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 24, 1881 page 1

WHO SHOT TONKIN?

---------------------------

Kittie Mulcahy Claims That She Did.

-------------------------------

A Long Confession of Guilt by the Woman.

--------------------------------

A Loop Found in the Tangled Skein of Evidence.

--------------------------------------

Late last night another leaf was added to the singular history of the Tonkin murder by the confession of the woman Kittie Mulcahy that she fired the shot herself which killed the spy. After the inquest yesterday she was restless and unquiet, and as the verdict of the jury was not communicated with her, she became even more uneasy. About two o’clock Chief Watkins and Detective Eggs took her over the route which she claims to have walked on the night of the shooting, and she went over it in a very dispirited way. She contradicted herself several times in recalling her position at the time the shot was fired, and a number of minor discrepancies became apparent in her story. After her return to the calaboose {jail} she made a new confession; said that she had seen Buckley (one of the witnesses of the inquest yesterday) just before the shot was fired, going up the steps of the church. Upon this statement Buckley was arrested and brought into the hold-over yesterday evening. He was confronted with the woman in the presence of Capt. Fruchte, Sergt. Watkins and Sergt. Schmittgens. She stuck to the story for a while, but finally broke down for the first time since the beginning of the case and began to cry.

"I was walking west on Lucas place that night," said Kittie, "and was just a short distance east of the Art Hall, when a man came walking down the street towards me. As he came up to me he said, ‘Good evening,’ and I said the same to him. He said to me, ‘Ain’t you lonesome walking out here alone?’ I said, ‘No, I’m not lonesome at all.’ She then stepped nearer to me and offered me a seal skin cap and $2 if I would go with him to his room on Nineteenth and St. Charles street. I said, ‘No; I don’t want your company. Go to ---- with your trash!’ He said, ‘Go to ---- with you -----!’ I turned around, wheeled around on my heels and was walking away to the east, when I heard a foot step and a voice near by, asking, ‘Can’t I see you home?’ or ‘May I see you home this evening?’ I turned around and saw a man. I said, ‘I do not object.’ for in fact I tell you I was might glad to have some one to see me home, as I was afraid of the fellow with the seal-skin cap and $2.

"I do not know where he came from, but it seemed to me that he came from behind or near the Art Hall in the lot. He was nicely dressed, wore a diamond pin, an had a heavy black mustache. He appeared to be a pretty nice sort of a man, and the impression he left upon me was that he was a drummer. I think he told me that was his business. As I was saying, I told him I didn’t object to his company, and we walked down the street together. We came to the church and we walked up the first pair of steps, over the landing and sat down, I think upon the third step from the top of the stone flight leading to the church door. We talked there a long time. He was sitting right close up to me a pinching my shoulders and asking me where we could go and have some fun. I told him I did not know where to go. It was late, I said, and all the gardens were closed in winter."

"Did you ask his name?"

"I didn’t. We never ask any one who we meet that way about their name. We had sat there on the steps half an hour," said Kittie, being pressed to come to the point, "more or less, when the fellow who offered me the sealskin cap and $2 came upon us. He was on the sidewalk. He came over from Maj. Turner’s house just opposite the church, and he walked up the steps. I said to my companion: ‘There comes that fellow.’ I had been telling him of the offer of the cap and $2 before. He said to me: ‘That ------ ought to have it in the neck.’ I did not say anything. The man advanced upon us, and as he came up the steps my partner put his hand back to his rear pants pocket and drew out a pistol. He put his hand against mine and almost forced the pistol into my hand, saying: ‘Give it to the ---------!’ I took the pistol, raised it quickly and let it go-bang! The man dropped and groaned. He had mounted two steps and was standing on the landing, or rather was walking over towards us with his right hand raised in the air."

"Had he anything in his hand?"

"I think he had. It was of light color. It may have been a handkerchief, and it might have been a rock or stone."

"Did he say anything as he advanced?"

"He did. He said, ‘I’ve caught you now you folks.’ And as he said that my partner said he ought to get it in the neck, and gave me the pistol."

"You fired the shot, certain?"

"I did. I let go at him and threw the pistol at him after I had shot him."

"Where was your partner when you shot this man Tonkin?"

"He started to run before I fired, I believe, and just after I fired and threw the pistol at the man, and when I heard him scream I ran too. I did not wait to walk down the two steps from the landing to the sidewalk, but I jumped and shot off after him. He turned north at Seventeenth street, but I caught up with him before he ran past the church. When we arrived at the crossing he did not wait to walk over in the pathway, but started diagonally across the street. I took more time, and walked slowly across and joined him on Washington avenue. ...............

{The rest of the page is torn off.}

 

 

page 4 (Editorial section)

The wretched creature KITTIE MULCAHY, who was arrested with her "friend" SCHARLOW, and charged with killing the PAUL PRY TONKIN last Saturday night in Lucas Place, made a confession last night after having been exonerated by the Coroner’s intelligent jury. She says now that she shot "the wretched, rash, intruding fool," being incited thereto by and unknown commercial traveler who happened to fall into her company. Her story may be true, but she will have considerable difficulty in proving that she committed the murder. The probabilities are that the confession has been made to shield her friend, who is now in jail, being held on and old charge of cutting with intent to kill. When the proper occasion arrives the confession will be withdrawn, and the State will be required to furnish all the proofs – a task that will be rendered quite difficult by the lapse of time and the consequent lack of public interest. If this lowlife tragedy will have the effect of curbing the industry of the most loathsome type of blackmailers known to the civilization and if it will also check the tendency to convert church-yards and other sacred places into resorts for immoral people, the community will be very largely the gainer by it.

 

 

Page 6

DIED

FRED. TONKIN – Will be buried from 1733 Orange street. All friends invited to attend. Funeral will take place at two o’clock to-morrow (Sunday).

 

 

NOTE: His was the only obit for the day.