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Quiz about The Gruesome Case of The Villisca Axe Murders
Quiz about The Gruesome Case of The Villisca Axe Murders

The Gruesome Case of The Villisca Axe Murders Quiz


This quiz will take you on a journey through one of the most horrific murders this country has ever seen. The town of Villisca, Iowa, was forever changed by the events of June 9, 1912.

A multiple-choice quiz by BlueCheer. Estimated time: 7 mins.
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Author
BlueCheer
Time
7 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
301,771
Updated
Dec 03 21
# Qns
10
Difficulty
Tough
Avg Score
6 / 10
Plays
524
Awards
Top 35% Quiz
Last 3 plays: Guest 90 (4/10), kstyle53 (10/10), Guest 175 (4/10).
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Question 1 of 10
1. On the morning June 10, 1912, Mrs. Mary Peckham noticed something strange. Her neighbor's house was strangely silent. Mrs. Peckham found this strange because the owner of that particular house had four young children, and as everyone knows, children are hardly ever completely silent. What is the surname of Mrs. Peckham's unlucky neighbors? Hint


Question 2 of 10
2. Mrs. Peckham was confused by the silent state of her neighbor's house. After she went over to the house to investigate, she observed that all the curtains were tightly drawn. She also found that the front door was locked. Mrs. Peckham found this very strange, because almost nobody locked their doors in the seemingly "safe" community of Villisca. After going home and puzzling about this strange predicament, Mrs. Moore decided to call a relative of her neighbor's. What was his relationship to the neighbor's family? Hint


Question 3 of 10
3. The responding sheriff was John Henry "Hank" Horton. Sheriff Horton saw what had frightened Ross Moore so: the ground-floor bedroom, with blood-spattered walls, and two still forms underneath the blood-soaked bed covers. He also found the likely murder weapon: a bloody axe leaning against the wall. Sheriff Horton also noticed something strange about the mirror in the bedroom. What strange thing did Sheriff Horton notice? Hint


Question 4 of 10
4. Sheriff Horton continued, already knowing that there was no hope that the rest of the family was alive. As he reached the top of the stairs, he entered another bedroom. Yet again, Sheriff Horton encountered the same scene: two bodies under bloodstained bed covers, the walls covered with blood. Those two bodies were the bodies of J.B. and Sarah Moore. As Sheriff Horton proceeded to the next bedroom, he encountered a sight that brought him, a full-grown man, to his knees: four little children, under blood-soaked sheets, and the walls covered with blood. But this confused Sheriff Horton: there were six members of the Moore family, but there were eight victims. Who were the two unrelated victims later identified as? Hint


Question 5 of 10
5. Sheriff Horton, having identified all the bodies, went to fetch the town's physician, Dr. J. Clark Cooper. Also arriving with Sheriff Horton and Dr. Cooper were Dr. W. A. Lomas, Dr. F. S. Williams, and the Reverend Ewing. County coroner A. L. Linquist also arrived to help with the identification of the victims. Which room did the men investigate first? Hint


Question 6 of 10
6. The party continued their gruesome investigation of the house. They investigated J.B. and Sarah's room, then the room of their children. After they had investigated all the victims, they found that every one of the victims shared one common characteristic. What was it? Hint


Question 7 of 10
7. The party then went to investigate the barn on the Moore property, to see if there were any signs of the killer there. Indeed, they found a pile of hay, with a depression in it that was roughly the size and shape of a man. Coroner Linquist thought the depression in the hay looked fairly recent. They also found a knothole near the hay pile, which they thought the killer may have used to spy on the family. But, by midday, despite orders from the police, the public entered the Moore house. Which group had to be called in to Villisca to control the murder scene? Hint


Question 8 of 10
8. Officials could not clearly think of a suspect for the hideous crime, but, judging from the amount of damage inflicted to him (several wounds being inflicted post-mortem), the officials assumed that J.B. Moore was the target for the killing, the other victims murdered needlessly. But still, there were no clear cut suspects. A psychic claimed she knew who the murderer was: a large man, with a dark mustache, and a hat. The psychic also claimed, erroneously, that the murder weapon would be found near another building close to the Moore house. Who was this "so-called" psychic that tried, unsuccessfully, to help with the investigation? Hint


Question 9 of 10
9. Which of these was NOT considered by the officials to be a theory on why the crime was committed? Hint


Question 10 of 10
10. After no apparent leads could be found in this tragic mass murder, authorities eventually gave up on the investigation. The Moore house, in the 90-plus years since the crime, had gone through several different owners, and eventually fell into disarray. But, in 1994 a couple purchased the house, and renovated it to look exactly as it did on the night of June 9, 1912. What is the name of this couple? Hint



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. On the morning June 10, 1912, Mrs. Mary Peckham noticed something strange. Her neighbor's house was strangely silent. Mrs. Peckham found this strange because the owner of that particular house had four young children, and as everyone knows, children are hardly ever completely silent. What is the surname of Mrs. Peckham's unlucky neighbors?

Answer: Moore

The Moore family, which consisted of J.B. Moore, his wife Sarah, and their four young children, were well liked in the Villisca community. J.B., a successful farming implements salesman, was an affluent member of the community. So why would anyone want to cause him or his family any harm?
2. Mrs. Peckham was confused by the silent state of her neighbor's house. After she went over to the house to investigate, she observed that all the curtains were tightly drawn. She also found that the front door was locked. Mrs. Peckham found this very strange, because almost nobody locked their doors in the seemingly "safe" community of Villisca. After going home and puzzling about this strange predicament, Mrs. Moore decided to call a relative of her neighbor's. What was his relationship to the neighbor's family?

Answer: Brother to the father of the family.

Mrs. Peckham contacted Ross Moore, brother of J.B. Moore. Ross Moore made a few phone calls, but no one had seen J. B. Moore, nor any member of his family all day. Now worried, J.B. Moore decided to let himself into the house, as he had his own key.

He entered through the kitchen door, and crossed through the parlor. After calling out to J.B. and Sarah, he decided to enter the ground-floor bedroom. Ross was only at the doorway to the bedroom for a moment before he bolted and yelled for Mrs. Peckham, who had tagged along, to get the sheriff.
3. The responding sheriff was John Henry "Hank" Horton. Sheriff Horton saw what had frightened Ross Moore so: the ground-floor bedroom, with blood-spattered walls, and two still forms underneath the blood-soaked bed covers. He also found the likely murder weapon: a bloody axe leaning against the wall. Sheriff Horton also noticed something strange about the mirror in the bedroom. What strange thing did Sheriff Horton notice?

Answer: The mirror was covered with torn clothing.

Back in those days, an old superstition was that when someone died, all the surrounding mirrors must be covered, because a person's soul could get trapped within the confines of the mirror. Sheriff Horton would soon find that indeed, all the mirrors within the Moore house were covered.
4. Sheriff Horton continued, already knowing that there was no hope that the rest of the family was alive. As he reached the top of the stairs, he entered another bedroom. Yet again, Sheriff Horton encountered the same scene: two bodies under bloodstained bed covers, the walls covered with blood. Those two bodies were the bodies of J.B. and Sarah Moore. As Sheriff Horton proceeded to the next bedroom, he encountered a sight that brought him, a full-grown man, to his knees: four little children, under blood-soaked sheets, and the walls covered with blood. But this confused Sheriff Horton: there were six members of the Moore family, but there were eight victims. Who were the two unrelated victims later identified as?

Answer: Lena and Ina Stillinger

Lena Stillinger, age twelve, and Ina Stillinger, age eight, went home with the Moore family after a church program the previous night. It was their bodies that Ross Moore initially discovered in the ground-floor bedroom.
5. Sheriff Horton, having identified all the bodies, went to fetch the town's physician, Dr. J. Clark Cooper. Also arriving with Sheriff Horton and Dr. Cooper were Dr. W. A. Lomas, Dr. F. S. Williams, and the Reverend Ewing. County coroner A. L. Linquist also arrived to help with the identification of the victims. Which room did the men investigate first?

Answer: The ground-floor bedroom

Coroner A. L. Linquist tried to identify the bodies in the ground-floor bedroom, but their faces were unidentifiable, because the blows from the axe were delivered to their faces. The men were only able to identify the victims after reading the names written in their Bibles: Lena and Ina Stillinger.

The physicians also noted that Lena Stillinger showed signs of struggling with her attacker. Lena also showed signs of being sexually abused.
6. The party continued their gruesome investigation of the house. They investigated J.B. and Sarah's room, then the room of their children. After they had investigated all the victims, they found that every one of the victims shared one common characteristic. What was it?

Answer: All their faces were covered.

This was very strange behavior for a killer. Some thought the killer covered the faces because he couldn't bear to face the terrible damage he had done. Others thought the killer was being compassionate by covering their faces.
7. The party then went to investigate the barn on the Moore property, to see if there were any signs of the killer there. Indeed, they found a pile of hay, with a depression in it that was roughly the size and shape of a man. Coroner Linquist thought the depression in the hay looked fairly recent. They also found a knothole near the hay pile, which they thought the killer may have used to spy on the family. But, by midday, despite orders from the police, the public entered the Moore house. Which group had to be called in to Villisca to control the murder scene?

Answer: The National Guard

The National Guard did eventually settle things down, but it was too late. Potentially critical pieces of evidence could have been destroyed, and the bodies were allegedly disturbed by the mob of curious townspeople. A fingerprinting expert was called in, but the fact that the practice of fingerprinting was in its infancy, combined with the fact that numerous people had handled the evidence made it impossible for the killer's fingerprints to be identified.
8. Officials could not clearly think of a suspect for the hideous crime, but, judging from the amount of damage inflicted to him (several wounds being inflicted post-mortem), the officials assumed that J.B. Moore was the target for the killing, the other victims murdered needlessly. But still, there were no clear cut suspects. A psychic claimed she knew who the murderer was: a large man, with a dark mustache, and a hat. The psychic also claimed, erroneously, that the murder weapon would be found near another building close to the Moore house. Who was this "so-called" psychic that tried, unsuccessfully, to help with the investigation?

Answer: Mrs. Hamilton

There were many different possibilities for suspects, but officials didn't have enough viable evidence to forward the investigation. The officials did have many theories on who could have committed this heinous crime, though.
9. Which of these was NOT considered by the officials to be a theory on why the crime was committed?

Answer: They were all considerd by the officials to be viable theories!

Theory #1: Officials surmised that since J.B. Moore was a successful businessman, that he must have some enemies in the business world. They found one such man: Frank Jones. J.B. Moore had worked for Jones for nine years in his farming implements business. After J.B. Moore left to establish his own farming implements business, he gained some of Jones' largest customers. Jones, furious over this perceived "business betrayal" could have hired a hitman to annihilate J.B. Moore and his family. Officials even found the man who they thought to be the hitman: William Mansfield. William Mansfield was even arrested and brought before a grand jury, but payroll records showed that Mansfield was not in the town of Villisca during the murders.

Theory #2: Authorities considered that the murders could be the work of a serial axe murder. There were previous incidents across the Midwest of entire families being murdered with an axe. The murders bore some striking similarities to the Villisca murders, but also bore some striking differences. The authorities could never locate this supposed "serial killer".

Theory #3: Authorities observed that the killer may have spied on the family before he killed them. The pile of hay authorities discovered in the barn was next to a knothole, and the impression on the hay was headfirst toward the knothole. Authorities surmised that the murders could be the work of a stalker, obsessed with Sarah. This theory was probably the least likely.
10. After no apparent leads could be found in this tragic mass murder, authorities eventually gave up on the investigation. The Moore house, in the 90-plus years since the crime, had gone through several different owners, and eventually fell into disarray. But, in 1994 a couple purchased the house, and renovated it to look exactly as it did on the night of June 9, 1912. What is the name of this couple?

Answer: Darwin and Martha Linn

Darwin and Martha Linn, historians who already owned another museum, decided to renovate the Moore house and make it look exactly as it did on June 9, 1912. The Moore house is now open to the public, and anyone can go in and observe the scene of one of the most heinous crimes ever committed. The house is also a favorite of "ghost hunters" because the spirits of the victims allegedly haunt the scene of their demise.

I hope you enjoyed my quiz! I bet your probably gonna sleep with the lights on tonight, aren't you? Questions, comments, and corrections are welcome! To learn more about the Villisca Axe Murders, hit up the site http://www.trutv.com/library/crime/notorious_murders/mass/villisca/1_index.html
Source: Author BlueCheer

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