Doctor and Trapper Confess to Killing; Victim’s Wife is Held

 

The True Crime of Ida Laboeuf, Dr. Thomas Dreher, and James Beadle

Another love triangle gone horribly wrong.The_Anniston_Star_Fri__Jul_8__1927_headline

The_Anniston_Star_Fri__Jul_8__1927_01
Aniston (Alabama) Star, July 8, 1927

Undone by a couple of froggers…

The Danville (Virginia)  Bee, July 9, 1927

The_Bee_Sat__Jul_9__1927_02
The Danville (Virginia) Bee, July 9, 1927

The trigger man testified at the trial:

Corsica (Texas) Semi Weekly Light, August 5, 1927
Corsica (Texas) Semi Weekly Light, August 5, 1927

Ida Laboeuf would be the first white woman to be sentenced to death in Louisiana.

The Escanaba (Michigan) Daily Press, August 13, 1927
The Escanaba (Michigan) Daily Press, August 13, 1927
The Kane (Pennsylvania) Republican, January 7, 1929
The Kane (Pennsylvania) Republican, January 7, 1929
The Monroe (Louisiana) Star, January 12, 1929
The Monroe (Louisiana) Star, January 12, 1929
The Springfield (Missouri) Leader, December 7, 1928
The Springfield (Missouri) Leader, December 7, 1928

After a long and bitter battle in the courts and in the Louisiana state house, here’s a graphic and pathetic account of the double execution:
Kingsport_Times_Fri__Feb_1__1929_01

Kingsport_Times_Fri__Feb_1__1929_07
Kingsport (Tennessee) Times, February 1, 1929

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The Lodi Haystack Murder

The True Crime of Alexander Kels

I started following this case because it bears a remarkable resemblance to the crazy case of Dr. Richard Brumfield, the subject of A Two-Dollar Terror #7, Man Beheaded; Dentist Sought.

Brumfield and Kels were both highly-regarded men in their respective towns. Both killed an innocent man as a body double in an attempt to fake his own death. Both employed the burning car motif. Both got caught, and both were hanged, albeit Brumfield escaped the official hangman by doing the job himself.

The similarities did not go unnoticed by the nation’s press:

New Castle (Pennsylvania) Herald, October 18, 1924
New Castle (Pennsylvania) Herald, October 18, 1924

Brumfield’s caper happened a year before, you have to wonder if Kels had studied the case and thought he could do it one better. Everyone saw through Brumfield’s thin ruse right away, Kels fooled them for a few days, but he overlooked one thing: He should’ve had his mark eat the other can of sardines….

From the pages of the Oakland (California) Tribune:

Oakland Tribune, September 13, 1923
Oakland Tribune, September 13, 1923

Two weeks later, there is still some question, but Kels’s plot begins to unravel…

Oakland Tribune, September 30
Oakland Tribune, September 30

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Oakland Tribune, October 2, 1923

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Oakland Tribune, October 3, 1923
Oakland Tribune, October 3, 1923
Oakland Tribune, October 4, 1923
Oakland Tribune, October 4, 1923
New Castle (Pennsylvania) News, October 4, 1923
New Castle (Pennsylvania) News, October 4, 1923
Oakland Tribune, December 13, 1923
Oakland Tribune, December 13, 1923

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Oakland Tribune, January 4, 1924
Oakland Tribune, January 4, 1924

 

–30–

 

Sons’ Slayer Says He Deserves Death

Chicago Tribune, March 5, 1928
Chicago Tribune, March 5, 1928

tribune photo 01

 

George Allen Chisholm fainted and slumped to the floor when called to the stand at the coroner’s inquest.

Revived he tried to recite anew the gruesome details of a previous written confession how he tricked the happy youngsters into playing cowboy and lassoing themselves with loops of wire which prevented death struggles when he enticed them to a bridge over the canal and heaved them in.

His attorney halted the spectacle, however, by telling the trembling, crying, fear ridden wreck he need not give statements which might incriminate him.

“It is a plain psychopathic case,” said the attorney. “The man is crazy. He was shell-shocked and gassed while with the Canadian army three years in the World War.”

After the inquests and arraignment Chisholm was held at East Chicago until late today for removal to the Lake county jail at Crown Point, Indiana. Chisholm, weeping continuously, asserted his wish to face trial immediately, plead guilty and receive a sentence of life imprisonment. He seemed in abject fear of death.

The coroner’s inquests and arraignment concluded and Chisholm back in his cell. He begged to be permitted to see Mrs. Helen Lawrence, the woman with whom he lived and whose nagging, he said, drove him to do away with the lads.

His wish was granted and he and the woman faced each other in the office of James Regan, chief of police.

“Oh, George,” the woman said, and fainted when she saw him.

That Chisholm’s request for a speedy trial also would be granted was seen in the statement of Oliver Starr, Lake county prosecutor.

He said he immediately would request that a special session of the grand jury be called to indict Chisholm so he might be rushed to trial.

The finding of the body of little George created a mystery which was deepened with the discovery 10 days later of the body of Edgar. Many fanciful stories were built up when it was revealed that the pretty little boys were dressed alike from top to toe, and that each carried a foreign coin.

It was through association of their little chinchilla overcoats that neighbors were enabled to complete identification and point out Chisholm as the slayer of his children.

The Daily Illini, March 6, 1928

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Alexandria Times-Tribune, March 6, 1928

Alexandria Times-Tribune, March 6, 1928
Alexandria Times-Tribune, March 6, 1928

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