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May 05, 2009



The killer probably hid in one of the closets.
Also, he was probably hired by Mr. Moore's
business competition.
The killing of the rest of the family, including the 2 Stillingers was not originally planned.


The killer was probably in the same church the Moore family was attending, and was aware of the time. A few minutes before the mass ended, he would have left and went to the Moore house, where he entered and hid in the closet, waiting for the Moore family to return home.
Also, the murder weapon, an ax, would have just been found in the Moore premises, the killer picked it up either before hiding in the closet or after exiting the closet to kill the Moores and the 2 Stillingers.

Kelly Rundle

Grand jury testimony indicates that the closets in the tiny Josiah B. Moore house were filled with clothing and other items owned by the six members of the Moore family. There was no room for someone to hide in any of the closets, or indeed to get in and out of the attic entrance in one of the closets upstairs. The murder axe was identified by victim Josiah B. Moore's brother as belonging to Josiah, so there is no question about its origin. The killer may have attended church with the victims, but there is no evidence to support that theory.


Hi,What happened to all the personal effects from the house? Thanks, Judie Delano, Va.

Xenon HID

It's fear!The killer was probably in the same church the Moore family was attending, and was aware of the time.


It was probably a neighbor or someone they knew.


I have a question. If the Stillinger girls were the last to be killed then wouldn't they have heard the Moore family's screams? and there for have time to run out of the house? Why would they just stay in their room an wait to be murdered? Im sure they were probably scared to move, but if it were me I would have made a run for it.


These men,I say this cause I believe there where 2 men that commited the murders and that there responsible for the other murders in other states at that time, were commited for simple needs of food and shelter.The victims may have been random true but location and means of fast escape were thought out.
I believe this is a serial crime in that others in Kansas and Colorado where done by same people. The crime myself speaks too one the men holding the two girls quite downstairs while partner dispatched others upstairs that's why they died last. Windows were covered for privacy and much needed time to find things in house they needed. Yes im saying the killed the people , then ate with intentions of being there awhile but we're distrubed by neighbor next morning, two hobo s were seen boarding morning train. And allI those cities were connected by railroad.That's my theory.

Michelle Kopp

the family was asleep when they were killed it seems from the wounds that the killer knew exactly where to strike to kill them before they screamed. from the original reports it seems no one but the youngest Stillinger girl woke up. accourding to the family it seemed that Ina was a very light sleeper and woke while her sister was being murdered next to her. hence th reason why the investigaters found her lower in the bed.


From what i understand, The killer(s) had no way to exit from any of the windows in the house. correct? All were found locked except for two. And all of the Doors in the house were found locked as well. That leaves me kinda baffled?
Just exactly how did the killer(s) leave?

If the two windows that weren't locked couldn't be the entrance or exit?
HOW DID THEY LEAVE? They didn't go through the chimney like santa? did they?
Did they lock the doors when they left with the moore's own keys? and if so why?

Dottie K. Johnson

Mr. Epperly,

I just finished reading Roy Marshall's book 'Villisca'. I would like to know if you have read it, and if so your opinion of its accuracy. As well, have you written a book? After studying so much of the evidence, have you arrived at any conclusion regarding the guilt or innocence of Senator Jones, or Mr. Kelly.

Dottie K. Johnson

Mr. Epperly,

A few more questions if you please:

Do you know what the three farm boys who overheard conversation between A. Jones and M. Moore heard?

Do you know who first told F. Jones about the murders, and what Senator Jones initial reaction was to the news?

Do you know what suggestions Senator Jones made to Marshall Horton when he was in Horton's office following the murders?

Were fingerprints lifted from the icebox from where the bacon was taken?

Does any of this evidence remain which could be placed under the microscope of todays technology.

Dottie K. Johnson

Dottie K. Johnson

Mr. Epperly,

Would you spend the night in the Moore house?

Kylie Pacovsky

The Moore's had eaten milk and cookies when they had come home from church, so they definitely would've noticed a plate of food sitting out. Nice Try


To answer an earlier question on here, the killer(s) left through one of the main front doors, locking it behind them as they left and taking the key with them. It's hard to say if either of the Stillinger girls woke up or heard noises upstairs. Dr.Epperly had stated before that young children sleep very heavily and soundly and based on the timeframe of when they all went to bed (a bit after 10 PM) and the approximate time of the murders (between midnight and 2AM), it was within the first 3 to 4 hours of sleep, during which you have your heaviest and deepest REM sleep. If the Stillinger girls did wake up, it might have been just seconds before they were struck and therefore barely had time to react.

Ed Epperly

Dottie: Sorry I failed to respond to your questions, I had not checked the Blog and missed them.
I have read Mr. Marshall's book. He is a serious student of the murder and his book closely follows the records in the Iowa State Archives. I have not published a book but have one nearly finished. Perhaps before I die.
I have never met a ghost but I have no interest in staying overnight in the Moore house. I would hear every creak and groan the old house makes and at the witching hour all the victims and their killer would rise up in my mind even if the house was still as death.
The three boys saw Albert and Joe talking over the back fence before church but they could not hear what was said. They didn't believe an argument was taking place. F.F. heard of the murder up town on the street. He walk down to the murder scene as soon as he heard of the event.
No evidence remains that I know of. Jones, Horton and other town leaders met shortly after the murder was discovered. They discussed whether or not to send for bloodhounds.
No finger prints were found at the scene.

Ed Epperly

Judie: Sorry I missed your question. The Moore's personal property was divided among Joe's brothers and sisters and John Montgomery, Sara's father. John got the piano I know. Joe's brother Ross was the executor of the estate. The two families agreed Joe and Sara died simultaneously thereby avoiding a court fight over the inheritance.

Ed Epperly

Kyle: All the windows but two were locked from the inside. One unlocked window was blocked by a sewing machine and the other had a unbroken spider web showing it hadn't been opened. The back door screen was hooked from the inside. Both front doors were locked but the front door key was missing. Therefore it is assumed the killer left by the front door, locking it and taking the key with him.

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