Monday, September 14, 2009

The 1907 Houston Hatchet Murder

The following was published in a Kansas City, Missouri newspaper, May 7, 1907.

A Son Accused of Murder

Aurora, Mo., May 7--John Barkoff is on trial in Texas county, Missouri, on a charge of murdering his father, and the case is attracting much attention in the southern part of the state. The crime was a brutal one and aroused much indignation.

George Barkoff, who was 70 years old, was found dead January 17 in his store in the little town of Huston. He had considerable property, including the store. He lived with his son, who is married. The two are known to have quarreled repeatedly, but so far as is known they always adjusted their differences amiably. It is not known that they had quarreled just previous to the death of the father.

The elder Barkoff was found dead in his store one morning. His head had been crushed with a hatchet and his throat cut. Apparently the store had been pillaged. Suspicion at once centered on the son, due in part to the fact that he declared his father had committed suicide. Physicians declared that this would have been an impossibility and the hatchet and the knife or razor with which the old man's throat was cut were not found. In spite of these things the son insists on the suicide theory.

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