This only Chapter one of my book let me know your thoughts.
The Springdale Killer
By D.M. WOODMEN
Springdale, Montana, being founded in 1775, had a population just under two hundred was a sleepy little town. Some joked that if you blinked while riding through, you would miss the town in passing. The main road had a small-town hall for the town officials that consisted of the sheriff, along with the mayor and two town Counsil members and general store which was where all towns’ folks went for their hardware along with food shopping, a small library, and a coffee shop along with the schoolhouse. The schoolhouse had two classrooms, one for a few high school students and the other for the younger children. The people in Springdale were also quiet and enjoyed the simple life. The highlight of the weekends might include going to a town picnic or social gatherings. Springdale was big on get-togethers. From town dances to the fair. Once a year the town would hold a big town celebration for the founding families of Springdale. Everything in town was closed on Sunday as the founders considered it the day of rest. The smells from the Cafe always smelled like grandma baking away in the kitchen. Word about the town from outsiders is you won’t find a friendlier town around.
There was the McCoy family of three living just outside of town. Husband: Francies wife, Elizabeth and their young son Edward. Very well respected by the towns people. In a beautiful four-bedroom home. The home being built in 1775. It was a four-bedroom home. That had an elegant staircase with unfinished pine floors along with a brick firebox with an iron top for cooking meals. Perfect for hosting party’s and social occasions. Francess bought it from an elderly lady who used as an inn that was losing money. He bought the house as a wedding gift for Elizabeth. Francies worked for the local general store in which he owned. Buying it from his parents as they wanted to travel around the world. Elizabeth worked for the local cafe in town owned by her maternal parents. They had the best coffee and donuts around.
One day a letter had come to the house notifying the family that Francis was being drafted into the North Union in the American civil war in June 1864 till the north won the war in April 1865. Leaving Elizabeth to take care of their child with the only help that was of her parents. He had only deployed about two months when he received a letter from his wife informing him, she was pregnant with their second child. As the war was going on, he kept hoping he would make it home in time to see his second child be born. However, as time went on, he wondered if he would make it home, as so many others that he befriended were dying off one by one.
As time was getting closer to their daughter to be born, she fears that her beloved husband might not make it home in time for her to give birth. One day she woke up in so much pain she asked her parents to watch Nicole while she went to the Dr. Her mother agreed to go with her. When the Dr. saw her and asked questions about the problem and he said sounds as if your over worked and your tired. He said best thing for you to do is go home to rest until it’s time. For the next month, the midwife stayed by Elizabeth’s side. While her parents watched Edward. Nicole was born in March 1865, a month before the war was over. She was born seven pounds nine ounces.
When Francies got back from the war, he became furious easily and started drinking heavily. Then he was soon after diagnosed with Combat Stress Reaction. He then started becoming so angry that he would physically and mentally abuse Elizabeth and Edward. He even started having a reputation for being the town drunk. He even got arrested for trying to shoot the mayor after the mayor made comment about the war. But then later released after the mayor dropped the charges. However, later arrested again for setting the town library on fire. Judge sentenced him to one hundred hours of community service. The town knew he beat Elizabeth and Edward. However, never spoke up, just gossiped among themselves about it. In passing or at Church, Elizabeth heard whispers about it. Even among the whispers she heard Francis was having affairs with the Sherriff’s wife Ronda.
Elizabeth got to the point after a few years of the abuse she couldn’t do it anymore, so she packed up and left, leaving her two children behind trying to escape her abuser. When she left, she hugged her children said she loved them. While Frances was asleep. She then grabbed her suitcase she had packed. She ended up swiping three hundred dollars from his wallet. She managed to escape to Traverse City Michigan. Founded in 1847 had a population just under sixteen thousand. Using the name Bell, she started looking for work while staying at the local INN. She kept running into problems of finding work as she has been only a homemaker and didn’t have work experience. She soon finds a job as a washerwoman, and they offered her a room to live in exchange for a small dock in pay for rent. It wasn’t much, just a basic room with a bed, a small kitchen unit, and there was an outhouse to use for the bathroom. They also said she could do her Lundry for free. She had been working there about a month when she became ill and kept putting off going to the Dr. and she just got worse. Till one day she woke up and she started throwing up. Then she decided to go see a Dr. The Dr. said you seem like you might have the flu after running a blood test. It came back conforming she had smallpox. Elizabeth asked what is smallpox? The Dr. replied and said Well it’s a Deases that causes flu like symptoms. Sadly, she died two days later. With no one knowing who she truly was, or if she had any family. They buried her in an unmarked grave.
Meanwhile, when Edward was ten years old, he could no longer Indore his father’s abuse on him any longer. Edward waited till his father had already passed out drunk on the sofa as he usually did and went out to the tool shed and grabbed a pack of matches and some old oily rags along with a can of gas took it in the home and placed the oily rags all over the house and then poured gas everywhere in the house. Since Nicole was staying with their maternal grandparents, he just needed to get himself out of the house. When he was walking near the front door, he saw his dad sleeping away, so he walked outside. He then turned just outside the front door to the house and lit a match and threw it in the front door of the house. Before he knew it, the house was up in flames, and he could hear his father screaming loud enough to wake the dead. He could see his father trying to get out the front door when suddenly he fell just in the doorway to the entranceway to the home and died. Just then the town folks came running to see what the scream and also to see what was burning, once Joseph along with the town’s folk arrived at the home hoping nothing had happened to Frances and Edward. All they saw was Edward standing there laughing, looking at the house and noticed the McCoy home was very much engulfed was flames. The Sheriff then looked at the towns folks and asked the men to help him gather the hooks and chains out of his horse and wagon as he had been doing his rounds of the town when he heard the screams and smelled the smoke meanwhile Joesph approached Edward with caution as he still wasn’t sure of what happened yet or what part Edward played in this situation. Joseph eases his way near Edward then said buddy why are you laughing and where’s your dad? Edward then turned to look at Joesph and said Dad can no longer hurt me. Then went back to laughing, looking at the house. Then the town’s men throw their hooks on top of the home, holding on to the chains and they latched, and the Sheriff said on three now pull. He said one, then two, and then said three and pull. Just then, the house collapsed. When the fire was ultimately put out and daylight had come, Joesph looked at the house and noticed there looked like a finger. As he got closer, he could tell that it looked like someone’s partly buried finger under a pile of debris. He then said to two of the townsmen come over here, both of you, and grab that chain and hook and then throw it on to the pile of debris covering part of the finger. They throw it and it hooked on an opening in the debris. Then said to the two men grab some chain and Joesph did the same and said when I say pull you two pulls. He then said pull, and they pulled. The debris lifted and fell backwards landed just inches from their feet. When the dust cleared, he went over to where he saw the finger and he couldn’t believe his eyes. He saw a body had been very burned. Sherriff walked over and said what did you find? Joesph said we found the body of Francies. Sherriff then look and saw the body. The Sherriff said this doesn’t look good. Joesph responded and said Ethel, know. Then Joesph said i would hate to think my grandson committed this crime. Then said Sherriff, what do you want to do? The Sherriff then responded and said, well I’m afraid I’m going to need to take him down to the Sherriff’s office for questioning. Joesph said OKAY do what you got to do then said before you go there’s one thing you should know. The Sherriff said, okay what is it? Joesph then said when I was talking to him, he turned to me and said something odd. He said that dad could no longer hurt him. The Sherriff said, okay thank you for that information then walked up to Edward. Edward had already stopped laughing. The Sherriff then said, young man, will you come with me? I want to talk to you and just ask you some questions about what had happened. Edward then turned with a smile on his face, and then Edward said sure. They both got on the Sheriff’s horse Buggie and head to the sheriff office. Through questioning the sheriff learned nothing as Edward kept denying the fact about what happen. Meanwhile, Joesph headed home and walked into the kitchen where Ethel and Nicole were having breakfast. Ethel said hello dear and asked what happen you out there for hours. Then he walked over to Nicole, gave her a hug like he did every morning when she stayed over and said to Ethel, please come into the dining room. She said OKAY went into the other room and he said i cannot believe what i have seen. She said what? He said that they arrested Edword for burning down the house and then he started crying as he told her he had discovered the Francies’ body and that he died in the fire. Couple days later, The Sherriff came by and told Joesph and Ethel that Edward was being held pending trial after dental records conformed it was Francis McCoy.
Thirty days later Edword went on trial. Judge Kevin Cooper Territorial Courthouse out of Washington State saw over the trail. The trial lasted about two weeks. During the trail they heard many testimonies from Springdale people and the sheriff. That all said that they had heard a scream and went to see what was going on and saw Edward laughing, looking at the home burning. Then Joseph took the stand. While on the stand, they asked for his side story on what he saw that night. He then said I was reading in the sitting room with my wife while my granddaughter was asleep upstairs in her room. Then I heard what sounded like a loud yell and I thought at first a mountain lion attacked someone. So, I got up, grabbed my shotgun and loaded it, and put some extra shells in my pocket. Told my wife I would be back. She said OKAY just be careful. Upon going to investigate to see what the scream was, I went in the direction I thought I heard it coming from and as I got closer, I could see what I thought was a very large smoke and light as if there was a big bomb fire. When I got close enough to see where the fire was coming from. I saw the townsfolks gathered and the home burning and how they were all shaken and horrified by what they saw by the enjoyment Edward had on his face while watching his family home burn. They then asked him had he noticed anything out of the ordinary in the days leading up to the night of the fire? He said no. Jospeh said however when I asked him what happen to his father. Cause we still didn’t know Frances was in the house at the time of the burning. Then said when i asked Edward what happen? All he said was he could no longer hurt him. As the rest of trail was of showing evidence witness statements. Then came time for the jury to decide. However, there were two questions lay out before the jury. One was there enough evidence to prove he could have committed theses crime’s he was being accused of? The second question before the jury was if they could try someone of his age as an adult? The Jury took about three hours to deliberate. When the jury came back in, the Judge asked if the Jury has come to decision. They said we have your honor. The judge then said on the first count, how does the jury find? We the jury find Edward McCoy guilty on the first account. Then the Judge said on the second count how does the jury find? We the jury find Edward McCoy guilty on the second count The Judge Said well then first I’m very disturbed by what i was reading in the court filings and by the testimonies in this courtroom. Before I make my ruling, I want to have a psychiatric evaluation done first. A week later, Edward went to see a man by the name of Dr. Lenard Cook was the best in the state for his field. They say they only call on Dr. Cook when it’s a difficult case such as this one. During the testing, Dr. Cook asked him questions about the night of the fire and how his dad died in the fire. Also, about what type of relationship they had. Edward Said that he was a good father before the war. However, when he returned from war, he wasn’t so nice. He would get drunk and hit mommy and me. Dr. Cook then asked well how he would get mad and then how would he hit you and mommy. He said Well after dad would have a few drinks he would then yell and then he would take his gun out of his holster and place it on the counter then picking up anything he could and throwing things across the kitchen floor then grab mommy by the arm and start punching her and when he’s done hitting mommy; it was my turn. He would then take his belt off and then hit me in any way he could with the belt and after mommy left, he would get worse with hitting me and he would hit me mostly in places that could keep covered and told me not to say anything to anyone. Dr. Cook intrigued by what he was hearing. Dr. Cook then asked, have you ever said this to anyone? Edward then said no. Dr. Cook then said, wait here, I will be back. When Dr. Cook returned, he said come with me. Edward went with the Dr. They went into a room and Dr. Cook said, this is Nurse Amy, and she will help assist me today. Then the Dr. said we just need to examine you for brushing. When he lifted the boy’s shirt, he saw black and blue marks even on his back. There were also similar markings on his legs. The Dr. thought it was odd that there was no mention about abuse in the record the court gave him. Upon reviewing his finding’s. He concluded he was mentally incompetent. On September 5th, 1870, The Judge sentenced him to a state mental health asylum called The South Carolina State Hospital in St. Columba, SC for life. The hospital being founded in 1821 and opened in 1827. Featuring the latest innovations in fire resistance and patient security, it only could accommodate approximately 450 patients at a time. While at the state hospital, Edward Indore torture because of the treatments. Where they would submerge him in a bath for hours at a time, mummified in a wrapped “pack,” or sprayed with a deluge of shockingly cold water in showers. The Asylum also relied heavily on mechanical restraints, using straight jackets, manacles, waistcoats, and leather wristlets, sometimes for hours or days at a time. Along with being heavily sedated on medication.
To prevent Nicole from becoming award of the state, the grandparents petition the court for full custody as Elizabeth could not be located. On September 30th, 1870, a Territorial Courthouse judge in Bellingham Washington ruled in the best interest of the child and awarded the grandparents full custody of Nicole. As she got older, she wanted to know what had happened to her biological parents. The grandparents had told her they had adopted her after both parents had had perished in a fire when she was just five years old. However, didn’t tell her she had a bother. As Nicole got older, she felt as if something was missing in her life. She always felt as if they were keeping more from her than they were telling her. After the trail was over, the town just tried to move on and wanted to forget what happen the night Francies died. The mayor, with approval from the city council, had all records of the fire and the trail permanently sealed and put with the secret archives where the townsfolk’s and outsiders couldn’t get ahold of them. As for the secret archives among the records where all the hidden history on this town that was only known by few people. In order to see the records, you needed approval from the mayor and the town council to approve it by vote. As time went on, it became a folk tell. it went as follows once there was the McCoy family living on the edge of town. Almost like the perfect family from the outside. Till the husband went to war and wasn’t the same when he came back. Started drinking heavily was a wife and child beater. Till one day the wife left and the son killed him on a fire. Mainly told to scare their kids from drinking.