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Michael Bell
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Posted By Michael Bell

Following is the conclusion of the first newspaper article:

Fives Sons Have Died

Since the death of Frances Bloch, more than five years ago, five sons in the Bloch family have succumbed to an illness which official death certificates characterize as tuberculosis. The last son, Frank, 19 years old, died early Saturday morning and was buried yesterday in St. Mary’s cemetery. Four daughters, married, and living in their own homes, survive. The dead are: Frances, Joseph, August, Paul, John and Frank.

It was the belief of the police today that a mistake was made in the identity of the graves on the night of Dec. 27, when the first grave was molested. This grave was that of one of the sons. On Saturday night, it is believed, the person or persons hired to do the work, returned to the cemetery and carried out the purpose of their errand..

Police Have Clues.

Police Chief H. C. Riebau stated this afternoon that clues were in his possession as to the identity of the person who carried out the plan. The investigation tomorrow, however, will determine whether or not the work was carried out according to the rumor.

When questioned last Saturday, Mr. and Mrs. Bloch denied any belief whatsoever in the superstition. Both declared, however, that they did not believe any disease of the lungs has been responsible for the deaths of their children. They declared that no other members of their family had ever been afflicted with such illness and stated that it was more probable to them that stomach trouble had caused the succession of deaths.


The next day, new information about the event was published. Following is the first part of that newspaper article:

Police Reach Decision
To Open Graves Here To
Verify Man’s Confession

Authorities To Carry Out Original Plan Despite
Claim of Thomas Bloch That He Did Not
Molest Bodies When He Opened Graves—
Will Ascertain Reliability of Bloch’s Story
That He Found Bodies Decomposed and
Nothing But Skeletons in Caskets—Local
Embalmers Say Bodies Ordinarily Would
Not Decompose in Five Years—Bloch Tells
Police Superstitious Friends Made Repeated
Suggestions That Led Him to Take Action.


The graves of Frances and Joseph Bloch in St. Mary’s Catholic cemetery here will be re-opened tomorrow, it was announced by the police today, to establish definitely the reliability of a confession made last night by Thomas Bloch, 879 East Sanborn street, the father of the dead.

In his confession, Mr. Bloch told Police Chief H. C. Riebau that while he, with the assistance of Thomas Kobus, 268 Mankato avenue, had opened both graves last week, neither of the corpses within had been disturbed. The police and cemetery officials had previously intended to examine the graves this morning, but following the confession, the plan was dropped.

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