Moonlight Murder On Smuttynose Island – Newspaper Front Page Report – Star Island – Isles of Shoals


This gruesome crime – The Murders on Smuttynose Island, Isles of Shoals – is well known.

Now you can own the original front page of the Wednesday, March 19, 1873 edition of The Gardiner Home Journal printed in Gardiner, Maine, that details Louis Wagner and the murders he was executed for.

The article pertaining to the murders on Smuttynose fills the first three columns and ends in the top of the fourth column where it is followed by “The Increase of Pay” article.   25″ x 18.5″

Louis Wagner was hunted down after fleeing Smuttynose Island. He was quickly arrested in Boston and extradited back to Portsmouth. Ten thousand angry townspeople waited for him at the train station and shadowed him all the way to the police station, chanting, “Lynch him, kill him.”

Wagner was then brought to Alfred, Maine for trial. After he was condemned to death, he broke out of jail and escaped to New Hampshire. He was recaptured and brought to the gallows at Thomaston State Prison.

The BEST book available is Lyman Rutledge’s Moonlight Murder at Smuttynose which is available online from the book store on Star Island.

The ax used in the Smuttynose murders is in the collections of and on display at the Portsmouth Athenæum

Other selections related to Star Island and the Isles of Shoals

For more history visit our Isles of Shoals / Star Island page.

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