Thursday, June 14, 2018

The Rock Island Wreck Mystery...!

A case of a train wreck caused deliberately and never solved is a haunting one.

One might think that after all this time, some clue as to who was actually responsible would turn up. Apparently not, since it remains unsolved to this day.

The Case Of The Rock Island Wreck

Photo credit: Lincoln Journal Star

On August 9, 1894, a locomotive carrying two passenger cars derailed off a 12-meter (40 ft) trestle in Lincoln, Nebraska, killing 11 people. An inspection quickly revealed that the wreck was the result of sabotage. Spikes had been pulled out of the track, ties had been gouged with a crowbar, and the rail had wrench marks. This act of sabotage was the largest mass murder in the history of the state, alongside Charles Starkweather’s 1958 killing spree.

A black man named George Washington Davis was arrested two days later. Witnesses claimed to have seen him with a lantern at the crash site.[4] He was convicted during a second trial but was paroled ten years later by Governor John Mickey. Nobody else was ever charged.

Davis had a lot of support, both then and now, claiming he was nothing but a convenient scapegoat for a community out for punishment. Others believed that he was involved, but he didn’t act alone. The lack of a motive led them to conjecture that Davis might have been hired to sabotage the rail, perhaps by a Rock Island competitor. However, even now, over a century later, all of this remains pure speculation.

Sounds to me as if the man convicted was, indeed, a scapegoat. One of those things I reckon we will never know for sure!

Coffee inside the kitchen again. The is just too hot outside to be comfortable.


linda m said...

There had to have been more than one person doing that. Scapegoat indeed.

HermitJim said...

Hey Linda...
My thoughts exactly. Sure would seem that way.
Thanks for stopping by today!

JO said...

First being a man of color would naturally make him the guilty person. No this was a job done by more than one person or it was a very strong person. Love mystery Wed.

See you in the kitchen I already had to close up the house this morning nasty heat and it is only the beginning. Where is this thing they call rain?

Mamahen said...

I think you're right...Sorry I'm late, but life gets in the way sometimes.

HermitJim said...

Hey Jo...
We managed to get some rain today and are expecting more this weekend. Yaaa...! I'm glad that you like the mysteries.
Thanks for dropping by today, dear!

Hey Mamahen...
Yes it does indeed! Being late is OK for sure.
Thanks for stopping by today!