Monday, March 12, 2018

On This Date in Minnesota History: March 12

March 12, 1917 – One hundred detectives and police are on a man hunt for Joseph Bowen, the teamster who slew his bride of a month this morning.

Mrs. Bowen was killed about 10 a.m. in front of the house of her parents, Mr. and Mrs. William Mayer. She left Bowen last Tues., explaining to her parents that he was cruel to her. She had left him before—a week after their marriage—but her mother persuaded her to return to her husband.

This morning Bowen purchased liquor in Ben Hennig’s saloon. He then crossed the street and started up the rear steps to the home of his parents-in-law, who occupy an upper apartment. Mrs. Mayer saw him coming and locked the door. Bowen shouldered the door from its hinges and entered the room, waving a revolver.

Mrs. Mayer and Mrs. Bowen fled, screaming, down the front stairs. Outside the house they separated and ran in opposite directions. Bowen followed and fired at his wife, the bullet piercing her body. He went to her, grasped her hair, lifted her from the ground and emptied the chambers of the revolver into her body.

Neighbors took up the chase of Bowen and followed him to the E. O. Deckert Lumber Yard at Fifth Street and Tenth Ave. N. He dodged into the lumber yard and his overcoat was later found there by the posse. Since then the police have found no trace of him, although all outgoing trolley cars and trains have been watched and all of Bowen’s haunts patrolled.

Mrs. Bowen was placed in an ambulance and sent to the City Hospital. She died before the trip was completed. An autopsy was performed at the City Morgue and Dr. C. A. Hobbs, deputy coroner, announced no inquest would be necessary. Mrs. Bowen’s only words after the shooting were, “My husband did it.” She was 25 years old.

Bowen, who was 33, was employed as a teamster by M. C. Haffner. He is said to be about 5 feet 10 inches tall and heavily built, with a fair complexion, sandy hair and blue eyes. The police anticipate a gun fight if Bowen’s hiding place is discovered.

The Minneapolis Morning Tribune; “Hundred Police Hunt Teamster Who Slew Bride. No Trace Found of Joseph Bowen Who Shot Wife to Death.”; March 13, 1917; pp. 1 & 2.

Bride-murderer Joseph Bowen arrested in Glenwood, Minn.; see March 14, 2018 blog.


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