Monday, November 15, 2010

1880 Body Snatching

The following article, republished in The Fowlerville Review from the Livingston Democrat, was not about something that happened in Fowlerville, but it was so strange, I couldn't resist posting it here:

Body Snatching In Marion~~Howell is in a state of intense excitement over a revealed case of body-snatching that has recently occurred within a short distance of this village. The victim is the wife of Morris Gates, who died on the 5th, and was interred in what is known as the Green burying ground, located in the township of Marion, nine miles from this place, on the 6th; and a few days later her body was found awaiting the dissecting knife at Ann Arbor.

This startling revelation was brought to light from the fact that a party of young people attending a singing school, held in the schoolhouse nearby, on the evening of the 8th, were returning from escorting a young lady home, when they passed the cemetery at about the hour of eleven o'clock, and one of the young ladies of the party noticed a vehicle with two horses attached to it, and a single buggy standing at the burying ground fence. In passing the burying ground the first time, which they had to do, these vehicles were not noticed, and it was supposed that the robbers were lying in wait for the dismissal of the singing school. These convenyances did not attract the attention of any other of the party, and even this young lady did not seem to take much notice that there was anything strange in the matter, and did not inform anyone of what she had seen until the next morning, when she told her father, who, thinking the appearance of vehicles at a cemetery at that hour of the night a curious occurrence, began an investigation, which resulted in the revealing of the horrible fact the grave had been robbed of its dead. Mr. Gates, becoming assured that the body of his wife had been stolen, which fact, however, did not come positively to his knowledge until last Saturday, on Sunday morning he departed for Ann Arbor, and with some assistance, found her body lying in the dead house with two others, in a nude condition and embalmed, but as yet untouched by the dissecting knife. The body was wrapped in cloths and encoffined, and brought back to this place, and has been placed where it can be closely watched. These are the facts in the case, as nearly as can be elicited from those interested in the affair.

Dr. C.G. Cruickshank, of this village, was arrested yesterday, charged with the crime, and gave bail in the sum of $600 for his appearance before Justice Bush for examination on the 24th -- Livingston Democrat

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