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Opal E. (Jessup) King (1917)


Posted By: Judy Wight Branson (email)
Date: 12/29/2007 at 20:29:48

Winterset Madisonian, Winterset, Iowa
Wednesday, April 18, 1917, page 1

Young Man Kill Wife And Self - Berl King, Through Jealousy Kills Girl Wife Then Takes His Own Life

The double tragedy occurring on Friday afternoon, when Berl King of Des Moines shot his 17 year old wife and then himself, brought deep grief into the home of Mrs. King's parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. E. Jessup of near Winterset. The young couple had been married about five months and for the last two weeks Mrs. King had been employed in the diet kitchen at Mercy Hospital, together with her sister, Mrs. Pearl Debord, formerly of Winterset.

Mr. King told his wife that he was going to join the army and that he would meet her at the Harry Ewell home on Friday to say goodbye. Mrs. King left the hospital about 2:00 and found her husband already at Ewell's. Mrs. Ewell who before her marriage was Mrs. Helen Cassiday of Winterset, was in the kitchen at work. The mailman came, knocked and King answered receiving a package. He went into the kitchen and unwrapped a new .32 caliber revolver which he showed Mrs. Ewell saying he had bought it for a friend from a mail order house. When she asked him about ammunition he took bullets from his pocket. At this time Mrs. King was resting in the bedroom, as she had complained of being very tired. King, at her request, went out to buy some bananas, in his absence Mrs. Ewell warned Mrs. King of the loaded gun, the latter making light of the fact. When King returned, he took the fruit to his wife and in a few seconds, Mrs. Ewell heard a cry and four shots. Running into the room she saw Mrs. King dead and the man holding the pistol to his own head. Shaking off Mrs. Ewell he rushed to the cellar where he was found by the police, still alive with a bullet wound in his head. His death occurred later at Mercy Hospital.

A note was found on his body to Mrs. Ewell which showed the deed had been planned out, also a memorandum was found of the ordering of the revolver on April 8th as well as a request that the bodies of himself and wife when found be buried together, notification to be given her mother, Mrs. C. E. Jessup of Winterset.

Burial service were conducted on Sunday at the Christian church by Rev. A. D. Mann.


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