As Hubby and I research our family lines, we often stop to ponder things. Most recently he has been researching the murder of his great grandfather, Flavious Elliott. Flavious and John Dick, as one telling of the story go, were walking down the street, and heard a commotion in a house and went to see what was going on, and were shot and killed by Charles Cavett. That much is part of the public record. Charles Cavett did murder Flavious Elliott and John Dick. He spent time in a mental hospital after the crime, because “brooding over the crime caused his mind to come unhinged.” Recently Hubby found a newspaper clipping stating that the house was actually a house of ill repute and that there were also three women arrested in the crime for failure to talk to the police. It seems they were later released.
But here’s the kicker that makes me wonder. I am one of those people that literally tries to Walk in my ancestor’s steps. And so I tried to walk in the footsteps of Flavius’ young wife, Alice. You see on 29 Sep 1899, Alice Elliott turned 33 years old. There is no family record stating how she celebrated her 33rd birthday. Was there cake? Presents? Dinner and a movie? We will probably never know what she did to celebrate this momentous occasion, if she even did. But what we will know is how she spent the day after her 33rd birthday. For at some point on 30 Sep 1899, Flavious Elliott and his friend, John Dick walked into a house of ill repute and were murdered. We may never know if they were innocent by standers who ran into a home to rescue someone who appeared to be in distress, or if they were there playing cards, or if they were there for other nefarious reasons.
You see the reason he entered the house doesn’t really matter. What matters is the day after his wife’s 33rd birthday, he was dead. Leaving her a widow with two small children to raise. There are so many things about this story that have made us wonder over the years. Why were these two men walking down the road? What was happening in the house that made them enter? Were they a part of the proceedings in the house and got in a fight? Did they fight back? Did Charles Cavett really lose his mind over what happened, or did he just use a early “Insanity Defense?”
But this week when I realized he’d died the day after his wife’s birthday, I had to wonder: Why in the heck wasn’t he at home with his wife celebrating her birthday? If he had been, he might have lived a long happy life.
You see men, when you have the opportunity to take your wife out for dinner and a movie to celebrate her birthday, it could very well save your life!