26 April 2017

V is for Veiled in Mystery: James Mooney Killed in the Line of Duty (A-Z)

Someone got away with murder.


Rome Tri-Weekly Courier (Georgia)
21 April 1874 -- pg. 3



…Rome has been thrown into much excitement in consequence of the mysterious taking off of Policeman Mooney, an officer of quiet and orderly habits, faithful in the discharge of his duties, and known as a reliable man and a good citizen.  The circumstances of his death are still veiled in mystery, the Coroner's inquest having developed no clue as to how and by whom the deceased came to his death.  It seems to be one of those well-laid plans of crime which leave no trace of the perpetrator or perpetrators.  So far the Coroner and his jury have been unable to unravel the mystery or to get on track of any information that promises to lead to the development of the crime.

Mooney's body was discovered late one Saturday night "along the track of the Rome Railroad, at the foot of Etowah street, almost directly upon the bank of the Etowah river, and but a short distance from the site of the steam mills of C. E. Hills & Co., recently burned."

Upon investigation it was discovered that the deceased had received a heavy blow behind the left ear, crushing the skull, and another across the left side of the head above the the [sic] ear, and rather to the posterior of the head. Both of these blows seemed to have been inflicted with a club, or a heavy, blunt instrument in the shape of a bludgeon, and either one were calculated to produce death...

It seems to have been a surprise attack, as there were no signs of a struggle.  The Coroner's Inquest, held "the whole of Sunday," found nothing that pointed "to the party who committed the deed."

Policeman Mooney leaves a wife and child who were entirely dependent on him for support…

The mayor of the city offered a $250 reward for information leading to the arrest of the murderer or murderers of Policeman Mooney, but the Coroner and his jury remained clueless.

Less than two months later, James Peter Mooney's whistle was found.  Following also from the Rome Tri-Weekly Courier, dated 9 June 1874:

We understand that the parties engaged in putting up the new telegraph poles through the city, found Policeman Mooney's whistle at or near the junction of the railroads in the upper part of the city.  The question is, Died he lose it there in the struggle for life, or did the murderers throw it away or lose it in that part of the city after committing the deed?

More than another month goes by, and still nothing.  The last I found from 1874 follows.

Rome Tri-Weekly Courier (Georgia)
14 July 1874 -- pg. 3


The Grand Jury Presentments for the First Week.

We have instituted as rigid and thorough an investigation as it was in our power to do, in relation to the brutal assassination of Policeman Mooney in the city of Rome in April last; but after an exhaustive effort on our part we regret to say that our labors, like those of the Coroner's Jury, to discover the fiendish perpetrators of the diabolical outrage have been unsuccessful.

Are you wondering what's up with all the "letter" posts? I am participating in the Blogging from A to Z Challenge (links to official page). This challenge lasts through the month of April, with Sundays off.  Each day follows a different letter prompt, in order, from A to Z.  Click here to see all my letter posts on one page (in reverse order). This blog as a whole is one of my themes – telling the tales of tombstones, primarily from those found in the Southern United States and usually the State of Georgia.  You may follow along with me by email and other social media platforms listed at the top of the sidebar.  I and other bloggers in the challenge on Twitter will also be using #atozchallenge.

Though this is my second year in the challenge, it's my first with two blogs.  I am also participating with Lincecum Lineage.  Though it is a one name study blog, my theme there is "kinfolk direct." These genealogy and family history posts all involve a direct relative.

Are you participating in the challenge, too? Please leave a link to your blog in the comments, I'd love to pay you a visit.  Good luck to all involved!

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