Murder in Cross: December 4, 1871


Vernon Green gave his left arm for his country, and part of his sanity as well as we found out on December 4th.

He arrived home in Cross by rail at 8:35 in the morning. Vernon had gone into Boston several days prior in order to visit friends from his regiment and to visit with his daughter and her husband. There had been some to-do up at one of the Grand Army of the Republic Chapters in Boston, and so Vernon had decided to travel home with his saber at his side.

I wish terribly that he had not.

Something about the train ride to Cross reminded him of the War of the Rebellion, and when he stepped out of the carriage, I saw him and realized something was wrong. I made my way directly toward him, but I was too late.

In an instant, he had drawn his sword and started to lay about the people around him.

The screams were ungodly, and more than one man took flight from that flashing blade.

Vernon killed a husband and wife traveling together from Cambridge. He slew their three-month-old daughter as well. A nun tried to intervene, but she lost her head when Vernon struck it from her neck with one smooth, well-placed blow.

As the nun collapsed, blood spewing from her neck, Vernon Green turned on me and raised his sword.

I drew my Colts from their holsters and put four rounds in his chest. Even as he struck the bodies on the platform, he was struggling to rise, forcing me to fire twice more, each round slamming into his forehead and blowing his brains out the back of his skull.

It is always difficult to kill a broken man.

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Nicholas Efstathiou

Husband, father, and writer.

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