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Perth Courier
Ontario, Canada
2 November 1894

The Jessie Keith Murder

Chatelle Confesses to Have Committed the Crime

Listowell, Ont., Oct. 26.
The coroner's jury has handed in a verdict of wilful murder against Almeda Chatelle. The evidence was very conclusive. Constable McCarthy recognized the articles found on the prisoner as those he was entrusted with on Tuesday last. Then the prisoner was handed over to him by Constable Travis. Constable Robert Woods produced the celebrated black valise and parcel containing the murdered girl's clothing. many witnesses were produced who identified the contents of the valise.

Dr. Sutherland said the cause of death was due to loss of blood from the cut in the throat, and gave a detailed description of the condition of the body when found.

A number of other witnesses were called and their evidence taken, some of them having seen the prisoner before and others after the murder.

The evidence taken as a whole was very complete, and leaves no doubt as to the criminality of the prisoner. the route he went has been indicated by the witnesses nearly the distance from Ailsa Craig to Listowel, thence to Cataract.


The prisoner was then arraigned before a magistrate's court, consisting of Police Magistrate Tuhune and Mayor Weatherstone. Much of the evidence taken by the coroner's jury was gone over, and the magistrate formally charged him under the section in the Revised Statutes, which gives the prisoner an opportunity of making a statement, and warned him that anything he might say would be used against him. He replied that he was guilty and had nothing more to say. Then he was removed to the cell, where he was stripped and his clothing examined. Many blood stains were found on his drawers. While being searched he repeatedly said he did not care how soon he was put out of the world. "Let them cut me to pieces or hang or shoot me," he said. "They have proved I did it. What is the good of delaying matters? the sooner they get it over and one with, the better." A hack was waiting at the jail door, and a restless mob was clamoring outside for the prisoner. A number of constables were on hand and the prisoner was suddenly rushed through and into the hack. A large rock followed in dangerous proximity and narrowly escaped missing persons in the crowd. He was driven off at full speed to the station, followed by a turbulent crowd. At the station the train was not yet in, and the prisoner was taken into the station, where he remained closely guarded until its arrival. The crowd here was very demonstrative and seemed dangerous. All sorts of cries and threats were made, such as "Lynch him." "Hang him." "Use the rope." "Throw him under the train." etc. The officers ran him down the platform followed by the crowd, and at the car steps a determined effort was made to get him. There was no organized leader, but a few men the worse of liquor called for volunteers to follow them into the car and take him. In the scramble Constable McCarthy drew his revolver. and Chief McCarthy, of Stratford, narrowly escaped falling under the car. For ten minutes the train remained, during which many inflammatory threats were made by the crowd. Finally, at 10.40, the train pulled out, followed by wild and derisive cries from the mob. He will remain in Stratford jail until the spring assizes.


Stratford, Oct. 29.
Not if the authorities can prevent it will the people have an opportunity to make a hero of Jessie Keith's murderer. The strictest rules are being enforced about the gaol, and only those who have business within are allowed to see to talk to Chatelle. Warned by the trouble experienced with by the authorities in Woodstock in the Birchall case, Sheriff Hossie has issued instructions that no newspaper representatives are to be admitted inside the gaol, and the Warden and turnkey are under orders to maintain a strict silence. Gaoler Nichol says Chatelle does not seem in any way extraordinary in his behavior, and expresses the opinion that he is not likely to give him any trouble. Though a French Canadian he does not profess to be a Catholic, and sticks to it that he is of no religion. A Bible given him by the gaoler has remained untouched, though newspapers containing a report of the trial ay Listowel were read with eagerness. Detective Murray thinks that Chatelle may try to commit suicide. He bases his belief on his conduct at the trial, when he recklessly exposed himself at the window with a howling mob beneath. When warned not to expose himself he replied that he did not care whether he was shot, knifed or pulled to pieces. The detective says that Chatelle confessed all the horrible story of the crime to him in Stratford gaol, but that it would not have done for him to have made it known then. The details were too horrible for recital, but the prisoner said that he did not know what possessed him, but that he was animated by an uncontrollable fiendish frenzy for the time. Chief McCarthy believes that it is not the first time Chatelle has been led a prisoner through an angry mob. He had a way of drawing officers to him and using them as shields from violence that seemed the result of previous experience. The "Jack the Ripper" theory is quite popular here, and all the literature of the Whitechapel murders obtainable has been eagerly scanned for particulars to support the idea. The only description given of the Whitechapel murderer - that of a low, thick-set man of 40 years of age and a sailor - fits the man in Stratford gaol well enough, but it is too vague to establish any identity. The crime to which he has confessed is so similar to the horrid butcheries in London, however, that an accurate description of the man and his deed will be sent to Scotland Yard. The subject of this wide spread excitement accepts the situation cooly enough. His sleep is unbroken and all his meals are eaten with a hearty relish.