Evans Murder Mystery
by Jaye Sudar
HUERFANO- Haunted houses. Screams in the night. Blood, gore and maniacs with meat cleavers. Tall tales to scare people or reality? Many Huerfanos grew up with stories told to scare them as they passed a lonely ranch east of I-25.
Seventy-four years ago, the World Independent′s banner headline was not about Hilter′s rise to power that August, but about a heinous murder in Huerfano County. At 10 am on August 3, 1934, Gene Brinker and Ollie Scott, two highway bridge workers, found the bodies of William and Flora Evans. William, 71, and Flora, 65, had been hacked to death.
Mr. Evans was found in the front door with his head inside the parlor and his feet on the front porch. Mrs. Evans was found outside, just north of the house. Sheriff Harry Capps and his deputies arrived to find a gruesome and puzzling murder scene. Blood was splattered all over the house. Yet no valuables had been taken. Jewelry and money lay untouched, and the house was tidy. The only sign of a struggle was a tipped over rocking chair.
The attacks began in the bedroom with blood trails beginning on the pillowcases. Mrs. Evans was the first attacked. She and her husband fled the bedroom. Mr. Evans, in an attempt to escape the assailant, threw the rocker down. He was caught as he reached the front door where he was slashed and his skull beaten to a pulp. Mrs. Evans ran for the kitchen and then out towards the highway where she was cut down. The maniac hacked at her head and shoulders until she fell. Evidence showed that she bled to death.
No motive could be found for the murders. A posse hunted for a maniac who had escaped from the Pueblo Asylum on July 27 with a fellow inmate. Known to be dangerous, George Scholl was said to be heading for the Walsenburg and Gardner area. The Sheriff therefore suspected Scholl had committed the murders. The sheriff′s department, joined by the couple′s son, Frank Evans of Colorado Springs, combed the area for Scholl. They also searched for a mysterious touring car that had been seen at 7:30 am in front of the Evans house, just before the murders were discovered.
Another mystery was that Mr. Evans′ horse was found saddled and bridled in the barn the morning of the murder. Mr. Evans, a farmer, would never have left a horse in that condition. It was speculated that the murderer had planned to escape on horseback and then changed his mind. The only other evidence to be found was that someone had lain on the guest bed at some point. The pillow was disturbed but the bed not slept in.
The County Coroner, Dr. S.J. Lamme, shocked the audience at the inquest held a few days later as he described the horrific wounds. Evidence presented by various witnesses gave a glimpse of the Evans′ last night. Mrs. Evans returned home around 7 pm with Guy Schlink Jr. and Zelma Sefton who had been visiting. At some point in the evening, the couple sat in the parlor and read their copy of the World Independent. John McQuade, the night watchman at the construction site on the highway, heard noises and knocking about around 10 pm. This was the time Dr. S. J. Lamme approximated the couple had died. However, since he saw no lights, he ignored the noises.
A few days later on August 7, a house in Beulah was invaded by a mysterious man who stood over the bed of a young boy and then disappeared when another family member coughed in his sleep. The man escaped and was not found. The description matched that of George Scholl.
On August 8, R.L. Laird of Denver was assigned to the Evans murder. He was deputized by Sheriff Harry Capps and given full authority to solve the most brutal murder in Colorado′s history. To date, the case has not been solved.