The Harry Powers case is a famous historical one around here. You don’t have a specific date because nobody knows the specific date. Powers put out newspaper ads for widows to come to his home and start relationships. The victim and her children showed up and after a period of time, her family began contacting Harrison County authorities with a description of the man she left Illinois with. The detectives found a check from her endorsed by Powers and began questioning him. They got a warrant and found the bodies in a drainage ditch near his garage.
I haven’t read where they ever did any testing, if indeed it was available back then, to see when the murders occurred. The best estimate they have is within a 2 to 3 month period.
Paul has a thread elsewhere on the boards (in MPSIMS, I think) where he’s tracking mass murders in 2017. Looks like he’s expanding his database to earlier years. IIRC, he has a minimum of 4 dead in one incident to qualify.
Did the OP know his own link tells us the date.
The parents were out at the time of the murders, thursday evening.
Debbie, a family friend, disturbs the murderers (a child and a dimwit 20 year old),making them flee, and discovers the bodies.
The parents are arrested.
The grandparents are being told about it late on Thursday night, September 15, 1977. (so thats the date…)
The parents are being held that night, based on the police knowledge of past child murders. Parents released next morning, friday morning, when police are sure that the parents had nothing to do with the murders and won’t disturb the investigation.
Serious question (not attempting to threadshit). Why is it important that these events not be forgotten? The people who care will remember all their lives. After that, there will be some historical record, but it won’t be part of our common memory. I can see the importance of not forgetting murders like Chaney, Goodman, and Schwerner, but what’s the point of remembering that some random bad person kills four or five people in 1982?
Well, as I have waded kneedeep in this, I have become more emotionally attached to the project. But, more seriously, it is remarkable how much criminology data is not easily available. How can we see long-term trends if we lack the data? (Just today, I discovered two moms went nuts in Iowa in 1937 and killed their entire families.) What sort of trend is their between regular-ol’ killings and mass killings? People even wonder if the phase of the moon has an impact, but how can we tell?
Anyway, everyone needs a hobby and I have a sad one. I suspect it might be a bit useful
The case is certainly not forgotten locally. It was a big deal back in the 1930s regionally, and every year the anniversary of the execution is mentioned on the radio. There are (fake) flowers placed in the area of where the bodies were found.
My grandmother (now deceased) told me that when she was 11 years old her father took her to the county jail to see the murderer. Apparently the sheriff was charging admission.
If these dates are to be believed (and they were obtained after the arresting officers beat the living hell out of Powers) he confessed to killing Mrs. Eicher and her three children on June 23, 1931, and Mrs. Lemke on August 1, 1931.