12 April 2014

You Only Live Twice

Sorry for the delay in posting. While clearing hints I came across an interesting puzzle in my tree that I've become obsessed with. It will probably be a future 'case study' post. A couple of children never living with their parents during a census year, a man's second family disappears after he dies, and a wanted man shot dead by a posse and sent to the electric chair. You know, the usual.
The wanted man is not in my tree. One of his victims, Matthew Jones, is but how can I not find out the entire story after finding multiple newspaper articles with conflicting reports? There is a Kentucky death certificate for the murderer from September 1912. So far I have found no retractions or corrections in newspapers for the November 1911 article and it was published in numerous papers across the country.


Middlesboro, Ky., October 26 - In a running fight with a Sheriff's posse early to-day, Cal Miracle, wanted for double murder at Pineville, was killed and Deputy Sheriff Thomas, of the posse, received wounds from which he died later.
The fight took place in the mountains near Clear Creek. A reward for the capture of Miracle has been outstanding for some time.
A posse had been on Cal Miracle's trail for several weeks. Late in August he killed Matthew Johnson [sic] and Mrs. William Gibson near Pineville.
Immediately a reward for his capture, dead or alive, was offered, but Miracle eluded pursuit until yesterday, when he was run down in the mountain country, near here.
All night the posse stalked Miracle, and this morning he came out in the open to fight. Well armed. Miracle stood off the posse until he fell, his body bullet-ridden.
The Hartford Herald (Hartford, KY)
1 Nov 1911, Page 6
Almost a year later...


Cal Miracle, convicted in the Pineville circuit court of double murder, was electrocuted at Eddyville last Friday morning. Miracle was a desperate character, and went to his death without any apparent sorrow for the life he had led.
The Citizen (Berea, KY) 
5 Sep 1912, Page 8 

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  1. Love the story of Cal Miracle. I even Googled it.

    One news story states that when they found him and captured him (not the shot to death one) that the family was concerned that the did not have the correct person so the sent someone to identify him. It was him. This makes one think that the family may have been down this road before of false identification. Papers back then rarely printed retractions.

    Found the news stories at rootsweb: http://archiver.rootsweb.ancestry.com/th/read/JONES/2000-01/0948034301

    It is in multiple parts and you can locate the others form that one.

    Very interesting story! Thank you so much for sharing!!

    1. Maybe not a retraction but I would think a posse killing the wrong man (that's what I've been thinking too) would be a news story until itself. So far, nothin'. I did see those Rootsweb posts, thanks ;-) Google Books also has info on his appeals. I never realized case law could make for interesting reading.

    2. LOL! I used to listen to stories from my great uncle before he passed away. He was part of posses when he was in his prime. Killing the wrong man did not even seem to scratch the top ten of oops. Killing the wrong man seemed to be a normal Tuesday for some posses. ;)

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