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March 19, 1908





Mother Rushes to Her Rescue, Seizes
Intruder and Is Stabbed -- He
Takes Carbolic Acid.

Rather than face arrest and trial for attempted criminal assault, James Thomas Swanson, 23 years of age, stabbed and probably fatally wounded Mrs. Rosa Everett, the mother of his intended victim, at her home, 819 Orville avenue, Kansas City, Kas., at 12:30 o'clock this morning. Immediately after having stabbed the woman, Swanson ran to his own home, just two doors distant, 823 Orville avenue, and drank an ounce of carbolic acid. Half an hour later he died.
Swanson, according to the neighbors, had been paying particular attention to Irene Everett, a pretty girl of 18 years, for several months. He had called at the house many times, but was never seen out with the girl. Gossip had it, however, that the two were engaged. Nothing out of the ordinary had transpired between them up until last night.
Irene's bedroom is located in the west side of the one-story cottage at 819 Orville avenue, and has windows on the west and south sides. At 12:30 she was awakened by someone softly opening one of the west windows. Thinking that it was a burglar Irene decided that she would pretend sleep. As the intruder entered the room he struck a match and lighted the gas. It was then that Irene recognized in him her erstwhile lover, Swanson.
Knowing Swanson as well as she did, she at first made no outcry, but asked him his purpose in her room at that hour of the night. Swanson replied that he had just come over to see her and would probably spend the rest of the night with her. He told her that he was surprised to find her in bed so early. Irene, noticing that Swanson was peculiarly nervous and agitated, glanced at the clock in her room and saw that it was nearly 12:30 o'clock. Then she became frightened and demanded again an explanation of his presence, telling him that he was mistaken as to the time.
Then Swanson, according to Irene, became most horrible to look upon. His face was contorted and the muscles in his face and arms moved convulsively. He leaned towards the trembling girl and whispered his purpose to her. Horrified, Irene screamed frantically for help, calling her mother's name again and again.
Swanson was somewhat taken aback by the stubborn resistance with which he had met, and grappled with the girl. At this juncture, the door to Irene's bedroom was opened, and Mrs. Everett, dressed only in her night clothes, entered the room. Seeing Swanson she quickly guessed his purpose, caught him around the waist and tried to drag him from the room. Meanwhile both mother and daughter were screaming for help. Realizing that his dastardly attempt frustrated, Swanson drew a knife and plunged it deep into Mrs. Everett's left breast. He then ran from the room, making his exit through the window which he used to gain entrance.
Directly to his own home Swanson ran, and entered the house through the kitchen door. Meanwhile, Mrs. Everett had burst through the south window with her bare hands and leaned out, still screaming for help. S. F. Essex of 817 Orville heard the cries and ran from his home to investigate. Following the sound of screams he came upon Mrs. Everett and her daughter. Mrs. Everett was fast losing consciousness and Irene told the story of the terrible ordeal through which she and her mother just passed.. Essex immediately notified the police and then carried Mrs. Everett into his home, where she was attended by the family until A. J. Gannon, police surgeon, arrived.
Mrs. Ida Swanson, mother of Thomas, was awakened at this time by a draft which blew through the room. She arose and called to her daughter, who slept in the adjoining room, asking if the windows were open. Finding that the draft came from the open door in the kitchen of the house, Mrs. Swanson started to close it. As she neared the hallway she heard her son cry out: "I've taken carbolic acid, and I am a dead one!" Her son had fallen in the doorway, and soon died.

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