Update #1 on 1903 Cold Case

Believe it or not, there’s an update about the 1903 murder of James Patterson – several, in fact! These updates don’t solve this case, mind you, but they certainly created an interesting new dimension. Here’s a link to the original post that describe the murder and the subsequent conviction of Charley Hall. Update #1 concerns the time just before the murder.

First, Charles Hall and James Patterson appear in the 1903 Columbia city directory, as does Robert Moorman, the magistrate who secured Annie Laurie’s agreement to testify at the trial (by threatening her with a $200 fine if she didn’t do it).

1903 Columbia city directory - abbreviations

1903 Columbia city directory – abbreviations

It’s possible this is a different “Charles Hall” because the address in the directory doesn’t match the one on his arrest warrant. Keeping the spelling and penmanship skills of Sheriff Coleman in mind, it is probably best not to be too fastidious:

Mismatched address on arrest warrant

Mismatched address on arrest warrant

City directory listing for Chas Hall

City directory listing for Chas Hall

Surprise #1 is in James Patterson’s entry. Apparently, he was married, and his wife was named Lizzie. Charley Hall didn’t know Patterson, and most likely didn’t know he was married.

James and Lizzie Patterson on Pulaski

James and Lizzie Patterson on Pulaski 

Next, in his ante-mortem statement, James Patterson mentioned that Annie Laurie lives in Mr. White’s yard, on Pulaski Street. Mr. White is also in the directory.

Mr. White's residence on Pulaski

Mr. White’s residence on Pulaski

Surprise #2: Annie Laurie lived at 1827 Pulaski Street. James Patterson lived at 2000 Pulaski Street.

They were neighbors. In light of that fact, it makes sense they would be walking together since they were neighbors and headed home in the same direction. Sadly, James Patterson was probably murdered for no reason.

Go to Part 2 to find out about the other updates!

5 thoughts on “Update #1 on 1903 Cold Case

  1. Pingback: An Obscure Murder, Circa 1903 | The Birth of the Modern World

  2. Pingback: Twist on a 1903 Cold Case (part deux) | The Birth of the Modern World

  3. That makes sense they were neighbors. When James was shot, Annie’s reaction was to flee. In most cases, if someone is in trouble, or shot as in this case, an intimate partner would likely drop to their knees beside their loved one, not flee. That established in my mind the relationship was an acquaintance at most.

    Liked by 1 person

    • True! In this case, I think Annie Laurie knew Charley Hall was crazy and would probably kill her out of jealousy while he was at it. Makes me feel sorry for James Patterson though… talk about being in the wrong place at the wrong time!!


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