June 9, 1908




Warren W. White Positive That the
Timepiece Taken From a Pawn-
shop Was Once His.

The police case against Clark Wix, charged with the murder of John Mason on January 26, seems to be weakening. Yesterday it developed that the watch charm Wix had been wearing and which had been positively identified as the one worn by Mason on the day when he was last seen alive, was not Mason's an had never belonged to him. When the coroner, Dr. G. B. Thompson, was making an examination of Mason's body the watch charm which Mason had worn fell from some part of the clothing on the body to the floor. The police had based a great part of their theories upon the identification of the watch charm which Wix had been wearing and the discovery of the true charm by Dr. Thompson completely put the question of ownership of the charm beyond question.

Yesterday Warren W. White, an embalmer at Freeman & Marshall's undertaking rooms, went to Central police station to identify the watch which was taken from the pawn shop as having been the one which had belonged to Mason and which Wix is charged with having stolen from the dead man. Mr. White was the original owner of the watch in question and knew that he could identify it beyond all question.

Captain Walter Whitsett refused to let him see the watch. Mr. White put his request to the captain directly, but with no further result than gaining the permission of the captain to describe it. He did so, after which Captain Whitsett informed him that his description the watch did not tally with the article.

Mr. White said last night that he had traded his own watch for the one which Mason was wearing about ten days previous to the time he was supposed to have been murdered. He said it seemed to him that it would not have been probably that Mr. Mason, from whom her husband had been separated, could have seen the watch, at least closely enough to give a minute description of it.

Nevertheless, Mrs. Mason did give a complete description of the watch which is in the hands of the police and which Mr. White believes is not the watch he traded to Mason.

Mason and White had been in the habit of making trades of jewelry, seeing each other often during the week. When one of them would get a new article of jewelry it was the custom for him to display it and then to begin a dicker for trade. This accounts for the way in which he and Mason traded watches, says Mr. White.

It is on the watch and the watch charm, it is asserted, that the police base most of their charges against Wix and it would seem from the statements of Coroner Thompson and Mr. White that these two articles of evidence have been changed to a most useful weapon in the hands of Wix's attorneys. Coroner Thompson has no hesitancy in saying that he doubts greatly the guilt of Wix. He has made some study of the body and of matters which pertain to the evidence against the accused man.

Captain Whitsett still refuses to discuss the Wix case, saying only that he is positive that the accused man will be convicted of murder.

The grand jury will consider the charges against Wix today.

Wix was visited at the county jail yesterday by many of his friends, who cheered him up with their kind words and presence. Among his visitors were the prisoner's wife and father, who spent some time with him. Several floral offerings were sent to him.

The police say that they have not lost confidence in their evidence against Wix, but are positive that if the grand jury hears all of the testimony now in the possession of the police that Wix will be indicted.

Mrs. Wix said yesterday that after her husband had been arrested she had been to the pawn shop of L. L. Goldman, 1207 Grand avenue, and to Silverman's pawn shop, 1215 Grand avenue. She stated that two pawn tickets which had been on top of a writing desk in her room disappeared after her husband had been arrested.

Believing that the tickets had been stolen by someone, who would attempt to get the jewelry out of pawn, she visited the store where they were pawned to warn the proprietor against allowing anyone to have them. She said she knew the watches had been pawned at Silverman's, but she did not know where this place was. She went to Goldman's pawnshop and asked Mr. Goldman where Silverman's place was located. When she was told at Siverman's that the police had the watches she did not ask any further questions. At Goldman's and Silverman's Mrs. Wix's statement regarding her visits were corroborated. In the search for evidence Mrs. Wix said the police had not left even a strand of hay in the barn untouched. It was suggested that the pawn tickets she supposed were stolen, were in the possession of the police, although the latter will not discuss them.