April 6, 2011 at 7:26 am in DL-Online
It’s a case which still shocks people almost 99 years later and makes the infamous Lizzy Borden axe murders look like child’s play in comparison. Continue Reading
Tags: Crime, murder 5 Comments »
Boy was this article a surprise to me when I looked at the DL Tribune online this morning. I grew up on a farm north of Villisca. My brother and I attended Villisca High School in the late 50’s and my grandmother also lived there. The story of the Villisca Axe Murders was still being re-told even fifty years later when I was growing up. Even then as a youngster, I vividly remember holding the sheet firmly around my neck before falling asleep; as if that was going to keep my head on when the “axe murderer” slung his axe!
At a Neill family reunion some years ago, I asked an elderly cousin on my motherâ€™s side of the family about the Villisca axe murders and how it most affected the family. She said, â€œThat is when they started locking their doors out there on that farm. My mother remembered it very well. They were very frightened. They never thought about locking doors until that happened.â€ This cousinâ€™s mother was around ten at the time of the murders. The Neill farm was located a mile or so from the railroad tracks that went into Villisca; and the farm was around five miles away far from the city limits. When I asked an aunt on my fatherâ€™s side of the family about her recollections, she said, â€œRumorâ€™s had it that a black man done it. After that blackâ€™s werenâ€™t allowed in town after dark.â€ Many rumors were running rampant and fear held the area captive for generations.
Well-loved. Like or Dislike: 17 2
Loved your post MNtalker! I’m not one for ghosts…but the history surrounding these axe murderers are fascinating to me! Your post was not ‘bad’ or ‘offensive’ at all, I don’t understand why someone ‘disliked’ it lol Thanks for sharing what you discovered from your family!
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The history of the event is intriguing, but I find it interesting that the “journalist” who wrote this story also leads the “research team” heading to Iowa. No mention of that in the story.
I’m not sure what makes them a “research team” either. The bios for the group are listed on their Web site. Not a single scientist or expert in the bunch.
Let’s face it, these are bunch of kids who will hear a board creak, or feel a chill and then declare that the place is haunted.
Lots of us poked around abandoned farm houses when we were 15 and tried to scare each other. The fact that they do this at 23 doesn’t make it legitimate, meaningful, or even interesting.
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“The final straw came one night when the father was sharpening his pocket knife and it flew out of his hands and ended up cutting him. The family moved out the next day.”
You mean, he was moving the knife and then lost his grip? Somebody call Ghostbusters, because I’m pretty sure this right here’s a ghost! There is no known Newtonian force that could cause this to happen. None whatsoever.
This is balderdash. A nice ghost story, but hardly news. Just shameless self-promotion.
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Perhaps the “dislikes” came to my initial post because of the reference to “blacks”. I’m sorry, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned it but it was the sign of the turn-of-the-century times. It was an aunt who brought it up when I asked her. Fingers were pointing in all sorts of different directions. Villisca is around 50 miles or less from the Missouri border. Trains lead in and out, south toward Kansas City and north toward Chicago. As I mentioned, fear has held that area captive for generations. As a little girl growing up, the story was being recanted fifty years later, and now nearly a century later, it continues to raise its ugly head like Ichabod Crane and the Headless Horseman. I’d rather not remember it but others, it seems, just can’t lay it to rest.
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