February 11, 1910
DR. HYDE CHARGED
WITH MURDER IN
THE FIRST DEGREE.
Colonel Swope's Nephew by
Marriage Formally Accused
OUT UNDER $50,000 BOND.
Special Grand Jury Convenes
Saturday to Investigate
BIG LIBEL SUIT DROPPED.
By Dismissing Proceedings,
Dr. Hyde Avoids Giving
DR. B. CLARK HYDE.
Dr. B. Clark Hyde, whose wife is a niece of the late Colonel Thomas H. Swope, was formally charged in a warrant issued yesterday afternoon by Justice of the Peace Loar at Independence, with having caused the death of Colonel Swope by poison.
Dr. Hyde was arrested in the office of Marshal Joel Mayes at 4 o'clock and an hour later gave bond in the sum of $50,000 before Justice Loar. The hearing is set for February 17.
The surties on the bond are M. D. Scruggs, vice president of the Kansas City Live Stock Commission Company; Fernando P. Neal, president of the Southwest National bank, and Herbert F. Hall, presiden tof the Hall-Baker Grain Company. Frank P. Walsh, John M. Cleary, John H. Lucas, attorneys for Dr. Hyde, and William McLaughlin joined in signing the bond, which was twice as large as was suggested by Prosecutor Conkling.
SPECIAL GRAND JURY CALLED.
Two hours prior to the issuance of the warrant, Judge Ralph S. Latshaw of the riminal court ordered that a special grand jury be convened to examine into the deaths of Colonel Thomas H. Swope, Chrisman Swope and other members of the Swope family who died of typhoid fever, including Moss Hunton, who died suddenly in the Swope home.
Marshal Joel Mayes was busy yesterday selecting a list of names of men who will be asked to serve on this grand jury. The jury will be convened Saturday morning when Judge Latshaw will instruct them in their duties.
The refusal of Dr. Hyde to appear at the Reed offices yesterday morning so that his deposition could be taken in his libel suits for $600,000 against the Pulitzer Publishing Company and the dismissal by the attorneys of the suit when they learned that an attachment had been issued for Dr. Hyde, precipitated the criminal proceedings.
The information was sworn to by John G. Paxton of Independence, the executor of the Swope estate. On the reverse of the warrant was a request by Prosecutor Conkling for an immediate arrest.
BIG LIBEL SUIT DROPPED.
The scenes of activity in the Swope case yesterday were kaleidoscopic. The legal sparring began in the morning when attemts to take depositions in the offices of Atwood, Reed, Yates, Mastin & Harvey on one hand and Frank P. Walsh on the other failed because the witnesses subpoenaed were not present.
Following the issuance of an attachment by the Reed forces came the dismissal of his suit for $600,000 damages.
The dismissal of the libel suit in which the Reed forces had obtained a prior right to taking depositions was not wholly a surprise, but it roused the attorneys for the Swope estate to activity. It was shortly after 10 o'clock a. m. when the attorneys and the women witnesses in the case gathered in the Reed offices. George H. Roberts, the notary, had failed to arrive and he was found in the court house. He had not expected the case to be called. Dr. Hyde had not arrived and it was determined to ask for an attachment. This was issued and a deputy sheriff began a search for Dr. Hyde.
JUDGE LATSHAW ACTS.
It did not take long for this news to reach the Walsh offices and John M. Cleary was dispatched to Independence. There the suit alleging libel against the Pulitzer Publishing Company, John G. Paxton, Dr. E. L. Stewart and Frank G. Hall was dismissed. The sheriff was notified and recalled the deputy who had been unable to find Dr. Hyde. the latter was ensconced in a private apartment of Mr. Walsh's offices. The news of the dismissal of the suit did not sit well with the attorneys for the Swope estate. There was a conference between Reed, Atwood, Maston and Paxton. It terminated at the office of Prosecutor Conknling.
It was at this juncture that Judge Ralph S. Latshaw entered the case. He went into conference with the attorneys and a quarter of an hour later declared that he would convene a special grand jury on Saturday monrning.
In the meantime Mr. Paxton had gone to Mr. Walsh's office. He said that he was sorry that he had caused the attorneys any embarrassment, but that he had a great deal of private business to attend to. He would greatly appreciate the favor of being excused until 2:30 p. m. Mr. Walsh conferred with Judge Johnson, and returning to the room, told Mr. Paxton that they would excuse him until 2:30 p. m.
Then Mr. Paxton got busy. Mr. Reed arranged for an interview with County Prosecutor Virgil Conkling. It did not take the attorneys long to arrive at a decision. This was that Mr. Paxton should swear to the information and that Prosecuting Attorney Conkling would recommend an issuance of a warrant charging Dr. Hyde with murder.
Before Prosecuting Attorney Conkling departed for Independence he called up Mr. Walsh on the telephone and asked him to have Dr. Hyde in the office of County Marshal Joel Mayes at 4 p. m. as he desired to serve a warrant on him at that time. Mr. Walsh promised to have his client there at the appointed time.
Dr. Hyde was not at the Walsh offices when this message came and caught his attorneys somewhat by surprise. They were getting ready to take the deposition of Mr. Paxton. Dr. Hyde was notifed over the telephone to come to the Walsh offices and then Mr. Cleary was given the job of finding bondsmen for Mr. Hyde. He was only a few minutes later than 4 p. m. in getting the signatures of the three businessmen to the bond which was made out in blank.
The warrant was issued at 3:30 o'clock on the application of J. G. Paxton in the office of Justice of the Peace Loar of Independence. Mr. Paxton was accompanied to the office of Justice Loar in the Jackson County Bank building by T. J. Mastin. Virgil Conkling indorsed the information. "I hereby approve of complaint and request that a warrant be issued," affixing his signature to the back of the document.
"I suggest that the bond be fixed at $25,000," said the prosecutor. "I believe that is sufficient in this case as there are certain contingencies which lead me to believe that a greater bond is not necessary." Justice Loar also was informed by the prosecutor that he could do as he pleased as to the amount of the bond, but that the state would be satisfied with that amount.
LEAVES WITH WARRANT.
Justice Loar upon the receipt of complaint at once was given another paper by Virgil Conkling which proved to be a warrant for the arrest of Dr. Hyde. In the body of the warrant the wording was identical with that in the complaint, and after being signed by the justice of the peace, who ordered it delivered to the marshal of Jackson county, the prosecutor and Attorneys Mastin and Paxton left in an automobile for Kansas City with the warrant.
Prosecutor Conkling stated that he had placed in the warrant that the preliminary examination would be held February 17.
Justice Loar stated that if the defendant waived preliminary examination he would commit him to jail, but if not he would accept the bond which it was expected Dr. Hyde would give.
Shortly before 4 p. m. Mr. Walsh and Mr. Lucas took their client to the criminal court building. Dr. Hyde was smiling. They hastened to Mr. Conkling's office where they remained until they were told that Mr. Conkling and Mr. Paxton had returned from Independence and were in the marshal's office.
Prosecutor Conkling handed the warrant to Marshal Mayes and told him Dr. Hyde would be in the office in a few minutes.
"Is your name B. Clark Hyde?" inquired Marshal Mayes of Dr. Hyde a few monents later when he was brought into the office by Attorneys Walsh and Lucas.
Dr. Hyde nodded his head in reply.
WAIVES READING WARRANT.
"I have a warrant which I am directed to serve on you. Shall I read it?" Marshal Mayes inquired.
"We waive the reading of the warrant," spoke up Attorney Walsh and the party including Dr. Hyde smiled.
Dr. Hyde and Marshal Mayes entered into a conversation on temporal subjects. The afternoon was delightful, remarked the marshal.
Prosecuting Attorney Conkling and Attorneys Walsh and Lucas drew to one side of the room.
"I have recommended that Justice Loar take a bond of $25,000 for the appearance of Dr. Hyde at the preliminary hearing which has been set for a week from today," said Mr. Conkling.
COULD MAKE IT A MILLION.
"That is satisfactory to us," replied Mr. Walsh. "Mr. Cleary is out now and will be here very shortly with a bond that will be good for a million dollars if necessary.
"That is not necessary," replied Mr. Conkling. "I have suggested a bond which I deem sufficient."
Attorneys Conkling, Walsh and Lucas then withdrew to the outer office, leaving Dr. Hyde with Marshal Mayes.
"I am very much interested in knowing what they are going to do with me next," said Dr. Hyde to Marshal Mayes.
"Do we have to go to Independence, and will I have to stay there all night?" asked Dr. Hyde.
"If your attorneys are unable to get bond for you, you will remain with me tonight. If they do get bond, you will go to Independence with me and then go on home," said Marshal Mayes.
Dr. Hyde was inclined to be almost talkative while in the marshal's office. He talked on almost any subject not pertaining to the case, and his face, for the first time during the week, was wreathed in smiles.
About 4:30 p. m. Mr. Walsh suggested that the party depart for Independence, as he expected Mr. Cleary had already started there. Assistant Prosecutor Jost accompanied the party in the Walsh automobile, representing Mr. Conkling. A moment later they were on their way to Independence.
At 5:15 o'clock a large automobile glided up to the bank building at Independence. In it was the county marshal, having in custody Dr. Hyde. Accompanying the party were Frank P. Walsh, John Cleary and John H. Lucas. They immediately went to the office of Justice Loar.
Dr. Hyde followed his lawyers closely, and as soon as he entered stepped to one side, and motioning to a newsboy, bought an evening paper, scanning the headlines. Not once did he raise his eyes, but kept them riveted on the columns which contained the latest developments in his case. After reading the full account, he turned the paper over and reread it.
MAYES SIGNS RETURN.
County Marshal Joel Mayes drew up his chair to the desk and signed the return, turning it over to the justice.
Dr. Hyde, who was standing near, found room on a window sill where he kept reading his paper, only looking up sufficiently long to buy another, which he read with as much eagerness as the first.
Frank Walsh left the court room, stating that he would be back in a short time. Upon his return he placed the bond before the justice of the peace for $50,000 instead of the $25,000 expected.
"I expected bond for $25,0000, but this is better still," said Justice Loar.
Mr. Walsh signed the document, then handed a pen to Dr. Hyde. Dr. Hyde wrote in a plain, bold hand, without a tremor, and his signature was affixed with as much indifference as if writing a prescription for a patient. After Dr. Hyde, John M. Cleary and John H. Lucas signed the bond.
LAWYERS SIGN BOND.
After this preliminary Dr. Hyde, followed by his lawyers, went to their automobile and soon were out of sight.
"This is a good bond," said Justice Loar, after the crowd had left the office. "Mr. Neal is president of the Southwest National bank, and the others I am given to understand are stockyards men. I do not expet that there will be a preliminary examination here. I am confident that it will go to the criminal court at once.
Labels: attorney, automobiles, County Marshal Mayes, doctors, Frank Walsh, Independence, James A. Reed, Judge Latshaw, murder, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery, telephone
February 10, 1910
JURY INFLUENCED BY
HYDE'S FAILURE TO
TAKE THE STAND.
Wanted to Question Him in
Regard to Contents of
J. W. Martin, one of the jurors in the Swope inquest case, was asked yesterday after the verdict was brought in what testimony caused the jurors to arrive at a conclusion.
"The fact that Dr. Hyde did not go on the stand and testify impressed us greatly," he said. "In the morning we had a meeting and the question of the nurses testimony as to the capsule was up for discussion. It was then that we decided that we wanted to hear what Dr. Hyde had to say as to the contents of the capsule. When we were denied this, it made an impression on me as well as the other jurors.
"Another thing which we considered carefully was the conference between the nurse and Dr. Hyde when Thomas H. Swope was stricken. It had its weight, bu the refusal of Dr. Hyde to testify, thereby shutting out all information of an explanatory nature, which he might have been able to give, impressed us deeply."
The verdict of the jury was to the effect that Thomas H. Swope came to his death from strychnine poison administered in a capsule "by direction of B. Clarke Hyde, whether with felonious intent, we, the jury, are unable to decide."
Coroner Zwart tried to get Dr. Hyde to the witness stand and testify in his own behalf, but the doctor's attorneys assumed responsibility for keeping him off the stand. They said in a statement they felt satisfied the evidence adduced at the inquest would convince the public of their client's innocence.
Dr. Hyde was apparently least interested of all in the room when the coroner's jury brought in the report of the inquest. He sat facing the jury and a shadow of a smile flitted over his features as the foreman finished reading. Coroner Zwart will certify the stenographic report of the case together with all of the evidence he has to the criminal court. This will be done immediately.
Just when a warrant will be issued by Prosecuting Attorney Conkling, if one is issued at all, is problematic. It was rumored from apparently good sources yesterday afternoon that no action would be taken until a report on the rest of the viscera, still undergoing examination in Chicago, is made to Executor John G. Paxton and Prosecuting Attorney Virgil Conkling.
CORONER CALLS DR. HYDE.
After Miss Kellar was recalled to the stand, where she repeated much of the testimony she had given in the other days of the inquest, Coroner Zwart called Dr. Hyde to the stand. A hush fell over the court room and all eyes were fixed on the features of the physician. Dr. Hyde did not move a muscle. His attorney, Frank P. Walsh, leaned over the table and in a low but distinct voice announced:
"The attorneys for Dr. Hyde have advised him not to testify. We do not care for him to testify here, and therefore at our suggestion he must decline to be sworn."
"I have here a copy of a newspaper dated February 1," said Prosecuting Attorney Virgil Conkling, who rose to his feet immediately after Mr. Walsh declared his client would not testify. "It contains a signed statement by Dr. Hyde, and in the light of his refusal to testify, I desire to ---"
Coroner Zwart again re-entered the arena. He motioned to Mr. Walsh and to Mr. Conkling. Mr. Conkling, his assistant, Mr. Jost, Coroner Zwart and his assistant, Mr. Trogdon, left the room. A conference of a couple of minutes followed, and when they returned Coroner Zwart declared taht he did not know just what this legal scrimmage had to do with an unsophisticated coroner, but that he wanted Dr. Hyde to testify.
"I hold that Dr. Hyde must be sworn to take the stand," said the coroner. The words were hardly out of his mouth when Mr. Walsh rose to reply.
"I stated before that on the advice of counsel, Dr. Hyde refuses to testify," he said.
Prosecutor Conkling again offered a suggestion. "The prosecutor asks the same rule apply here as with the rest of the witnesses."
"The coroner holds that the witness who is here must be sworn and then he may or may not testify as he chooses," declared Coroner Zwart.
"Notwithstanding the stand that has been taken by the coroner, and the prosecuting attorney," said Mr. Walsh, "and not intending any disrespect to the coroner, I will simply reiterate my statement that Dr. Hyde will not testify."
"If the witness does not desire to reply to certain questions which may be asked of him, he can refuse to do so under his constitutional rights," said Coroner Zwart.
"As I have said before, Dr. Hyde will not be sworn. That is final," said Attorney Walsh.
"That is sufficient for my purpose," almost shouted Prosecutor Conkling.
Coroner Zwart turned to the attorneys and remarked that he tried to afford them all of the courtesies that he could. The attorneys smiled and seemed satisfied.
THEN COMES THE VERDICT.
After testimony by Dr. Gayle as to the efficacy of strychnine as a poison, Coroner Zwart said to those in the courtroom:
"Does anyone present in this courtroom know anything as to the cause of the death of Colonel Swope?" There was an intense silence broken by a juror who asked that Mrs. Swope be recalled. Mr. Paxton escorted her to the witness chair from the seat on the garden bench she occupied the previous day. She was asked about the extra pay Miss Kellar received for attending Colonel Swope, adn said that this was talked over by the entire family, and it was their wish that Miss Kellar receive $35 instead of $25 a week. This she said was after the suggestion for the extra $10 a week had been made by Dr. Hyde.
As Mrs. Swope stepped from the witness chair, Coroner Zwart stepped forward. He told the jury that the evidence had been presented and that they were to retire and find a verdict. He handed them two legal forms for verdicts. The one that was used was added to by the jurors who were unable to decide as to the intent of Dr. Hyde in ordering the administration of the capsule which they said caused death.
Half an hour later the jury sent for Dr. Zwart. They wanted to know if they should insert the time and place of Colonel Swope's death on the verdict. He told them that they should, and a quarter of an hour later they reported.
Labels: attorney, Coroner Zwart, Frank Walsh, Swope Mystery
February 1, 1910
POISON WAS FOUND,
COLONEL SWOPE'S DEATH AS-
CRIBED TO STRYCHNINE, PROB-
ABLY GIVEN IN DRUGS.
DR. B. CLARK HYDE SUES.
Asks Damages Aggregating
$700,000 for Statements
DR. B. CLARK HYDE,
Physician Who Sues for $700,000 for Statements Growing out of the Swope Poison Cases.
CHICAGO, Jan. 31. -- Colonel Thomas H. Swope of Kansas City died from the effects of poison, according to the findings of Dr. Ludwig Hektoen and Dr. Walter S. Haines, announced in Chicago this afternoon.
It was formally declared by the doctors that Colonel Swope died from the effects of strychnine poisoning.
The report of the experts does not include the result of the analysis of the contents of the stomach of Chrisman Swope, nephew of Colonel Swope, who died soon after the demise of his uncle, under similar circumstances.
ATTORNEYS HEAR REPORT.
The investigation of the mysterious deaths of the late Colonel Swope and his nephew was shifted to Chicago today. For several weeks the internal organs of the bodies have been here in the laboratories of Dr. Hektoen and Dr. Haines, toxicologists. Today Attorney John G. Paxton, administrator of the Swope estate, Attorney James A. Reed, his associate, Virgil Conkling, prosecuting attorney at Kansas City; Dr. B. H. Zwart, coroner there, and Thomas H. Swope, nephew of the dead millionaire, came to receive the report of the experts as to whether or not poison had been found in sufficient quantities to cause death.
PAXTON'S TERSE ANSWER.
The visitors arrived on a Santa Fe train at 7:28 a. m., and went at once to the Hotel La Salle, where a room was engaged. Later a conference was held at the University Club, at which the findings were revealed.
Attention of Attorney Paxton was called to the fact that suits for $100,000 had been instituted against him for slander in connection with his share of the investigation.
"I have nothing to say about this suit except that I feel somewhat flattered," said Mr. Paxton. "I have received the news by wire that Dr. Hyde has sued myself and Drs. Hall and Stewart in suits aggregating $700,000 because of slander in connection with the Swope case. I have nothing further to say.
Mr. Paxton would make no further comment beyond saying that the investigation was not fully concluded yest, and would say nothing of the investigation of Chrisman Swope's death. It was said that strychnine had been found in the stomachs and livers of both men.
Coroner Zwart returned to Kansas City tonight, but Mr. Paxton, Mr. Reed and Attorney Conkling remained. They will leave Chicago tomorrow night, Mr. Paxton said. An inquest over the bodies of Colonel Swope and his nephew will probably be started next Monday. Any criminal warrants that will be issued will probably follow the inquest.
DR. HYDE SUES FOR DAMAGES.
Through Frank P. Walsh and John M. Cleary, attorneys, Dr. B. Clark Hyde filed suit yesterday in the circuit court at Independence demanding damages aggregating $700,000 from J. G. Paxton, executor of the Swope estate and the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. The petition declares that published interviews pointed to Dr. Hyde, son-in-law of the Swopes and their family physician, as the instigator of a plot to murder Swope heirs.
The damages are asked on three counts and newspaper men are named as witnesses to statements alleged to have been made by Mr. Paxton which the plaintiff declares destroyed his professional standing and were meant to oppress, impoverish and wholly ruin him. The first suit against Mr. Paxton charges slander and the amounts asked are $30,000 actual damages and a like amount for punitive damages. The complaint in the suit against the publishing company states that headlines in the Post-Dispatch over a purported Paxton interview said that the man who "planned to kill family with typhoid germs," which, the petition alleges meant Dr. Hyde, "who has been continually watched by five detectives and will not be allowed to escape punishment."
The petition is long, and is a narrative leading up to the final mention of the family doctor's name and alleged insinuations that he plotted to kill. Interviews with the county coroner, Dr. B. H. Zwart and Dr. Frank J. Hall, specialist in analytical work, are made a part of the contentions of the plaintiff. The damages asked in the first count total $200,000, and after this comes a similar charge on another published interview and another $200,000 is asked. The third is based on the publication of Dr. Hyde's picture, which the petition alleges clearly identified him as the "man," meant in all the interviews charging murder plots.
Dr. Hall and Dr. Edward L. Stewart are made defendants along with the newspaper. The plaintiff estimates the total wealth of all the defendants at $5,000,000.
Mrs. B. C. Hyde, formerly Frances Lee Swope, yesterday gave out a signed statement insisting that she was constantly at her husband's side, and knew his every movement.
Labels: attorney, Chicago, Coroner Zwart, Frank Walsh, James A. Reed, Lawsuit, Prosecutor Conkling, Swope Mystery
January 21, 1910
NO LOVE NOTES IN
THIS GIRL'S SUIT.
Cigar Stand Manager, Young
and Pretty, Sues Rich
Miss Mabel Reeder, young and pretty, manager of the cigar stand in the lobby of the Savoy hotel, yesterday filed a suit in the circuit court against John E. Johnston, a saloon keeper at 810 Main street, demanding damages in the sum of $25,000 for alleged breach of promise of marriage. Johnston is said to be well-to-do.
It was on December 1, 1905, Miss Reeder asserts in her complaint, that Johnston promised to marry her. Since then, she alleges, he has discontinued his attentions and has informed her that he does not intend to marry her.
According to the complaint, the engagement of Miss Reeder and Johnston became publicly known and, it is set forth, Johnston's failure to perform his part of the agreement embarrassed, humiliated and wounded her "in feelings, affections, womanly pride and sensibility," and, it is added, her "prospects for life and eligible marriage are blasted."
"This isn't one of those love letter cases," said Miss Reeder last night in her rooms at the Tomlinson apartments, Eleventh and Broadway, "because I haven't any love letters to present. I would just love to give you a story, but I can't for several reasons. One is that my lawyer, Frank P. Walsh, tells me not to talk.
KNEW HIM IN WICHITA.
"You see, Mr. Johnston and I are from the same town, Wichita, Kas. We have known each other a long time and it was there that we became engaged. He was the proprietor of a hotel and I was working at the cigar stand in the hotel. We both came to Kansas City a couple of years ago and Mr. Johnston started a saloon here.
"I am unable to tell you why Mr. Johnston broke off his engagement with me. I don't know whether there is another girl in the case. He has known that I contemplated bringing this suit, because he was notified. Really, now, there isn't anything sensational about this case, and I want to escape all the notoriety I can."
Johnston refused last night to discuss the action brought against him by Miss Reeder.
"Let Miss Reeder do the talking now," he said, "and I will have my say later."
Labels: Broadway, cigars, circuit court, Eleventh street, Frank Walsh, Lawsuit, Main street, romance, saloon, Savoy, Wichita
October 16, 1909
TO OPEN SANITARIUM TODAY.
Wm. Volker's Gift Means Much to
Kansas City People.
The opening reception of the tubercular pavilion, Twenty-second and Cherry streets, the gift of Mr. William Volker to the Jackson County Society for the Relief and Prevention of Tuberculosis, is to be held at 3 o'clock this afternoon.
As this is a great event in the history of Kansas City, everyone is cordially invited to be present at the dedication of the sanitarium, which is to be presented by Frank P. Walsh, president of the society, to the city, through its mayor, Thomas T. Crittenden, Jr.
Addresses will be delivered by Professor Charles Zubelin of New York, Mayor Crittenden, Frank P. Walsh and E. W. Schauffler, medical director of the sanitarium.
Labels: Cherry street, doctors, Frank Walsh, health, hospitals, Mayor Crittenden, New York, organizations, Twenty-second street
April 4, 1907
A FIGHT BETWEEN LAWYERS.
Frank Walsh Resented a Remark
Made by Festus O. Miller.
An argument arose during the filing of a bond in Justice Sherman's court yesterday between Attorney Frank P. Walsh
and Attorney Festus O. Miller.
"Then you lied to me," said Miller to Walsh.
In his younger days Walsh was pretty handy with his fists and he says he hasn't forgotten the proper method of resenting the lie direct. His right fist landed on Miller's left cheek and only a chair prevented Miller from going to the floor. He scrambled to his feet and exclaimed:
"I beg the court's pardon and also Mr. Walsh's pardon. I didn't intend calling him a liar."
"That's all right," said Walsh, "No man can call me a liar and not get into trouble."
Justice Sherman assessed no fines for infraction of the dignity of his court.
Labels: attorney, courtroom, Frank Walsh, Judges, violence
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