Robert F. Cantin Says Mrs. Louis Zufall Did Not Die Naturally, but Was Murdered
Newtown, L.I., Aug.12 – Mrs. Louis Zufall, wife of a jeweler of this town, was found dead in her house on Cook Avenue the night of July 29. Blood was upon the floor and upon her face and clothing.
Coroner R.C. Haslam of Woodside was summoned and impaneled a jury. After taking the statements of Drs. Combes and Johnson, who performed the autopsy and who testified that the woman's death was due to hemorrhage of the lungs, the case was adjourned without holding an inquest.
Coroner Haslam was awakened yesterday morning about 2 o'clock by Robert F. Cantin, who declared that murder had been committed and demanded an opportunity to make a sworn statement to that effect. He made the following affidavit:
Robert F. Cantin, being duly sworn, says: I reside at Newtown, L.I. I saw Mrs. Zufall July 29, at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon, at her own garden gate. She asked me how I was. She spoke to me about her son Charles. I first heard of her death about 5 o'clock the next morning. I know nothing about how she came by her death. She was afraid of her husband, who was jealous of her. I believe she was murdered. I saw her Thursday night in my house. I saw her in my dreams, and I wanted to speak to her, and she disappeared.
Cantin told Coroner Haslam that he could lay his hand on the murderer of Mrs. Zufall. Being pressed for facts he said that while lying on his bed he saw the apparition of Mrs. Zufall enter his room; that she moved swiftly and silently across the floor, stopped directly in front of his bed and by motions and gesticulations imparted to him the fact that she had been foully murdered. He started up to speak to her, when, with a cry, she glided from the room, leaving him standing alone in the middle of the floor.
He also asserts that the Zufalls lived a cat-and-dog life, and that Mrs. Zufall was frequently beaten by her husband because she complained of his shiftless, indolent habits, and failure to properly provide for the family. All of this story is emphatically denied by her son and the neighbors who say that Mr. Zufall was always a quiet and peaceful neighbor.
The maker of the above affidavit is a character well known at Woodside and vicinity. He said he was born about sixty years ago in the North of Ireland and he inherits to a remarkable degree the superstitions of his ancestor.
Mrs. Zufall was also of Irish parentage, and her marriage to Louis Zufall about fifteen years ago was at the time and has always remained a subject of much adverse comment on the part of Cantin; and he has availed himself of every opportunity to publicly express his sympathy for Bridget, and to declare that no good would every come of an alliance between a foine Irish lass with the blood of Irish Kings in her veins an' the loikes of that Dutchman. Coroner Haslam, when seen tonight said he did not place much confidence in Cantin's story.