Contributed by klstacy_home
Description: A Preacher's CrimeDate: July 11 1889
Newspaper published in: Pontotoc, MS
Source: MSU Library
Page/Column: Page 2, Column 3
A PREACHERíS CRIME
A report comes from Eufalla, Ala., relating some very sensational acts in which a preacher by the name of Duncan is the principal actor. Duncan had charge of a little Baptist church near Newton, Ala. He was middle-aged and had a wife several years his junior. In his parish was a pretty, buxom school girl, Belle Balloree, the daughter of a prominent man in the county. For some weeks past it had appeared to the members of the congregation that Parson Duncan was manifesting considerable interest in Miss Belle, although they did not think for a moment that his intentions were pure. Last Wednesday Mrs. Duncan died and the following day was buried. Few persons in the little neighborhood heard of her death until after the interment.
Sunday evening Belle left home for a walk; so also did the parson. A traveler who came into the town from the southward reported that he had seen them going together toward Florida afoot. The citizens immediately organized and set out after the runaways, but at last accounts they had not been overtaken. It has been learned that Duncan bought strychnine on Tuesday, and the coronerís jury is of the opinion that the woman was poisoned, the evidence being strongly to that effect. The citizens are clamorous for the parsonís arrest, and he will never reach jail alive if he is captured. The stomach of the corpse will be forwarded to the State Chemist for analysis.