Murders Solved?

 , By Ronald Howard Livingston
on Thursday, November, 08 2018 07:28:00 am   , 353 words  
Categories: Uncategorized , 11390 views

Between the evening of June 9 and the early morning of June 10, 1912, in the southwestern Iowa town of Villisca a horrendous murder took place. Killed, bludgeoned in their sleep mainly with the blunt end of an ax, were Josiah and Sarah (Montgomery) Moore, their children, Herman, Mary Katharine, Arthur, and Paul, and two house guests, sisters Ina Mae and Lena Gertrude Stillinger, who were spending the night with the Moores, having participated in the Children's Day Program (of which Sarah had been the coordinator) at the Presbyterian church on the evening of the 9th.


The case, unsolved for over a century, received nation-wide attention at the time.  It was one of several similar such heinous crimes which occurred throughout the country from 1898 to 1912, the year of the Villisca killings. Many of these cases involved identical aspects which in more recent times might be taken to point to an itinerant serial killer. At that time, most of such occurrences, were perceived to be the work of someone local and likely with a grudge.


An examination of this murder in comparison to others like it appears in a book by baseball statistician and writer Bill James and his daughter Rachel McCarthy James.  After researching the Villisca case, Bill James began to look for similar cases to determine if the Moore-family murders could be the results of a serial murderer. In The Man from the Train: The Solving of a Century-Old Serial Killer Mystery the Jameses identify several commonalities that tie the crimes together as the probable work of a single serial killer. Not only do they identify particular crimes committed by this person, but through their examination of thousands of newspaper items, court transcripts, and public records, they have been able to name that particular individual as Paul Mueller, an ethnic German. The authors suggest that the 1922 Hinterkaifeck murders (in Bavaria) may have been the deed of Mueller.


This video on YouTube mentions the killer's activity in Kansas,



and HERE is an article by the Jameses on the March 11, 1910 Schultz family deaths, believed at the hands of the same murderer, in the Houston Heights, Texas.

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