Archiver > RATCLIFF > 2007-04 > 1177854923

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Subject: [RATCLIFF] Benjamin Ratcliff,son of Elias Ratcliff (Moniteau Co. MO) Colorado Gazette Clippings
Date: Sun, 29 Apr 2007 13:55:23 -0000

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Author: vbrizendine
Surnames: Ratcliff
Classification: biography

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Colorado Spring Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado) July 27, 1895 PAGE 1

The Jury Returned a Verdict Saturday Night.

Buena Vista Colo., July 23 - The jury in the case of Benjamin Radcliff, charged with murder, brought in a verdict of murder in the first degree Saturday afternoon.

The attorneys for the defense were allowed five days in which to file a motion of a new trial.

The crime for which Radcliff was convicted was the killing of Lincoln F. McCurdy, Samuel Taylor and George D. Wyatt, three school directors, last April. Radcliff lived on a ranch with a son and two daughters. The dead men, it is alleged by the prisoner, started storied about the family, which were very detrimental to the character of the accused. Radcliff went to a school-house where an election was being held, and shot all three men dead with a Winchester rifle. He gave himself up to the authorities.

The defense at the trial was insanity.

Colorado Spring Gazette (Colorado Springs, Colorado) February 8, 1896 PAGE 1

Murderer Hanged

Benjamin Ratcliff Executed at the Colorado Penitentiary

Canon City, Colo., Feb. 7 - Benjamin Ratcliff, the Park county murderer, was executed in the State penitentiary this evening at 8:06 o'clock. The execution was witnessed by the authorized officials only. Ratcliff gave up hope when the board of pardons failed to commute his sentence to life imprisonment, and declined to talk of his case.

On May 6, 1896. Benjamin Ratcliff, an aged and eccentric ranchman, smarting under most base county possip (sic) regarding his orphaned daughter, set out on horseback with a shotgun to secure remedies. He claimed that he was on his way to file suite for slander against the instigators of the slanderous gossip and that he stopped at the school house in the Tarryall district, Park county, to see about the education of his children. The school election was being held that day, and a quarrel quickly arose between Ratcliff and the school directors, one of whom was alleged to be foremost in the scandal gossip regarding Ratcliff, which resulted in Ratcliff shooting in cold blood L. E. McCurry, Douglass Wyatt and Samuel Taylor. He then mounted his horse and rode into Fair______ where he gave himself up to the sheriff. Fearing lynching - the sheriff removed his prisoner to Buena Vista, in Chaffee county, where he was convicted on July 25, and sentenced to death. The Supreme Court!
declined to reverse the decision and the board of pardons, in spite of the insanity plea of acquaintances, declined to interfere with the sentence of death.

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