Murder, Frank Jones, Alaska discussed on Coast to Coast AM


A member of the family on the morning of June. Ten no one is stirring around in the house. The. And the his brother finally comes at breaks into the house finds a couple of bodies and runs out of the house scraping. They bring the town marshal. And he is neighbors. Hank horton. Mr. Horton, courageously goes through the house. You have to understand. He has no reason to believe anything other than that. A crazed murderer is hiding somewhere in this house. There's a dark house he's holding matches in front of him. With no gun. No, former protection holding matches in front of in front of his himself going from room to room finding bodies. There are eight dead bodies in the house and long towel in a small quiet, but western town, the and all of them hitting the head with an axe the access found as it usually is next to the body of a little girl. The man from the train was a pervert. And he was in in little little girl. Little girl was usually found in a in an attitude suggesting that she had been. She had been outraged after death the. In any case. The crime was not there was a great uproar as you can imagine. But the crime was not solved. Two years later. Conman named Jay Walker Sohn came to Alaska and realized that he could sustain a phony investigation of the crime by keeping people angry. He could keep donations coming in by keeping people angry. And he did that by accusing a very prominent local citizen. Frank Jones of financing the crimes. There isn't any chance in the world of Frank Jones was guilty or that he had any any connection to it. But this campaign to prosecute Frank Jones divided Felicita and a horrible and unprecedented way the city fought over whether or not Jones did it or didn't do it for several years and became Kepa badly divided community, you know, families on one side of the line wouldn't play with families on the other side of the line. They wouldn't go to they wouldn't shop at their stores. They wouldn't wouldn't have anything to do with them that this battle lasted Liska for even though. Wilkerson was eventually run out of town in nineteen seventeen. The the battle went on for a long time and the hard feelings emanating from it. Persisted in the city. I would I would say to an extent that they persist to the present day. You mentioned the that piece about the. The person whipping up sentiment and making a false accusation to profit from it. And even that creates a pattern for all. Too often. How crime stories unsolved crime stories are treated yet at the same time. It it speaks to the fact that there weren't cold-case police officers working the crime still the crimes of that time might have been solved by after that period of time by somebody writing a letter confessing somebody knowing somebody that wasn't it went to almost literally like fall in their lap, which again comes back to the the power of storytelling and how key but just by keeping by telling a story the beginning middle and end of these events. It doesn't matter. How old the story is is that it will get people to listen again and to reconsider again and most likely to connect again to that sense of outrage about what had happened. And so, you know, a static police report. Won't necessarily anger people. But when you start telling the story again, people are feeling, yeah. Yeah. That's right. And and that's but also keeps kind of the idea of the murder alive. It makes it it gives you a sensation. Again, that is the core of sensationalism. But it does it makes you feel it again, the fact that this crime happened had they had they built a, you know, any kind of memorial to the family had there been any had there been what had the town done to try to come to grips with the fact that this murder had happened prior to even this conmen coming to town or afterward. The well there was I don't know that there was that kind of Santa bat. I don't know that anyone built a memorial to them. For many years of Alaska. And I would say this is still true today. The peop- the chamber of commerce types types, invalids go wished to ballista was known for something else. Right, right. The there is a house where the crime occurred is still standing and is operated as a kind of of tourism. It's it's shows up on paranormal TV shows and people pay to take tours of the house the, but if you drive around the Liska, there's no sign anywhere that says where the house is or you know, that we have signed saying where the doctors houses, but the, but where the what ballistic is known for is not mentioned anywhere. The that's not an appropriate. I it goes without saying that that's not an appropriate memorial. Right. The I don't know that it you raise an interesting question. Don't know that in any of these cases, there was a proper memorial to the victims victims were mostly poor people mostly people without. Without the more family was very well liked. They and the community. Thought well of them and the vigorous efforts to solve the crime were kind of memorial to them. But I don't think there was any physical memorial to them. Sometimes it's just a place where somebody always brings flowers. There's an effort to try to. So it doesn't even have to be like a statue. But it is interesting. How communities will will sometimes do that? Because that is their way of honoring. But I think you mentioned the economics piece that explains everything that that's one of the reasons it's usually prominent citizens that enjoy that kind of status. The one of his one of the national chains crimes. The double murder in Colorado Springs. It murdered two families in one night and adjoining houses the, but if you if you go to that community where that happened. Now, the people in that area is still remember it and yet still they they could tell ya. Oh, that's that house right there. It's still it has not forgotten many.

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