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  • Writer's pictureMountain State Mysteries

SERIAL KILLER: HARRY F. POWERS

Updated: Mar 14

HARRY POWERS WAS BORN AS HARM DRENTH IN 1893 IN BEERTA, HOLLAND.

GROWING UP PEOPLE NOTICED THAT HARM WAS A COMPULSIVE LIAR. BEING KNOWN FOR (TRESPASSING, STEALING, AND CONSUMING ALCOHOL).


IN APRIL OF 1910 HIS FAMILY SENT HIM TO THE UNITED STATES ON A SHIP WITH THE BAKER FAMILY (THEY WANTED HARM TO BECOME INDEPENDENT BY WORKING ON A FARM WITH ANOTHER FAMILY THEY KNEW). HARM FIRST LIVED IN CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA.

IN THE SPRING OF 1910 HARM WORKED AT THE ROSS FARM BUT LEFT COMPLAINING OF HIS BOSS TELLING HIM WHAT TO DO.


IN 1918 HERMAN STARTED USING THE NAME HARRY F. POWERS AND HIM AND HIS 22-YEAR-OLD “WIFE” MOVED TO MADISON, WISCONSIN. SADLY, NOT MUCH IS KNOWN ABOUT HIS WIFE OTHER THAN THAT SHE HAD BLONDE HAIR. THE TWO OF THEM LIVED IN A HOTEL AND OWNED A SMALL DOG.

IN MADISON HARRY AND HIS WIFE TURNED INTO A BONNIE AND CLIDE DUO. THEY STOLE A CAR BUT WAS SOON ARRESTED AFTERWARDS.

THE CAR WAS STOLEN AROUND ONE IN THE MORNING AND WAS ABANDONED IN COLUMBUS BECAUSE THE CAR STALLED IN THE MUD.


THE COUPLE TOOK A TRAIN TO PORTAGE, WISCONSIN WHERE THEY WERE ARRESTED AND BROUGHT THE COUNTY JAIL WHERE THEY PLEADED NOT GUILTY IN FRONT OF THE JUDGE. HARRY WAS GIVEN A $2000 BOND WHILE HIS WIFE WAS GIVEN A $500 BOND.

HARRY COULDN’T POST BAIL BUT HIS WIFE COULD.


WHILE HARRY WAS IN JAIL HIS WIFE WOULD VISIT HIM OFTEN AND SNEAK IN TOOLS FOR HIM TO ESCAPE WITH.

ON THE NIGHT OF JUNE 27, 1919, HARRY AND ANOTHER INMATE, WALTER BARTKOSKI, ESCAPED FROM DALE COUNTY JAIL.

HARRY’S WIFE WAS WAITING FOR THEM OUTSIDE OF THE JAIL AND THE THREE OF THEM ESCAPED NEVER TO BE CAUGHT BY THE POLICE


HARRY DEVELOPED AN ATTACHMENT WITH 20-YEAR-OLD ROSE STRICKLAND, (WE AREN’T SURE IF ROSE FELT THE SAME WAY ABOUT HARRY OR NOT) ROSE LATER GOT MARRIED TO ANOTHER MAN. OUT OF PURE SHOCK HARRY RAGED, HE FOUND OUT THE TWO WERE ON VACATION AND BROKE INTO THEIR HOME AND STOLE SEVERAL PERSONAL ITEMS OF THEIRS.

HE TRIED TO START A FIRE BUT THE FIRE DID NOT TAKE SO HARRY LEFT THEIR HOME.

SEEING WHAT WHAT HAPPENED A NEIGHBOR OF ROSE AND HER HUSBAND WROTE DOWN THE LICENSE PLATE NUMBER AND CALLED THE POLICE. HARRY WAS ARRESTED AND CONVICTED IN 1921.


IN 1922 HARRY WAS RELEASED FROM WISCONSIN STATE PRISON AFTER SERVING LESS THAN 15 MONTHS IN PRISON. AFTER HE WAS RELEASED, HE DROPPED OUT OF SIGHT AND WAS NEVER SEEN BY HIS FAMILY AGAIN.


UNDER THE ALIAS OF JOSEPH GILDOW, HE MARRIED MRS. ALLIE PROVINCE WHO WAS (50). SOON AFTER BEING MARRIED HE SERVED ALLIE A CUP OF COFFEE WITH SLEEPING POWDER IN IT. HE THEN WENT THROUGH HER HOUSE AND DISAPPEARED WITH SOME OF HER VALUABLES. WHEN SHE WOKE UP AND CAME TO, SHE REALIZED WHAT HAPPENED. SHE THEN TOOK OUT A WARRANT ON HIM BUT HE WAS NEVER ARRESTED.



IN DECEMBER OF 1924, UNDER THE ALIAS JOSEPH GILDOW, HE WAS ARRESTED IN MANSFIELD, OHIO, WHEN HE TRIED TO SELL SOME ARTICLES THAT A SECONDHAND DEALER THOUGHT WAS STOLEN.


IN 1925 UNDER THE ALIAS OF JOSEPH GILDOW MET LENA FELLOWS FROM HAMMOND, INDIANA. AFTER A SHORT TIME, HE PROPOSED AND THEN LENA TOOK MONEY OUT OF HER ACCOUNT AND BOUGHT A CAR SO THEY COULD TAKE A ROAD TRIP. WHILE ON THE TRIP THEY STOPPED AT A GAS STATION IN CHICAGO, IL TO FILL UP THE CAR.

HE SUGGESTED TO LENA THAT SHE TAKE OFF HER TWO DIAMOND RINGS WORTH ABOUT $1,000 AND PLACE THEM IN A SUITCASE IN THE TRUNK OF THE CAR. THE SUITCASE ALSO CONTAINED $2000 OF LOAN SHARES HE TOLD HER THAT HE DIDN’T WANT HER TO LOSE THEM IN CASE THERE WAS A ROBBERY.

AFTER CLOSING THE TRUNK HARRY HANDED HER A LETTER TO MAIL. WHILE LENA WAS AROUND THE CORNER HARRY WAS GONE. THE CAR, RINGS, AND LOAN SHARES AND ALL.


THE CHICAGO HEIGHTS POLICE CAUGHT UP WITH HARRY IN MANSFIELD, OHIO AND HE WAS TAKEN BACK TO CHICAGO, AND ON APRIL 19TH 1925 WAS BROUGHT BEFORE A GRAND JURY TO FACE GRAND LARCENY CHARGES.

DURING THE TIME HE WAS ON THE RUN HE SOLD THE CAR, RINGS, AND THE STOCK AND SPENT ALL OF LENA’S MONEY. IN HIS SUITCASE THERE WERE DOZENS OF LOVE LETTERS FROM DIFFERENT WOMAN. THEY WERE KEPT AT THE POLICE STATION AND HE ASKED FOR THEM BACK AFTER HE WAS RELEASED.

HE WAS ASKED HOW HE GOT ACQUITTED HE JUST SMILED AND SAID, “I’VE GOT A SMART LAWYER, WHO CONVINCED THE JURY THAT I DIDN’T STEAL THE STUFF THAT MRS. FELLOWS GAVE IT TO ME”.


ON JUNE 1ST 1927, HARRY AND LUELLA GOT MARRIED IN OAKLAND MARYLAND. LUELLA SHOULD’VE SEEN THE RED FLAG WHEN HARRY SUGGESTED WHEN HER AND HER SISTER GET LIFE INSURANCE POLICIES ON THEM.

WHEN THE TWO DIDN’T HE TRIED TO GET THEM ON HIS OWN WITHOUT THE PROPER APPOINTMENTS.

LUELLA CLEARLY WASN’T CONCERNED AS SHE SAID, “I SURE DO LOVE THAT KID”.


IN 1928 HARRY’S MANAGER DUDLEY C WADE DISAPPEARED… HARRY ENDED UP TAKING HIS ROLE AND CARRIED ON AS USUAL. WHEN WORD OF THIS SUDDEN CHANGE REACHED CORPORATE THEY HAD QUESTIONS.

SO, THEY TOOK A TRIP TO WEST VIRGINIA TO CHECK IN AND FOUND OUT THAT DUDLEY WADE WASN’T THE ONLY THING MISSING... SEVERAL OF THE CARPET CLEANERS WERE MISSING AS WELL. HARRY TRIED TO EXPLAIN AND SAY DUDLEY LEFT TOWN HE STOLE A BUNCH OF SWEEPERS AND SOLD THEM AND RAN OFF WITH THE MONEY.

IN HOPE OF THEIR RETURN CORPORATE PUT OUT AN REWARD. THEY WERE WILLING TO PAY ANYONE WHO COULD RETURN THE PRODUCT AND REPAIR THE SWEEPERS. SHOCKINGLY NO ONE EVER CAME FORWARD. THAT’S WHEN THEY BECAME SUSPICIOUS OF HARRY. THEY HAD POLICE SEARCH HIS HOME. BELIEVE IT OR NOT ALL OF THE MISSING SWEEPERS WERE IN HIS GARAGE. HARRY TRIED TO CHANGE THE SERIAL NUMBERS TO HIDE HIS TRACKS BUT IT WAS AN OBVIOUS CHANGE.

HARRY WAS CORNERED AND COULDN’T LIE HIS WAY OUT OF THIS ONE. HE DOUBLED DOWN ON HIS LIE AND STILL SAID DUDLEY STOLE THE SWEEPERS AND THAT HARRY WAS THE ONE WHO TRACKED HIM DOWN AND FOUND THEM. IT WAS AN AWFUL LIE AND THE POLICE HAD NO PROOF THAT IT WASN’T TRUE. SO, THEY WERE FORCED TO LET HIM GO.

NOT ONLY WAS HARRY RELEASED FROM CUSTODY BUT HE SUED THE VACUUM COMPANY AND GOT THE REWARD MONEY.

AS FOR WHAT HAPPENED TO DUDLEY, WE AREN’T SURE. WE KNOW THERE IS A RUMOR THAT HARRY KILLED HIS MANAGER.



AFTER HARRY MARRIED LUELLA HE STILL DECIDED TO CON WIDOWS OUT OF ALL OF THEIR MONEY. HE SIGNED UP FOR THE (AMERICAN FRIENDSHIP SOCIETY) AS HIS ALIAS CORNELIAS PIERSON WHO WAS A WEALTHY CIVIL ENGINEER WHO WAS SEEKING A WIFE. HIS CRAFTED AD WAS GETTING 10 TO 20 REPLIES A DAY FROM THE REPLIES HARRY WAS LOOKING FOR WIDOWS WITH ANY MONEY HE COULD STILL.

HE WAS GOING TO LEAD THESE WOMEN ON AND PROPOSE MARRIAGE FROM AFAR. THEN HE WOULD HAVE THEM EMPTY OUT THEIR BANK ACCOUNTS TO MAKE THE TRANSITION TO THEIR NEW LIFE EASIER. THEN HE WOULD TAKE THEIR MONEY AND DISAPPEAR.


WE AREN’T SURE HOW MANY TIMES HARRY PULLED OF HIS WELL THOUGHT OUT PLAN BUT WE DO KNOW IN 1931 HARRY WAS FOCUSED ON HIS NEXT VICTIM.


ASTA EIKER WAS A (50) YEAR OLD WIDOW FROM THE SUBURBS OF CHICAGO WHOSE HUSBAND WAS A SILVERSMITH AND IN THE EIGHT ATSA USED UP ALL OF THE MONEY HE LEFT TO TAKE CARE OF THEIR THREE CHILDREN. SHE ALSO EARNED A LITTLE EXTRA MONEY FROM RENTING OUT A ROOM IN HER HOUSE.

ASTA STRUGGLES WERE VERY PRACTICAL FOR SOMEONE AT THE TIME DURING THE GREAT DEPRESSION. ESPECIALLY FOR A SINGLE MOTHER.

ASTA WANTED A PARTNER BUT NOT JUST SOMEONE TO SUPPORT HER AND HER THREE CHILDREN. SHE WANTED SOMEONE TO LOVE HER AND SHE THOUGHT SHE SAW THAT IN CORNELIAS.. HARRY ON THE OTHER HAND SAW HIS NEXT VICTIM.

ONE OF THE FIRST LETTERS ASTA RECEIVED CAUGHT HER EYE.

“CIVIL ENGINEER, COLLEGE EDUCATION, WORTH $150,000 OR MORE. HAS INCOME OF $400 - $3,000 A MONTH. BUSINESS ENTERPRISES PREVENT ME FROM MAKING SOCIAL CONTACTS. I AM UNABLE TO MAKE THE AQUANTIS OF THE RIGHT KIND OF WOMAN.

AS MY PROPERTIES ARE LOCATED IN THE MIDDLE WEST I WILL SETTLE THERE WHEN MARRIED. OWN A 10 ROOM HOUSE COMPLETELY FURNISHED. MY WIFE WILL HAVE HER OWN CAR AND PLENTY OF MONEY.” - CORNELIUS O PIERSON BOX 277 CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA.

ASTA ASKED HERSELF IF SHE COULD LEAVE HER HOME? SHE LIVED THERE ALL OF HER LIFE AND HER CHILDREN WERE BORN AND RAISED IN. COULD SHE JUST UPROOT HER ENTIRE LIFE AND TAKE THIS CHANCE AND MOVE TO WEST VIRGINIA?

SHE TOOK THE CHANCE AND WROTE TO HIM. AFTER A FEW DAYS ASTA CHECKED HER MAIL AND SAW THAT SHE HAD A LETTER FROM CORNELIAS AND RAN INSIDE, OPENED THE LETTER AND STARTED TO READ IT.

“MY AGE IS 38, MY HEIGHT IS 5 FEET 7 INCHES, HAVE CLEAR BLUE EYES, MEDIUM DARK HAIR AND WEIGHT 170 POUNDS.

AS A CIVIL ENGINEER I HAVE AN INCOME OF $400 A MONTH BUT IN ADDITION I HAVE A MUCH LARGER INCOME FROM GAS AND OIL ROYALTIES. THE DETAILS WHICH I WILL GIVE YOU LATER. MY WIFE CAN HAVE ANYTHING THAT MONEY CAN BUY, BUT ABOVE ALL I EXPECT TO GIVE HER THAT TRUE LOVE AND DEVOTION WHICH EVERY ONE OF US CRAVE SO MUCH. DEATH HAS TAKEN MY PREVIOUS WIFE FROM ME WHICH LEAVES ME VERY LONELY. I LONG FOR ONE TO TAKE HER PLACE. SOMEONE TO FEEL THAT EMPTY SPACE IN MY HEART. WOMEN ARE THE SWEETEST PUREST MOST UNSELFISH PART OF THE HUMAN RACE. THEY SING THE MELODY OF LIFE. ANY MAN WHO HAS EXPERIENCED A MOTHER'S DEVOTION A WIFE'S SELF-SACRIFICING LOVE OR A SWEETHEART'S AFFECTIONS. KNOWS THAT TO BE TRUE SO I'M TRYING IN THIS MANNER TO FIND THE ONE. THE ONLY ONE WHO CAN MAKE HOME A PARADISE, A PLACE OF REST, A HAVEN OF CONTENT WHERE LOVED ONES AWAIT, AND TO WHO I CAN LOOK FORWARD WITH PLEASURE AND ANTICIPATION.WHO KNOWS BUT YOU COULD BE THE ONE.

WOULD YOU WRITE TO ME? PLEASE DO. ANY QUESTIONS YOUC ARE TO ASK ME WILL BE ANSWERED TO THE BEST OF MY ABILITY AND ANYTHING YOU CARE TO TELL ME WILL BE STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL. I HAVE A SMALL PHOTO OF MYSELF. MAY I SEND IT? AND YOURS YOU WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATED. AGAIN, PLEASE WRITE YOU SHOULD NEVER HAVE CAUSE FOR REGRET.

USE THE INCLUDED ENVELOPE AND TELL ME LOTS ABOUT YOURSELF.

PLEASE DO, ANCIENTLY YOURS. I AM MOST SINCERELY.”


THE TWO WROTE BACK AND FORTH FOR SOME TIME.

THEY WOULD TALK ABOUT LOVE, MARRIAGE, AND CHILDREN.


CORNELIAS WOULD ACTUALLY SPEAK ABOUT ASTA’S CHILDREN “PROUD OF BUSTER? I AM INDEED PROUD OF BUSTER. HE LOOKS LIKE A SPLENDID YOUNG CHAP. THE GIRLS TOO; THEY LOOK LIKE FINE CHILDREN. THEY WILL HAVE THE OPPORTUNITIES THEY DESERVE AND WILL BE ABLE TO DEVELOP INTO WHATEVER INCLINATION MAY BE CALLED FOR.”


CORNELIAS ALSO WROTE TO GRETTA THE OLDEST OF ASTA’S CHILDREN

“YOU DO NOT MIND FOR ME TO ADDRESS YOU AS YOUR GIVEN NAME? YOU SEE YOUR MOTHER HAS TOLD ME SO MANY LOVELY THINGS ABOUT YOU. THAT IT WOULD SEEM SO DISTANT FOR ME TO BE CALLING YOU BY THE FORMAL TITLE OF MISS IKER, AND THEN WE ARE NOT STRANGERS ARE WE DEAR? YOUR MOTHER ALWAYS HAS SO MANY LOVELY THINGS TO TELL ME ABOUT YOU. WHAT YOU DO AND HOW WELL YOU ARE GETTING ALONG IN SCHOOL. THAT REALLY DEAR I JUST KNOW YOU ARE A SWEET AND DARLING LITTLE GIRL. AND I LOVE YOU DEAR. BECAUSE I BELIEVE YOU ARE ALL THAT YOUR MOTHER TELLS ME YOU ARE. I’D BE VERY GLAD TO HAVE YOU AS MY OWN GIRL... TELL ME WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE ME AS YOUR DADDY? YOU CAN THEN HAVE EVER SO MANY LOVELY THINGS, AND WE COULD HAVE LOTS OF FUN TOGETHER COULDN’T WE? DEAR WOULD YOU SEND ME A COPY OF YOUR GRADES AT SCHOOL AND ALSO YOUR SCHEDULE? I AM VERY ANXIOUS TO SEE HOW WELL YOU ARE DOING, AND BY YOUR SCHEDULE I WOULD KNOW EXACTLY WHAT YOU WERE DOING AT ANY TIME DURING SCHOOL HOURS. WRITE ME DEAR… TODAY SOMETIME. WITH LOVE.

SIGNED (C O PIERSON).



ON JUNE 17TH ASTA RECEIVED ONE MORE LETTER FROM CORNELIAS

“I WANT TO SEE YOU ALONE DO NOT LET THE NEIGHBORS KNOW I AM COMING.

WHEN HE ARRIVED ON JUNE THE 20TH ASTA WELCOMED HIM WITH OPEN ARMS. TELLING NEIGHBORS THAT HE WAS AN OLD FAMILY FRIEND. HE SPENT THE WEEK WITH HER AND HER FAMILY AND ON THE 25TH ASTA REACHED OUT TO ELIZABETH ABANATHY. ASKING IF SHE COULD WATCH HER CHILDREN FOR HER BECAUSE SHE WAS GOING WEST FOR A BUSINESS TRIP AND WOULD RETURN IN A FEW DAYS.

HOWEVER, THAT SADLY DIDN’T HAPPEN

ON JUNE THE 30TH MRS. ABANATHY RECEIVED A NEW LETTER WHICH APPEARED TO BE WRITTEN BY ATSA.

“I HAVE SOLD THE PLACE. I’VE GOT THE MONEY ALL READY BUT IS NECESSARY FOR ME TO WAIT FOR CERTAIN DETAILS HERE. SO I'M SENDING MR. PIERSON FOR THE CHILDREN. I'VE GIVEN HIM THE INSTRUCTIONS ON WHAT TO DO SO HE WILL KNOW. HE WILL PAY YOUR BILL, OR YOU CAN GIVE HIM YOUR BILL AND I WILL SEND YOU A CHECK FOR THE SAME. HOPE YOU ARE WELL. - ASTA EIKER


THE NEXT DAY CORNELIAS CAME TO PICK UP THE CHILDREN. HE SPENT THE NIGHT IN THE HOME AND AROUND 11:30AM THE NEXT DAY AS HE WAS TRYING TO GET THE KIDS ROUNDED UP TO LEAVE. MRS. ABANATHY STOPPED HIM BECAUSE THE CHILDREN WEREN'T DRESSED AND WERE STILL IN THEIR PAJAMAS. NOT SUITABLE FOR A ROAD TRIP. HE SAID IT WAS OKAY AND STOPPED HER FROM PACKING THEIR BAGS AND TOLD HER THAT HE WOULD BE BUYING THEM ALL NEW CLOTHS WHEN THEY GOT THERE.

THEN THEY DROVE OFF.


OVER A MONTH LATER ON AUGUST 13TH CORNELIAS RETURNED TO THE HOME OF ASTA. HE BEGAN MOVING THING FROM THE HOUSE TO THE GARAGE. HE DIDN’T KNOW THAT HE WAS BEING WATCHED.

EARLIER THAT DAY WILLIAM OBOIL FRIEND AND FORMER TENANT OF ASTA AND HER FAMILY. DROVE OVER TO THE HOUSE TO PICK UP SOME TOOLS HE LEFT BEHIND. WHEN HE GO THERE, HE NOTICED HOW DUSTY IT WAS AND DESERTED.

HE SAID HE “KNOCKED HARD AND HEARD SOME VOICES. NO ONE ANSWERED HE SAID HE VISITED THE NEIGHBORS AND THEN LEARNED THAT CORNELIAS HAD GONE INTO THE GARAGE.

AFTER WAITING AT THE HOUSE, I LEFT AND HEADED TO THE POLICE STATION”

HE RETURNED LATER WITH POLICE CHIEF HARLOD JOHNSON TO FIND THAT CORNELIAS WAS STILL IN THE GARAGE.

OBOIL ASKED HIM WHERE ASTA AND THE CHILDREN WERE CORNELIAS TOLD THEM THAT HE PUT THEM ON A TRAIN TO DENVER TO VISIT SOME FAMILY.

“THAT’S ODD… I NEVER HEARD ASTA TALK ABOUT FAMILY IN DENVER”. - OBOIL SAID.

CORNELIAS WENT ON TO TELL THEM THAT HE BOUGHT THE HOUSE OFF OF ASTA AND PLANNED TO RENT IT OUT. HE HANDED OVER PAPERS SHOWING ASTA SIGNED OVER THE HOUSE TO HIM SO HE COULD DO WHAT HE SAY FIT. THE OFFICER ASKED IF HE COULD

COME DOWN TO THE POLICE STATION THE NEXT DAY TO CLEAR THINGS UP. SOMETHING STILL SEEMED OFF SO LATER THAT EVENING WILLIAM VISITED WITH ASTA’S NEIGHBORS AND LEARNED THAT HER OLD FRIEND CAME ON JUNE 22ND AND LEFT ON THE 27TH WITH ASTA. THE NEXT MORNING WILLIAM WENT TO THE POLICE STATION TO CONFRONT HIM AGAIN BUT HE NEVER SHOWED.

THEY CHECKED THE HOTEL CORNELIAS TOLD THEM HE WAS STAYING AT BUT NO ONE BY THAT NAME WAS REGISTERED THERE,


CHIEF JOHNSON OBTAINED A WARRANT FOR THE HOUSE AND HE BROKE INTO THE GARAGE. HE FOUND ALL OF ASTA’S BELONGINGS AS WELL AS THE CHILDRENS.

ALONG WITH ALL OF THE LETTERS CORNELIAS HAD SENT. WHAT WAS FOUND IN THOSE LETTERS MADE HIM PUT OUT AN ARREST WARRANT FOR CORNELIAS PIERSON OF CLARKSBURG, WEST VIRGINIA FOR KIDNAPPING AND MURDER.


HARRY IS IN HANDCUFFS AT THE POLICE STATION. BEING QUESTIONED ON WHAT HE KNEW ABOUT ASTA EIKER AND HER CHILDREN. HE KEPT DENYING THAT HE KNEW THEM AND THAT HE DIDN’T KNOW THE NAME PEIRSON HE WAS SHOWN ALL OF THE LETTERS TAKEN FROM HIM UPON HIS ARRESTED.

HARRY SAID “FINE I USE THE NAME PEIRSON FOR FUN. YES I KNEW ASTA EIKER AND HER CHILDREN. I PUT THEM ABOARD A TRAIN FOR DENVER. WHERE MRS.EIKER PLAN TO MARRY A FELLA NAMED CHARLES ROGERS.”



WHILE HARRY WAS BEING QUESTIONED OTHER OFFICERS FOUND OUT THAT HE HIRED SOMEONE TO BUILD A GARAGE 5 MILES OUT OF TOWN ON SOME LAND OWNED BY HIS WIFE IN QUIET DELL, WEST VIRGINIA.


CHIEF DUCKWORTH DECIDED TO DRIVE THERE. HE FIRST QUESTIONED NEIGHBORS - THEY ALL STATED THAT HARRY WOULD ARRIVE TO THE GARAGE AROUND MIDNIGHT AND STAY FOR A FEW HOURS.

WHEN DUCKWORTH ENTERED THE GARAGE WHAT HE SAW HE AUTOMATICALLY SENT FOR BACKUP.

THE GARAGE FLOOR WAS COVERED IN DEEP BROWN STAINS. THE STAINS WERE DRIED BLOOD (YOU CAN SEE AN IMAGE OF INSIDE THE GARAGE ON ALL OF OUR SOCIALS AND OUR WEBSITE).


DUCKWORTH AND THE OFFICERS WHO ARRIVED TO HELP HIM SEARCH WALKED DOWNSTAIRS AND SAW THAT THE BLOOD HAD DROPPED FROM THE FLOOR ABOVE ONTO THE FLOOR IN THE FLOOR DOWNSTAIRS.


THERE WERE 4 CELLS, EACH WITH THEIR OWN DOOR AND LOCK.

TWO OUT OF THE FOUR CELLS DIDN’T HAVE ANY VENTILATION.

IN ONE OF THE CELLS THERE WAS A BLOOD-STAINED MATTRESS IN THE CORNER.

ALL OF THIS WAS DISTURBING TO THE POLICE…. WHAT THEY SAW HANGING FROM A RAFTER SENT CHILLS DOWN THEIR SPINES.



WHAT THEY SAW WAS A LONG ROPE TIED IN A NOOSE THAT WAS HANGING RIGHT ABOVE A TRAPPED DOOR THAT LED INTO THE BASEMENT.


POLICE CONTINUED TO DO THEIR WALKTHROUGH. WHERE THEY FOUND A LARGE TRUNK. WHAT THE FOUND INSIDE WAS CLOTHING, JEWELRY, PICTURES, AND LETTERS.


AS WORD STARTED TO SPREAD THROUGH THE TOWN OF QUIET DELL, PEOPLE CAME FROM ALL OVER. POLICE HAD TO HOLD THEM BACK AND SOME STARTED TO DIG AROUND THE PROPERTY.

IT WASN’T LONG BEFORE A BURLAP SACK WAS FOUND. THE SMELL WAS FOUL, WHEN SOMEONE OPENED IT. IN THE SACK WITH HANDS TIED BEHIND HER BACK WAS THE DECOMPOSING REMAINS OF ASTA EIKER.

NOT TOO FAR AWAY ANOTHER BURLAP SACK WAS FOUND. IN IT WERE THE REMAINS OF TWO GIRLS AND A BOY. THERE WAS A BLOOD-STAINED HAMMER AND WRENCH. THE GIRLS WERE GAGGED WITH THEIR HANDS TIED. THE BOYS HEAD HAD BEEN BASHED IN. A MEDICAL EXAMINER IDENTIFIED THE BODIES AS ASTA EIKER AND HER CHILDREN GRETA (14) HARRY (12) AND ANNABELL (9).


THE DISCOVERY OF THE MURDERS CAUSED AN OUTRAGE IN QUIET DELL AND CLARKSBURG… WHILE THIS WAS JUST THE BEGINNING MORE INFORMATION CAME TO LIGHT ABOUT HARRY'S SECRET LIFE.


HARRY IS STILL IN CUSTODY AT THE CLARKSBURG POLICE DEPT.

HE SAID THAT HE KNEW NOTHING ABOUT THEIR DEATHS..

MOBS STARTED TO SURROUND THE POLICE STATION. THE PEOPLE OF THE MOB WAS ANGRY AND WANTED TO LYNCH HARRY FOR HIS CRIMES. THEY MOB STARTED TO SHOUT “BRING THE MAN OUT”.

HARRY BEGGED TO BE PUT INTO A SAFE CELL.

WHILE ALL OF THIS WAS GOING ON POLICE STARTED TO SEARCH POWERS HOME. WHILE LOOKING FOR MORE EVIDENCE THEY FOUND A TRUNK IN THE BASEMENT CONTAINING ITEMS THAT BELONGED TO THE EIKER FAMILY.


IN ONE OF THE TRUNKS AT THE HOME OF HARRY POLICE FOUND A BANK BOOK THAT BELONG TO A DOROTHY LEMKE WHO WAS FROM MASSACHUSETTS. POLICE CONTACTED TO THE LOCAL POLICE AND THEY INTERVIEWED CHARLES FLEMING AND HIS WIFE. DOROTHY’S BROTHER-IN-LAW AND SISTER IDENTIFIED HARRY BY A PICTURE.

“THAT'S THE MAN MY SISTER DOROTHY TOOK AWAY TO MARRY. SHE SAID HE WENT BY THE NAME DP LOWTHER FROM VIRGINIA. DOROTHY TOLD ME SHE WAS WRITING A MATRIMONIAL AGENCY FOR A THRILL. I WARNED HER OF THE DANGERS AND SHE JUST LAUGHED.”


LETTERS POLICE FOUND IN THE TRUNK LED THEM TO BELIEVE THAT WRITING THE LETTERS BECAME MORE THAN A THRILL.

THE FIRST LETTER WRITTEN BY HARRY WAS FOUND AND HE DEFINITELY TALKED ABOUT MORE THAN FRIENDSHIP.

“DEAR MRS. LEMKE AS I HAVE A LITTLE SPARE TIME. I WILL SPEND IT BY WRITING A FEW LINES. I WANT TO SAY THAT I WAS VERY MUCH IMPRESSED WITH YOUR APPEARANCE YESTERDAY. YOU CERTAINLY ARE A WELL-PRESERVED WOMAN. TO MY WAY OF THINKING JUST THE RIGHT SIZE AND WEIGHT. I NEVER DID TAKE ANY FANCY TO A SLIM WOMAN BUT PREFER THEM PLUMP. I SUPPOSE YOU HAVE BEGUN THE BOOKS THAT I GAVE YOU? THE BOOKS WERE ON SEX PSYCHOLOGY BY HAVELOCK ELLIS AND DR. W F ROBBIE.

THE CHAPTER ON THE ART OF LOVE IN THE BOOK IS THE MOST VALUABLE DR. ROBBIE WHO IS A VERY GOOD FRIEND OF MINE TELLS ME HE HAS HAD LETTERS FROM MINISTERS ASKING IF THEY WOULD HAVE THAT CHAPTER REPRINTED IN PAMPHLET FORM. WHEN YOU HAVE READ SOME OF THESE BOOKS AND KNOW A LITTLE MORE ABOUT SEX, I WOULD LIKE TO SUGGEST THAT WE EXCHANGE OUR SEX HISTORY.”


YOU CAN CLEARLY TELL HARRY AND DOROTHY WERE MORE THAN JUST MESSAGING FOR THE FUN OF IT. HARRY WAS PUSHING THE BOUNDARIES WITH DOROTHY AND PERSONALLY I THINK SHE LIKED IT.

DOROTHY ENDED UP FALLING IN LOVE AND AGREED TO MARRY HARRY.

HER SISTER SAID THEY HAVE BEEN TALKING FOR SEVERAL YEARS AND THAT IN JULY OF 1931 DOROTHY LEFT WITH HIM. TWO WEEKS LATER THE FLEMINGS RECEIVED A LETTER SUPPOSEDLY WRITTEN BY DORTHY.

“HELLO EVERYBODY I’M FEELING FINE PHYSICALLY BUT VERY DISAPPOINTED WITH MY MARRIAGE. WE HAVE COMPLETELY BROKEN UP. WE HAD A DISAGREEMENT AND I GUESS IT WAS MORE MY FAULT AS I HAVE BEEN TELLING THINGS THAT WEREN'T TRUE AND THEY WERE FOUND OUT. IT MADE HIM VERY MAD SO I PUT A NOTE IN THE CAR WHILE HE WAS NOT THERE AND I SIMPLY WALKED AWAY. IT IS PERHAPS ALL FOR THE BEST AND I’M TERRIBLY ASHAMED OF IT ALL. I’M GOING TO CHICAGO TO TRY TO FIND EMPLOYMENT. I HAVE THE NAME AND ADDRESS OF A LADY SEEKING A WOMAN COMPANION. I WILL WRITE FROM THERE. I HOPE YOUR ALL WELL.”


DOROTHY’S SISTER COULDN’T HELP BUT FEEL SAD FOR HER. SOMETHING WASN’T ADDING UP TO DOROTHY’S BROTHER-IN-LAW.

“MY WIFE THOUGHT THEY WERE IN DORTHY’S HANDWRITING I THOUGHT THE WRITING WAS TOO SMALL. LIKE IT HAD BEEN COPIED. THEN AGAIN, THE WORDS WERE SPELLED TOO GOOD FOR DOROTHY.”


ANOTHER LETTER FROM AUGUST 18TH WAS MAILED TO THE FLEMINGS. THIS ONE APPEARED THAT DOROTHY WAS IN A BETTER MOOD.

“HELLO EVERYBODY, HERE I AM AGAIN. I THOUGHT I WOULD TELL YOU THAT WE WILL GO ON OUR TRIP THE DAY AFTER TOMORROW. WE WILL BE GONE 10 MONTHS AND WE ARE GOING TO GO THROUGH EUROPE, CHINA, JAPAN, AND OTHER PLACES. I’M SO GLAD THAT NOW THAT I DID NOT GET MARRIED. FOR I WOULD HAVE MISSED ALL OF THIS. I DON’T THINK I WILL EVER MARRY NOW. PLEASE DON’T TELL ANYONE OF THE OUTCOME OF MY MARRIAGE PLAN. I FEEL SO ASHAMED THAT I DO NOT BELIEVE I COULD EVER FACE ANYONE THERE AGAIN. DO NOT WORRY IF YOU DO NOT HEAR FROM ME FOR A LONG TIME. AS IT’S MIGHTY DIFFICULT TO WRITE BUT I WILL TRY TO FIND THE TIME TO ATLEAST SEND YOU A CARD ONCE AND A WHILE. I WILL NOW CLOSE WITH BEST WISHES AND LOVE TO ALL. DOROTHY…”


THIS WAS THE LAST TIME HER FAMILY WOULD EVER HEAR FROM HER. IT WOULD BE THE LAST TIME ANYONE HEARD FROM HER…


ALONG WITH THE BANK BOOK THERE WAS A SLIP THAT SHOWED SHE CLOSED OUT HER BANK ACCOUNT IN THE AMOUNT OF $4,000 DOLLARS.

WHERE DID ALL OF HER MONEY GO??

THAT'S WHEN POLICE REALIZED THE DAY BEFORE HARRY WAS ARRESTED LUELLA HAD DEPOSITED A CHECK FOR OVER $3,000 DOLLARS.


ON AUGUST 30TH 1931 POLICE WERE SEARCHING FOR MORE EVIDENCE OF POTENTIAL VICTIMS OF HARRY.

NOT TOO FAR FROM WHERE POLICE FOUND THE REMAINS OF ASTA EIKER AND HER CHILDREN.

THEY FOUND ANOTHER SHALLOW GRAVE. WHAT WAS FOUND WAS THE REMAINS OF ANOTHER WOMAN. STOCKY WITH LONG BLACK HAIR. FROM THE LOOKS OF HER SHE WAS TOSSED INTO THE GRAVE WITHOUT ANY CARE WHATSOEVER. THE ONLY ITEM OF CLOTHING SHE HAD ON WERE A PAIR OF STOCKINGS. WITH HER HANDS TIED BEHIND HER BACK AND WEBBING WRAPPED AROUND HER NECK TO CHOKE HER.


WHEN POLICE FOUND THE BODY, THE CHIEF RUSHED OVER TO THE JAIL TO FIND HARRY PLAYING POKER WITH OTHER INMATES AND TOOK HIM TO ANOTHER ROOM.

WHEN HARRY GOT INTO THE ROOM, HE “THAT’S THE LAST ONE. THERE’S NO MORE OUT THERE.”

WHEN POLICE PUT EVERYTHING TOGETHER, THEY FOUND OUT THE LATEST VICTIM WAS DOROTHY LEMKE.

ANOTHER VICTIM HARRY LURED WITH THE PROMISE OF MARRIAGE AND A HAPPY EVER AFTER.


POLICE KEPT HARRY FOR HOURS TO TRY TO GET A CONFESSION OUT OF HIM.

FINALLY, HARRY WROTE OUT A CONFESSION.

“I TOOK MRS.LEMKE TO THE GARAGE AT MIDNIGHT AND LED HER INTO THE CELLAR. I TOLD HER TO KEEP QUIET AND DIRECTED HER TO STAND UP. I GAZED INTO HER EYES AND HELD HER SPELL BOUND. I TOLD HER I WAS HER MASTER AND THAT SHE WAS GOING TO OBEY MY ORDERS. SHE CLOSED HER EYES AND WHISPERED THAT SHE WAS MY SLAVE AND STOOD WAITING MY COMMANDS. THEN I BEAT HER WITH ALL OF MY STRENGTH, I BEAT HER UNTIL SHE WAS A MASS OF BRUISES. STILL, SHE HAD NO WILL OF HER OWN AND DID NOT CRY OUT. I DROVE MRS. EIKER TO THE GARAGE AND PLACED HER UNDER A HYPNOTIC SPELL. THEN I STRANGLED HER AND BURIED HER SHE TOO HAD SUBMITTED WITHOUT RESISTANCE OR OUTCRYS TO MY BEATINGS. SHE WROTE A LETTER AUTHORIZING ME TO TAKE CHARGE OF HER THREE CHILDREN.

I PUT GRETA EIKER IN ONE ROOM IN THE GARAGE CELLAR, THEN I PUT HARRY EIKER AND ANNABELL EIKER IN ANOTHER ROOM. I WALKED THROUGH ANNABELL’S CHAMBER AND KILLED THE YOUNGER KIDS. KILLED THE BROTHER AND SISTER.

I HIT THE LITTLE BOY ON THE HEAD WITH A HAMMER BEFORE PUTTING THE ROPE AROUND HIS THROAT. THEY NEVER MADE ANY NOISE OR PUT UP ANY FIGHT. I KILLED THE OLDER GIRL I DIDN’T HAVE ANY TROUBLE; THEY TOOK IT QUIETLY.”


AFTER THEY WERE ALL DEAD HARRY DRAGGED THEIR BODIES TO THE DITCH. WRAPPED THEM IN BURLAP AND TOSSED THEM INTO A COLD WET HOLE.


THE MEDICAL EXAMINER SAID MRS. LEMKE COULD HAVE BEEN DEAD FOR UP TO THREE WEEKS AND THE EIKER FAMILY ONLY ONE WEEK.


AFTER HIS CONFESSION HARRY WAS TAKEN BACK TO HIS CELL PHYSICALLY AND EMOTIONALLY DRAINED. HE BEGGED TO SEE THE REVEREND GANIER

AFTER TALKING TO HARRY REVEREND GANEAR SPOKE TO THE POLICE.

“POWERS WHO IM NEVER SEEN BEFORE TODAY. I DO NOT KNOW WHY HE SENT FOR ME. TOLD ME ABOUT MANY THINGS IN THE STRICTEST CONFIDENCE. THESE I WILL NEVER FEEL FREE TO REVEAL. HE DID SAY HOWEVER THAT HE NEVER IN GODS' WORLD WOULD CONFESS TO THESE OFFICERS.”


WHEN HARRY WOKE UP THE NEXT DAY, HE TOLD HIS LAWYER THAT HIS CONFESSION WAS MADE UNDER DURESS AND THAT HE WAS BEATEN AND NOT ALLOWED TO SLEEP.

THAT HE HAD A DIFFERENT STORY TO TELL THIS TIME.

“I CORRESPONDED WITH FOUR WOMEN BUT THE ONLY ONE WHO WAS INTERESTED IN ME WAS MRS. EIKER IN PARK RIDGE.

I WENT THERE AND SENT HER AND HER BEST FRIEND BACK HERE TO FAIRMONT, WEST VIRGINIA. MY FRIEND MR. ROGER’S SENT ME THE MONEY TO SETTLE UP THEIR MORTGAGE AND DEBTS. FIVE DAYS LATER I SENT THE THREE CHILDREN ON TO FAIRMONT. MR ROGERS MET BOTH TRAINS. I STAYING IN CHICAGO MEANWHILE I UNDERSTAND MR. ROGERS STOPPED AT MY HOUSE AND ASKED FOR ME. HE HAD ALL FIVE IN HIS CAR, HE TOOK THEM OUT TO THE GARAGE. HE RENTED IT FROM ME FOR $3 A MONTH… YES, I HAVE ALL OF THE RECEIPTS IN MY SAFETY DEPOSIT BOX. I BELIEVE MAYBE IT’S AT HOME BUT I HAVE IT. HE MUST HAVE KILLED THEM ALL OUT AT THE GARAGE. HE PROBABLY KILLED THEM BECAUSE MRS.EIKER HAD SOLD HER PROPERTY AND HAD THREE THOUSAND DOLLARS. I GOT A LETTER FROM HIM IN DENVER. I GUESS HE'S IN DENVER NOW SAYING EVERYTHING IS FINE. THAT’S ALL I KNOW.

IT SMELLED KINDA FUNNY OUT AT THE GARAGE BUT I NEVER SUSPECTED A MURDER UNTIL THEY DUG UP THAT DITCH YESTERDAY.”


AFTER HARRY SAID ALL OF THIS POLICE LOOKED AT HIM AND LAUGHED. THEY’VE BEEN THROUGH ALL OF THE FILES AND TALKED TO OVER A HUNDRED PEOPLE. THEY KNEW THERE WAS NO MR. ROGERS.


MEANWHILE AT THE GARAGE THERE WERE STILL A NUMBER OF PEOPLE THERE. SOME WERE SOUVENIR HUNTERS TAKING DOORS, WINDOWS, EVEN THE DIRT THAT WAS DIRECTLY UNDER THE BODIES OF HARRY'S VICTIMS.


YOU MIGHT BE WONDERING HOW COULD PEOPLE BE GOING TO THE PROPERTY DOING ALL OF THIS IS THERE’S POLICE THERE? DURING THIS TIME POLICE WERE DONE WITH THEIR INVESTIGATION AND RETURNED THE LAND TO LUELLA AND SHE DIDN’T WANT ANYTHING TO DO WITH IT.


EVEN THOUGH LUELLA DIDN’T WANT THE PROPERTY SOMEONE ELSE DID….


SEPTEMBER 31ST 1931 WITH THE CONSENT OF CHIEF C.A. DUCKWORTH LUELLA RENTED OUT THE GARAGE AND THE SURROUNDING PROPERTY TO CECIL B CASTER.


CECIL ACTUALLY HAD A PLAN FOR THE PROPERTY… HE BEGAN BUILDING A FENCE AROUND THE PROPERTY AND BY 4AM ON SEPT 2ND IT WAS FINISHED. HE STARTED TO CHARGE ADMISSION TO THOSE WHO WANTED TO SEE THE GARAGE IN PERSON.

HE CHARGED .25 CENTS FOR ADULTS AND .15 CENTS FOR CHILDREN.


THE LOCALS PROTEST THIS SO-CALLED HORROR EXHIBIT THEY COULDN’T UNDERSTAND WHY SOMEONE WOULD WANT TO MAKE A PROFIT OFF OF HARRY’S HORRIBLE CRIMES. SO, DURING THE EARLY HOURS OF SEPT THE 5TH A GROUP OF VIGILANTES CALLED “THE NIGHT RIDERS” SHOWED UP TO THE GARAGE WHERE THEY WORE HANDKERCHIEFS FOR MASKS AND TORE DOWN THE FENCE.

WHEN THEY WERE FINISHED THE PILED THE FENCE IN A NEARBY FIELD AND SET IT ON FIRE AS A MESSAGE TO CECIL THAT THEY DIDN’T WANT THIS IN THEIR TOWN.


CECIL APPARENTLY DIDN’T RECEIVE IT AS A MESSAGE. HE SIMPLY REBUILT THE FENCE. LOCALS BEGGED POLICE TO DO SOMETHING BUT THEY SAID THEY COULDN’T BECAUSE CECIL WASN’T DOING ANYTHING ILLEGAL. A FEW DAYS WENT BY AND BY SEPTEMBER 15TH THE LOCALS TO THE MATTERS INTO THEIR OWN HANDS AGAIN.


A GROUP OF 300 STORMED THE PROPERTY THE GARAGE WAS ON WITH TOOLS IN THEIR HANDS THEY TORE DOWN THE 6 FOOT METAL FENCE AND FOUGHT TWO ARMED GUARDS AND BURNT DOWN THE GUARDS HEADQUARTERS.

THIS TIME WHEN THEY WERE DONE, THEY LEFT A NOTE.

“TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN LET THIS BE A WARNING

THAT THIS FENCE. NOT TO BE BUILT AGAIN.

GOOD CITIZENS OF HARRISON COUNTY.”


AFTER THAT CECIL NEVER ATTEMPTED TO BUILD ANOTHER FENCE.

MORE THAN 5,000 PAID FOR ENTRY DURING THE TIME IT WAS OPEN.


POLICE FOUND WHAT THEY BELIEVED TO BE A 6TH VICTIM IN A BLACK BOOK. WHO THE POLICE KNEW WELL. A LOCAL Stamatis Sfikas A 42-YEAR-OLD GREEK IMMIGRANT WHO WENT MISSING IN JUNE BUT HIS BODY WAS FOUND IN A SNOWBANK IN SIGHT OF THE LOCAL GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH IN NOVEMBER OF 1931. Stamatis Sfikas A 42-YEAR-OLD GREEK IMMIGRANT WHO WENT MISSING IN JUNE BUT HIS BODY WAS FOUND IN A SNOWBANK IN SIGHT OF THE LOCAL GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH IN NOVEMBER OF 1931. A 42-YEAR-OLD GREEK IMMIGRANT WHO WENT MISSING IN JUNE BUT HIS BODY WAS FOUND IN A SNOWBANK IN SIGHT OF THE LOCAL GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH IN NOVEMBER OF 1931. Stamatis Sfikas A 42 YEAR OLD GREEK IMMIGRANT WHO WENT MISSING IN JUNE BUT HIS BODY WAS FOUND IN A SNOWBANK IN SIGHT OF THE LOCAL GREEK ORTHODOX CHURCH IN NOVEMBER OF 1931.

HE OWNED A SHOE SHINING STORE IN CLARKSBURG AND THE LAST PERSON HE WAS SEEN WITH IN HIS SHOP WAS HARRY POWERS.

POLICE QUESTIONED HARRY ABOUT THIS AND HE SAID THEY WERE CLOSE FRIENDS AND THAT HE SAW HIM ON THE DAY HE DISAPPEARED BUT HE DENIED THE RESPONSIBILITY OF HIS DISAPPEARANCE.

POLICE TO THIS DAY HAVE NOT RULED OUT HARRY FOR THE REASONING OF HIS DISAPPEARANCE AND MURDER.


ON THE DAY HE WENT MISSING HE HAS TWO $100 LIBERTY BONDS AND $30 IN CASH. POWERS COULD NEVER PROVIDE AN ALIBI FOR THE DAY OF HIS DISAPPEARANCE.


ON DECEMBER 7TH 1931 1,200 PEOPLE ENTERED THE MOORE OPERA HOUSE IN CLARKSBURG, WV TO WITNESS THE 5 DAY TRIAL OF HARRY POWERS.

HARRY WAS WALKED IN BY STATE TROOPERS IN HANDCUFFS WHEN HE WAS ON THE STAGE HE TURNED AND LOOKED AROUND THE PACKED ROOM. HE JUST SAW FACES STARING BACK AT HIM.


DURING THE TRIAL HARRY SHOWED NO EMOTION. ESPECIALLY WHEN HIS OWN LAWYER SAID, “SOME PEOPLE ARE SAYING HANGING IS TOO GOOD FOR HIM.”


POWERS TOOK THE STAND AND PROSECUTORS ASKED WHAT HE HAD TO GAIN FROM TALKING TO THESE WOMEN. HE SPOKE “I HAD A LOT OF MATRIMONIAL TROUBLE CHARLIE ROGERS SUGGESTED THAT I TRY TO FIND A NEW WIFE AND TRY TO GET OUT OF TROUBLE. I JUMPED AT HIS SUGGESTION”.


ONLY ONE MEMBER OF THE JURY SHOWED HIS TRUE EMOTION TOWARDS HARRY. HIS FACE WAS PURE DISGUSTAS HARRY RETURNED TO HIS SEAT HE LEANED FORWARD AND SPIT INTO A SPATOON AS IF HE TOLD HARRY HOW HE REALLY FELT ABOUT HIM.


WHEN THE MEDICAL EXAMINER TOOK THE STAND, HE DISCUSSED THE MURDERS IN DETAIL AND A SMILE COULD BE SEEN ON HARRY'S FACE.


AFTER AN HOUR AND 15 MINUTES THE JURY CAME BACK WITH A VERDICT.

“WE THE MEMBERS OF THE JURY FIND THE DEFENDANT HARRY F. POWERS ASLAS CORNELIAS O. PEIRSON GUILTY OF FIRST-DEGREE MURDER AS CHARGED IN THE FIRST INDICTMENT”.


THE CROWD STARTED TO CHEER AS HARRY WAS TAKEN AWAY.

HARRY WAS TO BE HUNG BY THE NECK TIL DEATH.

HARRY TRIED TO APPEAL HIS SENTENCE BUT WAS DENIED.

HE KNEW DEATH WAS COMING FOR HIM…


HARRY WAS SENTENCED TO DEATH ON MARCH 18TH 1932 AT 9PM

BEFORE HARRY WAS TAKEN TO THE WAGON GATE AT MOUNDSVILLE PENITENTIARY HARRY RECEIVED ONE FINAL LETTER FROM HIS WIFE LUELLA.

SHE WAS SICK, BEDRIDDEN AND UNABLE TO COPE WITH WHAT HER HUSBAND DID.

“MAY YOU HAVE A HOME IN HEAVEN WHERE THERE IS NO SORROW AND SOME SWEET DAY, I WILL COME TO SEE YOU DEAR AND LIVE FOREVER WITH YOU.”


AFTER READING THE LETTER A BLACK HOOD WAS SLIPPED OVER HIS HEAD A NOOSE TIGHTENED AROUND HIS NECK.


AT 9PM THE LEVER WAS PULLED AS THE DOOR DROPPED OPEN HARRY FELL TO HIS DEATH.


HARRY DIED AT 9:11 PM



WHEN THEY CLEANED OUT HIS CELL, THEY FOUND A LETTER FROM HARRY TO WARDEN INCASE OF MY DEATH CONSIDER THIS YOURS.


“THIS IS TO CERTIFY THAT I HAVE GIVEN TO MY MEDICAL ADVISOR A TRUE AND FULL WRITTEN ACCOUNT OF MY LIFE AND THAT I HAVE DESCRIBED ALL OF MY DEEDS WEATHER GOOD OR BAD. IN FULL AND THAT THEY ARE TRUE AS DESCRIBED. AT NO TIME DURING THE COMMITMENT ON ANY OF MY DEEDS HAVE I FELT REGRET OR REMORSE. ON THE OTHER HAND, I HAVE HAD A FEELING OF WELLBEING. I KNOW THAT I AM NOT LEGALLY INSANE BUT I KNOW I AM NOT NORMAL. USUALLY, I AM KIND AND AFFECTIONATE BUT AT TIMES I HAVE AN OVERPOWERING URGE.

OF THESE TIMES I HAVE NEITHER FEAR OR SYMPATHY.

I AM NOT THIS WAY BECAUSE I WANT TO BE I MUST HAVE BEEN BORN THIS WAY. I HAVE TOLD THE TRUTH.

HARRY F. POWERS.”


IN OVER 50,000 WORDS HARRY WROTE A FULL CONFESSION OF HIS CRIMES. HE REQUESTED THAT IT BE SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER TO PAY FOR THE TRIAL AND ALL COSTS OF THE INVESTIGATION.


“I DO NOT FEAR DEATH AS LONG AS I DO NOT COMMIT SELF DESTRUCTION. THOSE WHO GLOAT IN THE SATISFACTION THAT DEATH MEANS PUNISHMENT FOR ME. ARE MERELY DELUDING THEMSELVES. HARRY F. POWERS.



Special thanks to the Greathouse family and the Clarksburg History Museum





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