Manhuntington

A website about two murders on Long Island caught my attention. However it was not about any of the recent victims who have been discovered in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

Alexander and Rebecca Smith were killed on November 13, 1842 in the house on the Gardiner Farm in Huntington, NY. The local paper, The Long Islander, reported the crime as follows:

Horrible Murder!
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Never has it been our melancholy task, on any former occasion, to present to our readers the details of a murder, so atrocious in every feature, as the one committed a few nights ago in the vicinity of our village. We do not remember to have heard of one so appalling, for many years.
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On Sunday evening last, Mr. Alexander Smith, extensively known as a worthy and wealthy farmer, residing at Old Fields, and his wife, were murdered. Their bodies were discovered on the following morning, lying on the hearth; that of Mr. Smith nearly consumed by the fire into which it had fallen, on receiving a blow from the assassin; and that of Mrs. Smith, near by, weltering in blood which had flowed from several wounds inflicted on the head.

When I took part in the FBI Citizens’ Academy, we did an evidence recovery exercise at a staged crime scene in a hotel room. The 1842 murders on Long Island can now be studied by high school and college forensics students. The clues and evidence come in a kit entitled Murder at Old Fields. For $449, schools receive a kit containing hair, blood, fingerprints and all sorts of materials.

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