Monday, April 26, 2010

Tom Conder's Confession (that Martha did it)

If you have followed the posts so far you will know that a couple of days ago I posted Martha's confession. Well, the very last seven pages of the file includes Thomas Conder's confession.

Confession by Thos Y. Conder

I will commence at the out-set, as far as I can remember. On the 10 of last March I went down to Obion. She had been at me to assist her in getting away with the old man and she told me on that day to get a drug. I ask her what she wanted with it? She told me she wanted it to poison some cats that came there on the place. I accused her for wanting it for the purpose of getting away with the old man. She told me there that she didn't. After she told me she administered some of it to him.

Then at another time soon after dinner she gave him an overwhelming dose of morphine for [unreadable]. There I [unreadable] thot I was not going to stay at that place any longer under the circumstances, she would [unreadable] big around [unreadable] to commit suicide if I left. On the day before the old man got killed she told me she would kill the old man herself if I did not do it. I told her that was something I couldn't possibly do.

This confession runs up to the time of the old man's death. The day that he was killed she came out to where we were working and spoke to me and asked me if I was not going to do that job. I told her that I couldn't possibly do anything of the [unreadable]. The answer she gave me was "it should be done". The time the shooting was done I was asleep on the bed. The report of the gun and her hollowing woke me up. He was still sitting in his chair kind of leaned over in a falling condition. She told me to take hold of him and rose him down. I [unreadable] let him fall.

The idea never rested on my mind that I had killed the old man until a friend mentioned to me on the way to the grave. This friend was H. M. Pyles. He told me that I had better look out and try to keep out of the way. I went on back home then and taking his advice I started to get out of the way and had gotten as far as Midnight Longs. But still at the [unreadable]. I could not believe the report, could not believe I would be arrested.

[There are a couple of pages in which Tom is asked where and when he conducted his affair with Mrs Riley. Tom confessed to having a 8 month affair with her but that she instigated it and that he resisted her advances at first. The language is explicit and not necessary for the purposes of this blog. If you want to read it I would be willing to send you a copy of my transcription]

Mr Conder, do you mean to insinuate and charge that Mrs. Riley killed her husband? I can just say this, that he was killed and nobody else was there except her and myself that i know of and I believe before my God that she did it.
Did you not say on oath that the old man had killed himself and did you not tell Mr. Pyle so when you went after him? Well of course I told him he was killed and I supposed he had killed himself because I couldn't have said that he did it without [the last two lines of the page are illegible] it struck me forcibly? Did you ever tell anybody that you thought she did? I believe that I have. Whom? I believe I told John Crockett.
Now Mr Conder, you must recognize that fact that you are on the brink of eternity and that you must go before the judge of all. do you solemnly swear that this statement is the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth? God being your judge? Yes sir. I do. Why did you not make this kind of statement at first? I made th identical statement to the coroner [unreadable].

There is no date on the confession itself.

5 comments:

Edje said...

The series continues to intrigue. Thanks.

Ardis said...

Wow. Just wow for now.

BruceCrow said...

It just boggles the mind doesn't it.

Justin said...

There are a couple of pages in which Tom is asked where and when he conducted his affair with Mrs Riley. Tom confessed to having a 8 month affair with her but that she instigated it and that he resisted her advances at first.

This part made me wince. It's a messy, messy situation.

BruceCrow said...

We can make ourselves believe whatever we are comfortable living with. Tom's story could be true, or it could be what he thought was true or even wished were true.