horizontal rule

 Cross - Examination of R. H. Stillwell 

R. H. Stillwell was the first witness on the stand on cross-examination.  Before the witness began testifying, Judge Hendrick, Dr. Hearneís attorney, wanted to know of Judge Harrison if he issued subpoenaes in the case.

ďI do,Ē was the reply.

ďThen I want a subpoenae for R. H. Stillwell.  I learn that he is going to light out this evening,Ē said Judge Hendrick.

ďWhat do you mean by Ďlight outí?Ē asked Mr. Mahan, who suggested that Mr. S. was merely going to leave the city on business.

Judge Hendrick then said:  This is a witness who came out of his way to bring evidence irrelevant in this case.  All  the evidence introduced in this case bearing on the murder of Amos J. Stillwell is irrelevant and immaterial.  The answer of the defendant denies that they made any such charge.  The witness in his evidence of yesterday, partly in response to the questions which were asked him and partly of his own volition, came forward and made statements which are positively blasting, not only to the reputation of the plaintiff in this case, but also to a certain citizen who is not a party to this action and an attorney in this city.  The newspapers state that the wife of Dr. Hearne is on her way here and will probably arrive here this evening or in the morning, and it is nothing more that right that the witness should be confronted and compelled to renew his statements.  We enter upon the cross-examination with the understanding that we proceed to a certain point and shall ask the witness to appear on Tuesday or Wednesday of next week.  If not, I want him subpoenaed as a witness in behalf of plaintiff.

Judge Harrison stated that the matter would be taken under advisement and passed upon later and the deposition of Mr. S. was proceeded with.

Mr. Mahan, on direct examination, first became the questioner as follows:

Have the grand juries ever investigated the murder of Amos J. Stillwell?  
Yes, sir; they have.

How frequently, to your knowledge?  
Should say five or six times, by five or six different  grand juries.

During what period of time?  
During the past six years.  
Now, if I am permitted to do so, Mr. Hendrick, I would like to state that I have been accused by ninety-five per cent of this community of having done all within my power to suppress any conviction, or bringing to light this crime for a period of five or six years.  I believed firmly in the innocence of both Dr. Hearne and his wife, and I so asserted myself boldly on many occasions.  I simply stated yesterday that these developments brought to mind within the past two weeks have changed my mind about the matter, and I want the public to know it.  I do not say they are guilty of the crime, but these circumstances which have been brought before my mind had changed it.

ďHow long will you probably be gone, Mr. S.?Ē asked Judge Hendrick. 
  I could not say.

By Judge Hendrick:  Where were you on the night of December 28, 1888?  
My recollection is I went to an entertainment at the opera-house, that I returned home about 11 oíclock, that my wife and I both took a bath and it was possibly 12 before we got to bed.

Do you know how much money your father had on his person that night?  
I think I do.

About how much?  
I should say about $35 in paper and about $35 in silver.

How much money was found after the murder?  
Should say possibly all the paper money and a dollar or so in silver.

Did you count the money after it was found?  
Yes, sir.

Cannot state exactly how much paper money was found?  
I cannot without referring to the record.

You are also sure there was $35 of it?  
I am pretty  positive on that subject.  Believe it is correct.

When you first noticed the bed and bedding in which he was sleeping that night, what was the condition of the bedclothes?  
They were bloody and were twisted underneath my fatherís body and indicated that he was either pulled around in bed or that in his struggles he fluttered or kicked himself around.

You refer now to the bed covering which was under him?  
I mean the sheet upon which he lay.

I refer to the bed covering with which he was covered, if any, on that night.  
When I saw him there were no covers on him.  They had, I think, been thrown back.  Whether they were touched or not before I saw them I could not say.

Did you examine them to see if there was any blood on them?  
Not that I remember of.

Can you say whether they were bloody or not?  
I cannot.

You say the bed and bedding were removed - do you know under whose directions?  
I cannot state.

Have you not in your testimony, either before the coronerís jury or grand jury, stated that you ordered the bed and bedding to be removed and the room cleaned up?  

(Objected to by Mr. Mahan as leading, on the ground that the grand jury proceedings are made secret by law.)

Do you know where you were?  
I do not.

Did you, as a matter of fact, order the bed and bedding removed from the room?  
I may have done so, but do not remember at this moment.  It may be likely that after the room had been straightened up and my fatherís body removed from the room or the side of the bed, I directed one of the servants or colored people around the house to take the bed out of the room.  Very likely I did so, but have no recollection of it.

Did you have the body removed?  
Not that  I remember of.

You were present all the time?  
I was.  It is more than likely that I called the  coroner and asked him to take charge of the body.   I remember very distinctly in my own mind that neither I nor any one present took any precaution to preserve the room in the condition in which it was found.  I have thought a thousand times that it was a fatal mistake and it is the one regret that I have ever since had - that such was not done.

Is it not a fact that you picked up your fatherís pants at the  foot of the bed?  
I could not say.  Likely I did.

That Dr. Hearne cautioned you about them?  
I have answered that question as well as I could.

Do you know Mr. Charles Clayton?  
I do.

Do you remember seeing him there that morning?  
I do not remember of seeing him.

Do you remember of being with him and Dr. Hearne in the front hall on the first floor?  
I do not.

Do you remember a conversation that he had with Dr. Hearne on that occasion about removing the body down stairs?  
I do not.

Did you hear Dr. Hearne tell him in reference to that matter that if the body remained upstairs it possibly would not have kept?  
I did not.

If there had not been any such conversation there between him and Dr. Hearne, do you think you would have remembered it?  
I do not think I could have done so, because I was too much excited at the time to allow any trifling incident to be impressed upon my memory.  The horror of the murder throws from my mind every detail.

You testified on yesterday that when you saw your fatherís wife that night that she seemed always to be in charge of Dr. Hearne.  Was not Dr. Hearne her physician?  
Dr. Hearne was often called to my fatherís house to attend in cases of sickness, which were very seldom.  
    I might state in this connection that my father was a man who was opposed to the use of medicine in any shape or form; that he was opposed to the employment of any doctor; but his wife was rather inclined to employ a physician; and on many occasions I have heard my father say to her that he had no faith in the world of medicine, but if she insisted on having a medical doctor to send and get one.

Your father was a very strong man, was he?  
Comparatively so.

And his wife rather a frail, delicate woman?  
Yes, sir.

Had not his wife had hysteria for some years before the murder?  
She had.

Such required the attendance of a physician?  
Yes, sir.

You spoke of the extreme attention shown your fatherís wife by Dr. Hearne that night.  Was there anything more than an excellent physician of keen sensibilities would have shown?  Did you remark it that night?  
I saw nothing in Dr. Hearneís conduct that night that would have me to remark it.  I do not know that he did anything that was in any way unbecoming a physician.

Were there not women with her all that time?  
There were.  I would, in this connection, like to state in Mrs. Hearneís favor that Mrs. Hearne was subject to these spells of unconsciousness which she frequently had, and I often saw her have them before my fatherís murder and after my fatherís murder; and I firmly believe in my own mind that she talked at random when in these spells; that she is liable to talk on one subject as another; that I have heard her speak injuriously and in uncomplimentary terms to parties who were attending her while she was in those spells.  I have known her to have spells when my fatherís murder was foremost in her mind, and have never heard her say anything that would indicate that she knew anything at all.

What was her condition that night?  
She was seized immediately after she alarmed the neighbors with one of those spells.

How long did she remain in it?  
I would say possibly from five to eight hours.  I think she talked at random, while she was in that spell that night, and apparently not knowing what she said, having no control of her voice at all.  I think she made the remark that her husband had been killed, and that she could see the form of a man with a slouch hat on standing at the foot of the bed.  I have heard her make that remark while unconscious and possessed of these spells, and it all goes to indicate to my mind that she was innocent of the crime.

Do you not believe she is innocent?  
I cannot state that.

Had she and your father had any trouble before that?  
She and my father, while I lived at my fatherís house, got along, so far as I know, well together.  There were no more controversies or disputes than there would have been in any ordinary family.  She was inclined to be extravagant, and I very often heard my father censure her for her extravagance.

They had a delightful home, did they not?  
Yes, sir.

Well furnished with all the luxuries and necessaries of life?  
Yes, sir.

You stated that a week or two after the murder she went to a Battle Creek sanitarium, and Dr. Hearne went with her, I believe?  
I think I stated that fact.

State your opinion as to whether her physical condition was such that she needed a physician on that trip.  
I think it was.

Was there anything remarkable in her taking Dr. Hearne on that trip?  
Nothing remarkable that I can think of.

Where was she when you wrote the letter to her stating that if she wanted to be respected in this community by respectable people that she ought to get rid of Dr. Hearne?  
I did not state that she ought to  get rid of Dr. Hearne.

What did you say?  
I donít remember just what I did say.

Where was she when you wrote that letter?  
In Battle Creek, Michigan.

Had been there  from the time she went there?  
Yes, sir.

How could you then, be cognizant of any affectionate attention which the doctor was showing her?  
The actions of Dr. Hearne prior to the time she went to Battle Creek, the sensational reports in the newspapers and by comment, all had their weight with me to write the letter to her.

Well, didnít you know that from the night of your fatherís murder the newspapers of this place and some other places have hounded Dr. Hearne and his wife?  
I believe for a period of some time after my fatherís murder that neither Dr. Hearne nor his wife were suspected of the crime.

But what were the remarks in the newspapers then?  
They were remarks that were made after the rumor became current.

Well, but you say you wrote this letter on account of the scandal and remarks of the newspapers?  
Yes, sir.

What were these remarks?  
I cannot say what the remarks were now.  They were remarks that implicated either Dr. Hearne or his wife in connection with this crime.

Then there were no remarks about the undue-familiarity between Dr. Hearne and your fatherís wife?  
I think the remarks were of that nature frequently and became newspaper comment.

Donít you remember that immediately after your fatherís death his wifeís father came on here?  
I do.

And lived in the house with her until she started  to Battle Creek.  
Possibly he remained that long.

Mrs. Stillwell had servants in the house?  
She did.

How old was her daughter Mollie at that time?  
About thirteen or fourteen years.

Well, when you saw Dr. Hearne and Mrs. Stillwell frequently together, in what way did they manifest their pleasure in each otherís society before they went to Battle Creek?  
There were many ways in which the actions of both indicated to my mind that a fondness existed between them.

Was she too sick to manifest fondness for anybody?  
No, sir.

Was she confined to her room?  
She was not sick except when seized with one of those spells of epilepsy.  Apparently after they had left, her mind was as clear as ever and her talk was as sanguine as ever.

Did you sign your name to the letter you wrote to her?  
I did.

Did some one ever offer a reward for the arrest and conviction of the murderers?  
I was administrator of my fatherís estate and offered a reward of $10,000 for the arrest and conviction of the murderer.  I stated in that reward that my impressions were that the crime had been committed by two people.  I signed that reward as administrator of my fatherís estate.  I made that reward in good faith, and I believe in my own mind that it could have been paid out of the funds of the estate.  I felt in my mind that after a final settlement of the estate that the reward was void.  Again, a short time ago, possible within a year, had a talk with one Mr. Clarke with reference to this reward and I think the conversation was such as to lead Mr. Clarke to believe me responsible, knowing I had offered a reward personally for the same amount, $10,000, and after this, sensational developments brought to my mind within the past two weeks, I was induced to write Mr. Clarke a letter, addressed to Chicago, saying to him that I withdrew any reward which I had formerly made for the arrest and conviction of my fatherís murderer.  My reasons for having withdrawn the reward are these: I was advised by my attorney that I had a right to withdraw the reward.  I was further advised by him that if by any possibility the case of my fatherís murder should be brought to trial and a reward of $10,000 outstanding for the conviction of the guilty parties, that it would have a tremendous weight with the jury in the manner of influencing witnesses to falsely testify in gaining the reward, and if the case ever went to trial my intention was to have the trial free and unrestricted, uninfluenced by any amount of money in expectation.

When you offered the reward of $10,000 of your fatherís estate, did you do so after consultation and advice with your fatherís wife?  
My recollection is that she acquiesced or consented to the offer of that reward.  I do not think she hesitated or objected to the fact of the offer.

You stated that your fatherís wife did not go to the cemetery at the  time of the funeral.  Who remained with her?  
I do not know.

Do you know whether Mollie went to the funeral?  
I do not remember.

What was the reason that she did not go to the funeral?  
I do not think that she was in a proper condition to go.  It is possible that I advised her myself not to go.

How did you become possessed of the information you gave yesterday in regard to the criminal conduct of Dr. Hearne and your fatherís wife?  
I prefer not to answer that question, but if under rulings I am compelled to do so I would be pleased to have these newspaper people report this as I state it.

ďWe are perfectly willing for you to refrain from answering that,Ē said Judge Hendrick, ďif you will notify me or Dr. Hearne.Ē

Mr. Mahan:  We prefer to have the question answered.  It is his duty to answer.

Judge Hendrick:  Are you willing to do that?  
Mr. Stillwell:  Do I understand that the notary rules that the question must be answered?

Judge Harrison:  I certainly do rule that the questions have to be answered, provided they will lead to any criminal prosecution on your part.  
Mr. Stillwell:  Do I understand you that it will lead to criminal prosecution on my part?

Judge Hendrick:  We will let that question remain pending for the time being.  I believe you stated that there were two persons who gave you the information?  
Mr. Stillwell:  Think I  could truthfully state that portions of that information came from three different sources.

Have you had any talk with Mr. A. L. Clarke?  
Have had some talk with him about it.

Did you tell him this information?  
The information was told to Mr. Clarke in this way:  Mr. Mahan and Mr. Clarke had a conversation with me the night before I was put on the stand and in questioning me I indicated to them or told them about what I knew.

As you stated yesterday afternoon?  
My recollection is that I gave them one source from which I gathered the information.

And yet you are, after having given your testimony reflecting so seriously on the former wife of your father, unwilling to give me the name of your informants.  
I was not asked on the stand yesterday.

I know, but you were by me in a private conversation.

Mr. Mahan:  It is on the witness stand and I suppose it will be necessary, as he insists on your answer.

Mr. Stillwell:  I only suggested to him.

Judge Hendrick:  And you were unwilling yesterday afternoon, after giving your testimony, to give me the same source?

Quite a colloquy ensued between those assembled, and Judge H. finally said:  I ask the names of your three informants.

Witness:  Do I understand that the notary rules that I must answer that question?

Judge Harrison:  Provided it does not lead to any criminal prosecution on your part.  
Witness:  Part of this information was gathered from Mr. C. P. Heywood
[28], part of it from Mrs. John Hayward, part of it probably from W. A. Munger.

What did Mr. C. P. Heywood tell you?  
He told me substantially about all that I told yesterday.  Witness here paused and was admonished by Judge Hendrick to go ahead.  
Witness:  Well, itís only natural for a person -

Judge Hendrick:  Well, just repeat what he told you.  
Well, wonít the statement I made yesterday -

Judge Hendrick:  You mean that he told you all of the testimony that you gave yesterday in regard to the criminal conduct of Dr. Hearne and your fatherís wife?  
I cannot state that he told me all - he told me some portions of it.  He knows it all - has known it for some time.

What party told you that Dr. Hearne said he could have a man slug your father?  
Mrs. John Hayward, in Chicago, made that statement to me.  That is, Mrs. Susie Hayward.  Mrs. Susie Hayward made the statement to me as having been told to her by Dr. Hearne.  She also told me in about the same connection that Dr. Hearne told her in connection with the same conversation about meeting and having passed my father in the hall when in my fatherís residence.  She told him that if he had shot my father that night he would have been hung for the murder.  Dr. Hearne replied that if he had shot my father the people in town would have thought that he had been killed by a burglar.

What kind of a woman is Mrs. Hayward?  
So far as I know, her reputation is above reproach.  Her statements are as truthful as any in this community.  Mrs. Hayward also told me in this connection that Mrs. Stillwell was completely in the power and under the control of Dr. Hearne; that just before my fatherís death, he could do anything in the world with her.

How did he do it?  
I donít know.

Did she say how?  
She did not.

Where is Mrs. Hayward living?  
Further than Chicago I canít say.

Why canít you?  
I donít know.

Did you see her there?  
I did.

Where did you see her?  
At the Palmer House in Chicago.

How did you happen to see her?  How did you get her?  
I got to see her through the influence of a gentleman and his wife who formerly lived here and are now spending awhile in Chicago.

What are their names?  
Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Heywood - or rather Mr. C. P. Heywood.

That is one of the parties from whom you received your information?  
No, sir; that was Heywood.

Where do they live?  
Do not live in Chicago, but are visiting there.

Where are they residing?  
I think at times they travel with a theatrical troupe; their present address is 4747 Kimbark avenue.

How did you first learn that Mrs. Hayward knew anything about this matter?  
A short time after my father was killed I surmised in my own mind that Mrs. Hayward, if anybody could, could throw more light on the subject than any person.  I visited in Chicago either once or twice for no other reason than to interview her on this subject.

Well, did you find her?  
Have never been able by my own efforts to induce her to talk freely on the subject; in fact, she has told me nothing until recently.  While Mr. and Mrs. C. P. Heywood and Mrs. McKnight were visiting in Hannibal, about a month ago, I induced these people to go to see Mrs. Hayward in Chicago and prevail upon her and insist that she tell what she knew with reference to this crime.  They promised to do so, and as a result of either one or all three of these people, Mrs. Hayward was finally induced to make the statement in my presence.  Mr. C. P. Heywood was present when she made the statement; Mr. W. H. Haines, whom she called her attorney and adviser, thatís all.

Did Mrs. Susie Hayward claim to be intimately acquainted with Dr. Hearne and his wife?  
I do not know what you mean by intimately acquainted.

Well, know them very well?  
She knew Dr. Hearne well.  She lived here a great many years while Dr. Hearne resided here.

Is she a married woman?  
Yes, sir.

Where is her husband?  
Lives in Tennessee - she in Chicago.

Are they divorced?  
I think not.

What does she do for a living?  
Think she teaches school; am told also that her husband assists in her support.

Did Mr. C. P. Haywood tell you that he had learned these things from Dr. Hearne in conversation with him - these things that you testified to yesterday?  
No, sir.

Well, how did you learn from him - what did he tell you?  
He stated that they were facts which he knew.

And didnít give you his source of information?  
He didnít give me his source of information, but I inferred that they were facts which he had gathered during his association and conversations with Mrs. Hayward.

Did Mrs. Hayward tell you why she had been so long in revealing these facts?  
Yes, sir.

What reasons?  
She says that on one occasion she indicated to Dr. Hearne that these facts were so worrying her that she stated to Dr. Hearne, ďSuppose I should tell Mr. Stillwell of the relations existing between you and his wife?Ē  Dr. Hearne said:  ďMrs. Hayward, if you should, I would kill you.Ē  That fear of Dr. Hearne possibly deterred her, in connection with her former love of my fatherís wife, from even making any statement in connection with the murder of my father.

Did she say these were the reasons?  She said these are the reasons?  
No.  I cannot say that she said these were the reasons, but they are my inference and impression gathered from the manner in which she made the statement.  I feel confident in my own mind that Mrs. Hayward prior to my fatherís murder, was a very intimate friend of my fatherís wife.  I know that her knowledge of Dr. Hearneís intimacy with my fatherís wife caused her to avoid and afterwards treat her coolly and gradually break away and sever herself from that friendship.

Did Mr. W. A. Munger tell you that he knew of his own knowledge of these facts or that somebody had told him?  
He told me that he had heard them.

From Mrs. Hayward?  
He did not say that he had heard them from Mrs. Hayward.

He did not tell you from whom he did hear them?  
My recollection is that he said he had heard different statements from different people, in the aggregate, amounting to about what I have said.

Judge Hendrick:  Yes?  When can you promise to be here, Mr. Stillwell?  
I cannot answer that question.  I have some business that calls me away from the city and just how long -

Will it be two or three days?  
I cannot say about that.  I know exactly Mr. Hendrick, what you are trying to confront me with, and I wish to say that I am trying to avoid it.

Judge Hendrick:  We do not care about any statement of that again.  It is digressive.  Addressing Judge Harrison, Judge Hendrick said:  Your Honor, have you prepared the subpoenae for Mr. Stillwell?

Judge Harrison:  I have, sir, with the exception of the date.

Judge Hendrick:  Monday, I think, unless Mr. Stillwell can tell us that he will be here Tuesday or Wednesday.  We are willing to make an extension of two or three days for him.

Judge Harrison:  The witness is here now.

Judge Hendrick:  I would like to have the subpoenae served on him for next Monday.  Dr. Hearne wants the witness to make a statement.  Let Mr. Stillwell make his statement why he does not wish to meet Mrs. Hearne.

Judge Harrison:  Proceed, Mr. Stillwell.

Mr. Stillwell:  Whilst the facts and circumstances which I have stated are true to the best of my knowledge, I believe I would prefer to have any cross-examination continued now than to postpone it later, when, by inference, I presume, she would be present, which presence seems to me a circumstance calculated to influence me in this statement.

The witness was excused at this juncture, but was later subpoenaed to appear at 9 oíclock Monday morning on the part of the plaintiff.

horizontal rule

Previous     Next