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This week’s Time Capsule looks at a murder trial, Lockheed’s C5A and a house explosion.

100 years ago ...

The Thursday, Oct. 13, 1921, edition of The Marietta Daily Journal reported on the much anticipated Cobb Superior Court murder trial of J.S. Peek, which took two entire days the week before and resulted in a guilty verdict with the recommendation for mercy, and a life sentence imposed by the court.

In April 1921, Jewett S. Peek, a well-known Cobb County farmer living four miles west of Roswell, was reported as becoming “mentally unbalanced,” shooting and instantly killing his wife and wounding himself. He was also said to have forced his two children, his sister-in-law and her two children into an automobile and drove them 20 miles through “the biting cold” to Atlanta where he surrendered to police.

Peek claimed that the shooting of his wife was “purely an accident brought about by (her) interference when he attempted to shoot himself.”

Prior to the shooting of his wife, Peek was reported in the March 11, 1921, paper as being “mentally unbalanced,” arming himself with a Winchester rifle and two revolvers before shooting at everyone who came in sight.

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The Marietta Civitan Club was reported as being organized the Tuesday before at a meeting of local business men and merchants at the Dew Drop Inn.

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The front page also carried a large photograph of the prize winners at the Cobb County Club Fair. County Agent E.O. McMahan was pictured with all of the children, grand champion pig prize winner J. Loyd Blackwell and his six-month-old grand champion, Blackwell’s Giantess.

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Grady Greene, 27, who lived about seven miles from Marietta, was reported as having a serious accident the Friday before. While working with the Bloodworth saw mill at the Marietta Campground, Greene came into close contact with the main circular saw and almost severed one of his legs.

75 years ago ...

Two prisoners were reported in the Sunday, Oct. 13, 1946, paper as having escaped from the Cobb County Farm.

Earl Tucker, 23, who had accrued two years on a seven year sentence for larceny, escaped for the third time. He was once returned to Cobb County from California.

Walter Martin, 44, of Marietta was on his second escape while serving a two- to 12-month sentence for drunkenness.

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The Tuesday, Oct. 15, 1946, paper reported that 18 years of perfect driving were broken the day before for a Smyrna school bus driver, when he rammed the front of a brand new bus into a passing truck at the Concord Road-Access Highway intersection. While several children were onboard, none were injured. The truck driver and his three passengers also escaped injury.

50 years ago ...

The Air Force was reported in the Thursday, Oct. 7, 1971, paper as announcing that morning that 29 of the 41 Lockheed C5A aircraft be grounded due to a structural weakness that caused an engine to fall off one of the giant aircraft the week before at Altus Air Force Base in Oklahoma. The engine broke off the wing section of the giant cargo jet as the pilot taxied down the runway and applied full power at the base on Sept. 29, 1971.

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The Monday, Oct. 11, 1971, paper reported that a rural farm home near Cartersville blew up early that day, killing five members of one family. Two survivors were taken to the hospital.

The badly burned bodies of the victims were found in different locations in the ruins of the home. Two of the children’s bodies were found by rescuers on a side porch and one was found in the backyard. The mother’s body was discovered in the kitchen, under debris. One mortally injured person was found by neighbors in the front of the home. He died in transport to the hospital.

Neighbors reported hearing three explosions and seeing a fire at the home. Authorities believed the first explosion, which was heard in Cartersville three miles away, was caused by gas.

One neighbor said that the explosion blew the home apart, scattering wreckage over a wide area, and damaging other homes nearby. The plate glass window of one home, some 250 yards away, was shattered.

Damon Poirier is the Newsroom Administrator and Historian for the Marietta Daily Journal.

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