Monday, August 6, 2018

Demented Man Who Killed His Wife Now Prays for Her Return, 1922

The Albemarle Press, Thursday, August 10, 1922

Lytle Prays for His Slain Wife to Return

Asheville, Aug. 6—Alternately praying and entreating his murdered wife to return to him, Joseph Lytle, aged 32, of Black Mountain, who stabbed his wife, Louise Lytle, to death Saturday afternoon, was brought to the Buncombe County jail today.

Everyone who has come in contact with Lytle believes he is demented, though the murder was one of the most brutal in the crime annals of the county.

Evidence adduced at the coroner’s hearing, and from neighbors indicates that the slain woman made a desperate fight for her life against a maniac armed with a large pocket knife and determined upon her destruction.

The body has 13 knife wounds, revealing how Lytle plunged his weapon again and again into the body of his wife, besides there are bruises about the body, indicating where Lytle beat the woman with his fists before the fatal onslaught with the knife.

Lytle had loved his wife and the three little children he made motherless by the act, neighbors attest, but his mind had been affected for many years, they state, and for the past few weeks matters had gone from bad to worse. He had requested relatives to put him in an insane asylum, they say.

It was some time after the slaying Saturday that Lytle began to realize his awful act. Then he talked of self-destruction, murmuring that he had nothing further to live for. Once he said he could see his wife in Heaven and she wanted him to join her. Precautions are being taken to prevent suicide in the jail in keeping materials away from the prisoner that could be used to end his life.

The slaying occurred about 10:30 p.m. Saturday at the Lytle home near Black Mountain. Attacked by her husband in the home, Mrs. Lytle had taken refuge in a woodshed in the rear of the house. Here she was caught by Lytle and stabbed. She again got away, ran into the home and hid in a closet, where her children found her dying.

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