Saturday, July 7, 2012

Mystery shrouds death of Vincent Cross At about 4:30 of the morning of July 4, 1900, Henry Minor, the baggageman for the Michigan Central Railroad at Ypsilanti, and section foreman John Gunn, were walking along the tracks south of the depot. The two were behind the Ferrie shops, where the co-op is now, when they came across the dead body. There was no doubt that this man was dead. “His face and in face the whole front part of his head was gone, the left arm was broken and there were other bruises upon the body. Pieces of the skull and brains were scattered along the track,” reported The Washtenaw Times of Friday, July 6, 1900. “It was who the unfortunate young man was,” continued the account, “but he was finally completely identified by Felix Duffy, his cousin, by certain tattoo marks upon the body and upon his hands, as Gerald Vincent Cross.” Cross was about 21 years of age, and lived with his uncle, Thomas Duffy, on River Street. He was employed by the Michigan Central Railroad. “It is said that a peculiar circumstance about the finding of the body was that it was between the west bound tracks and about ten or fifteen feet west of the body was found a large pool of blood, “noted the account. “It is not clear how to explain this circumstance.” Cross was at a party behind Ferriers’ shop until about 11:00 p.m., but no one could later say when he left or which way he went.. no one admitting see him after 11:00 p.m. The inquest was held on Thursday, July 5, 1900, in the office of Justice Child. The jury returned the verdict: “We find the said Vincent Cross came to his death on the morning of July 4, 1900, at Ypsilanti, Washtenaw County, Mich., in some manner unknown to us.” Some thought Cross had been murdered, and the body placed on the tracks as a way to hide the act. Still, after several days of investigation, no evidence to explain the manner of death was discovered. No one could explain the pool of blood distant from the body, and no expiation was ever put forward. In the end, all that is left is the mystery.

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