Rochester, Monroe, NY
Democrat & Chronicle
Mon Sept 15, 1902
GIRL IS FOUND DEAD, HER COMPANION
Mysterious Tragedy in a Room at the
Ethel Bates Dingle, Nurse From a
Found With Her Throat Cut, While
A Medical Student, Has Serious Wound
Kent Says Girl Attempted Murder,
Then Committed Suicide - Coroner and
Leland Dorr KENT and Ethel B. DINGLE,
both 22 years old and living in Buffalo, made a compact of death and attempted
to execute it in a room at the Whitcomb House early yesterday morning. When
their room was broken into by house employees, summoned by a guest in the next
room, they found Miss DINGLE dead in bed with her throat cut. KENT, still
alive, but with a gash in his throat, lay beside her.
girl's open left hand lay a razor, slightly specked with blood. KENT was
almost a raving maniac. He acted as though drugged. When taken from the room
by Homeopathic Hospital surgeons he turned to take a last look at the corpse
of the girl.
thought I saw her smile," he said and bent low over the cold form. He was
greatly agitated and cried out, "Ethel," "Ethel."
KENT is at
the Homeopathic Hospital and will recover from the gash in his throat.
Detectives have guarded him since he was found at the hotel and his arrest on
the charge of murdering Miss DINGLE will depend on the result of the
investigation began yesterday by Coroner Henry KLEINDIENST.
Detectives HAYDEN also began an investigation as soon as he was notified of
the crime, only a few moments after its discovery. He has several letters left
by KENT and the dead girl and they explain the agreement to die together which
the young couple had made.
KENT made a
statement of the tragedy to Coroners KLEINDIENST and Thomas A. KILLIP. This
statement is not given out, but it is learned that KENT told others soon after
being found in the room that Miss DINGLE cut his throat and then her own. This
is generally doubted by the physicians and police.
SOMETHING ABOUT KENT AND THE GIRL
Dorr KENT is a medical student who would have graduated in another year from
the Riverside Hospital at Buffalo. His father is general manager of the
Masonic Life Insurance Company in Buffalo.
KENT lived with his wife and 2-year-old boy at No. 484 Fargo avenue, Buffalo.
He had been married three years. His wife and sister arrived at the
Homeopathic Hospital last night and talked with him of the tragedy at the
Whitcomb House. It is learned that KENT and Miss DINGLE had been intimate only
about two months.
DINGLE was born at Picton, Canada, but her home later had been Hamilton. For
the last four or five years she had lived in Buffalo and most of that time had
been in the Riverside Hospital as a nurse. That is where she and KENT met and
became infatuated with each other. She was discharged from there a few weeks
ago and was brought to this city by KENT, who arranged for admission to St.
Mary's Hospital, where she was to undergo an operation.
H. ACHESON, of No. 115 Atlantic avenue a friend of KENT, had been consulted
and was in counsel with another physician concerning the intended operation.
Miss DINGLE concluded not to submit to the operation and left St. Mary's
Hospital September 2d, after being there a week. It is supposed that she then
returned to Buffalo.
the four years that she was connected with the Riverside Hospital, Miss DINGLE
left several times and returned. At one time while away from there she worked
for the Bell Telephone Company, in Buffalo, and it is her photograph that may
be seen on the first page of the Bell telephone directory.
Miss DINGLE commenced
suit for damages against the Bell company for the unauthorized use of her
photograph in the book and that action is still pending. It will be seen that
she was a girl of unusual attractiveness. She had a fairly clear skin, brown
hair and eyes with heavy dark lashes.
JUST PRECEDING THE TRAGEDY
Miss DINGLE had been together in Buffalo Saturday and boarded a train for the
city at 11:15. Arriving here at 1:15 A. M., they went to the Whitcomb House.
KENT and wife," was the way KENT registered. The couple was assigned to
room No. 147 on the second floor. After that they went to the Eggleston Hotel,
where they had lunch and some liquor.
clerk on duty when they turned to the Whitcomb House said they went to their
room at about 4 o'clock. Nothing was heard from the room afterwards. It was
nearly 8 o'clock when a guest, said to be John BOWMAN, alarmed by the strange
noises in the room, called a porter and as a result the door of No. 147 was
forced open. The spectacle of KENT beheld it.
An ambulance from
the Homeopathic Hospital, in charge of Drs. PERRINE and SNODGRASS, arrived
promptly in answer to a hurry call. KENT had on only an undershirt
and trousers which were covered with blood. He was smeared with blood from his
face to this feet. He had been walking about and had washed his hands at a
washbowl in the room.
He had tied
a towel about his neck and staunched the flow of blood. There was no towel
about the girl's neck. Her head lay in a great pool of her own blood which had
run from the deep gash in her neck. It appeared that she had not moved after
the wound was inflicted. Her left hand, which held the razor, was unstained
with blood and the razor itself was singularly free from blood stains.
room were several small bottles of powerful drugs, among which were hyoscine
and atrophene, and morphine tablets. These little phials were from a pocket
case carried by KENT. Whether their contents were taken by KENT, given to him
by the girl or taken before or after the tragedy is one of the problems of the
CONCLUSIONS ON AUTOPSY
was begun at the morgue at 3:45 o'clock yesterday afternoon by Coroner's
Physician JOHNSON, assisted by Drs. KILLIP, ROSS, MacNAMARA, BURNS and JONES.
The chief result of the examination was in the decision reached by all that
the wound in the neck was without doubt made with a slash of the razor from
left to right.
no marks of violence upon the body, save the gaping wound in the neck, with
the exception of a couple of slight cuts or scratches upon the left arm. These
were in such a position that they might have been made without difficulty by
the woman herself. There was a small scar upon the lower left leg on the outer
surface, about three and a half inches below the knee, concerning which the
physicians were somewhat divided in opinion. The probability is that it is the
mark of vaccination, as it is said by a certain physician that she was
vaccinated there last winter.
There were a
few eruptions on the face and some on the hips, which it was thought might be
due to the results of vaccination. It was said that the blotch's on the face
were not there a week ago, and this statement was verified by Buffalo persons
who identified the body. They were certainly not post mortem blotches, as but
one such spot, and that a small one on the lower left leg, was to be
examination of the wound at the throat was made. It gaped widely and there was
still a slight exhudation of blood. It was a clean cut, the razor entering the
neck at about the middle point of the left side and following the upper edge
of the left clavicle, severing the artery, although the windpipe and jugular
vein were not cut. At the lower end of the cut the incision was deepest. There
was a slight cut on the under edge of the right clavicle, showing that enough
force had been placed in the blow of the hand that held the steel to carry the
instrument across and against the right clavicle, and would have cut much
further had it not been stopped by the bony obstruction. The wound was 3 1/2
inches in length and 1 inch in width, while its greatest depth was nearly 1
was 5 feet, 5 1/2 inches tall and weighed about 135 pounds. She had fine
teeth, complete with the exception of the first upper molar on the right side,
and sound save the first incisor on the left side of the upper jaw, that tooth
having been filled.
GIRL WAS IN BEST OF HEALTH
examination showed an excellent healthy physique. No signs of disease were to
be discovered. All the organs appeared to be in their normal condition. The
heart was nearly empty, but one large blood clot was found in the right
auricle. There were small adhesions on the right side and still larger ones on
the left, of a nature that indicated that the woman had at some time or other
had the pleurisy.
were reticent as to whether the woman could have gashed herself in the manner
described. They united in saying that the wound must have been made from the
left toward the right. They were of the opinion that the woman was right
handed, and none would say that the wound might not have been made by a
suicide. At the same time it was evident that a great deal of force had been
put into the blow, and from the position of the bodies it would have been
possible for the man to have been the one to wield the weapon. No one at the
autopsy suggested that the woman, if left handed, could have committed the
deed with any other than the right hand, notwithstanding the fact that the
razor was found clasped in her left hand.
As for signs
of disease, there was no one present who stated that the marks on the body
were the marks of any disease, or denied that they might be the results of the
action of the virus used when the girl was vaccinated.
THE GIRL'S LAST HOURS
place in the room between the time KENT and the girl retired and the girl's
death may always be a sealed book. There was a period of about four hours, the
occurrences of which Coroner KLEINDIENST and Director HAYDEN will endeavor to
discover KENT was not backward about talking of the events of the night and
from various ones who were in the room immediately after it was forced open a
fairly clear idea of what took place has been obtained by Democrat and
that the first intimation there was of trouble in room No. 147 was the sound
of groans and heavy breathing heard by a guest in an adjoining room.
better get into that next room," said he to James McCARTHY, a bell boy
who answered his ring. McCARTHY got Night Clerk Fred KOHLMAN and with much
difficulty they broke open the door, after repeated pounding on it failed to
bring a response. A chair had been placed against the door by the occupants so
that the top of the back was under the knob.
realized his condition sufficiently after the cutting to wrap a towel about
his neck. At times he talked in an apparently rational manner.
thought KENT might take it into his head to use the razor that lay in the
girl's hand. He took it, and, closing it, turned it over to an officer. It
appeared clear of blood then, but examination showed spots of blood.
blade was so clean after the two bloody deeds is part of the mystery of the
The body of
the woman was on the left side of the bed and KENT lay on the right side. The
razor was in the open palm of her left hand and the gash in her neck, as well
as that in his neck, was on the left side. How the wounds may have been
inflicted by either one is a subject discussed from every point by the
physicians and detectives.
STATEMENT OF KENT
It was but a few moments after 7 o'clock when
the first word of something wrong in room No. 147 was sent to the hotel
office. It was nearly an hour later when KENT was removed and in that time
he told much that he said happened.
"We got here at pretty near 2 o'clock,"
said he, "and had lunch at the Eggleston Hotel, because the grill
here was closed. It must have been a quarter to 4 when we came back to the
hotel. We went right to bed. I went to sleep in a few moments as I felt
thick from the wine and dope that she gave me. I didn't care a damn what she
did to me and I drank the stuff she fixed up.
"Those letters on the table I want
mailed and I left the money and a note for whoever found them to mail. I am
all in and I thought it was about time to die.
"Yes, we had both talked about dying
together," in answer to a question, "but I tried to get the
notion out of her head. She has had a lot of trouble with a lover and her
family and it made her blue. She was more so yesterday than I ever saw her
before. She talked of nothing but suicide a good deal of the time and asked
me if I had nerve enough to die."
Being asked about the razor, KENT unhesitatingly
"I always carry a razor when I go away,
and she knew it was in my coat. She must have got it when I was asleep and
used it some time before 8 o'clock. I didn't know anything about the time. I
was all worked up and did not know what she did. I knew she had the razor
was when I felt it in my neck. She did it so quick that when I raised up and
looked at her she had drawn it across her own throat. I had enough of
suicide then and I got up and tried to stop the flow of blood in my
This account of the affair was told in fragments by
KENT. At no time did he evince an inclination to hide anything. He seemed
very fond of the girl and raved wildly before being taken to the hospital.
LETTER WRITING DEEMED IMPORTANT
Among the things which came into the possession of
the Coroner was an envelop containing scraps of a letter which had been
found scattered on the floor of the hotel room. For hours an effort was made
to decipher this. Parts of it were pasted together, without giving a
clear idea of its contents, as several pieces had been lost, or, at least,
Enough was deciphered to understand that the letter
was addressed to Dr. RANDALL, superintendent of the Riverside Hospital, in
Buffalo. It was written on Whitcomb House letter paper and was dated the
14th, which indicates that it was written at an early hour yesterday
morning. Part of the signature was discovered, enough to show that the
letter had been signed "DINGLE."
At first it was thought that parts of two letters
were found in the envelope, as there seemed to be two styles of handwriting.
It was later shown that the salutation and the signature were both in the same
handwriting and it was quite probable that the same hand wrote all, the only
difference being in the amount of ink used in writing the different
The contents indicated that the woman was writing,
but almost all who examined the letter were of the opinion that the writing
was that of a man, as very few or no feminine characteristics were to
be noted in the script. One would naturally call the style that of a man,
the flourished and heavy marks apparently strongly masculine. The
writing was so irregular, however, that it was with difficulty that a
single word could be interpreted. It was hinted that the fault might all lie
in an attempt on the part of the writer to disguise a style which might
otherwise be identified by the authorities who would conduct the
SOME OF THE GIRL'S ARTICLES
Among the other things turned over to the Coroner
was a slip of paper hearing the words, "Wm.," or "Mr. Rose,
German Assn.," or "Ins."
In the matter of identification, and corresponding
in some degree to the marking of the name "BATES" on the woman's
linen, was the mark of "E. E. B." on a white silk handkerchief,
and also on the large gold rimmed brooch which the girl had evidently worn
at her throat. It was the discovery of these marks that first led the
authorities to believe that the victim's name was BATES.
Another puzzling fact is the marking of the twisted
silver bracelet found on the girl's left arm. On one of the smooth spots on
the spiral were found the letters "H. H. C.," and on another, one
immediately contiguous, were the other letters, "E. B. N."
Among the woman's possessions were a pair of black
untanned kid gloves, a white necktie, one white linen handkerchief unmarked,
two shell side combs and two combs for the back hair, three hairpins, two
small safety pins, and a hat pin. There was also an envelope, evidently
containing a little talcum powder, bearing the stamp. "Riverside
Hospital, Lafayette Ave., Cor. Barton St., Buffalo, N. Y."
Some of these things were found in a silver chatelaine
bag, and with them a small nail file and a four-bladed pocket
knife with a horn handle. Neither the file nor the knife was marked.
There was in the bundle a rather large blue
and white silk handkerchief, probably the property of KENT. It had no
initials on it, but was marked by two small French knots of white linen
thread in one corner. Both this and one of the gloves seemed to have a few
spots of blood upon them.
A hypodermic syringe and a book containing
various drugs to be applied by the instrument were in the bundle, but
whether they belonged to the young doctor or to the nurse was a question.
The opinion was at first prevalent that they were the property of the man,
but a consideration of the fact that trained nurses possess such an outfit
rather shook confidence in the first opinion.
The little book, or pocket case, containing
the bottles, held eleven small phials, four of which were empty and had
no slips to show what drugs they had once contained. The other seven were partly
filled with the drugs indicated by the slips of paper with which they were
marked. The phials themselves, at least those containing drugs, bore the
mark of "Parke Davis & Co." The case itself was stamped with
the name of another firm, "Jeffrey Fell Co., Elliott Square,
Buffalo, N. Y."
INDICATIONS OF PRE-ARRANGEMENT
From the fact that KENT wrote letters to his father
and to his college fraternity and that girl also wrote two or three letters,
it seems that the two had carefully arranged their plans to die together.
KENT in his letter to his father told him what he owed and made the
request that his father give $100 to the Riverside Hospital. What he wrote
to the fraternity is not known. Two physicians who came from Buffalo to
see KENT desired that the fraternity name be kept out of print. One of the
doctors who had been so intimate with KENT that they were called "the
twins" said that the girl must have been to blame for the tragedy.
Miss DINGLE wrote one letter to her sister,
Mrs. Marie VAN ALLEN, of No. 78 Edward street, Buffalo, and another to Dr.
RANDALL, at the Riverside Hospital.
There is a great deal of mystery about the writing
of the letters. When were they written? is a question. There are indications
that those by KENT were written after the tragedy.
One that he wrote was evidently unsatisfactory to
him, for he tore it to bits and, and, rolling it in a wad, which was thickly
clotted with blood, placed it in his trousers pocket. It was found there
after he was taken to the hospital and the clotted bits were taken by a
Another letter which was torn to bits
purported to be written by the girl and its wording, as well as it could be
made out, upbraided a man who she intimated had driven her to a
suicidal frame of mind by his treatment. This end of the case may yet
develop an important bearing.
When the couple first appeared at the Whitcomb
House office they were perfectly sober, and being very well dressed, there
was no hesitancy in giving them a room.
KENT'S YOUTHFUL ROMANCE
KENT was formerly of Palmyra. He received his early
education at the Palmyra High School and was very popular among the young
people of that town. He was a football player and a good athlete.
Connected with his early school days is a peculiar
instance. Before he finished his course in the High School he was married to
Miss Madge TAYLOR, also one of the pupils of the school. The marriage
attracted no little attention in the usually quiet town, as it was an
elopement. The young people did not learn there had been a marriage until
several days after it had taken place, when it leaked out at the school
It was only a short time ago that KENT visited
Palmyra, and every one who met him remarked how well he was looking. He was
of large physique. This summer while KENT was visiting there he had his wife
with him and they seemed happy. KENT was taking the practice of a Buffalo
physician so returned there, leaving his wife to finish her visit. While he
was away Mrs. KENT was taken seriously ill and KENT was sent for. He arrived
on the next train. He was her physician and brought her out of the illness.
Soon after this they both returned to Buffalo.
THEORY OF KENT'S CHUM
At about 8 o'clock last evening, two Buffalo
physicians, Dr. L. Edward VILLIAUME and a companion, appeared at the Morgue
and asked to see the body of the dead girl. They identified her at once, but
refused to say anything, not even consenting to give their names. When
questioned they talked guardedly for a few minutes, and then hurried off.
Both asserted that they could not believe that the
man had committed the deed, and claimed that the cut received by KENT was
made by the woman. They stoutly upheld his innocence and spoke of his
excellent reputation and character. They would say little or nothing about
the woman. Said Dr. VILLIAUME, in part:
"The spots and blotches said to have been
found on the body of the woman are not the evidence of disease, but are the
results of drug taking. She has been in the habit of taking a tablet in her
beer, and the blotches are due to the effect of the drugs. The blotches
noticed on her face were not there less than a week ago when I last saw her.
"Concerning the cuts found on the bodies of
both man and woman, and their positions and directions, it is very evident
to me that they were both made by the woman herself. In saying that she was
right handed the physicians who made the autopsy have said what not one of
them could swear to, and I state positively that she was left handed. It
would be an easy matter for her to have cut herself as she did with the
razor in her left hand, and almost as easy for her to have slashed him.
"When we were at the hospital, even at that
time, it was evident to all that KENT was still under the effects of some
drug. As I say, the woman was in the habit of taking a drug in her beer, and
somehow she doped his beer with morphine and atrophine, and thus got the man
under her control. It was while he was in this condition that the woman
slashed him, and finding the blood flowing as it did, thought she had
accomplished her deed and thereupon slashed herself. Feeling the wound, the
man got up but, being under the effects of drugs, sank back into bed again
and fell asleep.
"I am not going to give you my name, nor will
my friend here do so. Our names are likely to be brought forward more than
either of us could desire, and it will but make them all the more
disagreeably prominent by giving them to the press. But I think the tragedy
will in time, after complete investigation, be demonstrated to be an
unsuccessful murder and a successful suicide. I know KENT well, and have all
confidence in his innocence. I have slept with him for years, and have been
with him so much that we have been known as 'the twins.' That's how
well I know him. And I am sure that there can be no grounds of accusing him,
if he recovers, of the murder of this woman."
Dr. VILLIAUME spoke in a very earnest manner about
the reputation of his friend KENT, but looked upon the tragedy from one side
only. While examination of the wounds on both bodies revealed nothing which
would render it absolutely impossible for the woman to have struck both the
blows, still the matter is not easy of settlement.
KENT LIVED WITH HIS PARENTS
Buffalo, Sept. 14 - Leland KENT's home in this city
was in Fargo avenue, where he lived with his father and mother and his young
wife and 2-year-old son. The KENTS moved to this city three years ago from
Palmyra that their son, Leland, might take the medical course at the
University of Buffalo. Young KENT was senior master in the Omega Epsilon Phi
fraternity of the university.
His mother said to-night that her son never drank,
but that he frequently used strychnine hypodermically as a stimulant. Last
year young KENT occupied the place of one of the physicians of Riverside
Hospital while the latter was away on a vacation. It was then that he met
Miss DINGLE, who was employed as a nurse in the hospital.
Miss DINGLE was 22 years old and was described by
those who knew her as a strikingly beautiful young woman. Her parents died
when she was quite young. She had been connected with the staff of Riverside
Hospital at various times during the last seven years and was very popular
and highly respected. Her grandparents, it is believed, live in Toronto,
Rochester, Monroe, NY
Democrat & Chronicle
Tue Sept 16, 1902
TORN LETTER THOUGHT TO TELL THE MOTIVE
Authorities Trying to Decipher
Ethel Dingle's Last Missive
Whitcomb House Tragedy Being
Investigated by Coroner and District-Attorney -
Kent's Father Retains George
Raines to Defend His Son,
Who is Still at the Hospital -
Inquest to Be Held To-morrow.
Leland Dorr KENT, at the
Homeopathic Hospital, is recovering from the gash in his neck which he
claimed was given him by Ethel B. DINGLE early Sunday morning in their
room in the Whitcomb House. KENT slept most of yesterday, and two
detectives watched him closely. He is virtually under arrest, but no
charge is preferred against him and will not be until the result of
Coroner KLEINDIENST's inquest is known.
order of the Coroner no one is allowed to talk with KENT. When the young
man's father, A. Dorr KENT, of Buffalo, arrived yesterday morning from
Detroit, he secured permission from Coroner KLEINDIENST to visit his son.
He did so accompanied by a representative of Attorney George RAINES, who
has been retained by young KENT's father to defend the boy's interests. As
Mr. RAINES was at Bath a man from his office interviewed KENT in the
presence of his father. Several matters were arranged between them, as
well as some fraternity affairs in young KENT's hands.
were no startling developments yesterday in the case. The most important
facts held back from the public by the officials are contained in the two
letters said to have been written by Miss DINGLE to friends in the room at
the Whitcomb House. Those letters are in the possession of
District-Attorney WARREN, and their contents will not be known until the
case comes to trial in the event of KENT's indictment for complicity in
MISS DINGLE'S BODY AT BUFFALO
VAN ALLEN, a jeweler of Buffalo, and brother-in-law of Ethel DINGLE, came
to this city yesterday and claimed the body. His wife is one of the dead
girl's sisters. The body was sent to Buffalo at 2:30 P. M.
long a stream of curiously interested persons called at the morgue to look
on the face of the beautiful victim of the tragedy. There seems to be a
deep vein of heart interest in the tragedy for the reading public. There
was only sympathy expressed for the dead girl.
of handsomely dressed young women, scores of well-dressed men, and many
women long past 50 years made up the thousands that applied to see the
remains. With few exceptions there were refused.
brother of Miss DINGLE left Hamilton, Ont., yesterday for this city, but
stopped over in Buffalo and probably will not come to this city until the
RUSH FOR TELEPHONE BOOKS
When it became
generally known that the attractive photographs long admired in the front
part of the Bell Telephone directory were posed for by Miss DINGLE there
was a rush for the books, and hundreds of them are to-day minus the
prettily illustrated page showing the "right way and the wrong
way" of talking into a telephone receiver.
Ethel DINGLE was employed for six months during the Pan-American season at
the pay station of the Bell Telephone Company, No. 14 West Seneca street.
She worked for some time before with the operators in the exchange, and
after taking charge of the station posed for the "right and wrong
way" of telephoning. Her picture is shown in three positions in every
telephone directory used in the past eighteen months in Buffalo, Rochester
and intermediate towns. The picture of the girl sitting at a telephone of
the lower left hand corner of page three is not Miss DINGLE. She was never
employed at the switch board on the Pan-American grounds. She was in the
Seneca street office, resigning from there to go into hospital work.
"She was a pleasant and efficient employee," said an official of
the company, "and we deplore her fate."
were few persons who called at the morgue who had not seen the
photographs, but these only seemed to make them more desirous of seeing
the girl's own features: Death made but little change in the girl's finely
moulded face. The skin was as white as marble, but there was no expression
LETTERS ARE BADLY MUDDLED
District-Attorney WARREN and Coroner KLEINDIENST held a conference
over the one yesterday and made plans for conducting the investigation.
The letters written by KENT and the girl at the hotel are now in the
possession of the District-Attorney and efforts are being made to decipher
almost impossible to make out those written by Miss DINGLE, because of the
rambling character of the handwriting and wording. It is plainly evident
that they were written by one under the influence of drink or drugs.
A powerful magnifying glass and microscope were used to detect signs of
drugs on the letters, but none were found.
letters written by KENT are more intelligible, it is understood, which may
or may not indicate anything of importance. One thing at least is
indicated by the rambling writing of the girl's letters; she was in an
abnormal state of mind.
drinks taken at the Eggleston Hotel just before they retired to their room
at the Whitcomb House doubtless tend to put the girl in a frame of mind in
which she would write just such a letter as she appears to have left.
MISS DINGLE NOT LEFT-HANDED
the problems that is bound to be a leading one throughout the
investigation of this case involves the possibility of the girl slashing
both herself and KENT on the left side of their necks while she lay on the
left side of the bed. The razor was found in her left hand. One statement
agreed to by all who first entered the room is that the girl appeared
never to have moved after the wound was inflicted.
"She was dead in five minutes," KENT said after the room was
Doctors say that one would immediately become unconscious from shock after
the severing of the vital artery which was cut in Miss DINGLE's neck. They
agree, too, that she would be dead in five minutes.
There seems to be an overwhelming amount of testimony to the effect that
Miss DINGLE was not left handed. Dr. Lillian RANDALL, of the Riverside
Hospital, Buffalo, who had been a close observer of the girl for the six
or seven years that Miss DINGLE was at the hospital, said when asked if
the girl was left-handed.
"I am quite certain she was not. I am thinking of the things she did
in the hospital and I feel sure that she could not have been left-handed,
else I should have remembered it."
"What were her duties at the hospital?"
"She attended to dressings and helped about the hospital, but in her
work she could not have been left-handed or it would have necessitated her
doing many things from a different position than would the normal person.
I feel safe in saying positively that she was not. Why do you ask?"
"Because the razor with which her throat was cut was in her left
the hospital nurses agreed emphatically with Dr. RANDALL that Ethel DINGLE
JOHNSON, who conducted the autopsy at the morgue Sunday, found that the
dead girl's right biceps measured 10 1-2 inches and the left 9 1-2, which
is said to prove that she was right-handed.
MORE OF MISS DINGLE'S HISTORY
Miss DINGLE was born in Picton, Canada. Her parents both died when she was
quite young, and she went to live with her grandparents in Toronto. Eight
or nine years ago, she came to this city in company with her sister Mabel.
Ethel wanted to be a trained nurse. With that object in view, she went to
the Riverside Hospital about seven years ago and was admitted as an
assistant to the nurses. She remained at the Riverside for some time, and
then left. Later she returned to the hospital. She left the hospital
several times, but always returned. Dr. RANDALL took a deep interest in
her. Nearly two years ago she entered the training class for nurses at the
German Hospital on Jefferson street and was there for about six months. At
the end of that time, she was dismissed for inattention to her duties.
That is the reason which the hospital management assigns for her
leaving the German Hospital, Miss DINGLE was employed by the Bell
Telephone Company as an operator. Last summer she worked for the company
in the electricity building at the Pan-American Exposition. After leaving
the employ of the telephone company, she went back to the German Hospital,
where she remained for a month and then left. Since that time she had been
at the Riverside Hospital, and was employed there at the time of her
RANDALL, head of the Riverside Hospital, stated that Miss DINGLE was
inclined to be wayward but was never bad.
TOO ATTRACTIVE TO GO OUT ALONE
"She was a remarkably beautiful girl, with a faultless figure and a
charming face," said Dr. RANDALL. "She attracted men
wherever she went and I realized that she was in constant danger. I
tried in every way to protect her. Whenever she left the hospital. I tried
to arrange it so that one of the other nurses could accompany her.
She was frequently away alone, however, and I have no way of knowing whom
she associated with or what her conduct was on such occasions.
KENT met her last summer in this hospital. I never noticed that they
were especially attentive to each other or that they met outside of the
DINGLE's sister Mabel was a nurse at the Erie County Hospital for a time
and then married Lorenzo VAN ALLEN of Buffalo.
YOUNG KENT USED DRUGS
Mrs. A. Dorr KENT, parents of the young medical student, and Leland KENT,
his wife, and two-year-old son live at No. 484 Fargo avenue, Buffalo. He
went there from Palmyra several years ago. Mrs. KENT was reluctant to say
much about her son. From what she and others said, however, it was
gathered that young KENT was not of a wild disposition.
only 22 years old, he was ambitious and he was also of somewhat headstrong
nature. The latter trait was evidenced by his failure to heed the warnings
of his friends to have nothing to do with Miss DINGLE for fear of ruining
his future. His mother declared that he was away from home seldom, and
that, when he was, he gave as his excuse that medical duties had
detained him. She admitted that young KENT had taken strychnine
hypodermically to tide him over examinations, but denied that he was a
victim of the drug.
KENT'S DOUBLE LIFE WAS KNOWN
as could be learned KENT never referred to Miss DINGLE at his home,
although the young woman's name was said to be familiar to his family in
the same way that they were familiar with the names of other nurses at
from his obstinacy, as shown by his determination to do as he pleased,
KENT was said to be an agreeable companion. He was well liked by the
members of the college fraternity to which he belonged, and on Saturday
took an active part in renting a house at No. 152 Park street for the use
of the fraternity. All his college chums declared that KENT never spoke of
Miss DINGLE, although many of them knew of the attachment between the two.
were together frequently in the care of cases at the hospital, and an
attachment sprang up between them.
that young KENT frequently spent his nights away from home. He explained
his absence on such occasions to his wife by stating that he had been
called in to assist at surgical operations which kept him away from home.
His parents and his wife believed him. His friends and fellow students,
however, were aware of the fact that he was leading a double life. Some of
them who saw him on the streets in company with Miss DINGLE remonstrated
with him, and warned him that he should be more careful of what he did in
CONFUSION OVER GIRL'S NAME
Finding the names "BATES" on the linen collar and on a
handkerchief of the girl led at first to the conclusion that that was
her name. It is said by her brother-in-law that her middle name id
BATES. At the Riverside Hospital Dr. RANDALL called her Ethel Blanche
DINGLE. Miss DINGLE is said to have had an intimate girl friend named
BATES in Buffalo.
incident in connection with the finding of the letters and the search
for the girl's name caused some caustic comment at the morgue yesterday.
Coroners KLEINDIENST and KILLIP and half a dozen others struggled most
of Sunday afternoon in piecing together a torn letter that they thought
would give the girl's full name. They did not know that Detective
O'LOUGHLIN had in his pocket four letters and a note bearing both KENT's
and the girl's names. The detective was watching KENT at the hospital.
INVESTIGATION IS THOROUGH
KLEINDIENST has covered an amazing amount of ground in his two days
investigation of the case. He has the statements of many persons who
have information concerning the relations of KENT and the girl. Dr. J.
H. ACHESON, of Atlantic avenue, who graduated from the Buffalo Medical
College this summer, has made a statement to the Coroner, as has also
Dr. L. Edward VILLAUME, who came from Buffalo Sunday. John BOWMAN has
also made a statement to Coroner KLEINDIENST. The two doctors are
friends of KENT and refuse to talk to newspaper men about the case.
Director HAYDEN, who promptly took hold of the case, left town Sunday
night, and has not been seen or heard from since. It is believed that he
has gone to Buffalo or Canada to investigate the past of Miss DINGLEY
and young KENT.
THE MATTER OF DRUGS
Investigation of the strange tragedy leads the officials into the
subject of drugs to a depth to which few of them had ever before delved.
There is contradictory testimony on the point of Miss DINGLE being
addicted to the use of drugs. Some way that she took a drug with beer,
and others assert the contrary. Dr. JOHNSON, who made the autopsy, says
of the condition of her body.
"Her organs were in normal condition. The tissues were firm and
well nourished. Her heart was one of the best I have ever seen. If she
were a "dope" user she would have a strychnia heart. There was
not even the slightest evidence of this. Her lungs were excellent, her
stomach was in fine condition, and there wasn't the slightest trace of
drugs anywhere on her. If she used a hypodermic the needle would have
left scars wherever inserted. I looked for scars. There was none
It is said that KENT was jabbing a hypodermic needle into his arm when
the door of his room was burst in Sunday morning. It did not seem to
work, and he threw it on the floor exclaiming: "Damn the gun,
it's jammed again."
understood on excellent authority that the throat cutting occurred at
about 5 o'clock. KENT was able to staunch the flow of blood at his own
throat, yet he did not ring for a bell boy, which seems the logical
thing for one to do under such circumstances. Instead, he returned to
bed beside the corpse of his companion, and raved and groaned until
attention was drawn to the room by the strange sounds.
GIRL WAS BORN NEAR HAMILTON
Special Dispatch to Democrat and Chronicle.
Hamilton, Ont., Sept. 15 - Ethel Blanche DINGLE was a daughter of the
late James DINGLE, butcher, and was born on the old DINGLE homestead
near Hamilton. Her father kept a butcher shop here for a number of years
and died fifteen years ago. Afterwards Mrs. DINGLE moved to Toronto,
taking her children with her. She lived with her mother, Mrs. McDONALD.
She died a few years ago, when the three daughters went to live with an
aunt, Mrs. McPHERSON, in Buffalo. Ethel was a most attractive girl and
had many admirers. She was here last summer visiting her brother, James
DINGLE. The family is well connected here. James DINGLE went to
Rochester this morning as soon as he heard of the tragedy.
PALMYRA WAS AROUSED
Palmyra, Sept. 15 - The news of the tragedy at the Whitcomb House in
Rochester was received here with great surprise. Young KENT was a son of
Mr. and Mrs. A. Dorr KENT and the family had always resided in Palmyra
until about three years ago, when all moved to Buffalo in order to give
Leland the advantage of an education at the University of Buffalo.
Besides the son there were two daughters, and they were very popular in
Palmyra. The three children received instruction in the Palmyra-Union
School. The father owns a large farm a few miles north of Palmyra and
the children were all born there, but the family removed to Palmyra
village when they were quite young. They all gained popularity as soon
as they went to Palmyra, Leland especially being a favorite. He was a
big, whole-souled fellow. He was very large for his age and soon became
a well-known athlete and football player, and took an active part in the
social affairs of the village. He was a good student, always well
advanced in his studies.
spring of 1899 he was united in marriage to Miss Madge TAYLOR, but he
kept on with his studies and soon began to prepare for entrance to the
University of Buffalo. His father being a traveling man, his
headquarters could as well be in that city as in Palmyra, so the family
moved to Buffalo. Leland would have finished his university course this
year. His wife and young son spent the summer in Palmyra and he was here
a good deal with them. They did not return to Buffalo until about two
weeks ago. His sisters were both graduates from the Onconta Normal
School and are now teaching.
Leland's friends in Palmyra said to-day. "There wasn't a mean thing
about him." His friends seem confident that he will be able to
explain things to the satisfaction of all. Owing to the prominence of
the families and relatives of the young man, the affair was the main
subject of conversation in Palmyra to-day.
Rochester, Monroe, NY
Democrat & Chronicle
Wed Sept 17, 1902
DINGLE INQUEST THIS FORENOON
Inquiry Into Whitcomb House
Letter to Dr. Randall
Fragments Have Been Pieced
Together and the Scrawl Deciphered
As Far as It Is Possible to
Make It Out -- No New Developments.
The inquest in the case of Miss
Ethel Blanche DINGLE, whose dead body, with a deep gash in the throat,
was found in bed in a room in the Whitcomb House early on Sunday last,
will be begun this morning by Coroner KLEINDIENST. It was rumored that
friends of Dr. KENT, the young man who was also in the room, with a
similar but slighter cut in his throat, had retained Attorney George
RAINES to defend him, but it is understood that Attorney RAINES has
denied this. The statement was made yesterday that Dr. KENT had not
sought legal advice.
not known how sensational may be the evidence presented at the hearing
this morning, but strange and unexpected will doubtless be the facts
that are made known. The fact that the authorities have in their
possession several letters found in the room where the tragedy occurred,
and the further that Dr. GUILLIAUME, the Buffalo friend of the suspected
man, also has some letters which may possibly be placed in evidence, are quite
likely to furnish something out of the ordinary at least.
GUILLIAMUE still asserts that Miss DINGLE was left-handed, and holds
that the deed was done by her, claiming in support of his theory the
fact that the razor was found in her left hand. This position on the
matter was taken by him Sunday afternoon, in spite of the opinion of
older medical men, that the girl was right-handed, and in spite of
positive statements to the same effect on the part of several who knew
the girl. This in spite of the fact also that the razor was almost clear
from blood stains, and the further fact that the wound received by the
girl was of a character which would probably, so physicians say, have
caused almost instant unconsciousness.
reported that the razor was found lying loosely in the open palm of the
girl's left hand. Concerning this fact one who has been acquainted with
the facts concerning many suicides said yesterday:
"The fact that the razor was held loosely in the girl's hand is
plain enough evidence that she was no suicide. I have seen the
bodies of many suicides before investigation on the part of the
authorities has been begun, and have seen bodies in which death was
self-caused by the use of razors; but I have never seen a single
instance in which the instrument has not been clutched in the hand with
almost superhuman strength. In fact the police authorities could tell
you that in every instance of such a character, a great deal of force
has to be exercised in order to pry the fingers apart and release what
is clutched so tightly. Had the girl given herself the ugly gash that
ended her life, the handle of the razor would have been found clasped so
tightly that perhaps the strength of two men might have had to have been
required to take the instrument from her grasp."
been suggested in Buffalo that there is a possibility that Miss DINGLE
was dead before the blow was struck, and it is said that if a chemical
analysis of the girl's stomach is not made by the authorities KENT's
friends will insist upon having it done. A physician stated
yesterday that had the girl been dead before her throat was cut, it
would hardly have been possible for the wound to bleed so freely.
hearing will begin at 10 o'clock. The following have been called as
witnesses: Joseph McCARTHY, George CHUTE, Director HAYDEN,
Detectives NAGLE and O'LOUGHLIN, Officer SELLINGER, Special Officer
SEINER, John P. BOWMAN, and Doctors ROSS, McNAMARA, JOHNSON, ACHESON and
interpretation has at length been suggested for the contents of the
letter found torn into bits and flung upon the floor of the room in
which the tragedy occurred. The letter was written on Whitcomb House
letter paper. There were found parts of another letter, also, in the
pocket of the trousers which KENT had on when he was first seen after
the crime had been committed. These letter pieces were heavily stained
with blood and the authorities have been hard at work, it is understood,
in an attempt to piece together the many fragments. It is necessary for
the authorities to keep secret the contents of any such letters until
after the inquest is begun and they are submitted as evidence.
following is the text of the letter on which so much time was spent on
Sunday, before it was discovered that one of the detectives at work on
the case had in his possession several letters very closely bearing on
the tragedy. A small piece in the middle of the left margin was missing
__ work was first begun toward deciphering the missive, for this reason
at least two words are entirely wanting, together with the first
few letters of two or three other words. The missing parts, whether of
whole words or portions of words, together with somewhat doubtful ones,
are in parenthesis marks. The letter follows:
Sept. 14, 1902
Dr. RANDALL: My life has been a failure due to your plai_ lie to my
(sis)ters. I have worked hard for you and (them) many years. I don't
regret it, as I have learned a great deal. But (you) bear __ be
(truthfully) you will gain a great deal more. A am about to die and
thinking of the many years served in your (hospital) I am unable to die
without forgiving you.
E. B. DINGLE.
Rochester, N. Y.
It was at first thought that fragments of two distinct letters were in
the small package when it was taken to the morgue with the bundle of the
young woman's possessions, because the first line following the
salutation, together with the salutation itself and the signature and
conclusion, appears to be in a much heavier handwriting. The middle
portion of the letter was light, so far as the amount of the ink used is
concerned, but the style of the characters is like that of the
first and last portions. While appearing to be written by the woman, and
really having a signature -- in spite of the fact that the latter
was originally declared to be missing -- the letter from beginning has
the characteristics of a masculine hand.
should prove that the word "sisters" is correctly interpreted,
the letter might become a part of the evidence, as it is said that Dr.
L. Edward GUILLIAUME, of Buffalo, friend and chum of Leland Dorr KENT,
has in his possession letters reported to be addressed to the sisters
of Miss DINGLE, by the contents of which it is intended, in case of
need, to show the responsibility of some other individual or individuals
in the matter of the Sunday morning tragedy. Dr. GUILLIAUME is making a
strong effort to keep quiet in the entire matter, and stated to a
Democrat and Chronicle reporter on Sunday evening that he would not give
out his name for publication. It is understood that Dr. GUILLIAUME, who
is still in the city, has not been summoned as a witness at this
morning's hearing, but that he will doubtless be called to the stand
before the inquest is over.
KENT was reported last night by hospital attendants to be doing finely.
The cut which he received upon his neck has practically healed beyond
the point where any danger can be expected. It was said that he is in
such excellent condition that he could be called to the witness stand
to-day without injuring his health in the slightest degree. No one is
allowed to talk with him and he is constantly guarded and watched by
Detectives NAGLE and O'LOUGHLIN.
Yesterday he asked for cigars and cigarettes.
DIED FROM BURNS
Little Florence Keehley's
Dress Caught Fire From Matches
Florence C., infant daughter of Fred and Jennie KEEHLEY, of No. 78
Lincoln street, died yesterday from the effects of burns received
Monday. Her age was 3 years and 10 months.
Florence was playing with neighbors' children Monday. The little ones
found some matches and ignited them. Florence's clothes took fire and
she was so terribly burned that death resulted after several hours of
suffering. One whole side was badly burned. Physicians were
immediately called and treated the little sufferer. She died at the
family home, where she had been treated. She was not taken to a
Miss McKELVEY, of Glenwood
avenue, spent Sunday with friends in Avon.
Marcus DAVID has returned
from his vacation at Lake Joseph, Muskoka.
William HILZINGER, of No. 351
North street, is visiting his aunt in New York.
Mr. and Mrs. C. V. WEEKS and
Mrs. H. L. WEEKS, of No. 31 Savannah street, have returned home from
Pultneyville, N. Y.
Mrs. John ATKINSON and son
Ernest, of Cleveland, O., are visiting Mr. and Mrs. James McDONALD, of
No. 14 Leopold street.
Mrs. F. SCHOLL and daughter
Lottie have returned home after spending two months with Mrs. THISTLE,
a sister of Mrs. SCHOLL, in Jackson, Mich.
Miss M. WILLIAMS, of Buffalo,
who has been the guest of Miss Kathryn FITZGERALD, of Emerson street,
for the past few weeks, has returned home.
Miss LOEWENGUTH, of
University avenue, has returned home after a four weeks' trip up the
lakes, visiting Port Huron, Detroit, Mount Clemena and other places.
John J. E. KENNEDY, of
Marietta street, visiting P. J. KENNEDY, of New York city. He will be
absent two weeks, during which time he will spend a week hunting in
the North Woods.
R. M. LOZIER, of No. 123
Columbia avenue, left the city this morning for Gettysburg as a
delegate from the 136th New York Infantry to the unveiling of the
General Slocum monument.
MEETING OF MISSIONARY SOCIETY
The Woman's Missionary
Society of Central Presbyterian Church will hold its monthly meeting
this afternoon at 5 o'clock. The exercise in the study course will be
in charge of Mrs. J. G. MAURER and the subjects on the scheduled
programme will be discussed by Mrs. MAURER, Mrs. E. E. BURGESS, Miss
E. DEWEY and Mrs. NEWTON. At 8 o'clock Rev. John DIXON, D. D.,
secretary of the Home Mission Board, will address the members of the
society in connection with the usual Wednesday evening service.
VACATIONS AT POSTOFFICE
The following letters
carriers began their fifteen days' vacation yesterday: W. J. KAMMER,
J. P. KISLINGBURY, F. C. WHITNEY, C. P. BURRITT, W. T. SMY, R. E. LEE,
C. M. LECKINGER, F. E. MORSE, H. W. PHILLIPS, J. T. BRENNAN and C. S.
HARVEY. These two clerks in the city department also began their
vacation yesterday: William H. CALLISTER and W. K. ANGEVINE.
Rochester, Monroe, NY
Democrat & Chronicle
Thurs Sept 18, 1902
NOTHING TO SHOW HOW WOUND WAS INFLICTED
Little Not Known Brought Out at the Dingle Inquest
Dr. Acheson Testifies That the Young Woman Found Dead
With Gash in Throat Had Talked of Suicide -
Absolutely no Evidence Establishing Guilt of Man Who
Was Found With Her, Also Wounded.
All day yesterday, before Coroner KLEINDIENST at the morgue,
District-Attorney WARREN and Assistant MATSON questioned the
witnesses in the case of Ethel Blanche DINGLE, the Buffalo girl
whose dead body was discovered Sunday morning in a bed at the
Whitcomb House with a deep gash in the left side of her neck.
George RAINES appeared for young Leland
Dorr KENT, but confined himself to a few questions on
cross-examination. Little else was needed, for there was absolutely
nothing even tending to show that KENT committed the deed, while
there was more than a little that meant, if it meant anything, not
only that Miss DINGLE has often threatened to take her own life, but
that a double suicide was planned.
The inquest was adjourned to be taken
up again to-morrow afternoon. Only two witnesses remain to be
examined. Yesterday the man who discovered the bodies, the hall boy
whom he summoned, the clerks of the hotel, the physicians and
policemen who were on the scene, a reporter who talked with
KENT, the waiter who served him, his comrade and schoolmate, all
told their stories, and little was learned from them except the
establishment of the facts that occurred before the couple went to
their room, and after they were found next morning.
As to what happened in the interval, the
testimony of Officer SELLINGER that KENT said in his presence,
"Why didn't she do a good job of it?" and of Dr. ACHESON
that while treating Miss DINGLE at St. Mary's Hospital the last week
in August she repeatedly told him that she was going to kill
herself, was of more interest that anything else.
AGREED ON MAIN POINTS
Mr. BOWMAN, who found the bodies, gave a simple
account of what he heard and saw, as did the bell boy, McCARTHY.
Officer SELLINGER followed, adding the statement as to what KENT
said, which seemed to be of great importance to Mr. RAINES.
Detective O'LAUGHLIN told his share of the incident, and Dr. PERRIN
and Dr. SNODGRASS told what they witnessed when they arrived on the
Homeopathic Hospital ambulance. Waiter VAUGHAN, of the Egglesten,
who served the couple early Sunday morning, described their
appearance and behavior there, and Dr. ACHESON gave his testimony as
to treating Miss DINGLE and of her despondency. Clerks KLUT and
KOHLMAN told their part in the affair, as did Special Officer SIENER.
Dr. VILLIAUME, KENT's friend, told what he knew of KENT's intimacy
with Miss DINGLE in Buffalo.
The points on which all were agreed who
spoke of them were chiefly that there was no blood on the front of
Miss DINGLE's chemise; that there was little if any on her left
hand, but that there was a pool of it under her left shoulder. The
razor was in her left hand, which was relaxed. There were no spots
or rash on her face until about the time when she was removed to the
morgue, and the nature of those seen there puzzles the doctors.
There is some dispute as to how fully KENT was clothed when entrance
was forced into the room. A half dozen scraps of conversation he had
with various people have been recorded.
LETTERS ANNOUNCED DOUBLE SUICIDE
That a double suicide was planned seems
probable from the letters which were found. There were half a dozen
of them, and they are in the hands of the Coroner, who has not made
them public. The note which accompanied them is as follows:
To the Coroner of Rochester
Please mail these letters and send our
bodies to Buffalo to Be buried together at my expence at forest
E. B. DINGLE.
Accompanying this note was sixty cents in
change. One of the letters was to Mr. KENT's father, A. Dorr KENT,
and a portion of it read as follows: "I die happy, for I
am beside the girl I love, and who loves me and has been true to me
through it all."
Another, evidently to a friend, begins:
"Dear Jack, it is all up, old boy." Another, written by
Miss DINGLE, was to Dr. RANDALL, of the Riverside Hospital, Buffalo.
JOHN BOWMAN'S STORY
KENT'S father, A. Dorr KENT, was in the room
during much of the inquest. The first witness was John A. BOWMAN, a
lawyer, who occupied a room close to that of the unfortunate couple.
His story was as follows:
"My room was across a narrow hall from
No. 147. Between 7:30 and 8 o'clock Sunday morning I heard moaning
and groans coming from that room, and I went into the hall. There I
met a hall boy I told him there was something wrong in the room, and
he tried to open the door. He jumped up and looked into the transom.
I got a chair and he climbed up, pushing the transom wider open.
Then he sat on the chair while I climbed on its back and looked in.
I saw two figures on the bed.
"No. 147 is on he west side of the
hallway, and the bed is on the north side of the room. The woman was
on the east side of the bed. She was reclining on her back, with the
bed clothing covering her to the waist, while she wore a small
under-vest. Her left arm was by her side. I told the boy to break in
the door, and we shoved it open a little way, enough to see that
there was something blocking it. Finally we got it open and
"The man's head was wrapped in a
cloth, and he was moaning. I took off the cloth, and saw a gash in
the left side of his neck. His body was covered by the bed
clothing. I told him to be as calm as possible, and directed the boy
to summon the clerk, telephone the police and send for a doctor. I
had no conversation with the man. There was a razor in the
woman's left hand. It lay diagonally in her hand, the fingers of
which were somewhat relaxed. It was open with the blade toward the
foot of the bed. Her right arm was under the bed clothes. There
was blood on her left side. It settled in the hollow made by her
body. To his left, on the pillow, was a large blood spot, and on a
table at the foot of the bed were various articles. There was a
small pitcher with blood water in it. I have no recollection of any
"There was a small medicine case and
what I judged to be a hypodermic syringe on the bureau. I saw no
blood in the washbowl. There were several letters on the bureau. He
asked for a doctor and for water. I told him the doctor would be
there soon and asked for a glass. I filled it, but he could not
drink. He asked for his hypodermic,' or some such word, and said
'nothing in it.' I didn't see it in his possession. There was
a man partly up the stairs when I met the bell boy. He was in the
room, as was Clerk KOHMANN, Dr. COLLINS and an officer in uniform
and several plain clothes men. He had absolutely nothing to say as
to the cause of the deed. I saw him later standing on his feet, with
his trousers and shirt on. I looked at one of the letters. I
couldn't identify it now. I did not touch her to see if the body was
On cross-examination Mr. BOWMAN said it was
some time before KENT got up, and that the doctor had come. His legs
were under the bed clothes, and he lay about a foot from the edge of
KENT THOUGHT HE WAS DYING
Bell Boy James McCARTHY was the next
witness. He corroborated Mr. BOWMAN's story in every particular,
and illustrated the position of the razor in the girl's hand by
holding the weapon in his own hand. All of the witnesses who had
seen it did the same. McCARTHY said he did not see KENT's face at
all, and did not know whether he was clothed or not. He did not
see his shirt or his trousers in the room. He saw no blood on his
hands, and did not know if there was any.
Officer SELLINGER, the next
witness, said that he was at St. Paul street when he was called.
He hurried to the hotel, and was taken to the room. BOWMAN and the
night clerk were there. He started to notify headquarters and get
a doctor, but was told that had been done, when he returned and
cleared the room, afterward guarding the door.
KENT was lying on his left side. He
said to SELLINGER: "Officer, come here. Get a doctor;
hurry up. I'm dying. Call up on the Home 'phone Dr. Edgar
L___." That was as far as he got, and SELLINGER, to humor
him, stepped to the door and said, "Call Dr. ELLSWORTH."
KENT went on: "For God's sake give me that over there. I've
got something that will do me good," referring to the
medicine case. SELLINGER told him there was nothing there. Later,
he said, KENT had the hypodermic syringe, which SEINER took away
from him. He noticed blood on the girl's neck, on the bed clothes,
and a big clot under her arm. He saw none on her chemise or on her
On cross-examination Officer
SELLINGER said that he heard KENT say, "Why didn't she make a
good job of it?" while raving.
"Why do you say 'raving?"
queried Mr. RAINES.
"Well, he was moaning," replied
the officer, "he said, 'why didn't she do a good job of
it>' I don't know whether he said 'do' or 'make.'"
SAID WATER WAS DOPED
Detective O'LOUGHLIN described his
experiences in the room. He came on the first summons to
headquarters, and found Drs. PERRIN and SNODGRASS, from the
Homeopathic Hospital, in the room. He took hold of KENT's right
wrist, while PERRIN removed the razor from the girl's hand.
"The crowd commenced to come
in," said O'LOUGHLIN, "and he raves, and wanted them
driven out. He dressed. His coat was on the lounge, a woman's
jacket on top of it, and his hat at the top. He had on an outside
shirt. I don't know whether he had his trousers on. They were
taking him to the Homeopathic Hospital, but he wanted to go to the
City Hospital, so they said. 'All right, we'll take you there.'
"There were five letters, I think. I
gave them all to Coroner KLEINDIENST. There was a big package of
business letters to him, and a request to mail the letters and
send the bodies to Buffalo. He asked for water, but he said,
"I don't want that water on the table. It's doped.' Dr.
SNODGRASS said, as they were going out, 'She's dead.' He
leaned over her and called her 'Ethel, Ethel,' and then went out,
saying that she could not be dead.
Downstairs he asked for a Democrat and Chronicle, and was
taken to the hospital. Later, in the hospital, he said to his
father and to Dr. VILLIAUME, 'I made a statement to the coroners
yesterday, and it was correct. Dr. VILLIAUME said, 'you've said
enough.' He had a letter, torn to pieces and clotted with
blood in his trousers pocket."
An adjournment was taken at this point
until 2 o'clock in the afternoon.
BUFFALO PAWN TICKETS FOUND
Two pawn tickets, on the Buffalo Main
street shop of George PRATT, were in possession of the Coroner,
and were shown at the opening of the afternoon session. They were
dated September 11th, and were for a gold watch and chain. Dr.
William PERRIN took the stand at the beginning of the afternoon
session. He said:
"We received the call at the
Homeopathic Hospital at about 8:30 o'clock, and were at the hotel
at 8:35. I went directly to the room, and saw the woman's body on
the bed. I was struck by the absence of blood on her body. The
blood had run from her shoulder down under the body, and was
clotted an inch thick on the sheet. He was sitting on the bed with
his trousers and undershirt on. He did not have on an outside
shirt or socks. At first he didn't want to go to the hospital, but
finally he said he would. Dr. SNODGRASS put on his socks, and he
put on his shoes and his white shirt. He had his hypodermic
syringe. He said, 'the gun's no good."
At this point a medicine case with empty
vials was shown to Dr. PERRIN, and he identified it, and said that
the vials had contained hypodermic tablets.
SHOWED SYMPTOMS OF DRUGS
"He staggered," said the physician,
"and kneeled over her, calling 'Ethel.' He had the symptoms
of drugs. His pupils were dilated, he was excitable, and his skin
was dry, pointing to the use of atropine. His pulse was 120, and
his temperature 97 4-5. His face and hands and chest were
bloody, and he wanted to wash his hands. I saw no marks of any
skin disease on the woman's face. I smelled no ether in the room.
His wound severed only the superficial vessels, and we will remove
the stitches to-day. It might have bled a great deal.
"There were no indications that she
had moved after receiving her wound. The blood was coagulated when
I arrived. I saw several letters on the bureau, and I caught the
words 'Please mail these' on one of them. His wound has healed
now. He asked for a reporter, and was told there was none there.
He seemed to want to give out a statement, but I do not think he
did so. Their heads were about a foot and a half apart. Both the
cuts were on the left side.
Dr. SNODGRASS sustained Dr. PERRIN'S
story in every particular and added a number of details. He
wouldn't say whether there was any blood on the front of the
girl's body. If she had turned over it would have run over her
chest. Apparently, it had soaked under to the right side. There
were clots of blood on the floor.
SHOOK HANDS WITH WAITER
John VAUGHAN, the waiter at the Hotel
Eggleston who waited on the couple on their arrival in the city
Saturday night, was next called. They entered the Eggleston some
time after 1 o'clock, how late he could not say. Smith EGGLESTON
had known KENT's father, and when KENT introduced himself Mr.
EGGLESTON ordered that he be served a cold lunch, everyone having
gone home. VAUGHAN served them lobster, with a bottle of claret
and several Scotch highballs. He did not observe the woman's
features, but both of them shook hands with him, and said good-by
when they left. KENT asked for more drinks, but was refused by
VAUGHAN, who told Mr. WARREN that it was because he wanted to go
home, and not because he thought they were intoxicated. They
walked out, he said, as steadily and as unconcernedly as they
DR. John H. ACHESON came next with the
feature testimony of the day. He said that he had Ethel DINGLE as
a patient at St. Mary's Hospital from August 26th to September 2d.
On August 26th he was telephoned to by Dr. KENT from the Whitcomb
House that he had a patient for him there. He went to the hotel,
where he met KENT, who was a freshman in college when he was a
senior, and he was introduced to Miss DINGLE, who gave her name as
Miss CROSBY. He advised her to go to St. Mary's Hospital, and he
went there, engaged a room for her and awaited their coming. He
diagnosed her trouble and prescribed for her. He advised her on
September 2d that the only way to completely cure her was by means
of ovariotomy, but she would not hear of an operation. He assured
her that she would have a recurrence of pains from time to time,
and she replied. "That's all right, doctor; just do the best
you can for me medically." So she left the hospital.
MISS DINGLE THREATENED SUICIDE
On the third day of her stay there, he
found her crying when he entered the room. He asked what was the
trouble and she said that she had so many troubles, that she was
worried, that she was homesick and that she wanted to be in
Buffalo. She was afraid her sister would find out she was in
Rochester, and she had so much worry altogether, she said, that
she often thought of taking her own life.
"If I thought I would die
under the anaesthetic," she declared, "I would say go
ahead with the operation."
Dr. ATCHESON assured her that
there was no danger of her dying under the anaesthetic, and
several days passed, when he again found her worried and
homesick, and talking of taking her own life. He spent about
forty-five minutes each time trying to talk her out of it,
telling her that lots of people had troubles and got over them,
but he made no great impression.
At 10 A. M., September 2d she was
greatly depressed. Dr. KENT came while Dr. ACHESON was talking
to her, and the latter asked him to endeavor to get her to
submit to the operation. He also told him that it would be
impossible for her to be treated in Rochester unless KENT would
stay in this city, for she was continually homesick for him. At
2 o'clock that afternoon KENT telephoned to ACHESON, saying that
they had decided to go to Buffalo at 3:25, that Ethel was going
into the country, and, that he was wanted at the station. He
went down and saw them off. On September 13th he received a
letter from KENT, saying "Ethel is O. K. Has no pain is
feeling fine as a lark." He had never been intimate with
KENT. He saw no rash on Miss DINGLE's face. It was perfectly
clear on September 2d. He never saw anything like the blotches
on her face after death.
George H. KLUT, night clerk at
the Whitcomb House, told of the couple's entering the hotel
shortly after 1 o'clock last Sunday morning. They registered as
L. D. KENT and wife, and asked for lodgings, without breakfast.
They went out to the Eggleston for lunch, and returned at 3:45
o'clock. They were not intoxicated, but he thought Miss DINGLE
had been drinking, on account of her eyes. He saw no rash on her
face. Fifteen minutes after retiring they sent down for writing
paper, and an hour later for a teaspoon. They did not get the
latter, and he heard nothing more from them, until the day clerk
came in for breakfast at 8:15 o'clock. He heard some one say
then that there was trouble in No. 147. That finished his
knowledge of the affair.
RESULT OF THE AUTOPSY
Dr. A. M. JOHNSON, Coroner's physician
presented the following notes of his autopsy:
"Name, Ethel DINGLE. Examination
of body: Rigor mortis fairly well marked, black hair, eyebrows;
pupils dilated; eyes dark brown. First lateral incisor, left
side, gold filling; first upper molar on right side missing.
Scar on left leg, outer side, two inches below and three inches
to the left of the lower margin of the left patella, size of
silver-ten-cent piece. Small ante-mortem mark to left of
anterior median line in middle of tibia, two inches in length.
Post mortem discoloration over entire posterior surface of back
and chest. Numerous small eruptions of rusty appearance around
nose, size of small pea.
"Measurements: Right side, biceps,
10 1-2; forearm, 9 1-4; thigh, 19; calf, 13, Left side, biceps,
9 3-4; forearm, 9; thigh, 19; calf, 13.
"Gaping incised wound, external,
along upper margin of left clavicle, 3 1-2 inches long and one
inch wide. Slight amount of blood exuding from wound. Wound 1
1-4 inches deep in median line, and gradually rising from that
point to the left, ending two inches above and slightly to the
left of middle of left clavicle, severing the common carotid
artery and the sternocleido muscle about one-half inch above
left clavicle. Wound ends abruptly at the internal end of the
right clavicle. Wound deepest in the median line.
"Median incision. Extremely well
nourished body. Small amount of pleuritic adhesions on right
side. Lungs eodermatous; pericardium somewhat thickened, normal
amount of pericardial fluid; left side of heart firm, right side
partially so; left ventricle wall normal, empty; right side,
empty; left auricle, filled with post-mortem clot; kidneys,
normal; spleen, empty; stomach contains 1-2 pint of viscid
fluid, no odor; both right and left ovaries cystic; uterus,
bleached out appearance; had never been pregnant.
"Cause of death: Hemorrhage from
severance of common carotid artery."
Dr. JOHNSON explained that a severance
of the common carotid artery would mean death in five minutes
surely, since one-fifth of the blood of the body is contained in
those arteries. He also was mystified by the skin lesions on the
girl's face, and suggested that they might be a form of acne.
MIGHT HAVE BEEN CHLOROFORM
Officer Frank SEINER, a plain clothes
man who was on the scene, was the next witness. He said he saw
no blood on the girl's hand when he looked at it for a wedding
ring. KENT pointed out a bottle to him, which he said contained
"dope," and said, "That's what she was feeding me
on all night." This bottle was passed around for the
doctors present to smell of, and several of them thought they
detected the odor of chloroform. SEINER said he found fresh
blood on the upper sheet after KENT left the room.
The reporter who was called in, when
KENT asked for a newspaper man while he was dressing, was called
to the stand. He said that before he was called in, he saw KENT
working with the hypodermic syringe, and heard him say,
"The damned gun won't work." When he came in KENT said
to him: "We came down from Buffalo on the 11:20 train. The
dining room was closed at the Whitcomb, so we went to Smithy
EGGLESTON's." Then he commenced scraping his shoe with a
pen. "Don't I know?" he said. The reporter handed him
a pencil he continued hitting his shoe. No one else could see
anything on it, and the reporter thought him either drunk or
drugged. There was a tiny cut on the first joint on the girl's
left forefinger, with a smear of blood. He picked up an opal
stickpin on the floor. It is now in the Coroner's possession.
KENT said to him: "Be careful not to lose that pawn ticket.
There'll be a hell of a time over this affair."
Fred W. KOHLMANN, clerk of the Whitcomb
House, testified to learning of the trouble as soon as he
arrived at the hotel. He went to the room. He noticed the slight
scratch on the woman's hand, and saw no blood on her breast or
arms. He asked the chambermaid to go up and remove the bed
clothing, but she refused. With the aid of the engineer he did
DR. VILLIAUME'S TESTIMONY
Dr. Edward P. VILLIAUME, the Buffalo
chum of Dr. KENT, was the last witness of the day. He is an
interne at the Erie County Penitentiary. He protested that he
knew very little of the affair, and said that he only met Miss
DINGLE twice. The first time was two months ago. In company with
KENT he was taking charge of the practice of a physician who was
out of the city. There were many telephone messages in a
feminine voice for Dr. KENT, and a letter every day for the
three weeks they were together. Once KENT told him he was going
away. He thought nothing of it, although he knew that KENT's
wife was sick in Palmyra.
In three or four days he returned,
bringing Miss DINGLE with him. They had evidently been to
Toronto. That was the first time he ever saw her or knew of her.
They prepared to stay all night at the house. VILLIAUME was
somewhat surprised, and would not remain there himself, but went
to his office at the penitentiary. When he returned next morning
they were leaving. He told KENT that it was hardly the proper
thing to do, and supposed that would be sufficient, as KENT was
most impressionable. KENT told him that she was going to Dundas,
Can., to live soon, and gave him to understand that there was
nothing between them, except that they were giving each other a
good time while she remained in the city.
He did not see her again until they went
together to his office at the penitentiary, where he showed them
around the grounds. After that he did not see her again. He
never heard about her or from her, and never asked KENT about
her. In regard to KENT's being a "dope fiend."
VILLIAUME said that he had never known him to take
"dope," meaning a preparation of opium, but that when
students together they had taken nux vomica, and strychnine in
3-30ths does, to keep them awake when preparing for their annual
examinations. The hypodermic syringe is carried by every doctor,
The inquest was adjourned until Friday
afternoon to give the District-Attorney time to look up more
witnesses. Only two of the first installment remained to be
ANOTHER DOCTOR ADMIRER OF MISS DINGLE
That one of Ethel DINGLE's worries at
the time she came to this city for an operation was a
disappointment over a love affair with Dr. George H. GRANT, of
Buffalo, seems to be a fact. She had been engaged to the young
and talented Scotch doctor, but the engagement was broken, for
what reason is not known.
It was while Miss DINGLE was at the Riverside
Hospital last spring that she met the young physician. He
graduated with high honors and opened an office at No. 393
William street, Buffalo, where he acquired a good practice in a
Miss DINGLE remained at the Riverside
Hospital and chafed under the restrictions placed about her
there. It is said several stormy scenes occurred when Dr.
RANDALL reproved her.
According to reports from Buffalo, Dr. GRANT
disappeared from his office last Thursday and has not been seen
since. It was said there that he had left the city. It is
rumored that he is in this city.
When the clothing of Miss DINGLE was
taken to the morgue and examined Sunday morning the letters
"L. C." were found on some of the articles. Their
presence seems now to be explained by the discovery in Buffalo
that KENT and Miss DINGLE lived as husband and wife for two
weeks at a boarding house kept at No. 485 Niagara street by Mrs.
John W. HUTCHINSON. They went under the name of CROSBY there. It
was under the name of Lucy CROSBY that Miss DINGLE entered St.
Mary's Hospital in this city as a patient.
KENT left a letter at the HUTCHINSON
boarding house which indicated that he and his companion
intended never to return. He gave several directions as to
payment of his bills contracted at the boarding house.
HUTCHINSON said that the couple roomed at his place and ate
at a nearby house. The note left the HUTCHINSONS will probably
be shown at the inquest to-morrow.
The body of Miss DINGLE was buried at
the Lakeside cemetery, Monday, in the presence of a few friends.