Wednesday, October 5, 2016

On This Date in Minnesota History: October 5

October 5, 1913 – This evening, Mrs. Ida Leckwold, confessed murderer of her daughter Viola, was interviewed for the first time since her arrest, and told a clear story that adds light to her present predicament. Exhibiting bruises on her arm and head, and telling of scores of others that cover her body, the frail little woman sobbed as she recounted her married life. Mrs. Leckwold said that she has lived in constant terror of her husband, Ole Leckwold, and said that she was mentally affected by abuse and constant motherhood.

Ida Leckwold1

“This is the first peace that I have had since my marriage,” she said. “It seems that years have rolled from my shoulders here in this prison room, treated by kind hands, and unafraid that I will be beaten in the evenings, or humiliated before my children.

“I can blame no one for what I have done, but the world must know that no mother would do as I have done that knew what she was doing, or that was surrounded by pleasant home surroundings. My life has been a perfect hell. Often have my children pleaded on their knees for their father to stop beating me. There were hours that it would be impossible to tell you of, and this is the first time that I have ever told these things to anyone, although Matron Schaeffer has suspected since I came here with my eyes blackened by blows, and my body covered with black and blue bruises.

“Please don’t think that I am guilty of all that has been said about me,” she said. Beyond this she would not speak of the charge that is to be placed against her, other than to say that she believed the public would not condemn her if they knew more of her life’s story.

“My father often urged me to come back to his home and leave my husband,” she continued as she gripped the prison bars and tried to smile bravely through her tears. “I could not leave my family and refused, although he told me that I would be killed if I remained. At times my husband would call the children to see him strike me. He is a big powerful man and seemed to delight in pinching me in his powerful hands.”

Mrs. Leckwold then pulled up the sleeve of the house dress she has worn since her arrest and the marks of a bruise fully three inches long and two inches wide was shown. “That is the effect of one of the pinches,” she said.

William Norman, the alleged “man in the case,” still retains his silence on anything that pertains to the charge that he suggested the poisoning of Viola, or the other Leckwold children and their father, other than to deny it.

It is probable that information against the woman, charging murder will be sworn out tomorrow, and she will be in court late in the afternoon. This will depend on the action of Dr. Seashore and County Attorney Robertson in regard to the analysis of the stomach of the dead girl, Viola, now being made by Dean Frankforter of the University of Minnesota.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Mrs. Leckwold Tells of Her Married Life. Blames Present Predicament to Brutal Treatment she Says She Received. Declares that She Lived in Constant Fear of Being Beaten. Charge of Murder Will Likely Be Filed Against Woman Today.”; Oct. 6, 1913; p. 1.

1The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; Oct. 3, 1913; p.1.

Ida Leckwold is arrested for and confesses to murdering her 9-year-old daughter Viola; see Sept. 30, 2016 blog.

Mrs. Ida Leckwold was indicted today on the charge of murder in the first degree for the murder of her daughter, Viola; see Oct. 7, 2016 blog.


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