Deputy Marshall John Conway Fatally Shot
The Carroll Times
26 May 1921
Deputy Marshal John Conway Fatally Injured by Assassins Bullet
Last Saturday Evening
Had Gone to help Arrest a Stranger who had Attempted to Pass a
Forged Check. Three Bullets Fired in Body One of Them Severs
Aorta and was Fatal
Posse Organized but Murderer Makes Getaway
Coroners Inquest held Sunday Afternoon. Two Strangers Held for
Investigation and Later Released. Airplane Searchers work Part
of Sunday Afternoon
John F. Conway was shot and instantly killed Saturday evening—at about 9:40. The murder was perpetrated on the right of way
of the Great Western railway, north, and a little east of Nettie's cafe, and the murderer is still at large.
John was a deputy marshal, and had been assisting night marshal
A. H. Manemann each evening as called upon, and had always been
helping on Saturday evenings, when traffic was heavy.
Last Saturday evening, a man went into the Nockels and the
Gnam clothing stores, as well as other places in town, and made
small purchases, amounting to from $1 to $4, and in each
instance he presented a check, supposed to have been signed by
Jos. T. Judge, and written in favor of Bert Allen.
After he left the Nockels store, one of the boys went out and
notified night marshal Manemann that a man with a forged check
was in the city, after first ascertaining from Mr. Judge that it
was a forged check, and Mr. Manemann found John Conway, and they
instituted a search.
They found that the man had left a package of haberdashy at
Gnams also, they having refused to cash his check. The stranger,
who endorsed the check as Bert Allen, said he would go out and
get the check cashed, and during this time both Conway and
Manemann were close on his trail. They finally located him near
the Great Western freight house, and Conway attempted to make an
arrest. The fellow broke away and Conway went right after him,
and knocked him down and clinched with him. The murderer shot 3
or 4 times, 3 of the shots entering the body of Conway, one of
them being fatal. The shots were fired while they were so near
to one another that powder marks were visible on the clothes of
the murdered boy.
As Manemann came around the corner of the cafe, the murderer
started to run in a north-westerly direction and Manemann turned
his attention to Conway, but he fired several shots, one of
which he feels certain took effect as the fellow dropped, raised
his hand to his shoulder, and then sped onward, and from that
time to the present, no one is certain that the man has been
seen, though several reports that seemed authentic, came in
which went to show the man had continued northward for several
As soon as possible, following the murder, the sheriffs and
marshals deputized every one who had a fire arm of some kind,
and any one else who wanted to act, and posses searched for the
man all night long, and all of Sunday.
On Sunday afternoon, one of the Swaney airships, piloted by
Claire Sherwood, came down from Fort Dodge and with Harry Nestle
as lookout, the entire north half of the county was gone over
without seeing any signs of the fugitive, and Harry said very
small objects were plainly visible as they were flying even
lower than would give them any guarantee of safety.
Every sign that looked like it might be a clue that would
lead to the hiding place of the murderer was watched and not a
culvert, a bridge, a straw stack, a clump of bushes, or a grove
in the nearby vicinity was overlooked.
On Monday, shortly after the noon hour, word came from Arcadia
that a man was seen north of that place. The description varied
a trifle from that of the description of the fugitive but
officers took no chances and in an hour there were more than 50
men on the spot to get general directions as to how to capture
him. He was traced to Breda, and it was found that it was Ed
Bohnenkamp, who had walked from Arcadia to Breda, and had walked
Descriptions have been sent out and it is hoped that the
fugitive can be picked up in some near by cities.
Coroner F. V. Hibbs empanelled a jury of M. J. Thelen, H. J.
Walz, and F. H. Arts, and several witnesses were examined.
It probably would not have been necessary to hold an inquest
except for the fact that a rumor was started to the effect that
night marshal Manemann had fired all the shots that were fired,
and at least one stranger with a certain element in the city,
wanted to establish a story that would be detrimental to Mr.
George Davis of Des Moines, who was one of at least two men
who were here to peddle apples, expressed himself as being
intensely interested in the affair, and in his testimony he
charged Mr. Manemann with not doing his duty. He stated that six
shots were fired and that Mr. Manemann fired them all. He also
said that there was no scuffle between John Conway and the
Mr. Davis and his partner, G. F. Acton, who also testified at
the inquest, were later arrested and placed in the city jail
where they remained until Monday morning. In the meantime mayor
Johnston wire to various places they had sold apples, as well as
to their homes in Des Moines, but found nothing against them,
and he liberated them. They were then picked up by sheriff
Janssen, upon demand of county attorney Saul. They were put
through the grill again by Mr. Saul, but he liberated them
Louise Mikesell said at the inquest that she did not see the
shooting and only heard the shots, as was the fact concerning
Mrs. Dein, who, reports said, had seen the entire event.
C. C. Roberts said he was in the creamery and heard the shots
fired, hurried to the scene, but found that John was gasping and
died almost immediately. He did not know how many shots were
Dr. C. C. Bowie said the bullet that killed John Conway was
the one that entered the left breast an inch to the left of the
nipple line, passed through the left lung, severed the aorta and
made exit from the boy at the right axilla.
One wound was on the upper outer third of left arm. The upper
arm or humerus was shattered and two pieces of bullet taken from
the arm. The third bullet struck the cartilage at the base of
the breast bone and made exit about 2 inches to the right of the
The bullets which were located, one of them being the one
that killed him, was found after his clothes were removed and
was a 32 calibre, soft-nosed, steel jacket, while the other
bullet was the one that was found in his arm, of the same kind.
The jurors brought in the following verdict:
"We find that his death was caused by soft nosed, steel
jacket bullets, fired by the hand of an unknown man. By evidence
produced this date before the jury, we find absolutely no proof
of marshal A. H. Manemann having fired any shots whatsoever into
the body of said John Conway, Jr., and furthermore exonerate
said A. H. Manemann from all blame."
M. J. Thelen,
H. J. Walz,
F. H. Arts.
Mr. Manemann also gave testimony as to the facts of the
shooting and he said that he did not get his gun out of his
pocket until after Mr. Conway was down, and that he shot in the
direction the man was going, feeling quite confident that he hit
him, once, and probably twice, though of course until the man is
captured it will not be definitely known that he hit his mark.
It was shown in the evidence given at the inquest that the
clothes of the murdered man had powder burns, which shows that
the two men were right together when the fatal shots were fired.
The evidence also shows that the bullets that entered the body
of Conway were soft nosed bullets, while those used by Mr.
Manemann are the steel nosed ones, which makes it absolutely
impossible for Manemann to have fired any of the shots that
Requiem High Mass was celebrated at St. Joseph's church
Tuesday morning at 9:30 with Rev. E. S. Butler as celebrant and
in the sanctuary with him were Father LeCare of Auburn, Father
Kucher of SS. Peter and Paul's. Father Foerster of SS. Peter and
Paul's, and Father Cordes of St. Lawrence.
The procession was led by the American Legion members,
followed by members of the Knights of Columbus, and they by the
Fire Department. The body escorted by six ex-service men, then
the mourners and friends.
The church would not hold half of the people who came to pay
their last respects to the boy who had grown up in this city and
was loved by all who knew him.
The pall bearers were American Legion men, Glenn N. Weeks,
Stanton L. Sherman, Will Holley, Wade Wissler, Frank Schirck,
and Louis Gnam.
Interment was made in the Catholic cemetery.
Those attending the funeral from a distance were: Mr. and
Mrs. C. J. Cummins and daughter of Des Moines, Pat Conway and
sons of Minneapolis, Mike Folles of Sioux City, Mrs. Cox of Des
Moines, Will Cochran of Des Moines, and Delbert Eldwell of
John Francis Conway was born in Carroll on December 9, 1896
and was 24 years, 5 months and 12 days old at the time of his
He attended the Carroll High School, and went to work with
his father and brother in the Conway dray line, which work he
continued until called into the service.
On April 28, 1917 he went to Camp Dodge and from there he was
transferred to Jacksonville, Florida. He came home on furlough
while at Jacksonville. At the conclusion of his furlough, in
July 1917, he was sent overseas and served 18 months in France
He was advanced to sergeant of a convoy of trucks with the
motor road convoy, and it was his duty to see that all trucks
were loaded with ammunition during the day, and sent to the
front at night. He drove ahead of the ammunition train on a
motorcycle to the danger zone and received his orders to pass
his convoy, after which it was distributed.
All traveling was done during the night, a light never being
used. His buddy, while in the service, John Calla, whose home is
in Chicago, came to Carroll to be with John, and the boys were
together in spare moments.
When John came home from France he accepted a position with
C. A. Mellott and remained there until the store was sold, after
which he took his place on the Conway dray line again.
John is survived by his father and mother, Mr. and Mrs. John
Conway, three sisters, Elvena, Grace and Marie and a brother,
Henry, all of whom are living in Carroll.
John Conway, Sr., marshal of Carroll, and father of John F.,
was recently operated upon and young John served as deputy
marshal for his father and was acting in that capacity at the
time of his death.
Vindicator and Republican
8 Jun 1921
An Alleged Murderer Captured
Wanted For Murder of Carroll Deputy Marshal
Taken To Fort Dodge
Answers Description Of man Wanted—Big Reward For Him
A man giving his name as Bert Morrison was taken into custody
in this city last week and held for the murder of John Conway
the deputy marshal of Carroll, Iowa. A description of the man
was received in this city over the telephone following the
murder and police officials were on the lookout for him. G. R.
Taylor of this city is the man who found him and reported the
matter to the officials. They found Morrison sitting on the
steps of the U. S. Lunch counter last Wednesday afternoon and
picked him up, later turning him loose because of lack of
identification. Upon further word they again arrested him
Thursday morning and held him until state agent Stoner arrived
in the city. He was unable to identify him and he was turned
loose once more only to be picked up again that evening. He was
taken to Fort Dodge where he was placed in jail, and identified
as the man wanted.
The identification marks are two gold teeth and a scar across
his nose. It seems as though he had trouble with the deputy
marshal at Carroll and that in the fight the marshal was shot
and instantly killed. The people of Carroll are wild about the
murder and it was not deemed advisable to take him to that city.
Whether or not he is the man that did the shooting is not known
here but it is reported that he has been positively identified.
A reward of $5,000 for the murderer of the popular deputy was
posted by the people of Carroll, that county and the state, and
if this man is the guilty party, Mr. Taylor of this city will
undoubtedly get the reward as he is the man that found him and
reported the (?) to the local authorities.
Morrison is a man of slight build, has two gold teeth and the
scar across his nose. He fills the description very closely and
the state agents in charge of the case are certain they have the
right man. The public does not know where he is confined, the
officers fearing violence. It is reported that he is either in
Fort Dodge or Des Moines jail. The murdered man was an
ex-service man, a member of the American Legion and very popular
in his home city. The people of Carroll are intensely aroused
over the shooting and are eager to have the slayer apprehended.
Local authorities are deserving of credit in getting this
suspect and if he proves to be the right party, they will be
given the proper credit in the case.
The Carroll Times
9 Jun 1921
Alleged Murderer Of Conway In Jail
State Agent Stoner Went To Estherville And Arrested T. J.
Brought To Ft. Dodge
Positively Identified by C. Y. Zentz as Being the Man Who Fired
A man who gave the name of T. J. Morrison was arrested in
Estherville last Thursday and was brought to Ft. Dodge by state
agent Stoner. Sheriff H. V. Janssen and county attorney W. I.
Saul went to that city, after first notifying C. Y. Zentz of
Battle Creek that he was wanted there to attempt to identify the
man as being the one who rode from Wall Lake to Carroll with him
on Saturday, May 21st, and afterward shot John Conway, Jr.
Mr. Zentz positively identified the man as being the person
suspected, and whose description had formerly been given by Mr.
Zentz, though merchants from here who also went to identify the
man who attempted the pass the worthless checks, could not say
that he was the man.
On the day of the shooting, C. Y. Zentz was on his way from
Battle Creek to Council Bluffs to see his sister who was
critically ill. On boarding the train at Wall Lake, the man who
he alleges is the man who was arrested at Estherville and taken
to Ft. Dodge, was on the same train and Mr. Zentz took
particular notice of him because he did not have the appearance
of a man of good habits.
Later that evening, when the shooting took place, Mr. Zentz
claims to be the first man on the scene, and in his statement he
positively identifies the arrested man as being the man wanted
for the crime.
Mr. Zentz went on to Council Bluffs. His sister died and
after the funeral he came to Carroll and gave the officials such
an accurate description of the man that T. J. Morrison, as he
gave his name, was arrested and brought to Ft. Dodge.
The alleged murderer, according to a statement of the jailer
at the Webster county jail, removed a gold crown from one of his
teeth and it is supposed that he done this to avoid being
identified. The belt worn by the accused man tallies exactly
with the description given by Mr. Zentz. Following is a
statement made by Mr. Zentz.
STATE OF IOWA:
I, C. Y. Zentz, being first duly sworn, on oath depose and
say that I rode from Wall Lake to Carroll, Iowa, on the
afternoon of May 21, 1921, on the Chicago Northwestern train
with a stranger whom I now identify as being the same man who is
on this date in the county jail of Webster county, Iowa. That at
about 9:30 that evening, May 21, 1921, I saw Marshal Conway
arrest this man in front of the Reed restaurant at Carroll,
Iowa; I saw the man run around the west side of said restaurant
followed by Conway; that I afterwards saw him fire three shots
into Conway's body, which shots caused the death of Conway; that
said shots were fired on the Chicago Great-Western right-of-way,
in the rear of said restaurant building. That I afterward saw
this man around the corner of a box car standing there and
escape across a vacant lot. That this man was traveling in a
northerly direction when last seen.
I further state that the man who shot Conway and escaped as
aforesaid is the same man who is on this date held in the county
jail of Webster county, Iowa. I further state that at this time
I rode from Wall Lake to Carroll with this man. I sized him up
carefully and noticed a scar upper tooth on the left side; the
across bridge of his nose; a gold color of his hair, his
complexion, his worn belt and its buckle, and numerous other
items of description, which I afterwards gave to the
authorities. I further state that during the time that we were
traveling from Wall Lake to Carroll that this man was talking
about gambling, and card games, booze and fast women, and wanted
to know of me if I knew where he could find any life of that
character, and inasmuch as I was talking to him during this time
I had an opportunity to carefully scrutinize this man, and he
struck me as being a man of bad character.
Dated at Forth Dodge, Webster county, Iowa, this 3rd day of
June, A. D. 1921.
C. Y. Zentz.
Subscribed and sworn to before me by the said C. Y. Zentz,
this 3rd day of June, A. D. 1921.
Verner E. Gabrielson
The prisoner was brought down from Ft. Dodge Monday evening
and arraigned before justice of the peace Jos. M. Dunck. He gave
his name as T. J. Morrison and his home as being in Virginia.
He claims to be a tile ditcher by occupation and that he has
been in Carroll but once in his life and that was about eight
years ago when he went through here. He also claims to be fairly
well acquainted in the northwest part of the state, and that on
the evening of the fatal shooting in Carroll, he attended a
picture show in Sibley.
He admitted that he had done no manual labor this season as
his health would not allow it. He said he had been playing cards
to considerable extent.
The prisoner showed no signs of nervousness. He was perfectly
calm and is evidently feeling safe that he can produce witnesses
that will prove that he was in Sibley on the night of May 21st.
Justice Dunck gave him until today (Thursday) to secure his
witnesses and prepare his defense at which time he will be given
a formal hearing in this county.
He was returned to Ft. Dodge on Monday evening and during the
interim will get busy with witnesses who he claims will be able
to establish a positive alibi. Residents who heard the prisoner
are divided in their opinions as to his guilt or innocence.
The Carroll Times
16 Jun 1921
Murder Trial To Be Heard Saturday
Preliminary Hearing Started Last Thursday Eve But Is Continued.
Judge Drees Hears It
Ray Files Appears for Defendant—County Attorney Saul For the
State of Iowa.
The preliminary hearing of T. J. Morrison, who was arrested a
few days ago at Estherville and may be connected with the John
Conway murder, was started before justice of the peace John
Drees last Thursday evening but because of pressing matters at
his home in Fort Dodge, Ray Files, who appeared for the
defendant, had it postponed until next Saturday.
The hearing was to have been before justice Jos. M. Dunck,
but he was convalescing from a case of ptomaine poisoning, and
did not feel equal to the occasion, hence the change of
A. H. Manneman was the first witness called by the state and he
gave his story, virtually the same as he has told it before. Mr.
Files questioned him but slightly, following the queries of
county attorney Saul and Mr. Manemann could not state positively
that T. J. Morrison, the man who is under arrest, was the man
who fired the fatal shot on Saturday evening, May 21.
County coroner F. V. Hibbs was the second witness called by
the state and the only part of the tragedy he could tell
anything about was the general direction the bullets had taken,
as well as to tell which one of the shots fired was the fatal
C. Y. Zentz of Battle Creek, Iowa, was the third witness
called and he still insists that he rode from Wall Lake to
Carroll on the Northwestern line, with the man who is under
arrest, and he also states that he afterwards saw the same man
shoot John Conway. He does not say he guesses he is the man, but
states positively, that T. J. Morrison is the guilty party.
Mr. Zentz states that he was in or near the Northwestern
station on the evening of May 21, and that he saw John Conway
make the arrest, and afterwards saw the fellow break away and
run. That he heard Conway shoot into the air and then he
hastened over, and as he was going where the men were later
struggling, that he fell down and Mr. Manemann came rushing by.
That Manemann fired several shots in the direction of the
fleeing man, but he did not stop.
The prisoner was taken back to Fort Dodge Friday morning—and let it be said here that it is not because the officials
fear any rough treatment from local residents, but in the event
that the prisoner may be guilty, he is being kept in Fort Dodge
so he will be where the officers expect him to be when the time
comes for his trial.
The Carroll Times
23 Jun 1921
Morrison Is Bound Over To Grand Jury
Preliminary Hearing Concluded Before Justice J. A. Drees
Is Held Without Bond
Two Witnesses From North Iowa Who Are Certain Morrison Was at
Sibley on the 21st.
T. J. Morrison, who for the past two weeks has been in jail at
Ft. Dodge, making preparations for a preliminary hearing which
was started two weeks ago today, and was postponed until last
Saturday, was bound over to the grand jury, without bond, and
will be compelled to wait until the grand jury convenes in
George Davis, of Des Moines, was the first witness called
Saturday. He is the young man who insisted at the coroner's
inquest that the man who was clinched with John Conway did not
do any shooting. He is an apple vendor, and it will be
remembered that he and his partner were arrested and held for
examination at that time.
Mr. Davis, at the hearing Saturday, clung to his theory that
there were but six shots fired that evening, but three of them
being fired by Conway, and three by Manemann. He also claims to
be one of the first men on the scene following the shooting and
his testimony would lead one to believe that C. Y. Zentz, the
state's star witness, was not there at the time of the fatality.
Peter Conley, jr., was the next witness called and he was at his
home, 1 1/2 blocks north of where the tragedy was enacted. He
heard bullets cut the leaves of the trees and ran to the front
of the house and saw a man running by. he does not know whether
or not it was Morrison, but the man who was running was limping,
favoring his right foot or side—and it may be mentioned here
that Morrison walks and runs with a limp.
C. Y. Zentz was the next witness called. He still clings to his
first story, that the man Morrison is the man who came down from
Wall Lake on the train, on Saturday, May 21, and that he
afterwards saw said Morrison shoot John Conway. He is positive
Morrison is the guilty man, and he cannot be shaken from that
Albert Weiderin was then called to testify and had gotten as far
with his story as to say a stranger had received a match from
him, with which to light a cigarette, when he was excused from
testifying. Many of the spectators were, and are yet very
anxious to know what Mr. Weiderin knows about the matter.
John G. Billmire was called. He sat in his front yard on the
night of the shooting and heard bullets whistle through the
leaves of the trees. In just a few minutes a man, who was
limping on his right foot, ran by. Mr. Billmire would not say
positively that the suspect was the man who ran by, but he said
Morrison was afterward called upon to demonstrate how he ran,
and Mr. Billmire makes the statement that the man who ran by his
home on the night of May 21, and the suspect, who ran by him to
demonstrate, ran exactly the same.
Dr. O. C. Morrison was then called and explained what shot it
was the killed John Conway, and gave a general outline of the
direction the bullets had traveled. He also said he had given
the prisoner a physical examination and that a scar was found on
or near the right ankle and in his judgment, the foot or ankle
had been injured in a manner that it might cause a permanent
All of the above named witnesses were called by the state, and
Dr. Morrison was then called by the defense and gave some more
testimony, practically along the same line.
John Berg of Forest City was then called. He said that during
the part of May (around the 21st) he was working on a drainage
job at Sibley and that he saw the defendant T. J. Morrison on
the Saturday evening of the shooting, in Carroll, and also saw
him in Sibley on the following Sunday. He said he had known Mr.
Morrison about three years.
John Gronna, of Orange city, then testified that he came to
Sibley on the morning train, about 7 o'clock, on May 22nd, and
he saw Mr. Morrison, accompanied by a man named Carison, and
that the three of them were together nearly all day Sunday. That
they had played cards and attended a ball game together.
However, that one day was the only time he had ever seen the
Coroner H. V. Hibbs also gave testimony concerning the coroner's
inquest and the autopsy, and his testimony was virtually the
same as he had given at the prior hearing.
Attorney Files of Fort Dodge, who appeared for the defendant,
then asked Justice Drees to release the man as there was no
direct evidence which he would consider as reputable against the
County Attorney W. I. Saul then asked the justice, in behalf of
the state, that Morrison be held to the grand jury, which
convenes in October.
Justice Drees, in finding against the defendant, said he
believed the testimony produced by the state was of such
character that he would hold him to the grand jury, without
bond, and should be placed in the Carroll county jail until such
time the grand jury should convene.
A large crowd was present to hear the testimony.
The Carroll Times
23 Jun 1921
Steal Flowers From Grave
Saturday when members of the Conway family went to the cemetery
to place flowers on the grave of the late John Conway, they
found that some wretch had stolen a wax wreath which had been
sent here by a cousin from Des Moines, and had been placed on
the grave. The Conway family is justly indignant.
The Carroll Times
13 Oct 1921
Net Tightens On Murder Suspect
State Agent Is Gathering the "Loose Ends" in Conway Shooting
Hopeful of Conviction
County Attorney Saul Believes Evidence is Sufficient—Carroll
Lawyer to Aid.
Interest in the term of district court which starts Monday with
the grand jury session centers largely around the trial of T. J.
Morrison, charged with the murder of John F. Conway, deputy
marshal, and according to County Attorney W. I. Saul the net of
evidence is gradually closing about the alleged murderer and Mr.
Saul expects to be ready for the trial at this term of court.
According to Mr. Saul, there is little doubt but that the grand
jury will indict Morrison, who has had a preliminary hearing and
who is now in jail at Des Moines where he will be held until the
case is set for trial in Carroll. The officers are taking no
chances with a man whom they believe to be a desperate criminal.
State Agent On Case
During the last few days H. M. Stoner, of Des Moines, the state
agent who caused Morrison's arrest at Estherville a few days
after the murder was committed, has been assisting Mr. Saul in
gathering evidence to present to the grand jury. This evidence,
in addition to evidence produced at the preliminary hearing,
will be more than enough to warrant the grand jury to return an
indictment against Morrison, Mr. Saul believes.
In the event that the grand jury indicts Morrison for murder,
Mr. Saul believes the case will be tried during the fall term of
court because Morrison, held in jail at Des Moines, undoubtedly
will demand a speedy trial.
Shooting of Conway
Marshal Conway was shot and almost instantly killed about 9:40
o'clock the night of May 21 after he arrested a man believed to
have been Morrison near the Great Western railroad tracks on
Fifth street and not far from Nettie's cafe.
Night Marshal A. H. Manemann and Deputy Marshal Conway were
searching for a check forger and Marshal Conway found the man he
was searching for and placed him under arrest. The fellow broke
away and ran toward the railroad tracks, pursued by Conway, and
the two exchanged shots at close range, three shots from the
murderer's gun entering Conway's body, one of them proving
Marshal Manemann was only a few feet away when the arrest was
made and arrived on the scene in time to take several shots at
the fleeing figure of the murderer, who managed to make good his
Later Morrison was arrested at Estherville by State Agent
Stoner, and in the preliminary hearing he was positively
identified by Marshal Manemann and by Cyrus Zentz, of Battle
Creek, who is expected to be the state's principal witness. Mr.
Zentz is an employee of Ida county, according to Mr. Saul, who
said he has investigated the character of this witness and finds
him to be perfectly reliable.
Morrison will no doubt attempt to establish an alibi, for at his
preliminary hearing one witness swore that he was with Morrison
in another town on the day of the fatal shooting.
Will Employ Legal Aid
Mr. Saul has requested the assistance of another attorney in
prosecuting this case, and it is expected that a decision as to
who will be employed by the county to assist in the prosecution
will be made Monday. It is highly probable, Mr. Saul says, that
a Carroll attorney will be chosen.
In the preliminary hearing Morrison was represented by Ray
Files, a well known Fort Dodge attorney, and if Mr. Files
appears as his attorney when the case is tried, court room
spectators may witness one of the greatest legal battles ever
staged in Carroll county.
The Carroll Times
27 Oct 1921
Main Alibi Witness in Murder Trial Repudiates Testimony for
John Berg, of Forest City, Admits Giving False Statements as to
Alleged Murderer's Whereabouts on Day of Slaying—Trial Set
for Monday—More Jurors to Be Summoned—Prosecutor to Insist
upon Death Penalty—T. J. Drees to Defend Morrison and
"Surprise" Is Expected—State Will Use 15 Witnesses—Wissler
to Assist Prosecution.
Trial of T. J. Morrison, indicted by the Carroll county grand
jury for the murder of Deputy Marshal John F. Conway the night
of May 21, is scheduled to begin Monday morning before Judge E.
G. Albert. Attorneys believe the entire day and possibly Tuesday
forenoon will be consumed in the selection of a jury of 12
persons who have no conscientious scruples against the
infliction of the death penalty.
It is known that John Berg, of Forest City, who appeared as one
of Morrison's "alibi-witnesses," during the preliminary hearing,
has changed his mind as to Morrison's whereabouts the day the
murder was committed. Berg swore at the preliminary hearing that
he was with Morrison in Sibley, Ia., on the day of the murder
and that they played poker together in that city.
Admits Swearing Falsely
Berg, who was here a few days ago to appear before the grand
jury, admitted outside of the jury room to one of the
prosecuting attorneys that he knew nothing of Morrison's
whereabouts the day Marshal Conway was killed, but that he had
testified falsely at the preliminary hearing at the request of
It is assumed that Berg corrected his previous testimony when he
appeared before the grand jury, and at any rate he appears to
have been eliminated as a witness in the case.
"We expect to ask for the death penalty in this case," declared
County Attorney W. I. Saul last night when questioned by The
Times reporter. "If the court holds with us on this point, and
the law seems quite clear, we will allow no man to sit on this
jury who is conscientiously opposed to inflicting the death
Lawyer Denied Interview
Morrison requested Judge Albert to appoint an attorney to defend
him, and it was learned that he desired the appointment of T. J.
Drees, former county attorney of Carroll county, now a resident
attorney of Carroll. It is understood that a representative from
the law office of Ray Files, the Fort Dodge attorney who
appeared for Morrison in his preliminary hearing, came to
Carroll a few days ago to interview Morrison and was denied an
interview by the prisoner. It is stated that Morrison requested
Carroll officers not to allow the Fort Dodge man to visit him.
Judge Albert acceded to Morrison's request in the selection of
an attorney and appointed Mr. Drees. Morrison appeared to be
elated over the selection and for the first time since he was
brought to Carroll from the Des Moines jail exhibited signs of
pleasure. Practically ever since his arrest shortly after the
murder Morrison has been morose and sullen, rarely speaking to
anyone and then talking in jerky, low-toned sentences.
Will Use 15 Witnesses
According to County Attorney Saul, the state will use about 15
witnesses, and he is visibly cheered by the recent turn of
events that in his opinion strengthens the state's case. Mr.
Saul will be aided in the prosecution by E. A. Wissler, former
county attorney, who is reputed to be well versed in criminal
Only 29 jurors of the present panel are now available, many of
them having been excused for good reasons, and it will be
necessary to summon additional jurors—possibly 20 to 30 men
and women—to obtain 12 fair and impartial jurors who are not
opposed to the death penalty for murder in the first degree.
It is not known what the nature of the alleged murderer's
defense will be. Carroll attorneys believe that he will attempt
to prove an alibi—the one sure defense—and that a surprise
may be introduced, the nature of which it is not permissible to
discuss at this time.
The Carroll Times
3 Nov 1921
Times Prints Only Authentic Story
In this issue of The Times will be found the only complete and
authentic story of the greatest murder trial in the history of
Carroll county. A summary of the testimony of every important
witness on both sides of the case will be found in the story of
this trial, a story which will be read with keen interest by
every reader of this paper.
The Times goes to more than ordinary efforts in an endeavor to
supply its readers with authentic news, complete in every
detail. Where other newspapers "guess" at news, The Times
supplies the facts.
Readers of The Times know just how satisfactory this service is,
and they are urged to impart this information to neighbors and
friends. The Times makes good on every proposition. It goes
every contemporary "one better." If you are not reading The
Times, you are not getting ALL the news. No other newspaper in
Carroll county prints HALF the news you will find each week in
The Carroll Times
3 Nov 1921
Jury Finds Morrison Not Guilty
Shatter All Records In Selection of Jury
Takes Only Two Hours to Pick 12 Men to Try Man for Murder—Thirty-One Are Examined—Death Penalty Asked by Prosecutor—Two Disqualify Themselves—Jurors Inspect Some of Crime—Prisoner Is an Unusual Man.
Speed records were shattered Monday afternoon when a jury to try
a man accused of murder was selected in exactly two hours,
attorneys examining just 31 men in that length of time and
making the challenges necessary to obtain a jury sworn to return
a verdict according to the law and the evidence and to inflict
the death penalty if they felt the crime justified such a
Jurors were first questioned by County Attorney W. I. Saul and
it was evident from his line of questions that he expected to
ask the death penalty for the man accused of the murder of Night
Marshal John F. Conway. All the jurors admitted having heard of
the case or having read of it in newspapers. Two jurors
disqualified themselves, one by admitting that he had placed a
wager on the result of the case, and the other stating that he
could not return a fair and impartial verdict because of
Each juror was asked by the county attorney if he had any
conscientious scruples against inflicting the death penalty if,
in his judgment, the crime justified such punishment. Seven
jurors were examined before a man was found who admitted he
could not conscientiously impose the death penalty. Five, all
told, did not favor the death penalty in any crime, but this did
not disqualify them as jurors, although none made up the
personnel of the trial jury.
The county attorney exercised his right of preemptory challenge
on the full number of jurors allowed by law, using eight
challenges. the defendant used but five challenges. Each side
"struck" two of the remaining names.
View Scene of Crime
Court convened at 1:30 o'clock, following Friday's adjournment.
At 3:30 o'clock the jury had been selected. The jury was then
taken to the scene of the crime just north of Nettie's cafe on
the Chicago Great Western right of way where they viewed the
location of the cafe, billboards, railway tracks, sidewalks,
ditches and other things that might have a bearing on the case.
Witnesses had been summoned to appear Tuesday morning, and the
court was adjourned until 9:30 o'clock the following day. The
large crowd that had gathered expecting to hear at least a part
of the testimony went away disappointed.
An Unusual Man
Spectators at the trial fund much interest in the striking
physical appearance of the man accused of having murdered the
popular Carroll night marshal. Morrison is probably five feet
and nine inches tall and is extremely slender. His hair is black
and his cheek bones are extremely prominent, appearing so high
as to be almost a deformity. His nose is slightly twisted and a
scar extends across the bridge of his nose from his forehead.
Most noticeable of all Morrison's features are his eyes. They
are deep set and large, a rare combination, and in the court
room the prisoner's gaze appeared to shift from one person to
another with lightning rapidity. His cheeks are hollow and
sunken and his sallow skin is drawn tightly across his high
cheek bones like dried parchment.
Shows Gold Teeth
When Morrison smiles, which he does rarely, he shows a mouth
fairly filled with gold teeth, but when he smiles his eyes do
not express humor. He has the appearance of a man who has
forgotten how to laugh, and never once during the long trial was
he observed to laugh aloud.
Morrison appeared in court dressed in a khaki shirt, dark
trousers and black shoes. His hair was combed back and plastered
close to his head. During the court sessions he constantly
twisted his slender fingers and appeared to be highly nervous.
Occasionally he would hold a whispered conversation with his
attorney and during the short recesses of the court he would
chat in a friendly manner with anyone who approached to converse
The Carroll Times
3 Nov 1921
Juror Hadn't Formed An Opinion; Merely Bet On The Result
Court room attaches and the crowd that gathered to witness the
selection of a jury in the Morrison murder trial found a bit of
humor in the questioning of one juror who had placed a small
wager on the result of the trial.
County Attorney W. I. Saul was questioning the witness as to his
qualifications as a juryman, and all of the answers were quite
satisfactory. The prospective juror was not prejudiced and had
not formed nor expressed an opinion as to the guilt or innocence
of the accused, he declared. Apparently he would be entirely
satisfactory to both sides.
"By the way," remarked Mr. Saul, "have you by any chance made a
wager on the outcome of this case?"
The juror paused a moment. "Well, yes," he replied. "I did make
a small bet on how it would turn out."
"You are excused," said the judge. "Call another juror."
The Carroll Times
3 Nov 1921
Twelve Who Decided Morrison's Fate
Out of the 31 men examined for jurors in the case of the State
vs. Morrison, these were selected as being qualified to render a
fair and impartial verdict:
William Wilie, Maple River township, farmer, married.
Charles Loxterkamp, Dedham, garage man, married.
George P. Schelldorf, Manning, retired merchant, married.
Joe Sander, Kniest township, farmer, married.
Frank Enenbach, Arcadia, retired farmer, married.
George Lane, Lanesbororo, railroad employee, married.
Joseph Danner, Carroll, laborer, single.
Joseph Lechtenberg, Eden township, farmer, married.
August Gebhart, Manning, retired farmer, married.
Henry Steffes, Templeton, farmer married.
Christ Hausman, Washington township, farmer, married.
Glen Farrell, Carroll, restaurant proprietor, married.
The Carroll Times
3 Nov 1921
Six Hours Retired to Reach Verdict
Crowd in Court Room Cheers When Defendant Is Freed—First
Ballot Shows 11 for Acquittal—Five More Votes Taken Before
Agreement Is Reached—Testimony of Night Marshal of Sibley Is
Damaging to State's Case.
Six hours after the jury retired to consider a verdict in the
case of T. J. Morrison, charged with the murder of John F.
Conway, May 21, 1921, the jurors filed back into a crowded court
room and announced a verdict of not guilty. Loud applause from
the court room spectators greeted the verdict. Morrison shook
hands with some of his friends and left the court room a free
man. He had been confined in the jails of Fort Dodge, Des Moines
and Carroll since early in June.
Six votes were taken before a decision was reached, the first
vote, a test as to the guilt or innocence of the accused,
standing 11 for acquittal and one for conviction. The jury
retired to consider the verdict at 4:30 o'clock yesterday
afternoon. At 10:30 o'clock last night the verdict was
Under the instructions of the court the jury could return either
one of five verdicts. They first selected a foreman and decided
to talk over the case a few moments before taking a vote.
Failing to agree on the first ballot they again considered the
various portions of the testimony, eliminating parts of it from
further consideration, and then voted on the different degrees
of punishment, beginning with the death penalty.
All were opposed to imposing the death penalty. All were opposed
to a verdict of guilty of first degree murder with life
imprisonment. All were against a verdict of second degree
murder. On a possible manslaughter verdict the vote stood 11 to
one. One the sixth and final ballot all were agreed upon a
verdict of acquittal. It was learned that the testimony of the
night marshal and sheriff of Sibley were given great weight by
Calls Morrison a Cur
"Morrison, you miserable cur, you know who killed Johnny
Conway," shouted E. A. Wissler near the close of his address to
the jury yesterday afternoon. The defendant, pale as a man in
death, fixed his eyes upon the assistant prosecutor and then
quickly shifted his gaze to the faces of the 12 men who held his
own life and liberty in their hands. But never for a moment did
he betray the slightest emotion, even when his own attorney
pleaded with the jury that he had already wasted six months of
his life in jail, "away from the flowers and the beauty of
autumn," and asked them not to "send the soul of an innocent man
hurling through the stars into eternity."
"Men, this man is innocent," pleaded Attorney T. J. Drees, "and
I could not have been induced to become his attorney if I
believed for a moment that he killed my friend, John Conway,
whom I loved as my brother. One tragedy is enough. Don't, for
God's sake, make a double tragedy by placing this man behind the
bars for life or by sending him to his death on the gallows."
Court Room Packed
The court presided over by Judge E. G. Albert was the scene of a
hundred thrills yesterday during the taking of testimony in
behalf of the man accused of the murder of Night Marshal Conway.
Half an hour before time for court to convene in the morning
nearly every seat in the large court room was occupied, and long
before noon standing room was at a premium. Crowds gathered at
every doorway, stood in the aisles, filled the windows and
crowded in every available foot of space, even inside the
railing reserved for attorneys and witnesses.
Immediately after the testimony of George Davis, of Des Moines,
in behalf of the State, was concluded yesterday morning the
State rested its case and witnesses for the defense were called.
The previous afternoon the trial had been halted by the failure
of Mr. Davis to reach Carroll and adjournment was taken about
Poker Players' Reunion
Judging by the testimony of an array of self-confessed gamblers
who appeared to establish an alibi for the defendant, Sibley, Ia.,
a county seat town near the Minnesota line, is one of those
"wide open" towns that rival those of the days of '49. Seven
men, few of whom said they had any occupation other than that of
gambler, testified they saw Morrison in Sibley on Saturday, May
21, the day Marshal Conway was killed, or the following day.
Most of them testified they played poker with Morrison Saturday
or Saturday night, and each one fixed the date by a ball game
played in Sibley the following day.
The most damaging testimony to the State's case was given by W.
W. Harkness, night marshal at Sibley, who accompanied the
sheriff to a grading camp to clean out a bunch of gamblers.
Harkness didn't see Morrison on this trip, he said, but he fixed
the date positively as being May 21. Sheriff G. F. Lowery was
then called to the stand and testified he saw Morrison and
talked with him on this trip to the grading camp, but he fixed
the date as being early in June, although he said he could not
be certain as to the exact date.
Star Witness Unshaken
Withstanding a terrific barrage of questions on cross
examination and emerging with his testimony shaken only on one
or two minor details, Cyrus Zentz, of Battle Creek, star witness
for the state, positively identified Morrison as being the man
who shot and killed Marshal Conway. Again and again he repeated
the assertion that Morrison was the man and that he could not be
mistaken in his identity.
Mr. Zentz, who is 42 years old and a widower, is a bridge
builder in Ida county. According to his testimony he came to
Carroll on May 21 en-route to Council Bluffs to attend the
funeral of his sister. He changed trains in Carroll on the
afternoon of that day and remained in the city until 10:15
o'clock that night.
Conversed With Morrison
Mr. Zentz declared that Morrison boarded the train at Wall Lake,
came into the coach where Zentz was sitting and sat down in the
seat with Zentz. They engaged in conversation and Morrison asked
Zentz if he knew anything about gambling and sporting life in
Carroll, saying he was going to Carroll that day.
The witness described Morrison fully and told what kind of
clothing he wore. He described his gold teeth, a scar across his
nose and other general characteristics of the defendant.
Reaching Carroll Mr. Zentz walked around town waiting for a
train to Council Bluffs and about 9 o'clock went to Nettie's
cafe for a cup of coffee.
Sees Conway Make Arrest
Before entering the cafe he observed Morrison and two other men
standing near the cafe. He emerged a few minutes later and saw
Marshal Conway step up to Morrison and place him under arrest.
The witness testified he saw Morrison break away from the night
marshal and run north on the west side of the cafe.
According to Zentz, Conway shouted for the fleeing man to stop
and then fired his revolver in the air, shooting as he ran after
him. Zentz ran around the east side of the cafe, fell over a
pile of tiling and lost his hat. He spent a moment in the
semi-darkness searching for his hat and then continued toward
the scene of the tragedy.
In simple yet clear language Zentz described a scuffle between
the officer and Morrison and described how Morrison stepped back
and fired three shots into the body of Marshal Conway. Officer
Manemann came to Conway's assistance, the witness said, and
after reaching Conway's side stepped to the north and shot three
times at Morrison. He saw Manemann return to where Conway was
lying on the ground and then saw him again take up the chase and
fire three more shots at the fleeing figure.
On cross examination Attorney Drees endeavored to confuse the
witness as to the details of the shooting, especially as to the
positions occupied by Marshal Manemann, Marshal Conway and the
man who escaped. The attorney made much of the inability of the
witness to remember details of the conversation between himself
and the man he claimed was Morrison.
Digs Into Past Life
Mr. Drees questioned the witness as to where he had resided for
the last several years and stressed the fact that he had moved
from state to state until about four years ago when he went to
Ida county. The questioning, however, contained a sting for the
defense when the witness testified that he owned his own home in
Battle Creek and had served on the police force.
Zentz became confused about the color of the shirt worn by the
man he said was Morrison. The attorney referred to the testimony
of Zentz at Morrison's preliminary hearing and showed that he
then described Morrison's shirt as a blue polkadot, although he
testified this time that Morrison wore a blue checked shirt.
Zentz denied that he knew a reward of $5,000 had been offered
for conviction of the slayer of the night marshal until after
the preliminary hearing and long after he gave Morrison's
description to the officers.
Coroner Describes Wounds
Dr. F. V. Hibbs, county coroner, who conducted the inquest over
the body of Marshal Conway, was the first witness for the state.
Dr. Hibbs described the three wounds in Conway's body, tracing
the course of each bullet. One of the bullets, he said, entered
the night marshal's left arm, shattered the bone of the upper
arm and was found split in two pieces. One bullet struck a rib
on Conway's left side and glanced, following the rib around
toward the back and emerging. The third bullet entered Conway's
breast from the left side at the fourth rib, ranged downward
slightly, severed the aorta, or large artery which carries blood
to all parts of the body, and also passed through one lung,
emerging from the body. This bullet was found in Conway's
Dr. Hibbs testified that all of the bullets had entered from the
left front and that powder burns on the clothing indicated the
man who did the shooting was standing very close to Conway.
Exhibit Conway's Clothing
Blood-stained clothing worn by the night marshal was exhibited
and identified by Dr. Hibbs who pointed out the bullet holes and
On cross examination Mr. Drees, attorney for the defendant,
attempted to shake the doctor's testimony, without result. The
cross examination brought out the fact that Dr. Hibbs had served
18 months in the Spanish-American War and was familiar with the
use of firearms, had had experience with gunshot wounds and was
capable of recognizing a powder mark when he saw one. His
testimony was merely strengthened by the cross examination.
Relates Story of Crime
A. H. Manemann, who has served as night marshal of Carroll for
several months, was the State's second witness and related the
story of events that led up to the shooting of his brother
officer, describing in detail and with great clearness such of
the shooting as he witnessed that night.
According to marshal Manemann, he and Marshal Conway were
patrolling the city and when Conway was near Nettie's cafe about
9:30 o'clock and Manemann was across the street to the south.
Conway called that he had "got a man."
As Manemann started across the street Conway's prisoner broke
away and ran north around the west side of the cafe with Conway
following close behind. Conway ordered him to stop and shot
twice in the air. Manemann ran around the east side of the cafe
and heard three muffled shots, one immediately following the
Manemann saw the officer sink to the ground and ran to his side
while the man who did the shooting ran northeast. Manemann
testified that he paused for a moment when Conway reached toward
him with one arm for support. He then stepped toward the fleeing
figure and fired three shots, and the man dropped as though
struck by a bullet.
Returns To Conway
Manemann said he returned to Conway's side and then saw the man
jump up and run toward the north. Manemann again started to
follow him and shot three time in his direction and the man
dropped to the ground. Manemann then returned to summon a
physician and call the sheriff.
Manemann testified that the man who did the shooting was tall
and slender and that he ran with a limp, favoring his right leg.
he said he later saw Morrison run, after he had been taken into
custody, and that in his judgment the man who shot Marshal
Conway and escaped in the darkness was Morrison.
Is Cross Examined
Attorney Drees hurled a series of questions at the night marshal
that failed to weaken his testimony. He admitted that he could
not positively identify Morrison because he had seen him only
after night and at a distance. However, he insisted that
Morrison's general description tallied identically with that of
the murderer and that his peculiar gait was exactly the same.
The defendant's attorney endeavored to confuse the witness by
calling attention to portions of his testimony at the
preliminary hearing, but the marshal's statements on all
material points remained positive and unchanged.
Stranger Made Threats
Albert Weiderin, of Carroll, testified he was in town the night
of the fatal shooting and that about 9 o'clock a stranger
stopped him on the street and inquired the distance to Boone.
The stranger appeared to be "sore" at the town and especially at
one of the night marshals whom he described as "the little
Weiderin was able to get a view of the man's features by the
light of a match which he applied to a cigarette. The stranger
called the officer a vile name and said he would "get the
_______" before he left town. Weiderin described the man who
made these threats and the description fitted Morrison. The
witness, however, would not positively identify Morrison as the
man with whom he had this conversation.
Saw Fatal Shooting
Roscoe Sapp, residing a short distance north of Nettie's cafe,
was at home the night of the shooting and heard two shots fired.
He saw men running and then heard three shots in succession,
although boxcars shut off his view. Then came other shots and he
could see the flashes of the gun and knew the gun was pointed
toward the north. Then a man ran north past the Sapp residence.
Mrs. C. R. Warnstaff, residing a block and a half north of the
cafe, heard two shots and hurried to a window. Several more
shots were fired and a man ran past the house going north. Mr.
Warnstaff also testified to hearing the shooting, first two
shots, then three and then several more shots. He also saw a man
run north on West street.
Ran With Limp
John G. Billmire, railway engineer, who resides on West street
slightly more than a block north of the cafe, heard the shooting
and the last of the shots that were fired came whistling through
the trees above his head as he stood in his dooryard.
Mr. Billmire then saw a man come from the scene of the shooting
on the run, but he was running with what Mr. Billmire described
as an "unnatural step," favoring the right leg and running as
though flat-footed. After Morrison was taken into custody he saw
the prisoner run, and he swore positively that Morrison's step
was identical to that of the man who ran from the scene of the
crime on the night of May 21.
Saw Fleeing Figure
John Billmire, Jr., gave testimony quite similar to that given
by his father. He heard the shooting and heard bullets "zipping"
through the trees. The night was not dark, he said, and by the
moonlight and lights from street lamps he was able to get a good
view of a man who ran past the Billmire house going north.
Mr. Billmire described the man and the peculiar manner in which
he ran—a swinging, flat-footed movement with a decided
favoring of the right leg. This gait, he declared, was identical
with the peculiar gait of the defendant.
Surgeon Takes Stand
Dr. O. C. Morrison, Carroll physician and surgeon, testified
that he made a physical examination of the defendant just prior
to the preliminary hearing in June and that defendant had a scar
on his right ankle, evidently an old wound made by some sharp
instrument. This wound, Dr. Morrison said, was quite deep and
the ligaments had been severed.
Dr. Morrison described how the severing of the ligaments and
cords of the ankle allowed the foot to rotate outward and that
this was especially noticeable when the defendant ran. He
described the peculiar gait of the defendant which, he said, was
similar to that of a flat-footed man.
Assisted at Inquest
Dr. Morrison was present at the coroner's inquest and assisted
in tracing the course of the bullets that entered Conway's body.
he said all of the shots entered from the left and front,
ranging downward, and that there were powder burns on the
marshal's coat. He said the shots had been fired at close range.
"Is there anything in your medical training at school," inquired
Mr. Drees on cross examination, "that teaches you about firearms
and powder marks and makes you better qualified to judge them
than the ordinary man?"
"No, sir," replied the witness.
"But from your experience you are better qualified, are you
not?" immediately asked Mr. Wissler, attorney for the State.
"Yes, sir," Dr. Morrison replied.
"That is all," said Mr. Drees.
State Agent Testifies
H. M. Stoner, state agent, testified he had been sent to Carroll
to investigate the killing of Marshal Conway and that he later
arrested Morrison at Estherville upon a description supplied the
officers by Cyrus Zentz. He described Morrison's peculiar gait
Charles Hinze, deputy sheriff, saw an "exhibition run" by
Morrison after his arrest, and described his gait, saying that
he favored his right leg.
Mr. Drees made a point for the defense by proving by the witness
that Morrison ran voluntarily at the request of the officers.
"Apple Man" Tells Story
George Davis, of Des Moines, known in Carroll as the "apple
man," was the last witness for the State. He testified he was
here to sell apples May 21 and in the evening shortly after 9
o'clock saw Marshal Conway arrest one of the two men who was
standing near Nettie's cafe. He described how the man broke away
from the night marshal and ran. He described the shooting that
followed, his testimony differing from that of the other
witnesses mainly in that he heard six shots fired. Asked who the
man was who shot Conway, the witness pointed to Morrison and
exclaimed, "That's the man."
Cross examination by Attorney Drees failed to weaken the
testimony of Davis. He admitted that more than six shots might
have been fired, but if so, he didn't hear them.
Defense Witnesses Excluded
Just before the first witness for the defense was called to the
stand County Attorney Saul asked the court to exclude all of the
witnesses from the court room until they had given their
testimony. All witnesses were ordered to leave the room.
John Nockels was the first witness called, and he was questioned
about some man who attempted to cash a check at his store the
night of the murder. He was not permitted to tell the jury
anything about such a man, attorneys for the State objected to
the testimony as foreign to the issue. His incompleted story was
stricken from the record.
Joe Reid, husband of Nettie Reid, near whose cafe the shooting
occurred, was the second witness called by the defense and it
was plain to be seen from the questioning of the witness that
the defendant planned to create a doubt in the minds of the
jurors by casting suspicion upon Tony Manemann for killing
Conway, perhaps accidentally.
According to Reid, he heard a shot fired about 9:30 o'clock the
night of the murder and ran to the back door of the restaurant,
thinking that a man who had previously caused trouble in the
cafe might be on a "rampage." He said he stood in the door of
the cafe and heard two shots. Then a man who did not resemble
Morrison in the least ran past the back door of the cafe,
closely pursued by Conway.
Did Manemann Fire Shots?
Just then, he said, three shots came from the east of the cafe
and Conway fell to the ground. Manemann then ran from the east
side of the cafe toward Conway and stopped beside Conway's body.
The man Conway pursued, according to the witness, did not fire a
shot and only six shots were fired, three from the west side of
the cafe and three from the east side.
On cross examination the witness declared he was not blaming
Manemann for the murder of Conway. Questioned by Attorney
Wissler the witness became rather angry when Wissler asked him
if he had not had trouble with Manemann and "all the other
officers." He was asked if he did not say right after the murder
that he "was so excited he didn't know what happened."
Makes Many Denials
Attorney Wissler virtually accused the witness of trying to
"get" Manemann. The witness admitted he had given the officers
no assistance and had never offered testimony that might shed
light on the murder. Reid said he didn't want the officers
"prying into his business." Wissler hurled query after query at
the witness touching his conduct towards the officers in
connection with the crime. Reid admitted that Conway was running
northeast when the shots were fired from the east side of the
cafe, and it was then pointed out that all of the shots in
Conway's body entered from the left and front, which would make
it impossible for him to have been shot by a man to the south of
Artie Bell, colored musician and "shine," took the stand and
gave a great deal of testimony, only a part of which was vital
to the case. He said he never saw Morrison near the shoe shining
parlor, adjoining Nettie's cafe, and that when the shooting
started he ran around back of a billboard to see what it was all
about. He corroborated a part of Reid's testimony relating to
"No Love for Tony"
On cross examination Bell admitted he had no love for Manemann.
He admitted Manemann "pinched" him for getting drunk and that
Manemann once slapped him when he called the officer a vile
name. He admitted, too, that he wasn't "scare proof" and that
the shooting had him greatly excited. He admitted, also, that he
might have told stories at variance to his testimony on the
stand. He said the whole affair took about eight seconds.
Sheriff Thomas Nivison, of Estherville, testified he arrested
Morrison three times at Estherville following the murder,
turning him loose on two occasions, and that Morrison didn't try
Night Marshal Harkness and Sheriff Lowery, of Sibley, gave their
testimony which is mentioned elsewhere.
Barber Saw Morrison
Ed McManus, a barber of Sibley, testified he saw Morrison in a
restaurant about 10 o'clock the night of May 21. He fixed the
date by a fishing license he had taken out a week earlier and
said he went fishing the next day.
M. Carlson, wanderer, known as "The Finn," testified he was with
Morrison in Sibley Thursday night, Friday and Friday night and
Saturday night, may 19, 20 and 21. He played poker with Morrison
on those dates, he said.
Carlson admitted he was a professional gambler and that Morrison
was known to the "fraternity" as "Goldie."
Poker Players Testify
James Gronna said he played poker with Morrison in Sibley May
21, that Carlson was in the game and that they played with
"three or four shines." Next day, he said, he and Morrison
attended the ball game.
B. O. Farley, who said he played poker now and then, swore he
saw Morrison in Sibley May 21. He became badly tangled under the
fire of cross examination. W. L. Farley, who says he also sits
in a game now and then, was an alibi witness. He mixed his dates
R. H. Roberts, also a gambler, saw Morrison in Sibley the Sunday
after the murder was committed. Each alibi witness fixed the
date he played poker with Morrison by the ball game said to have
taken place the next day. Each witness was asked concerning
other dates and events, and most of them had remarkably poor
Drawn by Home Brew
Peter Kout added a touch of humor to an otherwise solemn
occasion by testifying that he went to a grading camp where the
cook had prepared some home brew May 21 and there saw the
defendant, Morrison. Asked if he, too, played poker, he replied,
"Yah, I play a little smear."
John Rafeldt, who sometimes works at the carpenter trade, was
also in Sibley, he said, May 21, "looking for a social game of
cards." He saw Morrison in Sibley that night, he said, and the
next day there was a ball game.
Al Ditto, former city marshal of Sibley, testified he saw
Morrison in Sibley on or about Sunday, May 22. He didn't see him
the previous Saturday.
After Morrison was placed in jail he wrote the former Sibley
marshal about obtaining witnesses to establish an alibi. The
letter was introduced and read to the jury. None of the names
suggested as witnesses in Morrison's letter appeared on the list
of witnesses called to testify for Morrison.
The marshal's reply to Morrison also was read into the records.
He wrote that he hoped Morrison would be successful in
establishing an alibi.
At 1:40 o'clock the defendant rested his case. The State then
produced a colored man, one Columbus Brady, to testify that he
was personally acquainted with "Goldie" and that he didn't see
"Goldie" in Sibley when officers investigated the grading camp.
Columbus was troubled with a poor memory as to dates and his
testimony appeared to be of little value. At 1:45 o'clock the
Sums Up Evidence
County Attorney Saul made the opening address to the jury,
summing up the testimony and stressing the testimony of Weiderin
as establishing a motive for the crime. He bitterly attacked
Reid and said Reid had never offered a word of testimony to the
officers of the law when they were investigating the case.
Attorney Drees made an eloquent plea for "fair play" for the
defendant, emphasizing the evidence offered to show that
Morrison made no attempt to escape from the Estherville sheriff.
He attacked the testimony of Zentz and Manemann and said Zentz
was a weakling mentally and physically. He said the testimony of
Zentz had not been substantiated by any Carroll citizen, and
called attention to the favorable testimony of Sheriff Lowery
and Night Marshal Harkness, of Sibley.
Makes Closing Argument
Mr. Wissler, former county attorney, made the closing address to
the jury, stressing the point that the best of evidence is that
which does not agree in every detail with other evidence
touching the same points. He called particular attention to the
similarity of the evidence given by alibi witnesses, saying the
testimony showed it had all been manufactured in advance. He
said each witness fixed the date of the ball game by the date of
the poker game and vice versa.
Court room attachés believe Mr. Wissler scored his most telling
point by driving home the fact that the best obtainable evidence
as to the exact date of the Sibley ball game had not been
introduced in court—the printed newspaper accounts of the
game, the score book, testimony of the baseball manager or a
printed bill announcing the game.