BRUTAL AND WANTON MURDER BY EX-SOLDIERS
Scene of Gory Crime in Lonesome stage House Beggars Description—Hillpot Loses in Unarmed Fight for Life.
GLOBE, Sept. 19.—Appalling details of the atrocious murder in the lonely stage station at Oak Creek, brought in by the coroner and his party, show the crime to be one of the most heinous in the history of Gila county. The murder was undoubtedly committed for the sake of the money, valuables and outfit of the two innocent victims, and was a cowardly, simultaneous attack upon two unsuspecting men. The room in which the deed was done was a veritable charnal house, bearing mute witness to the terrific struggle caused by the heroic fight of Hillpot, after his comrade had been killed by a single shot. The men were killed by William Stewart and James Steele, according to verdict of the coroner's jury.
The house in which the killing took place is a seven room affair. There are for rooms across the front and three front doors. One end room had in it a cot and considerable bedding. Adjoining it was a room intended for a dinning room, furnished with a long table, several stools and a bedstead.
Judge Thomas' theory is that Hillpot was lying on the cot in the end room, the door of which was open. He believes Kibbe was seated at the dinning room, and from a pipe and spilled tobacco found on he floor was about to smoke,while on the bedstead, only three or four feet away, one of the assassins was seated.
According to Judge Thomas' opinion, almost simultaneously with the shot fired by the murderer on the bed, which entered Kibbe's left eye and killed him instantly,and another which evidently missed Kibbe just as he was falling. Hillpot was shot by a 30-40 Winchester by the other assassin, who was evidently standing just outside of the door of the room in which his vicim was reclining, the bullet entering Hillpot's left shoulder and passing out through the armpit. Hill[pot is believed to have rushed into the dinning room where he was met with a clubbed Winchester in the hands of one of his murderers , and then began his desperate and unarmed fight for life against two villainous and heavily armed men.
So game was his fight that the stock of the Winchester was splintered over his head and finally completely broken off , after which the barrel was used, as evidenced by the deep holes in Hillpot's head, caused by the hammer of the gun. The floor and even the walls and ceiling of the room are so bespattered with blood as to give the place the appearance of a shambles.
When he was finally overcome from the blows that rained down upon him and fell to the floor, the bastards then began rifling through his pockets and found that there was still life in his body, and holding a rifle to his chest shot him twice more and he lay helpless. There still was an existing slight flicker of life, he was then shot in the left side, the bullet passing through his heart and causing death.
Taking the riding horses of their victims, the two left the scene and rode so hard that at Black River, which they reached at 2 o' clock in the morning, they're stolen mounts were ridden out. There they stole two fresh horses from the Tuttle corral and pressed on.
Steel and Stewart were both members of E company, Fifth cavalry, which was for a time stationed at Fort Apache, but was later stationed in Yellowstone Park. Stewart was discharged about eight months ago, and returning here, he was backed by Mr. Tuttle in raising chickens and hogs on shares at the abandoned stage station. According to Tuttle, Stewart was a quiet and unassuming young fellow about 22 years old. About two months ago, Steel appeared and, at Stewart's request, Tuttle permitted him to live at the station, help Stewart and share in the profits. When seen by Tuttle less than a week ago, Stewart said that he was getting along well , and that both he and Steel were contented. It was the belief of Mr. Tuttle that Steel was of a vicious nature and that Stewart was dominated by him.
Posses are out in all directions, and it is hoped that Steel and Stewart will be captured in spite of their twenty-four hours' start.