Edward C. Flanagan

The Courant American
Cartersville, Georgia
March 8, 1900, page 1
Transcribed by:  

Flanagan Dead In Jail.
Atlanta Murderer Died Under Death Sentence.
Died From Prison Exposure
Remarkable Fatalities Attending Those Connected With The Case
Flanagan’s Crime.

Atlanta, Ga., March 6. –Edward C. Flanagan, the man who murdered Miss Ruth Slack and Mrs. Martha Allen, at Poplar Springs, on New Year’s Eve, 1896, gave Dixon Allen a wound which subsequently caused his death and attempted the life of Geo. W. Allen, died in a cell in the DeKalb county jail at Decatur this morning.  A post mortem examination will be held and the brain that has puzzled so many experts will reveal its true condition.

George R. Spence, who with Col. Dan W. Rountree, has been active in Mr. Flanagan’s defense said today:
“I think Flanagan’s death was directly due to the manner in which he was kept while incarcerated.  When I visited him several days ago, I found him in an open cell, with no provision for a fire, and on a mattress that had not been cleaned in a long time.  Mr. Rountree and I immediately presented a petition to Judge Candler, asking that the prisoner be removed and given proper attention.  The judge issued an order providing for such comforts as were possible, but refused to allow him to be removed from the jail.”

Remarkable Case.
Setting aside the crime for which the prisoner was put in jail, the case of Flanagan is a remarkable one by reason of the many trials, convictions and death sentences which have fallen on him, and the attendant train of fatalities which has seemingly followed those interested in the matter.

Col. William C. Glenn, with whom Col. Rountree was associated in the trial, died, it is said, from overwork in the case.  While in charge of the case Col. Glenn summoned experts on insanity from all parts of the country to testify.

Moyse in The Case.
During one of the trials Julian Moyse, the Mississippian who recently impersonated Capt. Clark, of the Oregon, and married a young Ohio woman in New Orleans, represented himself as an expert on paranoia, the disease with which Flanagan was believed to be afflicted.  Moyse was dismissed one hour after he began to cross-examine Flanagan in open court.

Thomas Dobbs, Adam Gresham and Gus Taliaferro, Flanagan’s fellow workers and witnesses in the case, are dead, two of them having been killed in a wreck.

W. R. Harwell, of Cartersville, with whom Flanagan boarded at one time, has been dead two years.

Among the first physicians who visited Flanagan after the murder was Dr. Hugh Hagan, a prominent local doctor and club member.  He was stricken with apoplexy and died suddenly in 1898.

Dr. Harry Huzza, connected with the case, was injured on a train last year en route to New York, and died in a hospital there.

Harry Gilham, a reporter, who wrote the first story of the murder for a local paper, died soon after.

Several months ago the mother of one of the jurors was declared insane.  She was followed to the asylum soon after by the son, stricken with the idea that he had wronged Flanagan.

Judge John Candler has three times pronounced the sentence of death on Flanagan.  The case has been in all the courts of the state and a suspension of sentence was had in January 1899, on account of the prisoner’s weakened condition.  Flanagan came from Raymore, Tenn., and at the time of his arrest was in the employ of the Standard Oil Company.  He was 45 years of age.  His enmity toward the Allen family was aroused by the delusion that they were trying to separate him from the 19 year old daughter of George W. Allen.  Flanagan made three attempts to escape from the Decatur jail.  One of these he seized the jailer’s baby and held it up in front of him to prevent the father from shooting.  He was seized however before he got out of the corridor.  Six weeks ago he made his last attempt to gain his liberty, but was seriously wounded by a shot fired by one of the attendants.  This put him into bed.  At one time the prisoner tried to commit suicide by drinking kerosene.  The belief is general that Flanagan has always been insane, yet many believe that he escaped the gallows by feigning that his mind was unbalanced.


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