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From the Files of the Ellsworth Reporter

POSTED: November 18, 2011 7:00 a.m.

The Showman murder case, which has lain dormant for several months was brought into the limelight again last week by the capture of Charles Marzyck at Kamloops, Province of British Columbia, Canada.
Charles Marzyck was the first person suspected of the murder of Mr. and Mrs. Will Showman and their three children, Leslie, Fern, and Fenton, the night of Oct. 15, 1911 in this city.
Ever since the murder was committed a persistent search has been kept up for Marzyck. Several months ago he was located by the Denver branch of the Burns Detective Agency at a place in British Columbia about 100 miles from Kamloops. Sheriff Bradshaw made a trip there but Marzyck got away before he could be apprehended. He was later located at Kamloops and arrested April 20. Sheriff Bradshaw was immediately notified and steps were at once taken to bring him back.
Before action can be taken towards bringing back Marzyck, Governor Stubbs must apply to the secretary of state in Washington, asking him to apply to the governor of Canada for an extradition. Sheriff Rufus Bradshaw left Wednesday, May 1, for Kamloops and reached there yesterday. He wired Mrs. Bradshaw last night that he had identified the prisoner as Marzyck, but did not state when he would start for home.
Marzyck has been formally charged with the crime. The application for a requisition makes the charge complete. It charges him with five separate murders — of William Showman, Mrs. Pauline Showman, and the three Showman children, Leslie, Fern and Fenton. The charge is signed by George Showman, a brother of the murdered man.
The arrest of Marzyck recalls one of the most atrocious murders in the history of Kansas. About 5 o’clock in the afternoon of Oct. 16 a neighbor discovered the bodies of Will Showman, his wife, and three children lying upon their beds in their home, in the northwest part of town, with their heads crushed. The deed was committed with an ax, which was found a few feet away.
Suspicion immediately pointed to Charles Marzyck as the guilty man. The Showmans were known to have no enemies except, possibly, Marzyck, who had threatened them several years ago. He married a sister of Mrs. Showman, and was arrested once when he lived here, charged with stealing wheat. He was convicted and sent to the penitentiary. His wife and Mrs. Showman testified against him and he threatened revenge. This is one of the things upon which the local officials base their belief that Marzyck is guilty.
Shortly after the discovery of the murder, a man by the name of Schmederman was arrested. He came from Junction City the night the crime was committed and stayed at a local hotel. He left early the next morning and after his departure some bloody clothes were discovered in his room. His arrest at Kanopolis followed and he was brought to Ellsworth and questioned.
Schmederman explained the bloody clothes by saying that he was subject to nosebleeds, of which he had had an attack that night, and wiped the blood on the clothes. He told a straight story, which was corroborated by his wife, and he was released.
Since that time there have been rumors galore, but nothing ever came of them. Bloodhounds were brought from Abilene the night following the murder and a number of detectives were here working on the case, including several local sleuths.
There is considerable difference of opinion as to whether Marzyck is guilty of this crime. That he is a bad man, there is no doubt. He has been arrested a number of times and is wanted in Colorado now. He committed several petty crimes while living here. He worked for the late Dr. Harry O’Donnell, who befriended him on a number of occasions, but finally had to discharge him, and Marzyck repaid the Doctor’s kindness by sneaking into his barn one night and cutting to pieces a fine set of harness. So far as we know, Marzyck has not been seen in this part of the country for a number of years, and if he is convicted it will be on purely circumstantial evidence, unless the local officers have evidence that has never been made public.

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