Muscatine County, Iowa


Muscatine Journal December 6, 1915
Submitted by Valerie Plejdrup, Oct. 19, 2013

Murderer of Mrs McDonough flees to Illinois after crime.


The Ford automobile, in which Mrs Anna McDonough and her son John left Oskaloosa, November 4, to drive to the home of her daughter in New Boston Ill, has been found, with the cushions of the rear seat drenched with blood. In the Motor Garage Moline Ill. The car was left in the garage the night of November 6, and the man who received it said he took no particular notice of the person who drove it in and therefore couldn't furnish a description. The back of the front seat was scratched and marred, bearing mute evidence in the fact that there must have been a struggle in the tonneau. The car was damaged in no other way.

The garage in Moline say that when the car was brought into the garage the driver left instructions that it be overhauled and said that he would return for it the following Thursday.

Thursday came and the car was uncalled for. A short time ago it was decided to move the garage to a new location and a letter was written to the authorities at Des Moines giving the license number and asking that the owner be notified.

Investigation at DesMoines disclosed the fact that the car in the Moline garage was the long sought missing automobile that had belonged to Mrs. Anna McDonough, whose dead and decomposing body was found in the deserted house at the top of Elsie Hill at noon on November 12.

Verifies Sheriffs Theory

A reconstruction of the events before and after the finding of the body of Mrs McDonough would put the date of the murder probably the night of November 5.

According to Sheriff Wileys theory. John McDonough and his mother left home November 4 and started for the home of Mrs. McDonoughs' daughter in New Boston Ill. Arriving at Columbus Junction they probably stopped for a time, but it is supposed that they spent the night of the 4th at some point the other side of Columbus Junction.

Upon leaving Columbus Junction, reconstructing events from the sheriffs' viewpoint. John and his mother began to quarrel and in the darkness John mistook the road and turned off on the branch that runs past Knights place, where the bloodstained hat was later found. There the quarrel culminated in a struggle and not knowing that his mother was dead or fatally hurt, John turned around and drove on to Muscatine. Then finding that his mother was dead he came to the top of Eisle Hill with its lonely, deserted house offering the best possible means of concealment.

Flees Through Muscatine.

After placing the body beneath the trap door, he drove on through Muscatine, probably crossing the river here and thence on to Moline, where he stored the car, never intending to claim it. The most probable theory of his subsequent actions is that he went on to Chicago and lost himself.

When the Oskaloosa authorities were notified from Des Moines that the McDonough auto had been found in a Moline garage the communicted the fact to the dead womans' son-in-law, George Haber, who went to Moline, claimed the car and drove it back to Oskaloosa, passing thrugh Muscatine yesterday noon.

Sheriff Wiley says that John McDonough, son of the murdered woman, and who is suspected of the crime, will probably sooner or later turn up in some mining community as he is a coal miner by trade. It is said that he had some trouble in Colorado not long ago and was forced to leave the state.

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