Probable Wife Murder: Woman Thrown From Second Story Window 1877


The large double tenement house No. 358 Hicks street, which from its unsavory reputation is known as "The House of Blazes," was last night the scene of a brutal occurrence, which will probably result fatally. Two of the rooms are occupied by Andrew Barnhill, a laboring man, aged 38 years, and his family, consisting of his wife and three children.

Barnhill returned home in a drunken condition last night, and began to abuse his wife. All her efforts to pacify him were unavailing, and he finally assaulted her in a most brutal manner, knocking her down and kicking her on the body. His eldest daughter, aged 11 years, attempted to protect her mother, and the latter, fearing that he would carry out his threat to murder her, made an effort to escape from the room. To prevent her carrying out her purpose he locked the door, put the key in his pocket, and thus closed off the only avenue of escape. His wife, alarmed for her life, rushed to the window and called for help. Disturbances, however, are of such frequent occurrence in the house, that no one paid any attention to her cries, he then dragged her from the window and renewed the assault. Under these circumstances, the unfortunate woman was driven to protect herself as best she could, and a desperate struggle between the couple ensued. She was soon overpowered and knocked senseless to the floor. While in this prostrate and helpless condition the infuriated man picked her up and DELIBERATELY THREW HER FROM THE WINDOW.

The poor children, who were obliged to be silent spectators of the sufferings of the mother, raised a loud scream of terror when they saw her hurled from the window and heard a loud thud which attended the fall on the sidewalk. The fifty or more families residing in the house then became really alarmed, and rushed in all directions to the apartments of Mr. Barnhill's family. Finding the door locked and Barnhill unwilling to open it they burst it open, and seized him as he was in the act of springing for the window himself.

The stoop was crowded with men, women and children, when the unfortunate woman fell almost at their feet. She was unconscious when picked up and it was at first supposed that SHE WAS KILLED OUTRIGHT.

Officer Stoddard and Detectives Roche and Mahoney were at the spot in a few moments and Barnhill was placed under arrest. His victim was taken on a stretcher to the Long island College Hospital, and received prompt medical attendance. it was found that BOTH HER LEGS WERE BROKEN, and that she had received internal injuries from which she is not likely to recover. The affair caused the most intense excitement in the neighborhood, and over one thousand people surrounded the stretcher on the way to the Hospital.

Website: The History
Article Name: Probable Wife Murder: Woman Thrown From Second Story Window 1877
Researcher/Transcriber Miriam Medina


 The Brooklyn Daily Eagle June 3, 1877
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