Tidbits from Then and Now
December 5,1921 Rutland Herald
Submitted by Mickey Kelly, Fred Remington and Angela Hinchey
Terrible Mystery Involved in Post Cards and Attack
The police have a deep mystery on hand
It involves warnings and threats sent on post cards, nocturnal attack on a trio of Rutland young men and the pushing of one into the icy waters of Otter Creek.
All the Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Kennedys of the police department are busy.
The fingerprint experts and the decipherers of mysterious hieroglyphics are ready and anxious for a battle of wits.
The beginnings of the mystery came several days ago when William Donner of Strongs avenue and a young chap about town, known as Robert Steele, received post cards signed by the “Mysterious Three.”
These post cards bore warnings---deadly ones.
The second chapter came Saturday when Donner, Steele and Robert and Ernest Knight of Cherry street were standing on Dorr’s bridge at midnight. The three were talking things over and looking at the water.
Then, according to the tale unfolded to police, some mysterious person burst upon them and then attacked Donner, gave him an awful wallop on the head and without more ado hurled him into the icy waters of the creek.
Donner and Steele called on the police yesterday (Donner it will be seen had escaped from the creek).
Donner`s face and head were badly damaged. His nose looked the worst for wear and he was swathed in bandages.
Donner and Steele told the police all about it.
Donner and Steele were each in the possession of a post card which they left in the hands of the police. These cards are either very funny or more than a little serious, and according to the young men they are duplicates of five or six others received by various persons in the city.
Three lines of hieroglyphics formed the body of the message. These lines are printed with pen and ink and under them is printed are words "Signed the Mysterious Three".
At the very bottom of the card a skull and cross bones, appear also the words poison and beware printed heavily and followed by exclamation points.
Both cards are postmarked Rutland.
Donner connects the receipt of the cards directly with the alleged attack on him Saturday night. His story to the police is to the effect that in company Saturday evening at one of the local theaters and later in the pool room then feeling the urge for further recreation, the boys started for a walk. Their ramblings took them to the bridge and Donner cannot give a very coherent account of what happened
The first thing Bill knew he was in the water. He struggled out of his icy bath and made his way home where he imbibed some hot drinks prepared by his mother.
Donner says at first he thought the card was a joke and paid no attention to it.
Saturday night’s events changed his opinion however and now he is convinced that they were directly connected to the post card.
Donner is an ex-navy man, having received his discharge from that branch of the service about 8 months ago. He had served 26 months, he said.
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