Body in a Well

The St. Nicholas coal breaker, not far from New Boston

The sad tale of Anthony Konitskuski, whose killer has never been caught.  Just one of the hundreds of unsolved murders which plagued the Coal Region in the 19th century.

From the Scranton Tribune, May 12, 1897:

Mahanoy City, Pa., May 11- The body of Anthony Konitskuski, swollen and disfigured, was fished from a thirty foot well in New Boston village today.  Appearances indicated that he met his death by violence and his body was thrown into the well to cover all traces of his whereabouts.  The well is the main supply of the six hundred residents of the New Boston village, and Konitskuski's remains have in all probability lain there for about two weeks before being found.

The body was discovered by Mrs. Cragg, who pulled it to the surface while trying to fish out a bucket which had become unfastened from the rope and had sunk to the bottom of the well.  The body no sooner reached the surface than the woman saw what a horrifying discovery she had made.  In a very short time more than four hundred persons had gathered about the place and the greatest excitement prevailed.  A ladder was lowered into the well and the body was fastened to a rope and drawn to the surface where it was identified as Konitskuski's.

Two weeks ago last Saturday the man was seen alive for the last time.  He was on his way from Morea, where he had secured his wages.  Although inquiries were made no trace of the man could be found.  It is believed that he was waylaid by footpads, murdered, robbed and his body then thrown into the well.  The top of his head is crushed in, as if by a heavy blunt instrument, and his face is lacerated and bruised in a terrible manner.  It was recalled that two weeks ago a hat was found floating in the well, but there was no attention paid to the incident.  

Coroner Fogarty, of this city, has taken charge of the remains.

New Boston as it appears today

(view original article here)


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