On a late summer’s eve in Waynesville, at half past 11:00 P.M. on Tuesday, August 26th, 1879, a deeply troubled young man of 18, who felt overwhelmed by responsibility and domestic troubles, who was obsessed with violence and death, became entangled in a horrendous carnival of blood, whether willingly or unwillingly, it is hard to tell. Two adult women and a young girl of eleven lost their lives that night most horribly. Willie E. Anderson
(William Evert Anderson
), a mere 18 years and barely 5 months old, with an accomplice, participated in some way or had guilty knowledge of the murder of his own mother, his aunt, and his cousin in their rented home on South Main Street in Waynesville, Ohio. The ghastly scene in the house would not be discovered until Tuesday, September 2nd by Constable Manington
, who pried open one of the windows, and by recently retired Probate Judge John W. Keys
, who forced open the front door, after hearing reports of an overpowering stench coming from the house. Worried townspeople had become concerned about the whereabouts of Willie
, last seen on Sunday morning, August 31st, and the three women who had not been seen since Wednesday, August 27th. According to friends it was unlike Mollie Hatte
, age 37, Willie
’s mother, to leave without telling anyone. As they would discover to their horror, she hadn’t left.
The Death Notices of the three victims were printed in the Cincinnati Commercial newspaper, September 6th, 1879, on page 5:
DEATHS ~ HATTE ~ At Waynesville, O., August – , 1879, Mary Hatte. WEEKS ~ At Waynesville, O., August-, 1879, St. Clem Weeks, wife of Stephen H. Weeks. WEEKS ~ At Waynesville, O., August -, 1879, Myrtle Edith Shaw, daughter of St. Clem and Stephen H. Weeks.
The father of Willie Anderson was Daniel R. Anderson, a well known personage in Waynesville, Ohio. Willie was his only son.
Below are two links to the video “Tales of the Strange #10” produced by The Troy, Ohio PBS station, channel 5. A couple of months ago I was approached by the producers of “Tales of the Strange” about a local history book I wrote a few years ago, Murder in Waynesville: The Anderson Tragedy. Tuesday, August 26~Saturday, September 6th, 1879. “The Wrecked Life” of Willie Anderson, et al. I was interviewed and then I took them down to Waynesville to see the sites of all the events connected with this horrible Victorian mad-slasher murder.
The producers also conducted a paranormal investigation of the murder site in Waynesville, in which I did not participate.
http://www.troy5.com/live-streaming-video-video-on-demand/ (Channel 5 website)
http://vp.telvue.com/preview?id=T02265&video=134440 (Copy this address and paste in your browser search.)
The video can also be found on Channel 5’s facebook page and my personal facebook page: