Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Ghouls at Parkersburg Rob a Grave

Marietta Daily Leader, January 26, 1901

Getting Jewelry of Great Value From the Corpse.

Rings and an Opal Brooch Were Taken From the Body of Mrs. Nettie Tracy.

Special to the Leader.

Parkersburg, W.V.  Jan. 25.  Two employees of the Parkersburg Chair Factory, Reedy Ruble and Ellsworth Cornell, were passing through Tavennerville Cemetery on their way home and a horrid sight met their eyes.  Just as they reached a spot near the corner of the cemetery, Ruble noticed to the right of the path, along which they were walking, a place where a pile of fresh dirt had been thrown.  Calling Cornell's attention, both men walked over to it and made the startling discovery that a grave had been opened and robbed.

They immediately reported the matter to Squire William Kirk, who in turn notified the relatives of the deceased that it had been robbed.  In a short time the entire neighborhood was aroused over the startling disclosure that had been made by Ruble and Cornell, and a party headed by Mrs. Jones, the mother of the dead woman, with Samuel Stutler and son, set out for the cemetery.

Upon reaching the cemetery they found that the robbers had opened the grave some time during the preceding night, and had not taken the coffin from its resting place, but had broken the glass and robbed the corpse of a plain gold wedding ring inside of which had been engraved the initials "J. T. to N. T.," one opal ring, and one opal brooch.  The rings had been hurriedly removed from the fingers and the brooch had evidently been torn from its place at the throat of the corpse.

The ghouls were evidently aware of the fact that the dead woman had, previous to her death, possessed a very valuable diamond brooch and a gold watch, so not finding these valuable articles on the corpse, ripped open the clothing with a knife in an effort to locate the jewelry, which they believed had been interred with the remains.  Failing to discover the more valuable jewelry, they dumped the lids of the coffin and roughbox, together with a lot of dirt, back into the grave indiscriminately, shoved a few handfuls of earth over it all and departed.

The remains of Mrs. Tracey were interred on the 27th of December, death being due to consumption.  The parties who committed the robbery were undoubtedly familiar with the possessions of the deceased, or they would not have believed that the grave contained valuables enough to warrant the risk they ran in committing the crime.  The residents of the South Side are greatly agitated over the affair, and will leave no stone unturned to bring the guilty ones to justice.

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