As the ebbing tide of September 18, 1902, lowered the level of the barge canals near Jersey City, New Jersey, a passing trolley engineer spotted the nude and mutilated body of a woman lying in the mud. The young blond murder victim was soon identified, when a man who may have been her husband but was certainly also her pimp reported Anna Neilson Pulitzer missing from their New York City apartment. Surely Mrs. Pulitzer was not the dayâ€™s only victim of foul play, yet something about her case caught the imagination of the press: four of Salt Lake Cityâ€™s dailies were among what may have been hundreds of papers from coast to coast to carry news of the discovery.
The police had few leads. They learned that Mrs. Pulitzer had left her apartment after 11:00 p.m. two nights previous to shop for a late supper for her husband. They traced her to a fruit stand and a bakery, but were unable to follow her movements thereafter.
Working backward from the site of her discovery, their best clue was a 20-pound lead weight strapped to Mrs. Pulitzerâ€™s body, apparently attached by a murderer who had hoped to submerge his victim. Such weights were used to tether horses when a driver left his carriage unattended. A police canvass quickly turned up the owner of a livery stable in Hoboken who identified the weight as one missing from a rig he had rented. He did not recall the name of the man to whom he had entrusted his horse and runabout, but knew that the man had recently worked for a New Jersey political newspaper. A visit to the editor produced a staff photograph, and the stable owner instantly pointed to the man who had rented his rig.
His name was William Hooper Young. His address was a New York City apartment shared by four Mormon missionaries. His grandfather was Brigham Young.
Axe-wielding policemen rushed to the apartment and broke through the door.
To be continued.