Rosa Wurzer – Poverty Made Her Crazy
(original news article shown)
Mrs. Rosa Wurzer, a widow, threw her six children, two boys and four girls into a well that was thirty feet deep, with but two feet of water at the bottom.
She then jumped into the well herself and supposedly ‘held the little ones’ heads under the water until all were drowned.
Neighbors found Mrs. Wurzer in the well with her six murdered children and, putting a rope around her body, drew her out.
She appeared violently insane and was restrained with quite some difficulty.
What Caused Rosa Wurzer Such Pain
Mrs. Wurzer’s husband died, leaving her in destitute circumstances.
She has been supported by the county which allowed her $15 a month and by the charity of her neighbors.
Brooding over her circumstances drove her crazy and she was determined to kill her children and herself, but the shallowness of the water in the well prevented her attempt to end her own life.
All The Dead Children
Neighbors quickly gathered to the aid of Rosa Wurzer and a neighbor put himself down into the well. He tied a rope about Rosa’s waist and she was brought up from the bottom of the well.
The man then found each of the dead children and, in like fashion, each was brought to the surface.
It was revealed that the well was some thirty feet deep but at it’s top, the wooden curbing measured a mere twenty inches square, indicating that Rosa Wurzer had to have used some force in order to get the older children into the belly of the well.
Rosa Wurzer Confesses To Six Murders
When Rosa Wurzer was confronted with the question of motive for her ghastly deed, she had several explanations, each more bizarre than the last. She claimed she preferred death for herself and the children over poverty. Next she stated that she feared the Chinese would attack and kill her children.
Rosa Wurzer, appearing quite out of her mind and violent, was removed to a room inside her house, placed in a straight jacket and put under the supervision of a guard, while her six children were carried to a bed room and laid out, side by side, to await the arrival of the coroner.
The Crazy Lady Escapes
Rosa Wurzer, in her insane state, escaped the vigilance of guards, by crawling out a window, and went to the home of Peter Jacobs and broke a window, frightening the inmates considerably.
She then went to the residence of Mr. Koester. All had retired but Mrs. Koester, who was sitting at a table writing a letter. Upon hearing a knock at the door Mrs. Koester asked who was there. The reply came “Please let me in I want to toll yon something.”
Mrs. Koester unlocked the door and the insane visitor, clad only in her night clothes, seized her with both hands. Mrs. Koester screamed and ran to the room where her husband was asleep. He sprang from the bed, caught the crazy intruder and called his brother. Together they led Rosa back to her own home.
Were The Children Already Dead?
Coroner Mitchell and Deputy Sheriff Hamilton arrived at the scene of the Wurzer tragedy at 8 a. m. The coroner’s verdict was that the children came to their death at the hands of the mother.
Upon preparing them for burial, fingermarks were found on the throats of all, indicating that they had been strangled before being thrown into the well. The ruddy color of the skin and the absence of the flow of water from the mouths during the preparation for laying out would seem to indicate that they were dead before being cast into the water.
What Had Rosa Wurzer Done To Her Children?
The necks of all except one were broken. Mary, aged 6, has a deep gash in the top of the head and a two inch cut over the left ear. In addition young Rosa [not the mother] has a broken shoulder and Anna a broken thigh and a broken arm. Besides these there are numerous bruises, probably caused by the thirty foot drop into the well.
What Happened To Rosa Wurzer
The unfortunate little ones of Rosa Wurzer were laid out in six coffins in the sitting room of what was once their home.
There is little to share about the trial and/or punishment of poor crazy Rosa Wurzer, but it should be safe to say that she went away to an asylum and was never heard from again!
credit – historical crime detective / cdnc.ucr.edu