News from the Past
|In The Spirit of Mark Twain|
Virginia City, Nevada
The most cruel, outrageous and revolting murder ever committed in this city was that of Julia Bulette on Sunday morning. She lived in a little house by herself, near the corner of D and Union streets, in a thickly settled neighborhood, and within a stone's throw of the station house. The murder was probably committed about 5 A.M. but it was not discovered until nearly noon, when the body was nearly cold and stiff with death. At eleven o'clock a Chinaman who was employed to make fire, sweep, bring in the wood, etc. came into the house as usual, kindled a fire and left thinking she was asleep, as he could see her covered up in bed.
About half an hour afterward, a woman who lives next door came to call her to breakfast, and discovered her to be murdered....She was found Iying on her left side, with a pillow over her head and face, the bedclothes beneath her head being saturated with blood. Her throat was lacerated with the marks of finger nails, and the blood-suffused and distorted countenance, together with the writhing position of the body, showed conclusive evidence of strangulation. . . There were two small wounds on her forehead . . . and the back of her left hand was somewhat lacerated in her struggle to free herself from the grasp of the fiend who had her in his power. . . the murderer took a set of furs worth $400, two gold watches and chains, and several pieces of valuable jewelry, even taking the earrings from her ears...
lt certainly is to be hoped that murdering villian may be captured and eventually adorn the end of a rope. His victim was known as Jule Bulette, and was a native of London, England, whence she emigrated, when quite young, to New Orleans, and thence to California, in 1852 or 1853, where she lived in various cities and towns until April, 1863, when she came to Virginia. She is said to have married a man by the name of Smith--from whom she afterward separated and has an uncle and a brother still living in the State of Louisiana.
She was thirty-five years of age, belonging to that clan denominated "Fair but frail," yet, being of a very kind hearted, liberal, benevolent and charitable disposition, few of her class had more true friends. Julia Bulette was some time since elected honorary member of Virginia Engine Company No 1, of this city, in return for numerous favors and munificent gifts bestowed by her upon the company; she taking always the greatest imaginable interest in all matters connected with the Fire Department, even on many occasions at fires working at the brakes of the engines. She was still an honorary member of the company at the time of her death, therefore it was proper that she should be buried by the company.
The male citizenry was outraged and shocked, the women a shade more pleased than indifferent. Men talked of forming vigilante squads. Many months passed, and it appeared that Jule's killer would never be found....But he was naive, and asked more of Lady Luck than she was willing to give. Near the Divide (separating Gold Hill from Virginia City), he sold a dress to a woman at a suspiciously low price. Someone identified it has having belonged to Julia. At John Milleian's residence was found a chest of articles that were stolen from Jule's on the night of the killing. The evidence was all circumstantial, but the townsfolk "knew" they had their man; he would be convicted without delay. "everyone" was at the hanging, including Mark Twain who was in town for two evenings of lectures about his trip to the holy land.
By nine o'clock this morning the streets of Virginia were lively and bustling with people gathered to witness the execution.. .The principal point of attraction was on B street in front of the Court House, and towards noon the crowd had increased to an immense size. At 111/2 o'clock the carriage for the prisoner drove up to the door of the SherrifFs office, and soon afterward the Sheriffs posse of specials, numbering twenty-four men, armed with Henry rifles marched out and surrounded the carriage. At 12 o'clock, the prisoner stepped into the carriage, and the procession started for the gallows. The carriage containing the prisoner and-attendant Catholic Priests, was followed by a carriage containing the two officiating physicians and the reporters of the various newspapers of Virginia and Gold Hill. This carriage was followed by a wagon containing the coffin and undertaker. An immense number of people followed on foot, on horseback, and in carriages, and a moving throng crowded the sidewalks.
The gallows was situated in a sloping ravine about a mile north of Virginia, just below the Geiger Grade, and near the Jewish burial ground. Arrived at the scaffold, the prisoner ascended with a light tripping step, and now John Milleian stood boldly forth and took a last look upon whom were once his fellow citizens, who were now assembled to see him take his final leap in the dark. A pleasanter Spring day was seldom seen and on the sides of the encircling amphitheater of hills were between four and five thousand people, among whom were noticed many woman and children. On the platform of the scaffold were the Sheriff, Deputy, Jailer, and the two priests. Deputy Sheriff Leconey read the warrant for the execution, after which Milleian stepped forward and read his farewell address to the people, but claiming not be be able to speak good English, he read it as it was written in French. He was smoothly shaven, and looked somewhat pale from imprisonment, but showed no sign of nervous weakening, and read in a loud, firm, unwavering voice, occupying about ten minutes time. He said that in this trial and conviction, great injustice had been done him. Chief of Police Edwards had perjured himself on the witness stand, and abandoned women had been brought in to swear his life away. Not understanding English well, he had not been able to fully comprehend the accusations, therefore could not refute them. He had been guilty of some bad deeds during his lifetime, but of this murder he was innocent. What he was reading was the only thing in the way of a confession he had to make; anything else purporting to be confession of his, he declared to be spurious and untrue. He spoke well of his treatment by the Sheriff and other officers while in prison, and expressed his forgiveness of everybody. The only words he addressed in English, were these: "Mr. Hall and family, I'm much obliged to you for your services, and to the ladies that visited me in my prison." He knelt upon the trap, and after a short prayer wth Father Manogue, he arose, shook hands with the officers, embraced the priests, and then stood firmly on the fatal trap while the noose was adjusted about his neck. So cool a man under such circumstances we never saw. Just as the black cap was drawn down over his head, the spring was touched, the trap dropped, and John Milleian dangled in the air. He fell about 6 feet. After about two minutes suspension a strong shudder pervaded his frame, otherwise he hung pretty quiet. At the expiration of 13 minutes all pulsation ceased to be apparent to the physician. . . Gold Hill News
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