1899 ATROCIOUS MURDERS: Review of the Chase After the Murderer.
"THE CHASE AFTER THE CAMP VERDE MURDERER."
"A review of the chase after the Camp Verde murderer who is now in the hands of the United States officials at Santa Fe, N. M., for train robbery, makes interesting reading."
"On the 2nd of July last, word was received by the sheriff's office in Prescott that "Mac" Rodgers and Clinton Wingfield, the proprietors of a general store at Camp Verde, had been murdered. In a few moments Sheriff Munds was in the saddle and on his way to the scene of the murder. He covered the distance between Prescott and the camp --- 45 miles --- in 3 hours and 40 minutes."
"From the Verde he tracked the murderer into the Mogollon mountains until he came to where the man had taken the shoes from his horse and mixed with a band of range horses. From here on with the utmost difficulty he tracked his man to a canyon in the Clear creek country, where his horses were captured. The murderer was here assisted by some one, for doing which two men have been arrested and are now in the Flagstaff jail. The sheriff still thinking that the man was in the canyon, returned to Jerome, where he received two bloodhounds sent to him from Williams, when he returned to the mountains, but after several days' search he was called to Prescott for a couple of days, where, since he had been out, Ed Lewis had been sentenced to be hung, and the sheriff had to be there to prepare for the execution. Lewis, however, got a stay of execution for 60 days, and Munds immediately took up the chase again."
"During this time the sheriff had been locating Tom Ketchum's whereabouts during the past year or two, and found that Ketchum had left New Mexico in 1897, went to Idaho, and in 1898 had gone to Mohave county with a brother-in-law. From Mohave county he tracked him to Jerome Junction, to Camp Verde, in the neighborhood of which place he was at the time of the murders."
"He traced Ketchum into the Mogollon mountains, where he came near capturing him twice. From the Mogollon he trailed him into New Mexico, found where the criminal had stolen two horses and robbed a store of $96; that he had stopped three days at Horse Springs; that from there he had gone to Wagon Mound, where he bought some powder; then to or near Folsom, where he stayed four days awaiting the arrival of two companions, but as they did not show up and Sheriff Munds was pressing him closely, he attempted to hold up a train single-handed, with the result that he was shot by the conductor of the train and later captured by Sheriff Pinnard of Union county, N. M., given into the hands of the United States marshal and taken to Santa Fe, where he was visited by Deputy Sheriff Jeff Davis, who identified him as the man they were after."
"Deputy Davis had him photographed and the picture was sent to Captain Boyd, who was at the store at the time of the murder and was shot through the leg by him, for identification. The Captain says that the prisoner at Santa Fe is the man who did the killing. Sheriff Munds had tracked this man over about 1400 miles of as rough a country as there is in the west, and certainly would have got his man had he not been captured for the train robbery."
"The Courier says: Sheriff Munds has returned from Santa Fe, N. M., where he visited the territorial prison and saw Ketchum, alias Black Jack. The sheriff says that Ketchum is certainly the man wanted in this county for the Verde murders. Munds offered to pay the officers at Santa Fe $1000 if they would allow him to bring Ketchum to Prescott to stand trial, and Munds further agreed to see that they got the other $750 should Ketchum be convicted here of the Verde murders, the officers at Santa Fe to keep the $1000 whether Ketchum should be convicted ot not. They would not allow Munds to take Ketchum to Prescott. The $1000 which Munds offered for him is made up of $500 offered personally by the sheriff and $500 by relatives of the murdered men."
"The penitentiary surgeon has amputated Ketchum's arm and says that Ketchum has one chance in one hundred to recover. The surgeon thinks it is doubtful if Ketchum confesses if he dies of blood poisoning, as his death will be so sudden and unexpected by himself that he will have no time to confess."
(Jerome Mining News; September 11, 1899; page 3, columns 5-7.)
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