Villisca, Iowa.........home of the ax murders!
The simple and eerie house remains frozen in time , complete with an outhouse standing forlornly, in the back yard. No modernization attempts were made to a home that no family seemed to be able to occupy, since.................... IT HAPPENED.
WHAT HAPPENED YOU SAY?
On June 9th, 1912..... two adults, J.B. and Sara Moore and six innocent children were monstrously slaughtered, while sleeping peacefully in their warm beds. Two of the six children were simply visiting the Moors, for a fun little sleep over. "The Stillinger girls" were invited over, after attending a church program that evening and given the sewing room on the first floor to sleep in.
Joe and Sara were found heinously slain in their bedroom at the top of the stairway. Sara was the only murder victim to be hit in the head with the sharpened side of the ax,........ the rest were struck down with the dull end or the side of the weapon. The four Moore children, (Herman 11yrs., Katherine 9yrs., Boyd 7yrs., Paul 5yrs.) were discovered in one bedroom, located on the second floor, in a blood filled scene, that is beyond nightmarish. The visiting children, (Lena 12yrs., Ina 8yrs.) were laying dead in the very same sewing room that they fell asleep in, on that fateful night.
The bodies of this family and the Stillinger girls were bludgeoned repeatedly by the killer, long after they were dead, rendering their faces unrecognizable to those who knew them.
The murder weapon, which was taken from the Moores own home , was found laying on the floor near a slab of bacon, next to the body of Lena,.....one of the Moores little guests.
Little Lena's underwear had been removed and her tiny body was placed in a posed position. Most who have looked into this troubling case believe, the fat from the bacon was used to lubricate the genitals of the murderer, who then preformed a demented sex act. The corner believed the body of Lena was not actually raped and stated this in his report.
Law enforcement had a distressing time trying to keep order over the crime scene. Multitudes roamed the house taking in the horrific scene before them, long before the police even got to the location.....destroying precious evidence. The locals were viewing the bodies, that lay everywhere in the tiny house. All were shocked at the innocent lives taken,.... and the violent mayhem that splattered deep burgundy blood, all over the walls and floors.
The National Guard finally arrived and secured the crime scene, however much of the evidence had already been decimated. Even the personal property of this tragic family, was being stolen by onlookers and used as souvenirs to remember the grisly event. One bold gawker, while moseyling through the house, bent down and grabbed a piece of Joe Moore's skull......and proceeded to take it home!
Upon official examination of the site, the ceilings in the murder rooms, showed deep gouge marks from the violent rage- filled upswings of the ax. Two depleted cigarette butts were found laying on the attic floor. This is most likely where the killer hid, until the family was fast asleep. A walk into the kitchen, found a wash basin filled with a putrid mixture of blood and water...... sitting right next to a plate of partially eaten food! The murderer took the time to close all the windows, lock the doors, cover the mirrors, and close the curtains, .......then, he just walked out the door.
The town became separated into different schools of thought, about who the murderer could be. Emotions were off the scale,........anger, fear, rage, confusion, all escalated to a heightened point. The frustrations remained in the town for a very long time, as no closure has ever taken place. The mass murders remain unsolved to this day!
The Reverend George Kelly was strongly suspected and it was discovered that he left town, on the morning of the discovery of the bodies. The Reverend actually confessed his guilt of this crime, to the public and was held for court.
The first jury was hung.
The second jury acquitted him.
In 1917 the investigation was officially closed down and no person has ever been held accountable for this ghastly crime!
Psychics that have visited the home over the years, have claimed the ghost of the Reverend is there and he speaks of killing the eight innocents in great detail.
The home remained empty, as the years went by, until Homer and Bonnie Ritner happened along, in the early 1950's. The young newlywed couple were short on funds and expecting a baby. They were offered the home with six months of rent for free,...so they moved into the nefarious site.
Immediately,........the pregnant wife began to hear the spirits and other strange sounds. Bonnie told her husband that she could see the shadow of an ax murderer at the foot of her bed and became inconsolable. Bonnie was taken to the doctor in a state of hysterics and almost lost her baby. In an effort to maintain their reasonable homestead, Homer agreed to stay awake at night and sit in a chair at the end of the bed, so his dear wife could rest. While keeping this vigil, Homer heard the loud footsteps of an invisible man and proceeded to pack their belongings. The couple fled to Clarinda, to live with relatives and never looked back.
The next family John and Allie Geesman, purchased the house,.....however it is said that John refused to sleep inside the house. Instead a bed was set up in the barn, where John proceeded to reside at night. Neighbors also reported seeing house guests of the Geesman's, running out of the front door of the house ......at 3am!
The home was now owned by the Villisca State Bank and it was used as a rental from 1963-1971. The Williamson's occupied the home in the 60's, and reported hearing ghostly children crying in the night. The drawers to the bedroom dresser were opened and the contents strewn about the room. The father , who was a long haul truck driver, was in a complete state of disbelief .......until one night. While sitting in the kitchen, sharpening his pocket knife, the blade was yanked from his hand and thrust into his very own palm! The family immediately packed up their things and left the home that same evening.
The name "Villisca" comes from the Indian name " Wallisca" .........which means "Place of the evil spirits." This spooky location is where the indigenous Indians abandoned their insane.
Sound like a place you would like to visit?
Darwin Linn is the current owner and conducts all tours of the home. The tours last an hour or two..... and run 10.00 per person. (Children under 12 are free)
Are you brave enough to spend the night?
Overnight stays start at 300.00 and book up fast in October!
Call Darwin for your reservations at......712-621-4291
Here is a video, where you can see ghostly orbs flying about..... in the ax murder house!