Transcribers note: The articles on the Tompkyns/Tonkin murder, change the spelling of names, without notice, for the first two days, Tonkin was spelt Tompkyns in the Post-Dispatch and 1 day in the Globe-Democrat, and then changed to Tonkin with no explanation, several other names are treated the same way. If at any point I have put a word description, or comment, it will be in these sort of parentheses { }. All spellings of words are how they were in the paper. Karen King - kleeking@mindspring.com

 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch December 26, 1881 page 4 (Editorial section)

MISS MULCAHY has a lawyer now and she confesses that her confession relative to the style in which she killed TONKIN was an error in judgement. Upon the State will fall the pleasant burden of proving that KITTIE killed the man.

 

Page 6

HAUNTED.

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Billy Scharlow Chats About the Mulcahy Family and the Murder.

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Kittie Mulcahy Says She is Afraid to Sleep.

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And Dashes Cold Water in Her Face When She Becomes Drowsy.

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Nothing has yet transpired to lift the veil of mystery that surrounds the killing of Fred. Tonkin at Seventeenth and Lucas Place nine days ago. The girl Kittie Mulcahy is still locked up at the Central Station hold-over and still claims that her confession to the deed is true. Many do not believe it, and still think there is a mystery surrounding the fatal shooting. It was stated that Kittie had pronounced the confession false and said that it was coaxed from her. A reporter called on her to-day, and, while she was comfortably seated in the calaboose kitchen, the subject was broached with her.

"No," said Kittie, when she was told of the lasted published statements about the matter, "I have not said that my confession was a lie. I canít lie once without telling forty more to bolster up the first. I shot Tonkin. I first refused and offer made by him and met another man while we were sitting on the church steps. Tonkin stole up and said: ĎNow Iíve got you.í My friend handed me the pistol and I fired at him. I didnít think it would go off so easy. It wasnít like other pistols that you would have to pull the top up. I threw it at him as soon as I fired. Now this is the whole story. I shot him because he was coming at me. It was the advice of an attorney who called on me to say the confession was false, but I said I would not say so. I told him I would say no more, but I wouldnít lie any more."

"Why didnít you tell it at first?"

"If they had asked me in the Morgue just after I got a glance at the dead manís face you bet I would have told them, because I would be afraid to lie in the presence of the dead body."

"Do you dream of the murdered man?"

"No, I donít dream; I donít sleep even. I have not slept two hours since Iíve been locked up. Iím afraid to sleep. When I feel myself getting tired I throw water in my face. I donít want to sleep. The dead can come back, and if they can I want to come back to earth when I die."

"Have you seen the dead manís spirit since you have been locked up?"

"The other night I was in here with the detectives and saw a manís face at that window. (The prisoner pointed to a barred window in the door leading from the calaboose to the engine room.) The detective asked me why I didnít look up at them. I saw that face come to the window two or three times, and I didnít want to look up. Last night I nursed a little boy whose mother was locked up for being drunk. I kept the rats away from the child."

"What do you intend to do when you get out."

"Sergt. Watkins said if I would go home to Moberly he would get me a pass. Iíll go home, and when Billy Scharlow gets out Iíll write to him. I love him and am going to marry him."

In telling her story Kittie acted in a very childish way, evidently the result of habit. She was asked who played the "child girl" at Lou Allenís place, and promptly replied that that was her part. Many of her actions are the result of this habit. The police entertain different theories about the girlís confession. Some believe that she tells it to shield some one else, and others believe she tells the truth. She is certainly afraid of punishment, and says so. She does not know that her confession cannot be used against her. she has had no inducements, and, taking all these facts into consideration, the belief that the girl, knowing that being innocent, the crime cannot be fixed on her, she has confessed to divert investigation from another quarter, seems well founded.

BILLY SCHARLOW INTERVIEWED.

Billy Sharlow is not at all disquited at the idea of passing Christmas in jail. "Of course," he said, "it is rough, but it will be all right in a day or two. Theyíll get my bond fixed up, I suppose, by Tuesday or Wednesday, and then Iíll be all right."

"Is it a fact Billy, that Kittie Mulcahy is a married woman?"

"Oh yes. She married a fellow named Lamont, thatís how she comes by that name of Lamont. They did not live together long though."

"Were they divorced?"

"Oh no. They just separated, I suppose Lamont got tired of having her go with other people, so he just fired her out. He lives upon Jefferson avenue, between Morgan and Franklin avenue. Heís a drummer I believe."

"Well, Mulcahy is not Kittieís real name either?"

"No. Iíll tell you her real name is McKaye; her folks are all living. She aint got no sense, if she had kept her head shut she would be out of here now."

"What do you think of her confession?"

"I donít know what to think of it. She did not say a word to me about it, to tell you the truth. I never was scared about my share in the thing from the beginning, because I knew I was innocent and they couldnít do anything to me."

 

 

 

 

 

December 27, 1881 page 4

WHY KITTIE IS DETAINED.

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She Can Secure Her Release if She Desires to.

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Kittie Mulcahy is a voluntary prisoner. A perforated habeas corpus would be sufficient to release her. When Capt. Fruchte was asked this morning, he said they held the girl for the Coroner. Coroner Frank was found and said a writ of habeas corpus wold release the girl, as he could not swear out a warrant in view of the testimony adduced before the jury. It was his duty, however, to submit the testimony to the Assistant Prosecuting Attorney of the Court of Criminal Correction, in order to allow him to pass on the advisability of issuing a warrant. The girlís confession cannot be taken into consideration. It cannot be used in the trial, as it is unsupported by other evidence that would go to confirm the truth of the statements. Kittie is not aware of her rights and has not expressed any desire to see an attorney. The real object of her confinement is to gain time and await developments that may at any moment come to light. For the last two days the girl has busied herself nursing and caring for a child of a drunken woman, who was arrested on Sunday night. She discharges these duties with the tenderness of a young mother. She lays aside her cigarette to borrow a sponge from turnkey OíLeary and wash the little waifís face.

"If I didnít take care of that child," said Kittie, "I believe the rats would eat him up."

 

 

page 8

KITTIE MULCAHY

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A Pen Sketch and Engraving of the Murderers of Fred Tonkin.

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Kittie Still Sticks to the Truth of her Confession Ė A talk with her.

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(Pen Sketch here)

KITTIE MULCAHY

"Now I have told the truth about that killing. I fired the shot and threw away the pistol. I donít know the name of the man who gave it to me, and what more do you want me to say?" The speaker was Kittie Mulcahy, the heroine of the Lucas Place tragedy. She pressed her face out between the bars of a cell in Central District calaboose {jail} and now and then withdrew to take a puff of a cigarette from a package kindly given to her by a charitable reporter. Kittie is eighteen years of age, of medium height and stout build. A thick growth of jet black curly hair, trimmed short, forms the background of a face not by any means pretty, but one rendered pleasing by a childlike smile that every now and then breaks over her features. Her nose is decidedly "pug," her mouth of reasonable size and her eyes black. Her face is well rounded with two red cheeks, sprinkled with freckles. Since her incarceration she has received company in a wine-colored merino dress trimmed with satin. The outfit evidently has seen better days than those elapsing now. Kittie is shy in her present quarters, but ordinarily has sufficient self-confidence to get through a crowded street. She says she is ready to reform and go back to her home at Moberly, Mo., as soon as she gets out of her present trouble. A week ago to-day the police and reporters started out to unravel the mystery of the murder, and the secret is just as near out now at it was then. The case is as follows: Shortly before midnight on Sunday, the 14th inst., {should probably be Ď19th lastí} a pistol shot was heard at Seventeenth and Lucas Place. Mr. Charles Turner, who stood on the steps of his residence, saw a man run from the Second Presbyterian Church steps at the corner a few seconds before the flash. Just after it followed a groan and a woman ran diagonally across the street, taking up with the man. Fred Tonkin, a horse-clipper, was found on the terrace with a fatal wound in the abdomen. He gave satisfactory or reasonable account of the shooting, and was shortly transferred to the City Hospital by the way of the Dispensary. At 1 a.m. a week ago to-day he died without making a statement of the fatal affair. Here the work of unveiling the mystery began. Lou Allen informed the police that Kittie Mulcahy, one of her girls, knew all about the murder. Kittie and Billy Scharlow, her fellow, were arrested. Both were discharged by the verdict of the Coronerís jury. Billy was surrendered by his bondsman on a previous charge of assault to kill, and Kittie was taken back to the holdover to await developments. She met the deceased and refused his offer of a cap and $2, and he cursed her. She met another man and with him repaired to the church steps, whither Tonkin followed and surprised them. Her escort, she says, handed her a revolver and said, "Give it to him," and then ran himself. She fired and threw the pistol at Tonkin and then ran away. The police and reportorial investigation revealed the fact, that Kittie and her fellow had been in the vicinity early in the evening and they had come down town and separated, each pretending to go home. Kittie did not go to Lou Allenís but when back to Lucas place. Billyís actions are not known. This is all the progress that has been made. Kittie is still locked up at the Four Courts.

 

 

St. Louis Post-Dispatch December 28, 1881 page 5

"I AINTíT AFRAID"

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"And Will Go to Hól or the Pen With My Billy."

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Kittie Mulcahy Charged With Murder in the First Degree.

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To-day a warrant charging Kittie Mulcahy with the murder of Fred. Tonkin at Seventeenth and Lucas Place was issued in the application of Sergt. Frank Watkins. When Kittie was informed that she stood charged with murder in the first degree she said: "They havenít any evidence against me but what I told them."

"Youíre not afraid of hanging then?"

"No, I donít think they will hang a woman. Her petticoats will protect her."

"You may go to the penitentiary for life though."

"My Billy is going to the penitentiary, and I donít care if I go too. If he was to go to hól

I WOULD WANT TO GO.

When I was married I told my husband that I loved Billy more than I did him, and so I did. Iím going to jail this afternoon, and Iím glad of that, because I will be able to see my Billy there, and if any woman calls to see him Iíll get even with him.

THAT PICTURE IN THE POST-DISPATCH

Wasn't like me at all. If you want a picture of you just ask Sergt. Frank Watkins for one. You can get a good one. When I was with the May Fiske blondes I looked pretty good then. If somebody would be kind enough to give me some clean underwear I would be very thankful for it. I ain'tí a bit afraid. Some good lady, I guess, will supply my little wants. There were some in here Sunday, but I didnít look at them. I never look to a woman for sympathy."

 

December 30, 1881 page 2

Kittie Mulcahyís Picture.

Detective Watkins took Kittie Mulcahy out to-day and had her photographed by Bohle & Keene, on Fourth street between Franklin avenue and Morgan street. She submitted to the operation gracefully, trying to look her prettiest, and very much disappointed when she found that she could have to wait for a few days before she could have a look at herself on card-board. Kittieís phiz will be placed in the roguesí gallery. She still sticks to her confession and is as playful and profane as her surroundings permit her to be.