AMAZING STORIES: The Maspeth Murder - JuniperCivic.com
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Originally published in the June 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

AMAZING STORIES: The Maspeth Murder

Brooklyn Eagle July 6, 1872 ‒ Yesterday the Eagle published an account of the arrest of John Kerrigan of Maspeth for the murder of his wife. Yesterday the inquest on the body of the deceased woman was held by Coroner Watts and a jury. Mrs. Sarah Evers was the first witness and she testified that she saw Kerrigan go upon his stoop and seizing his wife by the hair drag her out one hundred and fifty yards into a grain field where he jumped upon her body and struck her in the face. Leaving her there he went to the hotel of Newtown. This testimony was corroborated by Mrs. Louise Smith and Margaret Coleman. It is alleged that Kerrigan had said that he would kill his wife before the 4th of July. His wife was very much addicted to liquor and occasionally Kerrigan imbibed. When partially intoxicated he is represented as being a perfect monster and Deputy Sheriff Pettitt has arrested him on several occasions for beating his wife. The woman is thirty-three years of age, and he is thirty-five. They were married about eight years ago while servants in the family of William Furman. She is said to have been a very hardworking woman walking twice a day to Williamsburgh with milk. They were in good circumstances but her unfortunate habit of drinking led them into many quarrels. They have two children eight and five years of age. An examination of the body shows it to have been terribly abused. The physician believes death to have ensued from Kerrigan's jumping upon her stomach. Kerrigan denies the charge, and says when he left her she was sitting on the stoop and that she must have staggered into the grass, where she smothered. Kerrigan was committed to await the action of Grand Jury, and was guarded on his way to the jail as threats of lynching him had been made.

June 2013 Juniper Berry Magazine

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