The Borland Sensation No New Developments in Connection with the Double Tragedy Published April 10, 1902 Pioneer
The reason assigned for the terrible deed of Gene Richert, the Borland murderer and suicide, seems to be practically correct. Brooding over his troubles was undoubtedly what led the man to commit the crime.
In conversation with Nick Richert, who resides in this city and is a brother of the dead man, the Pioneer learned more of the man whose tragic death took place last week.
Gene Richert was not quite 37 years of age and had resided in this section a number of years, he coming to this country from Germany when quite young. At the time his father-in-law died - about eleven years ago - he was living at the coal kilns, several miles northwest of this city. Before he died his father-in-law requested him to look after his wife after he was gone, and Richert promised him he would. So with his wife he took up his abode on the Boyer farm after the death of Mr. Boyer, and Mrs. Boyer was a member of his family up to the time of the tragedy. About a year ago or such a matter, the old lady, who is about 80 years of age, suffered a paralytic stroke, and has been quite a care some of the time. Not many days ago Mrs. Richert was taken ill, and as a result most of the housework fell upon her husband, there being no one else to do it. And then the work of settling up the estate bothered him. After his father-in-law died he provided tomb-stones for the grave and looked after other matters ehich involved an ependiture of money, but he never kept track of anything. He had been led to believe that the farm would be his upon the death of his mother-in-law, and not until quite lately had he reason to believe otherwise. He had always been a hard working man, and his frugal way of living had enabled him to lay aside a little money. Some time ago he bought a forty-acre farm about half a mile north of where he lived, and last fall or this spring he commenced the work of building a house on his place. He had purchased considerable material, and the work of laying the foundation walls was recently completed. Sickness in the hoe and other matters which bothered him seemed to unnerve him, and of late he had been heard to complain that everything was going against him. In settling up the estte left by his father-in-law he was told that he must account for everything he had paid out, but as he had kept no record of it he couldn't do it. This worried him and he felt that he was being blamed for things he was not responsible for. He seemed to think a good deal of his wife, and the day before the tragedy he spent a good deal of time with her, and it is believed he revealed to her his plans regarding the shooting, as they were heard crying together over something.
It is now believed that he intended to shoot his mother-in-law, as well as his wife, and that the presence of a little girl named Leonard, who resided near by, frustrated his plans. He went into the pantry and got the gun, and as he stepped into the kitchen where sat his mother-in-law, gun in hand, not seeming to notice the girl, who suddenly spoke up. "what shall I get for dinner, Gene?" Her speaking evidently frustrated his plans, as he dropped his eyes and immediately proceeded to the bedroom occupied by his wife. He had hardly closed the door before a report was heard, and upon hearing the report his mother-in-law rushed to the bed-room, opened the door and exclaimed, "What is going on here, Gene?" There was noresponse to the question, and about as soon as she entered the room he turned the gun upon himself and fired. The little girl then ran to see what was going on, and upon seeing what had taken place she became terror stricken and suggested to Mrs. Boyer that they get away from there as quickly as possible. The news of the shooting soon reached the neighbors, and when they reached the houe both Richert and his wife were dead. She was lying in bed when the shot was fired which ended her existence, and he had fallen so his head was on the bed and his knees on the floor.
Coroner Drescher was immediately notified, and he visited the scene of the shooting as quickly as possible, while Mr. Boynton, employed by Mr. Drescher in his undertaking rooms, visited the place of the tragedy and prepared the bodies for burial. He found that they had both been shot in about the same place. Nearly all of his heart was shot away, while only a portion of her heart was gone. The coroner impaneled a jury, and the verdict ws to the effect that Richert was insane at the time of the shooting. The funeral services were held last Friday afternoon at the church in Higbee.
We understand that a shell was found in the pocket of the dead man.