Parricide at Carlisle

On Wednesday eveing Dr. Charles Zitzer, of Carlisle, was killed by his son. It seems that the murdered man was of very intemperate habits and his family had notified the liquor dealers of the place not to give him anything to drink under penalty of prosecution. ON the day named he became intoxicated and upon going home he quarreled with his wife and son for the action they had taken in his case. During the controversy the young man struck his father in the forehead with an iron pestle, causing such injuries as to result in his death several hours afterwards.

Young Zitzer was arrested and committed to jail to await a further hearing.

We were informed this morning the the cornoer's inquest had rendered a verdict; "That the deceased came to his death by being struck by the son with an iron pestle, in defense of his mother."1

[Note: the article below is the follow-up to this story]

The Carlisle Murder Case

The Carlisle Herald says: The trial of Albert Zitzer for the murder of his father, Dr. Chrles P. Zitzer, took place last week before Judge Junkin. A. B. Sharpe and W. F. Sadler, Esqs., conducte  the prosecution; C. F. Maglaughlin, Esq., was counsel for the prisoner. The jury was charged and withdrew on Friday evening, and on Monday night  at half past ten o'clock brought in a verdict of "guilty of manslaughter," with a recommendation to the mercy of the court.

It appears that about 7 o'clock on the evening of January 25th, Albert Zitzer, the accused, being slightly intoxicated, went to the brewery of Mr. Krause and called for a quart of beer. Mr. Krause. having received instructions from Albert's parents not to furnish their son any beer, refused to give him any. Albert denied that his parents had given any instructions concerning him, and in order to solve the difficulty, Mr. Krause agreed to go with him to his father's office.

Dr. and Mrs. Zitzer were in the office when they arrived, and Mrs. Zitzer, when asked whether she had given directions to Mr. Krause not to furnish his son with any liquor, immediately replied that she had, and that if everybody would act as well as Mr. Krause did, Albert would be a different boy. Dr. Zitzer then began cursing his wife and son, and pulling off is overcoat, rushed on Albert and closed withi him in conflict. Mr. Krause,with the assistance of Mr. Bixler, who happened to be inthe office, succeeding in separating the combatants and cinducted the Doctor fromthe room.

A few minutes later they again came together and were again separated. A few minutes after this Albert was in the dining room showing some friends how his father had shoved the chairs around in the office; his father was attracted by the noise and came in with an iron pestle in his hand, and cursing Albert drove him through the entry into the office. The boy got behind the counter, and whilst his father was menacing him  with an iron pestle, he seized a mortat and struck him on the upper left part of the forehead.

Two short cuts were made in the skin, but the skull was not fractured. The doctor was not felled by the blow, but shortly afterwards became sick, and died on Wednesday, February 5th, one week after the above recited occurence. Albert is 16 years of age, and about five feet ten inches in height. It was in evidence that on the afternoon of the day on which the difficulty occurred, Dr. Zitzer took Albert to a barrel of cider, mixed with gin, which he had in the house, and disregarding the protests of Mrs. Zitzer, gave him five glasses full of it.

The counsel for the prisoner tried to show, firstly: that Dr. Zitzer did not die from the blow he received from his son, but from other and extraneouscauses. Secondly: that the blow which his son gave was in sselfdefense; this point if proved, would make the deed an excusable homicide. Thirdly: that Dr. Zitzer had willfully given his young son strong drink, and in consequence was alone chargeable with the results of his son's conduct.

Four doctors attended Dr. Zitzer during his sickness. Three fo these gave their opinion that he died from the effects of the blow he had received on his head but that his constitution had previously been very much shattered; the fourth gave his opinoin that the blow was not the cause of death, but that the doctor's health impaired by hard drink and exposure, had gradually and naturally declined. and that the blw had not appreciably hastened the event.2

  • 1. Juniata Sentinel, 2/12/1873
  • 2. Juniata Sentinel, 4/30/1873