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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    63° 22'N 32° 17'W (It's In The Abyss.)

    MA - Rev. Dr. Elliott Speer, 35, Gill, 14 Sept 1934

    A murder at a school that has not been solved, the murder of Elliot Speer. He was the headmaster of Mount Hermon School in Gill, Massachusetts on September 14, 1934. Speer was shot with a shotgun blast through the window.

    The Study of a Murder

    "It seems impossible to me that a student, after expulsion, could contemplate bodily harm to Dr. Speer. I have heard boys say, after they had been fired, that they would rather be disciplined by Dr. Speer than any man in the world. They always had an even break. He never did a mean or unfair thing in his life."

    Even the improbability of "a jealous husband" was considered. Within 24 hours the police had discovered a young woman who was one of Speer's closest friends and who, with her husband, had a summer home in Northfield. Lively and pretty, she was a descendant of Mary Queen of Scots and the favorite first cousin of one of America's richest men. She and her husband played tennis and bridge with the Speers. When her husband was away, she sometimes stayed at the Speers' — even if his wife wasn't there. She liked to tie a bandanna around her head and drive with Elliott in his convertible, with the top down. She asked his advice on various personal problems.

    Two Unsolved Mysteries

    As headmaster of Mount Hermon, Rev. Elliott Speer was loved by the students and by most if not all of the faculty and staff. He certainly brought revolutionary changes in his two years. His murder on September 14, 1934 created a nationwide sensation, and was front-page news in the New York Times until the kidnapping of the Lindbergh baby pushed it into inside pages. All told, it was carried for 11 consecutive days, and intermittently until the headline “Speer’s Slayer Declared Unknown” appeared on page 16 on January 10, 1935. On August 30, 1935, a hue and cry was raised over a 12-gauge shotgun found in a small river in New Hampshire, which led nowhere. On September 5, 1935, a $5,000 reward was announced, and on September 8th the possible use of a newly developed electromagnet for underwater use was talked about as another approach for a possible renewal of a search for the murder gun. But the papers were extremely circumspect where the name of the one person picked on as a possible suspect was concerned. The closest any newspaper came to using his name was the November 6, 1935 issue of the Springfield Republican which mentioned the ten new electrical devices for discovering buried metal, and stated, “It was learned that operations were close to the rear of the faculty house once occupied by Dean Thomas E. Elder and others. The dean resigned a few months after the murder…….”

    HMS Hood
    Mighty Hood
    Pennant Number: 51
    Motto: Ventis Secundis ("With Favourable Winds")
    May 15, 1920-May 24, 1941

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    HMSHood, this case has interested me for quite some time. My brother was the interim camp director at Camp Northfield after Larry Hilliker died. I remember staying there in the house when he was there, and had attended camp many times. Almost always, some of us would go over to the school and discuss the murder. We were always of the opinion it was Elder who did it. Someone said a number of years ago that some papers had come to light in a relative's possession that cast strong suspicion on him, almost to the point of saying he did it, but I'm not sure about which of my friends had said that. I'd like to know if there has ever been anything officially said about it. I've read the story in Yankee (even clipped it from the magazine and still have it), and saw the website (interesting it also mentions Lizzie). I guess this is one cold case that may go unsolved, even if those papers do exist and fall short of an actual confession.

  3. #3
    Debbie melo cold case Taunton weymouth Ma.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Quote Originally Posted by Iknowweresheis View Post
    Debbie melo cold case Taunton weymouth Ma.
    Hi Iknow, any thoughts on her case would be welcomed I'm sure. Here's her thread.


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    N A
    Tell us where she is please.

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