Villisca Ax Murders Still Unsolved More Than 100 Years After Gruesome Crime

posted: 02/07/17
by: Sasha Brown-Worsham

Moore family house, Villisca.jpg
By Ryan Moomey, Link

Sometime in the night of June 9, 1912 and early morning of June 10, 1912, in Villisca, Iowa, six members of the Moore family and two house guests were found beaten to death. All eight victims, which included six children, had severe head wounds from an axe. Though there were suspects, the crime remains unsolved.

The day book. (Chicago, Ill.), 14 June 1912.jpg
By The day book, Link

The house still stands in Iowa and is considered one of the most haunted houses in the United States.

The crime was discovered when a neighbor noticed that the well-liked families did not perform their morning chores. When she went to the house and noticed no one stirring, she knocked. She called a relative of the Moores and together, they discovered the atrocity.

Every person in the house had been brutally murdered, their skulls crushed as they slept. Josiah Moore, age 43, Sarah Montgomery Moore, age 39, Herman Moore, age 11, Katherine Moore, age 9, Boyd Moore, 7 and Paul Moore, 5 - as well as the Stillinger Sisters, who were 8 and 12 and were overnight guests of the Moore children.

The suspects, included serial killer Henry Lee Moore. He committed very similar axe murders on his mother and grandmother and the cases were very similar, leading to the theory that all the murders were committed by an axe-wielding serial killer. Other enemies and drifters were investigated, but no one was found that seemed the clearest suspect.

Henry Moore.gif
By Unknown, Link

The details are gruesome. There were two cigarettes in the attic that implied the killer or killers patiently had been in the house, hiding in the attic until the Moore family and the Stillinger girls fell asleep. First they killed Josiah and Sarah Moore. Josiah was hit so many times, his eyes were missing. The murderers used the ax blade on Josiah while using the back end on everyone else. Herman, Katherine, Boyd, and Paul were bludgeoned like their parents. Then they went back to the master bedroom to deliver more blows to the Moores, knocking over a shoe that had filled with blood. Finally, they went to the guest bedroom and killed Ina and Lena.

Investigators believed that all of the victims were asleep except for Lena Stillinger. She had defensive wounds and was seemingly molested.

The crime was horrific, gruesome, and never solved. Now, the house is a place where people can tour and spend the night to encounter ghosts and things that go bump in the night. Paranormal encounters have since been reported, including banging sounds, moving objects and children's voices. Creepy. Haunted. Tragic. Mysterious. An evil for the ages.

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[via: CBSNews; House Kaboodle]