Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Villisca Axe Murder Victims

Real Name: Josiah B., Sara, Herman, Katherine, Boyd, and Paul Moore, Ina and Lena Stillinger
Nicknames: No known nicknames
Location: Villisca, Iowa
Date: June 10, 1912


Details: On June 9th, 1912, sisters Ina, 8, and Lena Stillinger, 12, were invited to stay at the Moore's house. In the evening, the Stillingers and the Moores left to go to church and returned at around 9pm. During that time, an unidentified individual or individuals entered the home and hid in either their attic or their cupboard, waiting for them to fall asleep so he/they can attack. Once the family and their guests fell asleep, the intruder(s) took the family's axe and went to the master bedroom, where Josiah and Sara Moore, the parents, were hacked to death. The killer(s) then went to the children's room and killed Herman, 11, Katherine, 10, Boyd, 7, and Paul, 5. Afterwards, the murderer(s) went downstairs to the guest bedrooms, where they hacked Ina and Lena to death. The next day, a neighbor called a friend because she was suspicious and they discovered the bodies. Authorities investigated the case, but it was closed in 1917 without anyone ever being charged in the murders. Almost a century later, several paranormal experts believe that the house is haunted by the ghosts of the murders, and possibly, the killers.
Suspects: There are several suspects in the case, including Reverend George Kelly, Frank F. Jones, William Mansfield, and Henry Lee Moore, but most of them have since been exonerated.
Extra Notes: The case has appeared on Haunting Evidence as well as several other television shows.
The ghosts of the location were featured on Ghost Lab and Ghost Adventures.
Results: Unsolved