Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Josephine Carr, Thirteen-Year-Old Murderess – Canada, 1905


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): Toronto, Ont., May 21.— Josephine Carr, a thirteen-year-old girl, has confessed to the murder of William Murray, a 9-months old infant.

It is alleged that the girl has been in the habit of stealing baby carriages from the front of a department store while the parents were inside shopping. The police have recovered several of these carriages, which had been sold.

Last Friday the girl went to a department store and found a baby in each carriage in front of the store. She picked out the best looking baby carriage, which contained the Murray child, and made off with it. She took the child to the woods near the city and stripped it of its clothing and threw it over an embankment, causing its death.

Later she placed the body in a culvert and burned its clothing. On Saturday she made the announcement that she had discovered the child’s body in the culvert. When accused of the crime she made a confession.

The girl says the plan of killing the child was suggested to her by a play she had seen at a theater.

[“Child Kills Infant. – Says Plan of Murder Suggested by Play Seen at Theater.” The Salt Lake Tribune (Ut.), May 22, 1905, p. 2]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Toronto, Ont., Mny. 23. – Because she did not know what to do with the child she had stolen, 13-year-old Josephine Carr deliberately threw the 9-months’ old baby of Mr. and Mrs. William Murray over an eighty-eight-foot embank near the Grand Trunk track at the east end of the city. The body was recovered and the little girl confessed to the murder.

The baby was left by the mother in a go-cart outside a department store. Josephine along while the mother shopping, took the baby and go-cart, and on a street car went to the suburbs near her own house.

“Then I got frightened,” she said. “I was afraid papa would be mad, so I threw it over the embankment.”

Then the little murderess crawled down the steep embankment and stripped the body of its clothes. The girl claimed that she got the plan of  killing the child from seeing a play at a local theater.

[“Girl Murders Stolen Child,” - Throws It into Canal Because She Did Not Know What to Do With It.” Alton Evening Telegraph (Il.), May 23, 1905, p. 3]

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FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): Toronto, May 23. – The wanton fiendishness of Josephine Carr the 12 year old girl who has confessed to the murder of the Murray baby is further revealed as a result of the post mortem. At the inquest last evening Dr. John Caven, who performed the post mortem, testified that the baby had been drowned. He stated that a found a comparatively large amount of sand in the infant's mouth and gullet, and an examination of the stomach disclosed a great quantity of wet sand and dirty water. This matter had been drawn into the stomach when the poor little baby was struggling, swallowing and gasping for breath in the mire in which the inhuman little girl had thrust it. Dr. Caven declared that the infant must have been remarkably strong to have absorbed such a quantity of water and and it is now apparent that Josephine Carr’s second version of the tragedy is but little more reliable than the first story she told with such a wealth of detail in regard to seeing a woman wheeling a baby in a go-cart in the vicinity of the place in which the girl declared she subsequently discovered the murdered infant. There seems to be a peculiar twist in the child’s mental make-up which will not admit of her telling the truth even in matters not affecting her interests. She is also possessed of a fertile imagination supplemented by the reading of cheap, trashy novels.

Toronto, May 22 – In view of the startling facts revealed by the post mortem, everything points to the conclusion that the baby, instead being thrown over the embankment was carried down to the culvert, placed face downward in the mire, and held there till life was extinct. The culvert in which the body was found runs under the Grand Trunk railway tracks and is about eight feet in diameter. There was just a little water trickling over the sand in the centre of the culvert. The supposition is that the infant was drowned in one of the several pools of water outside and afterwards carried in and deposited in the centre of the culvert which would be fully twenty feet from the entrance.

Some idea of the callous nerve of the girl may be gleaned from this fact, which would have daunted a brave man. Imagine an 11 year old girl in the dusk of evening, in one of the loneliest spots on the outskirts of the city, carrying a dead, naked baby 29 feet into a dark [illeg.] culvert. Arriving at the centre the infant was placed on its back as the impression in the sand revealed. There was practically no running water at the spot where the baby was found.

In respect to the marks on the baby’s body. [illeg.] Caven testified testified that they were all of the superficial character, and had probably been caused by the remains being rolled in the sand. There were no bruises of a serious character, being at the most but slight skin abrasions.

It has been demonstrated that the baby’s clothing had been removed before it was murdered.

The fair inference is that when Josephine Carr arrived at the railway tracks with the baby she carefully carried it down the embankment and divested it of its clothing with the exception of a little flannel undershirt. Wet sand was freely imbedded in this garment, a result no doubt of the baby’s struggles. There was also several black grease spots upon it, resembling oil from the axles of a railway engine.

After undressing the baby it was done to death in the manner revealed by the post mortem examined.

[“The Awful Crime of Little Josie Carr - Further Investigation Shows That the Murder of Baby Murray was Coolly Carried Out With Fiendish Ingenuity.” The Evening Journal (Ottawa, Canada), May 23, 1905, p. 1]

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