in Stephentown, 1870
Horrible Affair in Stephentown
A Double Parricide
A Blind Man Murders His Father and Mother
The Murderer Now in Jail
Coroner Brennan of this city yesterday afternoon received a telegraphic dispatch from Hoag's Corners, in the Town of Nassau, asking him to come out and hold an inquest on the bodies of Franklin Kittle and wife of Stephentown. The Coroner complied with the summons at once. When he arrived at Hoag's Corners, he learned that a terrible crime had been committed, and that the couple had been murdered by their own son, who had been blind since his infancy.
As near as we can gather at this time, the facts are as follows: Mr. And Mrs. Kittle, who resided on the line dividing the Towns of Nassau and Stephentown, were among the most respected people of the vicinity, and were in rather well-to-do circumstances. Some time ago, Mr. Kittle made a will leaving all his property to the blind man, but about two weeks ago, the father and son had a dispute of some nature, which ended in the former burning the will. This act the son brooded upon and told a number of persons that he thought it a very severe act on the part of his parent. Thursday night, old Mr. Kittle, who had been drinking somewhat, went to the woodshed near his dwelling, where his son was at the time. The two had some words, and the son took a seven-barreled revolver from the drawer. His mother then stepped in between the two. The son, being unable to see her, discharged the revolver, as he supposed at the father, but in reality at his mother. The bullet lodged in her abdomen, and she died almost instantly. Again the son discharged a barrel of the revolver, and this time he hit his father, the bullet entering the chin and passing upward, lodged in the brain. Then, dropping the weapon, the double parricide pounded the father's head upon the floor until it was crushed into an almost shapeless mass. A sister-in-law of the murdered (sic - this is referring to the murderer) saw the whole transaction, and upon her testimony, the Coroner had the murderer arrested. A jury was impaneled, and a verdict was rendered to the effect that the father and mother had died from wounds inflicted by their son. The parricidal murdered (sic) was brought to this city by an officer from Stephentown and lodged in the jail this afternoon at 1 o'clock. No effort was made by him to conceal his guilt. He admits that he intended to murder his father, but claims that he did not intend to take his mother's life. His name is A. C. Kittle, and he is about twenty years of age. Those who have conversed with him say he acts like an idiot.
Coroner Brennan, who has had an opportunity to become familiar with the facts of this awful tragedy, says it is the most brutal and cold-blooded murder of which he has any knowledge - a statement which few who read the above recital will dispute.