Juan Ignacio Blanco  


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Louis H. F. WAGNER




This widely distributed photograph is presumed to be of Louis Wagner, convicted of murdering two women on Smuttynose Island in 1873. He was found guilty and hanged on June 25, 1875. Wagner, one of the last five men executed before capital punishment was abolished in Maine, protested that he was innocent to the end. Hoping for a reprieve he met Maine Governor Nelson Dingley and asked him, "Do I look like a man who would commit such a crime?" The governor responded, "You look to me like a man that got himself into a corner and murdered his way out."
(Photo courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum)



The Hontvet House on Smuttynose Island (previously the Johnson House or the "red house") where the murder of Anethe and Karen Christensen took place on March 6, 1873. Maren escaped from the bottom floor window on the right. Louis Wagner lived for a time in the workshop area on the left half of the house. The house burned in 1885.
(Photo use courtesy Portsmouth Library)



The murder weapon used in the 1873 attack on two women at Smuttynose Island, Maine is currently archived at the Portsmouth Athenaeum. It was presented to the private library in 1997. The handle was broken during the attack.



Presumed photo of Maren Hontvet, the only survivor of the Smuttynose murders
who identified Louis Wagner as the killer by her testimony.

(Photo use courtesy Portsmouth Library)



Terrible Tragedy at the Isles of Shoals

Portsmouth Daily Evening Times

March 6, 1873




Louis Wagner on Trial


The man in the middle of the three in the carriage is reported to be Louis Wagner,
although no documentation has yet been discovered. (Courtesy Portsmouth Athenaeum)



Graves of Smuttynose Victims


Tombstones of the two women murdered at Smuttynose Island located in South Cemetery
off Sagamore Road in Portsmouth, NH. The inscriptions read:

Anethe Matea
Wife of Ivan Christensen
Born in Norway
October 1, 1847
Died March 6, 1873

Karen Anne Christensen
Born in Norway
June 13, 1833
Died March 6, 1873

(Photo by Maryellen Burke)


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