a hand seemingly laying in a pool of blood

Valentine’s Day True Crime Stories

The House on Church Street

When William met Pyrle McCoole, he couldn’t deny his love for her. Unfortunately for him, Pyrle was married to his good friend, Ed. William also had a wife of his own, Cora. Over the next few weeks, William convinced Ed and Pyrle to move in with him and Cora.

William then went to work trying to seduce Pyrle. Though she liked the attention William was giving her, she was hesitant about taking their relationship to the next level.

That’s when William hired a psychic who divined she was having doubts about being with her husband and that there was a new man in her life. He told her this new man and they were destined to be together. Her doubts were officially eased.

But Ed and Cora were already starting to suspect there was something going on between the two. The women argued every day about it until Ed and Pyrle decided to move out.

After catching Pyrle trying to sneak one more letter to William, Ed went back to the house the two couples once shared. Where he shot William three times before fleeing.

On his deathbed, William asked his friends to destroy a stack of letters from Pyrle. He died the next evening, thinking his and Pyrle’s relationship would never be found out. But his friends didn’t destroy a letter he’d written to Cora, confessing to the love affair.

Peace Destroyed

John Brown thought he and his wife, Nellie had a happy marriage. Sherman, John’s brother, thought the same about his marriage with Kate. But when the two couples and their families moved from a small town in Illinois to Davenport, Iowa, in 1914, everything changed.

Not long after the move, Nellie and Kate both left their husbands and moved into a boarding house together. John took the separation in stride, figuring it was only temporary and it was just a matter of time before he and Nellie would get back together.

Sherman didn’t see it that way. Kate had seemed to move on too quickly. And he was starting to hear rumors that she had been going out with other men. As time went by, Sherman was growing more and more obsessed with what Kate was or wasn’t doing. Every time their son, Irvin, came back from staying with Kate, Sherman bombarded him with questions about his mother’s actions.

By December 1915, Sherman couldn’t take it anymore. He took Irvin to Kate and Nellie’s house and begged Kate to take him back. When she refused, he went on a shooting rampage. Kate was shot a total of five times, all her wounds were non-fatal. Nellie, however, trying to protect her sister-in-law, received one fatal shot to the head.

A Newlywed Nightmare

People seemed drawn to Clara Wiley. They couldn’t help but invite her to their parties, family get-togethers and weddings. And she always made sure to attend as many as she possibly could.

Clara also sang in the local church’s choir and often sang at different events around town. At one of these events, she met a bass player in a local band, Olin Castle. Sparks quickly flew. It wasn’t until the two were engaged that she found out someone else was in love with him too.

Jessie Morrison was almost ten years older than Olin and Clara. She worked with Olin at the local department store. They often worked long shifts together after which Olin would walk her home. Jessie took this as a sign of affection and began giving him handmade gifts.

It was a calm summer day, Clara and Olin had only been married for two weeks when neighbors heard blood curdling screams coming from the couple’s home. They rushed over only to find the doors locked when they forced their way into the home they saw Clara “literally bathing in a pool of blood” with Jessie kneeling over her.

Untying the Knot

From the outside looking in, William and Constance Richardson had a picture perfect marriage. They had three beautiful kids, Mildred, Dorothy and Dayton. They threw lavish parties that were always the talk of the town. They were truly a model couple. 

Of course, they had their problems, but what couple didn’t after being married for six years? That’s why friends were shocked when they started seeing sensational headlines in the newspaper about Constance filing for separation. 

What followed was a messy separation case that led to a messy divorce. Which led to a messy, years long custody battle. The couple threw nasty accusations at each other, from claims of incest to claims that Constance’s three-and-a-half-inch heeled boots made her an unfit mother.

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