Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thriller Thursday: Murder of Capitola Butler

Washington Post
February 9, 1899


Prince William County Grand Jury Discharges E. B. Reid

Special to the Post.  Manassas, Va., Feb. 8 -- In the County Court, the Grand Jury, after spending two days in hearing evidence, adjourned last night, having failed to find a true bill against E. B. Reid, charged with having murdered his cousin, Mrs. Capitola Butler.

Some time ago Mrs. Butler was found dead in her bed at the home of Mr. Reid, where she was living at the time, her brains having been blown out by a shotgun.  After she was buried her body was taken up and an inquest was held, in which it was discovered that she was in a very delicate situation at the time of her death.

The bitterest feeling had existed for some time between her family and E. B. Reid, growing out of some money transaction, and at the instance of her brother, Reid was arrested on the charge of having murdered Mrs. Butler, and carried before a Magistrate for preliminary trial.  Finding no evidence against him, the Magistrate promptly discharged him.  Mrs. Butler's friends were not satisfied, however, and at the February term of the County Court the matter was brought to the attention of the Grand Jury.  After spending two days in examining the witnesses, they failed to find a true bill.

Mr. Robert H. Campbell, a well-known criminal lawyer of Staunton, was present at the request of the Commonwealth's Attorney, in the interest of Mrs. Butler's friends.

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