51422Re: [TexasCzechs] Re: Murder of Joe Stefka's wife and child, 1905
- May 3, 2010Kathleen,
What I would do with this info if I were you would be to write or go to the Lavaca Co. courthouse and ask for the court records and read them. Obviously, there must have been something in the court records that would explain what info got him acquitted. Its always better to have the full story. Believe me, it can either support or change the way you feel about the criminal case. We have one of these serious criminal cases in our family involving one of my g-grandfathers. The family story passed down about why it happened (it was also a murder) turned out to be completely different from the actual court testimony. I'm not suggesting that what your family passed down in the Stefka case wasn't correct, but its always more interesting to read the whole court case and not just rely on family lore or the newspaper stories-- both of which are always very one-sided. Maybe for a fee, the Lavaca court has someone who can copy the court cases and send them to you. In my case, I'm still trying to get a copy of the case of my g-grandfather. I went to DeWitt Co courthouse in Cuero and they mysterously "lost" or "misplaced" the court case I was looking for...even though the County Clerk at the time had found it beforehand and asked if I wanted her to copy it for me. I said no because I was going to TX and would be in Cuero to do other research. I had people in several offices looking for that court case when we were there and they never found it. The case was heard in 1919 through 1921 so it wasn't as if someone was protecting our family who were all long gone. Interesting, huh?
Matt, thank you so much for sharing this. I ahave been searching for years to find out what happened to Fannie Dusek Stefka and all I had until now was the Dusek family stories handed down. I wish my grandmother and mother could have seen this so at least they would have had some closure. This was their close aunt and uncle. The Dusek family always said that Joe Stefka did it and it appears from the newspaper story that he did indeed do "it". What a horrible tragedy to hand down in a family. No wonder they rarely spoke of it. As glad as I am that this story surfaced, it is still like a kick to the solar plexis.
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