Salt Lake Tribune

16 January 1914

Front Page and page 2








Detectives of Entire

  Country Are Now on

  The Lookout for An-

  other Suspect in the

  Morrison Murder

  Cases; Hillstrom to Be

  Charged With Capital








He Denies That He Has

  Seen Applequist Since

  Christmas Cay, but the

  Police Doubt His State-

  ments and Are Making

  Thorough Investiga-

  tion; Erickson Is Re-




            Police officers of every city in the United States have been asked to cooperate in a nation wide search for Otto Applequist, whom the members of the sheriff’s force and the local police are convinced is one of the murderers of John G. Morrison and John Arling Morrison, his son, at the Morrison grocery store in Salt Lake last Saturday night.

            Telegrams containing descriptions of Applequist were sent broadcast yesterday and they will be followed by hundreds of circulars containing a picture and a detailed description of Applequist.  These circulars will be sent to police departments and sheriffs in almost every city in the United States and the local officers are hopeful that the circulars may result in the arrest of the fugitive.

            A formal charge of murder in the first degree will be filed against Joseph Hillstrom, the wounded man who was arrested early Tuesday morning.  The course was decided upon last night by Acting Sheriff Atha Williams.  Mr. Williams believes the chain of circumstances implicating Hillstrom is strong enough to warrant proceedings against him on the charge of murder.

            Another development in the murder case was the arrest yesterday of Fred Larson, a friend of Otto Applequist who was picked up by members of the police department.  He is being held in the city jail on suspicion of having known something of the murders.  Larson admits knowing Applequist well and Hillstrom slightly. 


His Story Is Doubted.

            Larson said that he visited the Esilus home in Murray to see Applequist sometime in December and was invited there for Christmas dinner, but did not go.  He said he met Hillstrom at the Esilus house.  The last time he saw Applequist, he said, was on Christmas day.  The police however, declare that they have reason to believe that he and Applequist were together more recently. 

            Robert Erickson, who was arrested by the sheriff’s force on Wednesday on the suspicion that he might have been an accomplice in the murders, was yesterday released, having convinced the officers of his innocence.  W. J. Williams who was twice arrested on suspicion of having knowledge of the murderers, is still held at the county jail.


Still Seeking Applequist.

            Deputy Sheriff Williams learned last night that Applequist was at one time a sailor and was tattooed in several placed.  On one arm is tattooed the figure of a woman in tights and on the other an anchor.  The figure of the woman is in red and blue ink and the anchor in blue. 

            Sheriff T. A. DeVine of Weber county telephoned the sheriffs office in Salt Lake last night that a man had said he say Applequist that a man had said he saw Applequist in an Ogden café at 6 o’clock in the evening.  Efforts by the Ogden officers to confirm the story proved futile.

            In investigating the murder case yesterday Deputy Sheriff Williams visited the Eselus home in Murray and the members of the family again told their stories with only inconsequential variation from their original stories.  Mrs. Olson a sister of the Esilus boys remembered positively


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that Applequist had left the Esilus home at 1:15 o’clock Sunday morning only a few minutes after Hillstrom was brought wounded to the Esilus house.  On leaving, Applequist remarked that he was going to catch the last street car to Salt Lake.

            A neighbor boy told the officer that he saw Applequist and Hillstrom at the Esilus home on Monday afternoon.  However, the officers are inclined to believe that the boy is mistaken.  Members of the Esilus family all declare that both Hillstrom and Applequist were home all day on Saturday working on a broken motorcycle. 


Did but Little Work.

            Williams learned that Hillstrom had not worked at all since coming to Murray, except to aid the Eilus boys occasionally with the work about the house.  Mrs. Olson said that Hillstron had said that he had worked hard with a pick and shovel but she remarked that she sis not believe him as his hands were always soft.  Mr. Williams is of the opinion that Hillstrom is an ex-convict, probably an experienced highwayman.

            During the time that Hillstrom was at the Esilus home, covering the greater part of several months.  Mrs. Olson said only two persons had called to see him.  They came some time in December.  Mrs. Williams thinks that possibly one of these men was Larson.

            The deputy sheriff visited two places in Murray, suspected of being “blind pigs,” and found that both Hillstrom and Applequist had frequented these two places and the hangers on knew them well.  The officers found that at a poolroom in Salt Lake Applequist and Hillstrom often met a third man.  An effort will be made today to determine whether of not this man was Larson.

            The reward for the capture of Hillstrom in the event that he is convicted of the murder of the Morrisons will probably be paid to Dr. F. M. McHugh and Dr. A. A. Bird of Murray who reported the fact that he was wounded to the police.  The officers who arrested him are prohibited from participating in the reward.

            The fact that the officers did not learn of Hillstrom’s wound for three days after the shooting has suggested to them the enactment of a law compelling physicians and surgeons to report to the nearest peace officer whenever they are called upon to care for wounded persons.  Such a law is in force in other states and Acting Sheriff Williams has already written to these states for copies of the law. 


Statements of Larson.

            The police say they expect to prove that Larson and Applequist were together recently.  Talking to a Tribune reporter last night, Larson said:

             I met Applequist in a saloon in Ogden a few weeks before Christmas.  Then just before Christmas I came down to Salt Lake and went to the Esilus place in Murray to see him.  He was not there when I called, but I saw Hillstrom there.  Afterward I saw Applequist here in town and he invited me to go down to the Esilus place for Christmas dinner, but I never went.  The last time I saw him was on Christmas day.  Since then I have been back to Ogden and have not seen Applequist since coming here again.  I was much surprised to see his name in the paper in connection with this affair.  I know nothing about him except that he was an ironworker and seemed a good fellow and was good company.  I never knew him before meeting him in Ogden.

            Larson said that he came to Ogden from Butte, but that he had been west but a short time.  He said that he was born in Sweden and had no home in the United States, but that he usually called Chicago home.  He is a laborer and claims that he knows no trade.




          NOW ON AT OGDEN


Special to the Tribune.

            OGDEN, Jan. 15- The belief that Otto Applequist, a structural steel worker, who was employed by Contractor E. H. Dundas on the Eccles building in this city, was the accomplice of Joseph Hillstrom, held as a suspect in the murder of John G. Morrison and Arling Morrison in Salt Lake recently, furnished a clew on which the Ogden police worked throughout the day.  Although they obtained information to the effect that Applequist was seen here within the past few days, the search up to a late hour this evening failed to locate the suspect.  

            The local police were given additional incentive in their activities by reason of the theory that Applequiest and Hillstrom may have been the men who held up the C. A. Hanson saloon in this city of the night of December 23.  Continuing on this clew the Salt Lake police have been furnished with a description of the weapons taken from the Proudfit store. 

            The list included two Belgium automatic revolvers, .32 caliber; twelve cheap revolvers of the Iver Johnson and Hopkins & Allen make; two Stevens pump shotguns 12 gauge, and one Smith & Wesson target pistol, .22 caliber.  While both of the men who robbed the Hanson saloon were well masked the proprietor and other who were robbed have told the police that the general description of the men wanted in Salt Lake would answer to that of the holdups.

            The only existing picture of Applequist so far as the Salt Lake police have been able to ascertain is that whish was taken when the steel construction on the Eccles building was nearing completion early in December.  Randy Niles, foreman for the Dinwiddie Construction company and Raymond Treseader, a timekeeper, told the police they had not seen Applequist since the steel construction work was complete.