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Michigan Justice

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Charlotte. Micb., Feb. 4.- Russell C. Can field, the inhuman murderer of littla Nellie Griffiu, escaped the lynchers' rope ; by pleadiug guilty yesterday and receiving the sentence of lite iniprisoumeut. About twenty-four hours after he was captured he was in the state penitentiary at Jackson. Justice has been swift in nis case, but in the opinión of the enraged people here she has been far too merciful. Horrified and maddened by the fearful crime oí the monster, the people demanded blood, and had Canfield been still in jail here last night would have been his last. It was bis fear of mob vengeance that caused him to coufess, and dread of the vigilantes' rope drove him to plead guilty and seek safety behind the solid walls of the state's prison. Made a Fatal Admission. During the twelve-mile ride Monday night vain attempts were made to obtain a confession frorn Canñeld. He told a plain story, and was so frank that it was thought likely that he would be able to prove his innocence. Sittiu'j; by a fire in the sherilï's oifice at Charlotte, Mr. Bates made another effort to get some admis sion of guilt from Canfield, and was surprised to see some signs of his weakening. Canfield said that he would like to see Mr. Bates alone. The others left the room, and Canfield said: 'T in perfectly innocent of this crime, Mr. Bates, but I'm afraid they are goingto hang me." "That is what you deserve," said Mr. Bates. "What did you kill that little girl forf" "I don't know," said Canfield hurriedly. Then seeing his fatal admission he sought to recall it, but Mr. Bates pressed his advantage, and in a few minutes Canfield broke down and offered to teil all about it. A Strange Confession. According to Canfield's story, as told Mr. Bates and signed by the prisoner, he got the girl, as heretofore stated, from the Coldwater school. He gave bis name to the superintendent as G. Hendershott, and made arraugements to take Nellie Griffln with him to his alleged home. In company with the girl he re urned to Jonesville and thence to Dimondale. After getting off the train at the latter place Canfield, with his victim, took the road leading to Mr. Harrison's farm. Before reaching it he struek off the traveled highway, going through several tracts of wood until he, with his charge, reached the piece of tiniber by the river where the body was found. Slight Keason Sor the Murder. They talked for a few moments and Nellie manifested great distress of mind and wept bitterly, begging Canfield to take her back to the institution at Coldwater. Turning a deaf ear to the girl's pleadings, Canfield struek her down and chocked her to death. He then denuded her body of clothing and taking the corpse in his arrns threw it headlong into the river. The clothes he took to Harrison's farm and hid them under the floor of the cow stable. Canfield maintained stubbornly to the last that he had not abused his victim. Canfield's Statement Verified. Wlien Caafield had signed this confession of his guilt he was at once iocked up and a guard placed over hira. Sherifi Paddock, after taking precautions to guard the jail in case of an attack, started for Mr. Harrison's farm, near Dimondale, to search lor the girl's elothes. Under the floor of the cow on Mr. Harrison's farm the clothes were found wrapped in a bundie. Mr. Newkirk lett for Coldwater yesterday rnorning, taking the body with him for burial in the state public school cemetery. Previous to his departure Coroner Benedict cocvened the jury and a verdict was found in accordance with the facts admitted by Canfield in his confession. His 3Iatrimonial Experi enees. The Harrison family say that Canfield's ouly weakness was a fondness for the society of young girls. This characteristic was the cause of a good many jokes on him, which he seemed to take good-naturedly. He has been married twice. His first wife lived with him twenty-seven years, aud then ran away with another man, and said that she was sorry that she hadn't done so twenty-seven years sooner. Canfield secured a divorce, and immediately afterward married an old niaid iu Lenawee county, who left him soon after. This second failure in matrimonial ventures so chagrined Canfield that he closed up his business matters in Lenawee councounty and went to the vicinity of Charlotte to live. But he did not get a divorce. Why He Wanted a Girl. Sensitiveness to the jokes of his neighbors is what caused him to make his last and fatal attempt to secure a wife. By some means he hit upon the plan of adopt ing a girl and then after she had grown to a sufficient age of marrying her and thus put a stop to the annoyance of neighborhood gossip concerning his unsuccesstul endeavors to secure a wife. When he reached Dimondale it is evident that he repented his foolish umlertaking and was at a loss for a plan to dispose, of the girl. He could not take her to Harrison's as his adopted daughter, nor could he marry her, as he was still legally bound to Mrs. Canfield No. 2 In this dilemma it is evident from Canfield's statements as to the route taken by him after leaving the Dimoudale depot with the cd i Ui that he was at a loss for nome way in which to become free to re turn to his employ ment without his voluntarily acquired ioeumbrance. This is the key to the murder. His statement that he had not abused the girl is disproved by the medical examination.