The Muncie Murder
John D. Webb, who is now in jail in this city, charged with the murder of Doc. Garrison, confessed last week that he was present when Garrison was killed, with intent to help rob him, claims that his confederate and fellow prisoner, Robert Hart actually committed the murder. His statement is as follows:
On Thursday evening November 19th almost sundown, on or a little after, Robert Hart came to the crossing of the creek, just below my stable, and called to my wife to know if I was at home. She answered that I was, and then called to me and said there was a man down there that wanted to see me. I went down to see what he wanted, when I got near to where he was he said rather jestingly that he wanted to shoot me. Knowing who he was I thought he was only in fun. He asked me if I wanted to make some money pretty easy. I told him I did; he told me he could put me in a way that I could make some pretty easy if I would go with him. I asked him how and where he was to get it. He then told me there was a man going to pass there that evening that had money, and all we had to do was to knock him down and take it. He knew that I knew he had a pistol, I also seen a butcher knife in a scabbard stock, I think in the waistband of his pants when he went to pay me thirty cents that he owed me a balance on something I let his wife have three or four weeks before. The things she bought was some toys for the children. After he paid me he spoke of doing this again; he told me who the man was; that it was Doc. Garrison; that he passed there nearly every evening, would be sure to pass there that evening, and had plenty of money, and that it could be very easily done. I told him I would go provided there was to be no killing done. He said, “No; all we had to do was to knock him down and take the money.” I then agreed to meet him at the tree where he was shot at seven o’clock, or between seven and eight o’clock. I went to the tree about seven o’clock and waited about twenty or thirty minutes when he came. It was only a few minutes till Garrison came along; when we saw him coming he said, “Now I will knock him down so as to addle him and then take his money and get away,” he said we must not make a failure, as he might recognize us; when he got opposite the tree he rushed out at him, and he (Garrison) started to run; he run after him some thirty or forty steps, and when he got up to him he shot him; I was running after them at the time he shot; think I was about ten feet from him, behind them; I mean when Hart shot him. I was so badly scared when I saw what he had done that I kept on running, and run past them; after I was past I looked round and seen Hart stooping down over him. I was so excited and scared that I ran away up the road, past Mr. Washer’s, and then took across the fields to my house; have not seen Hart from that time to this. Do not know how much money he got, if he got any. After I got home I felt so uneasy and troubled about what had happened that I could not rest, and thought my wife would notice it. I did not go to see the body for fear I would betray myself and create some suspicion. I thought it would die out and be passed over, and nobody would find out who did it, but since I have been arrested, and had time to think it all over, I thought it best to make a clean breast of it and relieve my mind and let the guilty suffer. I feel that I have done right only and hope the people and the authorities will not judge me too hard. I was poor and wanted money, and temptation was too strong, but if I had known there was murder to be done, I would never have agreed to have a hand in it. [Signed] John D. Webb. Witness E.S.W. Drought. The Wyandotte Gazette, Kansas City, Kansas. Friday, December 6, 1872. Page 3. © Transcribed by Darren McMannis for the Kansas Council of Genealogical Societies, Inc.