Thursday, August 18, 2011

Roe Krauss Murdered Her Stepdaughter & Forged a Suicide Note - 1904

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): Hartford City, Ind., Aug. 16. — Sensations are coming thick and fast in the mysterious Krauss poisoning case. The latest is the arrest of Mrs. W. K. Krauss, stepmother of the dead girl. The authorities charge that she poisoned Crystal and wrote the suicide notes.

Crystal Krauss died August 21, after suffering great agony. A bottle containing powder was found in her bed. A note indicated suicide.

“Good bye, papa. I can’t live without Jim,” it read. The evidence against Mrs. Krauss is, according to the authorities:

She insists that the girl died of heart disease.

Win the physicians said Crystal was poisoned, she produced the note and a bottle of stuff that looked like hair oil, also a bottle of white powder.

Lloyd Summerville, a nine-year-old boy, swears Mrs. Krauss sent him to the drug store for 15 cents' worth of poison the day before Crystal died.

A Mrs. Hurley, who lives next the Krauss home, says she saw Mrs. Krauss give the boy the money and send him on an errand. She did not hear what was said.

The post mortem shows strychnine in the dead girl’s stomach.

Then Mrs. Krauss produced another note of farewell which she claimed was found in a closet. It was addressed to Jim Cronin, who had been forbidden to see her.

The town is divided over the case. William Krauss, father of the dead girl, who is a druggist, is nearly insane from grief.

[“Stepmother Charged With Girl’s Death,” The Tacoma Times (Wa.), Aug. 16, 1904, p. 4]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): Hartford, City, Ind., Oct 27. – Mrs. Rao M. Krauss to-day pleaded guilty to poisoning her stepdaughter, Crystal Krauss, and, made a written, confession in which she says that, while she loved the girl, she had an indescribable desire to kill her. She was sentenced to life-imprisonment.

Crystal Krauss, daughter of W. H. Krauss, a prominent and wealthy druggist, died on August 2 of strychnine poisoning. Two notes alleging suicide were found, supposedly written by the girl, but dissimilarity between the penmanship in the notes and the chirogrophy of the girl was discovered by the father.

A milkboy said he had on the night previously to the death of Crystal Krauss gone to a drug store for Mrs. Krauss to get some rat poison. Mrs. Krauss maintained her innocence, but investigation resulted in her indictment to-day.

Mrs. Krauss was arrested and placed in jail a week after Crystal’s death. Through the father’s instrumentality the confession was obtained. Previous to Crystal’s death the Krauss home was the social center of Hartford City. Mrs. Krauss is the daughter of W. H. Anderman, a prominent physician.

[“Fed Poison To Girl She Loved - Indiana Woman Confesses Murder of Her Stepdaughter.” The Post-Standard (Syracuse, N.Y.), Oct. 28, 1904, p. 1]


For more examples, see Step-Mothers from Hell.


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