In the previous post, we opened up a discussion regarding whether or not Rev. Kelly could have been the serial killer that Ed Epperly wanted him to be - while doing a little research on his background, I stumbled across an article posted on MainStreetMoments.com. Here's the link . In this article, the author recounts Kelly's supposed involvement in the Villisca Axe Murders and puts out a call to history buffs across the globe to track him down as well as folks in Winner to add addtl. information.
The tie is that the website features information on South Dakota and we all know that Reverend Kelly spent some time in a city there called Winner. "While preaching in Winner, he (Kelly) decided he needed a secretary—a naked secretary. In 1913, the Reverend Kelly placed an ad in the Omaha World Herald.. He received an application from a young woman living in Council Bluffs, Iowa. He replied that she certainly fit the bill, and, if she agreed to type in the nude, she was hired. The young woman notified the police, and postal authorities began a “sting” operation by sending him fake letters and leading him to believe that he was corresponding with an eager eighteen-year-old girl. His return letters became increasingly salacious and pornographic. He was arrested for sending obscene material through the mail and violating a number of Federal laws."
The author goes on to place Kelly in Kansas City, Connecticut and finally New York City. The article resulted in 6 comments from readers, this one was of particular interest and I've sent off an email to see just what Carolyn may have found:
Posted by: Anonymous on February 24 2009
Went looking for Rev. Kelly and found in NYC 1930-1942 (definitely him) but lost him after that. I also have some info about his England roots. Still looking. If interested in seeing photocopies of documentation email me at firstname.lastname@example.org Carolyn
Posted by: Anonymous on October 09 2008
Doing research in Winner SD newspapers I discovered a flaw in this story. Kelley was arrested for the postal charges in the 2-16-1914 local paper, and gained suspicion for the Iowa murders as early as 7-17-1914. The trial did not occur until 1917? Also an unsolved Murder did occur just outside of Winner shortly before Kelley's departure from Winner.
I did receive an email regarding Reverend Kelly and the murder that occurred in Winner, however, the historian that sent the articles to me - indicated he did not feel Kelly was responsible. Kelly was sent to a mental hospital in Washington D.C. as a result of the charges assessed against him in South Dakota. Here are the articles that appeared in the Winner paper regarding the postal incident and the Villisca murders.