Slayer of Mrs. Cron
Evidence that the Murderer Lived in a Basement
Razor and Clothing
Bloody Testimony Discovered by Milton Sherman
Blood Stains Led to It
All Stories of the Running Away of Robbers Fit in
Detectives Look for "Norton"
Men of the village of Wilmette have made a discovery, which, they say, furnishes a clew to the identity of at least one of those concerned in the murder of Mrs. Cron. Wednesday afternoon a suit of clothes covered with blood, a shirt showing on the collar the prints of bloody fingers, and a razor stained with blood and matted with hair were found in the basement of the house of Miton Sherman. The most incriminating article found, however, is an undershirt identical with that worn by the dead burglar, mended with the same goods, and partly identified by Mr. Wheeler as his property. [heading] The Sherman basement is large and airy. In one corner stands an immense round iron cistern. There is a large space in the angle of the wall which it does not fill, but the walls prevent access to this space, except by crawling over the top of the cistern. The cover is less than a foot from the ceiling beams. In the basement itself was abundance of provisions. There were two cases of eggs; pies were renewed every few days. There was preserved fruit, canned meat, and nearly every necessary of life, and there is evident [sic] that some one had lived for several weeks.
Sherman Finds Evidence of Murder [heading]
Wednesday afternoon young Sherman had occasion to go into the basement. In his explorations he approached the cistern and at once noticed a peculiarly disagreeable smell. Thinking it proceeded from behind the cistern he commenced a search. Obtaining a lantern he slowly and laboriously clambered over the cistern lid. Back in the angle of the wall was a rough couch of blankets. Piled against the walls was a heap of clothing. Milton Sherman recognized a wedding suit which had been stolen from his house last summer, but there were stains which told of a crime greater than theft.
The coat and the vest were smothered in blood. He lifted the shirt. Across the front was a trail of blood; on the left side of the collar and inside fingrs dripping with blood had been thrust, clinched as though in a fight for life. Still Sherman searched, growing faint and sick with horror at his own thoughts. Beneath the clothing was a white-handled razor. Blood was upon the handle and blade and hair was clotted with stains upon it. These told the story of a death.
Story of Weeks of Confinement [heading]
The tale of a life lived for three weeks in darkness and confinement was told by other things. Scattered around were eggshells, hacked fruit cases, bits of pie, and vegetables. The whole larder been [sic] requisitioned to supply the man in hiding, and he had evidently lived there at least three weeks. No one had seen any one enter the basement and none had hard any noise.
The discovery was kept so quiet in the village that few but Welbasky, Minier, Ashby and Smith, the city detectives working on the case, knew of the find. Then Inspector Shea was told, and the clothing and razor examined. The suit of clothes was positiviely identified by Milton Sherman as the suit he had lost last summer.
Proved to be Mrs. Cron's Hair [heading]
The blood upon the clothes was human blood, and it was fresh; the stains on the razor were those of fresh blod and hair clunb about the handle and blade. From its length the hair was that of a woman. Thought at first to be gray, examination under a microscope showed it to be auburn. Mrs. Cron's hair was auburn.
Then came another--possibly the best--piece of police evidence. Searching around the house Sherman found hidden away in the corner of the barn an undershirt. When the body of the burglar Frank Wheeler shot was examined it was found that the man wore underwear of peculiar make. Later Mr. Wheeler identified the underwear as his own. The principal means of identification was a particular place in which the underwear had been mended with part of a stocking. The undershirt found in the Sherman house is of similar make, and it too, had been mended with a piece of a stocking.
Running Away of Robbers Fits In [heading]
Once again there came to the front the tale of the bloodstains found in Wilmette. Hitherto the story had had little coherence; now it had a terrible meaning. Frank Wheeler's house, the place where the blod was found and the Sherman basement are in a line. Then, too, was remembered teh tale of running mentold by Mrs. Bunker and the Parrs. It was in front of Mrs. Bunker's house that the blood was found, and both she and her little girl had heard men running through their garden on the morning of Nov. 4. Back of the Bunker house, some distance down an alley, is the Parr residence. Members of this family also heard men run by their house before the church bell alarm had been given. All these places, the Bunders' and the Parrs', lie along the track to Sherman's house.
Mrs. Bunker's house is surrounded by a high fence next to a field which has been planted in corn and which is entirely surrounded by a barbed wire fence. Ony one narrow egress is left, and yet a critical examination of that fence, made the day after the murder, failed to show any trace of the least fragment of cloth or human flesh. No stranger could have found the path between the corn stubs; no stranger steered straight for the little gate in the barbed wire fence.
Ever since Al Laminoris of the Friendship House had identified the dead burglar as a man named Logan who had stopped in his house the detectives have been looking for the man with whom he was generally seen. This was a man known as Jack Norton.
Just a week ago Milton Sherman brought home a new winter suit. He laid the package on the hall table beside his overcoat and that is the last he saw of it.