This is Part 2 of The Kings of Louisiana. Be sure to read Part 1 first!  

When he left home the next morning to go to his office, Dr. Allen King looked around, blinking in surprise. Overnight, someone had papered the town with large yellow posters. Written in block letters were the words THE KING OF SEDUCERS HAS RETURNED. Beneath that, in smaller print, the posters asked if the good people of Morgan City intended to tolerate this man in their presence. The night policeman, Guggenheim, had torn down as many as he could as soon as he spotted them, but enough posters remained to further inflame the town of 5000.

Morgan City Waterfront, circa 1910 (from cityofmc.com)

 

A week passed, with no more events related to Hazel Olivier or Dr. King. On Wednesday, May 19, a week after the posters had appeared, a 15-year-old boy rose and ate breakfast with his family as usual. He picked up his bag, said goodbye, and proceeded down the street.

“Hullo Leo!” a group of boys greeted him.

The boy grinned and waved at his friends, but he continued walking briskly toward the downtown area.

He stepped into the bank building and climbed the stairs to Dr. King’s office. He knocked, attracting the attention of Hallie Bibbins, who worked in the next office.

“Hello, Leo,” she said.

“Come in,” a voice inside the office said at the same time. The boy smiled at her, pulled opened the door, and disappeared inside.

It was still early and Dr. King was sitting alone in his office, writing notes in a patient file. He wasn’t expecting anyone and he looked up curiously. The boy quickly drew a revolver from his pocket and pointed it at him. Dr. King struggled to get to his feet but he was too late. The boy fired the gun and the doctor crumpled and collapsed onto the floor.

The boy seemed uncertain as to what to do next. He turned to leave, but he hesitated on the threshold. Then he returned to the doctor, fired a second bullet into the prone body. He attempted to pull the trigger again, but this time the gun jammed. He put the revolver back in his pocket and pulled open the door.

Hallie Bibbins had frozen at the sound of gunfire. When she heard Dr. King’s door open, she crouched beside her desk but the boy merely walked down the steps, and out the door. She ran to the window and watched the boy as he crossed the street to the courthouse and went inside.

City Hall and Court House of Morgan City (from cityofmc.com)

 

Marshal Robert Maitland was enjoying his second cup of coffee and looked up curiously at the teenage boy who approached him. “Good morning, son,” he greeted him.

Without preamble, the boy said, “I shot Dr. King.”

“You shot him?” Maitland repeated.

“Yes, I’ve killed him,” the boy replied. He handed his revolver to the marshal.

 

Stay tuned for The Kings of Louisiana, Part 3!

In the early evening of June 10, 1900, a 19-year-old Croatian immigrant named Vido Opusich was on a mission. He was searching the streets of San Francisco for John Petrovich.

Petrovich was a 45-year-old waiter, commonly known by his nickname, Napoleon. He worked at a coffee house on the corner of Sacramento and Leidesdorff streets. At last Opusich found him at The Dalmatia, a saloon at the corner of Stockton and Pacific streets. The waiter was slightly drunk when Opusich entered the saloon and spotted him standing beside the bar.

Witnesses told police Opusich approached Napoleon, snarling something in a foreign tongue. The waiter jumped and immediately moved toward the street but Opusich pulled a revolver from his pocket and shot him. The bullet passed through Napoleon’s hat and lodged at the base of his brain. But he did not collapse. Instead, he staggered out of the saloon and into the street. Opusich followed him, firing three more shots.

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Part 1     Part 2     Part 3     Part 4     Part 5

Tennessee’s Governor Malcolm Patterson occasionally granted reprieves to a condemned prisoner so he could study the case first. But the governor was going to be married December 7, three days before the hanging. Peter’s case didn’t appear to register in his consciousness.

On December 9, Sheriff Reeder prepared for the execution, noting the rope and scaffolding were ready to be used the following day. But late that evening, Governor Patterson granted a reprieve until January 11, 1908.

Tennessee’s Governor Malcolm Patterson

 

Ultimately, the governor agreed with the courts. Turner was guilty of premeditated homicide. On January 10, Peter was notified the he would be hanged the next day at 1:30 p.m.

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