November 7, 1908
While on his way home from work at the Swift packing house at 6:30 o'clock Thursday night, Michael Gragos, a sheep butcher, was mysteriously murdered. The assassins escaped after firing two shots, one of which penetrated his skull. The other struck his right cheek bone and inflicted only a flesh wound. As money was on the body when found by workmen at the Swift plant yesterday morning, the motive of the killing is unknown.
A few minutes after Gragos quit the Swift plant Thursday evening Erb Martin, a watchman, heard two calls to halt, followed by four shots in quick succession. He seized a lantern and hurried towards the place where the cries and the shots came from, but found nothing and gave up the search. About midnight, George Gragos, father of Michael, came to the plant looking for his son, and another unsuccessful search was instituted.
When the body was found it was lying close beside the switch of the Union Pacific Railway Company. Close by were the tracks of a woman and a man. On the coat tails of the corpse was a v-shaped mud mark that might have been made by a small and pointed shoe, probably that of a woman. None of the pockets were rifled, and there was no other hint as to the identity of the assassins.
Gragos lived with his father at 128 North First street in the West Bottoms. He was 23 years old and an Austrian. He had lived in this country only about four years.
Detective John Quinn and Robert McKnight of the Kansas City, Kas., police department were assigned to the case. They will work on the theory that it was revenge that actuated the killing.