Villisca Ax Murder House

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.

Villisca Ax Murder House Sideshow and Information

slideshow link

On the morning of June 10, 1912, local businessman J.B. Moore, his wife, Sarah, their four children (Herman Moore [11], Catherine Moore [9], Boyd Moore [7], Paul Moore [6], and the children's two friends (Ina Stilinger [8], Lena Stilinger [11]) were found brutally murdered inside the Moore's home located at 508 East 2nd st. in Villisca Iowa.

Lena and Ina, the daughters of Joe and Sarah Stillinger, attended church with the Moore family the Sunday night the murders occurred. The street lights were out, due to a disagreement between the power company and the city, and the young girls were afraid to walk to their grandmother's house in the dark. Instead they decided to spend the night with their friends, the Moore children. They were both murdered along with the Moore family in the early morning hours of Monday, June 10, 1912. The two sisters slept together in the downstairs bedroom, and Lena, it was thought, had been moved by the killer or had moved in response to the first blow of the axe. She was the only victim that did not appear to have died as she slept.

  • 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.

Our Regrets By Dave Christensen (Director)

I have been reflecting on the Villisca house for years after we initiated the first investigations in it. If I would’ve had any clue that the house would be turned into a sideshow I would’ve left it alone. There is nothing more disrespectful and deplorable to me than someone that uses the murder of eight innocent people a man, his wife and children, and two young innocent neighbor girls. I thought perhaps after the death of Darwin Lynn that that would be the end of the show for the Villisca house and apparently I was wrong. If you think Darwin is resting peacefully in his grave, I got news for you. Darwin is in the Villisca house and he isn’t going anywhere none too soon. Furthermore, if people think that the victims of the ax murder house are still located inside their, they are wrong. Oh, there are spirits in the house, but they are not the ones people think there is.

EVP #1 - The Girls Laughter

One evening all of us were sitting in the kitchen talking when we heard a scream and laughter girls. We all pause and listen for a little while and I went over and I checked the recording equipment, and discovered the settings were tampered with. After thinking about it for a few minutes I realize that one of the girls started playing with the buttons on the recorder to see what it would do in the other one must have startled her. That explains a scream, the laughter, and the change of settings on the recorder. In this audio, you will hear us talking followed by his scream and laughter of two little girls.

EVP #2 - Lelah is Remembered

I was approached by an elderly woman one night out by the street. She told me her name was Lelah and she was supposed to spend the night with the Moore family the night of the murders, but her dad told her that she had to go home and take care of her horse because it was a bad storm coming. I told her to wait there and I would go ask Lena if she remembered that night.

I walked into the bedroom downstairs were Lena and nine I were murdered. Most the time I will find the two girls in there. I sat down on the edge of the bed next to the closet and began to ask Lena if she remembered Leah. You can hear me asking the question and while I am asking it, you can hear China asked her sister, “Do you really like this guy”. Immediately following the question, you can hear Lena say, “I do!”

Once I finished asking Lena the question, she replied to me, “yes”. Lena did remember the night that Lelah was supposed to spend the night with them. I consider that an act of God that she didn’t, because if she would have, she would’ve then murdered as well.