May 22, 1908
Mrs. Sarah Morasch must spend the remainder of her life in the Kansas penitentiary for the murder of her 4-year-old niece, Ruth Miller. The jury which heard the evidence in Mrs. Morasch's second trial reached a verdict of guilty at 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon. The case had been on trial since May 4. There was no verdict in the first trial.
When the verdict was read Mrs. Morasch held her usual composure, and merely laughed.
The case went to the jury at 4 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, and from the first ballot to the one which settled the fate of Mrs. Morasch the jurors stood eleven to one for conviction. At noon yesterday George E. Horn, foreman of the jury, asked for the testimony of Charles Miller, father of the dead girl. A few minutes later a knock was heard on the door of the jury room. "We have agreed," said Foreman Horn, and the twelve jurors filed in the court room and took their seats.
On the afternoon of February 13, the Miller children were in their home, 634 Cheyenne avenue, Armourdale. A knock was heard on the door and the postman, Henry T. Keener, handed Ella Van Meter, better known as Ella Miller, a package weighing about a pound. It was wrapped in white paper and bore the inscription: "Ella Miller, 634 Cheyenne avenue, Armourdale. A knock was heard on the door and the postman, Henry T. Keener, handed Ella Van Meter, better known as Ella Miller, a package weighing about a pound. It was wrapped in white paper and bore the inscription: "Ella Miller, 634 Cheyenne avenue, corner of Cheyenne & Packard avenues. From the S. & S. girls."
The box was opened, and found to contain a pound of chocolate candy, which she says tasted bitter, and gave some to the other children who gathered around her.
A few minutes later Ruth, who had eaten more of the candy than the rest, was seized with cramps while playing in the back yard, and was taken into the house. She died before the nearest physician, Dr. Zacharia Nason, who lived a block distant, could be summoned. He pronounced the death as due to strychnine poisoning.
The fact that Mrs. Sarah Morasch bore a grudge against Ella Miller, who had once laughed at he, and that immediately after the little girl's death, she had gone to Harrisonville, Mo., caused suspicion to be directed to her. She was arrested at the Missouri town.
The testimony of handwriting experts was a strong factor in the conviction.