot by smugglers. It said:
“‘Thou shalt do no-murder, nor shalt thou steal.
Are the commands Jehovah did reveal.
But thou, O unnamed wretch, withouten dread
Of thy tremendous Maker, shot me dead.’
“A tombstone in the cemetery of Cladoxton, Glamorganshire, said:
“‘To record murder
This stone was erected over the body of Margaret Williams, aged 26, living in service in this parish, who was found dead with marks of violence upon her in a ditch on a marsh below this churchyard on the morning of Sunday, the 14th of July 1822.
“‘Although the savage murderer escaped the detection of man, yet God hath set his mark upon him, either for time or eternity, and the cry of blood will assuredly pursue him to certain and terrible but righteous judgment.’
“Another stone made me laugh. It was in Dulverton. It said:
“‘Mrs. Jane Winsmore, born 1794; died 1851.
Poisoned by the doctor, neglected by the nurse.
The brother robbed the widow, which made the matter worse.’”
The Cincinnati [OH] Enquirer 9 December 1905: p. 11
Chris Woodyard is the author of The Victorian Book of the Dead, The Ghost Wore Black, The Headless Horror, The Face in the Window, and the 7-volume Haunted Ohio series. She is also the chronicler of the adventures of that amiable murderess Mrs Daffodil in A Spot of Bother: Four Macabre Tales. The books are available in paperback and for Kindle. Indexes and fact sheets for all of these books may be found by searching hauntedohiobooks.com. Join her on FB at Haunted Ohio by Chris Woodyard or The Victorian Book of the Dead and on Twitter @hauntedohiobook. And visit her newest blog The Victorian Book of the Dead.