Here we are....a few days before Halloween and I have yet another creepy story to share. This one, however, has its roots in the truth. Beware, for it is rather disturbing, but it is very well known around Smalltownland.
Around these parts this story is simply known as, "The Carrington Simpson Murders". In July of 1838 Carrington Simpson, Jason Bell, and Pleasant Sadler killed a family of five, that included an infant. Although all three gentlemen were guilty of the crime, it is the name of Carrington Simpson that has carried this tale all these years.
A woman by the name of Lucinda White had decided to move south to Alabama to be with her brother. Lucinda had hired Carrington Simpson, with his team of oxen, to assist her in the move. Lucinda was to take her two sons, daughter-in-law, and grandson along with her as they started out at night. The daughter-in-law's father was opposed to this move and the group decided to get a head start during the night time hours. One of Lucinda's sons went ahead, on horseback, to scout the best route.
While Lucinda's son was gone, the murders commenced. Upon his return he was led to a waste house in a field where the bodies had been deposited. Lucinda's son was also killed, as was his horse. The motive for the murders was Lucinda's money and possessions.
After some time suspicion was raised when Simpson, and his cohorts, began wearing clothing from the family. A warrant for Simpson's arrest was obtained and his farm was searched. The bodies were discovered and identified. Jason Bell and Pleasant Sadler died before their sentences could be carried out. Bell was found dead in his cell, although history books state that it was a commonly held belief that Sadler smothered him. Sadler made a rope out of his bedclothes and hanged himself.
Carrington Simpson was hung on September 21, 1841. His burial site is still maintained today and actually.....Southern Fried Momma's in-laws can claim some relation to him. The fee of the executioner, James B. Montgomery has survived and reads as such:
$5.21 for the execution
$2.62 for the shroud
$6.00 for the coffin
$5.00 for the gallows
$3.00 carrying him to the execution site
$1.00 for the rope
The author, William B. Allen, wrote, "History of Kentucky", and stated rather succinctly:
"the three have passed from earth, and must appear at the bar of God, to be judged according to their deeds."