Psychic Epilepsy


Girl Who Was Acquitted Last Summer of Murdering William Nafus Claims She Was Seized at Her Home by Two Men, Who Threatened to Throw Her Off the Sanish Bridge

Minot, N.D., Dec 28—An attempt to kidnap and slay Mrs. Alice Catherine Holst Hardick of Sanish, who last summer was acquitted of a charge of murdering William Nafus in that village, today is under further investigation by Sheriff S. A. Warren of Stanley.

That the kidnaping {sp} was an unsuccessful attempt to keep the gurl in custody while they threatened to throw her off a high bridge in Sanish into the Missouri river, made by assassins hired by friends of the slain man, is the belief of the Mountrail county sheriff, he said today.

Two men, who came to her home and seized her when she opened a door leading into a shed, stuffed a mitten into her mouth, threw a coat over her head and put her in an automobile, the woman told the sheriff.

One of the men proposed that she be bound and left in the house and the dwelling be set afire, but the other argued that it would be better to take her onto the bridge and drop her a few hundred feet into open water beneath, Mrs. Hardick further asserted.

Manages to Break Away

Fighting desperately, Mrs. Hardick said, she succeeded in breaking loose from the man who was sitting in the back seat of their automobile with her, and she fled to the down town section of Sanish, where she told of the attempt which had been made to take her life.

During three days of investigation, Sheriff Warren has interrogated a number of friends of Nafus, and gave the principal grilling to two Indians, who, however, were not retained in custody.

Gets Threatening Note

That the abduction attempt was conceived by friends of the slain youth who were dissatisfied with the verdict of acquittal returned by the jury who tried the girl on a charge of first degree murder was definitely decided upon bu the sheriff when he learned that last November 19 she had received a note through the mails saying:

"You better leave the country, or you will get just what you gave."

Enclosed with the note was a newspaper clipping telling of her marriage to Hardick, a barber, who was a witness in her behalf at the murder trial. The note was not signed.

In acquitting Miss Holst on a charge of murdering Nafus, whose home was at Van Hook, but who was residing at Sanish at the time he was killed, the jury found that the girl was insane at the time of the shooting.

She had gone into a Sanish pool hall, where Nafus was loitering, and, calling him to the front of the room, she fired a shot from a pistol which killed him almost instantly.

Had Psychic Epilepsy

Testimony introduced at the trial by the defense was to the effect that she was afflicted by psychic epilepsy, a disease which, her expert medical witness said, often times renders the victim devoid of their senses and makes them unable to distinguish between right and wrong. The girl testified that she could not recall having killed Nafus, and also said she could not remember a number of incidents linked with the case which occurred subsequent to, until about two or three days later.

Bismarck Tribune, 12-28-1927

Alice Holst, Youthful N.D. Slayer, Victim of Attempted Kidnapping; Eludes Captors

Stanley, N.D., Dec. 27(UP)—What is believed to have been an attempt to kidnap and murder Alice Holst Hardick, who was freed of a charg {sp} if murder a little more than a year ago, was revealed by authorities today.

Although the attempt to abduct Mrs. Hardick was made late Friday, it was not officially known until today.

Two masked men entered the Hardick home last Friday night, seized the woman and dragged her to a waiting auto. Two handkerchiefs were stuffed down her throat and a muffler was tied over her mouth.

Mrs. Hardick struggled so violently with her captors that they asked the driver of the machine to stop while they bound her arms and legs. When the car door was opened Mrs. Hardick said she broke away from the men and fled to a nearby house. The machine was driven swiftly away.

Mrs. Hardick fell prostrate on the porch of the Frank Nellson home. After the gag was removd {sp} she related her story.

Mrs. Hardick as Alice Holst was freed on a charge of murder by a jury which found her insane at the time she shot Willie Nafus at Sanish, N.D. Nafus had assaulted the girl in an abandoned schoolhouse and afterwards bragged of it to the girl's sweetheart. She killed him, was found insane by a jury, and then paroled into the custody of her parents.

Moorhead Daily News, 12-27-1927

Christmas 1940s

Posted 12/22/2012