Kentucky Posse Threatens Life of Prisoner

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Caught in a tree Friday, after the home of Alfred Dowlick, coal merchant of Constance, Ky., had been robbed, John smith, a negro, who says he lives in Cincinnati, might have met harm at the hands of a posse of Constance citizens had not Coroner A. A. Murat intervened.  “Don’t give me any work today, boys,” said the coroner, and the humor of the request appealed to so many of the crowd that they laughed. Many of the onlookers believed the quick wit of the coroner saved the negro’s life.

The Dowlick home was looted Friday morning during the absence of the family. A lot of goods and $75 were stolen. As soon as the robbery was discovered a posse began hunting for the thief.  While they were beating about in the woods in the vicinity of Constance it is alleged that they came upon Smith hiding high in a tree.  The negro was pulled down from his perch, and according to a message from Constance, the crowd, which quickly gathered around him threatened his life and someone obtained a rope.  Hearing the shouts of the men, Coroner Murat hurried to the scene.  It is alleged that the negro told his captors where the stolen goods could be found.

Some time later the situation became threatening again, and there was more talk of storming the village jail.  It was then decided to spirit him away, so he was placed in an auto and rushed to the county jail of Burlington, Ky., for safekeeping Coroner Murat will request Detective Chief Love to send detectives to Burlington to look at the negro.


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From the Kentucky Times-Star, August 31, 1917