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The Homer Village Green

Location: Homer, New York
(42.635217, -76.179267)

May 18, 1895
The next day the trail resumed with testimony from Fred Graham who confirmed that Jack was sharing a boarding room with him at Michael Murphy’s in Homer for several weeks, until December 31. He recounted, “Jack tried to climb over a wire fence behind the school on the Green. Got all tangled up and managed to cut his hand in the process. He was quite a sight.” As Fred went to bed most evenings at 7pm, he could not confirm what time Jack would have returned the night in question. (site of the barbed wire fence in question).

The dubious Thomas Gerrard took the stand next. He mentioned a row that Jack had with a woman, Cora Godfrey, where she had threatened him by mentioning the Quinlan case. Jack retorted by saying, “if she didn’t keep still, it would make him trouble.” However, upon cross-examination, it was revealed that Dennis Quinlan had paid Thomas to get Jack drunk to pick his pocket. Thomas swore he never went through with it. He also admitted to being paid trolley fare by the constable to track down Louis’ whereabouts.

Finally, it was time for Patrick’s son, Thomas Quinlan, to take the stand. He recounted the events, as previously stated that he assumed his father was drunk and brought him home after delivering the milk. Except for this time, he was caught in a lie by the defense. “And yet you told some people you turned around immediately and took your father home before going on with the milk. Why two different stories, Mr. Quinlan?”

Thomas stuttered in reply, “I was concerned what people would think…that they would think I was neglectful of Pa.” He then when on to confess that not only had he dropped off the milk, but he also stopped by the Johnson sister’s bakery on Main Street for a loaf of bread, before returning to his father. When Thomas went into town to fetch a doctor for his father, it was discovered that he first stopped to let the cows into the lower pasture along the way. After finding the doctor, he went to the local saloons to inquire whether his father had been drinking that night, per the doctor’s request, before stopping to move the cows again before returning home. It was then revealed at this time that Patrick, per the district attorney’s suggestion, had offered $500 for the capture of his father’s murders. It had yet to be claimed.

When asked if he had heard anything the evening of the murder, Patrick assured the jury the spot was too far from the house to hear anything. Patrick also confirmed that his father was hard of hearing and would not have been able to hear anyone lurking behind him.

The defense attorney went on to grill a very uncomfortable Thomas about the state of the family’s farm. The Quinlan children’s mother had left them the farm, valued a $6,000, upon her death 17 years prior. Since then, the children had continued to live and work on the farm without compensation from their father. Thomas assured the jury that it was by choice and that their father always had generously provided for their needs.

The next witness, Elbert Salsbury, confirmed having seen Patrick and the suspects in question at Doyle’s Pub on December 21. To sully Louis’s reputation, Elbert also mentioned seeing Louis at a house of ill repute several years before.

May 20, 1895

Thomas Quinlan was summoned to the stand again, but did not appear.

George W. Eldridge, who had observed the crime scene, took the stand next. The line of questioning turned to the location of Patrick’s stolen pocketbook. “Now, Mr. Quinlan’s pocketbook. Is it true that it was found on a direct line, cross lots, towards the village from where the body was found?” asked the district attorney. George confirmed he was correct. The D.A. questioned further, “Is it your opinion that beyond where the pocketbook was found, one could avoid the barbed wire fences by going through the bars that lead to the dugway and then to Scott Road?” Again, George confirmed yes.

May 31, 1895

George F. Pratt, the proprietor of the Inkstand (a Homer saloon), testified that both Louis and Jack were present at the Inkstand just before to Doyle’s Pub. Early the next morning, the men returned. Jack’s hand was bleeding, and George did his best to patch it.

“Fred Gram came into my place just before (Jack) McDonald entered. Fred was laughing. He said McDonald had got himself caught on a fence and couldn’t get unstuck. He said McDonald was coming from the opposite direction of the school ground when he tangled with the fence, and the fence won.”

The last testimony of the day was Patrick’s daughter, Julia Quinlan. She noted that while it was not common for her father to stay out all night, he did sometimes stay with family in town. She went on to confirm that her father always provided for their needs and had a friendly relationship with both of his children. The mood in the courtroom changed noticeably when the subject of the family farm was raised. Since her father’s demise, she and her brother were now finally in full possession of their bequeathed estate. Julia shifted uncomfortably when asked to verify. The defense then queried whether there had been anyone else at the home during the events and wondered aloud how the two of them could possibly move a 210-pound man on their own. Julia assured the jury that the new hire, Morris O’ Connors had not been hired until after their father’s death and that they were indeed alone that horrible day.