8. The Trenton Corners Murders
Trenton Corners, New Jersey, no longer exists. However, in 1900, Trenton Corners was a small town in Central New Jersey that was half-white and half-black. On November 17, 1900, an awful discovery was made—the entire Van Lieu family had been murdered by someone wielding the blunt side of an ax. The Van Lieu house was just 5 kilometers (3 mi) from Trenton Junction, the nearest train stop.
For the Mercer County authorities in 1900, the Van Lieu murders were an open-and-shut case. Local ruffian Bob Hensen was quickly arrested and charged with the crime. Hensen, who had prior convictions for larceny and assault, reportedly had a fight with the Van Lieu family on November 6 after he brought them a stolen chicken. On December 27, 1901, Hensen was executed by the state of New Jersey after just a five-day trial.
Unfortunately, this was not the last time that someone else was killed for the crimes committed by the Man from the Train.