More on Murder in Marble Hill

Missouri Governor Charles Henry Hardin (1875-1877)

This is a short follow up to my January 29, 2020 post entitled “Murder in Marble Hill!” which covered the story of William Pents who was publicly hanged in April , 1877.

The April 30, 1877 Cincinnati Daily Star reported:

“Wm. Pintz [Ed. Note Pents], who killed Catherine Burr, a child about nine years in Bollinger County, Missouri, on the 15th of May, 1875 was hanged at Marble Hill Friday, before a great crowd of people, who came for many miles to witness the execution. Pintz confessed that he killed the girl, and had also murdered a man named William Gray, for which he was paid $10″

Apparently Pents was scheduled to be executed before this date but was given a temporary reprieve by Missouri Governor Charles Henry Hardin. The January 14, 1876 issue of The State Journal [Jefferson City, Missouri] reported:

“The Governor has respited William Pents, of Bollinger county, sentenced to be hanged on the 14th of this month, until the 11th of February next. Pents was convicted of the murder of a little girl while gathering grapes in the
woods, last fall. Judge, prosecuting attorneys, jurors and a number of citizens petition for a commutation. No doubt as to guilt but think Pents is crazy. Respite Issued In order to examine evidence as to insanity, and if he h is mind enough to understand the consequences of his crime when committed, he will hang but if only an idiot, may commute sentence.”

Crazy or not, William Pents was publicly hanged in April of 1877 in Marble Hill, Missouri.

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