February 1, 1910
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.
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.
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.
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.