Tag Archives: Murder

Finding Out About the Ade Family Mystery

19 Mar

I was hanging out by the magazine stand in Walgreen’s when a title caught my eye. The Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of All Time: 50 Baffling Cases from the Files. It struck me that this would fit nicely as the latest edition to the “Listeria” series. It was a grand plan. I would see how many of these mysteries have taken place in my lifetime. Of course, a synopsis of each one would be included.

Then, everything changed. I was glancing through the mysteries when the pages turned to a segment called “Who Wiped Out the Ade Family?” That was new. I had never heard of the Ade family. However, the first sentence got my attention because it said the crime was committed in Nashville. One of the great unsolved mysteries of all time happened a few miles down the road, and I had never heard of it.

Honestly, I thought I knew about most of the infamous crimes that took place around here. I have read as much as possible about the murder of Stringbean, a performer on the Grand Ole Opry, and his wife. For years, people around here wanted to know who killed Marcia Trimble, who was killed while delivering Girl Scout cookies. I even know a little about the Harpe brothers, who some think were a couple of the earliest serial killers in America.

However, I had never heard of the Ade family. I read the article and immediately went to Google to find out more. There was not much. The article had as much information as the other sources. In fact, some of it used the same language. I guess when you cannot find much, then you go with what you can.

The murders took place in Joelton, a community in Davidson County. A neighborhood saw fire in the distance and made his way to the Ade residence. The entire family and a guest were inside and consumed by the fire. When authorities investigated, they realized that the family had been killed, and the fire was set to cover it up.

The mystery of who did it has continues until now. Considering that it took place in 1897, the cold case will remain that way.

There is nothing for me to add to the mystery. I am writing about it because, as far as I know, the family has been forgotten. I understand that the crime will never be solved, but more people who live in this area should know that the crime took place. They should know that one of the great mysteries of the world took place in Nashville, and no one has delved into it enough to fill up a decent Wikipedia page.

The victims were:

Jacob Ade, 60

Pauline Ade, 50

Lizze Ade, 20

Henry Ade, 13

Rosa Moirer, 10

Italians Have Twitter, Too

1 Feb

This morning, I stirred up a small storm on Twitter. As everyone surely knows, Amanda Knox was found guilty of murder for the second time. I do not know what happened on that fateful night, but I know that the saga has gone on for way too long.

The return of this story brought to mind a book that I read, and I sent out a tweet that said:

If you want to know how screwed up the Italian justice system is then read The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston.The Monster of Florence

It ended with an Amanda Knox hashtag.

Immediately, I got a couple of responses from, what I assumed to be, people from Italy. They wondered if I had ever heard of Sacco and Vanzetti, a controversial trial from America’s past where two Italian immigrants were convicted of murder and executed.Sacco Vanzetti

I replied but immediately deleted it. There was no point in getting into an argument that I could not win. However, I thought their tweets were interesting.

I have heard of the Sacco/Vanzetti case and teach about it in my survey class. In Massachusetts, a murder took place during a robbery at a shoe factory. The two men, Nicola Sacco and Bartolemo Vanzetti, were arrested and convicted. Later, another man admitted to the crime and stated that they were not involved. Despite the new information, a judge refused to grant a new trial, and the two men were executed. The case has served as an example of anti-immigrant mindset. (Things do not change much do they?)

Debate has raged about their guilt or innocence, but, undoubtedly, their rights were violated when a new trial was not granted. It was a terrible time for the American justice system. However, I do not know what that has to do with my tweet about the book.

I never said the American justice system was a shining example of fair play. Everyday, we see where that is not the case. Despite that, I think that it works better now than it did in the 1920s when Sacco and Vanzetti found themselves in its grip. I understand that the folks who replied to my tweet were standing up for their country by telling me that my country is no better. However, it could also be taken as, “You screwed a couple of Italians in the 1920s. Now, it’s our turn.”

As I said at the beginning, I do not know if Amanda Knox is innocent or guilty. Also, I do not know if Sacco and Vanzetti were innocent or guilty. I know that our system messed up, and it is looking like the Italian system is messing up now. Actually, I do not think they know anymore about her guilt or innocence than those of us watching it on television.

That brings me to The Monster of Florence. Preston was a writer who moved to Florence. Not long after his arrival, he began hearing about a serial killer who terrorized the area many years before and was never caught. Preston became fascinated and decided to research the subject for a book. He found articles, witnesses and other sources to weave his tale. He also found a journalist who reported on the murders and had been studying it for years. Together, they found new evidence and thought that may have a few suspects.

They took this information to the lead investigator. He was very interested in what they had found and began an investigation of his own. In the process, he consulted a psychic; he questioned the writer and the reporter; and chased down suspects. However, they were not the people who the writer and reporter had thought about. As a disagreement grew, the investigator came to the idea that the writer and the journalist took part in the killings. Officials grilled Preston for hours while trying to get him to confess.

Apparently, they did not care that he was not in Italy at the time. I guess he was covering up for the journalist who was in Italy when the murders took place. After all, he wrote the stories.

Why did this book make me think of Amanda Knox? Because that same investigator led the charge to have her arrested.

I apologize. I should not have said that Italy’s justice system was screwed up. That is a blanket statement. However, I think this investigator might be. He has a history of using psychics to pull theories out of the air.

Somebody committed a murder in Italy. Somebody committed a murder in Massachusetts. In both cases, I am not sure the authorities did a very good job. Sacco, Vanzetti and the victim deserved better here. Knox and the victim deserve better there.

Charting a Mystery

16 Feb

A month ago I wrote a post about old posts that we have probably forgotten about and how they don’t disappear but hang around in cyberspace until cyberspace collapses on itself. The post about “old posts” was inspired by the second ever post I published on this site – an ode to the peculiarities of gas pumps. It had never gotten any hits, then, all of a sudden, a person took a look at it. Needless to say, I was thrilled that some of the things I had written while wandering in this newfound wilderness of blogging had been read. I went back to look at it again. I wrote a new post about the experience. Then, I went on my merry blogging way.

Then, something strange happened. It got another hit. And another one. And another one. On and on it went for days. Each time I looked at the “Site Stats” another search engine term was popping up.

gas pumps

gasoline pump

pushing credit or debit at a gasoline pump

gasoline pump pictures

pictures of gasoline pumps

In a matter of weeks, a post that laid dormant forever and had been given up as unreadable and forgotten had just gone to the top of the Hit Parade. Once lagging behind at a total of ZERO hits, the sarcastic look at pumping gas reached the top of the charts and passed such favorites as:

Dirty Deeds and Thunder Chief

Guns ‘n Roses in Nashville

John Wayne and Edgar Allan Poe

It seemed that I had a mystery on my hands and needed the help of those meddling kids in the Mystery Machine. Have gas pumps suddenly gained a new popularity? Are people becoming interested in the intricacies of debit and credit card use? Has this become the hip thing to look up among hipsters?

To solve the mystery, I started up the search engine and began looking myself. Starting with the simplest search term, I typed in “gas pumps” and looked around. Page after page, I could not find a reference to the “Surrounded by Imbeciles” world. Then, I shifted to images, and, behold, “Surrounded by Imbeciles” appeared as the first entry on the first line.

Part of the mystery was solved, searchers had come to me through the photo I uploaded to the post. When they hit images, there it appeared. However, a second mystery remains. Why, in the middle of January, did gas pumps become so popular? Even after being forced to watch Murder, She Wrote as a kid, I don’t believe I have the sleuthing talents to figure it out. Perhaps, you readers can help. Or, maybe I should call the In Search Of version of Leonard Nimoy.