|The Fosterville Murders|
|Part 1 | Part 3 | Part 4 | Part 5|
The Daily Gleaner December 17, 1924
Williams Committed For Trial After Enoch Peck Corroborated Confessions
Preliminary Hearing In The Fosterville Murder Case Finished
TRIAL TO OPEN JANUARY 20th
Williams Denies That Jealousy Was Motive Of Crime
Harry D. Williams was committed for trial before the York CountyCourt opening on January 20th, by Judge Limerick at noon today on the conclusion of hispreliminary examination on the charge of murdering fourteen-years-old Cynthia Foster andher ten-years-old sister, Necia. Evidence of the eighteen witnesses summoned by the Crownwas taken.
Williams had nothing to say on his own behalf nor did he want tosummon any witnesses following the completion of the evidence submitted by P.J. Hughes,K.C., as Crown prosecutor. Immediately after the completion of the evidence of Dr. B.H.Dougan, of Harvey Station, the last witness, Mr. Hughes moved for committal of theprisoner for trial.
Williams was directed to stand up and to listen carefully whileJudge Limerick asked him if he had anything he wished to say for himself. He was warnedthat he did not have to say anything, and that anything he might say would be taken downin writing and used against him at his trial. After acknowledging that he understood thequestion he shook his head and said "No sir" in reply to the court's query. Hereplied in the same manner when asked if he wished to call any witnesses.
Enock Peck Was Star Witness Today
The evidence given yesterday by Claude Peck that Williams hadadmitted the murders to him in the presence of Enoch Peck, after having been duly warnedand acknowledging the warning, was corroborated by Enoch Peck in his evidence thismorning. "I know it," Williams said in answer to Claude Peck's warning,according to Enoch Peck. "I killed the girls and expect to pay the supremepenalty." He was looking forward from the rear of the automobile at the time and thenturning to Claude Peck, added: "But I didn't do what you think I did." He addedthat they would find his statements true with the assistance of expert advice.
Williams also told the witness that he was not jealous, and that hedidn't know what was the matter with him. He said Williams had said he tried to poisonhimself with the strychnine but had taken an overdose and vomited it up.
Mrs. Rachael Wood
Mrs. Rachael Wood, of Fosterville, one of the women assisting inpreparing the bodies of the victims for burial, was the first witness called by P.J.Hughes, K.C., Crown prosecutor, when the preliminary hearing was resumed at 10:25 o'clockthis morning. She did not make any examination or find any marks on the bodies other thanthose previously described.
Mrs. Lenora Boone
Mrs. Lenora Boone, of North Lake, said she had seen both of thegirls on the last night in October. She had gone to the cabin to assist in the burialpreparations. She did not see what became of the clothing removed from the bodies nor didshe see anything removed from the cabin or burned. She did not know of any new facts.
Wesley Buckingham, of Fosterville, farmer, said he had known theprisoner for eight or ten years. The prisoner had lived with Ward Foster and at his(Williams) camp since the war. Witness said he lived forty rods from Ward Foster's.Buckingham said said he saw Williams with the black and white dog going towards WardFoster's barn at noon on the day of the murder. He recognized the dog as the one Williamshad. Witness was going for his dinner at the time he saw Williams and the dog nearFoster's barn.
Witness visited the cabin the morning after the murder. He describedthe general situation as he had viewed it on this occasion. His evidence in this respectcorroborated that already given by previous witnesses.
He also acted as a witness of Dr. Turner's medical examination anddescribed the condition of the bodies. Witness said he did not know for what purpose cordsuch as was used in binding the girls was made. Later the following day, he had visitedthe camp and found similar cords on a shelf with fish hooks attached. These cords were notthe ones discovered on the floor by Warden A.C. Wetmore. He had left the hooked cordswhere he had discovered them.
Robert Hay, of Canterbury, was called for the purpose of identifyingthe sand-bag produced in evidence. He said he had seen it taken from a shelf in the cabin.It was turned over to the officers.
The next witness was Enoch Peck, of North Lake, who said that he wastold of the murder at 5:15 a.m. on November 26th. He went to the camp and after awhileheard a rumor that Williams was crossing the road. With Claude Peck, Millidge Wood andEmory Farrell he went down the road in a car and found Williams on the road near HarveyBoone's. Emory Farrell stopped the car and Williams said: "Don't hurt me, I'm goingto give myself up." Claude Peck said: "Get in the car."
After their arrival at John Foster's he had conversed with Williamsbut he had not warned him. He stayed with the prisoner until Deputy Sheriff FraserSaunders arrived. As a result of a conversation with Williams he had gone to Tom Kinney'sfield where he found the rifle produced in court. He found it without difficulty at thepoint where the wire fence and the pole fence met, which is where Williams said it was.
There were footprints of a working-man's shoes about the spot and inone place the grass had been trodden down over a an area three feet from side to side. Heshowed the rifle to Williams who said something to him, but this conversation was ruledout by the Court. Continuing the witness said the rifle was left in John Foster's officeduring the day. He saw Claude Peck bring the rifle out of the office after Deputy SheriffSaunders arrived. The rifle had been marked with two notches by Claude Peck.
During the day at Foster's, Williams vomited a little. He had givenan explanation as to the cause of his sickness to the witness. The conversation in thisrespect was also ruled out by the Court. The prisoner had been cold when taken toFoster's.
Witness said he accompanied the Deputy Sheriff and the prisoner inthe automobile to Ward Foster's, where he and Claude Peck had been left with Williams inthe automobile while the others visited the Williams' camp.
Witness said he heard Claude Peck warn the prisoner that he didn't have to answer hisquestions and that anything he said would be brought out against him in the courts. Thistook place in the car before the conversation which he had with the prisoner in theabsence of Deputy Sheriff Saunders at the camp.
In reply to the warning given by Claude Peck, the witness saidWilliams replied: "I know it. I killed the girls and I expect to pay the supremepenalty." While he said this Williams was looking to the front of the car. Then heturned his head and said to Claude Peck: "but I didn't do what you think I did."
Continuing, Enoch Peck said Claude Peck had said that they wouldhave expert advice on that.
Williams replied: "Well, you can have expert advice on it andyou'll find what I'm telling you is true."
Witness asked Williams if he had been jealous.
Williams replied "no," and that he didn't know what wasthe matter.
Witness asked him if he had taken strychnine and he replied that hehad and that he had taken too much and vomited it up. He had gone up to the field wherethe rifle had been found about dusk and said he stayed there all night.
Williams also said: "The chances are I'll plead guilty."Claude Peck replied that he might as well and throw himself on the mercy of the court.
The Daily Gleaner, Wednesday, December 17, 1924
Doctor Believes Cynthia Foster Was Outraged
by the Villain Who Killed Girls
Dr. W.L. Turner, of Meductic, Tells of Result of His Examination ofBodies of Murdered Girls- - -Ten Witnesses Examined on First Day of Preliminary Hearing
The evidence of ten witnesses had been completed when thepreliminary examination Harry D. Williams, charged with the murder of his half-sister'stwo daughters, Cynthia, aged 14, and Necia, aged 10, at Fosterville, on November 25th, wasadjourned last evening to resume again this morning at 10 o'clock.
Little new evidence was produced at yesterday afternoon's hearingwhen the witnesses gave evidence largely of a corroborative evidence. Warden A.C. Wetmoreand Arlington Boone, two of the witnesses of the medical examination made by Dr. W.L.Turner, John Foster, J.P., Dr. Turner, Mrs. Ida Farrell, and Mrs. Nellie Farrell, two ofthe women present while the bodies were prepared for burial, were the witnesses examinedyesterday afternoon.
Warden Wetmore told of finding two other cords in Williams' cabin,similar to those used in binding the arms of the victims, and which appeared to have beennewly cut, in addition to a sand-bag which he had found on a shelf over the table. Thesand-bag had been in perfect condition when he found it but had been torn when two boyshad attempted to test its strength. Dr. Turner in his evidence said that an examination ofthe body of Cynthia Foster had revealed evidence to him which led him to the conclusionthat she had been violated. Arlington Boone said he had burned the pillows found on thebed under Cynthia's head and through which one of the bullets had passed and haddiscovered one of the bullets under the bed while cleaning up the cabin after theexamination by Dr. Turner. John Foster told of the prisoner being held in custody at hishome and Mrs. Nellie Farrell admitted burning a quantity of clothing while the bodies werebeing prepared for burial. What the articles were which she had burned, she could not say.
Warden A.C. Wetmore
Warden A.C. Wetmore, of Fosterville, resumed the stand at 2:40 p.m.and continued his evidence with respect to various ropes and cords submitted in evidence.A bullet crease had been discovered in the flooring beneath the head of the younger girlstarting directly from the position occupied by the head which had been penetrated by abullet. On the floor had been found a piece of the bullet casing , a second piece beingdiscovered in the log wall back of the bed.
The rag covering the face of the older girl on the bed had beenknotted about the head and was pierced by a bullet hole directly over the wound in thehead. A gag was found tied into the girl's mouth. The bullet which passed through theolder girl's head passed through the pillow and mattress and was discovered embedded withthe filling of the mattress and pillow in the wall of the cabin. The bullet in evidencewas produced and identified.
The older girl's skirt had been pulled part way to her knees.Beneath, two underskirts had been rolled up to her waist. The girl's under-garments wasblood-stained on both thighs. A further examination of her body had been made by Dr.Turner who later gave permission for burial.
Beside a wash boiler containing bread and cake Warden Wetmore saidhe discovered two additional cords approximately two and a half feet long, similar to thesmaller cords found on the bodies. These two cords appeared to have been freshly cut. Theywere lying on the floor at the end of the bed.
The witness then volunteered the statement that he had discoveredthe sand-bag submitted as an exhibit. He had found it on a shelf over the table and it hadbeen in an undamaged condition when he discovered it before the arrival of the coroner.The break in the cloth had been made later by accident.
Dr. W.L. Turner
Dr. Walter L. Turner, of Meductic, the next witness, said he was acoroner of York county but he never held an inquest. The first thing he did on reachingthere on November 26th was to attend Mrs. Ward B. Foster, whom he found in a criticalcondition and also suffering from shock. He then proceeded to Williams' camp. Asked totell what he had done, he replied: "I can't tell you any better than it has beentold. I might answer your questions." He continued, in answer to questions, to detailthe condition of the cabin and the two bodies, as stated in his statement published at thetime in The Gleaner.
The condition of the bound arms of the younger girl, he said, wouldlead him to believe the cords had been tied some time previous to death, a half an hourmore or less. Rigor mortis was well marked and it was impossible to form an opinion howlong since death had occurred. He had attempted to bend several of the joints and hadfound it almost impossible. Rigor mortis, he said, would be marked two or three hoursafter death, and more so after a longer period.
The gag in the older girl's mouth would effectively prevent anyoutcry. It consisted of a seamless bag rolled and tied into the mouth around the head. Ahole in the bandage about the head corresponded with the entrance of the bullet whichpassed through the head.
The girl's under-garments had been rolled up, covered by her outerskirt. The clothing had not been carefully rolled. Blood was found in profusion on thegirl's underwear. This, however, had no connection with the blood from the head wounds. Itshowed evidence to him, as a medical man, he said, that the girl had been violated.
Arlington Boone, farmer, of North Lake, said he visited the camp on November 26th witha number of others. His evidence corroborated that already given with respect to thecondition and examination of the bodies, he having been one of the witnesses summoned forthe examination made by Dr. Turner.
The witness said he destroyed the two pillows which had been under Cynthia's head. Hethrew them on a fire in the yard. He also saw Mrs. Emery Farrell throw some clothing onthe fire, but nothing had been moved before Dr. Turner arrived to change the situation.After Dr. Turner left he assisted in cleaning up the cabin and placing the two bodies onthe bed for the women who had been summoned to prepare them for burial. While sweeping upsome magazines and dust after moving the bed he discovered one of the bullets submitted inevidence at this juncture as Exhibit No. 13.
John L. Foster J.P.
John L. Foster, J.P., of Fosterville, a blacksmith and wheelwright,said he heard of the murder between 10 and 11 o'clock the night of the tragedy andsummoned his two sons who went out. The prisoner had been brought to his house the nextmorning where he directed him to be searched. The prisoner remained in his kitchen incharge of the Peck brothers until Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders arrived and took chargeof him. The witness said he had not warned the prisoner in fact he did not talk to theprisoner about the crime at all.
Mrs. Ida E. Farrell
Mrs. Ida E. Farrell, of Fosterville, wife of Stephen Farrell, alife-long neighbor of the Foster family, was the next witness. She had seen them onNovember 25th and talked with Cynthia and Necia Foster after they came from school. Sheassisted in preparing the bodies for burial on the following afternoon and had discovereda red mark below the knee on one of the legs of Cynthia Foster, a black and blue mark onone of the hips and a mark corresponding to that which might be made by a hand on theright knee.
Dr. Turner, recalled, said he did not recollect having seen thismark. He did not believe this mark could have been left as a result of the medicalexamination.
Mrs. Nellie Farrell
Mrs. Nellie Farrell followed. She was present while the bodies wereprepared for burial but she did not assist in preparing the bodies for burial. She pickedup some clothing from the floor and carried it out and threw it on the fire. She did notknow whether it was the girls' clothing or bed clothing she burned. She couldn't describethe articles she burned.
The witness was informed by Judge Limerick that no blame could beattached to her action in destroying the clothing. He had been informed by someone thatsomeone who had burned the clothing feared they would get in trouble over it.He did notwish to cast any reflection on the witness but urged her to tell what she knew if shecould. Witness replied that she did not know.
The court then adjourned for the day.
NOTE:The Daily Gleaner for December 16th, is not available on micro-fische.However, it appears the events of the first day of the preliminary hearing were recordedin the December 17th issue, as appears below.
While the December 17th issue is somewhat confusing in lay-outwith seemingly unconnected columns, careful scrutiny has pieced together the evidence ofthe witnesses, and is copied here just as it was written in 1924. Why the evidence givenby Ward Foster and his oldest daughter, Irma, (actually known life-long as Hilda) is notreported in the paper is unknown. Posssibly missed by me; but likely due to the confusedlay-out. Their evidence was reported by The Gleaner during the trial which is recordedhere further on.
Nor did I see any copy on the outcome of the preliminary hearing nor whether anydefence was offered. However, we do know Williams was bound over for trial at the nextsitting of the Court of King's Bench.
The Daily Gleaner Tuesday, January 20, 1925
14 WITNESSES FOR MURDER TRIAL ARRIVE
Warden of York County Heads Party This Afternoon
From North Lake
DEAD GIRLS' FATHER AND SISTER ARE HERE
Spokesman for Party Says That Williams' Mother Has
No Sympathy for Him
Headed by Coun. Arthur C. Wetmore, Warden of York County, and withgrim determination written all over their faces, a party of fourteen residents of theparish of North Lake reached Fredericton this afternoon.
They came as witnesses summoned by the Crown in the most revoltingcriminal case in the annals of York county, and will appear tomorrow morning when thepreliminary examination of Harry D. Williams on the charge of murder of Cynthia Foster andNecia Foster, aged 14 and 10 years, commences before Police Magistrate Walter Limerick.
Included in the party were Ward Foster, the father, and Irma Foster,the oldest sister of the two girls who met such brutal deaths on the evening of November25th in the little shack where Williams lived a hermit-like existence on the shore of thehead of the chain of Chiputneticook Lakes. The father and the girl both gave evidence oftheir continued grief, as they stepped from the train at the C.P.R. station and startedfor the hotel where they are staying while in the city.
"No, his mother is not here and she says she does not want tosee him," one of the men from North Lake said when asked if Williams' mother wascoming to see him. "His mother feels the same as we all do," he continued,"that he is guilty of an awful crime with which he is charged and that the sooner hehe is hanged and pays the penalty insofar as he can the better it will be."
At the York County Jail this afternoon it was said that Williams hashad no caller except the clergyman who he asked for, since he occupied a cell there. Norhas he made any move towards securing legal counsel for his preliminary examination andtrial. In fact it was said today that the prisoner has not sufficient money to buy himselfa changed of clothes and that public funds will have to be provided to do that.
The Daily Gleaner Wednesday, January 20, 1925
Two True Bills In Murder Case
Grand Jury Brought in Two Indictments after 80 Minutes
WILLIAMS WAS NOT IN COURT
Only Three of The Twenty Witnesses Before The Grand Jury
True bills were returned early this afternoon by the grand jury inthe Supreme Court against Harry D. Williams on two separate indictments, charging him withthe murder of his two half-nieces, Cynthia Foster, aged 14, and Necia Foster, aged 10,daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Ward B. Foster, at Fosterville, York county, on November 25th,1924.
The prisoner was not in court during the morning's proceedings, norwhen the grand jury submitted its findings through its foreman, Councillor William C.Whipple, of McAdam in the York County Municipal Council. Three witnesses were examined bythe grand jury during the hour and twenty minutes they had the indictments underconsideration, the witnesses being: Ward B. Foster, father of the murdered girls; Dr. W.L.Turner, of Meductic, who made the medical examination, and Claud (sic) Peck, ofFosterville, one of the party who took Williams into custody. The grand jury returnedshortly after 1 o'clock with their findings.
One absentee was reported when the grand jury was summoned, GeorgeL. Embleton, of Harvey Station, failing to respond in answer to his name. Sheriff J. B.Hawthorn was sworn proof of notice was made and a fine of $10 was imposed by Mr. JusticeLeBlanc. James H. Clark, of Benton, whose name appeared in the grand jury list, was alsoabsent, but was stated by Sheriff Hawthorn that he had not been served.
Judge Reviews Case
Two indictments were submitted to the grand jury by Mr. JusticeLeBlanc, the double murder charges being separated on the indictments charging that HarryD. Williams did murder Cynthia Foster and Necia Foster at Fosterville on November 25th.Presenting the indictments to the grand jury for their consideration, Mr Justice LeBlancstated that the evidence in one case would apply also to the second case, and thenproceeded to outline the circumstances as presented through the evidence given at thepreliminary hearing before Judge Walter Limerick in the police court at Fredericton onDecember 16th and 17th. These matters are very serious ones, and the court charged themembers of the grand jury to give them their careful consideration.
Coming to the point where Williams had been arrested and hand madeincriminating statements, Mr. Justice LeBlanc said he would not dwell on these statementsor their admissibility as evidence. He wished to be fair to the prinoner and thesestatements were not necessary at the present time for the purposes of the Grand Jury infinding a true bill.
Particular attention was paid by Mr. Justice LeBlanc to the evidenceof criminal assault as found by the doctors making the medical examination. He especiallypointed out that here could be no possibility, in view of the evidence of the blood fromthe wounds found in Cynthia Foster's head, having soaked through her outer clothing tostain her underclothing which had been found saturated with blood from the knees almost tothe waist.
Instructions to Grand Jury
Mr. Justice LeBlanc then pointed out that it was not necessary forthe Grand Jury to hear all the witnesses, but only to hear sufficient evidence for thepurpose of bringing in a true bill, except in case of extreme or rare doubt. He said hewished to impress, and did vigorously impress upon the Grand Jurymen that they were nottrying the accused, that it was not the function of the Grand Jury to try the prisoner.Their duty consisted of finding sufficient evidence to warrant further investigation bythe petit jury on a true bill. His Honor said he hoped he had made himself plain, even ifhe had spoken more plainly than usual, for he did not wish to be responsible should therebe any miscarriage of justice. Instructions as the the endorsements of the indictmentswere then given to the foreman and it was pointed out that seven jurymen must agree tobring in a true bill or no bill.
The charge to the Grand Jury was concluded at 11:45 a.m., havingconsumed over half an hour, the Grand Jury retiring to the jury-room immediatelyafterwards in charge of Constable Charles Sterling.
The List of Jurymen
The following are the names of the jurymen summoned for duty inconnection with the nisi prius sittings:
Grand JuryJ.W. Walker, Marysville; Robert Stephenson, City; Roy Flowers, South Devon; Roy Yerxa, Mouth of Keswick; James C. Forbes, Covered Bridge; Geo. R. Embleton, Harvey Station; J.A. Stafford, Marysville; Herbert Gunter, City; R. Clive VanWart, City; James H. Clark, Benton; Clarence Billings, Lower Hainsville; Walter Piercy, Harvey Station. AdditionalJohn B. Hood, City; W.C. Whipple, McAdam Junction; Tilley Bird, Keswick; Harry Pickard, Burtt's Corner; Howard D. Burtt, Burtt's Corner; and Sterling Limerick, City.
Petit JuryJohn A. Reid, City; Byron Evans, Nashwaaksis; William Jones, Lower Hainesville; Robert T. Baird, City; Chester Morrison, Lower Southampton; Frank Coburn, Harvey Station; George Lawrence, Burtt's Corner; Harvey Brown, Marysville; Horace Draper, Pinder; William D. Gunter, City; William Hagerman, Burtt's Corner; Bert Goodspeed, Penniac; Eben Staples, City; Luke Morrison, City; David Embleton, Nashwaaksis; John N. Inch, Burtt's Corner.
Additional Arthur Bennet, Cross Creek; John Fove, Hanwell; Albert Smith, Prince William; George Camp, City; George Boulter, Stanley; George Ward, South Devon; Burpee McKeen, Mouth of Keswick; Irvine Haines, Burtt's Corner; James O. Tomlison, Stanley; Allen Crow, Pinder; Randolph Maby, Burtt's Corner; Clowes Patterson, City; Joseph A. Cain, City; Angus McBean, Taymouth; Ralph Kilburn, Kingsclear; William J. Brewer, Fredericton, RR #7; John Brawn, Lower Hainsville; Norman P. Lawrence, Prince William; John Myshrall, Myshrall Settlement; Frank Thomas, City; Samuel Davidson, Prince William.Williams Still Stoical Shows No Interest In Plight,
As Court Gets Him a Lawyer
Electrified Packed Court Room With Quiet Announcement That He Was Readyto Plead Guilty- - -No Lawyers in Court When Mr. Justice LeBlanc Sought to AppointCounsel, But Fred H. Peters Finally Was Named and Accepted Post
Fred H. Peters, former Clerk of the Peace for York County, wasappointed yesterday afternoon by Mr. Justice LeBlanc as counsel for Harry D. Williams andaccepted by the accused. Williams had stated in reply to a question by the Court as towhether he wished counsel to be appointed by the Court for his defence on the charge ofmurdering his two half-nieces at Fosterville: "I don't know as it matters Iplead guilty."
This reply, given in a quiet well-modulated voice and without theslightest trace of emotion, electrified the packed court-room when he Court resumedyesterday afternoon at 2:30 o'clock.
Immediately after the Court had resumed, Williams who had beenplaced in the prisoner's dock was directed to stand up. He did so and was then asked if hehad counsel to defend him. His reply was: "No." Asked if he had the means toprocure counsel, he also replied: "No." It was then that his quiet announcementof his intention electrified the spectators when he was asked if he desired the Court toappoint counsel for his defence.
Williams was immediately reminded by Mr. Justice LeBlanc that he wasnot being asked to plead, and the question as to whether he wanted counsel being put oncemore he replied in the affirmative.
No Lawyers in Court
No Lawyers were present in the court-room at the time from whom Mr.Justice LeBlanc might select one to defend the prisoner. In fact there was a remarkabledearth of counsel at both the morning and afternoon proceedings; so much so that therewere no civil cases filed for the opening of the Courts is usual. Sheriff Hawthorn wasrequested to communicate with a number of lawyers, the Court pointing out that the accusedhad the right to have as able legal talent for his defence as the Bar could supply. Aneffort was made to reach J.J.F. Winslow, K.C., but the Sheriff reported that he was alsoout of the city as were others whom he had attempted to reach. Mr. Peters was thensuggested and he was obtained after a short delay.Meanwhile, the list of petit jurors wascalled and, with the exception of Byron Evans, of Nashwaaksis, all responded to theirnames.
Following the arrival of Mr. Peters, Mr. Justice LeBlanc stated tohim that two indictments of murder had been returned against the accused, and asked him ifhe would undertake his defence. Mr. Peters replied that with such short notice, if heundertook the defence, he would require an adjournment for the purpose of interviewing theprisoner. He would also want a copy of the depositions which the prisoner was unable tosupply owing to lack of funds and leave to interview the prisoner.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc consented and suggested that an adjournment bemade until 5 p.m., when the case would go on. Mr. Peters said he did not feel this wouldleave him sufficient time and suggested that after he had interviewed the prisoner hemight have some application to make before the Court. The selection of the Jury would alsotake some time. Mr. Justice LeBlanc then stated that when the Court adjourned it wouldadjourn until 10 o'clock this morning and asked the prisoner if he accepted Mr. Peters ashis counsel. Williams replied in the affirmative. The Court was then adjourned.
Prisoner Changed Appearance
When yesterday afternoon's session opened Williams made his firstpublic appearance since he was committed for trial on December 17th. Freshly shaven andwith his hair cut. he presented a much improved picture than that of his haggardappearance at the preliminary examination. He wore his mackinaw coat over his blue suitand for the first time his apparel was completed with a soft white collar with a bow tie.
Throughout the proceedings he maintained a stolid calm, seeminglyunaware that he was the cynosure of hundreds of pairs of eyes. Once or twice he turned hishead and smiled and nodded faintly to acquaintances in the crowd which swarmed about thedock following adjournment of the Court. While waiting for the court-room to empty of thecurious throng prior to his removal to the county jail, Williams pulled out cigarettepapers and tobacco and proceeded leisurely to roll a cigarette. He was taken from thecourt-room manacled to Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders, the two men threading their waythrough the dense thronged hallway.
There was a small number of women present yesterday afternoon inaddition to those included among the witnesses from Fosterville. Two women and a younggirl who were making their way through the court at 2:30 p.m. were heard to remark:"I'd laugh if it was behind closed doors and we couldn't get in. Now I wonder whatdoor you go in?" "It's upstairs," said the second, and a few minutes later,"Oh, it's packed," and broke into a run to obtain standing room amongst thethrong.
The Daily Gleaner Thursday, January 22, 1925
Insanity Plea In an Effort to Save Williams
Defence Indicate by Accused's Counsel in Court Today
TWO JURYMEN ARE SELECTED
Formal Pleas of Not Guilty Were Entered This Morning
First steps toward a plea of insanity to save Harry D. Williams fromthe gallows were taken this morning by Fred H. Peters, who yesterday afternoon was namedas his counsel, after the accused had startled the throng of people who filled the YorkCircuit Court by unconcernedly telling Mr. Justice LeBlanc that he was going to pleadguilty to the charge of having murdered his half sister's two daughters, Cynthia and NeciaFoster, aged 14 and 10 years, at Fosterville, on November 25th last in one of the mostrevolting crimes in the annals of New Brunswick.
With his request for an adjournment of one day in order to preparehis case disallowed Mr. Peters commenced sparring for time by entering so many objectionsto the selection of jurors that by 1 o'clock when the court adjourned only two jurors hadbeen selected. Mr. Peters is awaiting the return from St. John of Very Rev. Dean Neales,who has been Williams' spiritual adviser, and who soon after he first saw Williams at theYork
County jail expressed the opinion in an interview the The Gleanerthat the prisoner was not sane. Meanwhile, Williams had entered formal pleas of not guiltyto two indictments, but when asked by the Court whether he was ready to have his trialproceed Williams had replied: "I don't know."
Provincial Alienist in Court
Ex-Coun. John N. Inch, of Burtt's Corner, and Normal L. Lawrence, ofDumfries, with the two jurymen selected and sworn this morning. Twelve members of thepetit jury panel had been called and challenged for cause by Mr. Peters. Of the eight whowere tried as to their indifference only one, James O. Tomlison, was rejected by thetriers as being not indifferent. Five were peremptorily challenged by Mr. Peters afterbeing found indifferent by the triers.
When the court opened this morning Dr. T. Carleton Allen, DeputyAttorney General was present with P.J. Hughes, K.C., Crown Prosecutor. He left shortlyafter the proceedings had commenced. Dr. J.V. Anglin, of St. John, Superintendent of theProvincial Hospital for nervous diseases, who arrived in the city this morning, was alsopresent and it was said that he might appear as a crown witness.
The greater portion of the morning was devoted to the examination ofthe members of the jury panel as to their indifference to the issue of the trial. All whowere examined admitted that they had read press accounts of the murder in the Gleanerwhile some had read other accounts of the tragedy.
At the opening of this morning's proceedings Mr. Peters stated thathe had during the brief opportunity afforded him made a preliminary investigation of thepast life and demeanor of the accused following his arrest. He had learned that Very Rev.Dean Neales, who had been attending the prisoner at the jail, was absent from the city inSt. John and would not return to the city, owing to an engagements, until this evening.From replies which had been furnished to him after he had located Dean Neales in St. John,Mr. Peters stated that he believed he could furnish him with some most valuableinformation in the interests of the prisoner relating to his physical and mental conditionsince his arrest. In view of this Mr. Peters requested that a further adjournment be madeto allow him to obtain this information, and suggested that an adjournment for a day wouldhelp him to some extent.
Crown Prosecutor Hughes in reply contended that Mr. Peters had notplaced anything before the Court to justify a further adjournment. The Crown's case wouldoccupy two or three days and Mr. Peters would be at liberty during the course of the trialto have the accused tried as regard to sanity. There were some twenty witnesses present atgreat personal inconvenience and expense in addition to a large number of jurymen. Theprisoner had been in the city for some two months, and with Dean Neales as his constantattendant during that time he thought the necessary information could be easily obtained.While he did not wish to be in any way unfair to the prisoner, he could not see that anyadvantage would be taken of him if the case proceeded.
Sanity Trial by Jury
Mr Justice LeBlanc pointed out that the accused could at any timeduring his trial be tried as to his sanity. The jury might be ordered to find whether hewas fit to be placed upon trial.
Mr. Peters said he wished to consult not only Dean Neales but somemedical men before deciding upon a sanity trial. If the adjournment he had asked for wasdisallowed, he would ask for no further adjournment. He had only been with the prisonerhimself for a half or three-quarters of an hour last evening. As a result of thisinterview he deemed it most necessary to inquire into his sanity. He could not see thatthe inconvenience of a few witnesses was to be considered as against the interests of theaccused, who would be placed on trial for his life.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc that stated that while the request was not anunreasonable one, the counsel had seen the prisoner, and his defence along sanity lineswould not be barred at any time during the trial. He was going to do everything to be fairto the prisoner but did not feel under the circumstances that he would be justified inmaking an adjournment.
Mr. Peters explained that he was not in a position to go on with thesanity issue.
The Court replied that this could be taken up an any time during thetrial; Mr. Hughes agreed with this.
The indictments were then read to the prisoner, who pleaded notguilty to the separate charges. Asked if he was ready for trial, he replied: "I don'tknow."
The judge then ordered the case to proceed and ordered the jurycalled. Selection of the Jurors
The following jurymen being called, were all challenged for cause byMr. Peters:
Joseph A. Cain, Fredericton; John N. Inch, Burtt's Corner; E.H.Clarkson, Fredericton; and George Lawrence, Burtt's Corner.
James Tomlison, of Stanley, R.R. No. 1, and Norman P. Lawrence, ofPrince William, R.R. No. 2, two of the summoned jurors were appointed triers by the Court.Mr. Cain was first examined. He said he had read the reports of the alleged crime aspublished in Fredericton and St. John newspapers. He had not expressed an opinion. Thetriers reported Mr. Cain as indifferent. Mr. Cain was then challenged peremptorily.
Mr. Inch was examined and reported upon as being indifferent by thetriers and sworn as a jury. The triers were discharged and Mr. Inch and Norman Lawrenceappointed as triers in the case of George Lawrence. Mr. Lawrence was examined and reportedas indifferent. Mr. Lawrence was then challenged peremptorily by Mr. Peters. Mr. Clarksonwas examined by the same triers and reported as indifferent. Mr. Clarkson was thenchallenged peremptorily and Mr. Lawrence discharged as a trier.
Following a recess requested by Mr. Peters the following jurors werethen called:
James O. Tomilson, Stanley, R.R. No. 1; Normal L. Lawrence, PrinceWilliam, R.R. No. 2; Herbert Ritchie, Hawkshaw, R.R. No. 1; and Albert Smith, PrinceWilliam, R.R. No. 1. They were challenged for cause and Mr. Lawrence was re-appointed withMr. Inch as triers the purpose of examining Mr. Tomilson. Mr. Tomilson, under examination,admitted that he had formed an opinion as to the guilt of the accused. The triers reportedhim as not indifferent and the challenge was allowed.
Norman L. Lawrence was then examined before Mr. Inch and RobertRitchie as triers. He said he had formed an opinion of the accused's guilt but not sostrong as to be shaken by evidence favorable to the accused. He was reported asindifferent by the triers, and no further objection being made, was sworn as a member ofthe jury.
Messrs. Inch and Lawrence, the two jurymen sworn asmembers of thepetit jury were then appointed as triers for the purpose of examining Herbert Ritchie, whogave his residence as Temple. Mr. Ritchie was found to be indifferent but was challengedpre-emptorily
Albert Smith was next examined by the same triers. He stated that hehad formed an opinion from one side of the case. It was not so set or so formed, however,that he could not change it after hearing all the evidence. The triers reported him asindifferent but Mr. Smith was challenged pre-emptorily, however.
The next four jurymen were then called as follows: David Embleton,Nashwaaksis; William Hagerman, Burtt's Corner; Frank Foster, Fredericton; and ArthurBennett, Cross Creek.
Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders was then sworn and placed in chargeof the two jurymen, it being 1 o'clock and instructed to prevent them from having anyconversation with anyone about the subject of the trial.
Williams Former Wife May Be A Witness
Mrs. Ada Thornton, of Houlton, Me., divorced wife of Harry D.Williams, who was formerly known as Darius Thornton, may be a witness if her formerhusband's sanity is tried in the York Circuit Court, as it seemed certain today fromdevelopments in the Fosterville double murder. case.
It is recalled that Mrs. Thornton, who lives in Houlton withWilliams' son, stated in an interview soon after her former husband's arrest that theaccused had some years ago been subject to "spells" and had "actedqueerly"; and it is expected that medical evidence will be sought to prove that sucha condition could be serious aggravated into fits of insanity by the three or more yearsof continuous war service which Williams served in the front line trenches as a member ofthe Trench Mortars of the Third Division of the Canadian Expeditionary Force in France andBelgium.
In army life Williams was known as "Whistling Jim,"according to City Marshall John H. McCollom, who was a Sergeant Major of a unit with whichWilliams spent some time.
Ex-members of K Unit, D.D.C.R., say that Williams spent three monthsin Fredericton after his return from overseas in 1919 as an orderly of K Unit.
The Daily Gleaner Thursday, January 22, 1925
WILL HAVE DOCTORS EXAMINE WILLIAMS
Dr. Charles MacKay, of This City, and Dr. D. R. Moore,
of Stanley, May Be Called In.
Harry D. Williams could not remember last evening what he said incourt yesterday afternoon when he electrified those present by stating that it didn'tmatter much whether the court assigned counsel for his defense as he was going to pleadguilty, when interviewed last evening, according to his counsel, Fred H. Peters.
Mr. Peters told The Gleaner today that Williams was unable to placeP.J. Hughes, K.C., as Crown Prosecutor, although the latter had been sitting directly infront of him during the afternoon. Williams also failed to remember Mr. Hughes as theCrown Prosecutor who conducted the Crown's case at the preliminary examination beforeJudge Limerick in the Police Court on December 16th and 17th. At that time those presentin the police court remember that Williams appeared to show some interest in Mr. Hughes ashe submitted the Crown's evidence.
Arrangements were being made today to have Williams examined bydoctors with respect to his sanity. It is expected that Dr. Charles MacKay, ofFredericton, will be one of the examining physicians who will be procured by Mr. Peters toexamine the prisoner, while efforts were also being made to secure the services of Dr.H.R. Moore, of Stanley. Dr. MacKay was present when Williams made his first appearance inpolice court here.
Thirty One JurorsCalled And Six Hours Consumed
in The Selection of Trial Jury
Sixteen PreemptoryChallenges by Defence Counsel,
Fifteen of Them After Triers Had Found Jurors Indifferent
When Challenged for Cause and Tried . . .
Two of the Challenged Jurors Rejected by Triers.
Six hours were consumed in the York Circuit Court yesterday in theselection of the petit jury for the trial of Harry D. Williams on the charges of murderinghis half-nieces, the jury being completed last evening at 5:45 p.m.
Thirty-one of the forty-one jurors present in court were called andchallenged for cause by Fred H. Peters, counsel for the defence. One was stood aside bythe Crown Prosecutor. But two of the challenged jurors were rejected by the triers as notbeing indifferent to the issue before the court. Sixteen preemptory challenges were madeby the counsel for the defence, fifteen of which were made after the jurors had beenchallenged for cause and found indifferent by the triers. In one case the challenge forcause was withdrawn and preemptory challenge substituted. Twenty preemptory challengeswere allowed the defence counsel by law.
When the court resumed yesterday afternoon two members of the petitjury had been selected and sworn and the selection of the jury was proceeded with,occupying the entire afternoon until 5:45 p.m. The Court then announced that recess wouldtaken until 7:30 p.m., when P.J. Hughes would outline the Crown's case to the jury. Mr.Peters rose to object, but Mr. Justice LeBlanc said he would not change his decision. Thecourt had sat then for two days and one day had been devoted to the selection of a juryand he was determined to commence hearing evidence today. Mr. Peters would not be barredfrom interviewing witnesses during the evening as the outline of the Crown's case wouldtake but a half an hour.
The first juryman called in the afternoon was David Embleton, ofNashwaaksis, who said he had read an account of the arrest and preliminary examination ofWilliams in The Gleaner and that he had expressed an opinion with respect to his guilt inhis own home. His opinion and conviction was deeply rooted and pretty strong evidencewould have to be offered to change his opinion. He was found to be indifferent by thetriers but was challenged peremptorily by the defense counsel.
William Hagerman, Merchant, of Burtt's Corner, said he had heard aportion of the evidence given at the preliminary examination. He had expressed a generalopinion of the case but could not say that he had a deep conviction. He was foundindifferent by the triers and sworn as a member of the petit jury.
Refused to Change Opinion
Norman L. Lawrence, of Dumfries, and Mr. Hagerman, two of the threemembers of the jury, were then sworn as triers to examine Frank Foster, Merchant, ofFredericton, who said he had expressed himself with respect to the case on severaloccasions and still held an opinion drawn from the evidence as reported in the newspapers.No matter what evidence might be produced to the contrary he did not think it would changehis opinion. The Court expressed the opinion that the witness was not indifferent and thiswas concurred by the triers.
Arthur Bennet, of Cross Creek, woodsman, was the next member of thepanel examined. Mr. Hughes suggested that matters would be simplified if he were stoodaside by the Crown but the Court remarked that there was some doubt if this could be doneafter he had already been challenged for cause.
While the examination of Mr. Bennet was proceeding, Mr. JusticeLeBlanc broke in to as if Mr. Peters were endeavouring to secure a jury of bachelors. Ifso, he would have some difficulty to securing twelve such. Mr. Peters had questioned Mr.Bennett as to his conjugal state. Mr. Bennett expressed his conviction of the accused'sguilt. During the examination hilarity on the part of spectators drew a remark from theBench to the effect that this was a murder trial and should be taken seriously.
In reply to Mr. Justice LeBlanc, Mr. Bennett stated that was not sofirmly set in his opinion that he could not sit on the jury and render the accused a fairtrial. After some consultation, Mr. Bennett was found indifferent by the triers but waschallenged peremptorily by Mr. Peters.
The following jurors were then called and all challenged by Mr.Peters for cause: Luke Morrison, Frank Thomas and George Camp, of Fredericton, and GeorgeWard of South Devon. Byron Evans, of Nashwaaksis, failed to respond to his name whencalled by T.H. Sharkey, Clerk of the Court.
Luke Morrison, insurance agent, of Fredericton, said he had a strongconviction of the prisoner's guilt, but if strong enough evidence in the prisoner's favorwere produced to alter the case he would changed his opinion. The triers reported Mr.Morrison as indifferent and he was sworn as a member of the jury.
William Hagerman and Luke Morrison were then sworn as triers ofFrank Thomas, of Fredericton. Mr. Thomas said he was quite convinced of the charges butnot to such an extent as to prevent a change of mind and he was found to be indifferent.Mr. Peters entered a preemptory challenge.
George Camp, of Fredericton, livery stable proprietor, said he hadformed a strong conviction against the accused. Mr. Camp was found indifferent and swornas the fifth member of the jury. Messrs. Morrison and Camp being sworn for the purpose oftrying George Ward, of South Devon.
Mr. Ward stated that he was a blacksmith at the Marysville cottonmills. He was found indifferent but was challenged peremptorily
The following jurors were then summoned and all challenged for causeby Mr. Peters: Allen Corey, Pinder; Randolph Mabee, Burtt's Corner; Hayward Brown,Marysville; and Horace Draper, Pinder.
Horace Draper, of Pinder, the father of three girls, had not formeda conclusive opinion. He was found indifferent but was challenged peremptorily.
Couldn't See Williams' Necktie
Randolph Mabee, Burtt's Corner, said that on account of an oldinjury to his eyes he had not been able to read the newspapers. He had heard of themurders and heard the crime discussed somewhat but not to any extent. He had heard verylittle as he had been engaged in hauling lath.
Mr. Peters objected to the juror on the grounds of defective vision,requesting him to tell if he could what kind of a tie Williams was wearing.
Judge LeBlanc pointed out that the challenge under consideration wasone of indifference and no provision could be made at this point for defective vision oreven if the juror were blind and deaf.
Mr. Mabee was found indifferent but was then challenged peremptorilyand stood aside.
Hayward Brown, a loom-fixer, of Marysville, was found indifferentand sworn as a member of the petit jury.
Horace Draper, of Pinder, admitted having formed an opinion ofWilliams' guilt and had so expressed himself on a number of occasions. His opinion was notso set as to prevent him from giving the prisoner a fair trial, however. He was foundindifferent burt was challenged peremptorily.
Two York County Councilors Chosen
Coun. Fran Coburn, of Harvey Station, Ralph Kilburn, of Kingsclear,Fred Seymour, of Nashwaaksis, and Angus McBean, of Taymouth were called and challenged forcause.
Coun. Coburn, farmer, said he resided in Manners-Sutton and had afamily. He had read all the accounts of the murder proceedings. He was found indifferentand sworn.
Ralph Kilburn, of Kingsclear, farmer, was found indifferent but waschallenged peremptorily by Mr. Peters.
Coun. Fred Seymour, farmer, of Nashwaaksis, the father of tenchildren, including six girls ranging in age from two to twenty years, had made up hismind of the prisoner's guilt. The fact that he had two girls of his own approximately thesame ages as those of the murdered girls would not affect his verdict or opinion. Thetriers reported Mr. Seymour as indifferent and he was sworn.
Angus Mcbean, of Taymouth, concluded from what he had heard and readthat the prisoner was guilty. He was prepared to find according to the evidence, however.He was reported indifferent and was sworn.
Robert T. Baird, of Fredericton; Burpee McKeen, of Mouth of Keswick;Clowes Patterson, of Fredericton; and W.D. Gunter, of Fredericton, were called. Mr. Bairdwas stood aside by the crown and W.H. Bailey, of Nashwaaksis, was called. The four jurorswere challenged for cause.
Burpee McKeen, of Mouth of Keswick, farmer, said he read anddiscussed the murder accounts very little. He "had his thoughts" but wasn'tquite sure of his guilt, although from what he read he believed he should be guilty. Thetriers reported Mr. McKeen indifferent. A preemptory challenge was then entered by Mr.Peters.
W.H. Bailey, of Nashwaaksis, farmer, said he was a married man andhad one daughter, 37 years of age. He was found indifferent and sworn.
W.D. Gunter, of Fredericton, lumberman, said he had read practicallyall the newspaper accounts and he was prejudiced also by what he had heard since in court.He thought it would be impossible to change his opinion as he saw it now; but he admittedhe was prepared to hear evidence and to abide by it. He was found indifferent and sworn.
Clowes Patterson, of Fredericton, was challenged peremptorily, thechallenge for cause being withdrawn.
John Myshrall, of Myshrall Settlement, was called and challenged forcause. He said he had a family of nine, the youngest girl being twenty-three years of age.He was found indifferent and challenged peremptorily.
Eben Staples, of Fredericton, was called and challenged for cause.Mr. Staples is a drug clerk and the father of two boys; he said he required strongevidence to change his conviction that Williams was guilty but was found indifferent andsworn, completing the petit jury.
The court then announced that recess would be taken until 7:30 p.m.when the Crown would open its case.
Jury In Double Murder Case
No. 1John N. Inch, Burtt's Corner, former York County Councillor.
No. 2Normal L. Lawrence, Dumfries, farmer.
No. 3William Hagerman, Burtt's Corner, general merchant.
No. 4Luke Morrison, Fredericton, insurance agent.
No. 5George CampFredericton, livery stable proprietor
No. 6Hayward Brown, Marysville, loom fixer.
No. 7Frank Coburn, Manners-Sutton, York County Councillor, farmer.
No. 8Fred Seymour, Nashwaaksis, York County Councillor, farmer.
No. 9Angus McBean, Taymouth, farmer
No. 10William H. Bailey, Nashwaaksis, farmer.
No. 11William D. Gunter, Fredericton, lumberman.
No. 12Eben Staples, Fredericton, druggist.
The Daily Gleaner Friday, January 23, 1925
Little New Evidence For Crown Against
Williams Forecast by ProsecutorBrother of Dead Girls' The Only New Witness Promised
SLOW PROGRESS MADE IN CASE
Evening Session After Day Had Been Taken Up Picking Jury
When the York Sittings of the Supreme Court of New Brunswick wasadjourned by Mr. Justice LeBlanc at 8:05 o'clock last evening after three sessionsyesterday the jury of twelve men to hear the case of Harry D. Williams, charged with themurder of his half sister's two two daughters, Cynthia and Necia Foster, aged 14 and 10years, at Fosterville on November 25th last had been completed and Crown Prosecutor PeterJ. Hughes, K.C., had outlined the Crown's case to the jury.
Thirty-one of the forty-one petit jurors who had been summoned hadbeen called and examined before the twelve who will decide Williams' fate were chosen andthe whole day until 6 p.m., was taken up with the selection of the jury. Refused anapplication for adjournment of 24 hours in order to consult Very Rev. Dean Scovil Neales,who has been Williams' spiritual adviser since he was lodged in the York County Jail, aswell as medical doctors for the admitted purpose of preparing for a plea of insanity, FredH. Peters, who had been appointed to defend Williams, put every impediment in the way ofthe progress of the trial that legal skill made possible. He was sparring for time and hesucceeded in delaying the commencement of the taking of evidence until today.
The jury finally selected consists of twelve married men. Almost allof the jurors were challenged by Mr. Peters and were individually examined before triersappointed by the Court for the purpose. In almost every case the prospective jurymen saidthat he was convinced from what he had read in the newspapers that Williams was guilty ofthe murders and several of them said they would go into the jury box prejudiced againstthe accused; but finally when Judge LeBlanc took them in hand they said that theiropinions in the case would be changed by sworn evidence in the court. Only two of thethirty jurors who were tried were found by the triers to be not indifferent. Six of thejurors are farmers, the others are a fire insurance agent, a general merchant, a loomfixer, a drug clerk, a livery stable proprietor, and a lumberman.
THE CROWN'S CASE
Williams Referred to as Being Known Formerly as Darius Thornton
His Alleged Confessions Not Referred To
Crown Prosecutor Hughes reviewed the case which the Crown wouldpresent, at a special sitting of the court last evening for that purpose. He referred tothe accused being formerly known as Darius Thornton at Fosterville and later returningthere as Harry D. Williams. He emphasized that the accused had especially asked the girls'mother to have them go to his shack on the afternoon of November 25th, when they met theirhorrible deaths, and told the jury it would be for them to prove whether Williams hadcommitted "the most atrocious crime in the history of this county" or not.
Only one new witness was forecast by the Crown Prosecutor, inaddition to those called at the preliminary examination. Inasmuch as Mrs. Ward B. Foster,mother of the two girls, was now in a critical state of health following the birth of ababy girl a few days ago, Mr. Hughes said she would be unable to attend court and giveevidence, but one of her sons would be called by the Crown to prove that Williams hadespecially asked their mother to send the girls to his camp at the time they went there onthe afternoon of November 25th and when they met their horrible deaths.
Mr. Hughes made no reference to the admissions of guilt which GameWarden Claude Peck and his brother, Enoch Peck, swore at the preliminary examinationWilliams had made to them. He said he "would not go into them as there were possibleobjections to them."
Mr. Hughes, in opening his address to the jury, stated that they andhe were called up onto do a duty which was certainly not a pleasant one, but which must beassumed by someone in order that society be protected when crimes are committed. A veryserious, a terrible crime had been committedperhaps the most terrible which has everbeen committed in the county.
The grand jury in the fulfillment of their duty returned a true billagainst the prisoner at the bar for the murder of Cynthia Foster, one of the two girls. Hewould outline a few of the facts the Crown would attempt to establish.
Williams Relationship to Girls
Ward Foster was residing at Fosterville with his nine children ontheir farm in the Parish of North Lake. The two girls, living with their parents, wereattending school. The prisoner at the bar under the name of Harry D. Williams kin to thefamily, was living nearby. His mother, he was informed, was a Miss Thornton, and followedthat name when formerly known as Darius Thornton. His mother had married and a daughter byher marriage became the mother of the murdered girls, thus establishing a blood relation.
The prisoner had resided at Fosterville briefly under the name ofDarius Thornton. He had returned again as Harry D. Williams prior to enlistment andfollowing his discharge from the army in 1919 took up residence in Fosterville and in 1922moving into the shack where the tragedy occurred and which was built in that year. Here hestayed when not working and it appeared that he was not working much.
Here he was supplied with provision from the Foster family, wasvisited by members of the family and was well treated by them. Cynthia did most of thecooking for him. On November 24th last the prisoner came to the Foster house where he wasmet by the father on his return at 7 o'clock in the evening from his work. The prisonerhad objected to Cynthia at least and possibly the other children taking part in a schoolconcert. Cynthia had appealed to her father who aid in no uncertain way that she could go.Before he left the prisoner had asked Cynthia to come down to his camp the following dayafter school to do some cooking for him. She, whether jokingly or not, said she would notand did not apparently say she would when further coaxed.
The following day Williams was seen with a dog he had given Cynthia,and one which would defend Cynthia and the girls, which he asked one of the Foster boys totie up in Ward Foster's barn where he left it on his return. Again on this occasionWilliams went to Mrs. Foster and asked her to let the children come down after school.Unfortunately Mrs. Foster's condition of health, following the recent birth of a child,prevented her attendance in court but one of the Foster boys would be called to show thatWilliams had asked that the girls be allowed to go to the camp.
The girls returned from school and Cynthia and Necia set out for thecamp, clad as they had been for school. Hilda was retained at home by her mother. This wasthe last time, as far as could be ascertained, that they were seen alive. Mrs. Fosterintended to visit Mrs. Peck that afternoon and she did, returning early in the evening tofind to their surprise that the children had not returned. After waiting until 10 o'clockMr. Foster went in search of the girls to the camp which he found in darkness, the doorclosed but not locked. Opening the door, he discovered his two children murdered. While hecould not be expected to give much detail, he saw that they were both bound and stiff indeath. The camp was cold and there was no trace of dinner having been prepared as Williamshad promisedand Williams wasn't there. Williams kept a rifle in the camp and itwasn't there. Mr. Foster left the camp, raised the alarm and others took up the search.
The Sandbag on Exhibit
Next day Dr. Turner, a coroner, came to make an examination. Hewould describe the situation which he and the other witnesses found, how the two girls'arms had been bound and both shot through the head, while the little girl's legs were alsobound. Here Mr. Hughes paused to describe in detail the conditions revealed.
There was no sign of a struggle in the camp, but Cynthia woreglasses and these were found inside the doorway. A sandbag had been found in the camp on ashelf. "I know of no legitimate use such a thing could be put to," said Mr.Hughes, "but of course it would be very useful to hit somebody over the headwith." There was no evidence that this had occurred, however, added Mr. Hughes.Another set of cords similar to those binding the bodies was found on the floor while acoil of similar cord, a particular variety, was found in the camp. The elder girl waslaying on her back on the bed and the evidence of the doctors pointed to a criminalassault.
Two empty shells, similar to those used in Williams rifle, werefound on the floor and the rifle that used to hand over his bed was missing from its usualplace.
Williams was not found until the following morning although thecountryside had been scoured for him all night. When met he said, "Don't hurt me; Iwant to give myself up." When searched he had eight rifle cartridges in hispossession and a bottle marked strychnine with some white powder in it. He was brought toFredericton and charged with that crime.
During and after the period of his detention at John Foster's therewere various conversations with the prisoner. These he would not go into as there werepossible objections.
The prisoner now stood charged with that terrible crime. It hadoccurred in his shack, at the time he had said he would be there. It was for the jury todetermine whether he was guilty or not of this horrible crime.
The court was then adjourned until this morning at 10 a.m. after theconstable in charge of the jury had been instructed that they could take the jury, who arequartered at the Queen Hotel, out for a walk or any place they desired to go provided theywere not allowed to speak to anyone.
GIRLS' FATHER ON THE STAND
Will bring Witness Necessary At Public Expense
Judge Leblance Says Every Facility Will be Granted For Prioner's FairTrial
COUNTY TO GET WITNESSES FOR WILLIAMS
Mr. Peters wants Former Wife of Accused Brought from Houlton
Every facility will be afforded to procure witnesses for the defenceof Harry D. Williams, charged with the double murder of his two little half-nieces atFosterville, Mr. Justice LeBlanc announced here today. Witnesses requested by the defence,which is unable through destitute condition of the accused to bring these to court, willbe supoenaed by the Crown at the public expense to give evidence at the trial.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc, at the conclusion of this morning's session,which was entirely devoted to the examination and cross-examination of the first witness,Ward B. Foster, father of the murdered girls, enunciated the principle that, in a case ofthis kind where the accused was being tried for his life and in destitute circumstances,the Crown should, and if the Crown did not, the Municipality might produce any witnesswhether for or against the accused. He further stated that if the names of witnessesdesired by the defense counsel were given to him he would express his desire that theCrown supoena the witnesses.
Want Divorced Wife Called
This principle was laid down following an attempt made by Fred H.Peters, counsel for Williams, to introduce on cross-examination of Mr. Foster, the effectsof statements made by the accused's wife, following his arrest, in an interview publishedin The Gleaner regarding the actions and demeanor of her former husband. Mr. JusticeLeBlanc stated that he was not aware whether or not this principle had ever been statedbefore but that he would state it in connection with the case. The Crown had ... (the nexttwo or three lines are indecipherable) ... had been known before the accused changed hisname to Williams, be secured as a witness for the defence. P.J. Hughes, K.C., CrownProsecutor, stated that the Crown had made every effort to procure all the witnesses whoknew anything about the case without consideration of their evidence either for or againstthe accused. Mrs. Thornton had not been summoned because she resided beyond thejurisdiction of the Court in Houlton, Me., and as the wife of the accused could nottestify against him.
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