Villisca Ax Murder House
It has been a century since Josiah and Sarah Moore, their four children and two visiting children were hacked to death with an ax while they slept. The tiny town where they lived in Iowa has never been the same
On a quiet residential street in the small Iowa town of Villisca sits an old white frame house.
On a dark evening, the absence of lights and sounds are the first indication to visitors that the house is different from the other homes that surround it.
Upon closer inspection,it's doors and windows are tightly closed and covered.
An outhouse in the backyard suggests that this house does not occupy a place in the 21st century.
That's because on the night of June 10, 1912, the six members of the Moore family who lived here and two other children were killed in what remains the state's worst mass murder.
Parents Josiah and Sarah and their four children Herman, 11, Katherine, 10, Boyd, 7, and Paul, 5, as well as two of the Katherine's friends Ina, 8, and Lena, 12, were all found with severe head wounds from an ax.
Investigators believed that all of the victims except for Lena Stillinger had been asleep at the time of the murders.
Investigators also believed Lena attempted to fight back because a defensive wound was discovered on her arm.
This photo, taken in 2011, shows the bedroom of Herman, 11, Katherine, 9, Boyd, 7, and Paul Moore, 5, at the time of the Villisca ax murders. Investigators believe the killer or killers attacked the parents first before moving to the children
Lena was found on the bed with her nightgown pushed up to her waist and no undergarments on, leading to speculation that the killer or killers sexually molested her or attempted to do so.
While many suspects emerged, Rev. George Kelly, a traveling minister and suspected pedophile, was twice tried for the murders but was acquitted both times.
The case remains unsolved.