February 17, 1909




Intruder Planned to Kidnap Mr.
Jones and Hold Him for
Ransom in Indepen-

A desperate man, armed with a pistol and a dynamite bomb, was overpowered by Lawrence M. Jones, president of the Jones Bros. Dry Goods Company, outside of his home after being held hostage with his wife and son at gunpoint in the library of his home yesterday morning. The man, who gave his name as C. H. Garrett, had demanded $7,000 and says he had intended to hold Mr. Jones for ransom.

Garnett, who is about 40 years old, appeared at the Jones home shortly before 8 o'clock and asked for Mr. Jones. Upon being told that Mr. Jones was eating his breakfast, the man, calling himself Mr. Jones, asked to wait in the hall. Five minutes later L. M. Jones appeared. Garnett introduced himself as Mr. Jones from Grand Island, Neb., and L. M. Jones shook hands with him and asked the man what he could do for him. Garnett said he wanted a private interview. Upon inquiring about the nature of the interview, Garnett informed Mr. Jones that he was in possession of a couple of letters that pertained to his son. Mr. Jones escorted the stranger to his library. Upon entering the library Mr. Jones was confronted by the intruder's pistol and ordered to be seated. The visitor then drew from under his overcoat a dynamite bomb, and explained that unless Mr. Jones gave him $7,000 he would immediately blow up the both of them.

In an endeavor to calm the man Mr. Jones talked with him over half an hour. Mrs. Jones, feeling apprehensive on account of her husband's long interview, entered the library at this point. The intruder ordered her to be seated and the conversation was resumed. Chester L. Jones, Secretary of the Jones Company, a son, followed his mother into the library and was ordered to be seated.


Mrs. Jones pleaded with the intruder, "Please put the pistol down." The intruder then opened the grip and showed the Joneses the contents, ten or twelve sticks of dynamite and a like number of dynamite caps along with ten feet of fuse and a pound of gun powder. Mrs. Jones became very excited after looking into the grip as did Mr. Jones, though he was not as demonstrative as his wife. There was a good deal of talking then, with Mr. and Mrs. Jones trying to reason with the intruder, insisting that they only had $500 in the house and offering to give the man the money without repercussions. Garnett refused to listen and repeatedly threatened to blow them all up.

Mr. Jones then suggested that as he did not have the necessary funds in the house the man should accompany him to the bank. This was agreed to. "And incidentally," Garnett said to Mrs. Jones, "I am going to take your husband with me for a day. In the morning you will get a letter from me telling where he is kept prisoner. You can go let him loose, then."

"If you take Mr. Jones you take me too. Get ready to take care of two instead of one."

"Well, I will take your son then."

"That will make no difference. I go with either."

"That will be all right, then, if you want to."

By that time it was 10:30, and Mr. Jones's automobile was ready to take the party to the Jones store for the money. The party was marched downstairs, Chester Jones leading, followed by Garnett. Mr. and Mrs. Jones brought up the rear.


The walks were very slippery, and Mr. Jones noted the fact. As Garnett poised himself on one foot, ready to step down the stone steps to the walk, Mr. Jones threw himself upon the bandit, pinioning his arms to his side.

Mrs. Jones called her son to help his father. The chauffeur jumped from the machine to help. But before either of them could reach the struggling men, Garnett had risen to his knees. His right hand grasped the revolver, which he slipped into his coat pocket, and he was wheeling it upon Mr. Jones. At that moment Chester Jones flung himself upon Garnett and placed his hand over the bandit's upon the revolver. The descending hammer fell upon Chester Jones's finger, tearing the glove. In such a manner Mr. Jones's life probably was saved.

Then Chester Jones slipped the cord from Garnett's wrist, and Mrs. Jones captured the valise and its contents. He was quickly overpowered and held until the police from No. 6 police station arrived. All that the prisoner would say at the Jones home after his capture, was that Mr. Jones had a "mighty plucky wife."


During the two hours and a half that the bandit was in the Jones home, Abbie Jones, a 19-0year old daughter, with a friend, Mary Woods, were in a room just across the hall. They did not know that anything unusual was going on in the house. Servants also went about the house in total ignorance of the near-tragedy being enacted in the library.

Mr. Jones and his son went to work as soon as the bandit had been turned over to the police. Just what Mrs. Jones thinks of the affair is expressed in her exclamation:

"Did you ever hear of anything like that in a civilized country?"


About 6 o'clock last night J. H. Dyer and George Hicks, plain clothes policemen from No. 6 station, arrived from Independence, Mo., where they had gone to investigate the house where Garnett said he had reconstructed a clothes closet for the purpose of holding Mr. Jones upon his capture, at 313 West Linden avenue. The house is several hundred feet from any other residence and is rather sinister and dilapidated in appearance.

They brought with them four chains, each with a padlock, and four large wood screws. Two of the chains had been fastened by means of the screws to the floor, the other two to the wall of the closet four feet from the floor. A small seat had been fashioned out of one of the closet shelves, eighteen inches from the floor. The door leading into the closet could be closed until the tiny apartment, three feet wide and three feet nine inches long, would become airtight.

When Captain Casey displayed the chains to Garnett he looked taken aback but readily admitted they formed part of his device for extracting money from millionaires.

"Some of the neighbors to the house where these chains were in Independence claim that another man was seen about the place with you. I have three witnesses who can swear they saw you with another man. Was he your brother?"

"I have nothing to say," answered Garnett, but some of the witnesses to the scene thought he looked nonplused and hesitated in answering the question.

In Captain Casey's office of No. 6 police station Norman Woodson, assistant county prosecutor, "sweated" Garnett for five consecutive hours. Many of the statements he made to the assistant prosecutor, including his name, will not be relied upon by the police until something more defininte than his word concerning them is found.