When we first investigated the Villisca Ax Murder House we were known as paranormal investigations. We were the original investigators that discovered the house. Now after all these years, we regret ever stepping foot inside the house to do an investigation. The total disrespect of the dead is beyond our realm of comprehension.
About the Victims
Josiah B. Moore
Josiah B. Moore was one of Villisca's most prominent businessmen. At the time of his death, he was survived by his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C.C. Moore of Villisca, brothers; John Moore of Summerfield, Kansas, George Moore of Portland, Oregon, Fen Moore of Red Oak, James, Charlie, Ross and Harry of Villisca, and sisters, Mrs. George Fisher of Villisca and Miss Minnie Moore of Omaha.
Sarah Montgomery (Moore) was born in Knox County, Illinois in 1873 and moved to Iowa with her parents Mr. and Mrs. John Montgomery and her sister, Mary, in approx. 1894. She was thirty-nine years old and the mother of four children when she was murdered in her bed. Sarah was an active member of the Presbyterian Church and led the Children's Day Exercises on June 9th.
Herman, the eldest of the Moore children was born in 1901 and was 11 years-old at the time of his death. It was said that Herman was quite his father's son and was often seen at his side.
Katherine, born just two years after Herman in 1903, was 10 years-old when she was killed. The Stillinger sisters, Lena and Ina were close friends and it was at Katherine's request that they spent the night with the Moore family on June 9th,1912.
Boyd and Paul were the youngest Moore children. Aged 7 and 5, respectively, at the time of their murders, only one photograph of the two boys has ever been presented. The photographs shown here were obviously taken when the boys were much younger than they were at the time of their deaths in 1912.
Lena Gertrude Stillinger and her sister Ina May were the daughters of Joseph and Sarah Stillinger. Both girls were born on the Stillinger family farm just outside of Villisca. Lena was 12 years old when she was murdered and from the position of her body, it was concluded that she was the only victim that had attempted to fight off her attacker. Many experts have also suggested that Lena was the victim of some type of sexual molestation by her killer. Ina May and Lena had 7 surviving siblings, Edith, Ed, Lester, David, Blanche, Ralph, and Ada Lou. Both members of the Presbyterian Church and the Junior Society they participated with the Moore children in the Children's Day activities at the Presbyterian Church on the night of their murderers. Ina was eight at the time of her death. The Stillinger sisters are buried side-by-side in the Villisca Cemetery.
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During an investigation I set up our video and audio equipment in the kitchen to monitor the rest of the house. While we were all in the kitchen talking, we suddenly heard a scream from a little girl followed by laughter. It caught us all guard or a moment and we just stood there looking at each other in amazement.
I walked over to the recorders and began checking them out. I noticed that several of the settings on the audio recorder had been changed and a couple extra buttons have been pushed. I set the equipment up my cell so I knew what the settings were, and now they were different.
In this audio, you will hear the scream of one of the little girls followed by their laughter. At the end of the audio, you could hear Lena say, “That’s not funny”.
Question to Lina
One night I went outside to have a cigarette and take a short break. An elderly woman walked up to me and asked me if I was one of the people investigating the house for paranormal phenomena. I replied I was and then she asked me if I would do her a favor. She told me that she was supposed to spend the night in the house with the rest of the kids the night of the murder, but her dad made her come home to take care of her horse because there was a storm coming. I told her I would and I asked what her name was and she replied Lilah.
As soon as I finished my cigarette, I went back to the house and into the room where Lena and Inna were murdered. I turn my recorder on and began to ask the question. If you listen closely about one second into the audio, you will hear Inna ask Lena, “Do you really like this guy”. Lena then replies, “I do”. Once I finish asking question Lena replied, “Yes”.
After I discovered the reply, I took the recording outside and allowed her to listen to it. The elderly woman began to cry and she thanked me before she turned and walked away.