The Kennewick Courier, 05-15-1908

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NEWS OF THE STATE

Soldiers Murder and Burn Comrade.

Port Townsend--One of the most dreadful murders ever committed in Washington was perpetrated at Fort Worden last night at band headquarters.

Some time Friday night Henry L. Johnson, a musician of the Sixth Artillery Band, was murdered and his body dismembered and thrust into the heating furnace in the basement of the soldiers' barracks. Fire was then started, evidently by the perpetrator, in the hope of burning the body and hiding the ghastly crime.

This morning the charred body of the victim was dragged from the fire by the firemen when they went to fire up for the day. Notwithstanding the limbs were severed and the skull battered in, no indication of the deed or blood traces can be found about the building.

Johnson was known to have considerable money and loaned small sums to enlisted men. James Holt, a cook in the band, and Private Knight, both of whom were known to be in debt to Johnson, quarreled with the murdered man last night, and disappeared from the fort. Both were caught hiding under the wharf this morning.