(1873 - 1892) U.S.A.
Murdered by her lover
Why Alice Mitchell Murdered Her Friend, Freda Ward, in Memphis
MEMPHIS, Tenn., Jan. 26.
Excitement has by no means subsided here over the remarkable murder of Freda Ward, a nineteen-year-old girl, of Gold Dust, by her former close friend, Alice Mitchell, also aged nineteen, of this city. The caolness [sic] with which the deed was done and the indifference with which Miss Mitchell spoke of it afterwards are notable features of the case, since the impulses leading to the murder seem to have been purely emotional.
The murderess was placed under arrest and removed to the county jail. At the Coroner's inquest premeditated murder was charged against her. Miss Mitchell at first refused to say anything, but finally made this statement:
"I was in love with Freda. I could not live without her. Long ago we made a compact that if we were ever separated we should kill each other. When I found that Josie had forbidden Freda to have anything more to do with me I saw nothing else to do but to kill her. I took father's razor, but told no one what I was going to do."
Miss Johnston, in an interview, said that when she and Miss Mitchell saw the Misses Ward coming up the street Miss Mitchell became greatly excited and said she must speak to Freda. She then got out of the buggy, and the murder ensued immediately.
"As she got back into the buggy," said Miss Johnston. "I asked her what was the matter. She replied: 'I have cut Freda's throat; I don't know that I have killed her; I loved her so I could not help it.'"
The cause of the girls' estrangement is said to have been that Freda's friends considered Miss Mitchell "too fast."
(Special Despatch to "The Press." - January 26, 1892)