Sunday, January 30, 2011

The Schaeffer Murder



Source: Evansville Courier, Evansville, Indiana, September 19, 1883.


The Schaeffer Murder


Coroner Carter yesterday concluded the testimony and rendered his verdict in the Schaeffer-Schaeffer murder case.  The witnesses examined were Messrs. John W. Ashby, whose testimony was similar to that published in the Sunday COURIER.  Albert Zachares, and the defendant, Chas. Schaeffer, which is as follows, and which does not tally with the statement made to a COURIER reporter the night of the deed:


"Mary V. Schaeffer was my wife; have been married 11 years; have always been on good terms with my wife and relatives, except once about a year ago, when I had a fight with my brother-in-law; we have five children living and one dead; we had family spats once in a while; the last I remember on Saturday night, my wife and I were at Zachares' saloon; from there we started home; my wife and I were both drunk; she was never drunk before; and she drank whisky; and she never drank that before; she said that she was going to drink just because I did; I did not say anything when we were going from saloon, but that we will go home and go to bed; and we were laughing and talking, but I don't recollect anything else that I said; I can't tell how I got my pistol out; I know I got it out, and she grabbed for it, and we were scuffling for it as it went off; and soon as it went off I asked her if she was shot, and she said yes; and I gave her the pistol and she throwed it into my brother-in-law's (Jake Rieber) yard; I never in my life threatened to kill her; she threatened to leave me if I did not stop drinking, and my relatives used to make fun of us because I hugged and squeezed her so much; Andy Rieber and I were always on good terms; we all lived in the same house for three years.  "Where were you when you did the shooting?" I never done the shooting, but it happened just as we stepped off the pavement into the alley; we were more in the alley than on the line of the pavement.  I didn't take my pistol out just at that time; I had the pistol out before that and we were scuffling for it and it went off right there; I stood in front of her; we were almost against each other; I had drank at least 20 or 25 glasses of beer; I was able with 20 or 25 glasses of beer in me to understand everything and to run to get the assistance of my brothers-in-law; I don't know if this is the pistol I had; I got it in the dark from Mr. Russ; I couldn't tell.


Coroner Carter, after hearing all the testimony, returned the following verdict: "That Mary Schaeffer came to her death by a pistol shot at the hands of Charles L. Schaeffer."


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Mary V. (RIEBER) SCHAEFFER, was Corinne's paternal 3rd-great grandmother.  I have yet to discover the outcome of Charles Schaeffer.  Additional articles relating to the murder have been posted here, here and here.  This article was sent to me by a Rieber researcher, Ray Bland.
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