Thursday, September 22, 2011

Annie Crawford, Atlanta, Georgia Suspected Serial Killer - 1911



FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): New Orleans, Sept. 28. – That Miss Annie charged with killing her sister Elise, a last week, by poison, has made a partial confession to the district attorney, is the story told by the police.

In her confession Annie admitted giving poison to Elise, but said she did it by mistake. Her statement did not involve the cases of the other members or the family. The girl says she gave morphine, thinking it was calomel tablets, and then that she did not call and tell him of the mistake because she was afraid of her aunt.

Three other members of the Crawford family have died under within the past 15 months, and Annie Crawford is said to have been the named in the insurance policies on the life of each.

~ Coroner Grew Suspicious. ~

Elise Crawford died suddenly last Sunday and under so suspicious a manner that the coroner had the contents of her stomach analyzed. The finding of enough morphine to kill at least two persons was followed by the arrest of the sister. The indicated the bodies of the other three members of the family would be exhumed for a similar examination.

District Attorney Adams declined to state whether he contemplated charging Annie Crawford with the murder of all four members of the family, but he dictated the following statement:

“It was established that Annie Crawford is a drug victim and probably is addicted to morphine. It is also established that Annie Crawford had access during the last three weeks to morphine and was in a position to obtain it in practically any quantity during that period. During the indisposition of Elise Crawford she bitterly complained that her food, and drink was doped. I have charged Annie Crawford with the murder of her sister Elise.”

[“Says She Gave Wrong Tablets - New Orleans Girl Admits Poisoning Sister Was Insurance Beneficiary - Finding Morphine In  Stomach Of Stenographer Leads Suspicion That Three Other Members Crawford Family Who All Died Under Peculiar Circumstances Within The Last Months May Have Been Victims Of Similar Mistake,” The Democratic Banner (Mt. Vernon, Oh.), Sep. 29, 1911, p. 1]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): New Orleans, La., Oct. 11. – If as local criminologists believe, Annie Crawford, charged with the murder of her sister Elsie, is a “morphine missionary,” it may explain the strange crime imputed to the girl. It probably will not do away, however, with the intention of the district attorney to prosecute her to the limit of the law.

The theory in regard to the morphine has been brought into the case of the “poison queen” by experts who have been studying her.

They believe, the girl was such victim of morphine that she worshipped the drug with a sort of fanatical reverence – a love so great that she wanted every one to share it with her.

They say this is what prompted her to give her sister the poison and that it also may have been the motive for administering morphine to her father, mother and another sister, all of whom died mysteriously.

District Attorney Adams is working on a new theory. There is the glaring fact that all four members at the family had their lives insured at Annie’s request, and that she was the beneficiary, of all the policies.

The case is one of the most sensational that has been brought to light in New Orleans in years. The dead sisters were stenographers.

[“Is This the Face of a Murderess?” The Tacoma Times (Wa.), Oct. 11, 1911, p. 1]

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FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): New Orleans, March 26. – The sensational trial of Annie Crawford for the alleged murder of her sister, Elise Crawford, resulted in a mistrial.

At 10:40 this morning the jurors, after being out since 11:15 last night, reported to Judge Chretien, of the criminal district court, that they were unable to agree on a verdict, and were discharged.

The jury stood nine to three for acquittal, the minority holding out for a verdict of murder with capital punishment. The result was not unexpected by either the prosecution attorney or counsel for the defense. Miss Crawford probably will be released on bail this wools, and it is doubtful if an effort will be made to bring her to trial for the alleged crime a second time.

~ Woman an Enigma. ~

To the majority of the vast throng which followed the proceedings of the trial for the two weeks the black garbed, veiled, unemotional little woman is still an enigma.

Confessedly a morphine eater for a period of six years, Annie Crawford was absolutely deprived of this drug from the date of her incarceration, September 27 last, four days after her sister’s mysterious death, and without any stimulant she sat through the most dramatic scenes of the long trial with an immobile countenance. Even when the heart of the sister whom she is charged with murdering was exhibited to the jury she gave no hint of any inward emotion. She watched the medical experts carve slices from the spleen of Elise and handle the brain of her dead sister without the constant gaze of the spectators and court officials being able to fathom her feelings.

Elsie Crawford’s death was just one of four sudden and mysterious deaths in the Crawford family within a space of fifteen months. The bodies of the father, mother and another sister, Mary Agnes, had decomposed long before any suspicion had attached to Annie.

[“Jury Stands 9 for Acquittal; 3 for Murder Verdict. - Probable That Annie Crawford Will Never Again Be Brought to Trial for Alleged Murder of Sister Elite by Administering Morphine.” Atlanta Constitution (Ga.), Mar. 27, 1912, p. 7]

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