4. Jessie McPherson
At the age of 35, Jessie McPherson was making a life for herself as a servant at 17 Sandyford Place, which was owned by John Fleming, a wealthy accountant in Glasgow. On July 7th, 1862, McPherson was found partially dressed, having been hacked to death. Fleming’s elderly father James, who was allegedly quite the womanizer and possibly a drunk, was home at the time of McPherson’s death. The rest of the family was away on vacation over the weekend leading up to McPherson’s death.
Despite James Fleming’s presence at the house, the chief suspect in the case was former Sandyford Place servant Jessie McLachlan, who was known to be a friend of the victim. While the public largely believed McLachlan to be innocent, she was arrested on July 13 and charged with McPherson’s death, eventually being sentenced to life in prison. At first, she was actually sentenced to death, but that sentence was commuted. McLachlan always blamed Fleming for McPherson’s death, claiming that Fleming had actually sexually assaulted McPherson and killed her to hide his crime.
McLachlan served 15 years before being released in 1877. She went to America to live and eventually died in 1899.
These days, it is believed by many that James Fleming murdered Jessie McPherson, possibly because she rejected his advances, or maybe because he sexually assaulted her. Books have been written suggesting McLachlan was nothing more than a scapegoat. The truth of it all, however, is unknown; the identity of the actual murderer will likely never be revealed.
H/T – Source
5. Herbert Fletcher DeCou
On March 11, 1911, Herbert Fletcher DeCou was murdered. He had been part of a team from the United States excavating an ancient Greek city known as Cyrene, which is located in what is now the country of Libya. The killing actually caused something of an international incident, one that involved the United States, Turkey, and Italy.
The shooting of DeCou happened in the morning, a
It wasn’t until 2004, after an autopsy using modern technology was performed, that the world came to learn that Italian nobleman Cangrande della Scalla was indeed murdered. For almost seven centuries, it was assumed the nobleman’s death, which occurred in 1329, was an accident. As it turned out, it is likely that the Lord of Verona was deliberately administered a fatal amount of Digitalis. Digitalis, also known as foxgloves, is a genus of roughly 20 species of perennials, biennials, and shrubs; the word is often used to describe drug preparations extracted from one of the plants of the genus.
nd the camp’s director was told that DeCou—who was on the way to a dig site—was shot twice by three Arabs, who escaped on horseback.
It is likely that the so-called assassins, whoever they were, did not intend to kill DeCou. There was no real way they could have known he would end up in front of the wall behind which they were hidden. The Italo-Turkish War of 1911, in which Libya became a colony of Italy, was about to start; therefore, it is highly possible the assassins just wanted to kill an American and mistook DeCou for someone else, possibly the director of the excavation team. There was also talk of DeCou attempting to woo a married woman from the area, resulting in his being murdered by a jealous husband. Regardless, while it is entirely possible that various governments around the world actually know who killed DeCou and why, it is unlikely that information will ever be shared with the general public.
H/T – Source
6. The Skeleton of Leavy Neck
In 2003, a skull was found in a colonial-era cellar by an archeological team at a site called Leavy Neck, which was a 17th-century farm in Maryland. The rest of the skeleton was found shortly thereafter, stuffed inside a shallow pit. The cellar had been filled with trash.
Forensic analysis of the skeleton was eventually performed, as the archeological team was eager to learn more about their discovery. It was determined that, in life, the teenaged boy of European descent was almost certainly an indentured servant; he had been overworked, causing injury to his spine and generally poor health. His quick burial and perimortem fractures on his right wrist suggest that he was murdered.
Times were different in the 1600’s, and indentured servants often weren’t treated well; while many indentured servants were able to fulfill their contracts and find success in what was then the “New World”, the young man to whom the Skeleton of Leavy Neck belonged was not so lucky. While it seems likely he was murdered by his master, we’ll never know for sure.