Monday, November 30, 2015

Minnie Demorse, 18-Year-Old Murderess and Serial Arsonist (Would-Be Mass Murderess) – Michigan, 1887


Note: some sources spell the name as “Demore.”

FULL TEXT: Manistee, Mich., October 13. – This place is terribly excited over disclosures made public to-day by the authorities, the facts for some reason having been suppressed. The family of James Henderson are well-known and respected people. There have been whisperings for some time past about the singular conduct of Miss Minnie Demorse, the adopted daughter of the Hendersons, but on account of the prominence of the family actions which in others would excite attention have been passed by with only a shrug of the shoulders. A mild sensation was caused last Tuesday by the arrest of Miss Demorse on the ostensible charge of larceny.

The real sensation did not come to light until to-day, when it was stated that she was charged with cruelty not much less than that of Jesse Pomeroy. It is asserted that she tortured the infant child of Mr. Henderson because she did not want to wait upon it, and she has confessed to smothering the baby because it cried when she tortured it. She has also confessed to setting the house on fire five different times lately in the hopes of burning up the family. To this end not long ago she poisoned the cow, thinking the milk would kill the family before the cow died, and thus two birds would be slain, for she says she hated the bovine. Miss Demorse 18 years old, and was adopted 13 years ago.

[“A Female Fiend. – An Adopted Daughter Who Seems to Have Been Totally Depraved.” Punxsutawney Spirit (Pa.), Oct. 19, 1887, p. 1]

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