Historic Pelham

Presenting the rich history of Pelham, NY in Westchester County: current historical research, descriptions of how to research Pelham history online and genealogy discussions of Pelham families.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Murder on Fowler Avenue in 1908

A brief account of a murder that occurred at the home of Paul A. Heubner of Fowler Avenue in the Village of Pelham Manor in 1908 appeared in the January 2, 1909 issue of the New Rochelle Pioneer.  The account is transcribed below.


White Plains, Dec. 24. -- Following the inquest which was held into the death of Dennis Lee, gardener for Paul A. Heubner, of Fowler avenue, Pelham Manor, who was found murdered in the furnace room of the stable in the rear of Mr. Heubner's residence at noon on December 7, John Kirk, the coachman for Mr. Heubner, who was locked up in the county jail at White Plains since the murder, was formally charged with homicide by Coroner Weisendanger yesterday, when the inquest was concluded, and was held to await the action of the grand jury.

When the Coroner announced his verdict, Kirk, who was sitting in the grand jury room where the inquest was held, broke down and wept.  At the other sessions of the inquest Kirk did not seem to realize the seriousness of his predicament.  At the session held last week, he seemed to be confident that the finding of the coroner would be in his favor, and on one occasion laughed heartily at some of the statements made by one of the witnesses.  Yesterday when he took his seat in the grand jury room, Kirk looked pale and haggard, his air of confidence was completely gone and he seemed to realize the seriousness of the situation.  He has lost considerable weight since he was incarcerated. 

It is now believed that the crime was premeditated.

During the various sessions of the inquest Kirk has made no statements.  Attorney Sydney A. Syme represents him.  Coroner-elect Boedecker was present at yesterday's session, noting the procedure of the inquiry."

Source:  Kirk Held for Grand Jury, New Rochelle Pioneer, Jan. 2, 1909, p. ?, col. 1 (page number not printed on newspaper page).

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