November 19, 1909
MURDERESS GROWS THIN.
Mrs. Meyers Sighs for Freedom -- Did
Not Write Governor.
Mrs. Aggie Myers, the Kansas City woman serving a life sentence in the state penitentiary for the murder of her husband, says that prison life does not agree with her. In fact, she has grown thin and emaciated, and the hard work at the penitentiary is beginning to tell on her.
"She looks to be in poor health, worn and haggard by the drudgery and work in prison," said County Marshal Joel R. Mayes yesterday. Mr. Mayes returned yesterday from Jefferson City, where he took fifteen prisoners from the county jail. While at the penitentiary he had a talk with Mrs. Myers.
"Mrs. Myers," said the marshal, "denies having written the letter to the governor asking for a pardon. She says she does not know who wrote it. The first she heard of the letter, she told me, was when she read it in a Kansas City newspaper."
Labels: Aggie Myers, County Marshal Mayes, Jefferson City, murder, penitentiary, women
September 5, 1909
WON'T HELP AGGIE MYERS.
Pardon Attorney Will Refuse to
JEFFERSON CITY, MO. September 4. -- Information reached the executive office today that an effort may shortly be made by persons residing in Kansas City to procure a pardon, or parole for Aggie Myers, who with Frank Hottman, murdered her husband, Clarence Myers, in Kansas City, May 10, 1904. Both the woman and Hottman were in the shadow of the gallows for many months before the governor commuted the death penalty in the case of the woman to life imprisonment. Later the sentence of Hottman also was commuted.
Pardon Attorney Frank Blake, when advised today that an effort was being made to secure clemency in some form for Mrs. Meyers, said that efforts in that direction would be so much wasted energy, so far as he was concerned.
"Under no circumstances will I recommend clemency for Mrs. Myers," said Mr. Blake. "I was in the office of the attorney general when here appeal to the supreme court was tried. The record in the case disclosed one of the most diabolical and brutal murders ever perpetrated in the state of Missouri. I believe that people who commit crimes of that character should be punished."
Mrs. Myers is a great letter writer, and it is because of her industry in that line that some Kansas City persons have interested themselves in her behalf, it is said. She was in poor health when received here but has entirely recovered, performing her regular task in one of the prison sewing rooms.
Labels: Aggie Myers, murder, penitentiary
December 26, 1908
LAUGHS WHEN SHE
SPEAKS OF GALLOWS.
ROSE PETERSON GETS GLIMPSE
OF GRIM MACHINE.
That, and a Trip to Church With a
Policeman as Guard, Filled the
Day for the Woman Who
Shot Her Husband.
Flowers from fellow employes at a printing plant, where she had worked for some time, greeted Mrs. Rose Peterson when she returned to the county jail yesterday from church. She is charged with killing her husband.
On Thursday Mrs. Peterson asked for permission to to to church and this was granted by Judge R. S. Latshaw of the criminal court. Patrolman John Coughlin took her to 8:30 o'clock mass at St. Patrick's, Eighth and Cherry. She had never missed church a single Christmas in her life.
"And to think that he was in citizen's clothes and not in uniform," said Mrs. Peterson afterwards. "We did not attract a bit of attention and I had been so afraid that the officer would wear a uniform." This bit of consideration seemed the best gift of all to the child wife.
"Since I was 14 I have been at work feeding presses," said Mrs. Peterson. "I married at 16. I can't tell why. Yes, it was young. I am only 19 now. Do you know, over at the police station they measured me -- I'm five feet one and one-half inch in my stocking feet. I weigh 123 pounds. And they measured my arms and my fingers and took finger prints and everything. Did you get my picture out of the rogues' gallery for the paper? Because the pictures they printed of me looked awful. I saw Aggie Myers's picture there."
"MY TRACKS ON THE GALLOWS."
"This morning they left the doors open and I walked around to see the gallows where they hanged Bud Taylor. Maybe I'll leave my tracks on that scaffold some time," she smiled.
"You want to know why I got married at 16? I don't know myself. We separated after a year. It will be three years next march since we were married. After the wedding I kept right on feeding the presses. My husband kept bothering me and for a long time I have been carrying a revolver." Her husband slapped her and she shot him.
"Did we run away to get married?" repeated the blue-eyed Irish girl, who seems hardly over 17. "Really, I can't remember." Which was only another way of saying that she did not want to remember.
"I'LL NEVER MARRY AGAIN."
"If I ever get out of here I'll never get married again, never, never. A woman is a man's slave after she is married. I don't believe in marriage. It hurts me to see my sister growing up and to think that she may fall in love with someone. Oh, I am going to talk her out of it if I can. There is nothing in marriage."
While Mrs. Peterson was talking, Mrs. James Sharp, one of the band of fanatics and a cellmate, walked across the room and stood behind the girl's chair.
"Ask Mrs. Sharp," was suggested.
"Do you believe in marriage?" the childwife asked.
"Yes, of course I do," said Mrs. Sharp, as she stroked the girl's brown hair. "Of course I do," s he repeated with a smile that flashed for a moment, a memory of her former attractiveness. Mrs. Sharp is a native Missourian.
"Last Christmas I was in Minnesota," added the elder woman quietly, with a touch of reminiscence in her tone.
Mrs. Peterson had stopped talking. Her brother and sister had come to see the little member of Press Assistant's Union No 20, who wants to be a linotype operator if she gains her liberty.
Labels: Adam God sect, Aggie Myers, Cherry street, churches, death penalty, Eighth street, holidays, jail, Judge Latshaw, marriage, murder, police, printers, women
August 20, 1907
AGGIE MYERS TIRES OF PRISON.
She May Try to Interest Her Friends
in Getting a Pardon From Folk.
Aggie Myers is taking the first step toward getting out of the Missouri penitentiary, where she is under life sentence. She has written friends in Kansas City to the effect that the hard work to which she is asigned in the close confinement of the prison are undermining her health. She is employed at one of the big sewing machine factories in the overall factory.
The fact that Folk commuted the sentences of Edgar Bailey, "Lord" Barrington and other murderers, including Aggie Myers and Frank Hottman, probably gives the Myers woman hope of extreme executive clemency from the governor before he goes out of office.
Labels: Aggie Myers, Governor Folk, penitentiary
April 9, 1907
They Will Escape The Gallows
AGNES MYERS AND FRANK HOTTMAN
TO PRISON FOR LIFE.
SENTENCE OF MRS. MYERS AND
HOTTMAN ARE COMMUTED.
NOT MUCH CONCERN SHOWN.
MRS. MYERS "GRATEFUL," HOTT-
MAN RETAINS STOLIDITY.
No Arrangements Yet Made to Send
the Prisoners to Jefferson City to
Begin Serving Their Terms --
Further Story of the Murder
May Yet Be Told.
Governor Folk yesterday commuted the sentences of Mrs. Aggie Myers and Frank Hottman to life imprisonment in the Jefferson City penitentiary. While no formal order was filed with the secretary of state for Hottman's commutation yesterday, the governor said he would do so this morning. The order for the commutation of Mrs. Myers' sentence was very brief, the state's executive explaining his action in the following language:
Believing that the benefit to the public morals of the commonwealth will be greater in confining this woman to the penitentiary for life in place of hanging her by the neck until dead, I therefore commute the sentence of the said Maggie Myers, alias Aggie Myers, from death to imprisonment in the state penitentiary as long as her life shall last.
Aggie Myers and Frank Hottman were tried and convicted of murdering Clarence Myers, husband of the former, at his home in the city two years ago. It was one of the most cold-blooded killings ever recorded in Kansas City. In the trial of Mrs. Myers it was proved that she planned the murder of her husband and helped to cut his throaat during his struggle with Hottman in his own home the night of the tragedy. Hottman made a full confession, pleaded guilty and testified against Mrs. Myers. She stood trial, was convicted and sentenced to hang along with Hottman. The execution of the death sentence has been stayed from time to time on account of legal proceedings which have been filed by her attorneys. The case was carried from the local county court to the state supreme court, the later sustaining the decision of the lower tribunal, and the last delay was obtained by the filing of an appeal to the supreme court of the United States. Mrs. Myers and Hottman were to have been hanged tomorrow and the death watch has been maintained over Hottman for the past several days.
HOTTMAN REMAINS STOLID.
When Frank Hottman was seen in the death cell at the county jail last night and told of the governor's act in commuting his and Mrs. Myers' sentence to life imprisonment, he made no reply, but stood with his hands in his pockets and gazed at the floor.
"Well, Frank, don't the news make you feel good?" he was asked.
"I haven't got anything to say."
"You are not sorry the governor commuted your sentence?"
"No, I am glad that he did that and I feel grateful to him, but it don't make me happy. I cannot talk to you about my case until I see my lawyer. He was here to see me yesterday, but I haven't seen him since. As a matter of fact, I made up my mind to accept any old fate that might come my way."
"Now that it is all over, your sentence commuted to life imprisonment, what about your confession, did you sear to the truth?" Hottman was asked.
"I don't want to answer you."
"Well, you know whether or not you told the truth when you said Mrs. Myers planned the murder of her husband and persuaded you to help her in the commission of the crime?"
MAY TALK LATER ON.
"I don't want to talk to you about that now. After I see my lawyer I will give you a story."
"Is there any question about the truthfulness of your statement made to the prosecuting attorney?"
"Now, you musn't get mad at me for not answering your question, but I have been instructed not to talk."
"Will you make another confession before being taken to the penitentiary?"
"I don't know. I can't answer you."
"You don't deny now that you and Mrs. Myers killed Clarence, do you?"
"You musn't ask me any more questions, for I will not answer you until I have talked to my lawyer."
Hottman is still in a very despondent state of mind. He seemed to feel good over the fact that the governor commuted his sentence, yet he showed no particular outward signs of gratification. He doesn't appear to hold out any hope for the future. Had he been informed that the governor refused to interfere in his case and that the death sentence would be carried out Wednesday, the chances are that he would have felt just as he did when told his sentence had been commuted. He appears to have lost all interest in life, and it is possible that he will tell a new story about the murder of young Myers before he is taken to Jefferson City to begin his sentence of life servitude.
MRS. MYERS IS GRATEFUL.
It was Sheriff William Thomason, of Clay county, who first informed Mrs. Myers of the governor's action in commuting her sentence to life imprisonment. She is in the county jail at Liberty. She accepted the tidings with little concern.
"I am very grateful to the governor for doing what he did," were her words to Sheriff Thomason.
She did not appear the least bit excited and received the news as though it was nothing more than she had expected. Sheriff Tomason stated that he did not know just when he would take Mrs. Myers to the penitentiary, but said that he would transfer her just as soon as possible.
The appeal of the case of Mrs. Myers to the supreme court of the United States will now be dismissed by her attorneys. In a message to the secretary of state relative to the action of commuting the sentences Governor Folk states that he believes the public morals will be better conserved by commuting the sentence of Mrs. Myers of life imprisonment than by hanging her. In the case of her accomplice, Frank Hottman, he said, similar facts to those in the Myers case exist and for that reason he also commuted Hottman's sentence to life imprisonment.
Labels: Aggie Myers, death penalty, domestic violence, Governor Folk, jail, Jefferson City, murder, penitentiary
January 8, 1907
HOTTMAN'S FIFTH RESPITE.
Delay of Ninety Days Follows Federal
Appeal for Mrs. Myers
The officers of the county jail received a telegram soon after 8 o'clock last night from the office of Governor Folk, saying that the governor, upon receipt of news from the federal court and Kansas City that Judge Phillips had granted a writ of supersedeas in the case of Mrs. Aggie Myers, had granted Frank Hottman a further respite of ninety days.
Governor Folk said to a correspondent of The Journal at Jefferson City that as Hottman is the only witness against Mrs. Myers, he should not be executed till her fate is finally determined.
Night Jailer McGee notified Hottman immediately of the respite. Hottman was in the death cell awaiting execution Thursday. It is the fifth time he has been respited and he is used to it. When the jailer told him of the respite all Hottman said was: "Well, I guess it's all right," and without a show of emotion prepared to go to sleep. He was not removed to the other part of the jail last night, but will be this morning.
Yesterday the attorneys for Aggie Myers filed an appeal to the supreme court of the United States from the decision of Judge Philips, refusing an application for a writ of habeas corpus. The attorneys declared Mrs. Myers is held illegally by the state authorities. She also was to hang Thursday for the murder of her late husband. The mere taking of the appeal acted as an arrest of judgment in the instance of Mrs. Myers, postponing the date of execution till the higher court can pass upon the case.
Labels: Aggie Myers, crime, death penalty, federal court, Governor Folk, jail, Jefferson City, Judge Philips, murder, telegram, The Journal
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