Saturday, December 28, 2019

Josie Fisher Hart, Suspected Double Black Widow – Kansas, 1891

NOTE: Some sources give the name “J. M. Hart,” others “James Hart,” “John Hart,” and “John M. Hart.”


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): About fifteen months ago Samuel Fisher, a merchant of Oswego, died suddenly while no one was present but his wife. In view of the charges alleged, that Mrs. Fisher and J. M. Hart, a leading stock man living near the city, had been very friendly, there was considerable talk about the suddenness of Fisher’s death, but no investigation as to the cause.

About six weeks ago Hart and Mrs. Fisher were married. Early yesterday morning Hart was found lying in bed with his brains oozing out of a bullet hol;e in his forehead. He was unconscious and lived about an hour.

Mrs. Hart states that she was awakened by her husband throwing his arm on her and that she then heard him groaning. She at once procured a light and found him in the condition above stated. His own revolver with one chamber empty was lying beside him.

Hart was in good circumstances and there appears to be no reason why he should take his own life. The coroner is investigating the matter.

[“Investigation Needed. A Coroner’s Jury Inquiring Into Death of J. M. Hart.” Ottawa Daily Republican (Ks.), Sep. 19, 1891, p. 2]


FULL TEXT: The Oswego Independent says:

This Friday morning the shocking news is being told that John M. Hart, who is proprietor of the Cedar Lawn Stock Farm, about a half mile north of Oswego, had been shot last night about one o’clock and killed. The deed was done with his own revolver, which he always kept beneath his pillow or on the chair by his bedside. He was shot square between the eyes and never spoke afterwards, although life was not extinct until about an hour after the deed was committed. Mrs. A. T. Shrout, a near neighbor, was soon on the scene, but was unable to glean much information. None of the family heard the report of the revolver. Mrs. Hart, who was in bed with her husband, says she was awakened suddenly about that hour, but thinks it was Mr. Hart throwing down his arm when shot, and not the report of the revolver. His revolver was found lying near his side, with one chamber empty. The rest of the family, composed of Mr. Hart’s two boys, claim to have heard nothing of this report. The death is causing a big sensation, and many different surmises are being “borne on the wind.” Mr. Hart was married about six weeks ago to Mrs. Josie Fisher, widow of the late Samuel Fisher. He was not only comfortably fixed himself, but by his marriage he would probably have command of $20,000. The leading report is that he committed suicide, but this version of the matter does not gain much credence, as there is apparent lack of reason for him to take his own life. His prospects were too bright, for him to tire of life. The affair is shrouded in mystery, and at this writing it is impossible to give further particulars. A coroner’s inquest will be held.

[“Was It Suicide?” Parsons Daily Eclipse (Ks.), Sep. 19, 1891, P. 4]


FULL TEXT: Oswego, Kan., Sep. 18. – James Hart, a wealthy stockman, was murdered in his bed at his home in this city last night under mysterious circumstances. Fifteen months ago Hart was married to the widow John Fisher, who had been mysteriously murdered a short time before. At midnight last night the neighbors were aroused by a commotion at the Hart place. An investigation showed that Hart had been murdered while lying in bed and the walls of the room. Mts. Hart says that she does not know who committed the crime. She was awakened by a short, but saw no one in the room, nor did she hear any one making his escape. There is no trace of the murderer.

[“A Mysterious Crime.” The Wichita Daily Eagle (Ks.), Sep. 19, 1891, p. 2]


For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.


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