Thursday, June 14, 2007

Murder Suicide Part Three

Thief River Falls News

Thursday May 28, 1914

Mrs. OK Olson still Alive with Five Wounds on Body—She Will Recover.


Coroner’s Inquest Brings out Pathetic Incident Relative to Inga Olson’s Death.

The bodies of Mrs. Louis Gilsoul, Mrs. Ludwig Larson, and Inga Olson, the three women victims of last Thursday’s tragedy in eastern Marshall County, were buried at the Torgerson Cemetery last Saturday afternoon. Reverend Opdahl of Esplee conducted the services which were attended by practically every resident in the country for miles around. The body of Louis Gilsoul was brought to this city Friday night and buried in Potter’s Field Saturday afternoon at 2 o’clock. Aside from Coroner Halverson, Reverend JB Smith, and a distant relative of the deceased, no one was present at the burial.

Mrs. OK Olson, the fifth victim, is still alive and will recover. There are five wounds in her body resulting from the three shots that were fired at her. One bullet entered her elbow, passed through the muscles of the arm and lodged in her neck. Another struck her in the cheek and the third is lodged in her back about six inches below her neck and slightly to the right of the back bone.

At the coroner’s inquest it developed that Mrs. Olson was the second woman to receive shots. After being wounded she picked up her 16 year old daughter who was shot through the head and expired in her mother’s arms crying, “Mama, mama.”

The exact route taken by Gilsoul in reaching the Olson home still remains a mystery but it is believed that he got off the Soo train at Plummer and walked across the country to the scene of the shooting.

The coroner’s jury also brought out that fact that OK Olson’s brother, Knute, was also a witness to the crime. He was standing in the year, covered by Gilsoul’s gun part of the time, expecting to be shot at any minute and was paralyzed with fear. According to his story, Gilsoul went about the shooting in a cool and deliberate manner, cursing his victims before shooting them and continually glancing over his shoulder to see that no one approached him from behind.

Eno Olson, the son of the family, who shot at the murderer as he was entering the poplar thicket, was the last man to see him alive. He heard the shot that Gilsoul fired into his own body but could not see whether or not the man had committed suicide or was attempting to defend himself. Gilsoul took his own life about 10 o’clock Thursday morning. But he was not definitely known to be dead until about noon when Albert Arntz, who had just arrived on the scene, walked into the thicket and found the body.

If Gilsoul had not taken his own life it is doubtful if he could have escaped fro more than a few hours. Practically every man and boy present was armed with shot guns, revolvers, and rifles.

At the time the news of the shooting reached this city, Gilsoul was supposed to be at large. Sheriff LaBree, County Attorney Staton and Coroner HR Halverson left the city in the Halverson automobile at noon and were the first from town to reach the scene of the crime. Gilsoul’s body was lying practically on the line dividing Marshall and Pennington Counties. A coroner’s jury composed of Ed Larson, Albert Arntz, Anton Knutson, John Hoppe, Charles Johnson, and Edwin Olson, were drawn and witnessed sworn and examined. Eno Olson, Bernard Baker, and LJ Tenald were the only witnesses called.

The murder farm where the three women were killed was situated in Marshall County just one half mile north of where the body of Gilsoul was found. The Marshall County authority’s held the inquest the day after the murder. After the shooting the corpses were laid on chairs and covered with sheets presenting a gruesome spectacle to those who visited the place. Practically all of the relatives of the dead women were present but there was no crying or display of sorrow whatever. They answered questions in monotone, looked on the faces of the dead without change of expression and seemed not to fully realize the magnitude of the crime.

Dr. J Boderman, coroner of Marshall County held a post mortem examination of the three bodies finding the wounds in the following places.

Mrs. Ludwig Larson: Bullet hole passing completely through back part of neck. Bullet lodged in neck slightly below chin. Bullet through left breast very close to the heart probably cutting artery. Powder marks on back of right hand. Death instantaneous.

Inga Olson: bullet hole 2 inches above right ear. Lived a few seconds after receiving wound.

Mrs. Helen Gilsoul: Bullet hole 1 ½ inches above right ear also through center of breast. Powder marks on back of right hand. Instantly killed.

When Coroner Halvorson searched the clothing of Gilsoul, he found, besides the new .32 caliber Iver-Johnson revolver, a number of cartridges, pipe, tobacco, $5.73, knife, several receipts and a memorandum book. On one of the pages of the book was written, “May the 21, 1914. Now I am not going to Olson’s to hurt anyone, nor to get hurt, but to get my wife—they have stolen her from her home. L. Gilsoul.

On another piece of paper, part of which had been torn off and probably destroyed was written, “I will not write much now. I would like to speak with you sometime when you are alone. My love is ever for you.” Helen Burn this.

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