Baltimore Patriot, June 7, 1823.
This is kind of like a Dostoevskian precursor to that undying exploding toilet
legend. I like the half-baked caveat of the headline, "Can This Be True
"? Of course
it's true, Mr. Skeptical Compositor: You wouldn't be typesetting it if it weren't true.
Mom gets good tactical points for the ladder trick, but then two demerits for the predictable hostage of her children. Officer gets johnny-on-the-spot points, but loses gallantry points for sending in the help to reconnoiter.
I'm not sure this officer was giving 110% if he wasn't up to chasing down a hemorrhaging hobo, even as traumatized mom runs all the way to town.
So under-motivated officer guy has been standing around the blood-spattered cottage the whole time? OK. The body count is high enough anyway.