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May 12, 1908

MURDERED WIFE
IN JEALOUS FIT.

SHE DIED IN HER AGED
FATHER'S ARMS.

STABBED ON PORCH
OF HOME.

E. C. FLETCHER, THE MURDERER,
IS CAPTURED BY POLICE.

E. C. Fletcher, a teamster 37 years old, after being separated from his wife for one week, called at the home of her father, John Harlow, 630 West Eighth street, last night about 8:30 o'clock, ostensibly to talk over going to Oklahoma. In the house was a man named Edward Lewis, another teamster, who had gone to the house to see Harlow about putting him to work. Fletcher asked his wife to come down stairs to talk. When they reached the porch she was heard to scream for help. He had stabbed her just above the heart. She died an hour later.

Fletcher ran south to Ninth street, chased by a negro who had witnessed the act. He was seen at Ninth and Holmes streets a few minutes later, running east. The aged father ran to the porch and held his daughter in his arms until the police ambulance arrived. She sank so fast that Drs. J. P. Neal and R. A. Shiras deemed it necessary to give her a transfusion of salt solution at the emergency hospital to take the place of the blood she had lost. She did not regain consciousness and died without making a statement or even telling her name. The knife blade entered the left side just above the heart and is believed to have severed the aorta.


HE IS CAPTURED.

Detectives Keshlear and McGraw were on the scene soon after the murder and went to work on the case at once.

Patrolmen Holly Jarboe and J. P. Withrow, headquarters men, learned that Fletcher roomed at 211 West Fifth street and went there to watch for him. At 12:15 o'clock they were joined by Detectives Brice, Murphy, Boyle and Walsh. As they stood talking, Walsh exclaimed:

"Here he comes now," and ran toward a man who had just turned the corner. It was proved to be Fletcher. He surrendered without resistance.

Fletcher was taken to police headquarters and Bert Kimbrell, assistant prosecuting attorney, was sent for to take his statement. The murderer had been drinking and was not told that his wife was dead until he had finished his statement. He expressed hope that he had not hurt her.

"I don't know why I struck her. I love he so. I don't know what I was doing," was the sum of his declaration to Kimbrell.

The knife with which he killed his wife was found in his pocket. It was a common clasp knife, with a three-inch blade.


HE OFTEN BEAT HER.

Mrs. Emma Fletcher was 33 years old and a pretty woman. She had been married to Fletcher for seventeen years, but had no children. He was a drinking man, the father says, and often beat his wife and as often left her. Her mother died about the time of her marriage and she and Fletcher had always lived with Harlow.

"He left Emma the last time a week ago while we were living at Thirteenth and Summit streets," said Harlow. "We have often had to move on account of his treatment of her. Tuesday we moved to 630 West Eighth street. Ed Lewis came to see me tonight about getting me a job and we were all in the room on the second floor when Fletcher knocked at the door.

" 'What do you want?' Emma asked him.

" 'I just come to talk to you about going with me to Oklahoma,' Fletcher said. 'I've got the money to take you if you want to go.'

"Then he saw Lewis sitting there and his eyes flashed fire. He told Emma to get her shoes and come outside and talk the matter over. As she left I heard him say, 'I'd rather see you dead than with another man.' I heard them walk quietly down the stairs to the porch and then my daughter screamed. I just thought he had beaten her again as he had so often and ran to her side I could see he had been drinking."


"I WANT TO DIE, TOO."

While the father, grey and feeble, was telling his story to Captain Whitsett he did not know that his daughter was dead. HE would up his sad narrative with: "When I put her white face on my arm I thought she was dead, but I guess he's just cut her. Can any one tell me how she is?" he asked, looking from one to another.

"She is dead," Captain Whitsett informed him in a low tone.

"God be merciful," cried the old man, tottering backwards into a chair. "If she is dead, I want to die, too."

He found that her body had been taken to Freeman & Marshall's morgue and left for there, saying he wanted to be with her during the night.


OTHER TOWNS NOTIFIED.

Fletcher has been working for James Stanley, a contractor, who is building a church at 752 Sandusky avenue, Kansas City, Kas. Surrounding towns had also been telephoned to be on the lookout for him in case he should catch a train out. He was believed to be making for the Belt line tracks when last seen.

P. W. Widener, from whom Harlow rents at 630 West Eighth street, told the police that he had just entered his home about 8:30 p. m., when he heard a knock and saw Fletcher at his wife's door talking to her.

"I heard them go down stairs together," he said, "and almost immediately heard her scream. She was lying on the porch, stabbed, when I reached her. Fletcher was chased to Ninth street and lost sight of."

Widener related that when Harlow rented the rooms he said his son-in-law often raised "a little rumpus when drinking," but did not pay any attention to it. He said it had often caused him to move.

Fletcher has a brother, Arthur Fletcher, living somewhere in the city. Harlow has one more daughter, Mrs. Clara Coleman, who lives in the West bottoms in Kansas City, Kas., but he did not know where.

Coroner George B. Thompson said that an autopsy would be held today and an inquest later.

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