July 31, 1927
A terrible scene greeted the eyes of sisters Florence and Thelma Schuchart (ages 18 and 23, respectively) when they returned home to 158 W. 52nd Place from the beach about 4:30 p.m. today. There, in a pool of blood on the bedroom floor, lay their mother, Florence C. Schuchart , 44, stabbed to death by the man who lay next to her with a butcher knife clutched in his hand, John C. Bowers, 45. Bowers, most recently of the Fair Hotel, 525-1/2 S. Main Street, apparently cut his own throat. (The Times referred to Bowers as "a friend of Mrs. Schuchart" but given he’d just killed her, I think we’ll skip that locution.)
According to detectives, Schuchart had been dead longer than Bowers and based on the disarray and bloodstains throughout the house, she struggled mightily for her life. Family members said that Schuchart recently tried to cut off a relationship with Bowers of several months’ standing. Neighbors reported that Bowers, a traveling salesman who was reportedly "hard up and out of work," had previously threatened to shoot Schuchart.
A brief note addressed to Mary V. Busy of Riverside was found in a sealed envelope on the kitchen table. In it, Bowers declared his suicidal intentions.
Rest in peace, Florence C. Schuchart.