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Transcribed by Dee Sardoch
Stockton Daily Independent
Stockton, San Joaquin Co., CA
>>Tuesday, 6 June 1871<<
HORRIBLE MURDER --
A Young Lady Killed by Her Lover --
Marysville ‘Appeal’ --
Yesterday morning the little town of Cherokee, 12 miles from Oroville, was thrown into a state of intense excitement by the report that an estimable young lady had been murdered by an Italian as she was returning to her home, after a social party given at Upper Cherokee, in the honor of the marriage of Joseph FALK. This was about 4 o’clock in the morning.
The deceased, Miss Lizzie McDANIELS, was accompanied by a Mr. WELLS and a lady. It appears that the murderer, called by some an Italian, by others ‘Portugese Joe,’ had been paying attention to the young lady for some 2 years past, though she tried to discourage his suit. He had told her that he would kill her, if she did not consent to marry him, but it seems that she regarded his threats rather lightly.
From all we can learn regarding this unfortunate affair, this man, Portugese Joe, as we will call him, came up behind the ladies and their escort, seized Miss McDANIELS by the head, and bending it backward, plunged a knife in her throat and drew it downward, inflicting a horrible wound, laying the throat open the whole length, and even cutting her bosom. The attack was so sudden, so unexpected, that her escort, Mr. WELLS, was taken completely by surprise, and knew not what was transpiring until the life blood of the victim showed him the horrid nature of the assault. As the murderer released his hold of his victim, Mr. WELL shot at, but missed him, and before he could fire again, the villain turned a corner and escaped.
Such, in brief, is a condensed account of the affair, taken from the many rumors flying about. Miss McDANIELS was about 18 years of age, an estimable young lady and a general favorite. In one dispatch to the ‘Appeal’ her name is given as Susie, in another as Lizzie. Her mother is now on a visit to New York, and the melancholy news will fall doubly severe on her, who left her daughter but a short time since in the full vigor of youthful health.
The community has been thrown into a terrible state of excitement by this dastardly act, and the whole populace have united in hunting down the wretch. Parties are scouring the surrounding country in search of the murderer, and it seems impossible for him to escape. If taken it is probable that the courts will not be troubled with a trial of his case. Judge Lynch will preside, and a stout rope and shrift will be given the murder of Miss McDANIELS.
It rarely falls to the lot of the journalist to record a murder so unprovoked, so atrocious and thrilling in its details. A young and lovely woman, with all the glories of life opening before her, stricken down by the hand of one who professed unbounded love for her, who would have made her his wife. The fiendish passion exhibited by the assassin, is almost beyond credence. It seems hard to believe that a man could thus murder the object of his love, and yet we are compelled to admit that such cases occur, though, thank God they are rare.