Mrs. Clute's Slayer Now Under Arrest
Chico Weekly Record - December 25, 1897



MRS. CLUTE'S SLAYER NOW UNDER ARREST



Ventured Into the Police Office to Talk the Deed Over With the Officers.


DETECTIVES BROKE HIS STORY


Almost a Certainty That Albert Hoff, a Russian Upholsterer Committed the Guerrero Street Tragedy.


SAN FRANCISCO, December 17.—The mystery attending the brutal murder of Mrs. Mary Clute in a Guerrero-Street flat Wednesday evening has apparently been solved. The police believe a Russian known as Albert Hoff, whom they have arrested, is the murderer. He says he was born in Baden in 1830, but he does not appear to be 50 years of age. He had been employed by Mrs. Clute to help her move and to make over some mattresses.

Knowing that he had been assisting in the work of preparing Mrs. Clute's newly-rented flat for occupancy, and being satisfied that the carpet layers, Foley & Jackson who had been there on the same day, were innocent of the crime, the police were on the lookout for Hoff. Greatly to the surprise of Chief Lees, the suspected man walked into the police station yesterday and told a story regarding his visit to the Clute flat which at first seemed plausible. Clever cross-examination, however, soon involved the Russian in a maze of contradictions, and he was placed under arrest as a suspect.

Suspicion as to his guilt was soon changed to certainty, for last evening he was positively identified by Mrs. L. A. Legg, who occupies the flat directly under the rooms where the murder was committed, as the man she and her invalid father-in-law saw leaving the house after they had been alarmed by Mrs. Clute's dying calls for help.

Mrs. Legg asserts that she cannot be mistaken.

He has also been identified by Foley as the man who was in the house when he and Jackson left.

Further strong circumstantial evidence that he is the murderer is furnished by the fact that he is left handed, and that his left hand is badly cut. The flange of the coupling pin with which Mrs Clute was killed is sharp and jagged, and held in a tight grasp could easily have caused the wound, which he says was made by a tack. The police surgeon, however, says it could not have been produced except by some heavy instrument.



From the collection of The Comtesse DeSpair




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