The Murder of John and Elizabeth Rogers

One of the most horrible murders in Ouachita Parish history was the murder of the elderly couple John and Elizabeth Rogers.  The article in the Monroe newspaper details the horrible crime:

The Monroe Bulletin
Wednesday, March 12, 1884
Page 2, Column 3

MURDERED FOR MONEY.
The Terrible Fate of John C. Rogers and His Wife.

        Our usually quiet and well-conducted parish was greatly shocked on Saturday by the news of the most horrible murder that has ever stained the good name of Ouachita.  John C. Rogers, one of the oldest and most respected of our citizens, lived with his wife in the Seventh Ward, near Cadeville.  Rogers was seventy-three years of age, and his wife nearly as old.  The old couple lived alone about a mile from a married daughter, Mrs. James B. Landrum, and about half a mile from the nearest neighbor, Mr. Stuckey.  On Saturday morning Mrs. Landrum went to her parents’ house and found both dead, and lying in a vast pool of their own blood.  Greatly overcome by the shock of this terrible discovery, she returned, in an almost unconscious condition to her husband, and informed him of the fact.  Mr. Landrum collected some of the neighbors, and together they repaired to the scene of the tragedy, where they beheld a spectacle, horrible and pathetic beyond description.  John Rogers lay across a chair in front of the fire- place, with a bullet hole entirely through his head, and his skull smashed in by some blunt instrument, supposed to be an axe found in the room.  Mrs. Rogers was also lying across a chair, near her husband, with a bullet hole through her head.

The floor was a lake of blood.  The room was in great disorder and the bed torn to pieces.  The old man’s pockets were rifled of their contents, all of which had disappeared, except his pocket-knife and tooth-pick, which were lying on the mantle-piece.  The mattress had evidently been ripped open and searched for money, two thousand dollars of which was hidden in it in a canvas-belt, but which the murders failed to find.  Trunks, boxes, and every article that could afford a place of concealment for money, were bursted open, and the contents scattered around.  Two horses, one a colt recently gelded, were missing, and also a man’s and a woman’s saddle.  The old man’s gun was gone, besides various other articles.

THE OBJECT

of the murder was evidently robbery, and it was equally evident that the fiend, who committed it, was familiar with the locality, and the habits of the old people.  Just how long they had been dead, no one could say, but circumstances pointed to Thursday night, as the time.  No one but the guilty parties witnessed the awful deed, and owing to the lapse of time before its discovery, nothing certain could be premised concerning it.  Circumstantial evidence, however, points to two men,

MULLICAN AND CLARK,

as the assassins.  These men were seen going towards the Rogers house on Thursday evening.  They were the last known to be with the old people.  They were at the time fugitives from justice, having stolen three mules in Lincoln parish a day or two before.  Mullican had been in the employ of Rogers about six months of last year, and had lived in the house as one of the family.  Both were known as men of hardened character.  On Thursday night, Mr. Stuckey, the nearest neighbor, heard two pistol shots from the direction of the Rogers house.  The same night Mr. Huey Dickerson heard two horses ridden by his house at a rapid gait.  Mullican and Clark have both disappeared.

THE THEORY

is that the men stopped at the house to stay all night.  All were sitting around the fire, Mrs. Rogers on one side next to the chimney, her husband next to her, and the two men on the opposite side.  One of the men, on pretence of going to the water bucket, which was behind Mrs. Rogers, passed behind the old man and shot him in the back of the head, the ball going entirely through, and lodging in the mantel-piece beyond.  It is supposed that as the old lady turned her face, the assassin shot her, the ball penetrating just below the left eye, passing through and also lodging in the facing of the mantel-piece.  Her face was badly powder-burned.

JOHN MULLICAN

is described as a man about thirty-three years old, five feet eight inches; dark hair and whiskers; rather heavy built; had moustache and whiskers when last seen; rather slow in his speech, and has a hoosier appearance.  He comes from Mississippi, and had been informed a few days before that a party of men from his old home were in pursuit of him, and would kill him on sight— for what cause we did not ascertain.

JOHN CLARK

is described as a man about 35 years old but looking younger; same height as Mullican, stout but not so heavy; swarthy light hair, no whiskers or mustache, and looks like he will never have any; is more genteel in appearance than his companion, and had on new gray jeans pants and light colored clothes.  He is a stranger, a waif, and bears no good reputation.  Is supposed to have come here from Texas.

Sheriff McGuire is making strenuous efforts to apprehend these parties, but with the start they have had the chase is likely to be a long one.  A posse is also in pursuit of them from Lincoln parish for mule stealing, and as it is led by our friend Jim Huey, will certainly catch them if they are still within the State.

Since writing the above we have seen a dispatch fro Gov. McEnery offering $1,000 reward for the arrest and delivery of the murderers.

The Rogers were buried in the backyard of their home where they were murdered.  You can find their graves here:  https://www.findagrave.com/cemetery/2355993/rogers-cemetery .  Tomorrow, I will tell you about the capture and execution of Mullican and Clark.

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