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Colonial Cases


WILLAMETTE FARMER (Salem, Or.), 8 October 1875

Murderer Arrested.

WINNEMUCCA, October 1. - A year ago last August, a man named Walker, who was travelling afoot in search of employment, stopped one evening at Rattlesnake station, on the Winnemucca and Idaho road.  The proprietor of the station, named bates, offered him work mowing, which he accepted.  Bates was proceeding to get supper for Walker when Robert Douglas, a man employed by the N. W. Stage Company, invited Walker to eat with him and save Bates the trouble of cooking.  Walker accepted and went with Douglas, but in a few minutes returned and remarked that he was a strange man, to invite him to eat supper, and without provocation threaten to kill him the moment he began to eat.

   At this juncture Douglass appeared with a shot-gun, and shot Walker dead.  Douglass mounted a stage horse ands escaped to the next station, where he left the horse and effected his escape by public conveyance to Boise City, thence to Kelton, being assisted, he now says, by several prominent men in getting out of the country.  An inquest was held on the murdered man.  In his pockets were found letters by which it was ascertained that his name was Walker, and a wallet containing $100 in money.  Platt Burr, then engaged in building the Nevada and Northern telegraph line, obtained possession of the money, and still retains it.  This cold blooded, unprovoked murder of a wayfaring man caused great excitement, and had the teamsters on the Winnemucca and Nevada road caught the murderer they would have saved Oregon, where the crime was committed, the expenses of a trial.  The Governor of Oregon took great interest in the affair, and urged the authorities to spare no pains or expense in tracking the murderer and bringing him to justice.  Sheriff Boyd, of Baker county, two weeks ago learned his whereabouts, and Douglass was arrested in the employ of Salt lake and Helena Stage Coach Co., and brought to Winnemucca last night.  Sheriff Nash has started with him for Oregon this morning.  Douglas does not deny the crime, but says it was done in self defense.

Published by Centre for Comparative Law, History and Governance at Macquarie Law School