Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Haunted Crime Scenes: The Murder of Samuel T. Baker

Another Late Night

After another late night at the office, Samuel deposited his paycheck into an account at his firm and withdrew one dollar in cash. He spoke briefly with his son-in-law, E.M. Hopkins, who also worked at John Lynes & Company, and told him he had a few errands to run before heading home.

Colonial Park Cemetery
Colonial Park Cemetery
Sometime after 11:00 p.m., Samuel and his son-in-law left their office, which sat just north of Colonial Park Cemetery. Samuel locked the office door and slid the keys into his pocket. The two men said goodbye and went their separate ways.

Near his office, Samuel passed a fruit stand. He spoke briefly with the fruit vendor and mentioned that he was going to stop and get a shave on his way home. Because so many people worked such long hours, town merchantsmany of whom lived above their shopsalso kept long hours.

On East Broughton Street, Samuel stopped in at Gayou's Barbershop. After his shave, he bought a bottle of whiskey to give to a sick friend.

In 1901, the medical "profession" was hardly a profession at all. A college education wasn't required to enroll in medical school. Viruses had yet to be discovered. Antibiotics to fight bacterial and fungal infections were still three decades away. When their patients felt bad, doctors often prescribed whiskey.

With his friend's whiskey bottle in hand and 72 cents left in his pocket, Samuel shuffled north on Lincoln Street, his wooden canea permanent reminder of the war he'd fought nearly 40 years beforeclacking against the sidewalk with each step.

Fifteen blocks separated Gayou's Barbershop on East Broughton Street and Samuel Baker's home at 416 East Charlton St. Between them sat the cemetery.

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