During the last year I have doing my best to track down more information about William Dawson and his family. I have come up with nothing I didn’t already know. You can read about that here. Instead of rehashing the
The photo above is the former location of the Dawson's house as seen through Google Maps. The blue line indicates the direction the killer went after the murders. To the north of the house is the section of the railroad tracks nearest the house. It’s approximately a half mile way. The portion of town south of those tracks was referred to by locals as the “colored section” of town, indicating a high concentration of black families. Now I don’t know what the ratio of black to white households in that part of town were in 1911 but it probably leaned heavily toward black since this was also where the brand new “colored church” was located (right across the street from the Dawson’s home in fact). The question I have is this; what are the odds a killer would pick, at random, one of the few white families in a heavily black community? Just something I think about…
The Monmouth crime has something in common with Villisca besides the obvious things. Both in Villisca and Monmouth the crime scenes were located quite a bit farther away from the railroad tracks then at the other crime scenes. In Colorado Springs, the tracks were just a half a block away; in Ellsworth they were almost in the front yard of the house and in Paola they were only a few houses away. If the killer was utilizing the railroad to make his escape then he needed to walk quite a ways through both Villisca and Monmouth before getting to the tracks where he likely escaped from town. Does this indicate the killer had some knowledge of at least those two towns?
If there are any descendants of William and Charity Dawson who are reading this post, I would be very interested in hearing from you.