True Crime: Lawson Family Murders

How appropriate for Christmas? A murder massacre from 1929 that happened on Christmas. There was a man named Charlie Lawson who decided to murder the shit out of his wife and children. Eight children to be exact. As we all know back in the day there was no TV and nothing better to do than have sex. Sounds like fun right?

lawson-portraitShortly before Christmas, Charlie took his family into town to get a portrait done of the family. Which was uncommon for a business class man to do because he wasn’t a rich guy. It indicates that his actions were premeditated as well, as he seemed to want a portrait of his family to remember them by. Not sure why you’d want this knowing that you were also going to kill them but I’m not a serial killer so what do I know.

On the afternoon of December 25th he waited by the tobacco barn, because that’s totally a thing they had, and shot two of his daughters. With a shotgun. But the guy had heard of the “double tap” rule and also felt the need to beat them to make sure they were dead. He hid their bodies in the barn. He headed back to the house where he shot his wife who was on the porch. Inside the rest of his kids heard the noise. The sons ran to hide but he found and killed them next. Then his other daughter. It is believed he just beat the baby girl to death she was the youngest and only two years old. After that, he took his own life. The shot was heard by approaching people who were already aware there were other murders that took place.

The motives behind all of this aren’t exactly clear. There is speculation that it may have 1024px-lawsongraves1had to do with a head injury that Charlie had sustained and recovered from. The autopsy shows no brain abnormalities, though. At least according to wikipedia, however this was 1929 and if they are going by things known at that time I’m not sure how exactly they’d measure it. These were the people who thought that tapeworms were a good alternative to dieting and took morphine over the counter in “night time soothing syrup” so I have no clue. There is another theory that he and his family had witnessed some kind of organized crime killing and were offed due to that, but it wouldn’t explain why Charlie did anything and also killed himself.

A book that came out years later, alleges that there was a possible incestuous relationship between Charlie and his daughter and that she was pregnant. That she had told him she was and this, to me, seems like the most accurate of the motives. The book is called “white Christmas, Bloody Christmas” and was published in 1990. There was also a neighbor who claimed her knew there were a ton of problems with that family but never went on to elaborate.

The house was a tourist attraction after the murders and there was a cake left out on the table. One that Marie had made on that Christmas morning. Because people kept picking raisins off of it as souvenirs it was placed in a display case from then on out. Who the fuck does that? How would you even prove the raisin was from the cake that was in the murder house? Whatever it was the 30’s by that point and people believed in the Fiji Mermaid. In any case, Merry Christmas all!

 

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