Monday, November 23, 2015

Nellie Corneilson, 11-Year-Old Murderess & False Accuser – Kansas, 1902

 FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): Wichita, Kan., Jan. 15. – Eleven-year-old Nellie Corneilson cut the throat of her three-year-old sister yesterday and the child died.

The girl lays the blame upon her brother, Harvey, who is aged, five. The latter, however, says it was his sister, and the father told the police he believed the story of the son, since it would have been almost impossible for the smaller child to have committed the deed.

[“Little Girl Kills Her Baby Sister,” The Morning Post (Raleigh, N. C.), Jan. 16, 1902, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Wichita, Jan. 15. – Nellie Corneilson, the twelve-year-old girl, who killed her baby sister with a razor yesterday and charged her five-year-old brother with the crime, confessed today that she did it, but was unable to assign any reason for the act.

[“Deadly Youthful Depravity.” The St. Paul Globe (Mn.), Jan. 16, 1902, p. 5]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): Nellie Corneilson has been taken to Illinois to live with her uncle in Madison county. She was taken away Monday evening. She will remain in that country for a number of years and it is hoped that she will forget the death of her sister and it may be possible to take away her disposition for telling a dozen different stories about a thing. Nellie will be partly excluded from the society of children. Her uncle has none and they live on a farm near Moreau and Nellie will be kept there most of the time. Her aunt will teach her and give her the best training possible.

Nellie Corneilson was 12 years of age last November. She was born in Moreau, Madison county, Ill., and lived there up to three years ago last October when her father came to this city to try and better his condition and for her mother’s health. They lived for nearly two years in the house at the corner of Cleveland avenue and Third street and Nellie went to school at the Washington school and also a little time at the Kellogg school. She was a very bright child, in fact one far ahead of her years in leaning. She could read as understandingly as the average child of sixteen and she was passed on nearly all subjects that would interest a person of that age. Her great delight was to read the papers, but no one who ever knew her has said that she ever read a cheap novel and some few stated at the time she killed her sister that they thought she had been reading some novel and tried an experiment on her sister and was attempting to be like some character in the book. Her teachers say she never read, to their knowledge, anything that was not fit to be read by any child that could read it and understand what the book was meant to convey.

About a year ago her father moved to 1145 Dayton avenue, West Side, and they have lived there ever since. Nellie went School at McCormick school, which is close to her home. There her teachers found her a very studious child and one who did her work thoroughly and tied hard at her studies. They can assign no reason for the cutting of her sister’s throat except through an accident. It was stated in the Eagle last night by one who had known her ever since she was in this city, that up to about one year ago did the child ever show as disposition to tell stories and run away from home. It was only last June that Nellie first became known publicly, as it was a few days after the schools had been dismissed for the summer vacation when she ran away from home and told awful tales of her father’s treatment of her and that her mother had ordered her to go away and work. It was later found that these stories were false as she had a good home and was not ill treated by her parents. She was gone from her home about a week at that time and the entire police force was hunting for her a day or two.

It was thought at the time of the child’s killing of her sister that legal proceedings would be commenced and the girl sent to the industrial school for girls at Beloit, but when the uncle came to this city and was willing to take the girl to his home and care for her it was thought best to let her go, so no warrant was sworn out for her arrest. She did not realize the awefulness of her crime, for several days after it was committed, and then she broke down and since that time has been in a sort of nervous collapse.

The little son of Mr. and Mrs. George Corneilson, died at 1 o’clock yesterday morning. The child was born last Thursday. It was apparently a healthy child, but the shock given the mother at the time of little one’s death, was the cause of the little one’s death. The funeral took place yesterday afternoon and the little one was laid to rest beside her sister in Maple Grove cemetery. Now the parents are forced to mourn the loss of two little children, who would have made their home a palace of joy instead of a den of sorrow. Mrs. Corneilson has not recovered from the shock of her daughter’s death and grave fears are entertained for her recovery. Last night she was reported to be in a very serious condition.

[“Taken To Illinois - Nellie Corneilson Is Removed From Scene of Sister’s Death. - Have Careful Teaching - By Relatives Who Will Have the Girl in Charge.” Witchita Daily Eagle (Ka.), Jan. 22, 1902, p. 6]



More cases: Youthful Borgias: Girls Who Commit Murder


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