Sept. 4, 1911
"Oly" in the comments on this old post has provided a very good and plausible hypothesis regarding the flashlight found behind the Dawson's house in Monmouth, Illinois. For those of you that didn't take the time to check the other article, here's the key takeaway:
I have four different phrases reported on the flashlight. The New York Times reported in 1915 the words “Colorado Springs” and “Lovey.” Pretty damning if true, however newspapers in Colorado reported the writing to say “Lovely, Colorado Springs.” The comma is paramount here as it’s the difference between a possible name (Lovely and Loving have both been reported as Mitchell’s first name) or a phrase you might find on a souvenir from a resort town like Colorado Springs. Another Colorado paper reported “Loving Colorado Springs.” The Monmouth Review-Atlas reported simply “Colorado Springs” in 1915, and in a 1984 article rehashing the incident the same paper reported “Colo. Sprig. Sept. 4.”
Ten yeas ago (holy crap) I spent a little time trying to find the significance of September 4, 1911 in Colorado Springs. I quickly filed it under "Get To Later" and was distracted by other shiny things. Thank goodness for readers! Oly may have found the definitive evidence linking the Burnham-Wayne murders to the Dawson murders. A Labor Day picnic in Colorado Springs! Hosted, in part, by the Modern Woodmen of America! On the date reported to have been scratched into the side of the flashlight! I'm extremely excited by this!