Mrs. Margaret A. Siefert of 76 Broadway, Chelsea, was murderously assaulted late yesterday afternoon, it is alleged, by Patrick W. Slavin, who is also alleged to have robbed her of $12 and to have escaped. Owing to the advanced age of Mrs. Siefert it is possible that she may not recover.
Patrick W. Slavin and his wife have been lodging of late at Mrs. Siefert's house. At 5 yesterday afternoon it is alleged that Slavin assaulted Mrs Siefert and with a flatiron struck her two or three heavy blows on the head, causing frightful wounds.
He then, the police allege, tore her clothing, in his efforts to reach her pocket, and finally in his haste tore the whole pocket from the skirt, taking her pocket book, containing about $12, and made good his escape.
Mrs. Slavin was not in the house at the time. She came in shortly afterward and said she had been waiting at the depot to keep an appointment with Slavin. On the latter's failing to put in an appearance she returned to the lodging house on Broadway, only to find Mrs. Siefert in an almost dying condition.
John W. Perry and another lodger were the only ones in the house at the time of the assault other than than the victim and her assailant. He was the first to reach the aged woman after the assault, and with the other lodger did all in his power for the woman until the arrival of City Physician H.A. Sibley.
Mr. Perry said Slavin came from Holliston, Mass., and had been boarding at the house for about two weeks. Slavin and his wife were acquainted with Mrs. Sargent, who owned the house before Mrs. Siefert took it about a month ago. Slavin, during Mrs. Sargent's time, had been a cook in the house and when the place changed hands he was discharged although he fully believed he was to continue in the capacity of cook after the transfer.
He made no complaint, however, and everythlng went along as usual save that he ceased to preside in the kitchen. He claimed to have secured work elsewhere. Mrs. Siefert made him several small loans of money in consideration of his past connection with the house. At the time of the assault yesterday afternoon Mrs. Siefert was in the kitchen preparing the supper. Mr. Perry, who was bathing in his room, heard screams in the kitchen and as soon as he could dress made his way to the scene, though all was quiet at this time. He was horrified to see the form of Mrs. Siefert lying in a pool of blood on the floor of the kitchen.
He rushed out and notified several of the people in the vicinity and the police. The flatiron with which it is alleged the assault was committed was found on the floor beside the woman. There was no blood upon it.
Mrs. Slavin was in the house when the police arrived. She thought it probable that her husband had gone to Boston. She left shortly after the arrival of the police, with the statement that she was going to Boston, and up to a late hour last night had not returned.
The alleged assailant is described as being of medium height, of light complexion, about 180 pounds. He was clean shaven and was dressed in a blue coat and cap. He is about 37 years of age.
Boston (Massachusetts) Globe, July 4, 1896.
Copyright © 2007 Larry Slavens. All rights reserved.