“As great storms stir up the mud from the bottom of the harbor, no such a crime as that of the murder of Edwin Burdick brings to the surface all kinds of notions on the part of freaks.
The police particularly are favored with all kinds of advice and criticisms with reference to the conduct of the hunt for the murderer. In one letter which Supt. Bull received last week the writer said calmly:
“Supt. Bull: “Pardon me for saying it, but you are a damned fool for looking outside the house for the murderer. Why don’t you look in the place where there is some motive for Burdick’s death,” etc. The writer then goes on to point out so-called reasons for suspecting certain persons.
Another correspondent wrote:
“Supt. Bull: “Why don’t you consult a person who can tell you who killed Burdick? I can tell you such a woman. Her name is Finekunz and she lives in Cleveland, Mark Hanna consults her on all his undertakings and so does Congressman Scott. She is no clairvoyant and she is no medium. She is the seventh daughter of a seventh son. Go and see her and know something.”
This doesn’t change my opinion about the case, but the first writer made a great point. There was no one who was not living in the house–or intimately connected with someone living in the house–with a motive to kill Ed. I suspect this letter was written because the newspapers ran with the idea that police were sure the murderer was a robber, who just happened to break in to the Burdick home, commit a brutal murder, and melted into the darkness. That seems silly. The crime was very obviously a personal one.
Here’s one other anonymous tip from the Burdick murder that did make it into Cold Heart. It’s a totally different kind of tip, but isn’t it fascinating that anyone would actually sit down and write this letter and afterwards mail it to a police detective?
You want to know who killed Burdick? I did it! Burdick was lying on his couch when I struck him. He only let one groan out of him. It was about time that such a man was put out of the way! Goodbye till we never meet again.