Divine Command Leads to Death Before Vengeance

Lutheran Church (Image from http://www.parkersprairie.net)

KILLS WIFE AND CHILDREN

Minnesota Farmer Says He Received a Divine Command.

FERGUS FALLS, Minn., Feb. 4. — William Ruckheim, a farmer, aged thirty-five years, murdered his wife and four children and shot himself last night at Parkers prairie. He was found dying when his son went to the farm today. Ruckheim is believed to have been temporarily insane.

Saying that he had received a divine command to proceed to a certain graveyard, where he and his family were to exhume several bodies, using only their bare hands, partly explains the tragedy. Unless this command were carried out before Easter, Ruckheim said, he and his family would be dragged to death.

After examining the graveyard and finding that it would be impossible to perform the task on account of frozen ground Ruckheim said he killed his family to escape divine vengeance.

The Nebraska State Journal (Lincoln, Nebraska) Feb 5, 1910

1905 Effington, Otter Tail Co., MN - State Census

William Ruckheim, who was from Germany, wife Bertha, daughters Martha and Elza, and son, Albert. All are listed in the Minnesota death records index as dying on Feb. 4, 1910.

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