|The Fosterville Murders|
|Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 4 | Part 5|
Williams Stared at Ceiling
The evidence given this morning by the father of the murdered girls,occupying three hours and which will be resumed under cross-examination this afternoon,showed that Williams had changed his name from Thornton to Williams to keep his wife fromknowing where he was. He had borrowed $5 to go to St. John, unknown to Mrs. Foster, hishalf-sister, to enlist and during his period of service had assigned $5 of his pay monthlyto Cynthia, then four years of age and whom he called his pet.
A photograph of Cynthia taken by the accused while on leave togetherwith the dog which he had given her, was submitted in evidence by the Crown. He had alwaysbeen an intimate member of the family where the children called him "UncleHarry" but to neighbors he was reserved and taciturn.
Throughout the morning proceedings Williams gazed at the ceiling ofthe court-room shifting his gaze to the interior of the prisoner's dock from time to timebut invariably returned his glance to the ceiling. He showed no interest in the evidencebut dropped his gaze when mention was made of the horrible circumstances of the murder andwhile the father regained his composure as he went on to tell of the discovery of the twobodies.
WARD B. FOSTER
Father of Victims on the Witness Stand All Morning in Circuit Court
Ward B. Foster, of Fosterville, father of the murdered girls, wasthe first witness called to the stand when the court opened this morning. He gave thenames and ages of the two murdered girls in addition to that of Hilda, who would shortlybe sixteen years of age. He had known the prisoner for sixteen years, meeting him when hecame to his house as Darius Thornton with his wife, first. He believed the prisoner hadbeen born before the marriage of his mother, Ada Thornton. In 1914 the prisoner returnedto his residence as Harry D. Williams.
The witness then referred to a letter which had been received by thewitness' wife from the prisoner. This letter he had read, but it had since disappeared. Init the prisoner gave as a reason for changing his name that he did not wish his wife toknow where he was.
Mr. Foster stated that Necia was by 9 days old when Williams came tohis place the second time and he had remained until he enlisted in the CanadianExpeditionary Forces. Following three years of service he was discharged and returned toFosterville in 1919, residing with the witness until 1922 when he assisted Williams in theconstruction of his cabin. There Williams resided except when he was away working or atthe home of the witness. He only worked two or three months out of the year buying somesupplies and provisions and obtaining the rest from the witness' family.
William came to his home every day and the children went to his campfrequently, about 20 rods distant. Cynthia did most of his cooking for him. In Novemberlast Williams was living at his camp alone.On November 24th he saw the prisoner in his ownhome between 7:30 and 8:30 p.m., following his return from doing some carpentry work.Cynthia had appealed to him (the witness) as to whether or not she and Necia could takepart in a school concert in Williams' presence. He told her they could, but they could notpractice away from home at nights unless he himself could bring them home. He had saidthis in Williams' presence to let him know that he was quite capable of looking after hisown family.
Williams had asked Cynthia and the girls to come down the followingday and do some cooking for him. Cynthia said she would not at first but as Williams lefthe begged her "to be a good girl and come down."
The following evening he was a little later than usual returninghome. The girls, Cynthia and Necia, were not at home. He never remembered them having beenout later than 7 o'clock before. At 10 o'clock he started out for the camp which he foundin darkness and became alarmed.
Evident Signs of Emotion
Then with traces of evident emotion the witness continued, afterregaining control of himself, to describe how he found the bodies of the two girls. Hespoke to each in turn and found them stiff in death.
Williams, who had been gazing steadily at the ceiling during thefather's testimony, dropped his eyes momentarily at this juncture.
Mr. Foster, continuing, said the camp was cold and that there was notrace of supper having been prepared as Williams had promised to have ready for them.
Asked by the Court as to when Williams had said he would have supperready, Mr. Foster said he had told him personally on the night of November 24th.
He did not notice the pool of blood under Necia's head until he hadmoved the body slightly when he had taken hold of the feet and found her dead. She hadbeen lying partially under the bed. Cynthia, on the bed, had her face covered with acloth, arms tied similar to Necia. Cynthia's legs, however, had not been fastened. He hadjust touched her and called her by name. He had not moved the body. He then described thefurnishings of the camp, practically all of home manufacture.
The bed clothes were "ruffled up considerably." This wasnot in accord with its usual neatly made condition. Williams had a rifle which he had usedon occasions. He identified the rifle produced in court as that belong to Williams. He didnot notice whether this was missing from the camp at the time or not.
The father also referred to the dog which Williams had given toCynthia as a pup. The dog on occasions had interfered with anyone bothering the children.Witness produced a photograph of the dog and Cynthia taken some eight years ago. This wassubmitted in evidence as Exhibit No. 2, the rifle having been marked Exhibit No. 1.
He found the dog the morning after the tragedy in his barn. He thencontinued to describe the dress of the two children. Cynthia had a green plus coat with afur collar and a plaid dress. Necia had a khaki suit and a green sweater. Neither hadhats. Cynthia wore glasses, but he did not see them, her face had been covered by thecloth.
Mr. Foster had re-visited the camp after everything had been cleanedup and had seen a can partially filled with fine sand there. There had been no specialsigns of disorder when he visited the camp and he had changed nothing.
Williams on Intimate Terms With Family Had Always Shown
Taciturn Disposition to Neighbors and Avoided Them
Cross-examined by Mr. Peters, Mr. Foster said he wife and Williamshad been born of the same mother, that Williams was an illegitimate son having been bornbefore his mother was married to Nason, and that this accounted for the use of the nameDarius Thornton. Williams had not long been married, as far as the witness knew, when hefirst met him. He estimated his present age as 41 years.
In 1914 when Williams came back to Fosterville without his wife,witness addressed him as "Williams", knowing he that he had changed his name. Hehad been accepted by the name of Harry D. Williams and worked with him getting outpulpwood.
The accused had always brought presents to Cynthia, whom he said washis pet, as well as to the other members of the family on his return to Fosterville. Hewas not mean or niggardly in this respect and at Christmas and such times gave presents toall, but particularly to Cynthia who was at that time about four years old.
Once in a while, witness said, Williams gave him some assistanceabout the farm. He didn't volunteer his services much in connection with the cropshowever. Asked if Williams showed signs of laziness, Mr. Foster replied: "Well, Idon't know how you'd put it, he didn't work much." He had always been good to thefamily, however, he added.
Williams had been considered a member of the family and childrencalled him Uncle Harry. Always quiet, peaceable and mannerly to the family and had neverexhibited any trace of anger. He had been "very strict with the neighbors." Byhis manner he had shown that he did not wish to associate with them and when neighborsvisited the home he held aloof and did not participate in conversation. He had alwaysevinced the desire to keep within himself with the exception of the Foster family, bothbefore and after having been overseas. He had always talked freely with members of thefamily. "He didn't care to associate with any of the neighbors and didn't want any ofthem around."
Williams had been working for A.I. Fox when he left suddenly withoutnotice and when next heard from was in St. John when he wrote to say he had enlisted. Hehad borrowed $5 to go to St. John and told no one of his intention. Witness did notconsider this peculiar, as he knew that if Mrs. Foster knew of his intention she wouldhave endeavored to prevent him going. Williams had been regarded as an honorable man forenlisting. He had assigned $5 a month of his army pay to Cynthia, then 4 years old, andthe check came to the witness. Williams had said that she might as well have it as for himto drink it up.
Mr. Peters interjected to say that many men overseas had just reasonfor taking a drink in view of what they had gone through.
Williams was discharged from the army in Fredericton. He had shownhis discharge papers to his family but he himself did not remember having inspected it.His discharge had been an honorable discharge indicating that he was a man who had donehis duty. Witness thought Williams went direct to Fosterville from Fredericton afterobtaining his discharge. He had been heartily welcomed by the family, the girls getting onhis knee and clustering around him. He was regarded somewhat as a hero. He had broughtpresents to all the family.
On other occasions he had brought the girls necessary articles ofclothing such as coats, hats and shoes on different occasions. These had been acceptedfrom him as a member of the family. He had given Mrs. Foster a silver wrist watch whichWilliams said he didn't want. It was one which he had bought while a soldier and had beenvalued at $25 or $30.
Williams obtained the land for his cabin under the Labor Act. He wasrequired to clear 10 acres and to erect a house before obtaining the grant. He had notobtained the grant, although he had made application for it. The location of the camp wasrather a desirable one.
No change had been noted to the accused following his return fromthe war by Mr. Foster. Once in a while he would tell of narrow escapes and one occasion ofhaving seen a gun crew blown up while he had been the only member of the crew to escape.He had not talked much of his experiences except on occasions. He appeared to be the sameas usual following his return, taciturn away from his family.
Mr. Foster said he had not attached any importance to Williams'demeanor in the home as compared with his aloofness from the neighbors. It was not unusualfor Mrs. Foster to assist her half-brother in his housekeeping arrangements as the girlshad. Cynthia had never gone to his camp alone. Cynthia, on previous occasions, had saidshe wouldn't go to Williams' camp when asked to do so, and there was nothing unusual inher refusal on on the night of November 24th.
Witness said he understood that Williams had said the childrenshouldn't take part in the school concert. He didn't think there was much harm in this butfelt he should assert his rights with respect to his family.
The dog Williams gave Cynthia grew to quite a size. He was a blackand white dog and was not pugnacious or quarrelsome. The dog had lived with Williams thegreater part of the time since his cabin had been built and was now about 9 years old.
Questioned relating to William's wife, Mr. Foster aid she was awidow before she married Williams. Asked if she was good looking, Mr. Foster replied:"Well, we can't all see alike.
Witness was then asked if he had read statements made by Williamsformer wife after his arrest. He said he had not. He believed that she now resided atHoulton, Me.
The Government Alienist Examines Williams' Head
Harry D. Williams, alias Darius Thornton, on trial in the YorkCounty Court for the double murder at Fosterville last November, has had his firstexamination by an alienist.
Following the adjournment of court after the afternoon sessionyesterday shortly before 6 p.m., Williams was taken to Sheriff Hawthorn's office in theCourt House and there was examined by Dr. J.V. Anglin, Provincial alienist andsuperintendent of the Provincial Hospital for Nervous Diseases, who was brought here fromFairville by the Attorney General's Department and was present in court throughoutyesterday. All that could be learned about the examination ws that Dr. Anglin felt the topof Williams' head and asked him several questions.
When anything in relation to the plea of insanity on behalf ofWilliams will be taken up at the trial is the subject for much speculation. Mr. JusticeLeBlanc made it plain yesterday that at any stage of the trial there could be a trial by ajury as to whether the accused was sane and fit to stand trial for the crime with which heis charged.
The Daily Gleaner Friday, January 23, 1925
Williams' Admissions to Deputy Sheriff Ruled Out
Alleged Incriminating Statements on Automobile Ride From
Canterbury Station to Fredericton Not Admitted
Three Witnesses Evidence Completed
Women Weep But Williams Is Apparently Unconcerned.
"Nothing so horrible; he must have done it.'
Thus did Ward B. Foster, father of the two dead girls, describe theghastly night which met his eyes when he found the bodies of his two daughters in theshack of Harry D. Williams on the shore of North Lake, when pressed by F.H. Peters,counsel for the accused, their half-uncle, who is charged with their murders, to tell ifhe had ever heard or read of amore terrible crime and as to why he had concluded thatWilliams had killed the girls.
The words were slowly and clearly spoken with evidence of repressedemotion. The father then said that if he were allowed, he would explain why he concludedthat Williams was guilty, but Mr. Peters did not press him further and on two otheroccasions insisted that all he was required to do was answer the questions directed tohim.
An important point was won by the defence when the Court ruled outcertain alleged incriminating statements made by the prisoner while in charge of DeputySheriff Fraser Saunders enroute to Fredericton from Canterbury by automobile after he hadbeen arrested. After carefully examining the witness as to the condition of the accused atthe time of the conversations, the mode of arrest and the nature of the warnings given tohim by he officer, Mr. Justice LeBlanc said he would not at that time admit the evidenceof the conversations.
Williams Unconcerned; Women Weep
Throughout the afternoon's long proceedings which were concluded at6:45 p.m., Williams still maintained his apparently unconcerned attitude, gazing at theceiling of the court-room, unstirred by the crown of spectators who thronged about thedock. Only when the harrowing details of the conditions to which the two girls were found,with bullet wounds through their heads, their limbs cruelly bound and the elder girlgagged, did he break his calm, and then only was he observed to blink his eyes morerapidly as though the electric lights were bothering him. Twice he shifted his positionslightly and he rested his eyes by transferring his gaze from the ceiling to the interiorof the dock.
Greater signs of emotion were to be observed in the attitude of thewitnesses from North Lake, many of whom are women, in addition to audible sobs fromvarious sections of the crowded court-room. With lowered gaze the father of the girlsheard the horrible details recounted by the witnesses, straightening up from time to timeto follow the proceedings with regained composure. Hilda, the eldest girl of the Fosterfamily, who in all probability would have been the third victim had she not remained athome to care for the younger children after planning to accompany her sisters, wasevidently wearied during the latter part of the afternoon fell into a drowsy state withher head pillowed on the shoulder of a woman companion. During the morning she had twisteda pink handkerchief about her fingers almost constantly.
A little ripple of surprise ran over the crowd when it wasdiscovered during the course of the evidence given by Deputy Sheriff Saunders that one ofthe members of the jury, George Camp, of Fredericton, had driven the car in which theaccused was brought to Fredericton. He was named as one of those accompanying the DeputySheriff on the trip to Fredericton, and was identified when the Court asked if he was theGeorge Camp on the jury.
Three witnesses had completed their testimony and Arthur C. Wetmore,of North Lake, ex-Warden of York County, had commenced his direct examination when theCourt adjourned last evening at 6:15 p.m., until this morning at 10 o'clock.
Ward B. Foster
Evidence of Father of Dead Girls on Thursday Afternoon
Soon after the court opened yesterday afternoon Mr. Peters resumedhis cross-examination of Ward B. Foster, father of the murdered girls after having oncemore expressed his regret at having found it necessary to go into the trying details andto harrow the father's feelings by referring in detail to the conditions which he foundwhen he discovered the dead bodies of his daughters. It was a ghastly sight which met hisgaze, said Mr. Foster. Asked if he had ever heard or read of anything so terrible, Mr.
Foster replied: "Nothing so horrible." He said thatimmediately he thought the prisoner had done it. If Mr. Peters would allow him he wouldexplain, he said.
Mr. Peters objected, however, to the voluntary statement.
Williams had been to witness' home the night before, said Mr.Peters, kind and thoughtful, was it possible for him to imagine him as the fiend who hadcommitted the crime?
"He must have done it," simply replied the distressedfather. "If you will let me give my thoughts I will tell you why."
Mr. Peters "Never mind, Mr. Foster. All you have to do isto answer my questions."
Williams at Church Once
Continuing, Mr. Foster said his family attended church but that heonly recalled one time on which Williams had attended church; he had gone to Sunday schoolthree or four weeks prior to the crime. He had, however, gone to concerts andentertainments with the children for their protection and witness said he had noobjections to his doing so.
Thyrle Foster, he son, had chained up the dog in the Foster barn atnoon the day of the murder, according to what his son had told him. He, himself, had seenthe dog chained in the barn the following day. Williams had never been sulky, morose, orunwilling to assist him about the place.
Mr. Foster then described, in reply to questions, the general layoutof the camp, an the location with respect to surrounding territory. In answer to questionsregarding the highways, Mr. Foster said there was a main trunk highway passing thevicinity of the camp leading from the international boundary to Canterbury. He was askedif there was much rum-running over this road.
"That's something I know nothing about," was Mr. Foster'sreply.
Mr. Hughes objected to further cross-examination in this direction,as leading nowhere.
The Court observed there could not be much automobile traffic atthat season of the year.
Mr. Peters said he was through on that point.
"I'm glad to hear it," remarked the Court.
This concluded the cross-examination and Mr. Hughes commenced hisre-examination.
Williams' aloofness struck the witness as being an aversion tovisitors about the place. He was always reading books and papers. A year ago last fall thewitness remembered Williams having said he spent most of his earning for alcohol. When heassigned his pay to Cynthia, he said she might as well have it as to have it spent fordrink. In the witness' estimation there was a great deal of possibility of it going thatway otherwise.
Asked as to what he meant by saying Williams had been severe withthe Farrell boys, Mr. Foster said he had talked to the girls against them, that they wereunfit to associate with, and so on. The ages of the boys were twenty, eighteen, andsixteennear the ages of the girls themselves.
On re-cross-examination by Mr. Peters, Mr. Foster said he did notexamine the teapot or teakettle to see if they were empty until Friday morning. He had notlooked at them Tuesday when he found his girls, and inferred from his finding on Fridaythat they were empty on Tuesday and that no supper had been served on Tuesday.
Hilda Foster, Sister of Dead Girls the Second Witness
Called by the Crown Dog Was Children's Protector
Hilda Foster, sixteen year old sister of the murdered girls, was thesecond witness called by the crown. She recollected Williams' visit to their home on thenight previous to the tragedy. She heard Williams ask Cynthia to sit on his knee and heardCynthia's refusal.
Cynthia and Necia returned from school at 4:20 p.m. She was notaware of Cynthia's intention to go to the camp. Both girls, Cynthia and Necia, had gone tothe camp after having spoken with their mother. She described their dress. Cynthia wearinga green plaid coat with fur collar and a plaid skirt. Necia with a knicker suit of khakiand green sweater. By "knicker suit" she said she meant a loose suit withbloomers. The girls failed to return.
Always when going to the camp the girls and she herself had returnedbefore 7 o'clock. Cynthia used to go to do the cooking about once a week, cooking cake andbread and occasionally pies. Williams would cook biscuits for himself.
Hilda also corroborated the evidence given by her father withrespect to the attitude adopted by the dog as a protector of the children.
On across-examination Hilda said she could remember her Uncle Henry(Sic) when he had gone to the war, when she was five or six years old. She remembered ofletters having been received during his absence and of notes to Cynthia.
She did not remember of her uncle bringing home any presents on hisreturn from overseas. He had given her mother a watch, however, She did not remember ofhaving received any gifts herself. He appeared to be more attentive to Cynthia as sherecollected.
Describing visits to Williams' camp, Hilda said that they often wentthere and sometimes a cousin, Peggy Wood, fourteen years of age accompanied them. Shenever heard of any of the boys of the neighborhood being ill-treated there. She alwaysthought a lot of her uncle until the murder, and her sisters as little girls had often saton his knee, although she, herself, did not remember of having done so. While her unclehad never given her any presents he had given her money. He had given her a dollar on July12th last, as well as some of the others, for a picnic celebration. He had also taken themto a Halloween concert last fall as on many other occasions, when he had paid theiradmissions.
If this had not occurred she would have been one of the first toresent any unkind remarks about her uncle.
Mr. Peters referred again during the course of his cross-examinationto the dog, whom the witness said was named Towser.
The court remarked that the dog had already been examined even tohis teeth.
Mr. Peters replied that he would not have found it necessary torefer to his teeth if they had not been referred to in evidence.
Towser had bitten the Fox boy while she was present. He hadn'tbitten him on the arm, but the Fox boy hadn't been out for three or four days afterward.She then named a series of instances in which the dog had bitten other persons. The dogwas provided with a kennel and chain at the Foster place.
On re-examination Hilda said that it was customary to hold twoschool concerts each year at the closing of the school terms at Christmas and the Spring.For or five days before the death of her sisters Williams said they were not to take partin the school concert. She did not hear any of the conversation in this respect after herfather had returned on the night of November 24th.
The Deputy Sheriff Tells of Taking Williams in Charge
Exhibits Are Identified
Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders, of Fredericton, was the thirdwitness. He told of being summoned to Fosterville on November 26th where he found theprisoner, Williams, at Magistrate John L. Foster's house surrounded by a number ofpersons. He took him in charge and handcuffed him. Before putting the prisoner in theautomobile he had warned him not to make any talk as anything he said might be usedagainst him. He then asked Claude Peck, Enoch Peck and Edward London to come with him. Hewas also accompanied by George Camp (one of the jurors), his own boy and A.C. Wetmore. Mr.Camp was the driver of the car that had been hired.
They then proceeded to Ward Foster's where he left the prisoner incharge of Enoch Peck and Claude Peck while he had gone to visit the scene of the tragedy.Before leaving the prisoner he had not given him any further warning.
Witness said this was about 4:45 p.m., and he had viewed the bodiesthen in preparation for burial, a number of women being present. The older girl had abullet wound entering the right cheek below the eye, and coming out at the back of thehead. The smaller girl had a similar wound entering the left side of the head and makingits exit diagonally from the back of the head.
He returned to the car and continued on to Canterbury. Mr. Londonhad questioned the prisoner enroute and he had cautioned him not to say anything whichmight be used against him at his trial. He did not have any further talk with the prisonerafter leaving Canterbury and he believed that after passing Canterbury they had picked upDr. L.W. Turner, the Coroner, and taken him to Meductic where the doctor resided.
Conversations Not Admitted
Mr. Peters objected to the text of this conversation being admittedas evidence on the ground that the prisoner had not been properly warned and that anythingthe prisoner said could not be used against him. The prisoner had not been properlywarned; he had been cautioned.
In reply to the Court, the witness said the prisoner had made hisstatements after supper, when he said he was feeling better. He looked to be a man wornout and stupid with the cold. He did not appear to be afraid and appeared rational. Theprisoner appeared also to have his senses. Witness did not tell the prisoner that he was adeputy sheriff or a law officer.
The witness was closely questioned in this regard by the Court.Before leaving the prisoner to go to the camp he had told him not to talk to anyone. Hedid not hear anything offered in the way of inducement to "make a clean breast of thematter and he had not been threatened in the presence of the witness. He had asked himsome questions about the murder.
The Court then ruled that the prisoner's reply could not be admittednow as evidence as it had been given to a question asked by the officer. He would notadmit it now.
Resuming his evidence the Deputy Sheriff stated that he had receiveda rifle at John Foster's. He received it after the loads had been withdrawn. There weresix shells in the rifle. These were identified and offered in evidence as Exhibit 3. Eightother cartridges which had been turned over to him were identified and marked Exhibit 4. Abottle of strychnine and a purse containing a key, were also produced and numbered asExhibits 5 and 6.
The various cords and ropes which had been found on the bodies werealso produced and identified as those received from Dr. Turner. They were numbered asExhibits 7, 8, 9, and 10. The sandbag found in Williams' camp was produced, identified andnumbered, together with two empty shells, pieces of bullets and the prisoner's watch. Allof the articles, with the exception of the sandbag, which had lost some of its sand, werein the same condition as that in which the witness had received them.
The Cross Examination
On cross-examination the witness said he did not know if eitherClaude Peck or Enoch Peck were constables. They were with him when he obtained theprisoner. Williams had eaten a good supper at Canterbury where he had ordered his ownmeal. He appeared tired. The reached Fredericton about 9 o'clock that evening. Williamsdid not sleep in the car. Although it was quite dark when they passed Meductic he remarkedthat it "looked like good farming country."
Asked if he were in a position to say whether the prisoner had sleptduring a portion of the trip or not, witness said he had lighted quite a number ofcigarettes.
Williams had shown no signs of nervousness in the face of soterrible a crime. He had made no talk and caused no trouble. To all intents and purposesWilliams was unconcerned, as far as his own observation permitted it. He had made his owncigarettes.
The prisoner had been searched at the police station following hisarrival and some cigarette papers were the only articles found.
Mr. Peters suggested that it would be fair to assume, that in viewof the fact his personal effects had ... (unintelligible) ... by the officer, as if therehad been "a man there to talk to.'
"He didn't appear to be the brightest man in the world,"replied the witness.
On re-examination by Mr. Hughes the Deputy Sheriff affirmed that hehad told the prisoner twice not to talk before setting out for Canterbury and Fredericton.
ARTHUR C. WETMORE
The Ex-Warden of York County
Describes Condition of Girls' Bodies When Examined
Ex-Warden Arthur C. Wetmore was called as the fourth witness. Hesaid he had been Warden of York County during the past year and was a general merchant. Hedid business three-quarters of a mile from Ward Foster's residence and had seen thevictims of the tragedy enroute home from school on the afternoon preceding the murders.
He had gone to Williams' camp between 7 and 8 o'clock the followingmorning where he had seen the bound bodies, one on the floor and one on the bed. Hedescribed in detail the condition of the bodies and the condition of the interior of thecamp. He had accompanied Dr. W.L. Turner, of Meductic, who made a medical examination ofthe bodies in the presence of some seven witnesses. No inquest had been held at that time.
The witness described the examination and identified the variousropes and cords removed from the bodies by Dr. Turner. The little girl's arms had beenbound so tightly that her wrists bore the marks of the cord when she was buried. The handswere black and purple. A portion of the skull had been carried away from the exit of thebullet wound and laid against the floor leading away from the child's head.
Cynthia had her hands bound behind her as she lay on the bed. Herface was covered by a cloth. A strip from what the witness believed to be a seamless baghad been rolled into a gag and tied as tightly as possible into her mouth. The body wasturned over revealing a bullet hole beneath the head, through pillow and mattress into thewall. A bullet had been found beneath some feathers and mattress stuffing in the hole inthe wall. This bullet was produced and identified. Witness called it a "metal patchbullet."
Coun. Wetmore was still on the stand when court adjourned at 4:10p.m.
Williams' Ex-Wife And Another Woman Called
Formal application to have Mr. Ada Thornton, of Houlton, Me., andMiss Ethel Howland, of Lewiston, Me., brought here as witnesses on behalf of Harry D.Williams, charged with double murder at Fosterville last November, was made in the YorkCircuit Court yesterday afternoon by Fred H. Peters, defence counsel, and Mr. JusticeLeBlanc instructed the Crown Prosecutor, P.J. Hughes, K.C., to have telegrams sentrequesting the two women to come here.
Mrs. Thornton is Williams' divorced wife, having been married to himwhen he was known as Darius Thornton. She was for some time a cook at Clark.s Hotel,Houlton, and later is said to have worked at the Snell House in Houlton, where she liveswith Williams' son. Miss Howland lives at 114 Sabattus Street, in Lewiston, and she isunderstood to have written letters to Williams since he has been in jail.
This is the first move towards building up an insanity plea forWilliams.
Williams' Wife Won't Come Here
Mrs. Ada Thornton Says That She Would be
"Of No Avail"
TWO WITNESSES THIS MORNING
Today's Evidence in The Fosterville Double Murder Trial
"Positively do not wish to come be of no avail,"reads a telegram which Mrs. Ada Thornton, of Houlton, Me., has sent here declining to comeas a witness on behalf of her ex-husband, Harry D. Williams, on trial for the doublemurders at Fosterville last November.
Mrs. Thornton had been wanted to testify as to "spells"which she said her former husband had been subject to in an interview she gave soon afterhis arrest in which she also told of his having "acted queerly." It is notdefinitely settled what further steps will be taken to have her come here.
Miss Ella Howland, of Lewiston, Me., who first said she would behere on Saturday and then she didn't want to come here, is being sent a telegram to comehere.
EX-WARDEN WETMORE'S EVIDENCE IS COMPLETED
"If they hadn't been law-abiding citizens at North Lake thisthing would never have been brought here," was the curt rejoinder with which ArthurC. Wetmore, former Warden of York County, replied this morning to a query by F.H. Peters,counsel for the accused, at the trial of Harry D. Williams, charged with the Fostervillemurder.
Asked why he had examined the lake following his arrival at thescene of the tragedy, Mr. Wetmore replied: "I went out to see if Mr. Williams haddrowned himself."
Interest in the long drawn-out process of examination of the witnesscommenced to wane today. The number of spectators was smaller that usual when the courtopened and many left prior to the noon recess.
F.H. Peters, counsel for the defence, has throughout a thorough andcomplete cross-examination laid emphasis on the contrast between the quiet, peaceful andindulgent nature of the prisoner as compared with the fiendishness of the crime. Williamssat throughout the morning almost as motionless as a statute, the only sign of life beinghis rapidly blinking eyes focused steadily at the same point on the ceiling.
Two witnesses were heard this morning, Arthur C. Wetmore resumingthe witness stand when court opened. He was followed by Wesley Buckingham, a neighbor ofthe Foster's. The latter produced two cords which had been found in the cabin, and whichhad the appearance of having been prepared for a third victim.
Arthur C. Wetmore, of North Lake, storekeeper and former Warden ofYork County, resumed his evidence under direct examination by Mr. Hughes this morning whencourt resumed. He described the bloody condition of the elder girl's clothing as revealedduring the medical examination make in his presence by Dr. W.L. Turner, of Meductic. Theblood on the girl's underclothing had not soaked through from the wounds in her head, heswore.
On cross-examination by Mr. Peters, Mr. Wetmore said that Williamshad made his home at Ward Foster's. There had been a party given in his honor at WardFoster's when Williams returned from overseas. He had never been intimate with Williams toa greater extent than casual conversation while transacting business. He had never seenthe accused enter into general discussions with the neighbors in his store. Williams hadalways paid his bills, sometimes letting run for short periods. He had never seen Williamsworking about the Foster place.
Mr. Wetmore gave information regarding the size and extent of NorthLake. It was between a mile and a half and two miles wide across from Williams' camp.There was good fishing in the lake and a number of sporting camps on the American side. Hehad heard of Williams going fishing. One of the special varieties of fish to be found inthe lake were togue, requiring a very stout line for the customary method of fishingthrough the ice.
Asked if the cords produced in court might have been used forfishing togue, witness said the material was strong enough. For fishing through the ice,lines of fifteen to twenty feet were usually used.
Mr. Hughes interjected after the Court had urged Mr. Peters to hurryhis cross-examination, to state the Crown would produce a witness to show that Williamshad a supply of this cord for fishing purposes.
About fifteen days before the tragedy Williams had purchased somesupplies from the witness, including $2 worth of sugar, two or three tins of tobacco,cigarette papers, two or three tins of canned salmon, coffee and cream of tartar. Thebill, amounting to to some $4 or $5 , had been charged. Witness did not see any sign ofthese articles in the camp. He had next seen the accused after he had been taken toMagistrate Foster's residence.
Neither of the Pecks were constables as far as he knew. Claude Peckwas a game warden. He was also married to Ward Foster's sister. Witness could not saywhether the prisoner was under arrest at that time he was being held on instructions fromMagistrate Foster awaiting the arrival of Deputy Sheriff Saunders. He had also seen theprisoner at Ward Foster's where he had met George Camp, a member of the jury, as the sameman.
The cross-examination was concluded at 12 o'clock after the defencecounsel had exhausted every detail which could be considered during a two hours'questioning of the witness.
On re-examination by Mr. Hughes, witness said Williams had been anice man to meet. He had worked on different occasions in the State of Maine pickingpotatoes.
To Mr. Peters witness said Williams had cut about two acres aroundthe camp. An attempt had been made at clearing.
To Mr. Justice LeBlanc the witness said the accused had not appearedunusual following his return from overseas.
Wesley Buckingham, of Fosterville, who resides about forty rods fromthe Fosters, said he knew Williams ever since had had come to Fosterville. He had seenWilliams on the day of the murders travelling towards Foster's house with the dog Towser.
He had gone to the camp after the murder, and corroborated the evidence already givenwith respect to the discovery of the bodies. He identified the sandbag as the one found inthe camp and produced two cords similar to those found on the bodies. He had been directedto procure these from the camp by the Crown Prosecutor after they had been referred to asevidence at the preliminary examination.
On cross-examination Mr. Buckingham expressed the opinion thatWilliams was a sane man. "He's just the same as he ever was," he added.
Court Adjourned until 2:15 p.m.
The Daily Gleaner Friday, January 23, 1925
THREE DOCTORS WILL LOOK WILLIAMS OVER
Defence Counsel Also Asks to Have Dean Neales and Chief of PoliceSupoenaed
An application was made this morning by Fred H. Peters, counsel forthe accused, to have Dr. Charles MacKay and Dr. W.H. Irvine, of Fredericton, and Dr. D.R.Moore, of Stanley, supoenaed for the purpose of examining Harry D. Williams. He also askedto have Chief of Police Nathaniel Jones and Very Rev. Dean Scovil Neales, of Fredericton,as witnesses for the defence. Mr. Peters also requested that Williams' army medicalhistory sheet be secured from the Militia Department, Ottawa.
P.J. Hughes, K.C., Crown Prosecutor, reported to Mr. Justice LeBlancthat he had wired Mrs. Ada Thornton, divorced wife of the prisoner, at Houlton, Me., andMiss Ethel Howland, public stenographer, 114 Sabattus St., Lewiston, Me., requesting theirattendance as witnesses for the defence, as desired by the Court. Mrs. Thornton had wiredin reply: "Positively do not wish to comeBe of no avail." Miss Howland, inreply, stated that she was leaving Lewiston, Me., at midnight Friday.
The Court finally expressed the desire that these witnesses besubpoenaed, and a telegram prepared, requesting the medical history sheet from the properauthorities. Mr. Peters in support of his application pointed out that he had asked for adelay of the trial in order to consider the prisoner's sanity which had been refused. Hebelieved he was now in a position to have the accused examined by medical men if theycould be procured. He was not asking for a delay of the present trial at the present butwished to be prepared with respect to the sanity issue which might be brought up.
At 12 o'clock a second telegram, received from Miss Howland, wasread to the court as follows:
"Pretty hard to leave. Won't come unless I've got to."
"Tell her to come," Mr. Justice LeBlanc said.
Efforts to Speed Up Williams Trial
Efforts will be made to speed up the proceedings in connection withthe trial of Harry D. Williams, charged with the Fosterville murders, by holding a sittingof the Court tonight and by sitting all day tomorrow. When the court adjourns tomorrow forthe weekend it will stand adjourned until 10 o'clock Monday morning.
Last night the members of the jury, who must remain constantlytogether shut away from social intercourse with anyone except themselves until they havedetermined the fate of the accused and are discharged by the Court, were taken to themovies to while away the evening. They were conducted to the Gaiety Theatre in a bodyunder the supervision of Sheriff J.B. Hawthorn and two constables, where arrangements hadbeen made for their accommodation.
The Daily Gleaner Saturday, January 24, 1925
Wesley Buckingham, the fifth witness, resuming the stand yesterdayafternoon under cross-examination was questioned about having seen Williams in companywith the Foster girls at a Halloween entertainment. He was grilled severely regarding hisability to remember certain features of Williams' behavior and the condition of his campas he had seen it following the tragedy. He had procured the cords and fish-hooks onJanuary 11th. The camp had been locked then.
During his cross-examination he was questioned as to what he hadseen on the shelf in the camp when he had gone to get the cords. Witness replied that hedid not know. This caused Mr. Peters to state that he was a very remarkable witness andthat he had better stick around court for a few days as there would be a number of medicalmen present. Mr. Hughes said that this remark was entirely uncalled for. The witness hadshown a disposition to answer every question put to him.
On re-examination witness said he had seen the short cords thrown upon the shelf while the camp was being cleaned. He had found the others with fish hooksattached when he pulled down a box with the short cords in it.
Robert Hay, of Canterbury, identified the sandbag as that which hehad obtained from Williams' shack. Cross-examined by Mr. Peters, witness said he was sentto the camp to bring the sandbag to Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders. It had been almostcompletely filled with sand.
Williams' Confessions to Claude Peck Are Admitted
Peck Says Williams on Way to U.S. Boundary When Captured
ACCUSED PAYS NO ATTENTION
Court Room Packed Spectators at Evening Session
Confessions made to Claude Peck, a game warden, who took Harry D.Williams into custody the morning after the Fosterville murders, that he had killed thetwo girls and expected to pay the supreme penalty, were admitted in evidence last eveningby Mr. Justice LeBlanc, subject to objection, at a night sitting of the York CircuitCourt.
For the first time it was revealed that Williams was on foot boundin the direction of the international boundaryin a direction leading to MagistrateJohn Foster's residence, where he said he was going to give himself up to await thearrival of the Sheriffwhen he was taken into custody by Claude Peck, Enoch Peck,Millidge Wood, and Emery Farrell. Williams was heading for Forest City when the automobileparty overtook him on the road and he asked them not to hurt him, according to theevidence given by Claude Peck after a strong fight had been put up by Fred H. Peters,counsel for the accused, for the exclusion of this evidence relating to Williamsadmissions.
"I was just making for Magistrate Foster's. I thought he wouldtake care of me until the Sheriff came," the witness stated Williams said after hewas taken into the automobile.
Later at Magistrate Foster's Williams said that he "hadsomething on his stomach," and was afraid to take anything to eat or to drink tea orcoffee offered him because it didn't think it would "work well" with what he hadtaken. He told the Peck brothers what he had taken but this conversation was not allowedto be admitted. Williams had been sick twice during the detention and said he had takensomething during the night. A bottle marked strychnine, and containing some white powder,was found in his possession when searched.
Williams also told him, Peck said, that he understood the effect ofthe warning given him that he need not say nothing. "I killed the girls and expect topay the supreme penalty," he said, "but I didn't do what you think I did."He also said that if they had expert evidence they would find thingsjust as he said andthat he would probably plead guilty anyway.
The court-room was packed with crowds of spectators during lastevening's hearing. Williams still maintained his unconcerned attitude and did not exhibitany interest as the evidence of his admissions was given.
Claude Peck, game warden, Fosterville, a brother-in-law of Ward B.Foster, was one of the party reaching Williams' camp shortly after the discovery of themurders. No one was there when they arrived and he had looked in the window with the aidof a flashlight. No one was there and entered the camp and found the bodies. He believedhe was the first to enter the camp following the departure of the father to raise thealarm.
He thought there were some signs of a struggle, including amisplaced bench which was not in its usual position. It was swung around to the stovewhile he remembered it as having been kept formerly against the wall. The camp presentedan air of untidiness. The stove and the ashes in it were cold. From the camp they starteda search for Williams.
Their search took them to Forest Station on the Maine side of theboundary, where they remained until daylight, returning to Ward Foster's. While there theyreceived word that Williams was crossing the road on top of Green Mountain.
Witness got into a car with Emery Farrell, Enoch Peck, and MillidgeWood and they caught up with Williams who was traveling away from the direction of WardFoster's place and towards Forest City, the international boundary. He got out of the carand put his hand on Williams' arm and told him to get into the car. Williams told them notto hurt him.
Objections by Defence Counsel
Mr. Peters objected to any further statements made by Williams beingadmitted as evidence. He contended that Williams was under arrest from the time that thewitness had placed his hand on the accused and that he had not been properly warned.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc did not believe he would shut this out. Hebelieved it was admissible, particularly in view of a verdict rendered by a full bench ofsix judges in the Supreme Court of New Brunswick following a statement made by a man whileunder the influence of liquor in a police station, under arrest, who had made someincriminating admissions on a charge of highway robbery in response made to a remark madeby the officer engaged in making a search of the prisoner and who discovered a roll ofmoney hidden in the prisoner's trouser leg. He had shut out statements made to DeputySheriff Fraser Saunders because they had been elicited in response to questions addressedto the prisoner. In the case referred to the liquor had also been supplied by the policeofficer.
In reply, Mr. Peters quoted the decision The King vs. Hay, SupremeCourt Reports, 1904. He contended that Peck was a game warden and therefore a constable. Anumber of other authorities were also cited. From the appearance of the accused, hebelieved that the prisoner would be liable to say almost anything.
Mr. Hughes, urging admission the confessions, cited the rulingdecision of the Privy Council in the Ibrahim case, tried in Hong Kong, in which statementsmade by the accused to a man in authority had been admitted against the accused.
The Court interrogated the witness as to the action leading up tothe meeting with the prisoner. He had called to Williams: "Stop, we want you."He told him to get into the car after he had caught him by the arm.
Mr. Hughes quoted the ruling of the Supreme Court of Canada in thecase of The King vs. Roscoe, a lumber camp murder in which statements had been made by theaccused to an immigration official when served with a warrant for deportation.
The Court ruled that the evidence would be admitted subject toobjections.
The Confessions Related
Continuing, the witness stated Williams had said: "Don't hurtme I want to give myself up." Later in the automobile: "I was just makingfor Magistrate Foster's. I thought he would take care of me until the Sheriff came."All this had been said before any mention had been made of the murders at Williams' camp.The prisoner appeared quite stiff and cold, he said his hands were very cold.
At Magistrate Foster's Williams had been searched and eight 38-55rifle cartridges found in his pocket, a bottle marked strychnine, a pocket-book containinga key and a watch. An upper plate of false teeth, found in his jacket, was returned toWilliams together with a can of tobacco. He was held until the arrival of Deputy SheriffFraser Saunders.
During the period of detention there Williams was sick twice. Hevolunteered the explanation. He had refused tea and coffee and gave reasons. Noinducements had been given.
These were requested by Mr. Hughes and objected to by Mr. Peters.Mr. Justice LeBlanc allowed the questions.
Williams said "he had something on his stomach," and thathe was afraid the tea and coffee would not work well with it. He had stated what he hadtaken during the night.
This was ruled out by Mr. Justice LeBlanc, Mr. Peters objecting.
Conversations with Enoch Peck
Williams had also had a conversation with Enoch Peck, as a result ofwhich Enoch went out and brought in William's loaded rifle. There was five cartridges inthe magazine and one in the chamber. It would hold seven cartridges, six in the magazineand one in the rifle.
The conversation with Enoch Peck in this respect was ruled out, itbeing shown that he had questioned the prisoner.
Witness had also a further conversation with the prisoner with theprisoner in the automobile in which he was taken to Fredericton. This took place in thepresence of Enoch Peck. He had not heard Deputy Sheriff Saunders warn the prisoner.
Mr. Peters objected to the conversation.
In reply to the Court, the witness said it was in answer toquestions that Williams had taken part in the conversation.
Mr. Peters claimed that the accused had been warned by Saunders andthat the Pecks were acting in the capacity of officers of the law, delegated to do so bythe Deputy Sheriff.
Judge LeBlanc stated that in the exercise of his discretion he feltthat he should rule out the conversation. He was not in favor of admitting statements ofthe accused made in response to questions by officers. If the two men had not been actingas officers it might be different.
Before asking for a ruling, Mr. Hughes asked Peck if he had warnedthe accused himself. The witness replied in the affirmative and was asked by the Court forthe exact words used.
Witness said he had asked: "Why did you kill those girls,Harry?" He had warned him that anything he might say would be used against him. Theprisoner seemed rational, the witness said, and his response had indicated that he hadunderstood the warning.
The conversation was then allowed subject to objection.
Williams, said the witness, replied: "I know it. But I killedthe two girls and I expect to pay the supreme penaltybut I didn't do what you thinkI did." Witness said he thought Williams added, "The chances are I'll pleadguilty anyway."
There was a further conversation after the witness had told Williamshe might as well anyway, but this was not asked for by Mr. Hughes. No one had suggested toWilliams that he had done anything in addition .......
(remainder of column obscured; however, Peck had just about completed his evidenceat this point and shortly thereafter court adjourned until Saturday morning.)
(Here the paper had a photo of the shack, but too poor a quality for reproduction)Williams' camp, as remembered by Basil Boone, then 15 year old son of Leonora Foster whohelped prepare the bodies for burial. The location of the furniture is as Basil recalls;the location of the bullets, glasses, and bodies as described in the Coronor's report. Thecamp sat on the shore of Grand Lake looking across lake towards Blueberry Point. It hadbeen built in 1921 by Williams and Ward Foster and situated a half mile from Foster's.
The Daily Gleaner Saturday, January 24, 1925
Claude Peck on The Stand Today At Murder Trial
Cross Examination by Defence Counsel was Started
COURT TO SIT AGAIN TONIGHT
Williams Life at North Lake and Habits Are Probed
Cross-examination of Claude Peck, game warden, of Fosterville, whotook charge of Harry D. Williams the morning the accused gave himself up at Fostervillefollowing the finding of the dead bodies of Cynthia and Necia Foster, with whose murdershe is now charged, had not reached when court adjourned at noon today at the stage of theadmissions of guilt which the witness related last night as being made by the accused andwhich were admitted as evidence. But Fred H. Peters, defence counsel, had not conductedhis cross-examination of the witness. It was resumed again this afternoon.
The greater portion of the cross-examination of Mr. Peck thismorning related to the habits and life at Fosterville and the likelihood of his havingbeen affected in some way by his service with the Trench Mortars during his service inFrance.
"I have not given up hope yet, Your Honor," said Mr.Peters when Mr. Justice LeBlanc remarked that he had given up hope of limiting the defenceto material which might prove of benefit to the jury in response to a remonstrance drawnfrom the crown prosecutor, P.J. Hughes, K.C., as to the length of time consumed by Mr.Peters and the nature of the questions put to the witness. Judge LeBlanc stated that hewould not further interfere with the cross-examination.
Another Night Session
Judge LeBlanc has announced his decision to holding another nightsession this evening in an attempt to hurry the case along. The attendance this morningwas larger than the customary attendance has been at the morning hearings, but the crowdbegan to disperse long before adjournment, evidently wearied by the detail of the tediouscross-examination. There was a larger number of young persons present this morning thanusual.
Among the interested spectators in court today were Dr. CharlesMacKay and Chief of Police Nathaniel Jones, both of whom are being called as witnesses forthe defence.
Witness Was in 26th Battalion
When court opened Claude Peck resumed the witness stand forcross-examination by Mr. Peters. He was questioned regarding his acquaintance with theaccused, the habits of Williams and the manner in which he had cleared the land about hiscamp. Witness said he did not know what branch of the service Williams had served inoverseas.
Asked regarding Williams' rank and if he had ever been a private,Mr. Peck replied: "He must have been; he could be nothing less."
Witness, himself, had served approximately three years overseas withthe 26th New Brunswick Battalion. He had always considered Williams as a pleasant man tomeet, rather humorous and witty. He was not a man, however, he would care to have as anassociate. He was not a congenial companion for hunting or fishing trips. He was an"inoffensive, quiet chap."
The witness was then cross-examined regarding the dangers andhorrible sights to which Williams would have been exposed during his service in France asa member of a trench mortar battery such as has resulted in shell shock to many formersoldiers.
Witness agreed with Mr. Peters that it would be natural to expect tofind lines which might be used for fishing in a camp such as Williams' on the lake. Infact he would be surprised not to find some fishing lines. People would use various typesof lines ranging from fine linen to heavier kinds.
There was no road from Williams' camp to the main highway, but therewas a pathway. He would have to travel two and a half miles from the nearest point wherehe could strike the highway by going through the woods before reaching the internationalboundary where there was a building in process of erection by the side of the road.
Williams was between Ward Foster's and going towards Forest Cityabout a mile from his camp when taken into custody. This would have taken him toMagistrate Foster's.
Recess was taken until 2:15 p.m.
"Sherman said 'War is hell,' and I don't think anyone willgainsay him," remarked Mr. Justice LeBlanc, as he interrupted a lengthycross-examination of Claude Peck, the game warden who had taken Williams into custodyfollowing the Fosterville tragedy, by Mr. Peters. "I think it is a matter of commonknowledge that the scene of the battle fields were terrible, awe-inspiring and awful formiles around," added Judge LeBlanc. "Mr. Hughes is willing to admit and hasadmitted all this and I think the jury will agree."
There is no need to go over all this, His Honor pointed out. If itwould benefit the prisoner one iota, he was willing to sit until Doomsday, but it wasmerely wasting time.
Mr. Peck, who resumed the stand (Monday, January 26, 1925) undercross-examination by Mr. Peters, was being subjected to an exhaustive examinationregarding the use and effect of various forms of explosive shells and bombs from hisexperience as a member of the 26th New Brunswick Battalion when the Court interrupted. Mr.Williams then concluded this cross-examination with respect to the number of loads inWilliams' rifle and the discovery of the two empty shells on the floor of the camp nearthe bodies.
On re-examination by Mr. Hughes, the witness said he did not seeanything unusual about Williams different from the other men except that he did not carefor hunting and would not desire him as a companion on a hunting trip. Williams hadappeared quite rational when taken into custody. He had "made talk" to othersand the witness had regarded him as quite rational.
Witness did not recollect ever having seen cord similar to thatproduced in court. The misplaced bench in Williams' camp was not in a position which wouldindicate that it had been used at the table. It was four or five feet from the table. Mr.Peck said he could only voice an opinion as to what calibre and from what kind of rifle orshell the bullets produced in court had been fired.
JURY AND WILLIAMS WATCHED ECLIPSE
Opening of Court Was Delayed Until 11 o'clock
Because of Phenomenon
Members of the jury in whose hands lies the fate of Harry D.Williams, on trial for the Fosterville murder, observed the eclipse of the sun thismorning while taking their daily constitutional prior to the opening of Court at 11o'clock, to which hour Mr. Justice LeBlanc had adjourned the Court last evening in view ofthe occurrence of the eclipse.
Members of the staff of one of the city's hardware stores providedSheriff John B. Hawthorn with sheets of smoked glass which they had been using to view thephenomenon and which were then given the members of the jury in turn at Phoenix Square forthe purpose of a brief observation. Although there were a a large number of citizensviewing the eclipse from the same vantage point the members of the jury were forced toremain separate and apart.
Harry D. Williams, the prisoner, also had an opportunity of viewingthe eclipse while he was being taken from the York County Jail to the Court House. Heexhibited some interest in the occurrence although neither Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saundersnor Provincial Constable A. Ford Yerxa, in charge of the prisoner, were able to afford himthe convenience of smoked glass with which to gaze at the sun.
Crown's Medical Witnesses Differ as to
Whether Elder Victim Had Been Outraged
Dr. W.L. Turner, of Meductic, Who Made First Medical Examination,
Swears Positively That Cynthia Had Been Raped,
While Dr. B.H. Dougan, of Harvey Station, the Coroner,
Swears His Conclusion Was That She Had Not Been Raped
No Sign of Bruises
Evidence of the medical examiner and of the coroner, both of whomwere called by the Crown today during the trial of Harry D. Williams on the charge ofdouble murder at Fosterville on November 25th last, differed as to whether Cynthia Foster,aged 14 years, the older of the two victims of the tragedy on the lake shore along theinternational boundary between the province of New Brunswick and the State of Maine, hadbeen raped or not while she lay upon the bed where her body was found with her arms tiedbehind her back, her clothes turned up to her waist and with two large gaping bulletwounds in her head.
Dr. W.L. Turner, of Meductic, who had made the first medicalexamination of the two girls' bodies, said in his direct examination that he had been ledto believe from what he had seen that Cynthia had been raped and later, uponcross-examination by Fred H. Peters, defence counsel, he became more positive and said hisexamination of her vital organs convinced him that the older girl had been raped. The nextwitness was Dr. B.H. Dougan, of Harvey Station, who conducted the inquest. While notprepared to swear definitely, he said he had concluded from his examination and what hehad learned afterwards that Cynthia had not been raped. In reply to Mr. Justice LeBlanc'squestion he stated positively there were no signs of marks or violence upon the girl'slegs. Dr. Turner had admitted on cross-examination that the girl's underwear was intact.
DR. W.L. TURNER
Tells of First Medical Examination of the Dead Girls'
Bodies in Williams Cabin
Dr. W.L. Turner, of Meductic, said he was a coroner for York Countybut had never held an inquest, having officiated only in cases where he had been called incases of accidental death. He told how he had been called to Fosterville the morning afterthe tragedy where he had first been required to render medical aid to Mrs. Ward B. Foster,mother of the dead girls. He then described the examination which he had made of thebodies in the presence of witnesses and identified the various exhibits.
The discolorations of the hands and finger nails of the youngergirl, would, in his opinion, have been brought about by the binding of the wrists beforedeath, thus restricting circulation. The condition could be brought about in twentyminutes or half an hour. His examination of the older girl led him to the conclusion thatshe had been criminally assaulted recently. He believed that rigor mortis would be so faradvanced in three hours as to produce the rigid conditions of the hips which had beendiscovered by the father who had caught the smaller girl by the feet and found her stiff.She was lying on her side with hips and knees slightly bent.
On cross-examination Dr. Turner said he had no doubt but that Neciahad been in the position she was found when she had been shot. There were no powder markson the wound. As her head was a little under the bed, whoever shot her would have to beback some distance from the bed otherwise the bullet would have first struck the bed.There were magazines lying close to the child's head. Death would have been instantaneous.If the girl had been shot a few moments after being rendered unconscious from a blow overthe head from a sandbag, Dr. Turner did not believe there would be any mark left to showthat she had been sandbagged. He had made a careful examination but he had failed todiscover any other wound or mark.
Concluding his cross-examination at 5:20 p.m., following a thoroughexamination of the witness regarding his examination of Cynthia leading to the conclusionthat she had been criminally assaulted, and the possibility of the blood having had itssource from a more or less natural cause. Mr. Peters asked Dr. Turner to express anopinion as to the prisoner's mentality. Mr. Hughes objected that no foundation had beenlaid for this question and it was withdrawn by Mr. Peters.
On re-examination by Mr. Hughes, Dr. Turner stated that he had leftno finger prints or marks on her legs. Any such which might have been found were not theresult of his examination of the body.
To the Court, the witness stated that Cynthia was in in his opinionan undersized girl for her age. She was not fleshy.
DR. B.H. DOUGAN
Coroner Does Not Think That Cynthia Had Been Outraged
Dr. B.H. Dougan, of Harvey Station, said he had viewed the bodies ascoroner in the church at Fosterville prior to the funerals. He described the wounds to theheads of the two girls and gave the details of his examination as to the result of therumor that the older girl had been criminally assaulted. He had found conditions whichmight have resulted from several causes.
Recess was then taken until 7:30 p.m., the jury expressing awillingness to sit during an evening session.
When Dr. Dougan resumed the stand last evening he was asked by Mr.Hughes how long it took for rigor mortis to set in. He was not prepared to say how longfrom actual experience, but from his teaching as a medical man said that four or fivehours were usually regarded as constituting the period in which rigor mortis advanced to astate of rigidity.
Cross-examined by Mr. Peters, Dr. Dougan replied that with a bulletpierced brain instant paralysis could be expected of the body. He was not prepared to saythat rigor mortis would be apparent within a shorter period in cases of a violent death.In cases of death from wasting diseases rigor mortis followed more quickly according tomedical science. He drew his conclusions from his teaching and cases in general.
Dr. Dougan stated he was not prepared to swear that the elder girlhad or had not been raped. He concluded from his examinations and what he had learnedafterwards that she had not been raped.
To the Court, Dr. Dougan stated that there was no sign of marks onthe girl's legs. On re-examination, he stated he was not prepared to say what happened.
Dead Girls' Father Upset, But Williams is Unmoved
Wesley Buckingham, a neighbor of the the Foster family, produced twocords while was on the witness stand yesterday afternoon which he had found in Williams'camp on the shore of the North Lake on January 11th which he Crown sought to make itappear had been prepared to bind a third girl in the same way that Cynthia and Necia hadbeen bound.
Hilda Foster, their 15 year old sister, who had been expected toaccompany the two dead girls on what proved their fatal visit to Williams' camp, was incourt at this time. She sat most of the afternoon with her head buried in her hands orresting on the shoulder of a relative nearby.
Ward B. Foster, the girls' father, showed signs of having difficultyto restrain himself in court when Dr. Turner gave his evidence that Cynthia had beenoutraged with her hands bound behind her back and her mouth gagged before she was shotthrough the head. He talked vigorously with a woman from North Lake who sat along-side ofhim and repeatedly pointed towards Williams, who sat in the prisoner's dock staring up atthe ceiling, apparently unconcerned and evidently paying little attention to what wasgoing on about him.
To Take the Evidence of Mrs. Thornton at Home
Further instructions have been forwarded to Miss Ethel Howland, 114Sabbatus street, Lewiston, Me., by Crown Prosecutor, P.J. Hughes, K.C., to come here as awitness for the defence of Harry D. Williams, charged with the murder of his twohalf-nieces at Fosterville. Miss Howland was instructed that it would be satisfactory ifshe left Lewiston on Monday for Fredericton.
It was stated today that the evidence of Mrs. Ada Thornton, ofHoulton, Me., Williams' former wife, who has refused to come here to testify on hisbehalf, could be taken under commission in Houlton, and it is expected that an applicationwill shortly be made to have this done in view of her refusal to come here.
Meanwhile a reply has been received from the Department of Militiaand Defence, Ottawa, in connection with the war records of Williams' service. The replydid not state whether or not the medical history sheet, which has been particularly askedfor, was being forwarded or not. In view of certain information given in the telegramreceived today the message was not read in open court but was submitted to Justice LeBlancfor his inspection.
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