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The story read: Workmen excavating under a house occupied until a few years ago by Eugene Butler, who died in 1913 in state insane asylum, unearthed the remains of six men.
It is believed by the authorities they were murdered by Butler while employed by him as farm hands. The bodies had been dropped into the basement through a cleverly constructed trap door.
That fact limits the period within which the murders occurred.
In order to bury the victims, the three bottom stones of the foundation wall were loosened.
By 1915, Butler had been dead for years and many had no doubt nearly forgotten about the strange man who had occupied the now-vacant farmhouse on the edge of Niagara, but on June 27th, 1915, the Bismarck Daily Tribune’s headline announced a horrifying discovery in large type: Beneath the terrible headline, other details were disclosed in successively smaller fonts.In a story from the Bismarck Daily Tribune, July 1st, 1915, the new theory became clear: Again, details were added through subheadings in successively smaller type.The story continues: Five murders at one time, when he wiped out an entire family, and one at a later date when he slew a male adult, are the crimes laid at the door of Eugene Butler, the recluse farmer of Niagara, whose death in the asylum for the insane at Jamestown four years ago effectively draws a curtain before one of the most mysterious cases ever brought to light in the northwest.Butler is about 40 years of age and has lived by himself for years on a farm at Shawnee.He is probably the wealthiest man who has ever been committed to an asylum from this county, his property being valued at from ,000 to ,000.