The Ahern Family - Edith May Ahern, Part I

The Murder of Edith May Ahern
(Part I, April 1906)

The following is a record of the murder of Edith May Ahern, of Ste. Cunegonde, Quebec, as reported in The Montreal Star during the month of April 1906. Contributed by Shirley M. Kraft.

Date of IssueHeadline
5 April 1906Fiendish Murder of Five-year-old Ida [sic] May Ahern
5 April 1906Police Say They Know the Name of the Man Who Murdered Edith May Ahern
6 April 1906Coroner's Enquiry Into Cote St. Paul Murder Adjourned in the Interest of Justice
6 April 1906Police Believe That Little Edith May Ahern's Murderer Was Insane
7 April 1906Raoul Bradley Detained by Police on Suspicion of Being the Murderer of the Ahern Child
9 April 1906Two Suspects Now Under Arrest in Connection With the Murder of Edith May Ahern
9 April 1906Renewed Activity in Police Circles Resulting from New information in Ahern Murder Mystery
10 April 1906Police Make Strong Case Against James Hackett, the Latest Suspect in Ahern Murder Case
11 April 1906Hackett's Family Claim They Can Prove an Alibi in Ahern Murder Case
11 April 1906Police Tightening Coil of Evidence Against Hackett, the Latest Murder Suspect
12 April 1906Witnesses at Coroner's Inquest in Ahern Murder Case Identify Hackett as Victim's Companion
13 April 1906Chain of Evidence Against Hackett for Cote St. Paul Murder Practically Completed by Police
16 April 1906Ahern Child Murder Case May Lead to Investigation Into Death of Hackett Children
16 April 1906Sufficient Evidence at Coroner's Inquest to Prefer Charge of Murder Against James Hackett
17 April 1906Defence in the Ahern Murder Case
20 April 1906Hackett's Plea is "Not Guilty"
21 April 1906The Sensational Evidence of Boy
23 April 1906Man and Child Say It's Hackett
24 April 1906Hackett Will Stand His Trial
26 April 1906Hackett Pleads Not Guilty

Fiendish Murder of Five-year-old Ida [sic] May Ahern,
Whose Body Was Found To-day at Cote St. Paul
Little One Had Been Stripped of Her Clothing and There Were Unmistakable Evidence That She Was the Victim of an Assault and Afterwards Strangled
Active Search for the Inhuman Murderer
Naked, and showing every sign of fiendish violence, the body of little five-year-old Ida May Ahern, who has been missing from her home in Ste. Cunegonde since Tuesday, was found at half-past ten this morning in the woods near Cote St. Paul. Every circumstance of the case points to a crime of the most heinous character. Nothing so horrible in the nature of child murder has occurred in this vicinity since some four years ago when a Swede named Hansen killed a little boy near the railway track in Westmount for the sake of a few pennies. The case of the little Ahern girl has puzzled the police of Montreal and Ste. Cunegonde for three days. Several theories were advanced to account for the mysterious disappearance of the child.
When this morning a telephone message from St. Anne de Bellevue announced to Chief Carpenter that a party of gypsies was camping in that vicinity it was thought that possibly the child had been abducted by this band and Sub-Chief Carpentier and Detective Trudel set out immediately for St. Anne's. On the other hand, the child's cloak and dress were found last night in a shed behind the Roman Catholic Church at Cote St. Paul. From the Montreal headquarters, Detectives Boulard and Le Huquet were sent to the Cote St. Paul on hearing this report and they joined with the Ste. Cunegonde police in searching Cote St. Paul and vicinity. At about half-past ten this morning the body of the little girl was discovered in the woods near the village. The body was lying on its back, quite naked. Death had evidently been caused by strangulation as the black marks of finger prints showed on the neck and throat. There were also other marks of violence on the body. The father of the murdered child, Hector Ahern, of 40 Napoleon street, Ste. Cunegonde, accompanied the party that went to St. Anne de Bellevue on the false clue. He was not therefore present when his daughter's body was discovered.
The story of the disappearance of little Ida May Ahern is as follows: On Tuesday afternoon the child left the nun's school at the corner of Albert street and Atwater avenue in the company with her brother, who is four years older than she. The boy left his sister with another little girl, and when the latter's home was reached little Ida left her friend saying that she was about to return home. From that moment until the little body was discovered this morning in the Cote St. Paul woods her parents saw nothing of their child. Set upon the scent early by the report of the father, the Ste. Cunegonde police, under Captain Tourangeau and Sergeant Dufresne have been working diligently since Tuesday to discover a trace of the missing child.
They had one clue to work on. Yesterday a man named John Darling, employed as master carter at Redfern's mill, reported to the police that he had met a man and a little girl on the bridge over the canal on Tuesday night. The little girl was crying. The man was a short thin man with a red face and fair moustache. He wore dark clothes and a soft felt hat. As far as the observer could see when he assisted the pair across the bridge. The man was at least partially intoxicated. Darling states that he had at the time no suspicion as he did not know either of the pair, and thought the man was the little girl's father. Following the account given by Mr. Darling the Ste. Cunegonde police directed their efforts principally to Cote St. Paul and the neighborhood. The first find was made last evening when the little coat and dress worn by the girl were found near the Cote St. Paul Church. The police redoubled their efforts and the result was the ghastly find of this morning.
What makes the crime appear all the more damnable is that there is every ground to believe that it was premeditated. On Napoleon street where the Ahern family reside, several responsible men told the Star this morning that for some time they had observed a strange man corresponding to the description by Darling lurking about and apparently watching the young girl. The stranger was several times seen to follow her for some distance. In this regard a man who will probably prove a valuable witness is Mr. Major, who keeps a grocery store at the corner of Napoleon and Notre Dame Streets. Mr. Dyot, who is the proprietor of a restaurant on the Napoleon street, confirms the evidence of Mr. Major.
The little girl is just five years of age having celebrated her fifth birthday ten days ago. She belongs to a family of five, having three brothers and a sister. The oldest of the family is just ten years of age. Little Ida was a plump healthy girl, somewhat large for her age. She had brown hair and a very fair complexion and was considered very pretty. Her family and especially her mother are prostrated with grief. Immediately on hearing the report this morning that the body of the murdered girl had been found, a representative of the Star called at the Ahern home. The mother was alone with her children, Mr. Ahern having gone to St. Anne de Bellevue in answer to the report that a band of gypsies were in that neighborhood. The news had not yet arrived of the horrible find made by the police at Cote St. Paul. Mrs. Ahern, who is yet quite a young woman, wept continuously while in the presence of the reporter, and yet she did not seem to have despaired of finding her little girl. She repeated over and over "She is not dead. They have left her clothes out there just to deceive us in order to escape with our daughter. Her father will find Ida this morning." Mrs. Ahern, when her caller was departing, sent with him her eldest child, a little boy of ten years, to show the reporter the way to the Ste. Cunegonde police station.
At the station a group of policemen and detectives were discussing the murder and reviewing all the horrible details of the find made just an hour before. The little boy listened to the talk and caught a glimmering of the meaning. "Have they found my sister?" he asked eagerly. An officer informed him sadly that she had been found. "Then she is dead?" exclaimed the little fellow giving away to a passion of weeping. Without another word he turned and ran down the street toward his home a few blocks away. It was from his lips that she heard the first news of the tragedy. At half past ten this morning when Captain Tourangeau and Chief Carpenter's men and discovered the body of little Ida Ahern, Coroner McMahon was immediately communicated with. The inquest will take place to-morrow morning. In the meantime the little body has been removed to the Cote St. Paul Church, where it is now lying. The horrible incident has created the deepest impression in Ste. Cunegonde. Expressions of indignation and horror are heard on all sides and it was remarked this morning by a member of the police force, that owing to depth of feeling on the mater the authorities would have to exercise caution after the arrest of the culprit to prevent him from being dealt with summarily. The Ahern family is well known both in Montreal and Ste. Cunegonde. Mr. James Ahern, J. P., of Vaudreuil, is the grandfather of the little girl, who has met her death at such an untimely age and under such horrible circumstances. It is expected that an arrest will take place very shortly owing to the fact that the supposed criminal was seen by several Ste. Cunegonde people and by Mr. Darling, who states he can positively identify the man, a description can be easily obtained and the work of the police much facilitated. Mr. Darling has already expressed his willingness to go out with the police and aid in the search.
The Montreal Star 5 April 1906
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Many Clues have been investigated since Yesterday. Inquest into the Case Opened by Coroner McMahon and Adjourned without Reaching a Verdict.
The police have the name of the man who committed the abhorrent crime on Edith May Ahern, which set all Montreal shuddering yesterday. Chief Carpentier vouches for that. As to when he will be arrested no statement is made, and in the interest of justice the name will not be divulged at present. The entire Montreal detective force, as far as it could be spared, has been thrown out upon the case, and together with the Provincial Detectives, under Chief McCaskill, and the Ste. Cunegonde police force, has worked incessantly to clear up the mystery. All sorts of clues have been followed, and at least a dozen men have been under suspicion since yesterday noon. The inquest was opened today, and after the testimony of the heartbroken father had been taken and that of the police officers who found the body of the murdered child, the investigation was adjourned till Wednesday next so as to give the detective officers an opportunity to do their work. It came incidentally out at the inquest that the little victim's name was Edith, not Ida. All sorts of stories have been reported to the police, but amongst them is one that stands out rather by itself, and that is the one in which the little Miss Gagnon and her little cousins tell of being invited by a man answering the description of the man seen with the little Ahern girl to accompany him to the bridge over the canal.
The theory advanced yesterday by the Star, that the crime was premeditated seems to be borne out by certain information which the police have acquired to-day. The unknown murderer had approached three other girls before he met little Edith May Ahern. He had offered one of the three five cents to go with him and had walked a block with her, after which she and her companions had run to their respective houses, all excitement over the encounter. That this was the same man who is now being hunted by over thirty police and detective officers, and about as many more private citizens seems to be beyond doubt from the description which the little girls whom he accosted give of him. The little girls in question, who are able to identify the man they say are Miss Germaine Trudeau, aged seven, her little sister, and Miss Nannette Gagnon. The three are intimate friends, and distantly related, and live within two doors of one another on Duvernay St. just East of Vinet.
From their story it would look as if little Edith May was only a chance victim, and that if little Germaine Trudeau, had not been old enough to be afraid of the man, she might have been in the morgue now instead of the poor little girl whose body was found. The little Gagnon and Trudeau girls knew little Edith May well. They all left the school at the corner of Atwater Avenue and Albert street at about the same time but the trio went East towards Vinet street, while the others, Edith May and her little girl friend with whom she walked part of the way, went down Atwater Avenue. As she lingered on the way it took her much longer to get to the corner of Napoleon Road and Notre Dame St. than it took the three other little girls to get to the corner of Vinet and Notre Dame Streets. Before they got there, however and while they were coming down Vinet street, and were passing the police station corner, the man who resembled in description the man accused of the horrible deed beckoned to them across the street with his finger. When Germaine, who was the oldest, came over to him, he said: "I'll give you five cents if you come with me as far as the bridge," evidently meaning the bridge over the canal some blocks below Notre Dame street. She hesitated to reply to him, while her sister and little Nannette Gagnon joined her to hear what the man had to say. As she hesitated what to reply, he said to her either "amene vos amis" or "envole vos amis," she is not quite sure which. In the one case it would mean, send away your friends and in the other bring them along. Little Miss Trudeau says that he was a shabby looking man with blonde moustache and beard, and that he had evil eyes. They did not wait to stop and talk with him but went on their way home, as little Germaine said: "They are not my friends, but my little sister and cousin". He walked along with them as far as Notre Dame street, and at the corner there they ran away from him as fast as they could and got home in a great state of excitement. The probability is that the man then went west, and meeting little Edith May, who had taken much longer to come from school than the others, had made the same offer, which in her case, being so much younger was probably accepted. Little Nannette Gagnon, tells a story similar to that of the little Trudeau girl, and her description of the man who accosted them tallies with that of her cousin, and with those given by other people who claim to have seen this man loitering around the corners of Napoleon Road, and by those who saw a man and a girl on the way to Cote St. Paul woods.
Chief of Provincial Detectives K. P. McCaskill arrived in the city to-day from Three Rivers and at once put himself in communication with Chief Carpenter. Being outside the city limits, the case naturally comes under the jurisdiction of Chief McCaskill, but there will be no fighting about that. The one aim of all the police officers of the city and province is to run down the perpetrator of the awful crime. Chief McCaskill said to-day that he alone has thirty-two men at work and he has given instructions that every man found who in the slightest degree tallies with the description of the man who was seen by Darling and who cannot give a very satisfactory account of his movements on Tuesday night last, is to be brought to town. "In all my experience, which as you know, extends over many years I have never known such a frightful crime," said the Chief, "and you may depend upon it that we shall not rest until the man is captured."
The Montreal Star 5 April 1906
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Medical Testimony was to the Effect that the Child Died from the Effects of Shock and Exposure---Father Much Affected on Witness Stand.
There is much excitement around the morgue to-day when the inquest was opened on the body of little Edith May Ahern, who was brutally murdered by an unknown man, in a bush, on the bank of the Lachine canal, immediately in the rear of the town of Cote St. Paul, on Tuesday evening, shortly before 6 o'clock. The court room was crowded with police officials, clergymen, men of the medical profession and special detectives. Every word that dropped from the lips of the various witnesses, especially the little boys and girls, who saw the murderer leading the baby by the hand into the lonely wood, were listened to with marked attention. Rev. Father Brisset, parish priest of St. Paul Church, was much shocked and affected by the evidence of the medical experts, which showed that the baby had been abused by the inhuman brute before he ended her little life. Dr. C. A. Dugas, declared that he could not positively state the cause of death, but inclined to the belief that the child died from shock and fear. Exposure, he said also played its part in the terrible tragedy. The following is the official report of the medical men, who made the post-mortem examination. "The organs of the child are in a healthy condition. The scratches and abrasions found on the body are not of such a nature as to cause death."
The following jury was sworn in: Pierre Blanc, 871 Albert street; Adelard Wurtele, 79 Rose de Lima street; George Gareau, 77 Dorchester street; Alphonse Laliberti, 119 St. John street; Ernest Meunier, 513 Dorchester street; Noel Constantineau, 742 Albert street; Philias Martineau, 480 Beaudry street; Wilfrid Martineau, 414 Beaudry street; Albert Lageau, 33 Beaudry street; Damase Mathieu, 134 Poupard street; Oxarie Pauze, 147 Drolet street; Modard E. Mercier, 53 Craig street; Israel Lefabre, 168 Wolfe street; Euclide Christlin, 34 Labelle street; Isaie Mercer, 184 Amherst street
Dr. C. A. Dugas underwent a severe cross-examination. The medical examiner said the he found bruises on the forehead, neck and arms, but they were not sufficient in themselves to cause death. All the organs were in perfect condition. The stomach and bladder were empty. The doctor said that there was no decomposition and that the child could not have starved to death in that short time. He gave it as his opinion that shock and exposure was the cause of death.
Hector Ahern, 40 Napoleon street, father of the murdered child, was very much affected when put on the stand. When he looked at the clothing of his died child tears trickled down his cheeks and for a few minutes was unable to answer the few simple questions put by the coroner. He said that the little victim was just 5 years of age. She left home on Tuesday to go to school accompanied by her six-year old brother. At 5 o'clock he was informed by his wife that May had not returned from school. He immediately started out to look for her A young girl named Marandeau told him that she saw May at the corner of Duverny and Napoleon streets shortly before 5 o'clock. He notified the police and made further searches for the missing child. Just here Police officer Tourangeau brought in the jacket and clothing of the deceased, and the father wept bitterly. He identified the clothing.

Constable Arsenault was then put in the box. He explained the finding of the dead body in the woods. He said the spot where the black deed was committed was about five or six acres from the Lachine Canal, and about two acres from a roadway in the municipality of Cote St. Paul, in the rear of the town of Cote St. Paul. He found the child's gloves and a bottle a short distance from the body. The murdered girl, he said was lying on her face in the mud, under some short bushes. There was no snow in the field and the perpetrator of the outrage could not be traced by his foot prints.

After Albert Payfer, one of the Morgue officials, had been given charge of the clothing. Constable A. Dore, of St. Paul, was examined. He said on Wednesday he received a telephone message from Father Brisset, parish priest of St. Paul, to the effect that clothing belonging to a child had been thrown into the church by an unknown man. The revered gentleman had informed him that he had read a description of a lost child in the Star which tallied with the clothing found. He immediately notified the city detectives of the discovery, and the finding of the bodyfollowed.
Rev. Rather Brisset was then examined. He exhibited considerable emotion when the clothing of the dead girl was brought in and laid on the table in front of him. He identified everything, and explained to the jury how he had been notified that a stranger had thrown a package into the basement of the church. As the presbytery had been robbed several times, he felt very much alarmed, and immediately investigated the package, and was startled when he found it was the clothing of a child. He had read in the evening papers the description of a lost child, and at once concluded that the clothing tallied with the description given, and he notified the authorities. Adalad Brisset, brother of the parish priest, said he lived at 1202 St. George street, Cote St. Paul. On Tuesday evening he saw the man come out of the bush at the rear of his home. He watched him until he reached the shed at the back of the church. He took the bundle of clothing our from beneath his sack coat, and, after looking all around, he walked over to the open window and threw the bundle into the basement. He said he would be able to identify the man. Captain Adeas Tourangeau corroborated the evidence of Constable Arsenault as to the finding of the victim lying on her face in the woods with her gloves and a bottle a short distance from her.
Mrs. Frank Taylor said she lived on Levis street, Cote St. Paul, about a mile from where the murder took place. She said she was startled with her little daughter ran into the house on Tuesday evening and said: "Oh! Mama, look at the drunken man with the little girl going along the aqueduct". She hurried to the door and saw the man straighten himself up and look into the water. After hesitating a moment he started to go across the field. She at first thought that he was going to the Queen's Park, at Verdun, but she lost sight of him at the end of the bridge, her view being obstructed by houses. She was positive that the man was in a drunken condition. The child seemed to be following the fellow. She was not crying. Rose Taylor, 8 years of age, and Armand Poirier, also 8 year of age, described the pair as they walked along the aqueduct and into the field.
John Dowling, 324 Richelieu street, who was the last and most important witness, said he was at work near the Atwater Bridge when the couple came along. The man was staggering along. He thought it was father and child. Fearing that the man would fall into the water, he went over and walked shoulder to shoulder with him across the bridge. The murderer, he said, was conversing with the child in the French language. His accent was French-Canadian. He was positive that he did not look like a foreigner. After they were safely over the bridge he did not pay any more attention to the strangers, as he did not suspect that there was anything wrong.
The coroner here pointed out to the jury that he had heard enough to convince him that a fiendish crime and been committed. He thought it would be in the best interest of justice if the case was postponed for a week in order to give the police a chance to produce the murderer. He warned the jury, which was a special one, that they would have to be at the morgue at ten o'clock on Wednesday, April 11, when they would be expected to reach a verdict. Before the court adjourned a message was received from Chief Carpenter's office requesting the immediate presence of Mr. Dowling, and it was thought by the police officials and others that the murderer had been captured and a rush was made for police headquarters in the City Hall. The crowd was disappointed when informed at the detective office that no arrest had been made.
The two bottles and the gloves that were found near the body of the little victim have created a great deal of speculation. Captain Tourangeau has left no stone unturned to find out whom they had belonged to, although there is some possibility of tracing the ownership of one of the bottles, the chances are small. The gloves are good woolen gloves, which must have cost about fifty or sixty cents a pair. They are brown, with green and yellow stripes, and in good condition, but were wet through and through when found. One of the bottles is a common quart whiskey bottle with a red label which says that it was once part of the stock of Mr. Barselo, a grocer on St. James Street, No. 1047. Mr. Barselo admits that the bottle must have been bought at his store, but seems to think that he has not sold one like that for several months, and has no way of remembering to whom he sold it. The bottle still smell of the rye that was contained in it. The other bottle was a peculiarly shaped medicine bottle, with eight corners, know as a panel bottle and of the eight-ounce size. The label was apparently deliberately scratched and disfigured so as to prevent anyone from tracing whom it belonged to, but enough was left on the face to recognize that it came from the drug store of Mr. McGale at 2122 Notre Dame Street. The number of the book in which the prescription for the medicine was registered, No. 29, was also visible, and then it looked as if all of the prescription number had disappeared with the exception of the last two and a naught.

With the assistance of one of the clerks of Mr. McGale, a Star reporter went carefully over the prescription book, and the only number ending with 20, that called for an eight ounce bottle, turned out to be a prescription for some consumption medicine, given by Dr. Kennedy, on the 17th of September last. Later on, however, when the police brought in the bottle for examination, and the label was examined with a magnifying glass, it was found that what was taken for the last figures two and naught of the prescription number, were the last two letters of the name of the doctor, who had given the prescription, and were "r" and "o". The name was made out to be that of Munro. The authorities and the druggist, who had made a great search, as there are about fifty prescriptions a year registered, are almost convinced now that the bottle contained a tonic and that it was issued about June last. They hope, however, to trace the person to whom it was issued.
A new clue in connection with the murder of little Edith May Ahern was received to-day from a resident of Outremont, and which may prove of help to the detectives in running down the man guilty of the awful crime. Shortly before eight o'clock this morning a man who answered to the description as given in the Star last evening was noticed getting off an Outremont car at Bellingham road in Outremont. The car had gone up from the city, and had let off nearly all the passengers. At Bellingham road the car makes a turn and returns to the city. A certain business gentleman was waiting at the corner for the car, and while the passengers were getting off he stood close by with his hand on the brass handle, so he could step on the car after the passengers had all got off. While he was standing thus a man who he stated "answers the Star's description to a T", got off the car. He was half drunk and was mumbling something about murder. The gentleman watched the party and saw him go in the direction of the Montreal Hunt Kennels.
After boarding the car, the conductor and another gentleman on the back platform started to talk to the newcomer, the conductor passing the remark that he had been paying particular attention to the drunken man. The gentleman who had just got on the car told the conductor that he could not help but notice him as he had looked to be so much like the man who was described in last night's Star. The conductor and the other party quite agreed with the new-comer and stated that the drunken man had been talking and mumbling over and over again about the murder of the little girl, and that he seemed to be somewhat nervous. Upon arriving at his office this gentleman telephoned to Chief of Detectives Carpenter , and fifteen minutes after the man had left the car Detective Giguire, of the Chief's staff was on his way to Outremont.
Inspector Lapointe, of the Provincial Detective force, was at the Ste. Cunegonde Police Station last night scouring the neighborhood for clues and this morning Detective Picard reported. The provincial officers, who were then still awaiting the arrival of Chief McCaskill, were then suspecting two men, one of whom has a bad record and has been known some years ago to have tried to take liberties with little girls. This man, whose description slightly agrees with that given of the supposed murderer does not live many miles from the place where the murderer is supposed to have been hanging around.
Mr. Michael Judge, who is the Mayor of the town of St. Paul offers a reward of twenty-five dollars to any person giving to Mr. Alvarez Dore, the chief of police of the same municipality, information which will lead to the capture of the man who murdered the little Ahern girl.
The Montreal Star 6 April 1906
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Father of Victim Thinks Crime Was Premeditated
Abductor Made No Attempt to Cover His Tracks, and Was Seen by Many
Bundle of Clothes in Church was Tell-tale Clue
The mystery of the death of little Edith May Ahern is to-day the universal topic of conversation and the city and provincial police are leaving no stone unturned to discover the perpetrator of the inhuman crime. The murder is conceded by the police to be the work of an insane man. No efforts were made to conceal the movements of the murderer and his victim. They were seen by dozens of people living along the Lachine Canal and in Cote ST. Paul. Finally, by returning the child's clothing to the church at Cote St. Paul the murderer gave the police a clue to the finding of the body. A good description has been obtained of the perpetrator of the murder. The police can scarcely fail to secure their man shortly, as he can be recognized easily from the information at hand.
Already several clues have been followed by the detectives, although most of them have proved fruitless. This morning a telegram from Como on the Canadian Pacific Railway, north of Vaudreuil, took an officer up from Montreal to inspect a tramp arrested at that place. That the murderer was a tramp there seems little doubt. He was a stranger in Ste. Cunegonde, and wore shabby clothing. Also a man answering to the description was seen descending from a train on Tuesday at Montreal Junction.
Chief Carpenter had a long interview with the father of the murdered child last night. Among the question he put him was one asking if he had any enemies who might be suspected of having taken such a fiendish vengeance. The father replied that he had not. On talking the matter over with the family, however, it was recalled that about a year ago Mrs. Ahern, the mother of the child, had decided to keep boarders, and took one in. He remained with them for some weeks, but did not pay his board and did not seem to have any regular occupation. When his board bill had finally amounted to about $40 the father of the child thought that it was time to take steps either to recover the amount or put him out of the house. He, therefore, ordered him to stay away, and not come near his home any longer. The border disregarded this notice and came again next day, but Mr. Ahern was present and again ordered him out. This time he obeyed, and it was noticed that as he left he gave Mr. Ahern a very threatening look. He never came to the house again, but he has been several times seen in the neighborhood by members of the family. It is claimed that this man answers fairly well to the description given by Darling and others of the man last seen in the company of the unfortunate little girl. Notice has been given to the authorities of this fact and it will be followed up with the other clues.
The town of St. Paul was the scene of tremendous excitement yesterday afternoon. The brutal murder of little Edith May Ahern was the only subject discussed. Little Beatrice Lapierre, 12 year of age, whose parents reside at 106 Gault street, immediately in the rear of the St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, told the Star that she was playing on the rear gallery when she saw a man coming out of the bush, on the west side of the field. When he got to the centre he turned around and looked back, and after hesitating for a few moments, he started off again and walked right up to the house. He looked up at the children and then walked around the driving shed in the rear of the church. The man, the little girl said, was about 30 year of age, five feet, six inches in height, slight in stature, weighing probably 135 pounds, fair of complexion, with a moustache of reddish-brown. The hair on his head seemed to be inclined to curl. He wore a soft slouch hat, commonly known as a rowdy hat; he wore no overcoat. His coat was square cut sack of some black material which exposure to weather had faded until the color became greenish. The man wore no collar, but the little girl did not think he had on a sweater, she thought it was an ordinary shirt. His trousers were covered with mud and she thought he was a tramp.
Mr. A. Brisset, brother of Rev. Father Brisset, parish priest, saw the man come out of the bush. He was in a stooping position when he first noticed him. He watched him until he reached the driving shed in the rear of the church. The man did not see Mr. Brisset as he was in his house looking out the window. The murderer had the baby's clothing under his coat. He walked into the shed and after looking around, apparently to see that no person was looking at him he walked over to an open window which was in an extension in the rear of the church which is used for a coal bin. He put his head into the window, and after looking around took the little bundle of clothing from beneath his coat and tossed it through the window on top of the coal. When one of the workmen connected with the church went to close the window he was surprised when he picked up a bundle of little clothes. He immediately took them to Rev. Father Brisset. The reverend gentleman recollected that he had read in the Star the description of a lost child. He immediately telephoned to the police notifying them of the gruesome discovery. Eugene Leduc, 13 years of age, living with her parents at 102 Gault street, in rear of the church, gave the Star a good description of the murderer. She practically told the same story as her little companion, Beatrice Lapierre. She said the stranger looked like an American tramp. He had a thin face. She would be able to recognize him again without any trouble. She had never seen him before. After he had disposed of his bundle he continued his journey into the city.
The parents of the murdered child are almost heartbroken. The father, when he entered the dingy little place used as a city morgue, and gazed on the nude form of his baby, almost collapsed and had to be assisted by Police Officer Lacroix. Mr. Ahern told the Star that he thought that the murderer must have picked up the child near home, on Napoleon road. He believes that he went down to the canal and made his way through the lumber yards and followed along the water's edge until he reach the bush where the crime was committed under the cover of the trees. The father seems to think that the man could not have been very drunk as the route taken would indicate that he contemplated a crime, besides it was hard to navigate, the child having frequently to be carried. The St. Paul Roman Catholic Church, where the victim's clothing was found, faces on Church avenue, and extends back as far as Gault street. It is a solid stone edifice, and is one of the best buildings in the town. The field in the rear of Gault street is about ten acres in width. The woods are situated at the opposite side of the field from the church.
To-day Mr. Frank Carver, conductor of the Valleyfield local, on the New York Central Railway, says he feels sure he carried the murderer out to Montreal Junction the morning of the day the crime was committed. The following is Mr. Carver's story. "On Tuesday morning, when I left the Windsor station at 10.20 I feel sure I had on board my train the man who later in the day committed the murder. When I read the description of the man in the Star last night, I remembered him instantly. The description tallies exactly with the man. "I found the man on the platform, between two cars, before we reached Montreal Junction. I asked him what he was doing riding on the platform, and ordered him into the car. He did not wish to enter the car, so I took him by the shoulder and made him enter it. I then asked where he was going. He replied to Montreal Junction. He had no ticket and I told him the fare was fifteen cents. He fumbled in his pocket and produced thirteen cents; he said this was all he had. As we were near the Junction I told him to keep his thirteen cents and get off. He answered that he did not want to go any further than the Junction. "He was a very peculiar looking man; he had no particular accent, but spoke in a low and somewhat husky voice. I was particularly struck with the queer expression of his eyes; they were remarkably restless. When we reached the Junction he got off on the side away from the station. When the train drew out he crossed the track and went towards the station side. I would know the man in a moment if I saw him. After getting off my train he musts have gone down the hill and made his way to Cote St. Paul, where the crime was committed. It is not a very long walk from the Junction to Cote St. Paul. "I have already seen the chief of police at Valleyfield and narrated these facts to him. They are watching for the murderer at this point."
The fact that no effort was made to conceal the crime has led the police to believe that the murderer was insane. Between Napoleon street and Cote St. Paul the route taken by the murderer and his victim, the pair were seen by over a score of people, and the description given by each of these witnesses is identical. The abductor was a man of about five feet six inches in height. He was of reddish complexion, had a heavy sandy moustache, and his face was flushed as if from the use of alcohol. His cheek bones were high and several who saw him state that his face was pock-marked. The man wore a coat of blue serge which had faded to a brown shade; he wore a soft brown felt hat, considerably the worse for wear. It has not yet been explained how the murderer met little Edith Ahern and enticed her from the vicinity of her home. The first seen of the little girl in company with her abductor was when John Darling, master carter for Redfern's firm, met the pair on the bridge that crosses Redfern's private lock. The man was apparently drunk at that time and Darling helped him across the trestle. It is remembered now by Mr. Darling that the man tried to hide his features as he passed.

From there the man and the child crossed the canal, probably over the Grand Trunk Railway bridge. At any rate they were next seen on the south side of the canal. Later they were observed near the "the dump," which is further west. Some children saw them at one point crawling under a barbed wire fence. The man went through first, the little girl holding up the wire until he passed. This was near the village at Cote St. Paul. A man who is in the employ of the waterworks testifies that he saw the pair near the wheel house of the company. He was driving by and his horse shied at something beside the road. It proved to be a man and a little girl who had been sitting on the ground. They arose and started to walk towards the west Another witness is a Mrs. Taylor, who resides near Cote St. Paul. Tuesday evening Mrs. Taylor's little boy ran into the house and told his mother that there was a drunken man beside the canal who was going to drown a little girl. The mother saw the pair pass. The man walked in front and the little girl followed and the former was evidently drunk. Mrs. Taylor later in the evening saw the man return alone. A little girl named Leduc and her friend saw a man come out of the fields from the direction of the woods near Cote St. Paul. He was staggering and seemed to be very drunk. He was at that time seen to go towards the church. The basement windows were open and the man was seen to throw a little bundle through in the window. This afterwards proved to contain the clothes of little Edith May Ahern. Other children had previous to this seen the mysterious pair and given the alarm. The two little sons of Oscar Nelson, a Norwegian residing near the aqueduct in the north side near Cote St. Paul, claim to have seen a man undressing a little girl on the bank of the aqueduct. They gave the alarm to their mother, but she paid no attention to them thinking it to be childish prattle. The children say that the man was drunk. The little girl was crying when they saw her. They thought that the man was going to drown her from his actions but he suddenly took her hand and walked away towards the west. These were the children who saw the pair passing the barbed wire fence.
It was the discovery of the little girl's clothing in the basement of the church that at last lead to the finding of the child's body. When the murderer threw the bundle through the window on Tuesday night a man near by saw this and ran to tell the priest, Cure Brissette. The latter thought that an attempt was being made to burn down the church by putting inflamable materials in the coal. He hurried his brother to the church telling him to remove the parcel as quick as possible. It was then that the true nature of the contents was disclosed. The evidence of the people who had seen the man coming from the woods was taken up by the detectives and police. They devoted their energy to scouring the woods thinking that the body must be there. The search party was composed of Captain Tourangeau, Constables DeBellefueille, Rivet and Arsenault of the St. Cunegonde police force; Sub-Chief Charpentier and Detectives Leboeuf, Trudel and Boulard, of the local detective force; and Messrs. John Darling and I. Legesse. The party set out from the village and at first took a route along the aqueduct thinking it possible that the body might be in the water. On the information of Mr. L. J. R. Hubert, however, the party met near Cote St. Paul, this plan was abandoned. Mr. Hubert, whose residence is at that point, informed the police that the man had been seen to take the child to the woods a mile and a half away and to return alone. The search party headed for the woods. The party was divided up and proceeded to make an organized search of every inch of ground. The find was made by Constable Arsenault. The body of little Edith May Ahern was found in a thicket almost covered in leaves. From the way the body lay in the bushes it seemed to have been thrown there with the probable intention of concealing it. The child was almost naked. The little shoes and stocking remained on her feet, but the rest of her clothing had been removed. It is a strange thing in this connection that a part of the child's clothing has not yet been found. The bundle thrown into the church contained only the little cloak and dress. The underclothing although it was not on the body has not been found.
According to the police, the crime must be that of an insane man. Chief of Detectives Carpenter expressed that opinion to-day in the following words: "Evidently the crime of a crazed man or of a man in whom drink had stirred some latent evil. I hardly think," continued the chief, "that there was any premeditated crime. The aimless course pursued by the man gives evidence that he did not have any such purposes in view. The fact that he went in paths traversed by many people, then went through a populous village, plainly shown this. I thought that there might have been some trace of the man previous to his being seen by Darling and so ordered a hunt of all the saloons in the vicinity. However, no one remembered seeing such a man on Tuesday afternoon." This opinion had also been expressed by those who saw the pair together on Tuesday night. The man seemed always to walk in front. The child was evidently terrorized as it seemed to follow without protest although weeping steadily. The police have been very active since the finding of the body and followed many clues. Two men who were arrested yesterday in Stations Nos.9 and 11 were at first under suspicion. However, when the police officers visited these prisoners in company with Mr. Darling there was found to be no ground for the suspicion. Several other clues of the kind have proved futile. His Worship Mayor Ekers has offered a reward of $100 for information which will lead to the arrest and conviction of the murderer. One who will no doubt be an important witness after an arrest has been made is Mr. David Dyotte, of Napoleon street, who is the proprietor of a restaurant. Through the evidence of Mr. Dyotte it may be proven that the crime was planned in advance. Mr. Dyotte told the Star to-day that at the end of last week he saw a strange man lurking about Napoleon street and watching the little Ahern girl at play. No suspicion of any improper motives occurred to him at the time, but he remarked upon the peculiar appearance of the stranger. His description tallies exactly with that given by Mr. Darling. Mr. Dyotte adds however, that the man's face was apparently pock-marked. He kept his eyes on the ground and walked back and forward at the street crossing, glancing furtively about. In clothes and features the man seen by Mr. Dyotte tallies with the other accounts.
Speaking of the affair last night, Mr. James Ahern, J. P., the grandfather of the little girl, said: "It is a most peculiar case and must surely be the work of a crazy man. In my capacity as magistrate I have had occasion to see a great deal of the worst side of human nature, but I have never heard of a crime so horrible. What puzzles me is to find a possible motive for the deed" "The baby must have been half dead with fatigue when they reached Cote St. Paul. Her captor made her walk more than four miles. I cannot understand how the child could do it. "We have done our part now, we have found our child. It is now time for society to come forward and purge the place of this human monster, who did not even take the pains to cover up his tracks."
The Montreal Star 6 April 1906
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Considerable Uncertainty on the part of those who saw Man and Child Together on Tuesday - - Bradley was Idle the Afternoon of the Murder and was in the Vicinity of the Ahern Home
Why Bradley is Under Arrest
Because in a general way he resembles the man who was seen with the little Ahern girl. Because he is reported to have said that he hated the little girl. Because he used to board in the Ahern house, had some trouble with the people about board money. Because the little girl would probably go with him when she might not go with a stranger. Because he is known to be addicted to liquor, and sometimes drank to excess. Because he had knocked off work after laboring half a day on Tuesday, the day of the murder, and had gone away with a dollar and a half pay in his pocket. Because he admits having been in the vicinity of the Ahern home on Tuesday afternoon. Because clothes were found in his room which fairly fit the description given of the clothing worn by the man seen with the child. Whether or no the murderer of little Edith May Ahern, of 40 Napoleon street, Ste. Cunegonde, has yet been discovered the police of Montreal have succeeded in making an arrest which, it is said , will prove of considerable importance in elucidating the mystery which surrounds the disappearance and subsequent murder of the little girl in the woods near Cote St. Paul. Last night two arrests were made both by two members of the police force of No. 16 station, Ste. Cunegonde ward. One of the men arrested is Raoul Bradley, who was at one time a boarder in the family of the little girl, Edith May Ahern, who has been the victim of the terrible incident. The other arrest, made by the same police officers, who are both members of the Ste. Cunegonde station force, was of a mason, whose residence is in Verdun. In the case of the latter, Chief Carpenter allowed the arrested man to go, being quite convinced that he had had nothing whatever to do with the crime. The man held to-day at the Central Police Office is Raoul Bradley, who was formerly a boarder at the home of the father of the murdered child, Hector Ahern, 40 Napoleon street. It is interesting to follow the steps of the successful police officers, Messrs. Gonzagne Savard and Louis Gagne, both of the force of Station No. 16 (Ste. Cunegonde), in tracing the supposed perpetrator of the dreadful crime. Early yesterday the city and provincial police decided that the story told by the Ahern family to the effect that a former boarder with the family might have something to do with the outrage, had some bearing on the mystery, busied themselves with this phase of the question. This clue was taken up by both the city police and the provincial detectives, and as a result Raoul Bradley is now a prisoner in the cells at the Central Police Station.
Last night Policemen Gonzagne Savard and Louis Gagne, both of No. 16 station, Ste. Cunegonde, told their story to the Star. It is a story embodying the greatest effort, the most patient labor, suggested by the circumstances of the case. Yesterday about half of the city police, all of the members of the Ste. Cunegonde station, and two of the provincial force, were engaged in scouring the western end of Montreal in search for the perpetrator of the fiendish crime. Detectives Lapointe and Picard represented the provincial force in the absence of Mr. K. C. McCaskill, chief of this portion of the guardians of the peace. Early yesterday it was announced by the Ahern family, so untimely bereaved of their little child, Edith May, that there was some reason to suspect a former boarder with the family, Raoul Bradley. This clue was followed up by both the city and provincial branches of the detective service, and resulted last evening in the arrest, by two officers of the Ste. Cunegonde station, of the man now held for examination in the cells of the police headquarters.
Told in the words of Gonzagne Savard, of the Ste. Cunegonde station; the day's doings were as follows: "We had," said Mr. Savard, last night to a Star representative, "a good description of the man who had abducted the little Girl, Edith May Ahern. We had this much to work on. We set out this morning, and the first man from whom we got information as to our quarry was Joseph Gauthier, of 41 St. Gabriel street, Village Turcot. He had met the murderer and his little victim at the corner of William and Levis streets, on Tuesday night, and had backed his horse out of the road in order to let them pass. He told us that he could easily identify the man. We also received some information from Adolphe Pilon, who lives at 284 Manufacturers streets. He had also seen the man. Valuable information was given by the Laberge Brothers, blacksmiths, near Napoleon street. On Tuesday afternoon they had been compelled to throw a man out of their shop. This happened at about 1 p.m. The man appeared to be drunk. He answered to the descriptions already given by the police. From there we went to a Mr. Grandmaison, who is a foreman for Mr. Quinlan, the contractor. He is at present working on Napoleon road, in the construction of the new building in process of erection there for the Montreal Rolling Mills Company. Mr. Grandmaison had seen the man in the blacksmith shop on Tuesday, and he told us what he knew of the event. From there we went to see the son of Mr. Grandmaison, who was working on Lansdowne avenue, Westmount. He was also working for the Quinlan firm. He told us a certain name for the suspect and we followed the clue for a time. We returned and got Gauthier, the carter, who had given us the information earlier in the day. This was before 10.30 yesterday. We took Gauthier along with us in order to identify possible criminals. On our way we came across one Paul Verdon, a carter, who lives on Charlevoix street, near the Grand Trunk tracks. In accordance with the information he gave us, we followed along the bank of the Lachine Canal and the Waterworks Canal. In that district there are a great many 'bums'. Mr. Gauthier was with us, and we got him to see if he could identify any of the loungers in that part. In the afternoon, we tried a different tack.
"As the representative of the Star knows, we were given information at the police headquarters in Ste. Cunegonde that there was possibly some reason to suspect a former boarder with the Ahern family on Napoleon street. We went first, then to Redfern's lumber yard, on the canal. From a man named Ste. Marie, a foreman in the yards there, we got valuable information. This man told us that Bradley had gone in there on Tuesday, at 1.30., and told them that he was working for Mr. M. J. Poupart, who is a big contractor on the harbor of Montreal. This gave us a clue. We went east to Notre Dame street, and found that a man named R. Bradley had been working for that firm for a short time. He had gone down on Thursday afternoon to draw his money. He had received, in accordance with an order from his foreman, J. H. Leahy, the sum of $1.50. We made the inquiry whether Bradley had been working on Tuesday afternoon. He had not. He had quit working on Tuesday at noon. We went up to St. Peter street, near the new elevator, to see the foreman, Mr. Leahy. While here we learned from a man named Seguin, that Bradley was boarding at the Montreal House, a hotel situated at the corner of King and Common streets. We went to this hotel at once. We found Bradley in his room. He was sitting on his bed, reading the afternoon papers. We found on inquiry that he had been living in the Montreal House since March 28. The proprietor of the place, Mr. Boiron, told us that the foreman, Mr. Leahy, had gone security for his board. The foreman had gone to the hotel on Thursday and paid the bill. We arrested Bradley at about 5.20 p.m."

Speaking to a representative of the Star to-day, Constable Savard described the action of the accused on his arrest. When the constables found Bradley he did not seem to have anything to say. He said he was willing to come with the officers, after they told him that they wished him to take a walk with them. "Is your name Bradley?" asked the constable. "Yes," was the answer. "Then we want you to come with us." "All right," replied the arrested man, with the greatest of equanimity.
Bradley was taken to the detectives headquarters last night, and shortly after the arrest, Mr. Hector Ahern, the father of the murdered child, and the former landlord of the arrested man, identified him as Raoul Bradley, who had formerly boarded at his house. It is stated by the Aherns that Bradley was an undesirable tenant, and was informally ejected last May. Mr. John Dolan, who met the little Ahern girl and her abductor on the trestle at the Redfern mills on Tuesday night, also came to the police headquarters and viewed the prisoner. Mr. Dolan was, however, unable to identify the man positively as the person he had seen on Tuesday afternoon. The accused was last week engaged in working for the Poupart contracting firm, repairing dredges on the harbor front. Another arrest was made last night but in the opinion of Chief of Detectives Carpenter, the person taken in by the police, also Constable Savard and [illegible]. Early yesterday these officers, who have proven very active in their search for the murderer, became suspicious that a certain [illegible] living in Verdun, might have had something to do with the crime. Accordingly, accompanied by the carter, Gauthier, who stated that he would be able to identify the man, the two constables visited the home of the suspect. He was absent, and, as he had recently changed his place of occupation, his wife did not know where he was to be found. At about 6.45 the two officers of the law returned to the house and apprehended the man. He accompanied them without question to police headquarters, but Chief Carpenter, after a moment's conversation with the arrested man, allowed him to go free. The Chief was of opinion that, as the man was a respectable citizen, and a proprietor of whom no ill had been alleged, he was being wronged in being detained on such a charge. So to-day Raoul Bradley is the only person held in custody on the charge of causing the death of little Edith May Ahern. Last night a representative of the Star was permitted to view the prisoner as he sat in the headquarters of the Montreal detectives, before being removed to the cells.
The capture of the prisoner, Raoul Bradley is admitted to be a "feather in the cap" of the Ste. Cunegonde police. Speaking of the affair last night, Inspector Lapointe, of the Provincial Detective force, said: "The Montreal police have captured two out of three of the men we were looking for today. "The capture made is very important, and I think that we well cease operations to see what will come out of the investigation of the men at present behind the bars. "There is little use in endeavoring to duplicate the work of the city police." Detective Picard, of the Provincial force, also expressed this sentiment. It is worthy of remark that Constables Savard and Gagne note that they found in Bradley's room at the Montreal House some articles of clothing very much like those said to have been worn by the abductor of little Edith Ahern. In a wardroom in the man's room was found a pair of gray trousers, of the color stated by several witnesses to have been worn by the abductor on Tuesday evening.
The Montreal Star 7 April 1906
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John Schnider and Raoul Bradley held by the Police
Former was Arrested at Massena Springs on Saturday Night
Missing Articles of the Clothing and the Lunch Basket of the Ahern Baby have been Discovered near Aqueduct in Vicinity of Cote St. Paul
The feverish activity of the Montreal and Provincial police forces has had its result since Friday, in unearthing many possible clues to the murderer of little five-year-old Edith Ahern. Two men are now held by the police here as possibly knowing something of the matter. One of those is Raoul Bradley, a former boarder at the home of the murdered girl, who was arrested on Friday evening by Constables Savard and Gagne. The other is John Schnider, who was arrested on Saturday by Chief Nemo, of the police of Massena Springs, New York. Other arrests were made, one in Clarenceville and one in Toronto. Both these latter proved to be the wrong man, Detective Charpentier going from here to see the former, and Chief Carpenter going to Toronto on the latter case. Bradley remains to-day in the detectives' headquarters. On Saturday scores of people visited him and made attempts at identification. One of these visitors, little Germaine Trudeau, stated the Bradley was the man who on Tuesday afternoon offered her five cents to accompany him in Ste. Cunegonde. The other man Schnider, was brought to Montreal from Massena Springs last evening, by Detective Charpentier, who went down there on Saturday with John Dowling, to see if he could identify the man. The latter says that Schnider resembles very little the man he met last Tuesday evening on the bridge over the canal in Ste. Cunegonde with the little Ahern girl.
Another important find has been made in connection with the murder of little Edith May Ahern, which, while it gives no further clue to the identity of the criminal, may prove valuable in indicating the movements of the man who will be found to be guilty of the dastardly crime. Yesterday afternoon a search party under Chief Dore, of Cote ST. Paul, came across the underclothes of the murdered baby on the bank of the aqueduct, near the town of St. Paul. The lunch basket of the child, and her little tin cup were found near by. All day Saturday and yesterday Chief Dore and his associates were busy searching for these clothes, as their non-appearance was regarded as mysterious. Associated with Chief Dore was Inspector Lapointe, representing Chief McCaskill, of the Provincial Police, Constable Lapointe, of Cote St. Paul, Mayor Judge, and others. Owing to the wet condition of the ground this search was a difficult one. The men often waded to their knees in mud, and suffered numberless discomforts. Saturday no find was make, and it was not until yesterday afternoon that the efforts of the police were rewarded. About four o'clock in the afternoon the little child's underclothes were discovered in a field, near the aqueduct about three-quarters of a mile from the spot where the child's body was found on Thursday last. The little lunch basket was found about thirty feet away, a little piece of buttered bread still remaining in it. The tea cup from which little Edith Ahern drank was discovered in a ditch near by. It was a pitiful find. The garments were scattered about on the ground, a little chemise, drawers, about large enough to fit a doll, miniature waist and petticoat. The size of the various articles may be imagined from the fact that when gathered together they fitted easily into the small lunch-basket. The opinion of the Chief of Police, of Cote St. Paul, about the find, is that the murderer had undressed the child in the woods, and had started with the entire outfit under his arm back to the village. When part way to his destination he evidently resolved to throw away the under-garments, perhaps because their value was inconsiderable. He had thrown them away and clung to the dress and coat.
Saturday was a busy day at the police and detectives headquarters where Raoul Bradley is detained on the charge of having murdered little five-year-old Edith May Ahern. From early morning until midnight the offices were thronged with callers, and many attempts were made toward the identification of the prisoner. Among the callers were people of all sorts and conditions, and their visits were due variously to sympathy, the desire to give information to the police and curiosity. Chief Carpenter was in charge of the executive end of the work, while Chief Campeau, and Inspectors Macmahon, Leggatt, and Lamouche were in and out of the police headquarters all day, consulting as to the next moves to be made in the hunt, for the facts of the case. Mr. K. P. McCaskill, Chief of the provincial detective force, was frequently in consultation with Mr. Carpenter throughout the day.
The suspected man, Raoul Bradley, spent the day in the detectives mess room. He seemed much less nervous that he had been when first brought to headquarters on Friday night. He wore an air of indifference, and spoke but little, spending his time smoking and evidently more or less at home. Despite frequent interruptions when people came in to attempt identification, he appeared to be having a pleasant, quiet time. It was pointed out to the Star by one of the police inspectors that Bradley seemed to have failed. Certainly he had slept but little. Imprisoned in one of the regular police cells his rest was said to be quite inconsiderable. An incident of peculiar interest was mentioned to the Star by a police officer. A man was brought into the cell-room, having been arrested for drunkenness. The latter inquired what Bradley was kept in the cells for, and when he was told that he was held on the suspicion of having had something to do with the murder of little Edith May Ahern, he exclaimed, "C'est pas vraie?". "No; is that so?" Well, it is a good thing that I haven't got my revolver with me, because if I had I would shoot him!" While the prisoner was at breakfast in the mess room, Chief Masse, of St. Henri, entered the detectives headquarters, bringing with him the two little Juteau girls, who saw the abductor in Cote St. Paul on Tuesday evening. When the suspect saw the visitors he turned his chair to hide his face from them.
Bradley was taken out and made to pass in front of the little girls. When he approached them, the younger of the two little ones fainted away, and had to be taken out of the prisoner's presence, into Chief Carpenter's private room to be restored. Chiefs Carpenter, Campeau, McCaskill and Masse were in conference there, and they assured the child that no harm would come to her. The coat was shown to them, and the two little girls said that it corresponded to the coat which was worn by the man whom they saw and who is supposed to have been the murderer. Bradley was brought into a room adjoining the chief's office and questioned by Chief Masse. The idea was to see whether the little girls would recognize the voice. The question and answers, as heard by a Star Representative, were as follows:--

Chief Masse: "Where were you on Tuesday afternoon, about two o'clock?"
Bradley: "About two o'clock I went to Grier's and Cantin's to look for work."
Chief Masse: "Did you go into Grier's place?"
Bradley: "No, I met St. Marie (supposed to be one of the foremen) on Canning street."
Chief Masse: "I suppose St. Marie knows you well."
Bradley: "Oh, yes; he does."
Chief Masse: "I suppose there is not much work to be had at this time of the year?"
Bradley: "No, but I thought I might get some, all the same."
Chief Masse (abruptly): "What time did you go?"
Bradley: "A short while after two."

The little girls were very wise for their years. Asked by a Star representative whether Bradley was the man they had seen, They replied that the face and moustache of the prisoner were very like those of the man they had met on Tuesday. "But we would not say for sure that it is the man," said one of the little women, "for it is a very serious charge."
There were many reports made to the police regarding possible clues to the murderer. About half an hour after the departure of the little Juteau girls a report was brought by a man living on Dorion street that in January a man answering the description of little Edith Ahern's supposed murderer, was guilty of assaulting a little girl in the eastern part of the city. The man was selling note-paper. He had called the child down stairs, promising to give her some money. This report was filed with many others of the kind for future consideration. A curious character was brought to the headquarters about eleven o'clock, a man giving his name as Alexander Miller. When questioned he said his real name was Bradley. He and Bradley had been know as chums, and had at various times been together the guests of the police at different stations. On March 21 they slept together at No. 8. This man, who caused no small degree of amusement by his oddities of manner, identified the prisoner as his old comrade. Later in the forenoon a man named Francois Chamberlin came in to see Bradley but could not identify the prisoner as the man he saw on Tuesday. When seen by a Star reporter afterwards, he said that he had been working on the Canal on the afternoon of the tragedy, and had been quite close to the man who was with the little girl.
Another clue was taken up on Saturday from which big things were expected. About noon a report reached the Detective Office that a man, who had been arrested about a month ago on a charge of criminally assaulting a six-year-old girl, and who was acquitted, might possibly answer to the description. The story was told by a certain court official who stated that on Thursday afternoon he had met the party suspected and asked him what he was doing in Cote St. Paul on Wednesday afternoon at the same hour. After a little arguing, the official, who was trying to test the party he suspected gave in that it must have been Tuesday afternoon that he saw him there. He was then asked what he was doing near the church with a parcel under his arm. To this he answered that he had been looking for work and that the parcel was his lunch. Chief Carpenter thought that this line might lead to something, owing to the admission made by the man. The detectives waited at the corner while their informer went to the house of the suspected man and told him that his lawyer wished to see him. As the man is having an action against the party who had him arrested before, he did not suspect that he was being brought from his home to be examined by the detectives. He was brought from his home to a lawyer on St. James street, where he spent some few minutes waiting for his adviser, and, seeing that he did not arrive at his office, he was asked by the informer to go to the Court House, where he might meet him and see what was being done in his case. In the corridor of the City Hall, the two little girls stated that they could recognize the murderer, and also the man who saw him enter the bush, were asked to walk past the man and to take notice if he was the party wanted. After they had all passed and been taken back into Chief of Detectives Carpenter's office, they stated that the man was too old, although his appearance tallied somewhat with the description of the man who is wanted. The man left for his home without knowing that he had ever been under suspicion.
In the afternoon the most interesting scene of the day occurred. As mentioned in the Star on Friday last, little Germaine Trudeau, of Duvernay street, Ste. Cunegonde, while returning from school on Tuesday afternoon along with her little sister and five year old Annette Gagnon, had met a man near the police station on Vinet street, who had offered her five cents to go with him. On Saturday afternoon, little Germaine Trudeau was brought by her brother to the detectives headquarters to see whether she could identify the man held by the police as the one who had offered her the money. A good test was prepared for her by the detectives. When she entered, she found before her seven detectives and Bradley. There were three detectives on one side of him and four on the other side, and they were placed so that men with fair moustaches and men with dark moustaches were mixed. They all wore soft hats. Little Germaine was put in the open doorway, and told to take a look over the men. She did so, and after letting her eyes wander they suddenly fixed themselves upon Bradley, where they remained till she was told to come way. After this the little girl was taken into Chief Carpenter's office. It was not given out whether or not she had recognized the man. Later the Star had an interview with the child and her parents, the result of which appears in another column.
Other reports were received by the detectives on Saturday afternoon. A message was received by Chief Carpenter from Beloeil, about five o'clock, stating that a man answering the general description given of the guilty party had been seen in that district. This matter of the two bottles found in the Cote St. Paul woods, one of which had evidently contained medicine obtained at McGale's drug store, on Notre Dame street, was investigated. The medicine was a sort of tonic from a prescription given by Dr. Munro on July 8. Dr. Munro called at headquarters and stated that he recollected giving a prescription of this kind. On seeing the prisoner, he said that he had a recollection of having seen someone like him before, but he could not connect the man and the prescription. Mr. James Ahern, J.P., the grandfather of the murdered child, called at the detectives' office on Saturday in hope of finding some news of the perpetrator of the horrible deed. An affecting incident is related by the police officers of a visit made to the headquarters on Friday night by the father of little Edith Ahern, Mr. Hector Ahern, of 40 Napoleon street Ste. Cunegonde. He came down to see whether he could recognize the prisoner as his former boarder, Raoul Bradley. When he entered the detectives' mess-room where Bradley was, the latter lowered his eyes and for about five minutes refused to look at his former landlord. Then he suddenly lifted his head, sneered at him, and turned aside, acting as if he was not there at all.
The funeral of little Edith May Ahern took place yesterday morning from the home of her parents, 40 Napoleon street. It was one of the largest ever seen in Ste. Cunegonde, and it was remarked as peculiar that a large proportion of those present were men. The little coffin was borne down the steps of the Ahern home to the waiting hearse between long rows of sympathizers with reverently bowed heads. All along the streets between that point and Windsor Station, whither the cortege proceeded, a long procession of friends followed. The body was taken by train to Vaudreuil for interment in the cemetery there, which has received the remains of members of the Ahern family for many years. At Vaudreuil the prayers for the dead were recited by Father Godin, a lifelong friend of the family. The reverend priest was visibly affected. At that place also a large number of friends turned out to pay the last respects to the remains of the murdered baby. The sympathy, which the terrible affliction of the little girl's family has aroused has shown itself in the throngs of people who have visited the home of Mr. Hector Ahern, the bereaved father, on Napoleon street. On Saturday evening a representative of the Star called at the Ahern home, and found the house crowded with sympathetic friends, young and old. Ever since the sad news became known the friends have been coming in hundreds to offer their sympathy and assistance to the parents.
Interesting features appear in the arrest of John Schnider, at Massena Springs, NY, on suspicion of the murder of the little Ahern girl. On Saturday afternoon a wire from Chief Nemo, of the latter place, announced to Chief Carpenter that a man was held under suspicion by the Massena police. At once Detective Carpentier set out, accompanied by John Darling, who was to identify the man. The Massena train had left, so the two went to Cornwall. It was a difficult trip. The detective and his companion had to walk across the Cornwall bridge, tramp eleven miles to a village, and drive thence to Massena, reaching the later place at half past four Sunday morning. The accused Schnider was found in the goal yesterday, but Mr. Darling could not say that he was much like the man he had seen with little Edith Ahern on Tuesday. For one thing Schnider is rather dark in Complexion. The accused reached Massena Springs on Thursday morning. Going to the Brunswick Hotel, there, he asked for work, and was given a temporary job in the kitchen. On Saturday morning he had a quarrel with one of the kitchen maids. He attacked the girl with a knife, saying "I killed a girl once like that." A call was sent in for the police. When the latter arrived Schnider seemed dreadfully frightened. "They are after me for killing a little girl," he exclaimed, and tried to run away. The resemblance of the man to the description published of the murderer of the Ahern girl struck Chief Nemo, and he wired to Chief Carpenter.
Schnider tells a great many stories which do not tally very well. He told Detective Charpentier that he had been in gaol in Oswego and released on Tuesday. This proved to be untrue. He said he had beaten his way to Massena. Last night he said he had come from Watertown and that the Chief of police had paid his fare. Detective Charpentier reminded him that he had admitted killing a little girl. "Oh, that's nothing at all, why I killed forty men in one day." "Forty men in one day, where?" asked Charpentier. "When I was in the French army," responded Schnider. "I was in China and one day I killed forty Boxers." These are only a few of the tales told by the prisoner. In fact, his talents in this line are largely to account for his being brought back to Montreal. He had not been in Montreal, he said; later it turned out that he had been twice in this city. He hails from Bordeaux, France. He came to Canada in April, 1905, arriving in Montreal. He went to Winnipeg. From Winnipeg he worked back to Montreal, later he went to New York, then he returned here. The detective with the prisoner and Mr. Dowling, returned yesterday by way of Cornwall, arriving in this city at 6.40. Schnider was driven from the station to police headquarters in a cab. A man from St. Paul was sent for and when he saw the prisoner walk he exclaimed: "That is the man. That is his walk." The man Schnider has something of the shuffling, knock-kneed gait remarked in the man who was with the little Ahern girl. A short light overcoat was found in Schnider's possession. A gatekeeper at Victoria Bridge tells that on Wednesday night, he saw a man wearing such an overcoat perched between two freight cars on the train that reaches Massena in the morning. Schnider reached that place on Thursday morning.
In the clues followed up by the detectives and police many amusing incidents have occurred. One of these is worthy of mention. On Friday a message came from Clarenceville to the effect that a man was being held at that place who answered the description of the murderer. Detective Charpentier went out. On his arrival he found a crowd of upward of four hundred people assembled on the station platform. The centre of observation was a young Jew peddler, who was seated on his pack on the platform. He was a young fellow about nineteen years old, of dark complexion, and the merest ghost of a premature moustache. The scene, and his own evident popularity, had quite naturally frightened the peddler. He didn't know what he was accused of, but there was no doubt in his mind that he was "up against it." Mr. Charpentier discharged the boy at once.
The Montreal Star 9 April 1906
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Startling Developments are Expected at any Moment which may be more Conclusive than any Heretofore
New Clue Leads Away from Suspects now Held at Headquarters
New and important information has been received by Chief Detective Carpenter which it is hoped will lead to the solution of the Edith May Ahern murder mystery. So much is official. Unofficially it may be added that this information leads in an entirely different direction from that pursued thus far, in fact if it leads to a satisfactory conclusion it ought to go a great way towards relieving both Bradley, and the man Soulges or Souleges, not Schnider, as his name was at first given out. What it is the authorities hesitate to divulge. Outside of this the situation is in brief, as follows: In addition to Bradley, there is another suspect named Arsene Soulges or Souleges detained. He came from Messina Springs, New York, where he was under arrest as a suspect.
Several people visited the Detective Bureau this morning for purposes of identification, but failed to make complete identifications in the cases of either Bradley or Souleges. The underclothes of the little victim, her lunch basket and little silver cup were found yesterday. Several blind clues were followed by Chief Carpenter and Sub-Chief Carpentier, the former going as far as Toronto. A stylish-looking lady dressed in a sealskin coat, was in Chief Carpenter's office for quite a long time, together with the Swedish boy Mark who saw a suspicious character. Whether this lady had anything to do with the new line of investigations is not known. Little Edith May's grandfather also had a long interview with the Chief and brought some new information. The entire force is on the qui vive and something is expected almost any moment.
Sub-Chief of Detectives Charpentier says in regard to the case of Soulges or Souleges: "Although Mr. Dowling could not identify the man, the Chief of Police of Messina Spring, and the people of the town were so certain that it was the man that I brought him back with me. "If I had not and the culprit was not found in the end nothing could have convinced the United States detective and police officers anywhere that we had not been remiss in our duty, and that we had not been instrumental in the escape of the man whom they had captured and knew to be guilty. "I was a cold trip I can assure you. When I returned I went home for the first time since this case began."
Little Germaine Trudeau, yesterday, in an interview with a Star reporter, told him at her home that she was positive Bradley was the man who had offered her five cents to go with him to the bridge at the canal. She repeated the story over and over again in the presence of her mother and father, and when she was asked what she would have done if the man had taken a hold of her, she replied: "I would have slapped him." It was she who identified Bradley out of eight men who were paraded before her on Saturday.
Mr. Ahern, the grandfather of the little murdered girl, was at police headquarters this afternoon. He brought some new information, and although the exact nature of it was not divulged, it is understood that it has something to do with seven little girls, who, it is claimed, will be able to identify the murderer. He also gave the name of a lady who seems to have strong reason to believe that Bradley was not the man but who although it is intimated that she has strong suspicions of someone else, refused to tell him her reasons or suspicions. Mr. Ahern, as is but natural, was still greatly worked up about the crime. "I think that every man should turn detective in a case like this," he said.
The man named Mark, who was at Detective headquarters nearly all morning and afternoon, saw a man walking along the Grand Trunk tracks away from Cote St. Paul, the evening of the murder. This man he says greatly resembled Bradley with whom he had worked at one time. He walked with his hands in his pockets, and his coat open, and had apparently enough liquor in him to make him zig-zag from one side of the track to the other.
As has been the case ever since the body of little Edith Ahern was found in the woods at Cote St. Paul, the Detectives' headquarters showed this morning a scene of unwonted activity, and the callers were very numerous. Although there seems to be little change in the situation so far in the police end of the affair, a great deal of secret work is being done by Chief Carpenter's force, and hourly developments are expected. The announcement made to the Star in the forenoon was quite non-committal: "We are after a couple of other people. I cannot give you any details, as I am afraid it might have the result in defeating the ends of justice. I can assure you, however, that all possible steps will be taken to find the culprit" The only men actually detained at the present for the crime are Raoul Bradley and the man from Massena Springs, who can hardly be mentioned as a serious arrest in the case. He is a man with a fast fund of names and a great many different stories about himself, but he does not correspond with the description given of the guilty party. His real name is Arsene Souleges, but he has given the various aliases of Soulges and Schnider. The two men slept very well last night. They occupy different cells. Bradley is quite cheerful to-day, and as for the other man, he has the air of being the happiest man in town.
This morning another attempt was made to identify Bradley as the man who was wandering about Cote St. Paul on the evening of the murder. Chief Dore, of Cote St. Paul, came down to detectives' headquarters, bring with him two young ladies from that town, Miss Alma Judge, the daughter of Mr. Michael Judge, the Mayor of Cote St. Paul, and Miss Alice Cote, her friend. These ladies saw the strange man on the street near the Judge home on Tuesday evening last. He was staggering as he walked and appeared to be talking to himself. This was about 6.30. The girls were taken into the private room of Chief Carpenter at the detectives headquarters, and three men were brought in. One of the men was Bradley, another Souleges, and the third a vagabond under arrest. On leaving the office, Miss Judge was asked by a Star reporter whether she had recognized any of the men as the Cote St. Paul stranger. She replied that in her opinion Bradley was very like the man of whom she had spoken. Face, manner, and everything appeared the same. She remarked, however, that her man had been a little drunk, while this one was sober. The identification was not complete.
To-day a clue was sent to the Star from Carleton Place, Ontario, which is a considerable railway centre. A lady in that town sent to the Star the following information: "There was a man called at our place yesterday for something to eat. (This was Thursday last). He said he came from Montreal. "He was a short, thin man, with red face and fair moustache. He wore a dark suit of clothes, a dark flannel shirt, and a necktie of a dark shade, very much worn. There was something about him that I did not like. He seemed in such a hurry to get away that I thought he would choke while eating. He seemed in a terrible hurry to get away. "I asked him a number of questions about Montreal and he answered them. He said he was on his way to the lumber camp, or the drive. If I remember right, he said Chalk River. I thought it best to let you know, as it might prove a clue. This letter has been submitted to Chief Carpenter.
The chief himself was on a blind clue on Saturday. The report was given him that a certain man had on Friday gone to the telegraph office in Point St. Charles and sent the following wire to Toronto: "Am in serious trouble. Send me ticket to Toronto." Chief Carpenter acted on this and went to Toronto. He found that it was not his man, however, and that the trouble referred to was not the one now occupying the attention of the Montreal police and detectives.
The Montreal Star 9 April 1906
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Four Witnesses Identify the New Prisoner as One Seen on the Route Taken by the Murderer
Suspicious Conduct of Hackett Around the Time of the Murder
James Hackett, of 92 Grand Trunk street, is at the Central Detective Office, the latest suspect in the Edith May Ahern mystery. Three men and one little boy have identified him. This was the man the police were after when the Star announced yesterday: "New and important information has been received by Chief Detective Carpenter, which it is hoped will lead to the solution of the Edith May Ahern murder mystery. So much is official. "Unofficially it may be added that this information leads in an entirely different direction from that pursued thus far. In fact if it leads to a satisfactory conclusion it ought to go a great way towards relieving both Bradley and the man Soulges or Souleges not Schnider, as his name was at first given out. What it is the authorities hesitate to divulge."
When the Star made that announcement yesterday, it knew that the police had given up the idea that any of the men then in custody were guilty, and had been hard at work for some time to find out the name and address of a "little fellow" whom they thought was the man wanted. Inspector McMahon and Captain Coleman had been working more directly on this clue ever since Sunday. The people who thus far have identified "the little man," James Hackett, include Mr. Lecours.
Mr. Lecours is the man, who saw the supposed murderer of Edith May Ahern, and the little girl sitting on the canal bank. He noticed the little lunch basket and other details, and he was unable to see any real likeness between the man he saw, and the men that were shown to him as suspects up till now. This morning, however, he was let into Chief Carpenter's office, and there was confronted by three men. One of these was Bradley, another was Hackett, and a third was a member of the detective force. Lecours was asked to walk through the room, and see whether he recognized anyone. As soon as he came our, he said: "The 'little fellow' is the man I saw."
In addition to him there were the two Swedes, one of whom is Marks, who has been referred to before in the Star, but who according to official information was supposed for some reason or other according to official information yesterday, to have seen a man resembling Bradley on the Grand Trunk Railway track after the murder is supposed to have been committed. The other Swede is named Johannes Nygard, and the fourth witness a little boy, one of the Nelson twins.
Mark, the Swede, has been the most valuable man in the search for Hackett. Mark and Nygard were the two men who met the supposed murderer on the Grand Trunk track, just about after the murder had been committed, and although they were not quite sure they were pretty certain that they had met the man before, and that he was a man who had worked with them in the shops of the Montreal Steel Company. The reason that they remembered him so well was that this man was in the habit of wearing a very broad belt. They did not know his name however.
Strange to say, the Nelson twins had seen the supposed murderer of the little Ahern girl, as he went into the woods. When their father came home they told him that they had seen a man with a little girl go into the woods, and that they had seen the man come out again afterwards all alone, and return on the railway track. Strange to say, the twins father and the two Swedes met shortly afterwards and compared notes. They were all suspicious of a man who had worked at the Montreal Steel Company but they were not quite sure of who he was or where he lived. The Nelson twins were brought up to-day also, and one of them was told to go in and look at three men in Detective Carpenter's private office, and to see if any one of them was the one who had been seen by him going into the woods with the little girl and coming out alone. As soon as he got into the room, he walked right up to Hackett, and pointing his finger at him said: "That is the man."
The identification of the Swedes was even more important than that. Marks had been with Chief Carpenter and Sup-Chief Charpentier almost all day Saturday, Sunday and yesterday, they being convinced the he had the clearest idea of who the culprit was of any. Marks was taken out on Monday to identify a suspect in Lachute. When Hackett was brought down from his house by Captain Coleman, he was taken over to the Place Viger station to await the arrival of the train which carried Marks and Mr. Charpentier. While standing there the train came in, and as Marks jumped off and caught sight of Hackett, he caught Charpentier by the arm, and clutching it with a force that must have left marks on the flesh, he whispered in his ear: "Look, there is the man I saw on the track."
As to the suspect Hackett, he is a rather mean looking little man with a fair moustache, and rather thin face, broad across the temples, however. He has married a little French-Canadian woman, who was in the City Hall all morning, sometimes weeping silently in her handkerchief, sometimes sitting nervously tapping her feet on the floor, looking exceedingly distressed. She is dark, with fine eyes and nice hair, and must have been quite a belle at one time, but they say that she has had seven children, all of whom are dead, and that the husband was not one of the easiest men to get along with.
While the Swedes were pretty positive of their man, although they did not know his name, there was another person who was pretty positive of him, and did know his name, and that was a man named William Carter, a special constable at the Montreal Steel Works. Carter was first attracted to Hackett by the description of the supposed murderer, which appeared in the Star. He says "I became suspicious of him when I found out that he had not been working Tuesday night, as he always works at night. Then when I found out that he was trying to sell his pay, not because this is such a strange thing for men to do, but because he added when he tried to sell it, that he was in trouble and wanted to get away. I became more suspicious and notified Captain Coleman." It appears from this that several men were working simultaneously to find the same man, each in a different way.
Captain Coleman was very busy following up all sorts of other clues, but all within a certain radius, which had as its centre the Montreal Steel Works. He had, in fact, a number of the men in the Montreal Steel Works under surveillance. Therefore the bringing in of Hackett was postponed from yesterday afternoon to yesterday evening. Then after a hurried conference with his superior in the Central Bureau, Captain Coleman, accompanied by Carter, went to the Hackett home. This was a little after seven. Just as they neared it Hackett was going in, and this is the manner in which they succeeded in bringing him down. Said Captain Coleman to him: "Mr. Hackett, do you know such and such a man?" making up for the purpose some imaginary man. Hackett thought that he remembered such a man as having worked with him in the steel works. "Would you know him again if you saw him?" he was asked. "I think I would," he replied. "Well, then, you had better come down with us to identify him," said Captain Coleman. This he did, and he had apparently no misgivings about his mission till after they had gone some distance in the car, when he asked: "I hope this is nothing that has to do with me personally."
Bradley, the principal suspect, till now took things just as calmly as he has taken them in the past. He knew that there was another suspect and a suspect who was very much suspected indeed, for he could see through the bars of this cell that the new suspect was being identified. But when the man who made the identification went out of the room, Bradley simply turned his face away again and kept on smoking.
Mr. Ahern, the father of the murdered child, was at police headquarters all morning. There was a supposition that he knew the man Hackett, but from his conversation it turned out that he knew a man by that name but that this man was an entirely different man, as far as appearances went. He seems to have lost some faith in identifications and the only thing he said in a way of satisfaction was: "Well, I suppose I ought to be thankful that I have my little girl buried instead of floating in the water somewhere as she might have been." Mrs. Hackett was not interrogated to-day, but a Star reporter had a little chat with her, and during that chat, she stated that her husband had come home on the fateful Tuesday evening at five o'clock, had taken his supper at half past five, and had not left the house again that evening. Just as the conversation was taking place, Detective Riopel came walking through the corridor of the Central Police Station, with two big bundles of clothing and disappeared into one of the many mysterious doors that lead to the detective bureau's innermost secrets. Riopel had been at the house while she was still there, and when she saw him with the bundles she appeared disturbed.
One lady, a Mrs. Mooney, was sent into Mr. Carpenter's office, in connection with the case. She lived in the same house as the Hacketts, and it is understood that she also made out a sort of an alibi for Hackett. Later on a number of people who are supposed to have seen the murderer were brought down by Chief Dore, of St. Paul and Chief Tourangeau, of St. Cunegonde. About 2.30 Chief Carpenter returned from lunch, and at once set to work. Three men were chosen from the group about the doors of the Chief's office. These were of the same stature as the prisoner, five feet five or six, and were fair of complexion. These were taken in and lined up beside James Hackett and Raoul Bradley, and the children were asked to point out which was the one they had seen with the little girl. Before the work of identification started, the prisoner asked for a drink of water, and a cup was taken to him. The first two little girls were brought in and confronted by the line of men. The children were so excited by their long wait in the detectives' office, and by the strain of the occasion, that they could not do anything. They could not identify the prisoner definitely.
This afternoon a Star representative visited the Montreal Steel Works to make inquiries about James Hackett, the man who has been arrested to-day charged with knowing something about the death of little Edith May Ahern. Hackett has been employed in the works of that company for three or four years. The foreman for whom the man worked says that he is a very good workman. As for his character so much cannot be said. Inquiries at the office elicit the information that Hackett was addicted to the use of liquor. One man said that the man was "a pretty hard ticket, especially when drunk." For the past two weeks James Hackett has been working on the night gang. His duties were to clean castings in the "settling shop." At the office of the company to-day the Star was informed that the arrested man did not report for work on Tuesday night last. On Monday night Hackett came to his work at 6.30 p.m.. He remained an hour and a quarter only. On Tuesday evening he did not show up at all. On Wednesday evening Hackett came down to the works and remained there his full time. It was remarked by Mr. W. Carter, the watchman at the works, and by many others of the employees, that Hackett did not appear natural on Wednesday evening. He appeared to be nervous and irritable and the thing was remarked upon freely at the time. On Thursday afternoon Hackett came down to the works and sold his time to another workman. That is, he arranged to relinquish the pay that was coming to him for the time he had put in to another for a smaller sum of money.
He took the man to the office, and while arrangements were being made for the transfer of the time the boy who was there also remarked that Hackett was nervous. He seemed in a great hurry to get through with his affair and get away. This fact made Hackett the object of suspicion even at that time among the people of the shop. When later the reports in the Star about the murder were read and the description of the supposed murderer published, the suspicion became almost a certainty, and all were on the look out for Hackett, who no longer came to his work. The affair was also reported to the detectives by Mr. Carter, the watchman. The most important clue to the capture of Hackett was, however, the information give by a Norwegian named Christian Mark, who has been in close connection with the police and detectives for several days. Mark is an employee of the Steel Works also. On Tuesday evening between half past six and seven he met a man on the Grand Trunk Railway tracks about five minutes walk west of Cote St. Paul station. This man, Mark declares he recognized as his fellow workman, James Hackett. Since Saturday, Mark has been acting in conjunction with Chief Carpenter's staff. He went to Toronto Saturday evening along with Chief of Detectives Carpenter in chase of the man, Silvester, who left Montreal under suspicious circumstances. It was through Mark that the Chief knew that this was not the man. The Star representative also called at Hackett's home, which is in the rear and above 92 Grand Trunk street. Mrs. Hackett, the arrested man's wife had already gone down to the detective's office to see what had become of her husband and there was nobody in the house excepting two girls and a young man, one of the former a first cousin of Hackett's. Hackett was taken from his home last evening by Captain Coleman and another police officer. The girls expressed themselves as very much shocked and surprised at the arrest of Mr. Hackett.
The detectives' office, for the last week a scene of the greatest activity, was an extraordinarily busy place to-day, after the arrival of James Hackett at headquarters. Detectives, city and provincial, witnesses, policemen, and sightseers crowded the corridors, and the one aim of all was to have a look at the man in whom the police have centered such energy as being the object of their quest. Early to arrive was Mr. Hector Ahern, the father of the murdered Child. Inspector Lapointe, of the provincial force, arrived at about 1.45. He brought with him five little girls from Cote St. Paul, to see if they could identify the man in custody as the same whom they saw near the scene of the tragedy on Tuesday night last. Two little boys, Emile Hebert and Armand Boyer, were on the scene. They saw the supposed murderer on the other side of the Cote St. Paul bridge on Tuesday night. Among the first to reach headquarters were the young ladies, Marian and Eugene Leduc, Blanche and Marie Louise Juteau, Alvah Judge and Alice Cote, who have already been down at the detectives' office trying to identify Raoul Bradley. All these witnesses were taken into Chief Carpenter's private office, in the next room to the one in which Hackett has been kept waiting, and the Chief's first care on returning from lunch was to attend to matters of identification.
The Montreal Star 10 April 1906
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His Wife Claims he was Home About the Time the Murder was Committed at Cote St. Paul
Raoul Bradley it is Claimed was at Supper in Montreal Close to the Time of the Murder.
It is now a week and a day since the disappearance of little Edith May Ahern from her home in Ste. Cunegonde, and as yet the police have not satisfied themselves that a definite clue to the abductor of the child has been found. Probably no case in recent years has presented such sordid features as the murder of the little Ahern girl. Certainly none has been taken up and prosecuted by the police with such vigor and energy. The City detectives and police services, and the provincial force, have been straining every nerve to find the criminal and it is only due to the fact that there is really little definite to work on that their efforts have not been as yet more fully rewarded. On Thursday morning last the naked body of Edith Ahern was found in the woods near Cote St. Paul. On Tuesday afternoon between four and six a man had been seen by dozens of people passing across the canal from Ste. Cunegonde along the aqueduct, and towards the woods. Late in the evening a man had been seen to come to the church in Cote St. Paul and throw into the basement a bundle which proved to contain the clothing of a little girl. This clue led to the finding of the body.
To find the murderer the police have but little to work on. Several arrests have been made, but it has been found that those who saw the man in Cote St. Paul and along the Aqueduct are not at all sure about their identification. Chief Dore, of Cote St. Paul, who on Sunday last found the little girl's underclothing, which the murderer had thrown into a field, has been active on the case, and has produced some valuable witnesses, who saw the man and the child together.
The first arrest made was of Raoul Bradley, who formerly boarded with the Aherns. Bradley corresponds fairly well to the description given by the witnesses, but he claims to be able to prove an alibi. He has not been positively identified as the man who passed Cote St. Paul with Edith Ahern. On Saturday night a man was arrested in Massena Springs, NY, and Sub-Chief Charpentier went there and brought him to Montreal. He was Arsene Souleges, and proved to know nothing about the crime. The third arrest of importance was made Monday evening, when James Hackett, of 92 Grand Trunk street was taken into custody. Four men have identified him as the man they saw hanging about Cote St. Paul on the evening of the murder. Moreover, it has been established that the man was not at his work that night, and that he acted strangely for days after. Hackett's people say they can prove an alibi. In addition to these more important arrests the police have followed up scores of clues, great and small. They are not at all sure as yet, however, that the right man has been taken.
The family of the man Jas. Hackett, who is being detained on suspicion of the murder of Edith Ahern, loudly assert that the man is innocent, and even that an alibi can be established. Interviewed by the Star last evening, Mrs. John Hackett, Quesnel street, the mother of the accused, declared that she could solemnly swear that the police had taken the wrong man. She said: "He would have been the very last one to harm a child. Yes, he did take an occasional glass of liquor, same as many others, but for all the he was not a drunkard, and I am sure that if they kill him he will go straight to Heaven." Mrs. Hackett stated that her son came to her home at about half-past twelve on the day of the murder. He remained until one, taking dinner with her. At that time he was sober. Mrs. Hackett was very indignant over her son's arrest. She stated that the newspapers had been guilty of libel for stating that he had been drunk on the day of the murder.
The wife of the prisoner, when seen at her home, 92 Grand Trunk street, last evening, was in a state of nervous excitement. She had been all day at the detectives' headquarters, and had been refused admittance to speak to the prisoner. Mrs. Hackett is a French-Canadian woman, who married Hackett twelve years ago. There have been six children, all of whom have died. Mrs. Hackett told her story as follows: "My husband has always been good to me, although he drank a little. When he took liquor he sometimes used bad language, but he never abused me. After our marriage, we lived in St. Henri, then in Ste. Cunegonde, where we remained for several years. Last year we removed to this house. On the day of the murder, my husband, who worked at night, rested most of the forenoon. Shortly before noon he left to visit his mother and did not return till about one o'clock. He came into the house with his brother Ned, whom he had met on the way. Both of them went out again, and, after asking Mrs. Mooney, who lived with us, to prepare supper for my husband, I went to Mrs. Martin's, my husband's cousin, who lives at 167 Shearer street. James was to go back to work at six o'clock that night."
"Mrs. Mooney told me that he returned at about half-past five, and that she prepared supper for him. However, after the meal was over, he declared that he would not work, and went to bed. On that day he was wearing the same clothes he had on when arrested. Between six and seven, I do not remember the exact time, Mrs. Martin accompanied me back to the house, and we found James asleep. He had not been drinking. Seeing that everything was all right, I returned with Mrs. Martin and stayed over night. When I came home, about seven on the following morning, my husband was still in bed. He remained there until dinner time, and in the afternoon went out to visit an uncle. I think it was on the following day, Thursday, that Mr. Martin, who works in the same shop as my husband, told me that he thought James' job was at an end, as they had put another man in his place. When I told James about this, he said that he did not care, as he preferred to work in the day time, and that he would look for another job. Last Friday he came home with two dollars and a half, and told me the money was three days' pay, which he had sold at a discount." The brother of the accused visited detectives' headquarters last evening. Speaking of the crime, he said: "It was a terrible affair. The man who did such a thing should be tarred and feathered, then dragged toward the spot and burned slowly. If I thought my brother did it I would hang for him."
It has been learned that James Hackett was at one time under arrest in Westmount. Chief Harrison, of that town, states that the man was arrested there six years ago and sentenced to a fine of $25 or six months in goal. The offense was loitering about and unable to give a satisfactory account of himself. The police records of the town show that James Hackett, iron worker, 27 years of age, 262 Delisle street, was arrested on this charge on Selby street. He had been noticed loitering about the town a couple of nights previous. Hackett went to goal, being unable to pay the fine. James Hackett has never been considered a real criminal, but he has been known as a vicious drunkard, according to the police. When drunk he has been in the habit of smashing things and he has spent considerable time in police stations for that. He was well known about Ste. Cunegonde and Cote St. Paul being familiar with both districts.
Many conflicting reports have been given out as to the movements of Raoul Bradley, on the evening on which the murder of little Edith Ahern was committed, but according to the story told by Mr. A. Boiron, the proprietor of the Montreal House at the corner of King and Common streets, at which the man boarded, it will be easy for the prisoner to prove an alibi. A representative of the Star interviewed Mr. Boiron since the case has been in progress and the proprietor of the hotel stated emphatically that on Tuesday afternoon last, the day on which the crime was committed, Bradley came to the place at 5.30 and never went out again. As without doubt the murderer of little Edith Ahern was in Cote St. Paul that evening at half past six o'clock, this would seem to be a great point in favor of the man at present detained. "I have no interest," said Mr. Boiron to the Star, "in trying to have this man escape. My only reason in speaking is to tell the truth about the thing and perhaps to save an innocent man. As a matter of fact, I did not know anything about this fellow Bradley. He came here ten days ago. He paid his board, and he was not out that night after half past five."
"Ten days ago Bradley came to my hotel, and asked to be taken in as a boarder. I would not take him until he brought me the foreman of the Poupart contracting firm who went security for the payment of the board. This is a frequent practice spring and autumn, and I have in the house two men brought here with their bills guaranteed in the same way. Since Bradley has been in the house he has behaved as well as any man could. I know for a fact that he has not had a cent to spend. At one time he borrowed twenty cents from the man who shared the room with him for the purpose of buying tobacco. He never had money. In all the time Bradley has been here he has not, to my knowledge at least, had a drop to drink. One thing is sure, he never has been in the bar here, and as he had no money to spend, I do not think he could have had very much liquor elsewhere. They say that the man seen at Cote St. Paul on Tuesday evening was drunk. For another thing in the matter of clothes Bradley could not have been the man. He never had a hat of any kind, but wore an old cap that was at least ten years old. A man can be lazy, and still not be a criminal, an assassin. Bradley was certainly idle. He was one of those people, who, if they find some one to feed them and house them, want for nothing else in the world. But that does not argue that he was at all a bad man in the way that is now accused. On Tuesday afternoon Bradley came in here at half past five o'clock and never went out again that evening. He had his supper at six along with the other boarders. That is all I know about him."
The testimony of Mr. Boiron, is partially supported by that of one of the domestics at the hotel, who on the evening of the murder gave thread to one of the boarders to do some mending of his clothes. She thinks that this man was Bradley, but is not sure. As for the clothes, the detectives thought they found garments that would correspond well enough to those described as being worn by the abductor of the little Ahern girl. They were confident enough of this to send the trousers in question, found in a trunk in Bradley's room at the hotel, up to an analyst to find out whether certain dark stains thereon were caused by blood or not. Mr. Boiron stated that the accused had no hat of any kind. Bradley himself told the police that he left his hat in a certain saloon on Notre Dame street.
The Montreal Star 11 April 1906
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Carter Tells Chief Carpenter he Saw Hackett in the Vicinity of the Ahern Home on the Afternoon of the Crime
Prisoner has Record for Chasing Little Girls
Arsene Soulges has Been Liberated.
The police authorities seem to be convinced that the net is drawing tighter and tighter around Jams Hackett, the latest suspect in the Ahern child murder case. A carter, whose name for the present is withheld, came down to Chief Carpenter this morning, and told him that he was prepared to testily that Hackett was around the corners of Vinet and Notre Dame streets and Napoleon Road and Notre Dame streets, about four o'clock in the afternoon of the murder and was quite drunk. "I know him well," said the carter "and am convinced I saw him there." Star reporters went over the ground supposed to have been traveled by the murderer in St. Cunegonde, yesterday afternoon. Their intention was to see if Hackett had been seen within reasonable distance of the Ahern house, and whether he had been drinking on the Tuesday of the tragedy.
The first trace found of him in the neighborhood was at F. X. St. Jean's place. This is a saloon on the corner of Vinet and Albert street, and only a couple of blocks away from the Sister's School, where little Edith May Ahern was going. The school is on the corner of Albert and Atwater avenue. Mr. Verdon, the bartender, said: "I have known Hackett for years. When I used to work at Landry's restaurant, corner Atwater avenue and St. James, I had to put the man out of the saloon many a time, on account of his being drunk, and it has been the same here." When asked if Hackett was in the saloon on Tuesday afternoon, Verdon said: "Yes, he was here Tuesday afternoon at about three o'clock and drank for about fifteen minutes and then went out." "Do you know anything of his character?" he was asked. "Oh yes, he is a drunkard, and passed a term of six months in gaol for hiding in the bushes and running after little girls." Mr. St. Jean, the proprietor, who was also in the bar, says he knows Bradley also very well, and that he was known as a drunkard.
Mrs. Vincent, 707 Albert street, was seen next. When asked if she knew Hackett, she smiled and replied: "Very well, indeed. The family used to live above us and Mrs. Hackett often had to come to me and hide, because he used to make an awful disturbance in the house and wanted to break everything. I remember one time Hackett was alone in the house because his wife had to run away from him. He was very drunk, and he started to break everything in the house. He broke the big mirror and the sideboard with a hammer, and threw the dishes out of the window through the glass." Mrs. Gregoire, who used to live in the same block, the Ladouceur block, had to hide Mrs. Hackett many a time because she was frightened of her husband. At Maurice Durracq's, 3162 Notre Dame street, a couple of doors west of Vinet street, where he evidently walked up from Albert street, the reporters were told that a man answering Hackett's description was in the saloon on Tuesday afternoon. At the Reina Hotel, 3181 1-2 Notre Dame street, the reporters were told the same thing. At F. X. Brazeau's, 3204 Notre Dame, which is right on the corner of Napoleon Road, they were told the same thing again.
Mr. A. Major, grocer, corner Duvernay and Napoleon streets, said that about eight days before the crime was committed he noticed a man answering Hackett's description hanging around the corner, and that last Monday, the same man went to Vinaud's place asking to have a shave, saying that he had no money, but would pay him later. Vinaud's father-in-law said that he would shave him, but that he would have to wait a few minutes, seeing that all the chairs were filled. The man waited for a minute, and then said he would go and have a drink and come back later on. When he was in the barber shop he declared that he wanted to get a shave so as to look clean as he wanted to try and get work in the Montreal Rolling Mills. Some of the people mentioned, like Mr. Major, told their stories before to the Star, and even before Bradley was arrested. When Bradley was arrested it was supposed that he was the man they had seen, but that idea was afterward dispelled when it became known that Bradley had been working during the day. Hackett only worked at night.
The detectives under Chief Carpenter are following up their investigation into Hackett's movements. For purposes which they claim will serve the ends of justice they are divulging but little of what they find out. Investigations made by Star reporters go to show that the women of the Hackett household, who deny that Hackett had been drinking and state that he was a loving husband, are, as is only to be expected, shielding the latest suspect as much as they can against charges against his character. Hackett spent the night in No. 14 Police Station, under the watchful eye of Inspector McMahon himself. He has not said anything, but he has shown himself very nervous.
Chief Harrison, of the Westmount police force, has given the Star a further statement about Hackett's arrest in the limits of his jurisdiction. "I received complaints," said the Chief, "from various people that a man was in the habit of hiding in the lanes and chasing little girls, and so I supplied two of my constables with very strong electric searchlights. On the second night they captured Hackett hiding in the bushes, and as we had him identified as the man who had done what it was alleged the unknown man had done, he was fined twenty-five dollars and sent to gaol."
At the request of the police and in the interest of justice, Coroner McMahon to-day adjourned the inquest in the cause of the death of little Edith May Ahern until to-morrow. Quite a crowd had gathered about the decrepit little old morgue building, but only a limited number gained access to the room where the inquest was to be held. Detectives Samson and Riopel, of Chief Carpenter's staff, were on hand early, and a constable from the central station had been sent down to assist the coroner's officer, Constable Charles Lacroix, to maintain order in the vicinity. The jury turned up in full numbers and two new parties appeared on the scene. These were Messrs. John A. O'Sullivan and A. O. Rendeau, two young lawyers, who have been retained by the Hackett family to look after the interest of James Hackett, one of the suspects.
Constable Dore, chief of the Cote St. Paul police, was called as a witness, and produced a parcel containing some underclothing, which, he declared, had been identified by Mr. and Mrs. Hector Ahern as that worn by their little daughter on the day that she was lured away and fiendishly done to death. Besides the clothing, there were her little lunch basket, containing some of the remains of her lunch, a napkin and a pewter drinking mug. The little woolen undershirt, petticoat and drawers and the little cotton corset with garters attached, were all carefully and reverently folded by Detective Riopel and carefully marked for identification by Officers Lacroix and put away for future use in the case. Chief Dore told of finding these objects on the outskirts of Cote St. Paul, near the spot where the mutilated body of the Ahern baby was found, where it had been left by the monster who had lured her to her death.
Detective Riopel asked the coroner to adjourn the inquest. He was doing this, he said, on instructions from Chief Detective Carpenter, who was busily engaged on the case, and declared that he expected by to-morrow to have sufficient evidence to be able to enable the jury to reach conclusion in the case. Coroner McMahon, addressing the jury, expressed his regret that they must be again called away from their occupation for another day. He was quite confident, however, that in view of the serious nature of the case that they would be willing to undergo this inconvenience in the interest of justice. Chief Carpenter was confident that he would have sufficient evidence to put before them to-morrow to enable them to reach a verdict, and in view of this the inquest was adjourned until 10 a.m. to-morrow. Neither Mr. Hector Ahern, the father of the little victim, nor any other members of the family were at the morgue, having doubtless been advised that the proceedings would be but formal.
Arsene Soulges, the man who was taken into custody at Massena Springs, on Saturday last, was walking about the detectives' quarters at the City Hall, to-day, and a Star reporter had a talk with him. He declared that he had been free since Monday, as Chief Carpenter told him on that day that he could go or stay as he pleased. "Where am I to go?" he asked to-day. "I have no money and I have no work. I want to go out to Winnipeg, for I left my trunk there with some decent clothes in it." "How did you come to be arrested, anyhow?" "Ma foi, I do not know. I am dark and the man who is described as having been seen with the little child was fair or reddish. I have been in Montreal but twice in my life, once when I came to this country in April last, and again in June last for a couple of days. "Tas d'imbeciles," he remarked, referring to the people in Messina Springs. "Because they could not understand me they said I must be connected with this affair. They asked me about Montreal. I knew as much about Montreal as I do about Berlin, which I have never even seen." "Did you speak English to them?" "I cannot speak English fluently. I have been in America less than a year. As a matter of fact, it will be a year on April 22nd since I landed in America from Bordeaux. I went to Winnipeg, unfortunately for myself." "How do you mean unfortunately?"
"Well, because I had to leave my trunk with my clothes behind me there. I tried to get work at my regular occupation, which is that of a dry goods clerk. I could not speak English and, therefore, could not get any work." "I then went east again, to New York state, where I have been working at odd jobs ever since. On my way east I came to Montreal and remained here the best part of two days, before continuing towards New York." "What do you propose doing now?' "I do not know exactly. I cannot get any work at my own business here now, after this affair, and besides look at the way I am dressed. I look like a tramp, and I would not dare ask any one to employ me as a clerk. I will try and get out to Winnipeg once more, and I believe Chief Carpenter will give me a hand in getting out there. I will perhaps be able to get back my clothes and make myself decent once more and may be able to find some kind of work to keep me going until I learn English well enough to be of some use in a store."
"What about that story of yours that you killed forty men in one day?" "Well, I should think I must have killed at least forty or fifty. It was in 1900, in China. The Boxers were fifty thousand strong, about three hundred yards from us, just across the river, and I fired away at them all day. I fired three hundred and twenty shots, and I surely must have killed at least forty or fifty. I spent sixteen months in China altogether, and I learned the language fairly well." Soulges asked to see Deputy Chief Charpentier and asked that officer whether he could not go out and come back again. Detective Charpentier gave him an appointment for four o'clock, but Soulges wanted to come back and get his dinner at noon, and was told he might do so. He then started out for a walk around. "I have got ten or twelve cents here and I can get around a few steps with that," he remarked, as he started from the detectives' office.
Captain Coleman this afternoon brought down another man to identify Hackett. This was Mr. Nicholson, the night watchman for the Duplex Steel works, who was going to his work, and saw the supposed murderer on the canal bank with the little girl. It is expected he can identify Hackett. He was brought down some days ago to identify Bradley, but was unable to do so.
The mystery surrounding the murder of little Edith Ahern becomes from day to day more involved. Although two men, Bradley and Hackett, are held by the city police and although it has been stated that a great deal of circumstantial evidence points to the latter, it is by no means certain that either can be definitely connected with the death of the little girl. A third man has just come on the horizon. A mysterious person, answering in every detail to the description given by many witnesses of the man who abducted the Ahern girl, was yesterday seen in Point St. Charles. The fact is of all the more importance because this man avoided meeting everybody and when several well known resident of the Point looked askance at him he suddenly took to his heels and ran. A hue and cry ensued, and it was only by jumping on a moving car that the stranger escaped arrest, and possible violent treatment. Mr. Paul Verdon, master carter, Charlevoix street, is the hero in this incident. Yesterday morning, about nine o'clock, while Mr. Verdon was driving near Cote St. Paul he saw a strange person coming out of the Cote St. Paul woods. The man was sufficiently like the description published of the culprit to arouse suspicion. Half an hour later a mysterious stranger entered the saloon, kept by Napoleon Taillon, on Charlevoix street, just west of the Grand Trunk tracks. The stranger called for a glass of gin, which was placed before him. By a strange coincidence Mr. Verdon himself entered a moment later. There was also in the bar a man named Albert Dubois or Woods, who formerly worked with James Hackett in the Montreal Steel Works.
Immediately on entering Mr. Verdon recognized the man as the one he had seen coming from the woods in the morning. He mentioned his suspicions to Mr. Dubois. The latter, as well as all who were in the bar, were struck by the resemblance of the stranger to the published descriptions. The man saw that he was the object of considerable attention and at once became excited. He stood his ground, however, until Mr. Verdon started to run for the telephone to call the patrol. This was too much for him. Leaving his glass half filled the stranger hurled himself through the door and put off down the street. Mr. Verdon and Mr. Dubois together with several other men, set out at once in pursuit. The stranger ran like the wind, but the others were gaining on him steadily. Arrived at the car tracks the fugitive caught a car that was passing at a considerable speed, the others were too late. They had to see their quarry disappear. Mr. Verdon went over to the Ste. Cunegonde police station yesterday afternoon and told Captain Tourangeau of his experience. The matter has been taken up by the police. To-day Mr. Verdon spent most of his time about the City Hall in conference with detectives and police. Should this new clue prove of value it may result in the honorable discharge of both men now in detention.
Speaking to a Star representative this morning, Mr. Dubois, one of the men who saw the new suspect and who lives at 202 Knox street, spoke of the incident as follows: "I think the man we have seen is the one who is guilty of this crime. His actions were, to say the least, suspicious, as you can see and his appearance corresponds in almost every detail with the descriptions already given of the man seen with little Edith Ahern on the day of the murder. "Our man was about five foot six in height. He was light complexioned and had the appearance of a complete tough. He stooped a little and walked with a rather shuffling gait. His face was flushed as if from intemperance. "Another thing that aroused our suspicion in addition to the man's general appearance was the clothing that he wore. "He had on a pair of gray trousers with gray stripes. They were torn above the knee on one side and the skin was exposed beneath. He also wore a dark faded coat and a sort of pea-jacket. His hat was a round one, of soft felt, originally black. "All the clothes were stained and looked as if he had been roughing it for some days."
The Montreal Star 11 April 1906
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Story of the Suspects Movements on the Day of the Crime do not Agree with the Statements Made by Members of His Family
Hackett's Wife had Appealed to Society for Protection
Although several people identified James Hackett as the man who was in the vicinity of Cote St. Paul on the day of the fiendish murder of little Edith May Ahern, and the prisoner himself refused to speak, Coroner McMahon to-day adjourned the inquest until Saturday, at ten o'clock, when every one who saw the man and the little girl together will be called to see whether they can identify the man. Among the evidence placed before the coroner's jury was a statement signed by the prisoner, Hackett, giving an account of his movements on the day of the murder, and each day since, up to the time of his arrest. His statement of the events of that day differ from that given by his wife, and also from the statements of Mrs. Mooney, who lived with the Hackett family.
The little Neilssen, or Nelson twins gave positive evidence of seeing the man and the girl together, and the identification of Hackett by Oscar Neilssen was most impressive. The two Swedes, Marks, and Nygaard, were also very positive in their identification, while several witnesses testified to seeing Hackett in the vicinity of the Ahern Home on the afternoon of the murder. Aristide Lecours, upon whom the police had counted a great deal, failed to make a positive identification although he stated that the trousers shown him as those belonging to Hackett were like those worn by the man who was taking the little girl along the waterworks at Cote St. Paul. Hackett looked thoroughly scared a couple of times during the inquest and when he came up to reply to the remarks of the Coroner he looked sheepish enough. He is an insignificant looking little fellow with a bushy head of carrotty hair, and a light seedy moustache, while his eyebrows are of the same color as his hair.
He is spare as well as short, and dressed in shabby clothes, without a collar. He sat at the back of the room in which the inquest was held, between Detective Giguere and Acting Detective Sauve. A great deal of the time he kept his eyes on the ground. When brought up the Coroner reminded him that he was under suspicion of having committed this crime. He began to give him the usual warning in English when one of the jurors suggested that Hackett spoke French. The prisoner said in French that he understood English fairly well. Coroner McMahon continued speaking in French and gave the prisoner full warning that he was not bound to speak, that anything he said might be used against him at a trial, but that he had a right to give evidence, and, further, that his refusal to do so could not be interpreted against him.
Hackett hesitated a minute, then said: "I do not want to speak. I do not know what I could say." He then returned to his seat at the rear. Meanwhile his two lawyers, Messrs. J. A. O'Sullivan and A. O. Rondeau, were present and taking copious notes of the proceedings. When the proceedings had been closed for the day Hackett drew out a big clay pipe and quietly enjoyed a smoke, while the people who had been unable to gain access to the courtroom peered in the door to have a look at the man who is accused of committing such a fiendish crime. An attempt was made to introduce evidence that this man had molested a little girl some time ago, but this was not considered evidence bearing upon this matter, and besides the little girl declared later that Hackett was smaller than the man who had attacked her.
Cyrille Verdon, Quesnel street, declared he had not seen the little victim in company with any man. He continued: "James Hackett came to our place on Tuesday afternoon about 3 p.m., April 3rd at corner of Albert and Vinet streets. The distance from there to the Ahern residence, Napoleon street, is small, as it is the next street. Hackett did not say where he was going." "Was he sober or under the influence of liquor?" asked the coroner. "He was slightly under the influence of liquor."
Christian Marks, the young Swede, who lives on Levis street Cote St. Paul, near where the child's body was found, declared that it was seven or eight minutes walk to where the child was found. He did not see the little girl going to that wood, on Tuesday, but he saw a man on the Grand Trunk track, a couple of minutes walk from the house. The man came down from the station way and was going towards the city. This was about twenty-five minutes past six. "The man was a man who used to work at the same place I had worked in the Point. That man's name was Hackett." "Do you see that man here?" asked the coroner. The witness looked around the room, Hackett was sitting at the rear of the room, and when his eyes rested on Hackett, he pointed at the prisoner and said: "That's the man."
"I did not speak to him," continued the witness. In reply to questions. "I never spoke to that fellow in my life. Hackett was coming towards the city from the direction of the woods. My friend Johannes Nygaard was with me. The two Nelson boys told me on that Tuesday that they had seen this man go down on the track, and that he was the same man whom they had seen go in the other direction with a little girl. They saw the man a couple of minutes before we did." At this point, Coroner McMahon asked that an interpreter be sworn, and Mr. Gustav Gylling was sworn in that capacity. In reply to questions put through the interpreter, the witness Marks explained that the Nelson children had described the way the man had been dressed and it corresponded exactly with the way Hackett had been dressed when witness and himself had seen them. The Nelson children were Oscar and Nils. They told him they had seen the man with a little girl going along the Aqueduct, which led to the road going to the woods. They had been surprised to see a little girl with a man like that. The Nelson children had told their father about it, but he was so busy that he had not paid any attention to it. The children said that the man and the little girl were hand in hand, and sometimes the little girl walked ahead. The children told these things themselves without being questioned. The witness worked at the same place as Hackett, but did not see him at work that day. It is possible, however , that Hackett may have worked without having been seen by the witness.
Johannes Nygaard, of Verdun , was examined through Mr. Gylling. He had not seen the little girl going into the woods with a man, nor had he seen a man coming out of the wood. On Tuesday evening, about 6.20, when on his way home from work with the previous witness, along the Grand Trunk track, they met a man who was rather drunk. He had never seen the man before, but saw him in the police station since. "Do you see him in this room,? Was the question. The witness looked all around, and pointing to Hackett, said: "There he is sitting there." The witness declared that he had never gone to the little wood where the child's body was found, but knew where it was. It was about twenty minutes' walk from where they met Hackett. As they met him witness said: "That fellow is an ugly, ill-favored individual." Marks replied: "I know him, he used to work with me at the switch works." Witness and Marks were going away from the city, while Hackett was coming toward Montreal. They had merely crossed Hackett on the track. The same evening, he heard the Nelson children speaking of seeing the man. Witness was attracted to that neighborhood by a slight fire, and went to the Nelson home. He remarked that possible the man whom they had seen on the track, whom they found so evil-looking, had started the fire. The young Nelsons then said they , too, had seen that man on the track. "We gave a sort of description of the man we had seen, and the children said it was the same man they had seen. The children said he had a soft hat, and a rather wide belt, with a bright buckle. He had remarked the same things himself." Hackett's belt and hat were shown to the witness, and he positively identified them as being the articles worn by Hackett on the evening of the murder.
Caroline Paulsen, wife of Oscar Emil Neilssen, or Nelson, lived on Levis street, Cote St. Paul, near the wood where the child's body was found. She is the mother of the two little lads known as the Nelson twins, though they spell their name Neilssen, after the Norwegian fashion. Some merriment was injected into the proceedings when Coroner McMahon proceeded to question Mrs. Neilssen about the age of her little boys. "Which is the elder?" asked the Coroner. "Oscar," she replied. "How old is he?" "Eight years old on the twenty-fifty." "And the other little boy?" "Nils, he is eight too" replied Mrs. Neilssen. "Then they are twins?" remarked the Coroner, to which Mrs. Neilssen assented laughingly. "Then you are about the only one who can tell which is the elder of the two." "Oscar is just seven minutes older than his little brother" declared the witness. The witness proceeded to describe the situation of her house from which the little wood where the body of the murdered baby Ahern was found can be seen. She also told how, on the other side of the waterworks, near the Church avenue, the wood came down much closer to the house. She proceeded:
"I was out at work that day. When I came home, the children ran to meet me, and said they had seen a drunken man going along the waterworks there with a little girl. They went along to Church avenue, and crossed the bridge on Church avenue. The man had to get through a barbed wire fence, and got hooked. He made the little girl unhook him. The children kept on talking about this. I told them not to talk foolish, and went out. "The next night, Mr. Marks, who boards at our house, told me he thought the man they had seen on the track may have been the one who set the fire. "The night of the fire, my little boys had told me that they had seen the man go back on the track after, without the little girl." Oscar Neilssen, the elder of the twins, was called, and was not sworn. He was a very bright little fellow. He told of seeing the man and the girl going towards the woods. He had told his farther and Mr. Marks, before his mother came home. He could give no reason why he had left the field where he was playing to go and tell his father. The man had not done anything wrong there. He was walking ahead, and the little girl was behind him. The little girl had a red cloak and a red tuque. She was not crying. She carried a little basket, and he told his father about that, but did not tell his mother. Later, about an hour after, the little fellow says he saw the same man coming back alone along the track towards Montreal. His little brother and young Taylor were with him.
The little lad was stood up on a chair and asked whether he could see in the room the man he had seen with the little girl. He looked along both sides of the room, and said: "I don't see him here." Mr. Lacroix, the coroner's officer, turned the little fellow around still further, and when his eyes rested on Hackett, he started, and pointing out Hackett said, excitedly, "There he is." The little cloak and tuque worn by the Ahern child was identified by the little witness. Nils Neilssen, the twin brother of the last witness, was next brought to. He was so much like his twin that one of the jury remarked, "Why that is the same boy over again." When the Coroner began to question him, however, it was seen that he was far more nervous than Oscar, as he broke down and cried a little. After his mother, Inspector McMahon, and the Coroner, had soothed him, he told practically this same story as his brother. He added the information that Armand Poirier and young Taylor were with them when they saw the man and girl going together to the woods. The Coroner was careful to ask him whether he saw them go into the woods, and he said, "yes," that they had crossed the bridge and gone into the woods near Church street, but he had not seen them go into the woods where the body was later found. Later he saw the man going back towards the town without the little girl. The little girl was dressed in red coat and tuque.
James Nicholson, Ashe avenue, was sworn. He declared that he had seen on the Tuesday, the day of the murder of the little Ahern child, a man with a little child. The little one was dressed in red. The coat shown him was exactly like that worn by the child, and so was the tuque. He had seen them at the Grand Trunk bridge, walking west on the canal bank, which is higher there than the street. He did not know the man. This was about five minutes past four. The child had a little basket in her hand, and she went along quietly. The man was the worse for liquor, and this caused the witness to remark the man. He could not see the man very well, as he did not get a good look at his face. He was short, reddish, with sandy hair and moustache. He had been called to detective headquarters to identify two men. They both fitted the description fairly, but the second man was more nearly like the man seen, but he could not positively identify him. Louis Alcide Lecours, of the Montreal Wheelhouse, testified that he had seen the child about five minutes past six on Tuesday evening, at the second bridge past Cote St. Paul, at Church avenue, with a man. He recognized the clothing which the child had on, and was positive of it. The man was carrying the lunch basket when he saw them. They were walking ahead of the witness for a couple of acres. The man was holding the child by his left hand. In passing the witness noticed that the child's face was quite dirty, though she was not crying at the time. He had not remarked the man any more than to see that he was drunk. He had been shown some man's clothing at the police station, and it corresponded to what the man had worn. He had not got a good look at the man's face, however, and could not identify him. Robert McManus, 51 Selby avenue, saw the man and child passing on the canal bank, between four and half past four on Tuesday. He does not believe he could recognize the child. He did not pay much attention; she had something red on her, and seemed to be carrying something. The witness had not paid much attention to either the man or the child, and could not identify the man who had passed him on the canal bank with the child. John Dowling declared he had seen the man pass the canal bank with the child. He could not identify the man.
William Carter, special constable of the Montreal Steel works, living at 72 Grand Trunk street, swore that he knew James Hackett. He ceased working on Thursday last. He worked Wednesday night. On Friday morning Hackett came to the shop, and witness remarked that Hackett looked like the man who was described in the papers as the murderer of the little child. Hackett said he was coming for his time and said he thought of going away from Montreal. This made the witness suspicious, and he started to examine the time book for the week of the murder. On Monday, Hackett started work at 6 p.m., and stopped at 7.15 p.m., an hour and a quarter. On Tuesday he did not work at all, day or night, but he did work on Wednesday night until Thursday morning.
Captain James Coleman, who arrested Hackett, told of getting instructions from Inspector McMahon to watch the Montreal Steel Works for a suspect. Then William Carter, the watchman, had communicated his suspicions, and they had worked on the case. On Monday the witness went to Hackett's house and got him from there to the detective headquarters, then went to the Place Viger station, where young Mark, on stepping off the train saw the man Hackett and identified him at once. Next day, with Detective Riopel, the witness had made Hackett a prisoner, and gave him the statutory warning. Then the witness read a statement prepared before by the secretary of the detective department from a conversation which Chief Carpenter had with the accused, which was noted in shorthand, and later transcribed. Captain Coleman produced this statement which covered nearly four typewritten sheets.
Coroner McMahon, after questioning Captain Coleman on the manner of obtaining this statement, decided to read it to the jury: It detailed the movements of Hackett all day Tuesday, April 3rd. The prisoner gave his age as 32, his weight 125. On Tuesday he went to his mother's at 9.30, and while there his cousin sent for a bottle of porter and one of ale and they had some drinks. Then he went to his brother's, St. John street, St. Henri, where he remained until 12.30 p.m., and went back to the Point, where he got a drink at a saloon on the corner of St. Patrick's. His wife was out, so he got his own dinner and started out getting various drinks, then he went to Seigneurs street, later to Dominion street, then to Albert street. He went to a saloon, corner Albert and Vinet streets, and got a drink of whiskey. Leaving there between half past two and three he went west on Notre Dame to Napoleon road, and crossed over to the Point again, and walked around there until he reached Wellington bridge, meeting no one he knew. He went back home near six o'clock, and found no one there but Mrs. Mooney's little girl, aged about ten. Mrs. Mooney boards with him, he declares, and cooks her own food. He lays down and when he awoke it was dark and his wife had got home. He had some words with her but no quarrel. He had got no liquor as he had no money. He got his supper when he woke up late that night. He saw no one he knew and no one saw him come into the house but Mrs. Mooney's daughter or Mrs. Mooney herself. Then the prisoner proceeded to tell what he did the next few days. Captain Coleman declared that this story of the prisoner did not agree with what he had been told even by the prisoner's wife and Mrs. Mooney, and other people. He could give no evidence personally, however, to disprove the statements. Inspector James McMahon testified that the girls who had seen a man throw clothes into the rear of Cote St. Paul Church had failed to identify Hackett or any one else. Coroner McMahon declared that the witnesses who had seen the man going along with the little girl should be looked up and brought before the jury, so that it might be found whether or not they could positively identify the prisoner or any other person as the man they had seen with the little girl.
The Star had an interview to-day with the secretary of the Society for the Protection of Women and Children, and received an account that goes to show that James Hackett was not all that a family man might be expected to be. Last week the wife of the man who is now detained by the police on suspicion of being the mysterious stranger who abducted little Edith May Ahern and brought about her death under the most terrible circumstances, called at the office of the society on palace street and applied for protection against her husband. This was three days after the murder had been committed. The secretary of the society, Mr. O. H. Skroder, told the Star to-day of the interview he had with the woman. If it does not tally with the story told to the police by Mrs. Hackett, the reason may be given that it is the very natural desire of the woman to shield her husband to the best of her ability. On Friday last Mrs. Hackett called at the office of the Society for the Protection of Women and Children. She gave her name as Mrs. James Hackett, and her address as 92 Grand Trunk street. Her complaint was: "My husband drinks and often threatens me. He has often made me suffer for want of food. In many cases I have had to go to my mother's home in order to get something to eat." "Have you any children?" asked Mr. Skroder. "They are all dead, thank God," exclaimed the woman bursting into tears. Such was the account given by the wife to the secretary of the society, that the latter asked her if she would not decide to leave her husband and work for her own living. She gladly agreed to do this. The day after the arrest of Hackett on the charge of murder, Mr. Skroder was walking down street and he saw on the Star bulletin the announcement of the arrest. The name struck him and he at once returned to his office and mailed to Chief Carpenter a copy of the report he had made of his complaint. This will probably be used as important evidence in the case.
Hackett was somewhat nervous last night, and since his arrest has been ill. Sub-Chief McMahon procured some medicine for him at a neighboring druggist's which somewhat eased the condition of the accused. About 8 o'clock Sub-Chief of Detectives Charpentier called at the station along with Foreman McManus, and his men, Alexander Milson, "Jimmy" Madeck and A. Parent, who were engaged at work on the Atwater avenue bridge the time the man and his little victim passed that point. All men passed into the corridor in front of the cells at the station and Hackett was brought out and made to walk up and down a few times to see if the identification could be made. After this Hackett was taken into the office of the station and was placed opposite the four gentlemen under a strong electric light. Not a word was spoken until Hackett had been removed to the cells once again, and then the men were asked if they had recognized him. Only one of them, Mr. Parent, could give any information. He stated that he thought Hackett was the man who passed him at the swing bridge at Redfern's Mills. The party then left the station.
Mrs. Hackett and her sister were the next visitors on the scene. Mrs. Hackett brought to her husband bed clothing and a pillow in order that he might lighten the discomfort of his situation. She requested from the officer in charge, Captain Dubois, a few minutes talk with her husband. This request was granted. Before the cell door had been closed perfectly tight Mrs. Hackett was heard to ask her husband: "My God! why won't you tell me what you did Tuesday?" Whether or not this was the end of the phrase spoken the reporter could not say, as the door closed at that stage of the conversation. The interview with her husband was thought by Mrs. Hackett, to be sealed from outside ears and protected by the police within the bonds of the utmost secrecy. But she was mistaken. Every word and every movement were closely watched and noted by two police officers who had been ordered to remain in a neighboring cell. Constable Savard and Detective Laflamme had been chosen for that duty and their notes were submitted to Chief of Detectives Carpenter this morning and Mr. Carpenter will decide whether or not they will be used at the coroner's inquest. The visit of Mrs. Hackett lasted for about half an hour, and during that time her husband seemed to be very nervous. After she had left he arranged his bed clothing and then sat and smoked until about midnight, when he lay down and slept until he was awakened this morning for his breakfast. Hackett says he does not remember what he did Tuesday An admission that may have the greatest importance in the Hackett case was made by the prisoner James Hackett to a police officer when the latter brought him his breakfast this morning.

The following statement was made by Hackett: "I do not deserve to eat, if I am guilty of that crime. To my knowledge I am not guilty, but I do not remember anything that I did on Tuesday. Every time I drink I lose memory of things, places and acts." In addition to his own confession the police have information that Hackett was drunk on Tuesday. He returned home about 7.15 drunk. His wife refused to stay with him in the house for the reason that as certain witnesses stated in the Star yesterday, he was very violent when in this condition, and often threatened to injure her. Another important find of the police is the fact that Hackett was in the habit of going to Cote St. Paul, especially during the summer, as he had relatives in that town. On these occasions he often paid visits to the woods, which he would, for this reason, know very well. It has been established by a large number of witnesses that when intoxicated the man was inclined to molest little girls.
The Montreal Star 12 April 1906
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There is Now Every Indication that he will be Formally Charged with the Murder To-morrow when the Coroner's Inquest is Concluded
Strange Scenes During the Progress of the Inquest.
The Ahern murder case is now in its second phase. From a persistent and organized search for the man who perpetrated the heinous deed, the affair has now narrowed down to a solution of the question: "Is James Hackett the man?" The police have practically abandoned other trails. The chain of circumstantial evidence that has been weaving about the man who is held in the police cells on suspicion for the crime has been drawing tighter from day to day. Now the admission made yesterday by Hackett that he was drunk on the day on which the murder was committed, and that when he is in this condition he does not know what he is doing and afterwards has no memory of persons, places, or events, adds color to the theories held by the police. There are witnesses, all reliable men, who are ready to swear that the man was on that afternoon seen on the street in the vicinity of the Ahern home, in an intoxicating condition. Again, fellow-workers of Hackett's at the Montreal Steel Works met him in the neighborhood of Cote St. Paul after the crime is supposed to have been carried out. Finally, the record that Hackett has won in the last number of years will tend to add to the belief that he was capable of the murder, terrible as it was. At the inquest yesterday, although, on the whole, the evidence submitted was not absolutely conclusive, the whole was against rather than for the accused. It is almost certain that tomorrow, when the enquete (inquiry) is concluded, James Hackett will stand formally charged with having caused the death of the little Ahern girl, and will have to stand trial for his life for one of the most horrible crimes in the annals of this city. The inquest yesterday for many reasons was one of the most notable held in this city for many years. For one thing, the public has throughout, taken a very lively interest in the case and now they seemed to be determined to see whether the man held was or was not the real culprit. Asked to-day whether the police had given up all other trails than that of Hackett, Chief Carpenter stated: "Although everything points to the fact that Hackett is the man the police have not given up the search." The police are at present busily looking for other witnesses who may know something about the case.
The little morgue, where so many crimes have been brought to light, wascrowded before 10 o'clock yesterday, the hour fixed for the opening of the adjourned inquest over the body of baby Ahern. Lawyers, doctors and police officers occupied prominent positions. Some of those in attendance had walked twelve miles that morning to have a look at James Hackett, who has been charged with one of the most fiendish murders that has ever been perpetrated in Eastern Canada.
It was just 10.15 a.m., when Hackett was brought into the building. He was guarded by a strong posse of police officers and detectives, who never left him for a moment. He was dressed in an old black coat, very much faded. No collar or overcoat. A leather belt was buckled around his waist. He had on a black slouch hat. His moustache is decidedly blond and his hair is inclined to be curly. His face is very thin. He has also a long thin neck. He occupied a seat in the rear of the Court room, with police officers on each side of him. Hackett was the centre of attraction and every move of the man was carefully watched. Most of the time he sat with his eyes closed, but when ordered by the coroner to stand up so that the various witness might have a better view of him, he would jump to his feet in a startled manner. His eyes had a glassy look and his nervous condition was apparent.
Bradley, who had been detained by the police, was given a chair in the Coroner's private office. At the remarks made by medical men and lawyers he laughed frequently. Shortly after 22 o'clock he was taken into the enquete (inquiry) room, but he showed no signs of nervousness and listened with marked attention to the evidence. Bradley has grown a red beard since his incarceration. The exhibition of the murdered child's clothing caused a pathetic scene. The father, who followed the evidence very closely wept when the little blood stained garments were held up. His sobs could be heard in all parts of the little structure. Hackett looked at the floor, and the muscles in his face seemed to tighten when once he glanced in the direction of Coroner McMahon just as the witness was saying: "I worked with Hackett for a short time, and knew him. I saw him returning from the direction of Cote St. Paul about twenty minutes after six."
Several of the residents of the town of St. Henri are very much interested in the last arrest made in the Ahern murder case, and steps are being taken to see if Hackett is the man who has been for weeks the "bogeyman" of the children attending the St. Henri schools. This "red-faced man" has become a byword to the little girls of the West end of the city, and for a long time many of them have been subject to molestation by him. But there is no lack of witnesses who state Hackett had a penchant for scaring little girls. The latest and, perhaps, one of the most valuable witnesses in the case against Hackett is Mr. R. Duffin, of St. Henri, who has the most serious evidence to lay against the man now under arrest, as regards his former actions. The statements which Mr. Duffin has to make are of the most serious character as far as the accused is concerned. He has been visited by the police and will be called upon to give his testimony before the case proceeds much farther. The inhuman fiend has been the universal topic of conversation and methods of punishing the perpetrator have been discussed at great length. Frequently in passing through the streets of Ste. Cunegonde, St. Henri, and Cote St. Paul one runs across these latter days the verb "lyncher," to lynch. A well-known resident of Point St. Charles told a representative of the Star to-day that there is little doubt that if the people of the western section of the city got their hands on the man who committed the deed of last Tuesday, his shift would be a short one. The police have not been the only persons who were watching for the man who answered the description given by the people who saw the murderer and his little victim on the banks of the aqueduct last Tuesday. There have been hundreds of keen-eyed men in the western suburbs who have been watching every hour of the day, ready to capture and punish the criminal. The present prisoner Hackett, came under some suspicion from the neighbors. One man said to the Star to-day: "If I had not heard of the arrest when I did I would have gone down to the detectives office myself and told them to arrest the man on what I knew about him." The man who made this statement will be called as a witness in the case. In Cote St. Paul there was much talk of summary punishment for the offender, as that was the place where the body was found, and it was thought that the thing was a sort of disgrace to the village. In fact some of the men of the place arranged a kind of engine of punition which was to be used in the event of the murderer falling into the hands of the populace. This consisted of a sleigh, or drag, to which a rope was attacked. A horse was to be fastened to the arrangement, and the culprit was to be lashed to it and dragged behind. It was thought that this was a more fitting punishment for the guilty party than that prescribed by law.
A man who is well known in Westmount gave the Star to-day a story about the mysterious personage who a few years ago was on many occasions seen lurking about that town and frequently pursuing little girls. The description given of this man corresponds well enough to the appearance of the prisoner, and the gentleman who made the report will take the first opportunity of visiting the police headquarters and seeing if his suspicions are correct. On one occasion when the children of this man told their father that they had been molested by a strange man he told them that at the next alarm they were to come home and tell him about the thing. Shortly afterwards one of the little girls ran into the house and informed her father that the "red man" was in the street. The latter went out and saw a man answering the description given of the abductor of little Edith Ahern coming down the street. He approached the fellow and asked what he was doing there. The man said that he was doing nothing. The father then informed him that he had better go elsewhere to perform this duty. He added that if he ever saw him about there again he would not let him off with a warning. It is thought that this man was Hackett, who was once arrested in the town of Westmount for molesting little girls.
It looked last night as if the prisoner, James Hackett, was on the verge of collapse. In the afternoon, about 4 o'clock, Captain Dubois, of No. 14 station, went to the prisoner and asked him if he cared for something to eat. Hackett answered in the negative. He said that he would like a cup of tea or coffee. This was all the supper that the prisoner could be prevailed upon to partake of. This is the first time that the appetite of the prisoner has failed him since his incarceration. Later in the evening Hackett developed the most pronounced signs of nervousness. In the cell adjoining the one in which he is confined had been placed a man who was imprisoned on the trifling charge of stealing a package of radishes. The man was apparently out of his mind and kept up a series of monotonous complainings. This seemed to have a most dispiriting effect on Hackett. He became nervous and walked up and down his narrow room in evident desperation. From what the officers of the station said last night, the man will soon become unhinged from suspense. He seems utterly broken in spirit, and it is possible that his health will be radically impaired unless the suspense is soon relieved.
The statement following is that which was presented yesterday at the inquest. It was prepared Tuesday afternoon while Hackett was at the detective headquarters. It was dictated to Captain Coleman. After being written it was read over slowly to Hackett. He said that it was correct. After which he signed it, while Detective Riopel signed as witness.
"My name is James Hackett," begins the statement. "I am thirty-two years of age, weight 125 lbs., laborer by occupation. I worked in the Montreal Switch Works for about a year previous to April 2. I did not work on Tuesday, April 3. I left home on that day about 9.30 o'clock in the morning and went to No. 8 Quesnel street to see my mother, who lives with Mrs. Hubert, her sister. My cousin sent out for a bottle of beer and a bottle of porter. After drinking the beer and the porter I went to my brother's house, 67 St. John street, St. Henri, arriving there about noon. Remained there until about 12.30 o'clock, and then went home by way of St. John street, along the bank of the canal to Napoleon road. Had a glass of beer at the corner of St. Patrick street and Napoleon road, then continued down Centre to St. Martin or Richmond to Grand Trunk, then to my house where I arrived about 1 o'clock." The statement then goes on to speak of immediate details, but a paragraph which was dictated later on, evidently should have been inserted at this point. This paragraph, the concluding one of Hackett's statement reads: "I should have stated that my brother accompanied me from his home on St. John street, St. Henri, to my home at Point St. Charles, where I sold him a razor for fifty cents. It was with this fifty cents I purchased the liquor I drank that same afternoon." After telling that he arrived home at 1 o'clock Hackett's story continues:
"My wife was out and I prepared my own dinner - bread and butter and a cup of tea. I went out about 1.30 o'clock. I went to the saloon at the corner or Richmond and Centre streets and took a glass of beer there, I then went down Seigneurs street, from Shearer to Notre Dame, and then up Dominion to Albert to se Mr. Laferniere, with whom I had worked in Davidson's. He was not in, and the house was locked up. I then went down Albert street to 107, to see Mrs. Payette, but she was not in. I spoke to a woman next door, who told me that Mrs. Payette was out, and I then went to the corner of Albert and Vinet streets, and had a glass of white whiskey, for which I paid five cents. This would be about 2.30 or 2.45 o'clock. I there met a couple of men, one of whom is named Blake. No one asked me to have a drink. I remained in the saloon about five minutes only, and did not have anything more. After that I went down along Notre Dame to Napoleon road, but did not have any more to drink. I then went along Napoleon road back to St. Patrick street and down St. Patrick to Island street, from there down Centre, and then to Wellington bridge. I did not see any person around Wellington bridge whom I knew and I met no person on the way to Wellington bridge whom I knew. I did not speak to any one, but remained around the neighborhood of the bridge for about three-quarters of an hour when I went home. My wife was not there when I arrived at home, which would be about 6 o'clock. I think Mrs. Mooney's daughter, who is about ten years old, was in the house, to the best of my belief. We keep the house, and Mrs. Mooney has a room from us. Mrs. Mooney was out that evening, and her little girl was alone, if I remember rightly. I laid down on the bed and fell asleep. It was dark when I awoke, and I do not remember what time it was. My wife was there then, and I had supper after I woke up. My wife asked me where I had been, and said I was out. I had a few words with her that evening, be we did not quarrel. I took no more drink, and did not ask my wife to buy any more for me. I had no money left, and did not go out of the house on Tuesday night. No person but my wife, Mrs. Mooney and her daughter saw me at the house that night. I did not speak to any of the neighbors when going in. I did not stop at the corner saloon, and saw no person.
"Next morning I got up and had my breakfast at home, and took a walk around the city. I left home on Wednesday about 10.30 or 11 o'clock and went from Grand Truck street to Wellington, along Wellington to McCord, up McCord to Notre Dame, and along Notre Dame street to Chaboillex Square. I did not stop at any place on the way and have a drink. I turned and came back to Seigneurs street, down St. Patrick to the sugar house, and then came home. It was after 12 o'clock when I got home. I met no person whom I knew. My wife was not at home when I got there; she was out helping her cousin, as she had been doing the day before. This cousin lives on Grand Trunk street. I do not remember the number of the house, but it is opposite the police station. Her name is Martin. I remained there until 5.45 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, when I went out to work. My wife came home about four o'clock. I had supper before 6 o'clock and started out to work. I went right to work down Grand Trunk street to the track to Conde, then down Conde to the Switch Works. I am sure I worked on Wednesday, and left off at 6.30 o'clock Thursday morning. I was working on one of the small saws Wednesday night, under Foreman Reid. I borrowed a dollar from a man named Farlee, a fellow-workman, who is now working with the day gang. I then went home. I had nothing to drink on the way, and kept the dollar until the afternoon. My wife slept at my cousin's and got home about 8 o'clock, but I said nothing to my wife about the dollar I had borrowed. After breakfast I laid down again and read a book until about 12.30. My sister-in-law came in during the afternoon and I showed the dollar to get her mad, to tease her. She wanted me to give her the money. I went out about 12 o'clock and had a few drinks at the corner of Centre and Richmond streets. I drank a glass of brandy and a glass of white whiskey, and then went to the corner of Centre and Shearer streets and had a few more drinks-two beers. It was getting pretty late and I went home and got a bottle of whiskey. I went out after supper and got a bottle of whiskey. My wife was in when I went home. She was mad when I got the whiskey, and she went out. I got home about 7 or 7.30 o'clock Thursday night; it was dark. I finished the bottle of whiskey that night. My wife takes a glass once in a while, but I do not think she had a drink with me that night." Hackett then goes on to tell of his visit on Friday to draw his wages, $6.44, out of which he paid a debt of $1.25, gave his wife $1.50, and squandered the rest in drink. "I am sure it was Wednesday and not Tuesday I got the bottle and was drinking heavily," he adds. Then follows the paragraph relative to the transaction between Hackett and his brother over the sale of the razor, which has been incorporated in the foregoing. After saying that the statement is signed voluntarily, the name "James Thomas Hackett" follows.
Since the finding of the body of little Edith Ahern in the woods near Cote St. Paul, public indignation has been excited in the western end of the city to a pitch rarely experienced before.
The Montreal Star 13 April 1906
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One of them is Still Lying Unburied in the Cemetery Vault
Prisoner was a Frequent visitor to Cote St. Paul in his Younger Days
where Several Relatives Resided
James Thomas Hackett, the man whom the coroner's jury on Saturday designated as the probable murderer of Little Edith May Ahern, is confined now in the Montreal gaol. He will remain there until Friday next, when he will be brought to the Court House, to begin the preliminary enquiry into the charge of murder laid against him. Hackett was removed to the gaol on Saturday, after his arraignment before Judge Lafontaine. He was placed in the gaol along with other prisoners awaiting their trial on various charges, because, except in extraordinary cases where there is danger of escape, all prisoners awaiting trial are treated exactly alike, and are submitted to the same discipline. It is altogether likely that the preliminary investigation will be short, and that Hackett will be tried before the assizes in June.

James Hackett, the man now held to answer a charge of murdering little Edith May Ahern, may have to answer another charge. In getting information about Hackett it came out that he has been the father of six children. All these have died at an early age, however, and one little one is now in the vaults at the cemetery, awaiting burial when the ground has thawed out sufficiently. The authorities are now seriously contemplating the advisability of taking the body of the Hackett child from the vault and causing a medical examination to see whether any external causes have contributed to the death, or whether the little one died from natural causes. Several people living in the vicinity of the Hackett home have declared that the children have not died from natural causes in every instance. This will be taken as a ground for applying to the courts to have an examination of the body of the little Hackett child. Should this show that the death of the little child was not due to natural causes, it would tend to support the theory that the prisoner now in custody had a mania for doing children to death in the manner in which the Ahern baby was killed. The accused was well acquainted with the neighborhood where the body of the Ahern child was found and with the vicinity by which the man seen with the little girl on the day of the murder reached the dark wood to Boulevard St. Paul where she was done to her death. Several of the Hackett family, uncle of James Hackett lived l in Cote St. Paul years ago and the prisoner with his brothers were frequent visitors to the place. "George, Peter and Tom Hackett, uncles of the prisoner, lived here for years" said Councillior Boyer to-day. "I remember them well, they lived in the end of the town where I live now, and I worked near Peter Hackett at one time. They have children of their own and I remember well that Jack Hackett's children used to come often and play with their little cousins. I do not remember these boys particularly, for of course they are much younger than I am and I never was on very familiar terms with the Hacketts anyhow, but I know the older men fairly well, and remember the father of this James Hackett well."

"I do not believe James Hackett's family ever lived in Cote St. Paul," declared Chief Dore, of the Cote St. Paul police, "But I know that the other brothers lived here for a long time. I do not remember them very well, as I was never personally acquainted with them. There is no doubt, however, that the cousins would visit one another, and James Hackett must have been in Cote St. Paul very often indeed as a boy." "The Hacketts lived in that house over there," declared an elderly citizen of Cote St. Paul to-day pointing out a house around the corner from Frothingham avenue. "That was Geo. Hackett, an uncle of this fellow now under arrest. I lived next door for years. I never spoke to them that I can remember of, for I did not care much about the kind of people. Peter Hackett, another brother, also lived in Cote St. Paul in those days. They used to have a lot of young people who, I understood, were relatives visit them. I never knew enough about them to know which was which."

Mr. Merritt McGovern, butcher, of Cote St. Paul, declared that he had known three Hackett families living in Cote St. Paul in his time, but as far as he could recall the family of John Hackett had not lived there in the last twenty-five years. "There were George and Peter and Tom Hackett, and they had a brother John, who, I understand is the father of the man now under arrest. The other Hacketts. George and Peter, are working in Point St. Charles to-day. They had visitors from among their relatives, and I have not the least doubt that this man now under arrest knew this neighborhood well." Mrs. Claus, and old resident, who had the Hacketts for neighbors, is said to know the prisoner, and to have stated that he was a frequent visitor to his relatives when he was a boy. She is absent on a visit to St. Johns at the present time, however, and it is not known just when she will return to Cote St. Paul.
The Montreal Star 16 April 1906
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Important Point was the Finding of Fresh Rents in Prisoners Coat
Worn the Day of the Murder of the Ahern Child
These Correspond with Rips of Barbed Wire Fence at Cote St. Paul
The inquest into the circumstances of the death of little Edith May Ahern, who was killed in the woods in the rear of Cote St. Paul, on Tuesday evening, April 3, was concluded on Saturday morning by Coroner McMahon, and resulted in James Thomas Hackett being held by the jury criminally responsible for the death of the child. After ten minutes' deliberation the jury ordered Hackett to be sent before the criminal courts to stand trial on the charge of murder. The following is the text of the verdict:

"That the undersigned jurors, after having heard the evidence, declare that Edith May Ahern died in the municipality of Boulevard St. Paul, on the 3rd day of April, 1906. Her death was due to violence; the child was wounded, stripped of her clothing; she died of fright and nervous shock. "We are of opinion that the man James Thomas Hackett, suspected by the police as the author of this crime, should be sent before the criminal courts, there to stand his trial on the charge." In summing up the evidence, Coroner McMahon paid a tribute to the Montreal police. He said they had worked in this case as they had never worked before, to his knowledge, and their activity was a subject for congratulation to the citizens.
The first witness called was Rodolphe Plante, who worked at the Montreal Steel Works, with the prisoner Hackett. In reply to questions by the Coroner, he declared: "I live at 502 Centre street. I worked with Hackett at the Montreal Steel Works, and knew him well. I have borrowed money from him, and I have also bought Hackett's time, he was entitled to forty-nine hours, calling for $6.80. I gave Hackett $5.00 and drew his pay later. He told me that he had trouble in the shop and was afraid of being fired.
Oscar Neilssen, of Levis street, Cote St. Paul, the father of the Neilssen twins, was next called and sworn. "On the Tuesday that a fire took place at night in Cote St. Paul," he declared, "my little boys , who were playing outside, came running into the house, and told me that a drunken man was walking along the aqueduct with a little girl. They were afraid he would drown the little girl, as they said he was looking into the canal. It was about half-past four then. I was very busy, and did not think there was any danger, so I told the boys to let the man alone; he was probably going home with his little girl. "Did your little boys speak to you again of this affair?"
"Yes, Oscar, one of the twins, came to me some time later. It must have been about twenty minutes past six. He called me and pointed to a man who was coming down the track, going east towards Montreal. The little boy said "There is the man who was going up with the little girl a while ago. Where is the little girl, I wonder. He is alone now." "Did you remark the man very closely?" "Well, I did not see his face well. He was going shuffling along the track towards the east, with his hands in his pockets, and his head hung down. I saw the side of his face and his back." "Could you identify him in this room?" asked the Coroner. Mr. Neilssen, who is a Swede with a good knowledge of English, stood and looked around the room. He looked hard at Hackett, but said he could not be positive of his identity with the man he had seen on the track that day. "Did you remark how the man was dressed?" "Yes, he wore dark clothes, a dark faded suit, and a soft slouch felt hat." "Hackett, stand up," ordered Coroner McMahon. "Now, turn around, so that this gentleman can see you from the side and back."
Hackett did as he was bid, and Mr. Neilssen carefully scrutinized him. He shook his head a little, and said: "Well, I could not be absolutely positive, but I think that is the same man. Of course, he is not dressed the same, and that makes a difference. I noticed one thing as he was going along the track. The little boys had told me that he had got caught in a barbed wire fence, when he was taking the little girl with him, and that he had torn the back of his coat, and he had called the child to unhook him. When I saw him on the track, I noticed that there was a tear in the back of his coat."
Coroner McMahon here called on Detective Riopel to produce Hackett's clothes. The coat was shown to Mr. Neilssen, and he declared, "Now I am positive that this is the coat the man wore on that day." He continued examining the garment, and exclaimed: "There, see that, there is where the barbed wire tore it," pointing to a rent which had been almost entirely sewed up, but which could easily have been made by a barb of a wire fence. "When you saw this man on the track, with your little boy Oscar, where was the other little boy?" "He was playing outside, around the front of the house." "Were there any other children there then?" "Not at that time; but there were several children, he told me, when the man went by with the little girl." "Did you see any one else on the track about that time?" "Yes, just as the man pointed our to me by Oscar passed my place, I saw two of my friends, one who boards with me, Mr. Mark, and Mr. Nygaard; they were coming to my place from work." "Did they say anything about meeting this man?"
"Yes, one of them, it was Nygaard, said: "We just met a bum." Mark said, "He is not a bum, because he works at the Montreal Steel Works, where I work." "Did they tell you that man's name?" "No, they did not." "But Mark said he knew the man?" "Yes, he said, the man had worked with him at the Steel Works in the Point." "And you are sure that he was the same man your little boy, Oscar, pointed out to you as the man he had seen with the little girl in the afternoon?" "Yes, I am sure, for I saw them coming and I did not see anybody else on the track, so they must have met him."

Mrs. Frank Taylor, whose little boy was with the Neilssen twins when they saw the man and the little girl going along the aqueduct towards the woods was called. She was reminded by Coroner McMahon that at the first hearing she had declared that she had seen the man going along with a little girl, but had been unable to identify any one then present. "Will you be good enough," continues the Coroner, "to stand up and look among all the people here, and state whether you see that man in this room?" Mrs. Taylor was very deliberate about her scrutiny of the forty or more people crowded into the little room. She looked first at the people sitting or standing about the end of the room where the Coroner sat, then along the rows of jurymen on either side. Then she began looking over the four rows of men who sat at the rear of the room.
"That looks something like the man," she remarked, with a gesture of her head in the direction of Hackett, who visibly winced. "Which man?" persisted the Coroner. "That man there," replied the witness pointing her finger at Hackett. "Stand up Hackett," said the Coroner, and the prisoner complied with the order. "Yes, that man looks very much like the man I saw," continued Mrs. Taylor, musingly. "Of course, he was not dressed that way that day. He had dark clothes, they looked black to me, but he was some distance away. I did not see his face well either, I got a kind of side view of him. Hackett was made to stand so that the witness could get a side view of him. "Are you any more positive in your identification now?" asked Coroner McMahon. "Well, all I can say is that he looks very much like the man I saw that day. There is no other man in this room who looks so much like the man I saw as that man does," continued the witness who still continued to gaze upon the prisoner. Detective Riopel again produced Hackett's clothes, which were found at his house: "Well, I can't say those are the very clothes," continued the witness," but that coat certainly looks like the one the man wore that day when my little boy pointed him our to me."
Stanley Taylor, the eight-year-old son of the preceding witness was called, but failed to make good his identification. He seemed somewhat bewildered by the crowd and picked upon a juror as the man he had seen, without even having looked once in the direction where Hackett was sitting. Joseph Gauthier, carter, of Turcot village, was called and sworn. "On the afternoon of Tuesday of last week," he said, "I was at the corner of William and Levis street, Ste. Cunegonde, when I saw a man go by with a little girl. It was somewhere about half-past four or five in the afternoon. I had never seen that man before to my knowledge. I did not know the child either. The man had the little girl by the hand, and they were going along towards the bank of the canal. I have never seen the child since, either alive or dead." "Did you notice how the child was dressed?" "Well, all I noticed was that she had a red coat on, and a red tuque with white stripes around the edge." Detective Riopel here exhibited the little red coat and tuque which belonged to the little dead baby Ahern. "Yes, that is the coat all right," said the witness. "Or at least," he continued, "that is one just the same, as far as I can judge. The tuque, too, is exactly the same as the one on the little girl that day. Of course it is had to say that it is exactly the same one, but it is one like it, sure." "Have you ever seen that man since?" "Well, I was taken yesterday by Constable Savard to a place on Amherst street, near Rachel, to see whether I would recognize the man who was there. I think he was the man, but I would not swear positively to it."
"Do you see that man here in the inquest room?" Gauthier, after looking around, lighted on Hackett, and said, "There is the same man I saw yesterday. He is not dressed like the man I saw in Ste. Cunegonde with the little girl. He looks very much like him, though." The witness had the same to say about the coat shown to him by Detective Riopel as that which had been worn by Hackett on the day of the tragedy. "It is like the coat the man wore, but I cannot be positive, of course, that it is the same." Alfred Riopel, city detective, testified to having found the coat and other clothing exhibited in the course of the case, to witnesses, in the residence of James Thomas Hackett. "I found the coat here, and a pair of trousers, and other clothes, in a closet in Hackett's house. Some of the witnesses have referred to a tear caused by the barbed wire. This coat shows a fresh tear in the back, between the shoulders, that might have been made by a wire. It has been darned, but it shows a little yet, and the darning is fresh. That can be seen by comparing it with other darns on the coat which show that they were darned a long time ago." "Did you put him on his guard, and did he make any statement?" asked the coroner. "I asked him no questions in connection with the crime, and I understood he had been warned already. I merely asked him whether the clothes I showed him were his, and whether he had worn them on that day. He said they were his working clothes, and that he had them on the day of the murder, last Tuesday week."
Coroner McMahon then asked whether any one present had any evidence to offer. Now was the time, if any one had anything to add that could clear up this affair. No one replied, so the Coroner proceeded to address the jury. Before doing so, however, he asked Mr. Ahern, father of the little victim, whether he had known Hackett. "I have never seen him before, to my knowledge," replied the father. "Do you know that he lived for some years near where you do?" "Well, since this 'this accident' I have heard that he lived somewhere in the vicinity, but I never saw him." "What I wished to ascertain," continued the Coroner, "was whether it was at all likely that your little girl had ever seen this man Hackett, or known him before that day?" "I could not tell you, but I do not think so," replied Mr. Ahern. Captain Tourangeau, of the Ste. Cunegonde police station, declared that while Hackett had lived in Ste. Cunegonde, not very far from the Ahern residence for years, he had every reason to believe that the Ahern children had never known him at all.
Coroner McMahon then proceeded with his address. The jury was entitled to the thanks of the community for the manner in which they had attended to their duties, and he wished to thank them, in the name of the country, for the promptness and thoroughness with which they discharged their duties. He regretted that they had been detained so long, but the atrocity of the crime committed, and the mystery surrounding the affair, had demanded the closest investigation. They were called upon to say two things. Was a crime committed? And who committed that crime? Or "is there sufficient reason to ask that a certain person should be sent before the criminal courts to be tried on a charge of murdering this little girl?"
The Coroner warned the jurors that they must lay aside all opinions they might have formed by reading the newspapers. He had no authority to speak of the manner in which the newspapers treated these matters, but it was his duty to point out that the statements reported by the press could not be taken into consideration, but only the statements made under oath before the jury. Now, was there a crime? To that there could be but one answer. The medical evidence, stripped of its professional terms, was to the effect that there had been nothing organically wrong with the child; and, further, that no wounds upon her person had been sufficient to cause death. There had been evidence of violence, however, and violence of the most disgusting and outrageous kind. Absolutely precise evidence as to the nature of the violence, and its extent, had not yet been obtained; but analysis would reveal something further on the subject. There was sufficient before the jury for the purpose of enabling them to reach a conclusion. The child had been stripped of her clothing and left lying naked in the wood. She had not stripped herself, for her clothes had been hidden, or an attempt had been made to hide them in a cellar which was being filled with coal. Then the wounds on her person were made by some one.
Now, who was the party to be held responsible for her death, which, the doctors said, had been caused by fear and nervous shock? Several names had been mentioned, but the only one they had to consider was Hackett, whom they had seen and heard. True, only one witness had identified him. That identification, though most positive, was made by a little boy, only eight years of age. The lad was particularly bright, but his evidence, if it stood without corroboration, could not be accepted as positive. There was considerable corroboration, however. In the first place, his little companions all testified to having seen a man and a little girl that day. That man was intoxicated, and little Oscar Neilssen was stuck with this since he ran home to his father, and told him about it. Instinctively the little boy seemed to divine that something was wrong. Then, within two hours or less, the same little boy had seen this man coming back, and had been struck with the fact that the little girl was no longer with him. He had called his father's attention to the man, and had pointed him out. The father's identification of the man shown him was not perfect, but it was made positive and strong by the identification of Mark, who was on the track at that moment. There could be no doubt that Hackett was on the track at Cote St. Paul after six o'clock that night. Mark and Nygaard were coming from work. They stopped work at 6 o'clock that night, so they had something to fix the time. Mark could not be mistaken in Hackett, he knew him well. Hackett was seen not far from the Ahern residence late that afternoon by a witness who knew him well.
Other witnesses say that a man resembling him was with the little girl that afternoon. Hackett, in the statement which Captain Coleman produced before the inquest, stated that he had gone home before six. That was absolutely disproved by Mark, Nygaard and Mr. Neilssen, besides the little boy. It was for the jury to say what they thought of this contradiction. He left it to them to decide what verdict they should bring in. In any case, in the name of their country, he wished once more to thank them for their services rendered freely and gratuitously in the interest of justice. The Coroner explained that in the case of an inquest or a preliminary investigation, any doubt they might have was given against the prisoner. They had to ask themselves this question, "if I were a petit juror what would I do?" If they could answer, "I would call him not guilty beyond a doubt," then they were bound to exonerate Hackett by their verdict in the present instance. If they felt that as petit jurors they would think he was guilty, even though not absolutely sure, they were bound to ask that he be sent for trial before the criminal court. After ten minutes deliberation the jury returned the verdict as stated above. Coroner McMahon immediately issued his warrant and Hackett was charged with murder and taken to the police headquarters. Immediately after the inquest Hackett was taken before Judge Lafontaine and arraigned for murder. His lawyers were not present, but the prisoner pleaded not guilty, and was remanded for enquete next Friday.
The Montreal Star 16 April 1906
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Lawyers are Busy Preparing Case for James Hackett
Detectives are Also Busy on the Case Strengthening the Evidence for the Crown Side
At the Montreal gaol this afternoon, Messrs. John A. O'Sullivan and A. O. Rondeau, the two young lawyers who have undertaken the defence of James Hackett, charged with the murder of the Ahern child are interviewing their client, to discuss the best means to provide for his defence. The preliminary investigation opens on Friday, and the lawyers have no time to lose in getting all the facts together, in order that they may safeguard the interests of the prisoner and be able to meet the evidence which the Crown will be in a position to present. Yesterday Messrs. O'Sullivan and Rondeau spent the whole day in the vicinity of the scene of the tragedy. Leaving Ste. Cunegonde, near the Ahern home, they went over the whole territory along the banks of the waterworks canal, across the bridge at Church avenue, back into the clump of bushes and the wood beyond. They continued their researches into the fields beyond, and went on nearly to Lachine searching in all directions for any possible clue that might be in the interest of their client.

Meanwhile the city detectives have not been idle either, and they are steadily preparing for Friday next, when they expect to be able to present even stronger proofs of the identity of the murderer than those placed before the Coroner's jury. Meanwhile Raoul Bradley, who was placed at liberty on Saturday, after being detained several days, has been obliged to return to a police station. The unfortunate man, after his liberation from the central detective office wandered about the city, but as he had no money he was forced to apply to the station at the corner of Guy and St. Catherine streets for a night's lodging. He was kept there over night for protection and allowed to go in the morning.
An examination of the records of burials in Cote des Neiges cemetery disproves the theory that James Hackett, the man charged with the dastardly murder of little Edith May Ahern may have made away with his own children. Hackett and his wife state that they have had six children, all of whom are dead. The records at the Fabrique of Notre Dame show that five children were buried at Cote des Neiges. The first burial found in the books of the Fabrique was on March 16th, 1895, when Joseph Polydore Hackett, son of James Hackett, machinist and Amanda Primeau, living at 423 St. Antoine street, was buried. Death took place on March 14th, 1895, and the child's age is given as one month and three days. Next is recorded the burial on August 13th, 1896, of Mary Flore Alice, daughter of James Hackett and Amanda Primeau, who died August 11th, 1896, aged two months, from debility as certified by McCormick, MD. At that time the residence of the Hacketts was 1556 St. James's street, Ste. Cunegonde. The next record is that of the burial of Joseph William, son of James Hackett, laborer and Amanda Primeau, who died July 16th, 1898, at the age of four days from diarrhea, and was buried on July 19th. Dr. B. H. Leblond was the physician in attendance. The residence of the Hacketts at that time was 48 Bourget street. Next comes a record of the burial of James Wilfrid, son of James Hackett, laborer, and Amanda Primeau, who died January 28th, 1901, aged one year and six months and twelve days, of an abscess of the throat, as certified by Dr. J. O. Poitras. At that time the Hackett family lived at 188 Delisle street, Ste. Cunegonde. The latest record of the Hackett family is the funeral on December 9th, 1905, of Edward, son of James Hackett, laborer, and of Amanda Primeau, aged two years, from bronco pneumonia. J. A. Sabourin, MD signs the certificate of death, but the date is not given, while the lad's age is given as two years. The residence of the family was then, as it is now, 92 Grand Trunk street.
The Montreal Star 17 April 1906
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Prisoner Arraigned on Charge of Murdering the Ahern Child.
King's Bench Room at the Court House Would Not Accommodate Crowd Seeking Admission.
The enquete in the Hackett case opened this morning before Judge Desnoyers. The evidence brought out to-day was largely that which was adduced before the Coroner before the prisoner, James Thomas Hackett, was formally committed on the charge of having murdered little Edith May Ahern. Public interest in the case remains unabated, as was proven by the crowds which flocked to the Court House this morning to be present at the preliminary enquete. Long before 10 o'clock it became evident that the little enquete room downstairs was too small for the event, and the witnesses were called up to the King's Bench court room, which is more capacious. The room was packed with spectators, and the evidence, though most of it had been heard before, was listened to with breathless attention. The prisoner Hackett looked cheerful enough as he entered the dock. He has failed considerably since his incarceration, and his face is much paler, yet he appears to be standing the test fairly well. His wife occupied a prominent place in the court room. She kept her eyes constantly on the prisoner, and from time to time was seen to raise her handkerchief to her eyes. There was a full attendance of witnesses at the roll call. The number of those who will be called upon to give testimony was remarked upon by Judge Desnoyers in his opening speech. The Judge stated that the case was one that had awakened public opinion to fever pitch, and that the greatest efforts must be made to sift the facts to the utmost. Messrs. O'Sullivan and Rondeau appeared on behalf of the accused. The first step in this morning's proceedings was the reading of the charge laid by Captain of Police James Coleman against the prisoner, James Thomas Hackett, of having on April 3 murdered Edith May Ahern, near Cote St. Paul. Captain Coleman was called and swore to the declaration.
The clerk of the court read the charge to the prisoner, accusing him of having on April 3, 1906, murdered the little Ahern girl near the village of St. Paul. In the municipality of Boulevard St. Paul, district of Montreal. "You have heard the charge. Have you anything to say?" "Not guilty!" replied the prisoner, in a firm tone, that betrayed Perhaps a slight touch of bravado. The first witness called was the father of the murdered child, Mr. Hector Ahern of 40 Napoleon street, Ste. Cunegonde. Before the examination of the witness was opened by Crown Prosecutor Guerin, Mr. O'Sullivan, acting for the accused, made an application to have the depositions both at the preliminary examination and at the trial, made free, on account of the poverty of the prisoner. He instanced as precedent the procedure at the recent Chatigny murder trial in Valleyfield, and other cases. Judge Desnoyers replied that he knew of no law which permitted of this procedure. Crown Prosecutor Guerin said that he had no authority to create expense for the Crown. He remarked that the defence had equal access with himself to the court records, and did not see the necessity of having the court stenographer do work for nothing.
Mr. Guerin then proceeded to the examination of Mr. Ahern. The witness stated that he had a vivid recollection of the day on which the crime was committed, April 3. He had spent the greater part of the day at his home, until five o'clock in the afternoon. He had last seen his daughter at 7 o'clock that morning, before she had left to go to school.

Mr. Ahern stated that his little daughter lacked a few days of being five years old. He had four other children, James, 9 years old, Harry, 8 years, Arthur, 7 years, and Emeile, 3 years. Little Edith was in the habit of going to school with her brother Arthur to the Nun's school, on Atwater street. On Tuesday the two had as usual gone to school. They were in the habit of returning home in the afternoons from 4.15 to 4.30. The school came out at 3.45 and it was only a short walk from there home. That afternoon little Arthur had come home alone, saying that his sister had left him to go with another girl. After it became a little later the boy had been sent out to find his sister as the parents were anxious. The witness had been working in his shed until five o'clock, when he joined in the general alarm of the household and went out to find the lost one. At the school he was told that the two children had gone out together. The little Marandon girl with whom Arthur left his sister, said that Edith had gone from her with another little girl.
The clothing found in Cote St. Paul was identified by the witness as that worn by his daughter on the day of her disappearance. Mr. Guerin drew the attention of Mr. Ahern to the prisoner at the bar. "Do you know this man?" "No," replied the witness. When the cross-examination was undertaken by Messrs. Rondeau and O'Sullivan there was some trouble about the stenographers, as the defence attempted to carry on their examination in French. The point that the defence wished to get at was whether the murdered child was conversant with the both languages. The witness had stated that he spoke English in his own home, but that his wife was French. He added that the little girl understood French very well, although she did not converse in the language fluently. Mr. O'Sullivan questioned the witness in English. "There was a man boarded at your house named Bradley?" "There was." "Was the little girl familiar with him?" Mr. Ahern stated that little Edith knew Bradley very well as he had lived in the house with them for some months. He did not know whether she had known Hackett or not. She might have known the prisoner without the knowledge of her father.
Constable Alfred Arsenault, of Ste. Cunegonde, was then called. This witness stated that on the fatal Tuesday the three Ahern children had come to the police station and reported that the little girl had been lost. A search had been undertaken, which later resulted in the finding of the body near Cote St. Paul. The witness went over again the experience of the police officers in their search for the child's body in the woods. He outlined the route taken by the party and described the position of the body when it was found. The child was lying on her face, the head a little lower than the rest of the body. There was no clothing except stockings and shoes and a little cap on the head. Captain Tourangeau, of Ste. Cunegonde, was present when the find was made, and was somewhat nearer the body at the time than was the witness. The corpse had been found at 11.35. The body was carried to the Cote St. Paul Church. Other members of the search party were Constables Bellfeuille and Rivet; Detective Boulard and John Dowling. The witness then described the location of the place where the discovery was made. It was about one and a half to two miles from the church in a westerly direction. He had been the one to see the body first from a distance of about a hundred yards. They had wrapped the little form in an overcoat to remove it. The next witness called to the stand was Mr. Adelard Brissette, of Cote St. Paul, a brother of Father Brissette of that parish.
This witness stated that on the third of April between six and half past in the afternoon he went to see his brother the cure. He was standing in the window of the presbytery kitchen when he saw a man throw a package into the basement of the church. It was bright enough for him to see that the man was of a reddish complexion. He had immediately told the priest, who was at supper, of the event. "What kind of a man was the one you saw?" asked Mr. Guerin. Witness said it was a small man, not very stout, stooping a little, wearing a dark soft had and dark coat. Asked to look at the prisoner he stated that he could not recognize the murderer if he saw him, as he paid not attention to the face of the man he had seen. Cross questioned by Mr. Rondeau, he stated that on the third of April he arrived at Cote St. Paul between six and half past, as he had left his store on St. James street between half past four and five and had taken the cars to Cote ST. Paul. He had seen the man throw in the package before he had his supper after arriving at the presbytery and so he was sure about the hour. Father Brissette, of the church of Cote St. Paul, was called. The cure stated that he had been told by his brother about six o'clock on Tuesday evening that someone had thrown a package of a reddish color into the basement of the church. He immediately left his supper and went to the basement. There he found two little garments of a reddish color, lying on the coal. The window was open for the reason that the supply of coal for next winter had been purchased and was being delivered. At this point Mr. Guerin relieved the monotony of the proceedings by the remark" "Judges and lawyers always have to wait until the end of autumn before getting their fuel supply." Father Brissette was then released from the stand and Mr. Alvares Dore, Chief of police of Cote St. Paul called.
The witness stated under examination that he was well acquainted with the cure. On the next day after the occurrence of the crime the priest had telephoned to him that clothes had been found at the church, answering to the description published in the papers of those worn by the missing child. He went to the church at once, took the clothes and brought them to Mr. Ahern's house, where they were identified as those that had been worn by the child. The next Sunday he had found the rest of the clothing in a field about ten acres from the church. These he described as being the petticoats, drawers, little waist, woolen vest, and the little girl's basket, cup and napkin. These were about ten to twelve acres from where the body was found. When cross questioned Chief Dore said he had seen many footprints on the ground, but he had decided that these were caused by the parties out in search of the child's body. He also stated that when he found the clothes he was in company with a boy named Percy Morgan, living at Cote St. Paul, who had telephoned to him saying that he had found the clothing. He closed his evidence by saying that it was not he who had found the handkerchief, keys and razor, which were discovered two days ago near the scene of the murder. After the dismissal of Chief Dore, Mr. Rondeau, counsel for the accused, requested that Constable Arsenault should be recalled to the stand. The constable was asked if he was the one who had found a pair of men's woolen gloves near the body of the child. The witness replied in the negative, adding that these had been found by Captain Tourangeau. The case was adjourned to two o'clock.
The Montreal Star 20 April 1906
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A Little Fellow Identifies Hackett as the Man he Saw
Witnesses Tell About Drunken Man They Saw - Little Girl Like Murdered Child
The examination of witnesses in the Hackett case was continued in the afternoon yesterday. Although a great deal of the evidence adduced was identical with that heard at the inquest, there were some new and interesting features. One of these was the fact that the Crown took up a positive line of evidence in producing F. X. Rochon, the carter who saw Hackett near the little girl's home on the day of the crime. This is practically the first effort made in court to actually connect Hackett with the deed by tracing his action on that day. But the sensational part of the evidence was that given by an entirely new witness, little Edward McCrae, 13 years of age. Asked if he saw in the court room the man he saw leading away a little girl on the day when Edith Ahern was lost, the little chap looked Hackett straight in the eye and said: "There is the man." He told his story in the most straightforward manner, and under a cross-examination by the counsel for the defence that was in the highest degree harrowing for one of his age, the boy stuck to his statements.
The first witness called at the afternoon sitting was Mr. Camille Anurin, assistant to City Engineer Barlow. He was asked by Mr. Guerin to indicate on a plan of the western part of the city, which witness himself had drawn up, where the Ahern family lives and the location of the school which little Edith attended. This would be of assistance in the examination of future witnesses. Mr. Rondeau for the defence asked that the place be marked where John Dowling saw the man and the girl on the night of the crime. John Dowling, master carter, 324 Richelieu St., was next called. He had never seen the Ahern girl until he met her on the Tuesday afternoon of the murder, on the bridge over the basin in Ste. Cunegonde As far as the witness could remember the time was about 4.30. He was crossing from the east to the west side of J. K. Ward's yards, where he worked on a little bridge that spanned the basin used for bringing the barges from the canal into the yards.. The witness recalled that the little girl had worn a red cloak that covered her clothes. She had black stockings. He recognized the clothes when they were brought out as having the same color. The little girl had also carried a basket similar to that found on the scene of the crime. When he had seen the pair, the little girl was standing near the end of the bridge, apparently afraid to cross. She was facing towards the south. The man stood a few feet away, hands in pockets, facing north. He was smiling at the girl. He took her hand in his left one, and led her on. Witness said that he was drunk, and being afraid that the two would fall off the bridge, he walked beside them to the other side of the basin. Witness declared that he would have taken the little girl across himself had he found her in the position, as her attitude suggested fear of the bridge. The man spoke a few words to her and she replied. It was in French, but Darling did not make out the words. Mr. O'Sullivan, for the defence, took up the cross-examination. "Had you a good view of the man?" "No." "Wasn't he looking at you?" "Yes, but I paid no attention to his features, I could see that he was fair." "Had the man you saw a moustache?" "Yes." "Was it small or large?" "I thought it was large." "Do you still think that?" "That was the impression I gathered." Witness stated further that it had taken only a few moments to cross the bridge, as it was only 30 feet long. "Did you notice where the two went after they crossed the bridge?" "No. I went back to my work." "Was he a big man?" "No. He was small and short." "You could not identify the man?" "No." "Does the accused look like him?" "He is about the size, but I do not know about the face."
Mr. F. X. Rochon, carter, 53 William street, really opened the evidence of the case, being the first witness brought in to attempt to connect Hackett directly with the crime. Witness said that he knew the accused. He had seen him between half past three and four o'clock on the day of the murder, at the corner of William and Napoleon streets. He seemed to be pretty drunk. He passed the witness five feet away. Witness had known Hackett for ten or eleven years. The man had gone in the direction of Notre Dame street, and seemed to be coming from Point St. Charles. Cross-questioned, Mr. Rochon could not say whether the accused was carrying gloves in his hand. He was walking at an ordinary pace. Witness remembered the meeting from the fact that he had not seen Hackett for some time. He was quite positive about the date. Mr. Rondeau made an attempt to shake the testimony of the witness, but Mr. Rochon remained firm. Mr. Robert MacManus, of 51 Selby street, Westmount, a foreman of the Dominion Bridge Company, was next called. He had been, on the date of the murder, in charge of a gang erecting the new bridge at Atwater avenue. This witness stated that on the afternoon in question he had seen a man and a little girl pass. He thought that the child was six years old, and she had red clothes on. Witness recognized the clothes produced in court as those worn by the girl. According to Mr. MacManus, the man was about five feet four inches in height. He was thin, and walked with his knees bent forward. He looked pretty drunk. He passed about ten feet from the witness. Witness had never seen the man before.

Mr. O'Sullivan cross-examined. Witness said that the time was between 4 and 4.30. He walked at a medium gait. The witness had seen him for about thirty feet, but his features had not been in plain view. "Do you know Hackett?" "No." "Would you recognize him as the man you saw?" "Not by his face. Perhaps if I saw him walk I would." After the cross-examination was through, Mr. Guerin rose and suggested that this might be a good test. If his learned friends had no objection the prisoner might come down and walk before the court, to see if the witness could identify him. The counsel for the defence did not see the value of this. Witness stated that he had seen the prisoner walk when he had been called in to attempt identification. The gait was very like that of the man seen at the bridge.
The next witness caused a sensation. Little Edward McCrae, of 2302 ST. James street, thirteen years of age was called. The little witness appeared to be nervous, but Mr. Guerin soothed his fears, and the little chap told a very connected, intelligent story. On Tuesday, April 3, in the afternoon, he had been with his cousin on the Lachine Canal, near the Grand Trunk bridge. He had taken out a bread-knife to have it sharpened, and was returning cross the canal. He could not remember what time it was, but when he got home it was about 4.30. He had looked at the clock at 4.45. On the Grand Trunk bridge he and his cousin had seen a man and a little girl. The girl wore a red cloak. The man was walking in front. The girl seemed to be about 6 or 7 years old, and carried a little lunch basket. This the witness identified with the one produced in court. "Would you know this man if you saw him?" asked Mr. Guerin. "I would," replied the little fellow. "Well now, Edward, take a look around the court room and see if you see anybody resembling him." The boy's eyes slowly took in the circle of faces about the crowded room until they rested on the face of the prisoner at the bar. There they stopped. "That is the man," he declared calmly. It was the sensational moment of the case. The room had been so quiet that one could have heard a pin drop while the witness was making his search, and when this startling announcement was made a sort of rustle passed from bench to bench. Everybody turned and stared at Hackett, who exhibited signs of nervousness under the scrutiny. Mr. O'Sullivan cross-questioned. He went over all the statements made by the little fellow, but the boy, although once breaking down through nervousness, stuck to his guns. He said that when he and his little cousin had seen the two on the bridge, he had said to his cousin: "Look at the drunken man with the little girl." Witness described the man's clothing as a long coat that seemed to have been worn a great deal. He had no collar. The girl walked behind, and her eyes were red.
While little McCrae was making one of his answers, there was a spat between Mr. O'Sullivan and the stenographer. The latter had asked the witness to finish an answer which the cross-examiner had interrupted by another question. There was a slight storm, but the court ruled that the first answer be finished before another was asked.

The last witness called yesterday was Mrs. Frank Taylor, of Cote St. Paul. Witness had seen the man with the little girl on the day of the murder. It was about 5 o'clock in the afternoon when she saw the two on the aqueduct near her home. The girl was dressed in red tuque and cloak, and carried a basket. The man who accompanied her seemed to be drunk, and the two were walking quietly towards the stone bridge on Church street, Cote St. Paul. The man was dressed in dark clothes. He was short, and wore a soft felt hat. She saw the same man again in the afternoon after tea, walking on the Grand Trunk track. At that time she said to her husband: "That is the same man I saw before, coming back." He did not then carry anything, as far as the witness could see. The first time she saw the man her attention had been called to him by the little Neilson boys, and her own son Stanley. The latter had run into the house, crying: "Look, mamma, there is a drunken man on the aqueduct. Look where his is going." She had gone out, and the children all ran towards the man. Witness was not certain whether Hackett was the same man she had seen. The body of the child had been found about a mile from where she lived. Nothing of importance came out in the cross-examination of the witness conducted by Mr. O'Sullivan. The case was adjourned until 10 a.m. Monday.
The Montreal Star 21 April 1906
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Joseph Maddox and Oscar Neilssen are Sure About Identification
Not Clear as to Nature of Oath, But Knew He Should Tell Truth
James Maddox, an employee of the Dominion Bridge Company to-day positively identified James Hackett as the man who crossed the railway bridge on April 3rd with a little girl dressed in red. The little girl, the witness declared, was, he believed, little Edith May Ahern, who was foully murdered in the woods beyond Cote St. Paul, a couple of hours after Maddox saw Hackett cross the bridge with the child. The identification of Hackett by little Oscar Neilssen was also impressive, although the witness is only seven years of age, and as he has never been to church nor learned any prayers, he did not know the nature of an oath. His identification, however, was corroborated by his father, and more especially by Christian Mark, a Norwegian, who lived with the Neilssen family, and met Hackett on the Grand Trunk track while he was still in sight of the Neilssens, father and son.

The criminal court room, in which the Hackett enquete is being carried on, was too small to hold the crowd which congregated to hear the witnesses. Many women were among the audience, and they followed the evidence with the greatest eagerness. The jury boxes, the witness seats, and all the chairs around the court room were occupied, while a big crowd was forced to stand throughout the proceedings. Hackett sat in a rear corner of the prisoner's dock, and appeared unconcerned and at his ease throughout the proceedings.
James Maddox was the first witness called. He testified that on the day of the disappearance of the little Ahern child he was at work for the Dominion Bridge Company, on the Atwater street bridge, with Mr. McManus and others. He saw a man come along with a little girl. The child was dressed in red and wore a red tuque. The man was dressed in shabby black clothes and wore a soft hat. He had a good side view and a front view of the man, who took the child along the canal bank towards the Grand Trunk Railway bridge. He recognized the clothing shown him in court as similar to that worn by the man he had seen, and also by the little girl.

When called to say whether he could identify the man, the witness said: "I have not the least doubt that he is the man I saw that day. I had a good sight of him, both from the side and the front." In cross-examination by Mr. John A. O'Sullivan, the witness explained that while he was working there, they had stopped for a moment just when the man and child passed the Atwater bridge, because a load had just been dumped with them, and he was not engaged at the moment, so that he noticed the man who was in liquor.
Cyrille Verdon, the bartender at the restaurant on the corner of Vinet and Albert streets, declared he had known Hackett for years. On the afternoon of April 3rd. about three o'clock, Hackett had come in and bought a glass of whiskey, and told the witness that he intended moving back to that neighborhood in May. A man named Blake was in the bar at the time. The hotel was about four or five minutes' walk from the Ahern home on Napoleon street. James Nicholson, watchman, 183 Ashe Ave, testified that on April 3rd, he was working at 4 p.m., he was near the railway bridge leading from St. Henri to Point St. Charles. "I was on the Point side of the bridge. I noticed a man with a little girl dressed in red."
The witness recognized the coat, dress and tuque shown him as similar to those worn by the little child. She had a little basket similar to that produced in court. "The man was short, thin, and as far as I could see him, had a light mustache and hair. He was intoxicated at the time." "Stand up, Hackett," ordered Mr. Guerin. "Is that man about the size of the man you saw?" "Yes, just about that size. That corresponds to the man I saw." "Do you notice the color of his hair?" "Yes, and his mustache, too. They correspond exactly to those of the man I saw. I noticed his clothes. They were dark clothes, kind of striped." "Did you see them on the bridge?" "No, they were on the track, across the bridge before I saw them." "In what direction were they going?" "They were going towards the west."

The clothes found in Hackett's house were exhibited to the witness, when he said they corresponded to those worn by the man. In cross-examination by Mr. J. A. O'Sullivan, the witness declared that he was about thirty feet from the little girl and the man. Joseph Lafleur, carter, declared that he had left the Place Viver Hotel after the arrival of the train from Quebec, and took a fare to Cote St. Paul. On his way back, he saw a man and a child crossing the little red bridge crossing to Cote St. Paul. He could not identify Hackett as the man whom he had seen. The man was in liquor, and the child appeared to have been crying a great deal. In cross-examination by Mr. A. O. Rondeau, the witness got considerably mixed up as to localities, and was not sure that he had not seen the man near the gas house in St. Henri.
Oscar Neilssen, one of the twins, was sworn, but the Judge remarked that the child appeared very young to be sworn. He was questioned by Mr. Guerin, and did not seem to be fully aware of the nature of an oath. He declared , however, that he knew that he was bound to tell the truth. He remembered the day the fire took place near his house. In the afternoon, long before supper he saw a man and a little child on the bank of the Aqueduct. The man looked drunk, and the witness thought the man was going to throw the little girl into the water because he was beginning to take off her coat. The witness ran to his home and went upstairs to tell his father. The man was going towards the bush with the little girl. Some time later, the little fellow saw the same man coming down the track, going back towards the city. The man was surely the same man he had seen earlier. The boy declared that the coat shown him was exactly like that worn by the man he had seen that day. He called his father to look at the man. "Now, my little boy, will you look around the court room, and say whether you see here the same man you saw that day?" said Mr. Edmund Guerin, K.C.., the Crown prosecutor.
The little fellow was placed on a chair and began a careful scrutiny of every one in the room. He took his time about it, looking over every one in the jury box and the places for jurors not yet impaneled, as well as the press seats and the seats for lawyers. All at one his face cleared and his finger shot out towards the dock, as he turned to Mr. Guerin and said: "That is the man sitting right over there." "Hackett, stand up," ordered Mr. Guerin. "Now are you sure that the man who has just stood up is the man you saw with the little girl that day?" "Yes, sir, that is the man, sure." In cross-examination, the little witness stated that he was not quite eight years old, but he stuck to his identification.
Alcide Lecours, of the city waterworks wheel-house, was the next called. On the afternoon of the murder, he was four miles above the wheel-house, on the waterworks, at Mr. Lariviere's. He saw a man with a child. The man was lying down at the time and the little girl was sitting down alongside of him. The child was dressed in red. The coat and tuque shown him corresponded to those worn by the child. The child was about five years old. As the witness came down driving the man lying down could see him and scared the horse. The man, on seeing that he had been seen, got up, but he was unsteady on his feet. With his left hand, the man took the child by the hand, and with the right picked up a little basket, which corresponded to that shown him. The witness drove down behind the two to the bridge crossing the waterworks drain, and then the man with the child crossed the bridge to the north.

The man was very fair, would weigh 130 to 135, was five feet four or five. He wore iron-grey trousers and a faded black coat. The clothes shown him resembled very much the clothes worn by the man. He appeared to wear a fair mustache. He could not swear absolutely that Hackett was the man, but he certainly had the same appearance. In cross-examination, the witness admitted to Mr. Rondeau that he had seen the prisoner at the Central Detective Office. He had found it strange to see a man and child at that spot, as nobody had a right to be there. It was then a few minutes past six o'clock.
Oscar Neilssen, father of the twins, said that on the afternoon of the tragedy, Oscar, his little son, had come running in, saying a man was on the dyke with a child and looking into the water, as if he wanted to throw the child in. About an hour and a half later, the little fellow called his attention to the man coming down the track. He got a good side view of the man, and took a particular look at his clothes. The clothes shown him in court seemed to be the same. At the same time as he saw the man going towards the city, he saw Mark and Nygaard, coming towards Cote St. Paul on the track. He was about two hundred and thirty or forty feet from the man. When Mark and Nygaard came in, the witness spoke to them. His suspicions had been aroused by the fact that the man had gone up with a little girl and came back alone. Mark said he knew the man, but did not know his name.
Christian Mark gave his evidence through Mr. Gustav Gylling as interpreter. He testified to meeting James Hackett, about 6.20 or 6.25 p.m. on April 3rd. He had worked with him at the Montreal Steel Works, and knew his face well. The witness pointed out Hackett in the dock, and declared he was the man who had come along the track. He was sure of it, because he had worked with him two years ago. Johannes Nygaard was with the witness, and remarked that there was a drunken man. When the witness reached the Neilssen home, where he boards, the two children asked whether he had met this man. They said they had seen him going up the canal bank with a little girl, and coming down alone. The man wore a faded black coat, a pair of black trousers with gray stripes, a soft black felt hat, and a belt about two inches wide, with a shining buckle. He had noticed the belt while they were at work together. The clothes exhibited were, declared the witness, exactly similar to those worn by the man.

In cross-examination, the witness declared to Mr. O'Sullivan that Hackett reeled a little, as he walked with his hands in his pockets, and his head down, so that the belt buckle showed up in front. The witness did not work in the same division with Hackett, but they worked on the same room. He was sure of having met Hackett on that date, though he could not remember having met a woman on the succeeding Friday. He accounted for this by the fact that his friend Nygaard had called his attention. The court then adjourned until 2 p.m.
The Montreal Star 23 April 1906
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Judge Desnoyers Declares Evidence Sufficient to Warrant His Committal
Witnesses Tell of Hackett Having Sold His Pay Week of the Tragedy.
James Hackett will have to face a jury in the King's Bench at the next term. This was the announcement made at the close of the Crown enquete yesterday. "If I were hearing this case on the merits of the trial," remarked Judge Desnoyers, when Mr. Edmund Guerin, K.C., declared he had closed the Crown case, "I would have to consider the evidence before reaching a verdict. As it is now, however, I am merely bound to see whether the evidence produced is sufficient to send the accused up for trial. I am of opinion that it is sufficient, and I have no hesitation in saying that it is my plain duty to send Hackett to the King's Bench. I have followed the evidence from day to day with close attention. I wish the accused that he may get through, but I am afraid that the chain of evidence is too strong for that. The case is postponed until ten O'clock on Thursday, when Hackett will come up for his voluntary examination."
Mr. A. O. Rondeau, one of the defenders of Hackett, wished to have Inspector James McMahon called to produce some clothing and other objects. Judge Desnoyers remarked, however, that the defence would have an opportunity to call witnesses after Hackett has been called to make his statement on Thursday. Johannes Nygaard, a young Swede, who works with Mark at the Montreal Steel Works, corroborated the story told by Mark in the forenoon of meeting Hackett on the railway track at Cote St. Paul, about twenty minutes past six on the evening of the tragedy. The prisoner was going towards the city and wore clothes like those exhibited in court as Hackett's. The witness was attracted by the shinning buckle on the Black belt. Witness had remarked to Mark, his friend, with whom he was going to the Neilssen home a few hundred yards away, that the man looked like a bum, but Mark said he was a man who worked with him at the Steel Works. Nygaard corroborated Mark and Oscar Neilssen Sr. as to fire that night and the conversation which took place at which the twins were present.
Special Constable William Carter was called, and he told how he came to suspect the prisoner. He knew Hackett by sight for some time. On Friday after the murder, the witness met Hackett at the corner of St. Patrick and St. Etienne streets. The prisoner was making for the works where he was employed. "I had carefully read in the Star the description given of the man who had been seen with the little girl going towards Cote St. Paul and it struck me that Hackett fitted that description." The witness approached Hackett and asked where he was going. The accused said he was coming to get his time as things were not going well. The fact that pay day was next day made the witness all the more suspicious. He asked Hackett whether they had caught the murderer of little May Ahern, Hackett winced, the witness thought, and answered something about seeing something about it on the newspaper bulletins. The witness then went to the time clock and discovered that on the Monday preceding the murder Hackett had started work at 6 in the afternoon, but had left off at a quarter past seven. On April 3, he had not been at the shop. On the following day Hackett had worked from 6 o'clock in the afternoon till half-past 6 on Thursday morning.
The witness felt more and more convinced that there was reason to suspect Hackett next day when he found that another workman, named Plante had bought Hackett's pay. This was sometimes done in the shop when a man was hard up or wanted to get away in a hurry. The witness communicated with Captain Coleman about the matter and worked with him, going to Hackett's house. As they were coming down to the detective's office, Hackett, who at the time had not been told that he was under suspicion for the murder at all, remarked: "That's what whiskey will do for a man. I was going to leave, but now I guess I'll have to stay until I am out of this thing."
In cross-examination by Mr. J. A. O'Sullivan the witness declared that he had informed Captain Coleman of his suspicions. He had considered it his duty to speak to the officer, and never thought of any reward. Hackett had not worked on Tuesday night. Plante was the man who had drawn Hackett's pay. Rodolphe Plante, 502 Centre street, who was heard at the coroner's inquest, testified that he was a chasor at the Montreal Steel Works, and had known Hackett for eight months. During the week in which the little Ahern child was murdered, as far as witness could remember, it was on Friday morning, Hackett asked witness to buy his time. Witness bought forty-nine hours at fourteen cents. He agreed to give Hackett full price, and handed over $5.00. Hackett owed him a dollar already, so that there were only a few cents left. Hackett had intimated that he expected to be fired, but had not explained his reason for selling his pay, instead of waiting until next day. The cross-examination by Mr. A. O. Rondeau produced nothing new.
Dr. Duncan D. McTaggart, coroner's autopsist, produced the official report. Then continuing, he declared that the child had no exterior marks of violence except a few scratches of no importance. The doctors came to the conclusion that death had been due to exposure, combined with fright. The child had been stripped of all her clothes, the only thing left on her being a pair of black stockings and shoes. The doctor added that the child had been abused. The death of the child took place more than a day before his examination on April 5th. The organs of the child were healthy. Dr. C. A. Dugas, also a coroner's autopsist, gave similar evidence. The body of the child was covered with mud and leaves of cedar. There was nothing organically wrong with the child. There were some scratches, but nothing sufficient to cause death. One scratch near the throat looked as if it had been made with the nail of a finger or thumb. The other injuries described were the same as those detailed by Dr. McTaggart. In cross-examination, Dr. Dugas declared to Mr. Rondeau that the Child's stomach was empty.
"Do you not think that after having taken a slight lunch at noon, and having gone such a long distance, her food had digested more quickly than usual, and that she might have perished from weakness induced by hunger"" asked Mr. Rondeau. "No," replied the doctor. "A healthy child five years of age would resist the pangs of hunger much longer than that. There was nothing to show that she had suffered from hunger." Johannes Nygaard was recalled by the defence, and examined by Mr. A. O. Rondeau, through Mr. Gustav Gylling, declared he had not been called to the detective office to identify Bradley.
Captain James Coleman, of No. 9 Police Station, Grand Trunk street, Point St. Charles, declared that he had first heard of the disappearance of Little Edith May Ahern on reading the Star on the day after the Child's disappearance. On Friday he had been busily engaged on the case, as information had been received that a man who used to work at the Montreal Steel Works had been met by the witness, Mark. He went to the Montreal Steel Works, and on Monday, working under instructions from Inspector McMahon, he visited the Montreal Steel Works again, and then Constable William Carter told witness his suspicions. In the evening, with Constable Carter, the witness went to Hackett's house, and induced the prisoner to come down to the detectives' office. Later, Hackett was taken to the Place Viger Station, where Mark, when he came off the train, identified Hackett as the man whom he had met.

On Wednesday, the witness had gone down to the detectives' office, where with Detective Riopel, the witness placed Hackett under arrest and after warning him, had read over a typewritten statement, taken the previous day by Chief Carpenter and Secretary Berrigan, of the Detective Department. After being carefully warned, the prisoner declared that he would not sign to say he was a murderer or was guilty of murder. The witness pointed out to him that the statement read over to him did not accuse him of murder, it was merely a statement of his movements on the day of the murder. Hackett declared he was ready to sign that, and the witness inserted in writing a sentence to say that that statement was signed voluntarily and without compulsion, after which Hackett signed the statement.
In cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan, Captain Coleman admitted that he had employed a ruse to catch Hackett. He had been informed that Mark, the young Norwegian, had said the man whom he had met used to work on a truck at the works and had been replaced by a Jew. Consequently in asking Hackett about his companion on the truck, he had also asked who had replaced the prisoner, and when Hackett said it was a Jew, he felt satisfied he had the right man. Hackett had appeared somewhat surprised, but not over anxious when asked to come down to the police station with the witness. Captain Coleman was re-examined by Mr. Guerin and identified some of the clothing found by Detective Riopel and himself in the Hackett home. Detective Riopel, was called to identify the balance of the clothing. This closed the case for the Crown.
The Montreal Star 24 April 1906
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James Thomas Hackett, when brought before Mr. Justice Desnoyers this afternoon for voluntary statement pleaded not guilty to the charge of murdering little Edith May Ahern and signed the papers to that effect. He was perfectly cool and collected, though he winced when the charge was formally read out. He wrote his signature, however, with complete calmness and self-possession. The lawyers for the defence asked for a further postponement of the enquete till Saturday morning on the ground that they had two more witnesses to introduce. The postponement was granted.
The Montreal Star 26 April 1906
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