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L. L. DeLong Murdered, 1905


Posted By: Karen Brewer (email)
Date: 5/5/2016 at 14:12:26

The Osceola Sentinel, Osceola, Iowa
January 12, 1905, Page 1

L.L. DeLong Poisoned.

Strychnine Found in the Stomach by
State Chemist-Gov. Cummins
Asked to Offer Reward.

On last September 8th Mr. L. L. DeLong was taken violently sick with cramps in the stomach while at J. C. Harrison's grocery. He died within an hour. There was some talk of death being due to Alcoholism as he had been drinking some and a bottle of whisky was near him where he fell in rear of the Harrison grocery, but the development of the analysis prove otherwise. The Register & Leader of last Sunday said:

It is possible that Governor Cummins will offer a reward for the discovery of the murderers of L. L. De Long of Clarke county. DeLong died about four months ago and was buried, but his body was exhumed on order of the district court, and the vital organs were found by a Des Moines chemist to contain deadly poison, which it is suspected that he was given. Gov. Cummins has received the following letter from the officers of Clarke county interested in the case:

On September 8, 1904, L. L. De Long, a citizen of Clarke county, Iowa, and who has been a citizen of our county for a number of years, came to his death in the city of Osceola in a very suspicious manner. His stomach, kidneys and other organs were sent to the state chemist for analysis, and he reports Mr. DeLong having died from strychnine poison.

The person who committed the crime has not been apprehended, and is still at large, and in all probability will be somewhat difficult to apprehend. The family have requested that we ask you to issue a reward for the apprehension of the murderer, and as we are advised that you require a request from the sheriff and the county attorney, we therefore ask you to offer such a reward as in your judgment necessary.
(Signed) C. C. Scott, Sheriff,

J. S. Banker, Co. Att'y.

DeLong was worth about $35,000, it is said. Strychnine was the poison found by the chemist. It is said that there is a suspect. The poison is thought to have been administered in whiskey. The people of Clarke county have had no intimation that murder was suspected.

The chief difficulty is to find a motive for the crime if a crime was committed. Mr. DeLong was popular and well liked among his acquaintances, and it was not known that he had an enemy.

There is absolute proof as yet that death was caused by strychnine. Undertaker Horton Bailey, who exhumed the body, says he used the arterial process and this might account for traces of strychnine in the stomach. Chemists can tell by the force of strychnine whether it was swallowed before death, as in the case it is found in crystallized form. Exact information on this point is not yet given out.


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