5. The Murder Of The Hughes Family
On December 8, 1904, the small town of Trenton, South Carolina, woke up to the horrific news that the local Hughes family had been murdered by an axman. The Decatur Daily Review of Decatur, Illinois, reported that the entire Hughes family died in their sleep.
The crime was discovered by the Hugheses’ neighbors, who, on December 8, found the family’s home ablaze. After the fire calmed down, searchers found the body of 42-year-old Benjamin Hughes, 42-year-old Eva Hughes (Benjamin’s wife), 19-year-old Emma, and 14-year-old Hattie. All had died in their sleep, with their heads crushed completely by the blunt side of an ax.
More disturbing still was the evidence recovered at the scene that the murderer had molested Hattie’s corpse after the crime. This was another of the Man from the Train’s calling cards. His sexual desire for prepubescent girls frequently saw him rape or sexually assault corpses postmortem.