Friday, August 31, 2007

Call On Spirits to Help Convict Negro


(Special to Post-Crescent)

Des Moines, Iowa. — A voice from the spirit world is being used to help forge the chain of evidence against Tom Lewis, negro, charged with assaulting and murdering 23-year-old Sara Barbara Thorsdale, Des Moines school teacher.

Miss Thorsdale's body was found in a clump of bushes alongside the lonely road she took in walking from her school to the street car. Lewis, who lived in a shack nearby, was traced by bloodhounds. He denies all knowledge of the crime.

The spirit voice is that of the slain girl, transmitted through Mrs. E. C. Head, a Des Moines medium, to Mrs. Gladys Conway, Miss Thorsdale's dearest chum.

The chum, skeptically but hopefully, applied to Mrs. Head after Lewis protested his innocence. She says she heard the voice of Miss Thorsdale clearly, that it told her a negro and two white men were responsible, and that it explained the crime in this way:

"I was walking casually along, and when I reached the thicket a hand was stretched out and caught me. Another hand went over my mouth. That was 4:40 in the afternoon, but my spirit did not leave my body until the next day. I was taken to a cabin and kept there. Early the following morning they took my body to the river to throw it into the water, but the men were afraid. There were two men. Another knew, but did not help."

Names of the two white men have been turned over to officials, who say they will be arrested.

Sheriff W. E. Robb plans to use both Mrs. Conway and Mrs. Head as witnesses.

—Appleton Post-Crescent, Appleton, WI, July 25, 1921, p. 6.

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