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About Morning Oregonian. (Portland, Or.) 1861-1937 | View This Issue
THE MORNING OREGONIAN, SATURDAY, DECE3IBER 23, 1922
WEIRS TO FACE
Woman's Story of Girl's
Death Now Believed."
BODY WILL BE SOUGHT
Formal Complaint to Be Filed To
day, Says Deputy District
Attorney on Case.
(Continued From First Page.)
made them and was afraid to back
down for fear that the police would
send her to the Cedars.
''As a result of that conversation,"
eaid Mr. Mowery, "I am absolutely
convinced that the Leary woman is
speaking the truth and that a young
E'.rl was murdered in old Weir'B
cow the night of September 3. We
vill proceed with formal murder
charges- this morning.
. Official Is Confident.'
"I have no doubt but In a few
weeks the full details will be re
vealed and that when the time for
t'-ial arrives, that the state will be
able to prove that the charges made
by the woman are true.
"It has been suggested that we
cannot proceed with a murder charge
recause of the inability to find the
body. We will have a surprise in
store for Mr. Weir on that score In
a few days. Mrs. Leary will be able
to show us, withia a few hundred
yards, the spot pointed to by Earl
Weir as the place where the little
girl's body was dumped in the
Weir's mania for women, rumors
of: which have been in the hands of
the authorities, was disclosed when
an elderly woman, whose name the
officials declined to disclose, called
at police headquarters and identi
fied the aged prisoner as the man
who had followed and accosted her
young daughter on several occasions.
Innocence Is Maintained.
The strange story of the .murder
of the unidentified girl occupied the
entire time of Portland's inspectors
yesterday. "All other crimes, major
and minor, were relegated to the
background of official Interest.
Earl Weir, 26-year-old eon of the
aged principal, who is accused of
helping his father dispose of the
little victim's body, was brought' to
police headquarters yesterday after
. he had been arrested when the
steamer Cowlitz, on Which he is
pilot, docked at Rainier at 10:30
o'clock Thursday night.
Weir steadfastly maintained his
innocence of the charge. During
the long ride from St. Helens to
Portland, rendered very slow and
tiresome by the dense fog banks
which obscured the roadway. Weir
declined to discuss his troubles with
the sleuths, but maintained a steady
conversation regarding river
Surprise Met at City Jnll.
At the city jail, though, a sur
prise awaited him.' . Helen Leary,
the accuser, was routed from her
Jail bunk, ordered to dress and come
before an official party composed
of Deputy District Attorney Mowry
and Detectives Tackaberry and
Phillips. For a full minute the pair
faced each other the accuser and
"I've told the whole truth, Earl
Weir," dramatically declared the
woman. "My conscience is clear now
and I don't care what they do to
With that remark the woman
turned and, at the motion of a
guard, walked back to her cell.
Mrs. Leary was subjected to the
same series of cross-examinations
yesterday-the same gruellings that
she has undergone for the past two
days and nights. But not in the
slightest degree did her story vary.
Vixit to Scow Is Related.
She told of meeting Weir in the
little restaurant on the east ap
proach of the Morrison bridge she
told how the old man had told her
that he wanted her to meet his son.
She told of visiting the Weir
scow at the foot of East Taylor
street, of the attachment formed
for the younger Weir. She told of
the aged river man's proposals to
She related in minute detail her
visit ta- the lair of the waterfront
character on the afternoon of Sep
tember 23; Bhe told -of the strange
young girl who was in the house
at the time. And, though it was
ihe seventh time that she had been
called on for a similar recital, she
described the mysterious child ex
actly as she had done before.
Mrs. Leary left the boathouse, she
aid. She returned about dusk, she
told her questioners, and, peeking
through a knothole on the side of
the scowboat, saw the aged man at
tempting to attack the child.
.The details of the revolting scenn
were described exactly as they had
been described at the six other
cross-examinations. She told of the
girl s losing consciousness of life,
if Weir's attempts to revive her
with water, of young Weir's arrival
and of the loading of the body of
the little victim into the launch.
She told the story of her exile, of
how Weir forced her aboard the
scowboat and then moved it to an
isolated Bpot on the banks of Ross
island. She told of being left with-.
out food or a skiff with which to
reach the mainland; she told every
thing told it word for word as she
has told it a half dozen times.
Innocence Is Maintained.
The two Weirs were also sub
jected to endless investigation,
quizzing and cross-examination,
Both doggedly proclaimed their in
nocence. The elder man's air of
bravado, his manner of treating his
arrest and the murder charge as a
fine joke, disappeared yesterday.
instead of the "hard-boiled" old
Cash Weir, river rat and object of
police wrath on account of his many
depredations and crimes against
property, he developed into a cring
ing, pitiful little old fellow, who
continually turned to his investi
gators and begged:
"You boys don't think Td do any
thing like that, do you?"
The young Weir, true to his call
ing as a buckoo mate and river pilot,
has assumed an air of defiance.
"I'll tell my story when my time
comes," he told Detective Tacka
berry yesterday morning.
Scores of theories some of them
as wild and as strange as the orig
inal murder story told by Mrs. Leary
have been advanced by official and
unofficial investigators of the case.
Medical science even came to the aid
of the investigators with the pro
nouncement that Mrs. Leary is not
"I do not care to nana any defi
nite statements regarding the truth
cf this woman's story," said Dr. S.
E. Josephi, celebrated mental spe
cialist, "because I have not exam
ined her or formed any estimate of
there are few persons, and they are
only person of the highest .type of
mentality, who could tell a detailed
story of such length as is credited
to this woman; tell it over and over
under such condition apolice in
vestigations impose, and not trip up
in some .misstatement.
"When persons tell the truth they
can repeat the same facts innumer
able times without variation. And
when a person is suffering from a
fixed hallucination that hallucina
tion becomes fact to the person af
flicted and is treated by them as the
truth. I have only seen newspaper
accounts, but I believe that it would
be almost Impossible ior a person
to stick to the story as this woman
has unless it were the absolute
truth or an hallucination."
Another theory, based In part on
Dr. Josephi's statement and sub-
Earl Weir, 20-year-old river cap
tain, who, with his father. Cask
Weir, In a central figure la n
frroffnlni? river murder mystery.
stantiated by investigation, is that
the story is true up to the point
where the woman, peeping through
the knot hole, saw the child in the
clutches of the aged Weir. Then,
it is argued, reason left the wom
an, her imagination, goaded on by
fiction -and film plots, pictured the
father . and son loading the body
into the launch and disposing of it
somewhere in the Columbia or Wil
lamette rivers. The woman talked,
supporters of this theory argue,
Weir, fearing punishment for mis
treating the child, bundled her into
the houseboat and hid her along the
deserted shores of Ross island. No
murder was committed, the advo
cates of this theory claim, the child,
on recovering, having been spirited
away from the shack. '
Weir, the central' figure In" this
engrossing drama of real life, is
one of the pioneer boatmen of the
Willamette and Columbia rivers,
who has fallen from high estate as
owner of steamers to the position
of the most notorious "river rat"
from Youngs bay to Oregon city.
Weir is 61 years of age. He came
to the west with his father in 1872.
The senior Weir was one ot the
most respected rlvermen of the
northwest, operating the Lucy
Moore on the Lewis river run. Cash
Weir took to the river, at one time
owned and operated the Hazel Weir
on a run between Portland and St.
Helens. He has been pilot and cap
tain of numerous steamers, but has
gradually drifted down, until at the
time of his arrest, he was consid
ered as one of the most notoriffus
characters of the waterfront. Weir
was once accused of robbing all of
the local harbor lights of their oil,
thereby endaugering navigation. He
has been arrested, according to po
lice -records, on four previous occa
sions, on charges ranging from
theft to drunkenness.
Young " Weir, despite his some
what disreputable sire, seems to
have struck off on an opposite
tack, and last February won mas
ter's papers and the distinction of
being the youngest river captain on
the Columbia, or" Willamette' rivers.
Woman Relative Arrested. ,
VANCOUVER, Wash.) Dec. 22.
(Special.) Mrs. D. R. Weir, sister-
in-law of Cash Weir, accused of a
murder in Portland, passed eight
months in the Clarke county jail
for moonshinlng. She was par
doned last July by Governor Hart
and released. Her husband, who is
Cash Weir's brother, offered to eerve
the sentence, but his wife Insisted
on "laying out" the fine, and Weir
did not persist in his attempt to
bear the blame. The Weirs live in a
houseboat near Ridgefield. Mrs.
Weir was arrested November 19 and
pleaded guilty to the moonshine
Station to Be Repaired.
CHICAGO, Dec. 22. The Dearborn-
street railroad Btation, partly de
stroyed by fire yesterday, will be
repaired and will be used again by
all eight roads which have made it
their terminal for years past, Presi
dent H. G. Hetzler of the Chicago &
Western Indiana railroad, owners of
the property announced today. The
repair work will ba started at once,
it was said.
J. F. N. COLBURN, Director.
6 to 8 and 9:30 to 11:30
1. "La Sorella," March. . . .
2. "Pierrot etPierette,"
Waltz P. Lehar
3. "Songs of Scotland," Se- '
lection J. B. L'ampe
4. "Every Day," Fox Trot
5. "Three Spanish Dances"
6. "Song to the Evening
Star". ..... .R. Wagner
7. "The Glad Girl," Idyll..
. ...Motzan and Jerome
8. "Troubles," Fox Trot.. .
388 Washington Street
RAILROAD RATE CUT
Lines Said to Be Already
EARNINGS SHOW DECLINE
Committee on Public Relations
Says Reductions Past Tear
Average 12 Per Cent.
CHICAGO, Dec. 22. Reductions of
railroad freight rates liave averaged
12 per cent within the last year and
are costing the railroads $471,000,800
annually, the western railways' com
mittee on public relations said in a
statement tonight protesting against
agitation for further reductions.
Additional reductions would consti
tute a "menace to the reviving
prosperity of the country," the
statement made public by S. M. Fel
ton, chairman, aid.
While railway rates and earnings
have been reduced, the prices of
other commodities have advanced,
the statement eaid. Total .freight
earnings of the country's roads for
September alone declined $47,773,000
through the rate reduction
Asserting the people In western
territory ajid particularly farmers,
were making the .loudest clamor for
lower rates, the statement saia mai
lariat paduMmnn have been made
in western territory because rates
on . grain, grain products and hay
were reduced more in proportion.
Weatern lines Rednee.
On western lines the statement
continued,1 the average rate of re
duction from September, 1921, to
September, 1922, was 13 per cent,
western railways in September earn
ing $22,00,000 less than they would
if the reductions had not been made.
3ecause of rate reductions earnings
of western lines have been reduced
at an annual rate of about $265,000,
000, the statement said.
The result of the reduction In
railroad freight rates while prices
of other commodities advanced, has
been such that the average freight
rate) per -ton mile for the. country is
only 54 per cent higher than in 1913,
the statement continued, adding
that the average wholesale price ot
all commodities other than farm
products is 66 per -cent higher. The
average price of farm products as
compared with 1913, is now higher
than the average rate of western
railways; the average per ton mile
for western roads in September be
ing 38.6 per cent higher -.than in
1913, while the average -price of
farm products for November was 43
per cent higher than for 1913, ac
cording to the statement. .
Materials an Increase.
The railroads are not only suffer
ing from rate reductions, but from
increases in the prices of material
they must buy, the statement said,
explaining metal products increased
20 per cent in the last year, coal
raised 40 per cent since the strike
and lumber has increased) from 39 to
more than 80 per cent.
In .the four months following the
reduction of rates, July 1, for which
the figures are available, the rail
roads of the country earned almost
$87,000,000 less than in the same
month of 1912, although 1912 was
a poor year, said the statement,
adding that the western roads had
$38,000,000 less net return for the
same period. The reduction was due
partly to the shop craft strike, but
mostly to rate decreases, the state
FIRES CHARGED TO ARSON
Historic Notre Dame Church in
Quebec Is Destroyed.
QUEBEC, Dec. 22. Tlie series of
fires, which have swept Catholic in
stitutions on Canada recently, cul
minating early today in destruc
tion of the historic Jl.000,000 Notre
Dame church, was brought to the
( : ,Crm : r
II $" J '
3HRIUST- I i
in their Lfcei psikerBead
Jr. has fwhiaattl. fsA f
" 4 And : I
VARIETIES 7 p
attention of the provincial legisla
ture this afternoon with the sug
gestion that all might be the work
A short circuit In the electrical
wiring first was held accountable
for today's blaze, but later Moneig-
nor La Flamme, cure of Notre. Dame,
presented to Daniel Lorrain, chief
of provincial police, the following
letier postmarked in Montreal:
"I will burn your church down on
Suspicious strangers also were re
ported to have been prowling
around the church.
SAFE FERRY SLIP URGED
Police Captain Advises Installing
f Islands and Semaphore.
Safety islands and a semaphone
at the approaches to the St. Joflns
ferry slip, in the opinion of Captain
Lewis of the police traffic bureau,
will reduce accidents at that point
and add to the safety factor there.
He has suggested, in a letter to of
ficials of the Spokane, Portland &
Seattle Railway company, that a
block signal, similar to that in use
of railroad lines, be installed, which
would control both rail and automo
In a letter to the city commis
sioners, it was also suggested that
safety islands for pedestrian traffic
be placed at the intersection .of the
Dinnton road and the ferry approach
and near the crossing of the railway
Airplane May Sow Grain.
TULARE, Cal., Dec 22. Airplane
sowing may be the very latest agri
cultural "kink." Grain growers in
the Tulare lake basin region, unable
to reach their lands because of lake
waters and wet condition of the
soil, are contemplating the Innova
tion, it ia declared. The farmers
are reported to have grouped to
gether and will send one of their
members to San Francisco to de
termine if it would be feasible to
sow the large acreage from a plane.
ECLIPSE PICTURES SAFE
FUjMS to be studied by
scientific experts. "
Several Months Expected to Be
Required for Test ot Ein-
SAN FRANCISCO, Dec 22. Huge
photographic plates bearing pictures
which may prove or disprove an an
gle in the Einstein theory of rela
tivity were found unbroken when
opened today at the Lick observa
tory on Mount Hamilton, near here,
ty members of the W. H. Crocker
expedition which took the pictures
on a western Australia beach dur
ing the September eclipse. Dr. W.
W. Campbell, director of the ob
servatory and head of the expedi
tion, made the announcement in a
lucheon address here.
"Scientific men do hot care one
way or the other regarding the find
ings,'' Dr. Campbell said. "We only
want to know the truth. It will be
several months before we will be
able to complete our measurements
and comparisons and arrive at a
conclusion regarding the Einstein
Pictures taken by the Crocker ex
pedition are to be exchanged and
compared with pictures taken dur
ing the eclipse by the Adelaide ob
servatory, which sent an expedition
to central Australia- Both expedi
tions, it is believed, obtained excel
lent photographs, for weather con
ditions were perfect.
The pictures taken were of stars
near the euh and they will be com
pared with photographs of the same
stars, taken at night from Tahiti,
in an effort to prove the correctness
of the Einstein theory that the sun's
gravity attracts or. "bends" rays ot
light traveling toward the earth
from stars millions of miles beyond
the sun. If the stars do not appear
in the same positions on the night
rA brilliant screen 'production of
the play in which Alice Brady
scored her greatest stage tri
umph. The stirring story of a
pretty Syrian girl's rise through
exciting adventures and tempta-
tions to happiness and love. With
New York's picturesque under
world and gilded society cabarets
as the setting. In every way Miss
Brady's most brilliant perform
ance. The supporting , cast in
cludes Nita Naldi, David Powell
and Robert Ellis.;
DIRECTOR KNOWLES OF THE COLUMBIA PICTURE PLAYERS has arranged one of the
best programmes ever heard in the city as an accompaniment to "Anna Ascends," which
includes for the first theme "Don't Say Good-bye," by Friedland. The second theme is "Mus
terioso Infernale," by Borsch. During the picture the following numbers are cued gracefully
into the action of the play: "Neapolitan Nights," by Zamecnik; "After Every Party," by
Freed; "Petit Bijouterie," by Bohm; "Love and Laughter," by Cobb ; "La Lisonjera," by Victor
Herbert; "Poem," by Fibich; "Mood Pensive," by Applefield.
Intermission Number, "I'm Through" Norman
SPECIAL ATTRACTION University Male Quartette
BUY YOUR CHRISTMAS COUPON BOOKS HERE
and day photographs, then the the
ory is correct, it is claimed.
RAIL HEARING TO RESUME
Arguments on Merger to Be Given
January 19 and 20.
WASHINGTON, D. C, Dec. 22.
Arguments before the interstate
commerce commission on the appli
cation of the Southern Pacific rail
road to retain control of the Central
Pacific will be heard, it was an
nounced today, on January 19 and
20. Hearing of evidence was con
cluded ten days ago.
The Central Pacific, which has
been .operated as a part of the
Southern Pacific system for many
years, was ordered separated by the
supreme court. The Southern Pa
cific has sought to have the inter
state commerce commission use its
power under the transportation act
for general railroad consolidation to
keep the twd lines together, not
withstanding the court decree, while
the Union Pacific has asked the
commission to support the supreme
court's decision and require the sep
aration to proceed.
Radio Aids in Operation.
MINNEAPOLIS, Dec 22. Radio
as an aid to surgical operations was
employed yesterday when a radio re
ceiving set was attached to the ears
of a woman patient who underwent
a Caesarian operation at a hospital
here. The operation, which was
performed at St. Barnabas' hospital,
was a complete success, according
to Miss Harriet T. Harty, superin
tendent. Fog Nearly Halts Traffic.
ASHLAND. Or., Dec. 22. .(Spe
cial.) Traffic on the Pacific high
way was almost paralyzed last night
by a dense fog, the heaviest ever
seen in this vicinity. The fog was
particularly heavy between here and
Medford. Machines on the highway
moved at a 'slow speed, nearly stop
ping when meeting. With a spot
light and headlights on bright a
driver was unable to see more than
f "f- '1 j rlffj
AESOFS FABLES -TOPICS
BILLY DALE & CO.
MICNIOHT CI M Mr IMMEOIATL.Y AfTBi .ff EATS
AAAT.NS.C OUlUy.U3i KfLGOLAH wight Show. NOW OM SALE.
a few feet ahead of him. No acci
dents were reported today, though
several were narrowly averted.
Contra Dand Arms Found.
SEATTLE, Wash., Dec. 22. Gov
ernment agrents1 nere, who yesterday
sized 50 rifles and 15.000 cartridges
FAREWELL TOUR OF THE, COLOEN WEST
'THE. MINSTREL'S DELIGHT
STEWART a OLIVEL.
SKILFUL WIEUPCRS Of OHN XM
i rii fM.i a Carload aa l xxj . i. u
WTtTktD -TH6..pA5fiAgE. SMASHER &
OF THE PAY - PATHE. NEWS
IY SILLY DALE.
on the steamship Protesilaus, today
took a shipment of 25 pistols for
China from the shipping board liner
President McKinley. Federal inves
tigators assert that a ring exists to
smuggle munitions from the United
States to Chinese revolutionaries.
Read The Oregonian classified ads.
i milium hj-ihi.i. m
her mental capacity.
-'But, ag physician, I tan eay