The Heritage Corner, Springhill Record

October 26th, 2011

Murders Wife, Commits suicide Part 1

Oct. 28, 1943 – Springhill Record
Variety of Canned Goods has been increased

Canadians are to get a larger variety of canned goods this winter than at first was anticipated as a result of a new order issued by the Wartime Prices and Trade Board, Ottawa.

     Eight items, in addition to all imported fruits and vegetables have been added to the commodities which may be packed in metal containers.

     Under the new order apple pie filler, fruits for salads, mushrooms, sauerkraut, mincemeat, pea soup, pork and beans and spaghetti are added to the list.

Springhill Record – Nov. 5, 1943

    With her head crushed in from a blow with a dull instrument Mrs. Watson Campbell of Williamsdale, was found by Ivan Buchanan, Chief of the Springhill Police Force, and a group of workmen, in the woodshed of her home about 1:15 p.m. Monday, after a two search of the surrounding woods by neighbors under the direction of Corporal Gates, R.C.M.P., and some 80 members of the North Nova Scotia Reserve Battalion from Springhill, Amherst, Oxford and Collingwood working under the direction of Lt.- Col. A.G. McLellan, E.D., who was given excellent co-operation by Lt. Elmer Bragg, of Collingwood, a member of the unit and other officers including Lt. George C. Burden, Lt. Ian Price of Springhill; Major J.M. Pipe and Major A.W. Ripley, Capt. C.M. Frazee, Lt. H.R. Steel, Lt. Norman Embree of Amherst; Capt. R.D. Russell and Lt. Percy Swan of Oxford.

     The body was located by Chief Buchanan, shortly after he had volunteered his services to assist Cpl. Gates, R.C.M.P.

Husband Commits Suicide

     A few minutes before he finally discovered the body, buried only under a few inches of earth and covered by a woodpile, the Chief was called to the house where he was informed the husband, Watson Campbell, had eaten a few minutes earlier but could not be located.  Searching the upstairs the Chief could not locate the missing husband. As he returned downstairs he discovered he had overlooked the storeroom over the kitchen.  Returning alone he had barely reached the top of the stairs when he heard sounds from the store room and found the husband lying on the floor and blood pouring from his throat which he had apparently cut with what looked like a homemade kitchen knife.

     Returning downstairs the Chief called for Col. McLellan and together they returned to the upstair room.  With his throat cut but the jugular vein untouched and faint from loss of blood which had been running through the floor into the room below, Watson Campbell was unable to answer when the Chief asked him if he had buried his wife in the woodshed, but according to Chief Buchanan and Cpl. McLellan, he nodded his head in agreement.

Hurries to Woodshed

     Leaving the victim in charge of Col. McLellan, Chief Buchanan hurried back to the woodshed and continued probing until finally he struck loose earth, which when pulled back, revealed the body of the missing woman, covered only by a few inches of earth.

Calls for Doctor

On the arrival a few minutes later of Cpl. Gates, R.C.M.P., who had been directing another search party, Cpl. McLellan left to get a doctor.

Gets Confession

     Asked by the Corporal if he had killed his wife and buried her in the woodshed, Campbell nodded his head in assent, unable to speak because of the severe wound in his throat.

Neighbors Surprised

     Neighbors for miles around joined in the search for two days and were deeply shocked over the double tragedy.  No theory could be advanced for the shocking crime.  As far as the neighbors knew the couple had lived a normal and happy life together.

Missing Saturday Afternoon

Mrs. Watson’s disappearance became known Saturday afternoon but no alarm was felt by her daughters until darkness began to fall and she had failed to put in an appearance.

We will continue with this murder – suicide story next week.