No. 526
Crime, Eccentricity, and the Sporting Life in 19th Century America.
June 21, 2021

A Hidden Skeleton.

Barton Russel and his wife discover the skeleton of missing Charlie Young near Moorsburg, Hawkins Co
October 26, 2015
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"Louisville Courier-Journal," May 8, 1881, via Newspapers.comWhen I started this blog, I hoped to focus on the smaller, obscure stories from the past--the long-forgotten bits of random oddities that, when taken together, show just what a strange world we live in.  In short, the "uncommon" is really quite commonplace.One such story is the death of one otherwise completely unmemorable young man. 
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A Hidden Skeleton.

A Horrible Find

A Horrible Find.

Barton Russel and his wife discover the skeleton of missing Charlie Young near Moorsburg, Hawkins Co., Tennessee. [more]

Late on Saturday week evening Barton Russel and his wife were digging for ginseng on Flatgap Road, a mile from the village of Mooresburg, Hawkins County, Tenn., when they discovered the Skelton of a boy lying hidden under the brush wood on the road. A report of the terrible discover brought a crowd to the spot on the following day, when it was ascertained that the body was that of Charlie Young, aged sixteen years, who had left Mooresburg a few weeks previously and who had been missing from his home since that time. It was evident that the lad had been murdered on his way from his aunt’s home at Mooresburg to visit an uncle who lived across Clinch Mountain. Suspicion at once was directed to a man named Marcellus Bunch, who had been heard to say that he would hang or be sent to the penitentiary if something that had happened was ever known.

It was ascertained that Bunch had been trying to sell a coat and a pair of shoes which were subsequently found on his premises and have been identified as belonging to the murdered boy. The hat which Bunch wore was also identified as Young’s. On those proofs of suspicion Bunch was arrested and is now in jail.

Young had no money about him, and the motive for the murder is therefore yet a mystery.


Reprinted from National Police Gazette, November 6, 1886.