July 8

This Day in History

Crime

Jul 8, 1928:

A spiteful son kills four in a fit of rage

Rose Booher, her son Fred, and two hired workers are all shot to death on a secluded farm in Mannville, Alberta, Canada, while the rest of the Booher family is away. Although nothing appeared to be stolen from the house and few clues were found, authorities determined that a rifle had caused the gunshot wounds. Not coincidentally, a rifle had been taken from a neighbor's farm just prior to the killings.

The investigation centered on the Booher family-Rose's son Vernon, in particular. Vernon was known to have had problems with his mother, but he denied any involvement in the murders. After persistent interrogation failed to crack Vernon, Max Langsner, who had reputedly solved crimes all over Europe by picking up "mind signals" from criminals, was summoned from Vienna, Austria.

Using his alleged psychic powers, Langsner sketched a scene that included a rifle hidden under some bushes. Using the sketch as a makeshift map, the police discovered the murder weapon near the Booher home.

With this new evidence, Vernon confessed to the crime. He had planned to kill his mother because he despised her. The other three were killed only because they had stumbled on to the scene. Vernon expressed remorse only for killing his brother, Fred.

Langsner went on to conduct psychic research with the Eskimos in Northern Canada and Alaska. However, there is no record of his involvement in allegedly solving any additional crimes through psychic measures.

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