February 6, 1907



After Telling His Story, He Disappeared, but He Is Now Ready to Go on the Stand --
Taking of Testimony Begins This Morning.

After a search covering several weeks a most important witness for the state in the Crone murder trial, which begins today, has been found. Rather, he was found several days ago, but the announcement was made only last evening.

He is the man who swore so positively a few days after the murder that he saw Albert Crone on the Kersey Coates terrace at about 8:50 o'clock on the evening of Thursday, July 19, the time at which the officers say the murder must have been committed. Bertha Bowlink, the murdered girl, and Frank Kern, who was assaulted at the same time, went out for a walk that evening about 8:30 o'clock. A young woman in the neighborhood says she heard groans coming from the direction of the spot where the girl's body was found, about 10 o'clock that night. Thus the police declare the killing must have been done between those two hours.

The witness who has been missing for so long and who has now been found, is Roy M. Yowell, a Frisco fireman. He swore positively to seeing Crone on the terrace at the time stated and later identified Crone at the county jail. Before he saw him, however, he described Crone accurately and added that he had on a "lead-colored hat." Crone had at that time a United States infantry campaign hat which is of a dark gray, or lead color.

Yowell went to police headquarters early this morning with Marshal Francis, of Emporia, having arrived here from that city shortly after midnight. He was taken to a hotel and a policeman assigned to stay in his vicinity for the night.

Yowell's statement to the prosecutor the day after Crone's arrest was as follows:
"I left a restaurant at 915 West Twelfth street about 8:35. I started to
my room at 1121 West Seventeenth street by the Kersey Coates driveway.
About half way between Twelfth and Seventeenth streets I came upon a man and a
woman sitting on a catch basin, which is about two feet above the present
grade. The girl was bareheaded and wore a dark dress. It may
have been blue. The man with her sat with his elbows on his knees
and only glanced up as I passed. He was a large man, weighing probably 190
or 200 pounds.
"There are breaks in the bluff along there, where the light from the electric lights above shines through. As I passed the pair I looked at my watch. It was 8:40 o'clock. About 150
to 200 yards to the south of the couple, I came upon a man carrying his coat under his arm and with what I took to be a short cane in his hand. It was about three feet long. The man passed to the right of me toward the edge of the road. I started to speak to him, as I thought him a friend. Seeing that he was not, I scrutinized him closely as he came between me and the light in the bottoms."

Here he described Crone, even to the campaign hat he wore:

"I saw and recognized this same man in a cell at police headquarters at 11:30 Friday night. In spite of all the alibis he may have, I am willing to go on the stand and swear that he is the man I saw there.

"The man I passed on the driveway had his hat pulled down and walked around me as if he wanted to avoid meeting anyone. Nevertheless, I got a good look at him. Crone is that man. Just as I got to the end of the driveway and came to the walk leading up Seventeenth street, another man,
who was walking leisurely along, stepped from the sidewalk and started on down the driveway toward where the couple sat. Both the men I passed were going in that direction. I have seen Charles Henry, who is arrested with Crone. He does not fit the description of the second man I saw."

Crone's alibi consists of a statement that at the time the killing must have taken place he was in a card game in the Tralle saloon at 1125 Grand avenue. He has five witnesses who are expected to swear that they were in the card room with him at that time.

The taking of the testimony in the case will begin at 9 o'clock this morning before Special Judge Casteel, of St. Joseph, in the criminal court.