Media Accounts and the Coroner's Inquest
Cleveland's African-American Community
by Mary Demmy
On April 17, 1912, Louis Hallick murdered his girlfriend, Inez Williams, and shot himself. This paper will look into the murder-suicide in order to paint a portrait of the lives of Williams' acquaintances at the time of her death, glean some information about their lives and to place it in a historical context. What is possible to learn from the lives of this particular cast of characters? What insights can they give into their times and how does this particular domestic tragedy fit into the homicide trends that are addressed in Roger Lane's book Murder in America? The paper will discuss what primary sources can reveal about the witnesses at the Inez Williams' inquest. In addition, this paper will explore other source materials and what they can reveal about life in Cleveland's African-American community in 1912. Finally, the homicide will be analyzed as it relates to national homicide trends.