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|Reverend George Kelly, the son of a minister, was born in England in 1878 and moved with his wife Laura to the United States in 1904. Known as the "little minister" because of his small frame (5' 2", 119 lbs), Reverend Kelly was considered a confident, well-versed, and articulate speaker. Beyond the pulpit, however, he had a nervous demeanor, shifty eyes, and often spoke so quickly that saliva would dribble down his chin. Between 1904 and 1912 he preached throughout the Midwest and in May 1912 the couple relocated to Macedonia, Iowa. On the night of June 9th of that same year, he attended Childrens Day excercises in Villisca, Iowa's Presbyterian church as a guest. Kelly spent the night with the Reverend Ewing family and left the next morning on the 5:19 a.m. train bound for his home. In 1917 he was indicted and charged with the June 10, 1912 murder of one of the eight victims: Lena Stillinger. By this time it was known that Kelly had been convicted of sending obscene letters asking young girls to type in the nude for him, that he was a window peeper, that he had sent a bloody shirt to an Omaha laundry anonymously, and that he was obsessed with the brutal murders. An elderly couple who met him on the train in 1912 also claimed he told them of the murders before the crime had been discovered. Lena Stillinger's body had been moved and her near naked body viewed by the killer. Authorities suspected the crime had a sexual motive. Kelly confessed twice to the killings while in custody, but recanted before the trial began. The first jury was hung and a second acquitted him. He later moved to Kansas City, Connecticut, and New York City. The remaining years of his life and his final resting place remain a mystery.|
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