Shocking, Murder !
Account of one of the most Shocking Murders ever
read of, committed by JOHN M. WIL IAMS,
at Milledgeville, on the Body of his own Wife, by
Stabbing her in several parts of the Body, and cut-
ting her Throat from Ear to Ear; also an account
of his Murdering his own Infant only Fight days
old, by dashing it on the ground, and throwing it
over the window, on Tuesday the 8th of January,
1824; likewise an account of the gailant manner in
which he was seized by a servant Girl.
Last evening, we were summoned to witness a scene, from which
Humanity recoils with horror and indignation ! a scene, perhaps
without a parallel since the first organization of civil society. The
Circumstances are as follow : it appears that there had been a fish-
ing party during the day, composed, perhaps, of relations, and
friends, and accquaintance, of which party John M. Williams, the
person who committed the cruel, shocking and inhuman deed, was
one. On their return in the evening, accompanied by his brother-
in-law and his wife, he appeared to be in an ill-humour with his
wife, and descended even to abuse ; but by the friendly interposi-
tion and good offices of the company there present, he desisted for
that time, and the storm, that appeared lowering, passed over with-
out leaving any vestiges idicative of its recurrence; but alas ! it
was a, most fatal security, into which he had lulled their suspicions !
When about to depart, he bade the sister of the wife, in an impres-
sive manner, to bid her farewell; but not suspecting the import of
this prophetic observation, they proceeded homewards.
Before they had been absent fifteen minutes, he commenced the
execution of his diabolical design, by upbraiding her with incon-
rinency, and ended his insulting ;and abusive language, by stabbing
her in the body with a clasp knife, which inflicted a deep wound
in her shoulder. She immediately fled, but in consequence of her
debility, occasioned by her having given birth to an innocent child,
then not a fortnight old, he easily overtook her, and with a tremen-
dous blow, brought her senseless to the ground.
Commanding the assistance of a servant girl, who was close at
hand, he conducted her to the house, and placed her on the bed,
when animation was soon restored ; he then with the most unex-
ampled ferocity, caught hold of his sleeping and in innocent infant,
and with savage and unrelenting fury, dashed it with violence on
the ground, and again taking it by the legs, threw it forcibly over
the window into the yard behind the house.
Returning to the bed side, with his knife drawn and stained with
blood, he recommenced his abuse of his wife, and endeavoured to
extort confessions, by repeatedly stabbing her, renewing his inqui-
ries with a hellish satisfaction at each successive stab, while the
miserable victim of his cruelty, protested her innocence, and implor-
ed his mercy with tears and intreaties, sufficient to have softened
the most savage breast.
The servant girl, overcome with sympathy, profiting by his posi-
tion, seized him, and pushed him out at the door, thereby giving
to Mrs Williams an opportunity to make her escape, which she em-
braced with as much alacrity as her weakened and wounded situa-
tion would admit of, and had fled perhaps about fifty yards, when
the unfeeling monster overtook her, and dragging her by the hair
of the head to a considerable distance, put an end to her life, by
cutiing her throat from ear to ear, in the most cruel and shocking
manner ever witnessed.
By this time, the alarm had reached the nearest neighbour, who
hastened directly to the scene of misery. The murderer, by this
time had exchanged tho knife for a razor, and kneeling down in she
attitude of prayer beside the body of his murdered wife, was en-
deavouring to dispatch himself ; he had completed part of his
design, but finding the task more difficult than that of murdering
his wife, he only succeeded in making a slight incision in the wind-
pipe, when his hand was arrested, and it is hoped will recover,
answer before an earthly tribunal for the perpetration of this unna-
tural deed Four helpless Children bewail the loss of their mother.
Examiner, 9th January, 1823. Edinburgh, Printed, Price One Penny.
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Probable date published:
1824 shelfmark: F.3.a.14(10)
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