|HACKETT SMILED AT CROWN WITNESS|
|Nygaardt's Identification Brought Smile to the Face of the Prisoner
MORE MEDICAL EVIDENCE
Dr. McTaggart Recalled by Crown for Further Testimony as to Cause of
|At yesterday afternoon's session of the Court of King's Bench, James
Thomas Hackett was again recognized as being the man seen on the railway
track at Cote St., Paul, near the scene of the awful tragedy, on the 3rd
of April last. This was the testimony given by Johannes Nygaardt, who
was with Christian Marks, the witness heard yesterday morning.
After Nygaardt was called to the box to give his testimony, and as he
proceeded to answer questions which were put to him by Mr. Guerin,
Hackett showed steadily increasing interest. When Mr. Guerin asked
Hackett to stand up and then put the question to Nygaardt: "Do you see
that man around the room," meaning the one he met on the tracks, and
looking around Nygaardt answered: "Yes, there is the man," pointing to
Hackett the prisoner returned his look with a smile. This is the first
time Hackett has been seen to smile during the whole of the proceedings.|
|CALLED HACKETT "A GOOD BOY"|
|In the afternoon, Oliver Dionne, Point St. Charles, deposed that he had
known the accused for about eighteen months, and was working with him at
the Montreal Steel Works last summer. He knew the waterworks and stone
bridge on Church street, Cote St. Paul, and he had met Hackett there
once last summer. It was a spot where many people went for recreation.
He also knew the bush at Cote St. Paul, but he had never seen the
prisoner there, nor had the accused ever spoken to him of it. When he
was working with Hackett at the Montreal Steel Works, the latter was "a good boy."
Mr. Rondeau, in cross-examination, elicited the fact that the bush was
used by picnickers, and was a splendid spot for such outing.
After hearing Dionne's evidence Chief Justice Lacoste asked the members
of the jury if they thought that it would be necessary for them to visit
the grounds where the murder took place and in answer the juryman stated
that they now had a pretty good idea of the surroundings and distance by
the plans which had been supplied them in court and they thought the
visit was unnecessary.
|Johannes Nygaardt was next called. He stated that he had worked in the
Montreal Steel Works along with Marks for some time. On the evening of
April 3rd he was returning home with his friend Marks, when on the Grand
Trunk Railway track at Cote St. Paul they passed a man who was very
drunk. The man wore a belt and his pants were hanging so low from his
waist that the belt was very easily noticed.
The belt was produced in court and witness recognized it as being the
one the man wore because the buckle was so bright.
He described the clothing of the man as being shabby, dark in color and
that the man walked with his head down.
Mr. Guerin: "Do you see that man around the room?"
Witness: "Yes, there is the man sitting over there in the box."
It was at this time that Hackett smiled at the witness.|
|In cross-examination by Mr. O'Sullivan, witness said that his attention
was attracted to the man because of his very drunken condition. His
trousers were soiled around the lower part, and his boots were also
dirty. He was not wearing a collar, but had on a light shirt, which was
buttoned up round his neck.
Mr. O'Sullivan: "You think that the man at the Bar is more ugly than you
Witness: "I think that on that day", meaning the day of the murder, "he
was uglier than now."
Mr. O'Sullivan: "Then do you think it is a good thing to go to gaol?"
Witness: "No, I do not."
Nygaardt continuing, stated that he never worked with Hackett, and that
it was very seldom that they met anybody on that track when they were
returning home. Mr. O'Sullivan then asked him if men were in the habit
of wearing belts. Nygaardt answering yes, but that the ones he saw were
either narrower or wider than the one produced.|
|WAS HIS OWN INTERPRETER|
|Sub-Chief Inspector McMahon was the next witness heard. As the jury is
a mixed one, questions and answers have to be given in both French and
English. The inspector gave his answer in English and then himself
translated the question into French and gave his answer in French.
The belt was shown to him and he recognized it as the one taken from
Hackett at NO. 14 police station on the 11th of April.
Cross-examined by Mr. O'Sullivan, the Inspector stated that he did not
know whether the accused had worn that belt on the day of the murder or
not, adding that laborers in all classes were in the habit of wearing
Rodolphe Plante, laborer, 502 Centre street, had known the accused for
about a year and a half. At the beginning of April Hackett asked him
for the loan of a dollar, but did not state for what purpose he wanted it.
Witness loaned him the money. At that time witness had heard of the
disappearance of the little Ahern girl. On Friday of the same week
Hackett offered his time ticket for sale. It represented 49¼ hours
work, and was good for $6.84. He gave no reason for wanting to dispose
of it. The next day was pay day at the works. Witness purchased the
time ticket for $5.
In reply to Mr. Rondeau, witness stated that Hackett worked more time
than he laid off: he was a good, hard working man.
To the foreman of the jury, witness said that he was not in the habit
of being a private banker to the men, but when a case happened to come
along, he lent a man money to help him out. When Hackett wished to
dispose of his time ticket, witness made no remarks.
|DID NOT WORK ON FATEFUL DAY|
|William Carter, special constable at the Montreal Steel Works, deposed
that according to the time blotter, Hackett did not work on April 3. He
was in the habit of working at night, and on the night of April 4, he
worked all night, commencing at 6 p.m. He did not work on April 5, and
on the following day witness saw him at the corner of St. Patrick and
St. Etienne streets. Hackett then went down St. Patrick street towards
the steel works, and it was then that the witness noticed that he
answered the description of the man, given in the papers, wanted for the
murder of little Edith May Ahern.
At the Steel works Hackett asked witness if he could see the foreman, a
man by the name of Prevost.|
|HACKETT BECAME NERVOUS|
|Just at this point witness had asked Hackett if they had found the man
who had murdered the little girl.
Hackett then became nervous and said that he had seen something about
it on the bulletin. Witness then went away.
The next time he saw Hackett was about 7.15 p.m. on April 11. It was
on Grand Trunk street, and witness was in company with Police Captain
Coleman. Hackett was with a lady, and they turned into a lane and
entered a house, into which they were followed by witness and Coleman.
Coleman had a conversation with Hackett, and finally asked him to go
along with him and see if he could identify a Jew, who, he said, had
replaced him on a job. Hackett did so, and witness accompanied them,
all three going to the detective office at the City Hall, and from there
to Place Viger station. Soon after they got to the station they saw
Christian Marks and Detective Charpentier on the platform Witness was
standing near Hackett and Marks came up and pointed to the accused and
said (witness believed) "That's the man." Coleman, witness and Hackett
then returned to the detective office.
For a little while witness was alone in the detective office with
Hackett, and the latter said to him: "I see what it's all about and what
I'm here for. It's about that little girl that was killed. That's what
drink does for a man." Hackett also said that he had been thinking
about going away but when he saw the account of the murder in the
papers, he would not go.|
|ACCUSED A GOOD WORKMAN|
|To Mr. O'Sullivan, in cross-examination, witness said that he was the
man who gave information to the police about Hackett, as, from the
description he had read in the newspapers, he believed him to be the man
wanted. So far as witness knew, Hackett always did his work, and he
never heard any complaints about him. When witness asked him if the
murderer of the little girl had been found, he became nervous and turned
his face away. Witness did not know that Hackett was naturally
nervous. At the time he spoke to Hackett he had not seen in the
newspapers that a reward had been offered by the mayor for the capture
of the murderer, but he saw it the same evening. He spoke to Capt.
Coleman about Hackett three days after the reward was offered.
Police Captain Coleman, of No. 9 police station, testified in regard to
the circumstances of Hackett's arrest. Carter had already mentioned the
name of Hackett to him twice, when on the evening of April 8 , he went
with him to Hackett's house. Witness then corroborated the evidence
given by Carter as to what took place in the house, and said that when
they got to the corner of Centre street on their way to the Detective
Office, Hackett said "I hope this means no trouble for me." Witness
asked: "What trouble can it mean for you?" Hackett said: "Perhaps some
money affair, or something like that." Witness then told of the visit
to Place Viger station, when Hackett was taken in charge by order of
Detective Charpentier, and was detained at the Detective office.|
|The following afternoon, April 9 witness formally placed Hackett under
arrest, cautioning him that he was not bound to say anything, but that
if he did say anything it might be used in evidence against him.
Witness made no promise to him to induce him to make a statement, and
neither did he make any threats to him. Witness called his attention to
the fact that he had made a statement and said "Listen and I will read
it to you."
Chief Justice Lacoste then asked where he got the statement and in
answer witness said that it was made to Chief Charpentier and taken down
by Mr. Berrigan, stenographer for the department.
Mr. O'Sullivan objected to the production of the statement.
In answer to a question witness said that he read over the statement to
Hackett and asked him to sign it, but he declined to, saying that he was
not going to sign it either as a murderer or as having committed a murder.
The Court reserved judgment as to the admission of the statement.|
|DR. McTAGGART RECALLED|
|Captain Coleman's cross-examination was then suspended, in order to
allow the prosecution to recall Dr. McTaggart, who, in reply to Crown
Prosecutor Guerin, said that the scratches on the body of the little
child might have been made by the point of a pin, or the like. The body
appeared as if it had been dragged along the ground.
By Mr. O'Sullivan: The scratches were on the anterior part of the body,
and it seemed as if the body had been dragged face downwards"
In answer to questions by the foreman of the jury, witness said that
when he saw the body it was stiff, and the hands were closed, as they
always were in rigor mortis. He did not make a microscopic examination
of the nails or hair. He examined the hands carefully, but he did not
see any evidence of a struggle. As far as he was aware no attempt had
been made to wash the body before he examined it.
By His Lordship: The only thing which might be suggestive of a struggle
was that the hair was a little tossed: otherwise there was nothing to
indicate anything of the kind. The autopsy revealed nothing to show
that the child had received sufficient violence to show the actual cause
of death, and he reached the conclusion that it was due to nervous shock
and exposure from the circumstance connected with the matter.
By Juryman Ryan: The scratches on the body were not such as would be
made by finger nails, as a rule.
By Juryman Westgate: The injury on the neck were deeper than the
scratches, but was not like an impression made by a finger nail. The
wound on the forehead might have been caused by a rough-pointed
instrument. It was simply a superficial scratch. If the child had been
held down by the throat to prevent it screaming, evidence of it would
have been revealed by the autopsy.
In reply to Crown Prosecutor Guerin, witness said that if a person died
from fright or shock, the body revealed no external or internal evidence
| The Montreal Star 15 June 1906|