Etc. -- Samuel O. Crooker murdered in 1907
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An edited transcription of a page 1 article from the 21 Feb 1907 Waterford Star newspaper.

A former resident of Boston

The following article from The Buffalo Enquirer refers to Samuel O. Crooker, a former resident of Boston, Norfolk County. His brothers are residents of Boston now and returned on Tuesday from attending the funeral.

Samuel O. Crooker, who was brutally assaulted in the rear of his his little bicycle shop, 100 Goodell Street, late Monday night, died at his home shortly before 9 o'clock this mor-ning. Traumatic meningitis, resulting from the man's wounds, was the immediate cause of death. Crooker's death may change the charge against George Shaetzer of 636 Woodlawn Avenue, the man charged with committing the assault from first degree assault, to first degree murder.

Crooker lived alone in a couple of rooms off his little shop. It was his custom to go to the theater on Monday night. Last Monday night he went to the Teck Theater. He reached home about 11 o'clock, and according to his story, was just about to to enter his home when Shaetzer approached him. He followed the old man into the place and asked Crooker for the money which he claimed was due him. Crooker, it is said, refused to give him money and told him to leave.

Shaetzer, it is asserted, picked up a chair and struck the man in the face. Crooker fell to the floor, blood pouring from his mouth and nose. The blow knocked out several of Crooker's teeth and fractured his nose.

Crooker then tried to get to his feet, and, it is said, his assailant again struck him, felling him to the floor. The man again attempted to rise, and again it is said, Shaetzer felled him with the chair. Then, it is claimed, while he was on the floor, wallowing in his own blood, his assailant became frenzied and pounded him repeatedly on the head with the chair. Each time the man attempted to regain his feet, it is said, Shaetzer knocked him down.

A lamp was knocked to the floor in the scuffle, and a passing citizen heard the crash and started toward the house. At that moment a man rushed out the front door and started to run toward Ellicott Street. The citizen went back to the shop and found the man lying on the floor bathed in blood.

Dr. A. G. Dellenbaugh, whose office is nearby, was hurriedly summoned. He dressed Crooker's wounds and notified the police at the Pearl Street station.

Detectives were put on the trail of the assailant. In the meantime, Crooker regained con-sciousness and told the police the man who assaulted him was George Shaetzer of 636 Woodlawn Avenue. Two detectives went to the man's home and arrested him. He was locked up in the county jail pending the result of the assault.

According to the police, Shaetzer admits beating Crooker. He claims that the man owed him $6 for labor. He says he worked for Crooker as a repair man, and that the money was coming to him for some time. He went to the home on the night of the alleged assault, he claims, for the purpose of collecting the money. The man refused to give him any money and told him that none was coming to him. Whereupon, he claims, he picked up the chair and "gave him a good beating."

Dr. Dellenbaugh, the man's attending physician, said the man's head was terribly incer-ated. At one time the physician thought that the skull was fractured. There were eight frightful cuts on Crooker's head, and they had to be stitched.

About a year ago Crooker suffered from a stroke of paralysis on the right side, and the doctor claims, his physical condition at the time of the assault had a great deal to do with his death.

Crooker grew steadily worse from the day of the assault, his condition being so serious on Thursday afternoon, that Medical Examiner Dauser took his ante-mortem statement. Last night, Crooker lapsed into unconsciousness.

Next Tuesday afternoon at 3 o'clock Judge Murphy will begin an inquest into Crooker's death, and this will determine the exact charge which Shaetzer must  answer.

Medical Examiners Dauser and Howland held a post mortem examination on the body at the morgue this afternoon. At the conclusion of the examination they gave out the state-ment that death was due to meningitis, resulting from blows on the head. Crooker's skull was not fractured, nor were any bones broken. There were many lacerations and bruises on the body, but the skull was of unusual thickness.

The police claim Shaetzer admitted going to Crooker's home on the night of the assault with the intention of "doing him up." If the police can prove the case is one of premedi-tated assault, the charge becomes first degree murder.

Crooker was not an old man, as had been generally believed. He was 47 years old. Crooker has a married son in Buffalo.

Copyright 2013 John Cardiff