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Saint Joseph Weekly Press / November 7, 1907

George Phiscator, of Baroda, Well Known Farmer, Commits Double Crime in Drunken Frenzy

(From Thursday’s Daily.)

Wild with the effects of several days of debauch, his brain on fire from the fumes of whisky which he had consumed, George Phiscator of Baroda committed a double crime this morning, shooting down his wife as she ran from his doorway and then calmly placing the revolver to his own head, pulled the trigger and sent another bullet crashing into his own head, falling back dead upon the bed.

Crazed With Drink.

It is almost certain that Phiscator was crazed with drink when he committed the act, for he had been on a debauch for several days and last night was driven home from this city by a liveryman, in an intoxicated state. His wife, who was able to tell of the experience preceding the fatal occurence, also testifies to the fact that her husband was not himself and that he was intoxicated when he came home last evening.

They Lived Apart.

Phiscator and his wife were not living together as man and wife. A short time ago, Mrs. Phiscator applied for a divorce and since that time had been living in a separate portion of the house, but last evening when Phiscator came home he attempted to persuade his wife to remove the charges made against him and complete a reconciliation. She refused, however, and Phiscator again occupied his own portion of the house.

Pleaded Again.

This morning he appeared while his wife was getting breakfast, and again pleaded with her to dismiss the suit, but she, seeing the condition that he was in, and knowing that he had been drinking heavily, refused, whereupon Phiscator disappeared again into his bedroom. When he appeared again, he was fully dressed, with his overcoat and hat on, and in his hand was a revolver.

Revolver in Hand

Mrs. Phiscator looked up, saw her husband with the revolver and surmised what he was about to do. With a scream of terror she ran out the door and across the yard, in the direction of the nearest neighbor, but Phiscator followed her, and when he reached the doorway trained the revolver upon the fleeing woman. He fired three shots and then returned inside the house.

One Shot Takes Effect.

But one of the three shots took effect and that was the first one. It lodged in the left thigh, making a serious but not necessarily dangerous flesh wound. No bones were splintered and Mrs. Phiscator was able to continue her efforts to reach the neighbors. Before she had gone more than a few rods, however, she heard another report, this time from inside the house, and knew that her husband had turned the revolver upon himself.

Dead on Bed.

Assistance was summoned and the silent house was quietly approached. Not a sound could be heard, not a murmur or groan. Quietly the little party pushed open the door and entered, from one room to another they conducted their search, fearing for the worst and yet hoping to find Phiscator alive. In the bed room they found him, laying back upon the white covering, his clothes orderly, his overcoat buttoned, seemingly in a quiet sleep, but a deep red stain on the white cover told another story, while the revolver, held loosely in the right hand, was grim proof of the manner in which Phiscator had chosen to meet his death.

Died Instantly.

It was evident that the man must have died instantly, and Dr. King, who was called, declared that he was dead before he struck the bed, the bullet lodging in the brain and taking immediate effect. Mrs. Phiscator’s wound was examined but, while serious, is not necessarily dangerous, and she is resting easily.

Domestic Troubles.

Phiscator’s domestic troubles have undoubtedly had much to do with his fatal act. He has not been on peaceable terms with his wife for years, and added to this had been his fondness for strong drink, a weakness which has proved his undoing. Three separate times, his wife has petitioned the court for a divorce, and twice has withdrawn it. The last request was filed only a few weeks ago. These suits were generally the signal for a temporary brace on Phiscator’s part and it is known that both he and his wife visited a local attorney only a few days ago, in order to engage him to dissolve the divorce case now before the court. Evidently Mrs. Phiscator underwent a change of heart when her husband began drinking again and the knowledge that his wife would in all probability separate from him and that he had been a failure as a man and a husband, was too much for him and he chose the easiest way out of the difficulties which promised to beset his path in the future.

Brother of Gold King.

George Phiscator was the brother of Frank Phiscator, better known as the Klondike “Gold King,” who committed suicide in San Francisco two years ago this December, cutting his throat with a razor while in his room. He has two brothers residing at Baroda, and three sisters, one of whom is a resident of St. Joseph, Mrs. Wm. Hone.

Bid Friends Good-Bye.

Phiscator left this city last evening in a Needham & Parrish rig for Baroda, but did not go straight home. Instead of that he ordered the driver to various places where he alighted and talked for a few moments with the occupants of the farmhouses. It seems probable, from the statement which Phiscator made last evening to A. G. Parrish, that he intended to kill himself. He showed Parrish a revolver and said that the trouble he was having with his wife would force him to end his life, just as his brother ended his two years ago. Parrish attempted to laugh him out of the notion and did not take the statement seriously until this morning. It seems, probable now, however, that Phiscator had determined to kill himself and that he drove to his friends’ homes for just a last word.

A jury was impaneled this morning and viewed the remains. They will render a verdict later.



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