On Oct. 5, 1885, John Douglas was found dead in his barn in Bennington Township, Licking County, Ohio. An older widower, he had recently married a widow, Mary Elizabeth Haynie (my great great grandmother). Her new son-in-law, Jefferson Bowling (my great grandfather), was charged and found guilty of the murder on June 23, 1886 and sentenced to hang. Sometime in 1889, he was pardoned by the Governor.
It was a wild and wicked story that my grandfather (Jefferson's son-in-law) read in Startling Detective magazine in the November 19, 1946 issue regarding the murder. Reading detective magazines was his joy, but imagine reading a story about his wife's father?? No wonder he shoved it in the back on his filing cabinet.
The magazine was discovered while closing up my granddad's house following his death in 1998. Until then, no one in the family had heard about the 'skeleton in the closet'.
Would any records be available about this court case in 1885? Something sparked Will Herman Murray's interest when he wrote the article, The Enigma of the Screaming Stallion, 61 years later. Where did he get his research? the pics and sketches?
I have a copy of The Advocate's October 8, 1885 edition that has the initial story of Douglas' death ending with the fact that it was under investigation. That's all.
Is there someone that can help me finish the puzzle? Would be happy to reimburse for time and expenses.
Bartonville, Denton Co., TX
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