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March 6, 1873
Portsmouth Daily Evening Times
Terrible Tragedy at the Isles of Shoals
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Murder News clip

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(Editor's Note: Readers should be aware that this early hurried report gets all the names wrong, except that of Wagner. It assumes Wagner lived on the Isles of Shoals since he had previously lived on Star and Smutty Nose, but at the time of the murder he was living on Water Street in Portsmouth. The article also incorrectly reports that Smuttynose Island is divided between Maine and New Hampshire, when it is fully in Maine.)

Two Women Killed with an Axe -- The Murderer Escapes
A terrible story comes to-day from the Isles of Shoals. Two women, Norwegians, were found murdered yesterday evening. They were killed with an axe by some person as yet unknown, although the people who live there have no doubt in regard to his identity. The women were a Miss Cornelia Chrisenten (sic) and Miss Annetta Lawson (sic). They had quite a large sum of money, and this is now missing.

The suspected man is a Mr. Lewis (sic) Wagner. He is said to be a desperate character. He has not been seen at the Shoals since the murdered women were found. The women lived in the well-known red house, once occupied by the late Christian Johnson, on Smutty Nose Island. This man Wagner was at the house yesterday.

When it was found that Wagner was missing, a large-number of Shoalers came up to this city. Here they found that Wagner was in the city this morning. He had all his heavy beard taken off at a barber shop and left on the noon train for Boston.

The men who came from the Shoals are so excited that it is impossible to get many particulars from them and this news reached us just as we go to press. Officers in cities on the line of the road have been telegraphed, and it is hoped that Wagner will be caught.

The women who were murdered lived in the family of Mr. Huntress (sic). It is believed that Wagner rowed up to this city in a boat after he committed the deed. Wagner is a Prussian and is well-known by the fishermen about here. The crime was committed within the limits of Maine. The imaginary line that divides the States crosses the island.

This Smuttynose Murder news clipping feature:
Created, designed and hosted by
With thanks to The Portsmouth Public Library
& Portsmouth Athenaeum
Primary researcher: Richard Winslow
For more info see SMUTTYNOSE MURDERS

Concept and design
Copyright © 2000

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