The Day Frank Larkin Tried to Kill His Wife

I came across this article while looking for information about Edgar Cushman.  The article ends with a brief description of Larkin’s career (including the fact that he played under the name Terry Larkin), but the main part of the article is pretty crazy.  I found it in the Buffalo Commercial, but it was reprinting a story it got on the wire from the New York Sun.


A Base-Ball Player’s Attempts at Murder and Suicide.


(New York Sun)

Frank Larkin, a member of the Baltimore base ball club, shot his wife, Margaret, yesterday afternoon in Williamsburgh, and when policeman Timothy Phelan was forcing an entrance into hsi room he shot him also. Then he cut his own throat. Larkin lived in the second story of the tenement 230 North Eighth street. His father and mother occupy apartments in the same house. The ball merely furrowed the policeman’s cheek, but the wounds Larkin inflicted on his wife and himself are considered dangerous. He shot his wife in the mouth, the ball causing a compound fracture of the jaw. Larkin has been on a spree for five weeks. Last Saturday night he chased his father from the house, threatening to shoot him. His father, fearing he would put his threat into execution, caused his arrest. Phelen, the same policeman whom he shot, arrested him. He was locked up all night in the Fourth-street police station, but he was discharged from custody the next day, his father refusing to press the complaint.

Phelen met Larkin yesterday morning and counselled him to stop drinking. Larkin promised he would, as he intended to start for Baltimore at four o’clock in the afternoon.

“I don’t know what made me worry about the fellow,” said Phelan last evening, “but I had a dread that he would do something, and I kept a watch over him. I would have liked to get a pretext to arrest him, but I could get none. During the afternoon I heard that he had followed his wife to a friend’s house and ordered her home at the point of a revolver, saying that he would shoot her if she did not go home. As soon as I heard that I went to his house, and hearing voices, I sent word to the station for help. Michael Kennedy came. While we were standing at the door and I was explaining to him why I sent for him, we were startled by two pistol shots. We rushed upstairs. As I tried to open the door a ball came through it. This was followed by three others, the last one striking me in the cheek. Then we got a sofa which was in the hall, and used it as a battering-ram. As the door fell in I saw Larkin drop to the floor, covered in blood. He held this razor in his hand. Kennedy bent over him while I went to Mrs. Larkin, who was leaning against a window. Her clothing was discolored with blood. Almost every article in the room was overturned, broken and bloody. The poor woman, when she saw me, said, ‘Oh, I thought he killed you.’ She then told me that after he had driven her home he locked the door and quarrelled {sic} with her. Finally he shot her, and then he stood over her with the pistol. ‘I dared not move,’ she said,’because if he had thought me alive he would have shot again.’

“At this time he heard us at the door , and turning from his wife, discharged the remaining four shots that were in his revolver at us. When he had done so he took the razor from his pocket, and, just as we pushed the door in, drew it across his throat. I supported him to the police station, where his and my wounds were dressed.”

Policeman Kennedy remained with Mrs. Larkin. A physician residing in the neighborhood extracted the ball and dressed her wound. Larkin, when his wounds were dressed, was placed in an ambulance, and his wife was placed in it at his side. They were taken to St. Cathrerine’s Hospital.

Larkin and his wife were dispossessed from their rooms on Monday for non-payment of rent, but he carried his goods back into the place. This ejectment irritated the already rum-crazed man. His wife, to whom he has been married only a short time, bears an excellent character. A week ago Larkin threatened to shoot a storekeeper. Other persons with whom he quarrelled {sic} while on his spree say that he flourished a pistol and threatened to use it.

Larkin is one of the best known ball-players in America. He is often called Terry Larkin. At one time he pitched for the Chicago club; but he was forced to retire, as his arm gave out. In 1881 he played with the Atlantic club of Brooklyn. Last season he played a fine game with the Metropolitan club of this city. When manager Barnie of last year’s Atlantic club took charge of the Baltimore club for this season, Larkin was the first man to be engaged, but he has not yet played with the club. It is laid to his absence that the club has lost so many games this season. Larkin wrote Mr. Barnie recently that he would join the club in time to open the championship season, which will begin next week.

The Buffalo Commercial, 26 April 1883, Page 2.


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