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 -


St. Louis Post-Dispatch December 21, 1881 page 1



Kitty Lamont and Billy Scharlow Arrested.


As Interview With the Woman in the Case.


She Gives Confused and Discrepant Accounts.


The Mystery Unraveled Ė What Will be Proven at the Inquest.


At last the mystery of the Tonkin murder has been solved. The guilty parties are being arrested rapidly, and by 3 oíclock this afternoon all of the guilty parities will be hid the bars. What evidence the police have they decline to disclose, but enough has been learned outside of the department to make it certain that the shot which killed Fred Tonkin was fired either by Kittie Lamont, a low Eight street prostitute, or by her lover, William Scharlow, a thug and a pimp of the roughest description. Kittie and Scharlow were both arrested late last night, and the remaining people to be pulled are simply witnesses of the affair who have hitherto been keeping very dark about the matter. There were more witnesses than the public have hitherto supposed. If Kittie Lamontís story is to be believed, Mollie Maloney, a young lady whom she describes as a "Patch dame," did the shooting, but the toils of the law are drawn very closely about Kittie and her lover and there is no doubt that the murder lies between the two. The police, as usual, are extremely reticent about the evidence in their possession, and it was only by a fluke that a reporter learned that the arrest had been made at Lou Allenís bagnio on Eight street. A visit was at once made to that hostelry and the Deputy Coroner met coming out of the house. He made it his business to go back and warn the inmates to say nothing to the reporter under penalty of the law, a warning which was forgotten in the interest of the case.


"Oh yes," said Lou Allen, "the detectives came here last night and the first thing Kittie said was, ĎI know they are after me, but I havenít done anything.í "

"And they arrested her?"

"Yes, she went out behind and looked in at the window and then came in and gave herself up."

"What had she told you bout the shooting?"

"Very little. Iíll tell you what she told me. You see Iíve known Kittie ever since she was a child. Her real name is McCabe. She is a nice, sweet-tempered little girl not more that eighteen years old. But she has been married. She has a lover named Billy Scharlow who comes here to see her very often. He just slides in and sees her and runs out, be cause he is kind of afraid of me. You see, he is a hard character, and I donít want him about here. Sunday evening I noticed Kittie dressed to go out. She had on a red dress, a black coat, and a red hood."

"Forst {first} tell me what her real name is. She was arrested as Kittie Mulcahy."

"She has gone by the name of McCabe, Mulcahy, Heffernan, Caffernan and Lamont. Iíll show you one of her cards," and the affair was produced, a vulgar little piece of pasteboard with


20 South Eighth street,

and a chromo labeled Fidelity in the upper left-hand corner. "She said she was going out with Billy. She came in about one with a gentleman, who stayed a while and went away. He was a very nice looking gentleman. I asked her about him and she said she picked him up about a block or so away from the house. The next day we were reading the papers and talking about the murder when, Kittie told me that she had heard the shot fired. I asked her to tell me all about it and she said: "Billy and me walked out on Morgan street and stopped at Fred Larkís saloon, where we met some friends and has a few drinks. We walked out on Washington avenue and St. Charles and noticed a man following us. We parted, and a minute or two after I met the man I thought was chasing us, and he told me he would give me a nice fur cap and two dollars if I would go up to his room. I refused, and we walked along for a while. Then I met a man with a dark moustache and a long overcoat, and I took his arm and walked along with him over towards the church. Then I heard a shot fired and was scared, and ran away as fast as I could, the police clubs began to rattle.í "

" ĎDo you think it was Billy shot him?í I asked her."

" ĎNo,í she said, and then she went on: ĎAfter the shooting I met Billy about two blocks away from the church and we went down to Larkís saloon again.í "

"Didnít she say anything more definite about the man who was following her?" asked the reporter.

"Yes, she said this man jumped out from behind a lot of debris and came towards them, and then Billy went away."

"Isnít there anything else you can tell about the affair?"

"Except that one time Kittie told me that she was afraid if anybody came up to her while she was with Billy, that Billy would kill him. She was very much afraid of Billy when he had been drinking."

"How did she come to speak about that fur cap?"

"Well, I asked her about it, and she said it must be the same cap the man wanted to give her. She didnít explain how the cap came to be lying in the church yard."

"Did she say the man with her was shot?"

"She said she didnít know whether he was shot or not Ė the shot was so close that she was scared and ran. She seemed to think it was the man she was with who was shot."

"Who do you think shot him?"

"I donít like to say. I know nothing about the case but what she told me."

"Donít she believe that William Scharlow killed Tonkin?"

Well, I suppose she does."


In the calaboose Kittie was undergoing an examination before Capt. Fruchte. She is not a bad looking girl, a very dark brunette, with dark rolling eyes and a peculiar scar in her forehead. Her hair is black, short and tangled and her whole appearance not exactly what a fastidious man would demand of his lady love.

"Oh, yes," said she; "I know Lou Allen; that is the old cow I used to board with." (Here comes a stream of blanks.) "She would have hung her own mother if she had half a chance. You bring Lou Allen up here and Iíll tell her to her face what she is, the ----- -----."

"Restrain your enthusiasm and tell us what happened that Sunday night."

"I wonít. What the ---- and ---- do you want to know for, you ---- ---- -----?"

The reporter told her why, and, stripped of itís curses and vulgarity, her story is about thus: "Billy came down to take me walking Sunday night, and we went up to Larkís saloon on Morgan street, where we squatted round and drank for a while. Then I wanted to see a woman on Jefferson avenue, and Billy and I walked up that way. We went by the church on Seventeenth street and Lucas Place, and I saw a Kerry Patch dame named Molly Maloney sitting on the steps that Billy has been running after for some time. We quarrelled about her and he slapped my face. I walked off home with Billy then, and went inside like I was going to bed, but came out at once and followed him because I thought he was going off after that Maloney woman. I got out in the neighborhood of the church and picked up a fellow there."

"Was that the man who wanted to give you the fur cap?"

"Yes, it was. We walked around for a while and then the shot was fired. The man ran home with me and stayed a while."

"Didnít you tell Lou Allen you met Billy just after the shooting?"


She was asked about different parts of the story she told Lou Allen and contradicted herself in every particular. She was then led back over her own story and got it tangled more than ever. She became reckless as the interview went on, at random and bringing about nine different men into the story that she had not mentioned before. The only thing she was true to was her lover. "Billy had nothing to do with it," she said. "I donít care what they do to me, but Billy didnít do anything."


The police are in possession of the testimony of a man who followed Kittie home from the scene of the murder. The girl Mollie Maloney has been secured, and the man who was with her; also another boy who was with Scharlow and Kittie Lamont. The proof is positive that Scharlow and Kittie Lamont and Tonkin, were the only three people at the church yard at the time of the murder, and circumstances all point to Billy Scharlow as the one who fired the shot. Scharlow is now out on bail from the Criminal Court for an aggravated assault to kill, a man named Douglass, committed on August 13 last. He is at present employed in Whittakerís pork-house across the river.


A visit to the residence of the Scharlowís No. 2624 {2024?} Biddle street, resulted in an interview with the mother of the young man. Mrs. Scharlow said her boy, who is only eighteen years old, had been taken out of bed at four oíclock in the morning by Detectives Desmond and Eggs. The boy knew nothing about the tragedy and had nothing to do with it. He was in the house a few minutes before 11 oíclock Sunday night, and she could prove the truth of her statement by the neighbors. Her son never carried a revolver.


The Coronerís jury is the Tonkin inquest was sworn in at 2:50 p.m. The prisoner Scharlow has been in custody at the Chestnut Street Station. A crowd of witnesses has been summoned and the police express the utmost confidence in their case against Scharlow and Kittie Lamont.



Page 1 (Editorial section)

The mystery of the shooting of TONKIN at the corner of Seventeenth and Lucas place, last Sunday night, is clearing up. The police this morning arrested a man and woman supposed to be responsible for the killing. The theory that the woman who fired the pistol was an eminent society lady who feared exposure is exploded by the police. The woman arrested is a very plain and unostentatious person, bearing the unaristocratic name of Kitty Mulcahey.