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 22, 1881 page 4

THE TONKIN TRAGEDY.

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Latest Developments In Unraveling the Mystery.

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Kitty Lamont Tells Her Story on the Stand.

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Scenes at the Coroner’s Inquest To-Day.

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Wash Trimble’s Testimony – Weaving the Woof {wool?} Around Kitty and Billy Scharlow.

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The Tonkin murder mystery is still the topic upon all tongues. The arrest of Billy Scharlow and Kittie Mulcahy has been the most important move yet made in solving the problem, and yet nothing has been clearly proven against either of them. Their stories, however, are involved in such a mass of contradictions, with so many evident lapses, that suspicion is gradually turning into certainty against them. It is believed that Scharlow fired the fatal shot and that Kittie Mulcahy was present when he fired it. This degraded woman seems to be true only to one person, and that one is her partner in this crime. In her wildest flights of obscenity and vulgarity she would pause to make the earnest assurance that "Billy" had nothing to do with the crime. She is positively and absolutely shameless. Whenever a crowd of prisoners was gathered together in the calaboose {jail} she gave them a taste of her quality by a string of blood-curdling oaths and menaces, winding up with a self-satisfied giggle at the effect which she had produced. It must be remembered that she is not more than eighteen, but she has been

IN THE LOWEST SLUMS OF THE CITY

Since she was twelve. She has had no chance and she is now influitely reckless and impudent. Her smirk and her demeanor are evidently of the stews and she takes a peculiar and grim pride in exhibiting to every comer the depth to which she has fallen. The POST-DISPATCH of yesterday detailed all that is even now positively know of the murder. The woman, Kittie, admits having been at the church at the time of the shooting, but claims that Scharlow was not there. She admits that a man offered to give her a fur cap but that she refused it. The chances are that she is lying about this. She admitted to Lou Allen that she met Scharlow immediately after the shooting, but she now denies having made this admission at all. Bryary, the restaurant-keeper, of Chestnut near Seventh, is positive that Kittie was in his restaurant on the night of the murder, after midnight, in company with two men – one large, the other small. He recalls the circumstance the more thoroughly because she had had a ten-dollar bill which he had to send out to get changed. Scharlow admits having been at the restaurant with Kittie at the time this bill was changed, but claims that the time was before nine o’clock. Sharlow’s hope of an alibi depends altogether on the testimony of the restaurant people, and they declare that the ten-dollar incident took place after midnight.

A BOY HAS BEEN DISCOVERED

named Jake Meyers, who claims to have seen the shot fired, but no credit is attached to his testimony, as it is self-contradictory. The inquest was begun yesterday, but at the request of the police none of the evidence criminating Kittie Mulcahy or Billy Scharlow was introduced. This morning a reporter called on Kittie at her cell in the hold-over and was saluted with the usual stream of filth which that interesting young lady ladles out to her visitors. After she had calmed off she admitted having a conversation with Kittie Ryan, a young lady just out of jail, about the murder on Monday night. Kittie Ryan lives on Eight, between O’Fallon and Cass avenue, with her grandmother, and old woman named Kehoe.

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The Inquest.

The inquest was resumed at 10:15. Kittie Mullsby {Mulcahy} came in smiling, dressed in a showy red dress, with a red hood and black cloak. She smiled pleasantly at Billy Scharlow, winked at the reporters, flung herself into an chair and crossed her legs. Scharlow was sitting near the window puffing a cigar. He is a very young looking boy with a rather wild face, and he took not the slightest notice of Kittie’s salutation as she came in. In fact he seemed unconscious of that lively young woman’s existence, while she looked at him constantly and seemed to notice his every gesture. When the inquest opened Scharlow continued smoking and Dr. Frank told him to stop.

"Why?" he asked.

"It is not permitted."

He sniffed disdainfully and laid the cigar on the window ledge and seemed at once to lose all interest in the proceedings.

The first witness sworn was

JOHN POWERS

the private watchman on Lucas place between Fifteenth and Eighteenth. He described his duties and told his story of the murder very like what has been already printed. He was in the alley when the shot was fired and ran to the church, where he found Tonkin crouching on his hands and knees. Really he knew very little of the tragedy. He described his first meeting with Tonkin. One night about four months ago he met him and a woman on Seventeenth street near Olive street. The woman was crying and told Powers that Tonkin was arresting her and she did not believe he was an officer. Tonkin said he was an officer, that he had caught the woman violating an ordinance on the inner steps of Art Hall and that her partner escaped. Powers satisfied that Tonkin was not an officer arrested him, but the woman refused to prosecute and so he was compelled to release his prisoner. Powers warned Tonkin again and again after this affair that he had better keep away from the parties who frequented the neighborhood, and on one occasion Tonkin, about a week before the murder, told Powers he was prepared for trouble, and pulled a big rock out of his pocket and showed it to the witness.

Just previous to the shooting, Powers saw three negroes standing at Mrs. Moffitt’s corner, but they separated and seemed to go home. Saw nobody running after the shooting.

During the giving of the testimony Mollie Maloney, one of the prisoners whom Kittie Mulcahy believes to be her rival in the affections of Billy Scharlow, and Kittie eyed each other with much hostility, quite a number of significant sniffel being exchanged between the two dames. If anything should occur to bring on a scene it will be a very lively one, for both of the women are prepared for war.

WASH TRIMBLE

was sworn. His story was an exact reproduction of that already told in the POST-DISPATCH of Tuesday. He saw a couple, man and woman, dodging along behind the Art Museum. He saw the deceased follow and catch up with the woman, whose partner had left her. He saw them go off together talking.

"Could you recognize the woman?" asked Dr. Frank.

"I don’t know."

"Stand up, both you girls," said the Coroner to Kittie Mulcahy and Mollie Maloney, "now, Mr. Trimble, tell us if it was either of those two."

The two girls stood up, the Mulcahy with an insolent smirk on her face, the Maloney with her eyes down and blushing hotly. The inspection lasted a minute. Trimble, looking steadfastly into the eyes of both the girls, at last shook his head and turned to the Coroner. "The woman was just the size of the either of those girls. I couldn’t swear to either of them."

The moment was a very dramatic one and the two girls sat down with a sigh of relief. Kittie turned and smiled at Scharlow, who looked at her stonily.

Trimble’s evidence was concluded without anything either new or important being elicited. At the close Dr. Frank eyed the line of prisoners for a moment and ordered

KITTIE MULCAHY

to take the stand, the other prisoners being removed. There was a stir of interest in the jury and all settled themselves down to listen intently to the testimony.

"What is your name?"

"Kittie Lamont."

"Have you any other name?"

"Yes, half a dozen of them. They got one of them." And she laughed. "I’m called Mulcahy sometimes."

"What do you know about the shooting?"

"Nothing. I don’t know who fired the shot or anything. I heard it fired, that was all."

"Where were you?"

"Right around the corner of the church on Seventeenth and Locust, going towards St. Charles, I had come down from Nineteenth on Locust. Just before that a fellow insulted me about a fur cap. Before that, early in the evening, those two boys you got here (Scharlow and Champer) passed by the Art Hall and saw a fellow and a girl there. Billy and I had a love spat and we started back down town. We went to a restaurant and had oysters and then he told me to go home. I didn’t go home, though, but I started back towards the church because Billy knew her, and I thought he was going back to her. The fellow who offered me the fur cap is the dead man. We quarreled together. He was watching the woman and the man on the steps of Art Hall. I did not meet Billy again that night, but I saw Mollie again. It was then I saw the man who wanted to give me the fur cap. I had too much beer to remember what kind of a man it was I met next. He had a diamond pin and watch. He asked me to walk down town with him, and I said all right. Just then the shot was fired. I said ‘Lord God! Somebody’s shooting.’ He said, ‘Oh, no, that is only the policeman tiring {trying} to scare the boys off.’ In the park we met a friend of the gentleman, who said, ‘Hello pard.’ Then they asked me to go have some oysters and beer. I said I didn’t care. He had gloves on, because I saw his ring in the restaurant when he took them off. I tried to take it off in the restaurant. I didn’t notice which way the dead man went after I left him. I wasn’t watching the old fool. I didn’t goo {go} up on the church terrace at all; never was up there in my life. The man who was with me didn’t go up there neither. I went straight north on Seventeenth street to Washington avenue, and then through Malden lane to the park. I went to the restaurant twice in the evening, because I had been there before."

"Where do you live?"

"Well, I’ve been living in the ‘boose {jail} for the last two nights. Before that I was as Lou. Allen’s place, 20 South Eighth."

"Do you know Mollie Maloney?"

"Yes, I’ve seen her lots of times. I ain’t got much use for her though. I don’t like her. It was not the dead man who was watching Mollie and the fellows on the steps the first time, because he came to Billy and me and Champer and told Billy it was Maloney that was there. Billy knew him. There was two watching. This fellow said to Billy, ‘I’m going to take that dame away from him,’ and started off to where the fellow and the Maloney girl was sitting. When he left us Billy said, ‘That’s one of the worst fellows in this town.’ It was about 9:30 when Billy and Champer and I went to the Globe restaurant. We went over to Fred. Lark’s on Tenth and Morgan, and then went straight to the restaurant. We walked up Chestnut to Eighth after supper and parted they going north and I starting for home. I went round the block and started back towards the church. When I passed it some old fellow came toddling up. It was not the fellow who had spoken to Billy the first time. I was by myself. The girl and fellow was sitting on the steps of the art gallery. The dead man walked with me towards the gallery, then when I picked up the other fellow, the dead man turned across the street and followed on down after us. We were ahead, and when we turned the church corner we heard the shot fired. He came out at me, the dead man did, sort of out of the lot. He said, ‘Good evening; it is pretty lonesome.’ I said ‘Good evening, I don’t feel lonesome. He asked me where I was going. I told him. ‘None of your business.’. Then he took the cap out of his pocket – I thought it was a cat at first – and offered it to me with $2 if I would go to his room on Nineteenth and St. Charles streets. He walked pretty near to the art gallery with me. I told him that I didn’t have to take men’s old trash to go to their rooms; and then I turned away from him, and this other fellow came from right beside the art gallery. From the time I met him to the time we parted I walked nearly a block with him. I could see the two people on the steps of the art gallery as I turned back. I don’t know whether they could see me or not. They were sitting high up on the steps. The dead man walked on west to the crossing, crossed the street and began coming down on the other side of the street. He second man said nothing to me I was scared and was afraid the other fellow might be a friend of the first man. He said, ‘let us go somewhere and have a good time before you go home,’ while we were on Seventeenth street. We were half a block away from the corner of Locust (Lucas place) and Seventeenth when the shot was fired. It was after the shot that he made this proposition to me. I looked back and saw an old man coming along cracking his club. We were then almost at Washington avenue. I didn’t notice where the dead man was when we turned the corner of the church. I only looked back at him once. At the corner I looked across the street, but didn’t see him there. I paid no more attention to him and didn’t know what became of him. I don’t know where he was at the time of the shooting. Then we went to the park, picked up a friend of the gentleman’s in the park, and all three walked together to the Globe restaurant. I do not know the name of either of these men. They just called each other ‘pards.’ We had oysters there, and then he took me home. This gentleman had side whiskers and a moustache. I didn’t notice him particularly. He had a soft hat on; for I remember sitting on the had and not hurting it. He was nicely dressed.

At the restaurant the man gave me the money and I paid for the oysters. It was a two dollar bill. When I was there with Scharlow and Tom, I paid for the oysters too with at ten-dollar bill. It was my own, Scharlow did not give it to me." At this point in the testimony the Coroner announced that a recess would be taken for an hour. It was then 12:50. The jury promptly withdrew and the woman maintained her position in the chair, looking steadily in front of her. As soon as the room cleared her spirits rose, and she began criticizing the quality of the quail on toast and the beer furnished in the hold-over, neither of which was to her liking. She walked to the south window and remarked: "Just hoist that window and watch how soon I get to the corner." Officer O’Malley walked by her side and she spent several minutes chaffing him in her own peculiar style.

 

 

 

Page 6

KITTIE RYAN’S STORY.

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Another Girl Who Knows Something About the Tonkin Killing.

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The Story Related to Her Monday Night by Kittie Mulcahy.

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Another girl was introduced into the Tonkin case to-day. Her name is Kittie Ryan, and she lives with her grandmother, a very respectable old lady, on Eighth street, between Cass avenue and O’Fallon. Kittie was seen with the Mulcahy girl on Tuesday night, when the latter was heard by Sergt. McGrew to say:

"That ----- has caused me more trouble than any man in the world."

The Sergeant was standing out of the rain in a window of the Polytechnic building. He saw the Mulcahy girl’s face and identified her in the Four Courts this morning.

A POST-DISPATCH reporter found and interviewed Kittie Ryan this afternoon. When told about Sergeant McGrew’s story Kittie laughed and said:

"Oh, yes; she did say that. We were talking about Scharlow and were just then going into Fred Lark’s saloon to see Billy. Kittie Mulcahy asked me to go up to Lark’s with her, because she was afraid. Billy might get into trouble, and she wanted to tell him he had better leave town."

"Leave town, for what; on account of this Tonkin killing?"

"I guess so, she said that Billy had caused her more trouble than any other man, and that he had made her the wreck she was. I said I quessed it was the other way; that she had made Billy a wreck."

"What did she say about the murder?"

"Well, I’ll tell you all I heard her say about it. You know I got out of jail Monday. I heard Lou Allen wanted to see me and I went down to her house. We were all sitting around Lou who was reading about the Tonkin murder. Kittie Mulcahy, Frankie Baker, another boarder named Belle and myself were in the room listening. Everything Lou read Mulcahy would nod her head and say, ‘Yes, that’s so.’ or ‘That’s just right,’ ‘It all comes back to me now.’ I told her that she seemed to know something about the murder, and if she did she had better go up to the Four Courts and tell it; if she didn’t know anything, I said, she had better keep her mouth shut or she’d get herself into trouble that way. Then she up and told her story. She said that Tonkin had been following her and Billy that night. They were up near that church and around there. Billy left her at Eighteenth street near St. Charles street or Washington avenue, and went home. She says she was him no more that night. She was going down Washington avenue, hurrying, when Tonkin caught up with and asked her why she was walking so fast. She said she was in a hurry to get home. Tonkin walked to Seventeenth street with her and then offered her a seal-skin cap if she would go into the lot with him. She told him he could go to ---- with his fur cap. Then, she says, Tonkin went away and she went over Seventeenth street and picked up another fellow. When they were near the church she heard a pistol shot and wanted to go up to see what it was all about, but her friend – the man who was with her – told her not to go near it, so they went home to Lou Allen’s together and stayed there all night."

"Did she say she saw Tonkin shot?"

"No, she says she did not see Tonkin after he offered her the fur cap."

"Where was Billy Scharlow?"

"Billy had gone home."

"You know Billy?"

"Yes."

"Does he carry a pop?"

"No, sir, I never knew that boy to have a knife or a pistol in my life."

"What did Mulcahy say about Billy?"

"She said Billy had nothing to do with the shooting; that he had gone home a half-hour before it occurred, leaving her on the corner of the fence on St. Charles street."

"Why was she anxious for Billy to leave town?"

"She was afraid he would get into trouble about this. But he didn’t have anything to do with it – I am sure that he didn’t."

"Have you seen Billy yourself?"

"Yes, I was with him Tuesday afternoon; we were up at Lark’s. I was with him all afternoon, and he did not say a word about the shooting. He said Mulcahy was always getting him into trouble, and he was going to quit her, and if I’d be a good girl and go home he would come up to the house and see me, and would have nothing more to do with Kittie Mulcahy."

"What was he referring to when he said Mulcahy was getting him into trouble?"

"Why, he was talking about that cutting scrape he got into. He said if he got out of that all right he’d be a good boy again. I’m sure Billy had nothing to do with that shooting, because he never said anything about it, and if he knew anything he would have told me."

AN IMPORTANT LINK.

Of course every one can readily see that if Scharlow and the woman Kittie Mulcahy were together after the shooting, the whole of the woman’s ingenious story falls to the ground. It becomes very important to ascertain at what time the two were together in the restaurant. Scharlow admits that he was present early in the evening, and he requested that Bryarly, the restaurant keeper, be interrogated again, and reminded that the party paid with a ten-dollar bill which he had to send out to have changed. Bryarly declares that this is the fact, but that he had to send the bill out after midnight. And now comes Mr. Bacigalupo, who keeps the bar at the corner of Seventh and Chestnut, who remembers changing the bill for one of Bryarly’s waiters, after midnight, just as he was closing up the saloon for the night. This knocks Scharlow’s alibi on the head, and leaves him in the perilous predicament of having prepared a fictitious alibi. Mr. Bacigalupo’s testimony will be heard this afternoon.

THE INQUEST – LATER

It was after 2 o’clock when the jury reassembled. Kittie Mulcahy was again put upon the stand. The first most important hitch is the ingenious story the girl tells is this: How was it possible that Tonkin could have been on the south side of Lucas place just before she turned the corner of the church, and he shot by the time she had reached half way to St. Charles, when Mr. Turner swears that the dead man had been in the church yard for five minutes before the shot was fired. It is to this contradiction that her attention will be first invited.

After the recess Kittie was taken over the whole ground covered in the morning. She repeated the history of her trips to the Globe Restaurant, and was quite positive that the ten dollar bill was changed before 10 o’clock. She swore positively that she did not go into the church yard nor on the church steps. She saw no pistol during the evening, and was positive that her escort did not fire any shot.