Wednesday, January 23, 2008
September 20, 1911, Colorado Springs, CO
The two families were the Waynes and the Burnhams. Francis H. Wayne (or Henry F. Wayne) had recently moved to Colorado Springs from Medaryville, Indiana at the behest of his local Modern Woodmen of America camp, of which he was a member. In 1909 the national organization had opened up a 1000 acre sanatorium for members who suffered from tuberculosis (consumption). Today, W. Woodmen Road runs by Woodman Valley Park and there stands the foundation of a barn, burned down in 1994. This crumbling foundation is all that remains of the old sanatorium. When he arrived, Henry met an inmate who worked in the kitchen peeling potatoes. His name was Arthur Burnham and he told Henry about several empty houses for rent in the same neighborhood where the Burnhams lived. Henry paid two months rent in advance and was soon joined by his wife, Blanche, and their baby daughter, Lulumay. In later posts I’ll get into more detail about the victims and their histories.
A few weeks later on Sunday night, the 17th of September, an unknown subject (UNSUB for you crime fanatics out there) broke into the back room of the Waynes’ two room cottage. He (not sexist just easier to say) carried with him and axe taken from the back porch of the cottage and made his way into the front bedroom and killed Henry, Blanche and Lulumay where they lay in bed. Either not satisfied or having killed the wrong people, the UNSUB went next and broke into the back room of the Burnhams’ cottage. Arthur Burnham spent most of his time at the sanatorium, which was twelve miles away, and on this night was not at home. The intruder killed Arthur’s wife, Alice May, and his son and daughter, John and Nellie. It appeared Nellie had woke up and made a break for it but was struck down before she could get away.
The two cottages sat quiet until September 20th when Alice Burnham’s sister, Nettie, and a friend discovered the bodies of Alice and the children lying in one bed with their heads beaten in and covered with bedclothes and other clothing. About an hour later the Wayne family was discovered and pandemonium broke out in the little community. I will discuss both crime scenes more in depth in a later post because I want to get into some speculating.
Things I will cover more in depth later are the two suspects and as I mentioned before, the victims. Bye for now.