IAGenWeb Project - Allamakee co. Li'l Bits

He Couldn't Keep the Secret ... a deathbed confession

A dispatch from West Union, Iowa, to this morning's Minneapolis Journal, says: "The details of a horrible murder have just come to light through the death bed confession of Michael Joyce, of Allamakee county. This story told by Joyce to his brother-in-law, John McDonald, is as follows: Four years ago he ordered his nephew, James Joyce, to clean out the cistern. The boy obeyed but as soon as he reached the bottom his uncle pulled up the ladder. He then procured a shot gun and fired both loads into the defenseless boy. Not satisfied, the heartless relative tumbled a lot of rocks upon the body and left the place. The following day he returned and busted the body out by means of a horse and rope and dragged it to an obscure part of the farm and buried it. This was four years ago. He circulated the rumor that the boy had gone South and was caught stealing horses and hung, and confirmed the rumor when approached on the subject. The murderer was a varitable brute, having been known to drag his aged, sickly aunt from her bed just to hear her scream and groan.

~source: Waterloo Daily Courier, March 7, 1894
~Note: Michael Joyce, 1834-Feb 12, 1894, is buried in Lycurcus cemetery, Allamakee county, Iowa
~transcribed by S. Ferrall

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