Leon Reporter, Leon, Iowa
Thursday, January 22, l903

'Windsor Richards, a Former Resident of Decatur County Charged with the Crime.' - Seven Year Old Girl May Die.

A peculiarly revolting rape case came to light yesterday, and has roused great public interest. The complainant is BESSIE, the seven-year-old daughter of JOHN MCKEE, who lives two miles east of Caledonia. The accused man, who is now in jail, is a married man aged 25 years, who has been working for MR. MCKEE since corn gathering time began.

The little girl is in a very precarious condition, suffering from the effects of the assault, and also from a severe attack of broncho-pneumonia. It is feared that she will not live, so her statement was taken yesterday. She names RICHARDS as her assailant, and personally identified him when brought before her. RICHARDS was brought to Mt. Ayr yesterday afternoon, appeared before Justice Lineburg without a lawyer, waived examination, and was bound over to the February Grand Jury under $l500 bonds.

The assault took place a week or more ago. RICHARDS and his wife have been living in the MCKEE home. Several of MR. MCKEE's children are living with other people, as MRS. MCKEE is now for the second time in the insane hospital at Clarinda. It was while MR. MCKEE was away visiting a little son, who was ill, that the assault is alleged to have taken place. Little BESSIE kept still about the matter (by reason of threats, it is said), until Sunday evening. By that time she had begun to suffer greatly from her injuries and also from pneumonia, and told her troubles to her father. He summoned Dr. Matt Camp of Kellerton and DR. J.W. CROFFORD of Lamoni, who diagnosed the case as kidney complaint. By Wednesday evening Mrs. L. Foster, who had been called to nurse the little girl, became so sure that something was wrong that she insisted upon Doctors D.R. Bement and C.T. Lesan of Mt. Ayr being called. These physicians reached the MCKEE home about midnight, and were told by MR. MCKEE and the little girl the story of the latter's wrongs. The examination of the girl confirmed her statements. After warning Lemul German, who was staying at MCKEE's to keep track of RICHARDS' movements, the physicians returned to Mt. Ayr and notified Deputy County Attorney Fuller. Mr. Fuller and Sheriff Miller went yesterday forenoon to MCKEE's, where they learned that RICHARDS had gone to William Allen's sale in Riley Township. There they took him in charge, he making no resistance, and brought him to town.

RICHARDS lived for many years with his parents on a farm two miles west of Davis City. Later he moved to Lamoni and worked in a harness shop. Last fall he came to MCKEE's home and has been employed there since. He does not appear to have more than average intelligence. Both he and his wife knew Monday morning of the fact that the little girl accused him, yet it made little if any difference in their actions.

MR. MCKEE is shattered, mentally and physically, by the afflictions that have come upon him. He has hardly known which way to turn in attempting to serve his little daughter's interests.

The part DR. CROFFORD has played in the case is exciting some comment. CROFFORD, it will be remembered, was convicted of murder in the second degree for having caused an abortion which resulted in the death of MAUDE STONE of Decatur City. He is now out of the penitentiary on bail, pending an appeal to the Supreme Court. His physician's certificate has been revoked, so that he has no right to practice medicine. MR. MCKEE says that CROFFORD advised him to take the girl to the CROFFORD Sanitarium in Lamoni, and said that her story of being outraged was merely an hallucination on her part. MR. MCKEE was induced to accept this theory in view of insanity of the girl's mother.



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