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Showing posts from August, 2017

The Deathbed Confession of Hetty Good

When a sweet old Mennonite woman from Bowmansville saw death standing on her doorstep after a long bout with tuberculosis, she attempted to end her life by slashing her throat. Her suicide attempt was a failure, however, and so she called not for a priest, but for a former lover she hadn't seen in over forty years. With her dying breath she made a ghastly confession-- that she was one of the most ruthless, cold-blooded murderers Lancaster County has ever seen.

Hetty Good confessed her crimes on June 7, 1895, at the age of 61. A week earlier, perhaps overcome by guilt, she had attempted to cut her own throat, but only succeeded in prolonging her anguish for a few more days. Knowing that the end was rapidly approaching she sent for a man from Mohnsville named William Griffiths, who formerly lived in Bowmansville.

Griffiths had been Hetty's lover four decades earlier, as was said to have been the father of Hetty Good's illegitimate child who had mysteriously disappeared from h…

The Mysterious Disappearance of Alice Arnold

When four-year-old Alice Arnold disappeared from her Perry County home in the spring of 1911 it sparked one of the largest search missions in the history of Pennsylvania. The search, which lasted for two months, involved hundreds of volunteers, dozens of police departments, an Indian tracker from the Carlisle Indian School and even a clairvoyant.

It was Monday morning, May 22, 1911, when little Alice Arnold was last seen alive at the Arnold family home at Marsh Run, near Ickesburg. By nightfall a search party of two hundred volunteers had scoured the heavy underbrush and mountains but, as the search stretched into its second day, not a trace of the little girl could be found. They did, however, discover footprints in the vicinity belonging to a mountain lion or panther, and the general consensus was that Alice had been dragged away by a fanged predator.

Rain fell heavily on the second day of the search, but the volunteers were undeterred. Neighbors began to fear for Mrs. Arnold, who a…