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Litchfield County – Massive Bones and Great Teeth


Connecticut Mystery of Thirty Years

Solved by u Letter.
Canaan, Conn., Dec, SI. A murder mystery of thirty years standing was cleared up yesterday. It was “Fatty” Houlihan who killed “Big Mike” Houlihan and h!s nephew, Pat Ryan, away back lu 1S69, when the old Hartford and Connecticut “Western Railroad, now the Philadelphia, Reading and New England, was building.
While plowing up his land several months ago, Salmon Barlow unearthed two skeletons. One was of giant size, with massive bones and great teeth. Theother was of average build.
“That’s ‘Big Mike,’ ” said an old-timer, when he saw them, “and the other is his nephew, Pat Ryan. There wa3 rer a man in these parts as big as ‘Big Mike. ” Then the old story of the disappearance of the two men was told. They had bsen working as laborers on the railroad and had trouble with the rest of the gang. A fight had taken place one Saturday night, and “Big Mike”” and his nephew had whipped them all.
.The following Monday morning the two men were missing. Nothing more was heard of them, and though murder was suspected the guilt could be fastened on no one. In a letter received today from San Jose, Ca!., the deed is told of by a man who saw the killing and who twenty years after came face to face with the man who did Si.
The letter was from Anthony Slattery. He was prompted to write by reading in a newspaper of the finding of the skeletons. Slattery wrote how “Big Mike” and his nephew whipped “Fatty” Houlihan. The letter went on in bad English: “In S9 I was on the Truckee Division of the K. C. & L… of Oregon, when I saw Fatty. He knew me, but I never let on about the killer of Big Mike till Fatty got smashed by a jumper getting loose on the base switchback. When I got to him he said: ‘I am going over the divide all right this time, so get Father Dooley quick; for I killed Big Mike and I can’t go to heaven till I get absolution.’ ”

  1. The evening times. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1895-1902, December 31, 1898, Image 5


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