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Murdered For Ten Dollars

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'. rruiii uto ,:ii 'iinu i iM'ih.i No recent mntder betrays ou the part of the guilty wretches who compassed it more delibérate cruelty or cold-blooded a-aft thmi tho suddon takiug-oil of John M. Armstroug, ut Cumden, N. J., some months ugo. The party accused is now on trial, his chief counsel being Robesou, ex-Secretary of tho Navy, and his defense must be uncommonly ingenions and vigorous if he encapen the gallows. Armstrong'B resideuce and plaoe of business was Philadelphin, Vhere he was ■well known p.s a musia pnblishor. Of !ate years he liad not beon suocessf ui iu his ventures, and among others to whotn he had becoine iudebted was a life-long frieud and former business asBociate, Benjamin Ilunter, a manufacturer of lnoans nml a man of rich connections. Either hy assignmeut from Armstrong as security for his indebtedness, whioh was not largc, or by his own direct procurement, Hunter held policies of insurance to the amount of $26,000 on Armstrong's life. In January last Armstrong was assaulted on a quiet street in Oamden, N. J., and so battered about the head by a liammer, which was fonnd in close proximity to his body, that within a few days he died, auil witkout reeoveriug eonscionnness. Tho hamnier boro the initials "F. W. D.," and, as it was knowu to tho family of the deceased that )ic had gono to Camden for the purpose of soeiug one Davis, with whom he was ou bad terms growing out of some business transections, suspicion feil upou him, and he was arrested as the murderer. His detention was brief, as it was Roon manifest that there was no evidence against him save the circximstances narrated, and that iie would be able to overthrow this by conclusive proof of alibi. The widow of the murdered man rece' ved a note f rom her husbaud shortly before his death, saying that he was going to Camden in company with Hunter for tho purpose of meeting Davis. Shortly after the perpetration of the crime she sent her son to Hunter to iuquire if he had been at Camden witli Armstrong, but he denied having beeu thero, and begged that his name might not be mixed into the unfortunato business. The fact, however, that Hunter held policies of insurance on Armstrong's lite became known, and he was arrested on suspicion. He would have escaped, undoubtedly, had not Thomas Gráname, a young, shiftless fellow, who liad served a number of years as an apprentice to Hunter when ho was engaged in the manufacturo of heateis and ranges, presented himself to the Prosecuting Attorney and circumstantially narrated the full particuiars of the deadly assault upon Armstrong. As a witaess for the State Orahame told this story on the stand lust week, and if it cannot be broken, as it cortaiiily was not upon a searching cross-ósamiaation, it will send him te tho penitentiary for a term of years ano commit Hnnter to the gallows, or there will bo little faith in the certainty ol Jersey justice. For several years after leaving his employment Grahame, thougli living but a few bïocks from him, saw little of Hunter until December last, when he askec him if he know Armstrong. Grahame was able to answei that he did, when Hunter, claimmf? Grahame as his friend representad that, for the good of his creditors, Arnistrong should be killed and proposed that if he woald undertake thc bloody work he should have $5(K for his reward. Grábame readily as sentad. The matter rested for a time when the witness went to Hunter's house, and, asking for $1 on account received 85. It was Hunter's plau to have Armstiong murdered at the place in Camdeu where the assault was finalli inade, and the crime was to be committec during the absence of Hunter on a visi to relatives in Virginia, but Grahamc failed, and when Hunter returned he found no progresa had been made in the tragedy. He gavo Grahame $2, anc providcd him with a hammer, stating particulnrJy that the murder mufct be accomplished by its use as a weapon The failure of Grahame to appear at the appoiated place in Camden frustratec the murdtr for one night, Armstrong liaviug betn on the spot in accordance with what he was led to believe was an appoiufment with Davis. This deoided Hun Ut to mako aure of both his men for anothrr evening, and tlio ferry-boat whieh contnined Hunter and Armstrong, en route, as the Jatter was led to believe, to a business interview with an old enemy in tlie Jersey town, had for a passenger Thomas Grahame, who, in addition to the hammer, carried a iiatchet with which he had been provided by Hunter. The story of the killiag itsel'f shall be iu Grahame's owu words : "Armstrong and Mr. Hunter went up Vine street to Fjfth, and I f olio wed behind; Mr. Hunter went up an nlley just above tho corner and Armstrong stood on tho pavement; I walkcd up toward bim, and Mr. Hunter came out of the alley aud said ' Yes;' I was up to Armstrong then, aud as I went to hit him with the hammer it slipped and struck him in the face; on the iorehead; just then I saw a light in the house, and my heart failed me; I turn d around and was walking away.whenl looked around and saw Mr. Hunter standing over Armstroug, who was Jying on the pavement: Hunter cried out, 'Hit him, hit him;' theu I ran away; I looked back again, and again saw Mr. Hunter standing over Armstrong, and then I threw the hatchf t back of me and jumpeii into au empty cellar; JL juinped up t,he other side and ran across a loh, up nu alley, through n back gate, along a littlo f-treet, and into Fifth streot; I then walked slowly toward tlie ferry; that 'Yes!' of Hunter's (he told me bef ore I went over there) was to be the signa!; Armstrong had on his head a fur cap; when I goton tho ferry-boat I walked slowly up to the bow and saw Mr. Hunter standing there by the chain; he said. ' I fiuished him;' we sat down on the outfidebench; he said, ' You threw the hatchet so far away that I had to go as far ns from here to there (pointing to a post) before I could flnd it;' we went up Market street, aud at Water street I aaked if he had any chauge, and lie gave rae a quarter and I bonglit a drink; he said that we liad better part there and then; IsawMr. Hunter the next day; ho told me t meet liim at ( iiv.rd avenue iiud Broal at 3:30 o'clock tliat ufteruoou; I was there aliead of liim. As Hunter carne out avenue he whistled and beclïoned for me to go out Girard avenue, aud so I went out toward Fifteenth street; he then stood and talked with an oldish m;tn at Broad street; 1 stood at Fifteenth street and Mr. Hnnter o.nme up, shook hands, and put two $5 bilis in my hand." Two &5 bilis the price of assassination ! Human blood has become a cheap commodity, but in the service of anothir the murdcrer seldom works for a song. Hunter, who wastoprofitby Armstrong's death, and wlio delivered tho linishing blows, worked ev;n cbeaper, for, gaining nothing, he is m imminent danger of bis owu Deck. It will be the endeavor of the defense to show thiit Grubflnie was the real murderer, and that ho ia endeavoring to escape with )iis life by chargiug his crime upon an innocent man, who was once his benefactor. As o motive for the murder by Gruhamc, the defense will seek to show that ho suspected liis pretty wifo of an iilieit intimacy with Armstrong, but it rill take Btrorg evidence to owrthrow tho impression cieated by Grahame's cool, circumstantial nariative. (Story of a lesertcl House. A singular story is told of a deserted house ntar Haverhill, Mass. Twelye years ago im energetio young mechauic was engaged to marry a young woimu of that city, and worked hard to lay up mohéy enoügíi to tjuy a liorüe to Uiich to take Lis brido. (Jne morning he inttted her to drive, took her to a handBoiüe and Well-furnishod residence in the subul'bB, shotifed lifer thogh the rooms, and told her it bclonged to liinl. To her ir.quiry how he obtained it, he liually admitted that it was purcliased ■with a part of $20,000 which he had tlrawn in a lottcry. ]5eing n, gitl of striet principies, she declared she would never marry him nntil he gaye back the money, an(ï, on his reftlsing, left him forever, and the house instill tenantless.


Old News
Michigan Argus