Actions
Begin New Search
Refine Last Search
Cemetery Lookup
Add Burial Records
Help with Find A Grave

Find all Drenths in:
 • White Gate Cemetery
 • Moundsville
 • Marshall County
 • West Virginia
 • Find A Grave

Top Contributors
Success Stories
Discussion Forums
Find A Grave Store

Log In
Sponsor This Memorial!
Herman Drenth
Learn about upgrading this memorial...
Birth: Nov. 17, 1897
Death: Mar. 18, 1932
Moundsville
Marshall County
West Virginia, USA

Traveling salesman, store keeper, and serial killer, aka Cornelius O. Pierson. Born as Herman Drenth in Beerta, Groningen Province, Holland, and later immigrated to the United States. He was best known under his last alias Harry F. Powers. He became West Virginia's most notorious serial killer, and operated a "murder farm" at his residence near Quiet Dell in Harrison County during the late 1920s and early 1930s. He was known at the time as the "Bluebeard of Quiet Dell." At his home were discovered the buried bodies of two women and three children. The victims were identified as Aster Eicher and her three children from Park Ridge, Illinios, and Dorothy Lemke from Northboro, Massachusetts. He lured his prey by writing lonely hearts letters (via matrimonial correspondence agencies) to unsuspecting women. Drenth was a grocery store proprietor in the Broad Oaks section of Clarksburg and also worked at a carpet company. He explained his many instances away from home to his wife as mere "business trips." His trial gained state and national media exposure and became quite a spectacle. It was held in a specially constructed courtroom in the old Moore's Opera House in Clarksburg. Although suspected of many more such crimes, he maintained his innocence in the courtroom. Nevertheless, there were claims by prison guards that he had confessed to the five murders as well as the killing of salesman Dudly C. White in 1928. He constructed an underground chamber near his garage. There he would throw his widowed victims. Occasionally he would send down into the chamber a bucket where the women would sign checks withdrawing money from their bank accounts. He bound and gassed his victims and watched as they died. When questioned by local police about the many unexplained women's items found in his home, he clammed up, muttering only "You've got me on five, what good would fifty more do?" He was found guilty of the murders, and sentenced to death. He was executed (via hanging) in the West Virginia Penitentiary at Moundsville on March 18, 1932. He was buried in Whitegate (Penitentiary) Cemetery, Tom's Run, near Moundsville.
 
 
Burial:
White Gate Cemetery
Moundsville
Marshall County
West Virginia, USA
 
Created by: Steven Corley
Record added: Sep 17, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 15778889
Herman Drenth
Added by: Spydergal 2011
 
Herman Drenth
Added by: Harry
 
Herman Drenth
Added by: Steven Corley
 
 
There is 1 more photo not showing...
Click here to view all images...
Photos may be scaled.
Click on image for full size.


- Lance
 Added: Nov. 9, 2012
The Night of the Hunter's Harry Powell is based off of him.
- gordonphilbin
 Added: May. 4, 2012

- Earth Visitor
 Added: Sep. 25, 2011
There are 2 more notes not showing...
Click here to view all notes...
 
 
 Advertisement

Privacy Statement and Terms of Service