The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Moment in History

Murder and Mayhem: William Lee was indicted in 1876 for the murder of Jessie McCarty by beating her to death and throwing her body into the river at East Burlington the previous fall. (Mr. Lee kept a gunboat, otherwise known as a floating whorehouse, and Jessie was one of his girls.)

At the time of his arrest no body had been found, but a few weeks before the trial it was discovered and identified. In a packed courtroom Lee was found guilty after a hotly contested trail.

The jury recommended death and so Mr. Lee was thus sentenced and carried out by Sheriff Bell on the 16th of June in front of a huge crowd.

1911 History of Henderson County