January 12, 1925


Sometimes, killing a person simply isn’t enough.

Such was the case with Deborah Walch.

Deborah died at the age of 32, killed by a single bullet to the right temple. The round carried away most of the left side of her head. Her husband, along with their two children (ages 12 and 10), then proceeded to dismember Deborah. Neighbors and family friends purchased a specialty casket equipped with locks and a bell system which would connect to the headstone. The bell would serve as an alert to the cemetery’s caretaker, who would then fetch Duncan Blood.

To many, the murder of Deborah Walch, as well as her subsequent disposal and burial, would seem horrendous.

To those who knew her, however, it was the bare minimum.

No one knows what happened to Deborah in the weeks leading up to her death on January 12, 1925. Prior to January 1, 1925, she was a loving and generous person.

At exactly midnight, with the coming of the new year, she became a monster.

By the time dawn arose on that morning, Deborah had murdered the family’s pet dog and eaten the barn cat raw. She attacked anyone who came near her, burying a knife to its hilt in her 12-year-old son’s left forearm.

The doctor was brought in, then a priest, and finally Duncan Blood. None of them could determine what had happened to Deborah or cure her.

On January 12, she fired five rounds of a six-shot revolver at her family. Her daughter, age 10, seized the weapon from Deborah and fired the killing shot.

94 years have passed since Deborah Walch’s death, and still, the town wonders if her bell will ring.

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Published by

Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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