Love and Paris Green

The horrible Benson county murder case may be tried at Devils Lake. Mrs. Hans Sogge and Mrs. Elmer Jones are charged with the crime. A baby was born to Betsy Sogge in an outhouse and was dumped into the vault to perish at the advice of the grandmother of the illegitimate child, it is charged, and with the knowledge of the man who afterwards married the child's mother.

Ward County Independent, 12/31/1914




Hans Sogge Cried, "Hell, It Is Not a Cat," at Scene of Crime.

Cando, N. D., March 29.—The prosecution reinforced its case in the Benson county child-murder action this afternoon which Car. A. Anderson, an unsophisticated farm laborer, who was employed on the Hans Sogge farm last fall, told his story under oath in the trial of Mrs. Betsy Jones, Elmer Jones, and Mrs. Hans Sogge.

For the first time since the trial opened the inference was made that Hans Sogge was responsible for starting the criminal prosecution. Anderson recited the details of a drunken brawl at the Hans Sogge home on October 17, in which he and Sogge participated, among others.

Sunday he tried to sober up and Monday Sogge drove him from the place. On the day of the alleged murder, he was at the Harold Sogge farm and saw Mrs. Sogge and Betsy Jones enter the outhouse frequently. During the evening his suspicion was aroused and with Harold Sogge he went to the closet.

Not A Cat.

"Hell, it's not a cat," said young Sogge, looking into the vault. "let's go back."

Anderson testified, however, that he saw nothing himself. Later in the evening he said he heard cries like the noise of a cat or child dying. In driving to Minnewaukan the next day, Mrs. Sogge was worried, saying that Hans Sogge and the sheriff were trying to have Betsy examined. Mrs. Sogge expressed a desire that Elmer Jones and Betsy get married at once. The next day Jones and the girl left the place. Anderson's story was not altered by the partial cross examination which will be completed in the morning.

Bismarck Tribune, 3/30/1915

Child Murderers Found Guilty of Manslaughter; Two May Get Five Years


Cando, N.D. April 3—Elmer Jones, Mrs. Jane Sogge and Betsy Jones were found guilty at 12:30 this evening after the jury had been out for four hours. The jury found the following verdicts:

Elmer Jones and Mrs. Hans Sogge guilty of manslaughter in the first degree, and jury recommended a penitentiary sentence of five years each.

Betsy Jones, the child mother, guilty of manslaughter in the second degree, and a jail sentence of one year recommended, after which the girl to be sent to the Florence Crittenden {sp} home at Fargo.

Interest Was Intense.

The town of Cando stayed up this evening to hear the verdict. Interest has been intense since the trial opened here nearly a week ago. State's Attorney Burke received congratulations from all sides for the manner in which he conducted the case. Convictions in such cases are rare.

Sentenced this Week.

Judge C. W. Buttz will pronounce sentence sometime this week. It is not known whether he will follow the recommendations of the jury.

The child mother who never saw her child had the sympathy of the court spectators from the first. Everyone felt that she was more sinned against than the sinning. Just a slip of a girl of sixteen years, she told a tale of illicit love and experience, seldom the lot of a child of her tender years.

Cloud of Infanticide.

With the cloud of infanticide over her, she took as a husband Elmer Jones who ruined and debauched her at an age when children are usually learning to read and write. Her whole life has been spent amidst drunken brawls and in a home which knew no standard of morals nor followed any rules of morality.

Tears In Eyes of Spectators.

Tears came to the eyes of many as this girl stood before the bar of justice and heard the verdict of guilty fall from the trembling lips of the foreman.

The faces of others blanched as the jury meted out to them the sterner punishment. They were all led away to the jail to await formal pronouncement of the sentence this week.

Most Revolting Crime.

The murder was one of the most revolting in the criminal annals of the state. On October 17, 1914, Betsy Jones, a daughter of Mrs. Hans Sogge, was taken to an outhouse and there gave birth to a child, she had been driven from home with her mother, brothers and sister by a father crazed with drink.

This happened repeatedly during her delicate condition.

Awful Climax

The came the awful climax in her life.

Soon after the new born infant had been killed through abandonment under the most gruesome and awful conditions, Betsy, her mother and husband, who married the girl soon after the child's birth, were arrested and charged with murder in the first degree.

The were confined in separate cells in the Benson county jail at Minnewukan and made confessions which were read into the record by the sheriff of that county.

Bismarck Tribune, 4/4/1915

Buttons and Bangs

Posted 07/09/2016