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 News - 1920


Mrs. Wm. Campbell Slays Husband in Fit of Jealous Rage.


One of the most cruel, cold-blooded murders ever perpetrated in Clay county occurred Tuesday morning about 4:00 o‘clock, two miles west of Xenia, when Mrs. Amy L. Campbell killed her husband, Wm. Campbell, with a shot gun and an axe.

A neighbor heard the shot and secured another neighbor and together they went to the farm and discovered the woman acting crazy and trying to get away. She denied knowing anything about her husband, so they secured a lantern, it being yet dark, and on going into the house discovered Campbell lying on the floor with a shot gun wound just above the left nipple and his head chopped with some sharp instrument. A further search disclosed an axe hidden in the wood shed, covered with blood and hair.

The murderess made her escape on foot across a wooded field, but was captured and Sheriff McElyea placed her in the county jail without bond, State’s Attorney Shriner acting at once in the matter.

Coroner J. M. Dean, of Xenia, impaneled a jury Wednesday morning and the verdict was that Wm. Campbell came to his death by a shot gun used with murderous intent by his wife.

Jealousy the Supposed Cause

From the story we get, it seems that Mrs. Campbell had become insanely jealous of her husband and their son’s wife, though it is said there was no foundation for her suspicions. The couple had been married several years. Deceased was in the Spanish-American war. Mrs. Campbell’s maiden name was Amy Lou Dyer.

Extracted from the Flora Record - September 2, 1920


Mrs. Lou Dyer Campbell Sentenced at Louisville for Murder of Wm. Campbell


The trial of Mrs. Amy Lou Campbell for killing her husband, Wm. Campbell at their home near Xenia, Ill., on the night of August 31, 1920, was brought to a conclusion at Louisville Tuesday afternoon. The defendant was found guilty by the jury and sentenced to a term of twenty years in the penitentiary. The prosecution was ably conducted by H. W. Shriner and James H. Smith, Mr. Shriner making a strong appeal as prosecuting attorney for conviction upon the law and evidence. Referring feelingly to the fact that this would ever appear before a jury in Clay County as the prosecuting attorney and he wished for nothing but justice and the vindication of the law.

The defense was represented ably by Rose and McCollum, making a plea that the defendant was insane and not responsible for her acts. The opinion of those who heard the trial seemed to be that the decision was justice tempered with mercy.

Extracted from the Flora Record - September 23, 1920