April 15, 1909


Breaking Into Home in the Early
Morning, Frank Williams Slays
Sleeping Wife -- Shoots Him-
self Under Fire.

Although the members of the family of Frank Williams, a laborer, have been living at 65 Clinton street, Rosedale, Kas., in a state of siege of nearly three months, and have never during that time retired for the night without placing loaded revolvers beneath their pillows, Williams smashed in the door of his home at 4:40 o'clock yesterday morning, killed his wife, Addie Williams, as she lay sleeping, and committed suicide by sending a bullet into his own brains, after being fired upon by his stepson.

Because of brutal treatment of his stepchildren and his wife, Williams had often been arrested, and upon the last occasion his stepson, James Goodell, refused to allow him to return home. Mrs. Williams on February 11 brought suit for divorce, and from that time began to hear of threats by Williams to exterminate his family and commit suicide. He lived in a tent only a few rods from his home, and was often seen skulking around the house.


Mrs. Williams lived in a cottage of four rooms with her son, James Goodell, her daughter, Mrs. Emma Clute, her son-in-law, Oscar Clute, and a grandson, Johnnie Aldine, who is four years old. The pistols were kept under the pillows of three of the members of the household for use should the husband and stepfather attempt to carry out his threats.

Shortly before 5 o'clock yesterday morning James Goodell was awakened by the crash as Williams broke down the kitchen door with a battering ram. Realizing that it was his stepfather, bent upon a murderous mission, Goodell seized his revolver and rushed into his mother's room, which adjoined the kitchen. Before he was able to reach the room, Williams had fired twice, both bullets striking his wife in the forehead. Williams then ran into the kitchen and Goodell fired three shots at him, none taking effect.

The murderer then placed the pistol to his forehead and fired, the bullet splitting and making it appear as though he had been struck by two bullets. Clute and his wife, who occupied the front room, did not reach Mrs. Williams's side until after Williams had committed suicide. Mrs. Williams was killed instantly and probably was asleep when she was shot. The suicide lived for an hour after he shot himself but was unconscious until the end. The grandson was sleeping with hie grandmother and saw Williams fire the shots.


According to Goodell, not a word was spoken by any of the parties during the shooting. Afterwards the little grandson said he saw his grandfather shoot his grandmother. Last night Goodell said he had expected a killing for two months, but believed that it would be his stepfather who would be killed.

Mrs. Williams was 40 years old and her husband 51. They had been married nineteen years.

Coroner J. A.Davis of Kansas City, Kas., was notified soon after the shooting, and took charge of the bodies. He ordered them removed to the Gates undertaking establishment, where he will hold an autopsy this morning. In the afternoon an in quest will be held for the purpose of ascertaining all of the facts leading up to the tragedy.

"The fact that Williams's stepson, James Goodell, fired three s hots at him while he was retreating from the house," said Coroner Davis, "leaves some little doubt as to whether Williams fired the shot that ended his life or was killed by one of the three shots fired at him by Goodell. This will be easily determined at the post mortem examination, as one of the revolvers was of 38 and the other of 32-caliber."

After the bodies were removed from the Williams home, Dr. Davis locked the doors and took possession of the keys. It is probable the coroner's jury will visit the premises today. The surviving members of the Williams family spent the night at the home of neighbors. They were indignant over the coroner's action in locking up the house. Dr. Davis stated last night that he took possession of the premises because both heads of the household were dead, and he did not want any trouble to arise over the disposition of whatever property was there.