The Leaning Cow

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Frederick Small

January 30th, 2016 ·No Comments

Who is Fredrick Small? A man who murdered his wife and was hanged for the crime a century ago. I know this because I fell into a “click a connecting link” pattern and wound up at a news page, which I am citing here, but which may not be available forever because it is a news page. I’m certain that a Google search will bring up an account of the story if anyone stumbles on this post in the future and the link does not work.

A lot of men murder their wives and have done so for eons; they probably will continue to do so and I imagine there is some sort of parity with what is sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. The reason the Frederick Small story caused me to sigh is that while justice may be blind, the hand of fate can reach out and get you and laugh in your face.

Fredrick was a weasel of a man, according to the news account, and ran a few scams as well as perhaps losing money in honest ventures. It was 1916 and without TV, no one would be yelling “CSI, CSI, CSI!” when his wife was killed in a fire while he was far off in a theater.

He was clever; he put together a time bomb for igniting the fire, murdered his wife, left her on the bed and went off to his alibi. He wanted everything to burn up; it almost did. However, as the fire progressed, the bedroom floor collapsed, dumping his wife into the basement where her head fell into a pool of water. The water was there because he did not want to pay to waterproof the basement. Just a small pool, but her head wasn’t that large and so people found a lot of ashes and a head – with a bullet hole in it and signs of beating and strangulation.

Tales of marital discord added to situation and the police of the day found evidence of a bomb, such as a clock and gasoline, etc.

The town in which this happened was named Occipee. I can just see someone decided since he was caught out, the town name presaged the head in the pool by a bit of punning: O see me pee.

Yes, I’m sorry; dreadful pun. Awful. You aren’t going to hang me, are you?

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