A COLD-BLOODED MURDER –
Circumstantial Evidence Warrants the Assertion. – The Victim Was an Italian
Grader. – And the Alleged Assassin Proves To Be a Comrade and Countryman.
In the last
issue The Herald published a brief note regarding a murder that had been
committed on the grade near Moyie.
At the time
no particulars regarding the killing could be procured – only the simple fact
that an Italian had been murdered by someone and that the coroner had been sent
last Sergeant Clopp, of the mounted police, with an escort of four men, arrived
in Cranbrook with the alleged murderer, a
boyish-looking Italian, enroute to Fort
Steele. The prisoner’s name is Antonio Bruno, and
that of the murdered man Guiseppe Puerio.
was committed Sunday, August 7th, and the body dragged into the
brush a distance of about 20 yards from the tote road, three miles southwest of
Moyie, where it was discovered the Tuesday following by David Newlan.
of the murdered man was established by means of a peculiar fur-lined cap worn
by him, his face and head being beaten into an unrecognizable pulp; also by a
new pair of shoes sold him by the bookkeeper in Armstrong’s camp, after which Sergeant Clopp soon had a
clue to the probable murderer. The two
men left the camp where they had been working, on Sunday. A few hours afterward Bruno returned in an
excited condition, secured a time check and some personal effects and left,
saying he was tired of the country. He
had nearly three days’ start but Sergeant Clopp and a companion started in
pursuit and never left their saddles for rest until reaching Goat River
landing. They had some difficulty in
tracing the prisoner, as that section of the country is full of Italians
travelling in one direction or another.
Goat River landing they had the rather
questionable satisfaction of learning that their man had but a few moments
previously got away on a steamer bound for Nelson. The steamer Nelson, however, departed but a
half hour later than the first boat, and to the purser was given by Sergeant
Clopp a description of the fugitive to be left with the officers at ports where
the boat would stop.
Kuskonook the prisoner was either left by the boat, or stopped off, possibly to
cover his trail. His description was
given by the purser to Constable Wilson at that point, who soon had the fleeing
man in custody, and he was afterward turned over to his pursuers who returned
with him to Moyie.
A search of
the prisoner revealed documents belonging to the murdered man, as well as a
roll of money, which was bound about his leg below the knee.
to Moyie with the prisoner, Coroner Watt being unavailable, an inquest was held
with Dr. Brodie acting as coroner, and the accused was remanded to custody and
held for further examination at Fort
Steele by Gold
Commissioner Armstrong, who at the time was absent north on government
was a most brutal one, the head of the deceased being beaten into a shapeless
mass, and a trail of blood distinguishable 100 yards from where the remains
Clopp and his companions were tireless on the trail of the alleged murderer,
and are entitled to a great deal of credit for the successful work performed by
them. In order to prevent possible
attempt at rescue by friends of the accused the latter was brought in under
above was written, the prisoner was taken back to Moyie by order of
Commissioner Armstrong, as the witnesses all live near there.