|The Fosterville Murders|
|Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 | Part 5|
The Daily Gleaner Monday, January 26, 1925Thirteenth Witness on The
Stand When Williams' Trial Halted on SaturdayPhyrle Foster, Brother of DeadGirls and Only New Witness, Gave His Evidence- - -Purchased Cord Used to Bind Girls AsFishing Lines for Williams- - -Defence Fails to Attempt to Break Down the Pecks' Storiesof Williams' Confessions.
The thirteenth of the Crown's twenty witnesses was on the stand whenthe York Circuit Court adjourned on Saturday night about 8:30 o'clock, concluding thefirst week of the trial of Harry Darwin Williams, alias Darius Thornton, on the charge ofhaving murdered his half-sister's two daughters, Cynthia and Necia Foster, aged 14 and 10years, at Fosterville, on November 25th last.
The cross-examination of Claude Peck, who had related confessions ofguilt Williams had made on the morning of November 26th, just before was driven away fromFosterville to Fredericton, was concluded early in the afternoon, and his story wascorroborated at the evening session by Enoch Peck, cousin of the former witness. EnochPeck was the last witness on the stand on Saturday and he was not cross-examined beforecourt adjourned. However, Fred Peters, the defence counsel, made no attempt to break downClaude Peck's testimony of admissions of guilt by Williams.
With the conclusion of Claude Peck's evidence faster progress wasmade with other witnesses on Saturday afternoon, and another night session of the Courtwas being held Saturday evening. The only new evidence the Crown promised for the trialwas given on Saturday afternoon by Phyrle Foster, brother of the dead girls, all the restof it being the same as at the preliminary examination. Phyrle Foster was called to provethat Williams had come to the Foster home and especially requested that the girls go tohis camp on the afternoon of November 25th, when they met their tragic deaths.
Incidentally he swore that the cords with which both girls' arms andalso Necia's legs were bound had been bought by him last spring at Danforth, Me., forWilliams as fishing lines; they were bought second hand and had been used only once asfishing lines by Williams.
Tells of Burning Blood Stained Bed Clothes and Also the Girls' Clothing
Arlington Boone, farmer, of the Parish of North Lake, one of thosepresent at the camp when the bodies had been examined by Dr. Turner, was called and gavegeneral corroborative evidence regarding the condition of the bodies and the camp. He hadparticipated in the search for Williams and had seen him under guard at magistrateFoster's. He was one of the witnesses of the medical examination made by Dr. Turner. Hehad been present later and in response to general instructions had carried out the twoblood-stained pillows each punctured by a bullet hole, and had thrown them on the fire. Hehad also discovered the second bullet on the floor under the bed. He had seen a quantityof bedding or clothing burned.
On cross-examination Mr. Peters questioned the witness regarding hisacquaintance with Williams and the Foster family. He said that he knew Williams wellenough to speak to him on the road. He was well acquainted with Ward Foster but didn'tknow the names of the members of his family. "I know the boys from the girls,though," he added as an after-thought.
Witness was then requested to be serious by Mr. Peters, who remarkedthat he had heard of people who couldn't tell boys from girls.
He then asked the witness if he knew of Williams having been engagedin potato picking. The witness said he had. He had also seen him engaged with Ward Fosterbuilding a foundation for a building to be erected by A.I. Fox.
Mr. Peters suggested that Williams was an industrious man, contraryto the impression gained from other witnesses. He must have been working by the day athard labor on the foundation.
"I wouldn't say that," replied the witness. "I onlysaw him about five minutes."
Under cross-examination the witness said he did not know whether thearticles he had seen burned were articles of wearing apparel or bed clothing.
HOLLIS VAN TASSEL
The Youth Who Burst the Sandbag
Hollis Van Tassel, a youth who had visited Williams' camp,identified the sand bag as that which he had burst while testing its strength. He had laidit back on the bed where it had been left. He did not see anyone take it away.
On cross-examination witness said there was a reporter and aphotographer present when he broke the sand bag. It wasn't the first occasion he had seenit. The bodies had been removed at that time. A photograph had been taken of the sand bagbefore he had picked it up. He had not intended to damage the sandbag.
Witness said that he was fifteen years old and that he had visitedWilliams at his camp several times and that he had been well treated by Williams andwelcomed. If he had not been well used he would not have returned. He had visited Williamsat his camp a week before the tragedy.
Re-examined, witness said that he had never noticed any change inWilliams at any time.
PHYRLE FOSTER (sic)
Brother of Dead Girls Gives Evidence for the First Time
Phyrle Foster, seventeen-years-old brother of the dead girls, was the next witness. He said he (Williams) was at home the evening beforethe murders. He was there when came home from yarding pulp. He remembered hearing him askhis mother if the children could come down after school the next day to do some cookingfor him. His mother said they could go. Witness did not remember Williams asking Cynthiaif she would go.
He had seen Williams about noon the following day enroute to theFoster home. He had overtaken Williams at the barn. Williams had the dog Towser with himand Williams asked him to tie the dog up in the bard, which he did. Williams was at thehouse when he returned. He did not remember Williams say anything to his mother about thechildren.
Williams was in the almost daily habit of coming to the house formilk and eggs. Witness left before Williams did. Williams did not have dinner at thehouse, saying that he had already had his dinner.
He next saw the dog the morning after the murder still tied in thebarn where he had left him. He had seen the dog interfere with boys chasing the children.He believed Williams was aware of this because he had seen the dog make for Williams whenWilliams would be chasing and playing with the children. Williams had often had the dogtied in the barn but had always taken him back with him to the camp.
Witness said he had bought the fishing lines shown in Court forWilliams last spring at Danforth, Me. There were six; the hooks had not been attached.They were used for fishing togue, a large fish belonging to the trout family. He had seenthem in Williams' camp on the shelf.
To Mr. Peters witness said he and his uncle had gone togetherpicking potatoes across the line in the latter part of September after their own crop hadbeen picked. He returned before his uncle, who had returned two weeks later. Williams hadnot helped in picking their potatoes. During his absence the dog stayed with the Fosterfamily. Williams had worked once in a while during the mornings when it was cool assistingwith the haying. During the afternoons he used to go bathing, returning during the latterpart of the afternoon to help loading.
It was the usual practice to fasten up the dog while Williams wasvisiting the house. Provisions had been made for the dog in an empty stable where it waswarmer than in the kennel outside. He never remembered his uncle going back to the campwithout the dog. Williams had come particularly on this occasion to obtain some milk.
Three of the six fishing lines he had bought for his uncle had beenset last spring through the ice in the lake. Williams had only visited these lines onceand had taken them up at that time. Witness said he often visited his uncle at his campand had been there frequently with his sisters.
To Mr. Hughes witness said he had been told by his uncle that the three set lines hadbeen taken up. The lines had been used before he got them for Williams and they weresecond-hand. Williams had said that the watch he gave the witness' mother was new when hegot it.
JOHN L. FOSTER
North Lake Magistrate, the Last Witness Called at the Afternoon Session
John L. Foster, Justice of the Peace, a resident of the Parish ofNorth Lake, a blacksmith by trade, said he heard of the murder between 10 and 11 o'clockthe same night had had notified his two sons. The prisoner had been brought to his homeabout twelve hours later. He ordered him searched for arms. None were found, but a latersearch revealed eight rifle cartridges. He gave the prisoner no warning nor did he inducehim to talk. Enoch Peck had left the house and returned with a rifle. Williams identifiedthe rifle produced in court as the same. The prisoner stayed at his house until taken incharge by Deputy Sheriff Saunders.
Court then adjourned until 7:30 p.m.
THE EVENING SESSION
Mr. Peters Asks for Early Adjournment as
He is Ready to Start Trial of the Prisoner's Sanity
Requesting an early adjournment of the hearing of the trial of HarryD. Williams on the charge of the Fosterville murder Saturday evening shortly after theproceedings had been resumed at 7:30 p.m. Fred H. Peters, counsel for the accused, statedthat it was his intention to proceed as early as possible on Monday to test the sanity ofthe accused before the Court. The result of this trial would show whether or not theaccused was fit to be on trial for his life.
Adjournment was granted at 8:30 p.m., until 10 o'clock this morningby Mr. Justice LeBlanc following the application made by Mr. Peters and the hearing of thedirect evidence of Enoch Peck, cousin of Claude Peck, the game warden who arrestedWilliams, and a member of the party which overtook Williams enroute to Magistrate JohnFoster's, where he said it had been his intention to give himself up. Mr. Peters said hewas very much fatigued by the long strain and did not feel like attempting thecross-examination. Mr. Justice LeBlanc stated that he would be more lenient with Mr.Peters in view of his having agreed to defend the accused and the unusual circumstances ofbeing called in to the case as it was being commenced, than he would if he had undertakenhis defence in the regular course.
Enoch Peck's evidence corroborated that given by Claude Peck withrespect to the incriminating admissions made by Williams following his arrest. He detailedagain the statements made by Williams in his presence and in reply to Claude Peck that hehad killed the girls and expected to pay the supreme penalty.. Witness said he had knownWilliams for several years and that he was as rational at that time and ever since hisarrest as he had ever known him to be.
When court resumed at 7:30 p.m., Magistrate Foster wascross-examined briefly by Mr. Peters as to his acquaintance with the prisoner. MagistrateFoster sated that he recollected only having seen the prisoner on very few occasions, oneof which being that when he had come to his place to borrow some books from his daughter.The books were books of fiction.
Asked if he held court frequently at Fosterville, Magistrate Fosterreplied: "Sometimes business is very slack." Examining counsel suggestedthat fear of the manner in which he would deal with offenders brought before him probablyhad an effect on the number of cases, and the witness said: "Perhaps so."
Mr. Hughes: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning ofwisdom."
Mr. Peters, after concluding his cross-examination, stated that hewas very tired and requested an adjournment at 7:55 p.m. He said that just as soon onMonday as he could secure the witnesses he desire, he proposed to test out the question ofthe prisoner's sanity. He had had very little opportunity of communicating with witnessesin the interests of his client, having been in court from morning to night.
In reply to Judge LeBlanc, Mr. Peters said that he would try out theissue as to whether the prisoner was sane or insane and fit to stand his trial.
Judge LeBlanc then suggested that the examination in chief of thenext witness go on, after which the Court would adjourn. He requested Mr. Hughes to callas the next witness the one whose testimony would be the longest. After a few questionshad been asked on re-examination, Mr. Hughes called Enoch Peck, of Fosterville.
Corroborates Claude Peck's Story of Admissions of
Guilt by Williams on Morning of November 26th
Enoch Peck, cousin of Claude Peck and one of the party which tookWilliams into custody, related the circumstances leading up to the arrest of the accusedas previously stated. He had accompanied the prisoner to Magistrate Foster's, where theprisoner was searched. Previously, he said, immediately following Williams arrest,Williams stated that he had been on his way to give himself up.
Williams had been sick at Magistrate Foster's. He had vomited alittle. Williams had also had a voluntary conversation with the witness as a result ofwhich he (Peck) had left the house and brought back Williams' rifle from the woods.
The conversation was not allowed by Judge LeBlanc. Witness said hehad heard Claude Peck warn the prisoner after the conversation, but Judge LeBlanc saidthere was some doubt and he would give the prisoner the benefit of the doubt. Mr. Hughesdid not press for the admission of the conversation.
Enoch Peck, continuing, said he had found the loaded rifle in acorner of the fence in Thomas Kinney's field. There were marks on the ground about therifle. The grass was trodden down all around and deep heel marks as though a man hadstamped his heels down with considerable force.
He remained with the prisoner and Claude Peck in the car at StephenFarrell's when they had been left to guard the prisoner by Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunderswhile he had gone to visit the camp. They had a conversation with the prisoner, theprisoner answering questions. He heard what he believed to be a warning when his cousinhad told the prisoner that he didn't have to answer the questions as they would be used incourt against him.
A formal objection was made by Mr. Peters to the admission of theevidence, Judge LeBlanc ruling that he would admit it subject to objections.
Williams, in reply to questions, had said, continued the witness,"I know it. I killed the two girls and I expect to pay the supreme penaltybut Ididn't do what you think I did." Claude Peck had said: "Well, we'll have expertadvice on that," and Williams replied: "You can have expert advice and you'llfind what I say is right."
After these admissions witness asked Williams which one he hadkilled first. Williams reply was not asked for, nor the details of the succeedingconversation. Neither he nor Claude Peck had said anything which would lead Williams toreply, "I did not do what you think I did."
Court then adjourned until this morning at 10 o'clock.
The Daily Gleaner Monday, January 26, 1925
WILLIAMS INSANITY TRIAL STARTED TODAY
Doctors Swear Prisoner Suffering From Dementia And Confusional Insanity
Test to Decide Whether Prisoner is Fit To Be Tried- - -Dr. CharlesMacKay And Dr. W.H. Irvine Witnesses This Morning and Dr. D.R. Moore, of Stanley, ThisAfternoon- - -Williams Taken From Dock and Placed on Chair in Front of Jury.
Scenes said to be without parallel in the criminal annals of NewBrunswick, if not in Canada, were enacted at the York Sittings of the King's Bench of theSupreme Court of New Brunswick this morning when the trial of Harry D. Williams, aliasDarius Thornton, on the charge of having murdered his two half-nieces, Cynthia and NeciaFoster, at Fosterville on November 25th last, was taken from the prisoner's dock andplaced in a chair directly in front of the jury and witnesses and a trial as to his sanitycommenced.
The same jury who are hearing the murder trial are now determiningwhether
Williams is a sane person and therefore fit to undergo trial.Meanwhile thirteen of the Crown's twenty witnesses had been heard before the murder trialwas halted to have the sanity test. This unusual condition was caused through theprisoner's counsel not having been assigned to the case until indictments had been broughtin by the Grand Jury and therefore being unprepared to go on with the sanity test at theoutset.
Two Doctors Tell Results of Examinations of Williams
at York County jail on Sunday
That Williams is suffering from "dementia and acute confusionalinsanity," was the evidence of two medical practitioners this morning after a twohour examination of the prisoner yesterday in the York County Jail. Trial of theprisoner's fitness to stand trial on the murder indictments was commenced as soon as courtopened this morning on motion by Fred H. Peters, counsel for Williams. Dr. Charles MacKay,of Fredericton, swore that Williams appeared to suffer hallucinations, and that he haddiscovered symptoms of marked mental confusion, while Dr. W.H. Irvine, also ofFredericton, satisfied himself by stating that Williams was suffering from "dementia a total absence of proper mentality."
Williams moved from the dock to the chair within the rail withoutapparent interest and sat through the morning hearing with gaze riveted upon the wallbeyond the jury. He was as listless as usual and sat practically motionless.
When the first two medical witnesses had concluded, Mr. Peters movedfor an adjournment to allow Dr. D.R. Moore, of Stanley, who arrived in the city early thisafternoon to make an examination of the prisoner, before proceeding farther with thesanity issue. Adjournment was made until 3 o'clock this afternoon, Judge LeBlanc statingthat this was the last special adjournment he would grant.
Murder Trial Halted While Insanity Test
Is Commenced to Decide Williams'Condition.
As soon as court resumed this morning Mr. Peters made hisapplication for the immediate trial of the sanity of the accused, to determine whether ornot the prisoner was in a fit state of mind to be tried. In support of his application hecited the Criminal Code to the effect that this issue might be tested at any time afterthe indictments had been presented and before the verdict had been returned that it laywithin the power of the court to test the sanity of the accused.
In addition to his own conviction that the accused was not atpresent sane, Mr. Peters stated that he proposed to call two medical doctors residing inFredericton, Dr. Charles MacKay and Dr. W.H. Irvine, as well as Dr. D.R. Moore, ofStanley, who would arrive in the city at 1:05 p.m. He also wished to reserve the right ofcalling further evidence in the persons of either Dr. C.D. Farrar, medical superintendentof a sanatorium in guelph, Ont., and Dr. McTaggart, professor of medical jurisprudence atMcGill University, as well as a Toronto authority. He also suggested tests of Williamsblood and spinal fluid be made.
Crown Prosecutor Objects
Mr. Hughes objected that there was nothing before the court whichthe court could grant such a trial. He thought the appearance of the accused was that of anormal man.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc then stated that it was not his wish to try aninsane man and announced that he would grant the application. He did not wish his actionin granting the application to prejudice the case in any way. It was an awkward position,as he believed this issue should have been tried before the main trial of the accused.
The jury was then sworn to try the accused as to his sanity and Mr.Peters outlined the principle upon which the sanity trial was allowedthat no insaneperson could be tried or executed for a crime.
Before proceeding to call witnesses Mr. Peters said he would welcomethe presence of other recognized medical practitioners during the trial, should the crowndesire it, and suggested the name of Dr. G.C. VanWart and Dr. C.P. Holden.
Mr. Hughes said he assumed the crown could determine that matter.
DR. CHARLES MACKAY
Says Williams' Mind Confused, That He Doesn't Understand What is Goingon at The Trial and is Suffering From Confusional Insanity
Dr. Charles MacKay, of Fredericton, a medical graduate of TorontoUniversity, practicing for seven years, said he had taken the preliminary courses ofinstruction respecting mental diseases. He had casually observed the accused for the firsttime when he appeared in police court. He had observed him twice at the police court andhad examined the prisoner yesterday.
Mr. Peters then requested, recognizing the great responsibility hewas taking, to have the prisoner taken from the dock and placed before the jury andwitness where the witness could demonstrate his method of examination.
This was granted and Williams was seated facing both the jury andDr. MacKay within the rail.
Dr. MacKay was then asked to pursue his own course. Dr. MacKay saidit was very difficult to tell whether a man was sane or insane unless the symptoms werepronounced along certain lines. Dr., MacKay then asked the accused his name, but before areply was received an objection was raised by Mr. Hughes and Judge LeBlanc held it wasimproper to ask the prisoner questions in the presence of the jury.
Dr. MacKay then stated that any demonstration of an examinationwould be useless unless Williams answers could be obtained to demonstrate his mentality.
To Mr. Peters, Dr. MacKay said he had during his examination of theaccused made a general physical examination for reflexes and given question tests fororientation memory, location and moral issues. Williams appeared to suffer fromhallucinations morbid falsified beliefs. The tests had been made the same as thoseused in cases where he had been called to examine patients suspected of insanity.
As a result of his examination Dr. MacKay said he would say Williamswas "in a very confused state of mind." Williams had apparently not beenconscious of his predicament with respect to his trial. He had observed the prisoner forapproximately two hours yesterday and had questioned him along different lines. Theprisoner appeared very sluggish and apathetic. He had not been able to learn anythingdefinite of his past history from Williams. He had not questioned him regarding hisoverseas service. He had questioned him regarding the present trial and found thatWilliams appeared not to understand what was taking place.
Asked what mental symptoms he had discovered, Dr. MacKay repliedthat he had found disorientation, hesitancy of speech, apparent difficulty of collectinghis thoughts and marked mental confusion. The symptoms pointed to the conclusion that theman was suffering from acute confusional insanity.
Dr. MacKay said that blood tests would not determine insanity butmight assist in determining the nature of insanity on the predisposing cause together withspinal fluid tests.
To Mr. Hughes, on cross-examination, Dr. MacKay said thatconfusional insanity was not a new term. It did not apply only to rapid ideas but also toa "stuporous state." There was a form of confusional insanity in which there wasrapid flow of ideas. Either was a symptom of the two forms. The examination had been madein the presence of Dr. W. H. Irvine and F.H. Peters, counsel for the accused.
Witness admitted that it would be very difficult to determinewhether the man was sane or not if he were shrewd enough to simulate the symptoms inanticipation of an examination along the question line but he had not depended on that. Hehad gone to make the examination with the belief that the man was sane and had not at anytime, in the police court or afterwards, expressed the belief that Williams was insane.
DR. W. H. IRVINE
Says That Williams is Suffering from Dementia Didn't know WhatWas Going on When Examined
Dr. W.H. Irvine, of Fredericton, was next called by Mr. Peters. Hesaid he had practiced 31 years, 20 years in Fredericton. During his study of medicine hehad taken the prescribed course for the treatment of mental diseases and had hadoccasional cases of mental disorders. He had first seen the accused yesterday afternoonwhen he had made an examination.
The examination consisted of a general physical examinationincluding the heart and lungs and superficial bodily examination. All the means ofinvestigation commonly used had been employed and the prisoner subjected to a veryintricate verbal examination. The spinal cord had also been tested for muscle control.
His conclusion was that the man suffered from dementia, an absenceof mentality, demonstrable in very many ways. This could easily be demonstrated to thecourt and jury if permitted.
Judge LeBlanc said it would be most improper to question theprisoner in the presence of the jury who would later be called upon to try his guilt.
Dr. Irvine, in reply to Mr. Hughes, admitted dementia was a verygeneral term. He was satisfied of a weakness which he denoted under this term. Theprisoner didn't know what they were there for at the time of the examination.
Mr. Hughes asked that this voluntary remark be stricken from therecord.
Witness said it would not be difficult for a person to simulatecertain forms of insanity but the question tests were only a contributory means ofdiagnosing a case. At this point the cross-examination became rather technical andinvolved. Mr. Hughes asking if it were correct to say that it was difficult to make thebrain work for the purpose of an examination. This was qualified by the substitution ofthe words "differential diagnosis." Witness and counsel clashed ratherfrequently during the process of explanation.
The physical examination had been conducted concurrently in order todivert the attention of the subject. Dementia was not a temporary spell, but rather oflong standing, certain phases of which were slowly progressive and must therefore haveexisted for some years.
Mr. Peters then asked for an adjournment until the arrival of Dr.Moore from Stanley.
Judge LeBlanc said he would grant a recess until 3 o'clock, but thatthis would be the last adjournment granted.
How The Murder Trial Jury Spent Sunday
The twelve "good men and true of the County of York" whoare serving as jurors at the trial of Harry D. Williams on the charge of the doublemurders at Fosterville, spent the weekend together under the care of Sheriff John B.Hawthorn and Provincial Constables William Warren and Charles A. Sterling.
On Sunday morning they went for a walk, crossing the St. John riverto Devon by the highway bridge and returning via the ice route. This gave them a goodappetite for Sunday dinner at the Queen Hotel. In the afternoon Sheriff Hawthorn chartereda big sleigh and took the whole party for a drive to Marysville; on their return theycrossed the river just as the Holy Rollers were baptizing some converts through a hole inthe ice. Last evening Sheriff Hawthorn took the jurymen to the Methodist church, wherethey listened to a sermon preached by the pastor, Rev. F.H. Holmes on the subject, GiveGod a Chance
Jury Finds Williams Sane And Fit to Stand Trial
Verdict on the Sanity Issue After Being Out 43 Minutes
FRED SEYMOUR THE FOREMAN
Dr. J.V. Anglin Declares Accused Not Insane But an Imbecile
That Harry D. Williams, alias Darius Thornton, is sane and fit tostand trial on the two indictments for the murder of his half-nieces, Cynthia and Necia,at Fosterville, was the finding of the jury last evening after an absence of 43 minutesfrom the court-room at the conclusion of the trial of the prisoner's sanity and fitness tobe tried for murder.
The case went to the jury at 8:55 p.m., when Mr. Justice LeBlanccompleted his charge, following addresses by Fred H. Peters, counsel for the accused, andP.J. Hughes, K.C., crown prosecutor, which were commenced immediately after the resumptionof court at 7:30 p.m. At 9:38 p.m., the jury was recalled to the court-room by JudgeLeBlanc, who stated that he wished to further explain his charged more concisely under arecent decision of the Supreme Court of Canada. Under this decision the prisoner was to bepresumed sane until otherwise satisfactorily proven. Previously he had stated that itrested with the crown to prove his sanity.
The jury was then asked if they wished to retire, but signified thatthey had already reached an agreement. Asked for their finding, Coun. Seymour, ofNashwaaksis, who had been elected foreman, stated: "We find the prisoner fit to standhis trial." Court was then adjourned until this morning for the trial of the accusedon the murder indictments to be resumed.
DR. G.C. VANWART
Declares That Williams Does Not Appear To Be a Normal Man
Dr. G.C. VanWart, a medical practitioner of the city of Frederictonfor thirty-four years, said he was a graduate of Pennsylvania University as well as DublinUniversity, and had occasion in private practice to meet with cases of insanity. He hadpursued the usual courses of instruction in mental diseases.
As an observer of the examination made of the prisoner during theafternoon he would considered him to be fairly healthy. He had impressed him as being veryindifferent and not clear-cut in his answers, a little mixed up and confused. He could notdescribe his physical condition and had expressed the opinion that he was fairly healthymentally. He had not examined him physically.
Referring to the hermit-like life led by Williams and his aversionto the company of neighbors, as submitted to the jury in evidence, Mr. Peters asked ifthis was likely to produce unusual mental conditions.
Mr. Hughes objected on the ground that this was a hypotheticalquestion. There was as much evidence to show that Williams frequented gatherings in thecommunity where he lived.
Judge LeBlanc stated that questions should be based on facts.
In reply to a hypothetical question as to the possibility of anenfeebling effect being produced on the mind by a hermit-like existence, Dr. VanWart saidhe did not think so. He was not prepared to name the chief symptoms of confusionalinsanity.
Dr. VanWart said a man should have a physical examination, a numberof observations. and a study made of his environment before a definite conclusion could bedrawn. From what he had seen as an observer of the examination made during the afternoonhe did not conclude that the prisoner was a normal man.
Cross-examined by Mr. Hughes, Dr. VanWart said it was possible for aman to simulate insanity at such an examination as had been made. It was advisable to makeseveral such observations. The indifference of the man and his unchanging gaze were notthose of a normal man.
DR. D.R. MOORE
Stanley Physician, Who Has Specialized in Mental Diseases, SaysDifference in Williams' Ear Indicates Amentus Stigmata
Dr. D. R. Moore, of Stanley, a graduate of the University of Vermontin 1879, who had spent the winters of 1912 and 1914 in the Post Graduate Hospital of NewYork, where he had specialized in mental diseases under Dr. M.G. Slack, the recognizedauthority of the United States, said he had continued his study of mental diseases eversince. He had examined the prisoner and found that the limited examination afforded thathere was a great difficulty in getting him to comprehend the simplest question.
He was satisfied that he had hallucinations, "that he had heardvoices when he was alone." Questions had been put to the prisoner along differentlines and there was nothing reasonable in his replies. From his observations he believedWilliams had understood the nature of the questions because he did not requestrepetitions. He hesitated in his replies. Witness said he had seen nothing to indicate anydisease of any internal organ.
Dr. Moore said he had noted a difference between Williams' ear whichhe regarded as significant and which the leading authorities considered an indication ofamentus stigmata. The prisoner's right ear had a so-called top out of the perpendicular.
Dr. Moore was not allowed to repeat the circumstances of a case inwhich this had first been drawn to his attention.
Continuing, Dr. Moore said that Williams did not appear to recognizeanyone present, including either his counsel or Dr. J.V. Anglin.
Dr. Moore stated that he felt satisfied that Williams' behavior didnot measure up to that of the normal individual. He would not consider him sane, judged byhis behavior. He would regard his case as approaching the type of confusional aberration.
To Mr. Hughes on cross-examination, Dr. Moore said he had beenengaged actively in practice until six weeks ago, when he had been forced to have his eyesfitted with glasses in New York. His sight had always been below normal, requiringtreatment of late. Since his return he had resumed his practice, avoiding unusual strainon his eyes.
Dr. Moore referred to a number of instances in which he had beencalled in connection with suspected mental cases. He had seen a case of lopped ear duringhis practice in which the owner was supposed to have shot a schoolmate. He had notpreviously been suspected of being a degenerate or insane. He based his conclusions thatWilliams had hallucinations on something Williams had told him and which he had accepted.They usually appeared at night, but he was not prepared to say whether or not it might bethe voice of conscience.
First Witness Called by Crown to Prove Williams is Not Insane
Mr. Hughes then stated in reply that he proposed to call one or twowitnesses, including Sheriff J. B. Hawthorn, to show that the prisoner had acted normallywhile confined in the jail. He would also call Dr. J.V. Anglin, superintendent of theProvincial Hospital. The fact that the man sat looking at the ceiling, he did not considerunusual. Where else under the circumstances would he look, he asked.
Sheriff Hawthorn said he had known the prisoner from either the 28thor 29th of November last. He had seen him regularly once a day while in the city. Therewas hardly a day he had not seen him. His physical condition was good. For the first fewdays the prisoner had not received the regulation jail fare of bread, water and molasses.After that the diet had had been increased by a regular dinner each day and breakfastrecently. The prisoner ate his meals and showed no signs of illness.
About twelve days ago he had seen the prisoner fast asleep in hiscell. He had also seen him last Friday night and on different occasions when he went toturn the light in his cell off. He spent practically all of his time reading books, somebelonging to the witness and some brought in. He had received and written letters which hehad seen. The letters written by the prisoner were intelligent. The last one he had seensome ten days ago. He had talked to him on different occasions after he had duly warnedhim, and the prisoner had appeared to be rational.
The prisoner was not allowed to smoke in his cell, but he hadprovided him with smoking tobacco. He had been permitted to smoke outside of the jailgoing to and from court. He had never seen anyone, however, so indifferent as Williams.
To Mr. Peters the Sheriff said Williams exhibited no concern whencommitted to jail or at any time. He never noted any change in the prisoner's countenanceon receiving any letters. Neither had he exhibited any surprise when visited in his cellby his counsel or the doctor who had examined him yesterday. He had never noted any changeof countenance in the prisoner in court on any occasion during the proceedings. He wouldnot like to say whether he was sane or insane.
On re-examination Sheriff Hawthorn said he had not"counted" Very Rev. Dean Neales as a visitor. The Dean usually stayed withWilliams for an hour regularly on his visits. Williams, he thought, recognized the Dean.
He had noticed that Williams sat with his back to his acquaintancesfrom North Lake in court, particularly when Mr. Hughes was addressing the jury.
DR. J.V. ANGLIN
Says Williams Not Insane, but a Degenerate, a High Grade Imbecile orMoron, Knowing Right from Wrong
Dr. J.V. Anglin, of Fairville, superintendent of the ProvincialHospital for Mental Diseases, said he had been medical superintendent for over twentyyears and had over 700 patients under his charge now.
He had been present in Court and had observed the prisoner. He hadseen him for a short time on Wednesday in addition to being present during the afternoon.He would not venture an opinion as to his sanity but was not convinced that he was insane.The prisoner had apparently shown lapses of memory. They had been so extreme as to seeminconsistent with what he had heard and read. The only question he had failed down on washis age. there had always been a few seconds delay before answering questions. The weightof evidence given by Sheriff Hawthorn would be towards sanitymental cases read verylittle. He would not attach much weight to his sleeping well. He thought he was takingmore of the court proceedings than was suspected.
What he said and what he did would have to be considered together injudging his mental condition. There was no restlessness.
Dr. Anglin admitted that confusional insanity was regarded as a formof dementia, which had been known for about twenty years. It was akin to delirium such asa fever patient would have, a fragmentary procession of ideas. In some cases there was arush of ideas while in others there was difficulty in grasping ideas. He had seen nothingin the conduct of the prisoner to conclude that he was suffering from such a form ofinsanity.
On cross-examination Dr. Anglin said he had examined the prisoner inthe custody of his guardian on Wednesday last, in one of the rooms in the Court House. Hehad asked him regarding his health and had received intelligent answers. He did notbelieve Williams knew who he was. He had examined his eyes but not his mouth althoughaware that he had a plate of false teeth.
Of the 700 patients under his charge there were six who wereregarded as criminally insane. They had been charged with murder. he did not look on theprisoner as insane but as a degenerate, a high class imbecile, or moroninferior tothe average man but capable of distinguishing right from wrong. The prisoner he believedto be interested when questions were asked and he believed he had paused coolly in makinghis answers.
Witness said he had been agreeably disappointed in the prisoner'sface. He did not expect to find such a good face on one charged with such a brutal crime.He had expected a hardened face.
Lapse of memory would be one of the symptoms of confusionalinsanity; lack of ability to conclude his sentences. Hallucinations would also be one ofthe symptoms, but he understood the prisoner slept well.
Dr. Anglin, in response to a question, said he believed it possiblefor the prisoner to be feigning his present condition of indifference. He thought possiblyhe was expecting a certain end and was resigned to his fate.
Dr. Anglin said he had graduated from Queen's University in 1887 andhad attended Edinburgh University for eight months. He had practical experience withinsane persons ever since he was twelve years of age, his father having been an asylumofficial.
To Mr. Hughes Dr. Anglin said there was one type of insanity inwhich the pupils of the eyes differed and which was looked for as one of the symptoms. Hehad found no trace of it. If Williams was insane more time would be required to forexamination. He had found nothing to warrant such a conclusion. If there were anythingwrong he would attribute it to a defect from birth rather than a form of insanity.
To Mr. Peters witness said he had not recently read anythingcovering a case which would fit somewhat that of Harry D. Williams.
This concluded the evidence and court then took recess until 7:30p.m.
The Daily Gleaner Tuesday, January 27, 1925
Addresses by Counsel and Judges Charge to the Jury
Addresses by counsel and Mr. Justice LeBlanc's charge to the jurywere made as soon as the court resumed last evening to conclude the hearing of thequestion of Harry D. William's insanity.
Mr. Hughes, addressing the jury, said an insanity plea was "usually trotted out asa last hope in murder cases, particularly has this been carried to a great degree in theUnited States," he said. It was to be presumed the accused was sane and the defencewere required to prove him insane on a plea of insanity. If this were not established thenthe presumption of insanity was taken as correct.
Insanity pleas were not carried to such extremes in Canadian courtsas in the United States. Men might be tried and found guilty when every syllable that hadbeen uttered that day might be true. It was for the jury to determine whether the prisonerwas able to be placed upon trial.
Witnesses had been produced, who, after an examination of almost twohours, had found the accused had a confused head; he had given them confused answers. Whatother kind of answers could be expected if the accused desired to set up a defence? Dr.Anglin, above all men in the province, had said it was no good. Dr. MacKay had called it"confusional insanity." This might be true of many men who had some mentalaberration or other. Dr. Irvine said Williams suffered from a kind of"dementia," a term covering anything from insanity to old age. Dr. VanWart saidhe could not give an opinion. Dr. Moore agreed that there was confusion. the jury had allseen Dr. Moore, said Mr. Hughes, and it was hoped his health would shortly improve. He didnot believe Dr. Moore to be in a fit state of health to be brought into court.
Dr. Anglin pointed out that he had six patients in the asylum whowere criminally insane, but all of them had shown some emotion in the box. Did Williamsshow any emotion? Did he look into the eyes of the witnesses? Did he look at hisacquaintances from North Lake or the people about him? Did he look anywhere but where itmight be expected under the circumstances?
Sheriff Hawthorn's evidence showed that he ate well, slept well andwrote letters which showed no trace of insanity. Dean Neales, who visited the prisonerweek after week, had been in court but had not been called.
Mr. Peters interjected that he had not requested the Dean's presenceas a witness to the prisoner's sanity.
Mr. Hughes asked for what had he been called if not for this."Oh, gentlemen," he concluded, "it is too slim this defence built upduring the trial. It is like building bricks without straw."
THE DEFENCE COUNSEL
Fred H. Peters' Vigorous Appeal to Jury to Find Williams Insane
Mr. Peters, referred to the stress laid by the Crown Prosecutionupon the fact that the issue of insanity had been brought up during the trial. As theyshould well know he did not have an opportunity of doing so previously. He had been calledin to defend the accused without previous notice and had been granted a few brief hours toconsider his defence. A 24-hour delay to further prepare his case had not been granted, sowhen the Crown Prosecutor stated that the sanity trial had been sprung as a surprise andwithout warning he submitted that this was not in accordance with the facts. He hadendeavored to have the doctors present as early as possible but had not been able toprocure anyone until he had through the Court obtained their services by supoena.
Dr. Moore he believed would be regarded well by all. He had beenknown as having given evidence at other places. Dr. Moore had arrived that day on theC.N.R. express. He did not go to a hotel but had come directly to the duty for which hehad been summoned.
Mr. Peters submitted that the defence was not required to show theaccused insane beyond all shadow of a doubt. If the defence were successful in showing himinsane that was all required by law. No insane man could under the code be tried,sentenced or executed while insane, or not in his right mind.
He had on occasion to be in the police court on other business whenWilliams had been arraigned before Judge Limerick. He had been impressed by his conditionand the remarks of those around him relating to the man's mental state at the time.
Mr. Hughes objected that Mr. Peters was speaking of something not inthe evidence.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc stated that remarks should be confined to theevidence.
Mr. Peters, continuing, referred to the persistent indifferentattitude of the accused, maintained ever since his arrest. Dr. MacKay who had been broughtin as an independent medical practitioner, had not examined the prisoner before beingconducted to the jail on Sunday. He had given him a thorough examination for a long time,as carefully as the facilities of the place permitted. He himself had been greatlyimpressed with the thoroughness of the examination. Dr. MacKay had stated as hisconclusion that Williams was suffering from "acute confusional insanity." Heknew from his own experience that there were many types of insanity. The Crown Prosecutorexpressed his belief that Williams was normal because he sat quietly gazing at theceiling. Did he expect him to be chained, to gnash his teeth or to jump about to establishhis insanity? He asked the jury to consider the horrible scene that had been re-enactedfrom the witness box. Has anyone ever heard of a more horrible crime? Has anyone ever readof a more terrible thing in the up-to-date press which scarcely missed anything? Had theaccused changed countenance in the face of all this, charged with the awful murder of histwo nieces whom he had loved and nurtured? "Can you gentlemen," he asked,"see him sit here from day today and believe that he is feigning insanity, feign hisappearance in the face of all this? How is it possible that this man is not insane?"
The Examination of the Accused
None of the doctors would have attended except by supoena. They hadno interest in the case and would not have appeared unless he had started the legalmachinery necessary. They had been brought to give their candid opinion as to whether theman was sane or insane. Surely they could not disbelieve Dr. MacKay who said Williams wasnot sane, one of the men making a most thorough examination covering almost two hours. Dr.MacKay had given a proper examination as a man who knew how. He had given his independentconclusion. He was convinced the man was insane. Dr. Irvine, likewise, was convinced theman suffered from dementia.
Dr. VanWart and Dr. Moore had also examined the prisoner in thepresence of Dr. Anglin, who had been present at his (Mr. Peter's) invitation. On the standDr. Anglin said he did not remember the answers given to all questions. Dr. VanWart hadsaid the man was not sane, as the result of a few minutes examination. Did the jurybelieve Dr. VanWart would say Williams was insane if he were sane? He did not know whatDr. VanWart's evidence would be; he had not known until he had put him on the stand.
Dr. Moore was a well-known practitioner in the Maritime Provincesand Canada. He had taken post graduate work in mental diseases; he had an opportunity ofspecializing in cases of this kind and Mr. Peters contended he was an authority. He wassomewhat infirm at the present time, but had today given evidence of just as bright a mindas he ever possessed. He said the man was insane and proceeded to give his reasons.
Considering the evidence of Dr. Anglin, a man of long experience atthe Fairville institution, Mr. Peters said he had been brought here as a governmentAlienist, a man supposed to know all about cases of this kind. Dr. Anglin had said,however, that he would not say, he could not say that the man was sane or insane. All hewould say was that he did not have the opportunity of making the tests he required to forma definite opinion. He said he had examined him for ten minutes on Wednesday last. Therewas no evidence of a further examination by Dr. Anglin except that he had been presentthat afternoon when another examination took place. When the Crown Prosecutor called thisplea a surprise, he had known all along of his intention to raise this issue, as he hadstated it on different occasions in court. Would it not have been a wise course for theCrown, knowing this, to have sent Dr. Anglin to the jail for a further examination of theaccused?
"I submit gentlemen, and I don't want to bore you, that you asa jury of reasonable men cannot find but that this man is not sane," contended Mr.Peters. "Why has not Dr. Anglin made up his mind as to whether this man is sane ornot? Gentlemen, I leave it to you."
THE JUDGE'S CHARGE
Mr. Justice LeBlanc Tells Jury Not to Allow Sanity Issue to Be MadeConvenient Shelter to Avoid Trial
Mr. Justice LeBlanc, charging the jury, hoped that the members ofthe jury understood the issue they were to try. In order to avoid any confusion he definedit again. The issue of the prisoner's guilt of the murders had been temporarily abandoned.What they now had to decide only was that of whether or not the prisoner in the dock wassane or insane and therefore fit or unfit to stand his trial.
It was a peculiar situation due to the circumstances under which Mr.Peters had assumed the defence of the prisoner. He had not been ready to place his plea ofinsanity before the Court which in the ordinary course of events would have been firstdetermined before dealing with the prisoner's guilt. He had reserved this question for Mr.Peters and it now came before the jury to be decided. It was one of the laudable qualitiesof lawyers that in cases of this kind that defence counsel, such as Mr. Peters, wererequired to work for welcome.
"I for one would be sorry to see the issue abused in ourCanadian Courts," said Judge LeBlanc referring to the "brain storms" raisedin connection with insanity pleas in United States courts in an effort to get the accusedby. Counsel for the defence had stated the principle of law correctly when he said that noinsane person could be tried, sentenced or executed. This did not mean all degrees ofinsanity, however, but only when he was insane so as not to understand what he was beingtried for. As he recalled it he did not remember that any one witness had stated that theprisoner did not understand what was going on.
In his own opinion, Judge LeBlanc did not believe that shortexaminations would suffice to determine a man's sanity. Lengthy examinations he believedwere required and even then in the case of a madman it was difficult for medical men todecide. The only man who had an experience of any appreciable length was Dr. Anglin. Dr.Moore, he concluded, drew his observations as a result of text-book theories. test bookswere all right as condensed information and experience but he did not believe the evidenceof the others would go very far to say that Williams was so insane as not to be fit tostand his trial. The witnesses from North Lake had sworn that they had never noticed anychange in the man.
Irrespective of all the doctors had told them, the jury was notdevoid of all sense of observation. They had the prisoner before them for several days andhe asked them to use their own observations. He felt that they were as competent as anyoneheard in court to draw their own conclusions and findings. He did not mean, however, thatthey were as well qualified by medical training as the doctors. Quoting the sections ofthe code bearing on the issue, Mr. Justice LeBlanc said that the Crown must prove beyonddoubt the sanity of the accused. While the defence was not required to prove insanity inall respect. A reasonable doubt he defined as an honest doubt. They must be satisfied thathe was or was not aware of what was going on. "If you think this man is not sane anddoes not know what is going on," said his Honor, "then we don't want to tryhim." Judge LeBlanc concluded by urging the jury to give due consideration, not tohesitate to find him insane if they so believed, but not to make the insanity issue aconvenient shelter for the accused to avoid his trial. "You are trying whether he issane or insane and upon that issue alone," he said.
The whole twelve jurymen must agree, he replied in answer to aquery.
The jury retired at 8:55 p.m., the addresses having consumed onehour and twenty-five minutes.
Williams Indifferent As Verdict Announced
The only difference which could be observed in the attitude of HarryD. Williams while the question of his sanity was being presented to the jury last eveningfor their consideration by both Fred H. Peters, his counsel, and P.J. Hughes, K.C., CrownProsecutor, followed by Mr. Justice LeBlanc, was a slightly dampened complexion whichreflected the glare of the electric lights.
While Williams was being conveyed to one of the ante-rooms duringthe absence of the jury, spectators who crowed around him said they saw him wipe a tearfrom one of his eyes. Williams had, however, shown a habit of rubbing his knuckles intohis eyes from time to time.
As the jury filed into their places in the court room again at therequest of Judge LeBlanc, Williams momentarily lowered his gaze to the interior of theprisoner's dock. When Coun. Seymour announced the jury's decision there was no sign of theprisoner's complete apparent indifference changing.
WANT MRS. FOSTER HERE AS WITNESS
Latest word is Mrs. Thornton is Preparing to Come Here from Houlton
Effort will be made to bring Mr. Ward B. Foster, mother of the twodead girls, here as a witness by Fred H. Peters, counsel for the defence, at the trial ofHarry D. Williams, alias Darius Thornton, charged with the Fosterville murder.
Mr. Peters stated that he required her as a material witness in viewof the medical testimony which had been given. P.J. Hughes, K.C., Crown Prosecutor, statedthat this was the first indication that Mrs. Foster would be wanted. Her condition, he wasinformed, following the birth of a daughter and since the tragedy was such as to preventher attendance. Mr. Peters said that it was necessary to have Mrs. Foster's evidenceunless certain conditions could be revealed by other members of the family.
Meanwhile, a telephone message received by Mr. Peters from Houlton,Me., announced that Mrs. Ada Thornton, divorced wife of the prisoner, was prepared to cometo Fredericton following the receipt of a telegram urging her to come at once. Thetelegram had been sent in reply to a message from a newspaper woman at Houlton to Mr.Peters.
"Think Mrs. Thornton would go to Fredericton if she thoughtwould do any good."
The telegram came from Mrs. Cora N. Putnam. newspaper correspondentat Houlton, who had obtained information from Mrs. Thornton soon after Williams' arrest inwhich she said Williams had "spells" and had "acted queer" when theywere married and living in Houlton some years ago.
The Daily Gleaner Tuesday, January 27, 1925
Williams' Trial on Murder Charge Is Started Again
Was Resumed Where It Stopped On Saturday Night
CASE TO TAKE SEVERAL DAYS
Speculation as to What Will Be Next Move to Save Prisoner
The trial of Harry D. Williams on the two indictments for murder atFosterville last November was resumed this morning from where it had stopped last Saturdaynight.
The same jury who are trying Williams on the murder charge havingfound him sane and fit to be tried, there was much speculation today as to what would bethe next move by Fred H. Peters, defence counsel, to save the accused.
It was that during the hearing of the sanity issue yesterday Mr.Peters named several expert alienists in Ontario and Quebec who he might wish to havecalled and it has been suggested that an effort may be made to show Williams was insanewhen the crime was committed.
It is said, in this connection, that at least one person who sawWilliams on the night of November 25th, apparently but a short time after the two girlshad been killed, is known and has told of his horrifying experience. If the insanity issuecomes up again it is expected that Williams' whole life will be laid bare.
Two witnesses were on the stand this morning, Enoch Peck, of NorthLake, who had completed his evidence on direct examination on Saturday night, beingfollowed by Mrs. Ida Farrell, wife of Stephen Farrell, a close neighbor of the Fosterfamily, who told of having discovered the imprint of a man's hand on Cynthia's knee whenshe was preparing the body for burial.
Enoch Peck, under cross-examination, said that he did not believeWilliams was feigning indifference in the prisoner's dock and, that knowing the man as hedid, that he appeared to him to be aware of everything taking place in court.
North Lake Witness expresses the Opinion that
Williams Was Not Feigning Indifference
The attendance this morning when the court resumed at 10 o'clock wasthe smallest since the trial began a week ago today. The area around the prisoner's dockwas almost completely deserted and presented a vivid contrast to the overflow audiencelast evening which heard the jury find Williams sane and fit to stand his trial. Theattendance increased during the morning, however.
Enoch Peck, of North Lake, who had completed his evidence on directexamination Saturday evening, resumed the stand and Mr. Peters commenced his cross -examination. He said he had not noticed the man who drove the car for Deputy SheriffFraser Saunders closely enough to identify him as George Camp, a member of the jury. Hehad been told since that it was the same man.
Peck said he had worked with Williams tow or three years ago in alumber camp. He found Williams sociable and a jolly man in a crew. He had been in thehabit of having him for a partner in the evening card games which followed the day's work.
"Forty-fives, I suppose?" queried Mr. Peters.
"No, sixty-three," replied the witness.
Witness was then asked if any test had been made to prove that thecontents of the bottle marked "strychnine" was as labeled.
"Nobody up there tasted it," he replied.
Witness was questioned closely as to what the prisoner had eaten ortaken to drink, if anything, before becoming sick at Magistrate Foster's. Witness was notcertain whether Williams had taken a cup of coffee before or after becoming sick. He didnot know of anything unusual being in the coffee.
Interrogated with respect to rifle calibres and bullet weights,witness said he was not an expert. He had been overseas but did not have occasion to use arifle.
Peck was then asked what he thought of Williams' appearance in theprisoner's dock.
"He appears to know everything that's going onfrom what Iknow of the man," was the reply.
Mr. Peters "Do you believe he is taking a deep interestin the proceedings?"
Witness "Knowing the man, I really do."
Mr. Peters asked Peck if he believed the prisoner was feigningindifference.
Witness "I don't think he is putting on much. He'ssitting in the most comfortable way a person can sit in that box."
Mr. Peters "How do you know? Were you ever in that box,Mr. Peck?"
Witness "No, but I was there when a gentleman tried itout last night."
Mr. Peters "Who was that?"
Witness "Do I have to answer that?"
Judge LeBlanc "Yes, go on."
Witness "Dr. Anglin; he tried it out from allpoints." [Laughter]
Witness was then examined as the the nature of the ground where hehad found the heel marks in Thomas Kinney's field where he found William's rifle. Themarks had been made apparently from a sitting posture. Witness had never heard Williamssay anything as to what had happened at his camp that night.
Following a fifteen minute recess the witness was cross-examinedregarding Williams' service overseas and the nature of his service.
To Mr. Hughes on re-examination Mr. Peck said the DivisionalAmmunition Column was that branch of the service which supplied the batteries withammunition from the base of supply. He had no knowledge of Williams' service except whatWilliams had told him.
To the Court witness said the direction Williams was walking whenarrested was not the shortest way to the international boundary. He had been between WardFoster's and Magistrate Foster's residence at the time.
MRS. IDA FARRELL
Neighbor of Foster Family Says She Saw Imprint of
Man's Hand on Cynthia's Leg
Mrs. Ida Farrell, wife of Stephen Farrell, of Fosterville, aneighbor of the Foster family, said she had been speaking to Cynthia and Necia Foster ontheir return from school the day of the murder. She did not see them going to the camp.She had seen the bodies at the camp the next day when she went to assist in the funeralpreparations.
She had noticed a dark bruise on the elder girl's hip and a littlered sore embedded in the flesh below the knee near the front of the leg. The latterappeared to have been there for some time. There was also a smeared, dirty-like imprint ofa hand on the right knee beneath the stocking. Witness did not see what had became of theclothing removed from the bodies except that they had disappeared from the foot of the bedwhere they had been placed.
Cross-examined regarding the condition of herself and the otherwomen present in the presence of such a tragedy, witness broke into tears and for a fewminutes was unable to reply to questions. The sore on the girl's leg had not been of freshorigin, according to its appearance. She heard since that Cynthia had fallen down andbruised her knee previous to the tragedy. The bruise also appeared to be of some daysstanding.
The imprint of the hand showed the thumb outside of the right knee,the fingers inside, all pointing downward. It was the mark of a soiled hand, there was noblood mark.
Judge LeBlanc said he could not conceive of doctors making anexamination without discovering such marks as described.
Witness said she had discovered the marks after Dr. Turner had beenthere making his examination.
Judge LeBlanc said this showed the value of expert evidence."Send a woman there and she will find more than the doctors."
Witness said the stocking had been gaitered below the knee. Thestocking might have been previously rolled down and then replaced.
Mrs. Farrell was then asked about Williams as a member of the Fosterfamily and his friendly attitude to the members of the family. She had never heard of Mrs.Foster receiving the present of a watch from her half-brother. "I've heard many timessince I've been here," she said.
Court adjourned at 1 p.m. until 2:15 p.m.
The Daily Gleaner Wednesday, January 28, 1925
The Crown's Case Against Harry Williams Finished
And The Defence Opened
Prosecution's Twenty Witnesses All Called in Murder Case But Failed toGive Any More New Evidence- - -Williams' Visit to Sunday School- - -His Counsel, inOpening Defence, Says Williams Alone in World
The Crown's case against Harry D. Williams, charged with the murderof his half-nieces, Cynthia and Necia Foster, at Fosterville on November 25th, wasconcluded and Fred H. Peters, counsel for his defence with a brief address to the jury,when the York Sittings of the Supreme Court were adjourned last evening at 5:35 p.m.,until 11 a.m. today.
Twenty witnesses in all had testified against the accused before Mr.Hughes announced that the Crown's case was complete. Six of these were on the standyesterday afternoon, the evidence given being largely corroborative and including that ofthe women who had prepared the bodies of the two little victims for burial. Mrs. RachaelWood, of North Lake, told how Williams had accompanied the Foster children to SundaySchool about three weeks prior to the tragedy. There Cynthia and he had been members ofher Bible class and he had read the lesson, sung hymns with the rest and otherwise takenpart in the service on his one and only appearance in Sunday school.
Other witnesses heard yesterday afternoon were: Mrs. Emery Farrell,Mrs. Leonora Boone, and Thomas Kinney, of North Lake, and Edward London, of Canterbury.Mr. Kinney was not examined by Mr. Hughes he having been called on account of the fact hehad appeared as a witness at the preliminary examination, where his evidence had not beenconsidered pertinent.
Mr. Peters opened his defence to the jury at the request of Mr.Justice LeBlanc. He referred to the situation which had resulted from having been calledin to defend the prisoner gratuitously without an opportunity of preparing a case andwhich had resulted in what might appear from time to time as a needless delay of theproceedings. Never in his life had ever heard of a case of a man being tried for murderwho was so absolutely friendless and alone. This has also hampered him in his defence andit was only with great difficulty that he had procured two witnesses whom he hoped toplace on the stand today. To the Court Mr. Peters had previously stated that he hadreceived a telegram stating that Mrs. Ada Thornton, former wife of the accused, wouldarrive last evening from Houlton, Me., accompanied by Mrs. Cora M. Putnam.
MRS. IDA FARRELL
Again took the Witness Stand After Lunch and Concluded Her Evidence
Mrs. Ida Farrell, wife of Stephen Farrell, resumed the witness standafter lunch and was subjected to a half hour's questioning by Mr. Peters generallyrelating to her acquaintance with the accused and circumstances before and after thetragedy. Her short, snappy replies did much to lighten the monotony of the proceedings anddrew many a ripple of laughter. Mr. Hughes re-examined on one or two points and thencalled Mrs. Nellie Farrell, of North Lake, wife of Emery Farrell.
MRS. NELLIE FARRELL
Tells of Burning a Bundle of Rags or Clothing at Williams' Camp
Mrs. Farrell said she resided between four and five miles from WardFoster. She had been present while the children were being prepared for burial, but hadtaken no part in the preparation of the bodies.
While present in the camp she had picked up a bundle of rags orclothing from the floor and carried them out and burned them. She had received noinstructions to do so, but had burned the bundle in rendering what assistance she could.She had also assisted by holding a princess slip to the fire to dry before being used indressing the bodies. She had not seen the bodies other than the faces.
The witness was cross-examined briefly by Mr. Peters respecting heracquaintance with the deceased and her presence at the camp while funeral arrangementswere being made.
MRS RACHAEL WOOD
Said Williams and Cynthia Foster Had Been Members of Her Bible Class
Mrs Rachael Wood, of North Lake, said she had last seen Williamsabout two weeks before the murder. She had seen him also with the Foster children atSunday school about three weeks before the murder. Williams and Cynthia had been in herBible class on that occasion.
Witness said she had assisted in dressing the bodies for burial. Shehad noticed none of the marks referred to by Mrs. Ida Farrell. She had also seen theclothing piled at the foot of the bed which had been removed from the bodies.
To Mr. Peters witness stated that she had never heard of the imprintof the man's hand until she had heard Mrs. Ida Farrell's evidence at the preliminaryexamination. Mrs. Farrell had never disclosed finding it with her and she had not seen itherself, and thought the doctors had made every necessary examination and did not lookherself.
Williams had seemed "like a gentleman while in Sundayschool."
To Mr. Hughes witness said that she had recollected Williams'appearance at Sunday school particularly because it was his first time there. He had takenpart in the service, reading the lesson and singing at her request with the rest as wellas putting something in the collection.
MRS. LENORA BOONE
Had Assisted in Preparing Bodies of Murdered Girls for Burial
Mrs Lenora Boone, wife of William Boone, said she had last seen anyof the Foster girls at her home on Halloween when Cynthia and Hilda had called enroute toa Halloween entertainment at the school house in company with Harry Williams. She hadassisted in preparing the bodies for burial but had not seen any of the clothing burned.
To Mr. Peters she said she did not see them at the concert althoughshe had been there herself.
Crown Prosecutor Asks No Questions And Little New Was Brought Out
Mr. Hughes then called Thomas Kinney, of North Lake, but stated thathe had no questions to ask. He had called him simply because he had been called at thepreliminary examination where he had given evidence which he had considered of noimportance.
Mr. Peters pursued the same general line of cross-examination. Thewitness, however, was unable to shed any new light on the case.
The witness said he was married but when asked if his wife who may be a material witness was in court, he replied in the negative.
Canterbury Station Man Says Williams Looks Better Now
Than When He Was Arrested
Edward London, of Canterbury, said he accompanied Deputy SheriffFraser Saunders to Fosterville when Williams had been taken in charge by the deputysheriff. He had heard Saunders warn the prisoner that he "needn't make any talk as itmight be used against you." He had viewed the bodies in the camp also and returned toCanterbury in the prisoner's company.
"You needn't make any talk unless you like, it may be usedagainst you," was the second warning had had heard Saunders give the prisoner as theyleft Fosterville for Canterbury. He had seen the sandbag in the camp on the shelf.
To Mr. Peters witness said that the automobile in which the prisonerhad been taken to Fredericton had been driven by a Mr. Camp. George Camp, a member of thejury, was identified as the driver of the automobile. The prisoner had quite a cold and hewas coughing. He didn't look as well as he did now. He didn't appear to be nervous and didnot evince any fear by his talk or demeanor. He had sat quietly in the car. He had lookedhaggard when he had next seen him the police court.
The prisoner had not changed countenance at all during the evidenceat the city police court with the witnesses telling of the horrific scene within ten feetof him. He had been absolutely indifferent. His appearance indicated that he did not knowwhat was going on. Some of the exhibits produced in court had been handed to DeputySheriff Saunders by Dr. W.L. Turner following the medical examination. The rifle had beensecured at Magistrate Foster's.
To Mr. Hughes witness said he remembered that Williams had answereddistinctly the questions addressed to him by the Police Magistrate in police court. He hadalso heard him answer the presiding Judge intelligently and promptly when arraigned lastTuesday.
Mr. Hughes then stated that this concluded the Crown's case. Thenames of the twenty witnesses were then checked by the court.
Mrs. Ward B. Foster Not Available
Mr. Peters then asked if he was to be debarred from having Mrs. WardB. Foster as a witness. He concluded that since the Crown's case had been closed Mrs.Foster was not to be summoned.
Judge LeBlanc pointed out that the Crown counsel had already statedthat Mrs. Foster's condition was such that she could not come to Fredericton just now.This had been substantiated by in statements from physicians. It was unfortunate for theprisoner but apparently it could not be helped.
Mr. Peters was then instructed to open his defence.
THE DEFENCE OPENS
Fred H. Peters Says Williams is Without Friends or Anybody to Help Him
Addressing the jury, Mr. Peters referred to the circumstances underwhich he had apparently delayed the proceedings. He had been called in to defend theprisoner on a charge of murder and he was found to do so gratituitiously. There was noprovision for the payment of a fee for his services.
Never had he ever heard of such a case in which a man, charged withmurder, had been so alone and without friends in the world. From newspaper reports itwould appear that even his mother wished to see him hanged. This might not, however, betrue. He had been greatly handicapped in his defence of the accused and had been forced toprocure what information he could from the Crown witnesses. With great difficulty he hadsecured two witnesses for the defence and tomorrow morning he hoped to be able to producesome evidence. He did not wish to speak long and presumed that the Court would grant anadjournment until this morning.
Judge LeBlanc then announced that he would adjourn the court until10:30 o'clock today. When requested by Mr. Peters to make it 11 o'clock, Judge LeBlancconsented and court was adjourned at 5:35 p.m.
JURYMAN WITNESS IN WILLIAMS' TRIAL
George Camp is Witness- - -May Not return To Jury
A Sensational Turn at The Murder Trial This Morning
MR. PETERS SEEKS TO UPSET TRIAL
Says Camp Ineligible for Jury As Employee of Sheriff
A sensation was created this morning at the trial of Harry D.Williams, charged with the Fosterville murder, when Fred H. Peters, counsel for thedefence, called as a defence witness, George Camp, of Fredericton, a member of the juryimpaneled to try Williams for his life and who have already adjudged him sane and fit tostand his trial.
The sensation was magnified when at the conclusion of Mr.Camp'sevidence., Mr. Peters moved that he be disallowed from re-entering the jury box as amember of the jury sitting on the case, on the grounds that he could not double in thecapacity of a witness and a juror before the Court and also that he had served as thehired servant of the Sheriff of York County in connection with the case.
Mr. Camp was called to testify in connection with the trip fromFosterville to Fredericton on November when he had acted as chauffeur for Deputy SheriffFraser Saunders who brought the accused from Fosterville to the police station here. Noobjection was made by P.J. Hughes, K.C., Crown Prosecutor, to the calling of Mr. Camp as awitness but at the conclusion of Mr. Camp's evidence, Mr. Peters made his motion, citingRoscoe's Criminal Evidence in support of his application on the ground that the witnessand juror could not act in dual capacity. His second ground for objection was introduced afew moments before the noon recess, that Mr. Camp had been "the hired servant of theSheriff of York County, acting as a chauffeur for the transportation of Williams toFredericton."
The court was adjourned to allow Mr. Peters to secure hisauthorities as it was then 2 o'clock. Meanwhile, Mr. Camp who was still in the witness boxwaiting a decision, was directed by Judge LeBlanc to rejoin the jury for lunch.
JUDGE ADDRESSES THE JURYMEN AS WITNESS
As soon as court opened this morning Mr. Peters announced that inview of certain disclosures made by witnesses during the progress of the trial, he desiredto call George Camp, a member of the jury, as first witness for the defence.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc asked Mr. Hughes what he had to say to this.
Mr. Hughes replied that he didn't think it made any difference.
"All right, then," replied Judge LeBlanc.
When Mr. Camp was sworn and had taken the stand Judge LeBlanc saidto Mr. Camp: "I don't suppose you will doubt the credibility of this witness?"
Witness "Me? No sir!"
Mr. Peters then proceeded to examine the witness, who stated that hehad driven Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders and the latter's son to Fosterville on November26th When Williams had been brought back to Fredericton from Magistrate John L. Foster's.He had heard no warning given the prisoner by either Claude Peck or Enoch Peck in hispresence nor by Magistrate Foster. He had heard Deputy Sheriff Saunders warn the accusedthat anything he might say would be used against him. Williams had said nothing at thattime, the warning being given as he was going from the house to the car.
The party with the prisoner had driven to Stephen Farrell's where hewas left in the car with Claude and Enoch Peck who had been guarding the prisoner withothers when the Deputy Sheriff arrived. He had gone down to Williams' camp with the DeputySheriff and Edward London, of Canterbury.
Witness then identified some of the exhibits produced in court assimilar to those which had been handed over to the Deputy Sheriff, including the rifleprocured at Magistrate Foster's house. It was getting dark, between 5 and 6 o'clock, andwhile he had heard conversation from the rear seat he did not hear the nature of theconversation before getting to Stephen Farrell's.
At Canterbury, enroute to Fredericton, he had supper at the sametable with the prisoner, the Deputy Sheriff and his son. Witness described the seatingarrangements. He had recognized Dr. W.L. Turner in the hotel dining room. They had beenjoined by Dr. Turner at Canterbury and taken as far as his home in Meductic. He had notheard any conversation between Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders and the prisoner fromMeductic to Fredericton. He had heard words but could not distinguish the import of theconversation. He never heard a rumor to the effect that the prisoner slept all the waydown in the car.
To Mr. Hughes witness said he had made the trip to Fosterville inthe ordinary course of business as the proprietor of a livery stable and taxi service. Heknew there was talking from time to time to the rear of the car but he could not followthe conversations. The prisoner had eaten a good meal at Canterbury and appeared to enjoyit.
With the completion of Mr. Camp's evidence Mr. Peters moved that hebe disallowed to return to the jury box as a member of the jury on the case. He held thatMr. Camp having given evidence in the case he could not sit as a juror.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc said that Mr. Camp had already been challengedby Mr. Peters for cause and had been found indifferent.
Mr. Peters stated that he was not aware of Mr. Camp's connectionwith the case until revealed during the trial. He had challenged him for cause but was notaware of this additional cause for challenge.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc that if a juror were not allowed to return tothe jury box from the witness stand all that would be necessary for the defence counsel todo was call a juryman as a witness during the trial, ask him what kind of tobacco hechewed and then move to have him excluded from the jury. There could thus be no trial.
Mr. Peters was then requested to cite his authorities in support ofhis motion, which he did, quoting at length rulings and decisions against the doubling ofparts at a trial as laid down in Roscoe's Criminal Evidence. He also submitted that Mr.Camp was a material witness and should have been summoned by the crown.
Asked by Judge LeBlanc why he did not draw the attention of thecourt to the situation and ask for a new jury when it was first discovered during thetrial, Mr. Peters said he did not have all the authorities in his office and had beenforced to visit the Law Library to investigate this phase of the case. He had spoken tothe crown prosecutor about it the same day but had been informed that it was all right.
Mr. Peters stated he had another ground, that the witness was thehired servant of the Sheriff of the county of York. Mr. Peters said he did not have thesereferences at present and Mr. Justice LeBlanc adjourned court until 2:30 p.m. directingMr. Camp to join the other members of the jury during the noon recess.
WILLIAMS AGE IS GIVEN AS 50 YEARS
Figures in Application for Grant of Land at North Lake
Where Shack Is Located
In a petition filed by Harry D. Williams for a grant of sometwenty-five or thirty acres of land under the Labor Act is dated October 14th, 1921.Williams is described as being fifty years of age.
This is the application made by Williams for the plot of landsurrounding his shack on the shore of North Lake which bears some evidence that an attemptwas made at clearing. Witnesses swore, however, that it bore an neglected appearance andwas described as a "haggle" - a mass of stumps and felled trees overgrown withsmall brush.
Williams' land, which has not as yet been granted to him under theterms of the Labor Act, is situated on a neck of land adjoining the farm of Ward B. Fosteraway from the highway. It is surrounded on two sides of its irregular shape by water. Onewitness yesterday, when asked if it would be difficult to make a road to the highway, saidit was extremely rocky. Asked if one could not go around the rocks, the witness replied:"Only if you went by water."
The Daily Gleaner Thursday, January 29, 1925
Williams' Former Wife Broke Down in Court
When Harry D. Williams was led into the court room to the prisoner'sdock this morning for the commencement of his defence on trial for the Fosterville murder,his former wife, Mrs. Ada Thornton, of Houlton, Me., was seated with other women witnessesfrom Fosterville facing sideways in the dock.
Apparently Williams did not see his wife, or if he did he showed nosign of recognition or interest. He entered the dock and immediately resumed his usualposition and attitude of indifference, facing away from where his former wife sat.
A few moments later Very Rev. Dean Neales, Williams' spiritualadviser, who had been supoenaed as a witness for the defence, spoke to Williams, whoreplied to him in a hesitating and distracted manner, apparently indifferent as to whathad been said to him.
Meanwhile Mrs. Thornton, accompanied by Mrs. Cora M. Putman, anewspaper correspondent of Houlton Me., was visibly affected by the appearance of herformer husband, who says she has not seen since he deserted her some ten years ago. Shebroke down, but quickly wiped her eyes with a hankerchief.
Mrs. Thornton Says She Is Still Williams' Wife
Tells of Their married Life on Witness Stand Married to Accused,Then Known as Darius Thornton, 19 Years Ago at Woodstock
"No Brain Storms in This Country",
Says Judge LeBlanc as Houlton Red Cross Secretary Tells of Mental CasesAmongst Ex-Soldiers Other Defence Witnesses
Harry D. Williams, charged with the double murders at Fostervillelast November, is a married man, he wife being Mrs. Ada Thornton, of Houlton, Me., who hasbeen referred to since the Fosterville tragedy and during the trial as his ex-wife.Yesterday she was a witness at the trial, being called by the defence, and she revealed onthe witness stand that she has not been divorced.
She was called during yesterday afternoon by Fred H. Peters, defencecounsel, and said she had been married to Williams at Woodstock, N.B. about nineteen yearsago when she was a widow, and Williams was then known as Darius Thornton. He disappearedonce for some time before he last disappeared from their home at Houlton over ten yearsago. She has been referred to since the case began as Williams' divorced wife, but shesaid she had not obtained a divorce and was still his wife.
Mrs. Cora M. Putnam, of Houlton, Me., a newspaper correspondent, wasalso a witness for the defence. She told of coming in contact with mental cases amongstreturned soldiers and told of their resembling Williams' condition. Undercross-examination she was starting to tell about mental cases she was brought in contactwith in her work about cases of "brain storms" which ex-soldiers she had come incontact with had suffered when Judge LeBlanc interrupted to say: "We don't have anyof those 'brain storms' in this country."
Chief of Police Nathaniel Jones and Very Rev. Dean Neales were theother witnesses called for the defence.
CHIEF OF POLICE JONES
Declared Williams Knew What Was Going on
When He Was at the Police Station
Nathaniel Jones, Chief of Police for the City of Fredericton, wasthe second witness called by Mr. Peters for the defence. He had received Williams into hiscustody from Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders personally at the police station inFredericton. The prisoner appeared cold at the time, quiet and without any show of fear.He described Williams' actions after being brought into the police station and his docileconduct while under his charge and on his appearance in police court. The prisoner had atall times been indifferent to his surroundings and was emotionless, but he had indicatedby what he said that he knew what was going on while in the police station.
To Mr. Hughes Chief Jones said he saw very little change in theappearance of the accused since he had first seen him. He had heard some conversationbetween Police Officer Bird and the accused relating to their war experiences whileWilliams was confined to the police station. He had seen him reading in his cell and hadasked for magazines to take down to the jail with him.
Mr. Hughes did not press for the details of a conversation theprisoner had opened with the witness, as a result of which the witness said he feltcertain that Williams knew what was going on.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc said he believed that Mr. Peters had opened theway for this conversation to be admitted, but that he had some little doubt as toadmitting it.
MRS ADA THORNTON
Says Prisoner Was Kind Husband and FatherLeft Her Once for anImaginary Reason but Returned
Mrs. Ada Thornton, of Houlton, Me., said she was the wife of theprisoner; she was not divorced from him. She had one boy, seventeen years of age and sheherself was engaged as a cook in a boarding house or hotel. She had been engaged as a cookfor ten years. Her son had passed through the grammar school at Houlton and was nowworking. He had not been working long. She did not now maintain a home, rooming where sheworked.
She had first met Harry D. Williams at Victoria Corner, in CarletonCounty, as a farmhand. She had known him four years before they were married. He was thenknown as Darius Thornton. She had not been keeping company with him during the four yearsshe had known him. They were married at Woodstock about nineteen years ago.
Following their marriage they went to Houlton where their son wasborn. She had resided at Houlton ever since. The first employment he had was as acarpenter and after that as a section hand on the Bangor and Aroostook Railway for severalyears, working steadily, supporting her in a proper manner as his wife. He had alwaysgiver her his check when he came home with it. He had always been a very kind husband andfather.
"I understand Mrs. Thornton, this is a very trying position toput you in," said Mr. Peters as Mrs. Thornton showed evident signs of her emotion.
On one occasion her husband failed to return in the evening from hiswork. She had made inquiries from the station foreman. Later she had received a telegramfrom him which informed her of her husband's location.
Mr. Peters suggested to the Court that he might be permitted to showthat the telegram had come from outside the boundary of the State of Maine.
The question was allowed, although objected to by Mr. Hughes,witness saying that it was sent from a point beyond the State of Maine.
After receiving the telegram she made inquiries of a Mr. Graham, afriend of her husband, concerning her husband as a result of what had been communicated toher in the telegram. She then wrote a letter to her husband. Her husband then returned thefollowing afternoon.
Her husband's action on this occasion had been for an imaginaryreason, said the witness from her own knowledge.
Left Her 14 Years Ago
They had lived five years at Houlton. Other than this occasion herhusband's habits had been regular. They always went out together at his desire. This wasan invariable custom. On Sundays, if he stayed at home, they stayed together.
One other son had been born to them, who had died when five monthsold. To some extent her husband had been in the habit of contracting debts, but these wereusually squared at the end of the month without being allowed to run. Between the two ofthem they kept their debts paid.
It was fourteen years ago that her husband had left her. He had beenworking as a mason when he came in one morning and said he was going to Ludlow to work ona masonry job for a Mr. Hallet. He went away, and that was the last she had seen of him.He had kissed her and the baby before leaving, his usual custom when leaving for his dailywork. She never received a letter from him and she did not know that he had changed hisname until after the tragedy at Fosterville.
Witness said she had visited once at Fosterville, where she and herhusband had been entertained by his sister, Mrs. Ward Foster. She thought his mother hadbeen sick on this occasion. She had never received a letter from his mother or sister oranyone else telling her about her husband.
She could not say that she had ever noticed any peculiarities abouther husband.
To Mr. Hughes witness said that she had been a widow when shemarried the prisoner, her name then being Mrs. Saunders. She had known him for abouteleven years and had not known anything wrong about him. He drank a great deal and it wasthrough drink that he lost employment. She had some money from her first husband and hehad remained with her practically as long as that lasted. She had used her money to helpout when funds were low.
It had not occurred to her that her husband might have returned toFosterville. She had taken no steps to inquire but would not say that she felt herselfwell rid of him.
Witness had not sent her husband any money on the occasion of hisfirst absence from home.
MRS. CORA N. PUTNAM
Houlton Newspaper Correspondent and Red Cross Secretary Tells of DealingWith Mental Cases among Ex-Soldiers
Mrs. Cora M. Putnam, a newspaper correspondent, of Houlton, Me.,said that in addition to her newspaper work she was secretary of the Southern Aroostookchapter of the Red Cross. She was sent to Fosterville to report the murder by a Bostonpaper on November 26th. She had seen the prisoner at Fosterville in the dooryard of aplace across from Ward Foster's. He was sitting between two men in an automobile; shebelieved their names were Claude Peck and Enoch Peck. She had seen him with the DeputySheriff. He did not appear frightened or scared. She did not know how long he had beenunder arrest with handcuffs on. He appeared calm and indifferent.
"I was surprised to know that he was the person," said thewitness when asked for her impression of the prisoner.
Mr. Hughes asked that this answer be stricken from the record as itwas not a proper answer.
Judge LeBlanc ruled that it was not an answer.
She had asked him why he had done the deed. His answer indicatedthat he understood her question.
As secretary of a Red Cross chapter she had been brought intocontact with cases of persons and mental diseases in returned soldiers, visiting hospitalswhere they were confined. She knew of two or three mental cases in which the patient wouldbecome quite rational after sudden periods of insanity not of long duration. They were notunusual among the cases under her supervision.
To Mr. Hughes witness said Williams had appeared rational and toknow perfectly the position he was in. She thought it was 27 miles from Houlton toFosterville.
VERY REV. DEAN NEALES
Invokes Protection of Court When Asked as to Conversations With Prisoner
Very Rev. Dean Scovil Neales, of Fredericton, called by Mr. Peters,said he had visited the prisoner in the jail. he saw him a little more than a week ago.
"Do you consider Harry Williams to be a sane man?" askedMr. Peters.
Mr. Hughes objected and Judge LeBlanc said it was objectionable inthat blunt form.
"I was merely doing it to save time," said Mr. Peters.
"Is that possible," said Judge LeBlanc. "I would beinclined to allow it for that reason."
Asked if Williams had said anything to him regarding his trial, thewitness replied that before Williams had said anything to him he had told the prisoner ashis spiritual adviser that anything that passed between them would be held sacred and heinvoked the protection of the court in this respect.
"I certainly will not allow it. That belongs to anothertribunal not this," said Judge LeBlanc.
After a few further brief questions, which were objected to, Mr.Peters stated that he would drop his examination there, he had simply wanted theDean,opinion and could not seem to get at the matter.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc stated that he was treading on dangerous groundbut that the court would not shut him out.
To Mr. Hughes witness said he had been his constant attendant. Hehad taken him books, but had not seen the prisoner read either books or papers.
Court then adjourned until 7:30 p.m.
Eligibility of Juror
Mr. Peters continued his argument in support of his motion to disbarMr. Camp from the jury upon resumption of the court yesterday afternoon. Some delay wasexperienced in obtaining several authorities not available in court. Constable CharlesSterling was dispatched to Mr. Hughes' office for a copy of 18 Halesbury, which Mr. Petersrequested. His Honor stated that unless he could produce something very binding upon himhe had already made up his mind. Mr. Peters left the court room to procure an authority hehad omitted to bring in with him. On his return he cited several authorities, includingMyers vs. City of Montreal, Quebec Court of Review,34 Dominion Law Reports, 1917; The Kingvs. Betista, Canadian Criminal Cases, Vol. 21.
Asked to state his grounds concisely for the objection to Mr. Campas a juror Mr. Peters said he was objecting on account of his close association withDeputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders and the prisoner from the time of his arrest untildelivered into the custody of the Chief of Police at Fredericton, as well as his havingbeen sworn as a witness for the defence and also that he should have been a witness forthe prosecution. Halesbury's Laws of England, vol. 15, section 562, he stated, exemptedsheriff's servants from jury duty.
Judge LeBlanc said it would have been far better to have notified atthe court at the time the first disclosures of Mr. Camp's association had been made.
Mr. Peters submitted that the court was cognizant of these facts.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc then overruled the objection, stating hisreasons, after asking Mr. Hughes if he wished to subscribe to the argument presented. Itseemed to him that the first grounds, those of association with the Deputy Sheriff andprisoner, might form grounds for consideration by the triers. The triers had tried theissue as to whether or not the juror stood indifferent between our Sovereign Lord theKing, and the prisoner at the bar. He was to assume that the juror had been tried andfound indifferent, all cause had been considered. The counsel for the defence could thenhave challenged peremptorily. He found no fault with the learned counsel for the defencefor bringing up additional facts which would have then had more or less weight with thetriers.
On the grounds of the juror being a witness, the would relate backagain to the triers. If the learned counsel's contention was correct he could see where itwould be impossible to ever complete a trial if a juror could be called to the stand andthen by reason of having acted for the defence, removed from the jury box. He thought thiswould be a serious state of affairs. The position was clearly preposterous.
Mr. Camp was then ordered to return to the jury box.
Williams Had Agreed to go on Stand
Decision to have Harry D. Williams take the stand in his own behalfwas reached quite unexpectedly between the sessions at the court yesterday afternoon andlast evening.
Five defence witnesses had been called during the day, but Mr.Peters had been able to make little progress towards building up a defence for the accusedand as a last resort after court adjourned in the afternoon, he decided it couldn't makematters any worse and it might improve the prisoner's chances materially if he couldinduce Williams to go upon the witness stand himself. He therefore had court attendantshave the prisoner detained in the ante-room while he spoke with him.
There was a number of constables, a reporter and others presentwhile Mr. Peters conversed with Williams, who didn't seem to scarcely know his lawyer andto only partially comprehend what was going on. Finally Mr. Peters told Williams hethought he had better go on the witness stand and Williams replied lackadaisically:"All right."
And when he balked while being led to the witness stand the mostsurprised person in court was Mr. Peters himself.
Williams Balks While Being Led to the Witness Stand;
Struggle in Court
Dramatic Scenes Last Evening at the Murder Tria
WILLIAMS ACTS LIKE A SCARED DOG
"I Won't Swear," He Sobs With Gaze Riveted on Court Crier
The trial of Harry D Williams on the two indictments for murder atFosterville on November 25th last came to a dramatic close, except for the addresses ofcounsel and the Judge's charge, last evening when Williams suddenly balked while being ledfrom the prisoner's dock to the witness box and refused to be sworn or to go on the standon his own behalf.
Cowering like a dog with his fear-stricken face riveted upon the oldCourt Crier, James W. Fanjoy, Williams refused to take oath or to make an affirmation.Wild-eyed and looking like a scared, friendless, defenceless dog, more than a human being,Williams struggled to get away while Deputy Sheriff Fraser Saunders was leading him to thewitness box.
Never before had there been such a spectacle in a criminal courthereabouts as the hundreds of spectators men and women who packed the courtroom beheld as Fred H. Peters, defence counsel, and Mr. Justice LeBlanc considered all thepossible means of having the prisoner give his testimony which he had agreed to do whenMr. Peters conferred with him in an ante-room after the afternoon session of the court.
It was all without precedent and it caused intense suppressedexcitement. Seated with a number of women and witnesses from North Lake, a just a fewseats away from Ward B. Foster, father of the dead girls, and his daughter, Hilda Foster,was Mrs. Ada Thornton, wife of Williams and mother of the prisoner's two children. She hadseen her husband for the first time in more than ten years when he was led into courtduring the day; but she showed little emotion while the scenes which thrilled the crowdedcourt room were enacted.
The burly big Deputy Sheriff did not resort to violence as Williamsstruggled to get away from the old Court Crier, in whose direction he had fixed his almostconstant gaze since the trial commenced over a week ago. On the other hand, Deputy SheriffSaunders, while the astonished jurymen looked on from their places, endeavored to pacifyhis prisoner but Williams tugged him ten feet or more back until they reached the railingabout the court enclosure.
And there Williams, with his cowering form huddled close to DeputySheriff
Saunders, steadfastly refused to budge towards the front of thecourt, While Judge and counsel conferred there was a whispered conversation between theDeputy Sheriff and his abject prisoner. "He won't take the Book," the DeputySheriff finally announced to the Court." "No, no," whispered Williams in avoice which was scarcely audible. A few moments later Williams burst into tears and buriedhis head against Deputy Sheriff Saunders' body. "I won't swear," he sobbed buthis voice was so husky the judge couldn't hear him.
Mr. Peters suggested that Williams for some reason of his own wasapparently frightened of the Court Crier and he said he would tell the Judge privatelywhat he believed was the reason. Mr. Justice LeBlanc suggested he might give his evidencewithout taking the oath if for a good reason he wouldn't do so while Mr. Peters suggestedthat the accused might give his evidence from the prisoner's dock. The Judge finallyordered Sheriff Hawthorn to see if the prisoner would allow him to administer the oath tohim. The Sheriff took the bible and started towards where Williams was still coweringalongside Deputy Sheriff Saunders, but as the Sheriff approached Williams renewed hisstruggle to get away.
"I won't swear, I won't swear," Williams finally spoke outin a voice which was plainly audible all over the court room.
"Will you make an affirmation then?" Sheriff Hawthornasked him. Williams only shook his head, but that ended the attempts to get him to thewitness stand.
IN FRONT OF THE JURY
Williams Stricken With a Nameless Terror
When Confronted With Court Crier With Open Bible
Immediately after the jury had filed into their places at 7:30o'clock last evening and had responded to their names, Mr. Peters stated that he desiredto call the prisoner to the witness stand.
"Let the prisoner be sworn," said Mr. Justice LeBlanc.
Williams, still indifferent and apparently oblivious to all that wastranspiring, was taken from the dock and through the crowd to the railed enclosure.Halfway past the front of the jury-box, he was confronted by the Court Crier with the openbible in his hand. The prisoner appeared to be stricken with a nameless terror and coweredaway from the Book attempting to run in the opposite direction. The astonished officer,who has been his daily guard on his trips to and from the county jail, attempted torestrain and quiet the man. He was forced to put both arms around Williams' body toprevent him from breaking away when the prisoner tugged and strained to release himselfwith terrorized backward glances at the Court Crier.
Finally he released himself and made for the railing once more. TheDeputy Sheriff went to him and endeavored to soothe his fear. Williams, shuddering andshaking, his his head on his arm against the officer's shoulder like a scared child.
Mr. Peters suggested that, for a reason known to himself, Williamswas afraid of the Court Crier. He thought that probably someone else might administer theoath.
Sheriff John B. Hawthorne was then directed by Mr. Justice LeBlancto make an attempt to administer the oath. The Prisoner, however, who by this time waswiping tears from his eyes, refused to swear. "He won't swear," said DeputySheriff Saunders, who had been talking to Williams in an attempt to restore hisself-control.
Mr. Peters was nonplused. He stated that he had heard so much aboutthe prisoner feigning insanity that he wished to put him on the stand as a last resort inorder that the jury might judge his mental capacity for themselves. He asked if theprisoner might be sworn and give his testimony from the dock. Mr. Justice LeBlanc said hedid not think this could be done. He suggested that if the prisoner did not wish to swear,if it was against his religious belief to make an oath, he could give his testimony underan affirmation and requested Sheriff Hawthorne to approach the prisoner once more.
"Will you make an affirmation," said the Sheriff, Bible inhand.
Still fear-stricken and almost uncomprehendingly Williams violentlyshook his head. When those hear him attempted to tell him the nature of his affirmation heagain shook his head. "No, no! I won't swear. I don't swear," was his patheticreply.
The prisoner was then returned to the dock where he once moreresumed his steadfast gaze upon the ceiling, showing to some extent traces of hisexcitement.
Mr. Peters stated that he had no further witness to call.
"Then your case is closed?" queried the Judge. "Doyou wish to go to the jury tonight?"
Mr. Peters, in reply, said that it would be doing him a great favorif His Honor would allow him some time to consider the case before going to the jury.
Mr. Justice LeBlanc then said that he would adjourn court until thismorning at 10 o'clock. It understood that Mr. Peters would call no further witnesses.
Hardly had Judge LeBlanc stated that court would adjourn thanWilliams was off his seat in the dock like a shot with his cap on and was rapidly pullingon his mackinaw coat in preparation to leave court. He was taken out before the crowd hadleft the court room.
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