Monday, June 23, 2014

June 23, 1886: William Kahlihen

This article comes from The Daily Journal (Freeport, Illinois) dated June 25, 1886:



Promptly Followed by Lynching Proceedings—The Assassin Strung Up In Front of the Bawdy House He Served, His Body Riddled and the House Burned to the Ground. 

DETROIT CITY, Minn., June 24.—Marshal J. Convey, of this village, was murdered in cold blood at 1 o'clock Wednesday morning by William Kahlihen, alias Big Red, a gambler, also a pimp for a bagnio on the outskirts of the village. The murdered and another fellow of the same stamp, Frank Bennett, were quarreling over one of the prostitutes and at the hour mentioned they were talking loudly and creating a disturbance in front of the Masonic block. The marshal tried to quiet them, but instead Big Red drew a heavy revolver and fired one shot at Bennett, missing his mark. Mr. Convey stepped forward, when Big Red fired the second shot at him, hitting him squarely in the heart. Talk of lynching was immediately began and at 10 o'clock p.m. the fire-bell struck Kahlihen's death knell, and at the first tap of the bell fierce yells were heard in the vicinity and a rush was made for the court-house, in which the murderer was confined. That the mob was well organized and determined there was no doubt. Battering-rams were used up on the outside doors, and they were brushed away as mere cobwebs. The men, who were masked entered the jailer's residence, occupied by George W. Taylor, deputy sheriff, seized Mr. Taylor and took the keys from his person, and in a few moments had secured the prisoner. A cry for a rope went up, and the cry was not in vain for in less than a minute a noose was about his neck and he was being hurried down the street as fast as the wild and furious mob could run. He was taken to a tree in front of the bagnio of which he had been bouncer, hauled up, and amid the fiendish yells of the mob, a volley of bullets was fired into the body. Every man who took part in the hanging was masked and disguised, thoroughly armed, and prepared to meet any resistance that might be offered. There is very little sympathy for the brute in Detroit, though many were earnestly in favor of allowing the law to take its course. 

The citizens of Detroit, after the lynching, burned down the house of ill-fame and all the furniture in it. 

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