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Capt William Daniel Dietz

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Capt William Daniel Dietz

Birth
Georgia, USA
Death
28 Jan 1891 (aged 29–30)
San Francisco County, California, USA
Burial
San Francisco, San Francisco County, California, USA
Plot
OS, 6 PLOT 4
Memorial ID
3525067 View Source

San Francisco Call, Volume 69, Number 59, January 29, 1891, page 2, col 1-2: Joined in Life, United in Death. Surgeon Dietz Kills His Wife and Commits Suicide. "Take Good Care of Little Watty." Ghastly Work Accomplished With a Shotgun. Insanity Said to Have Been the Moving Cause – The Relations of the Couple Were the Happiest – None Witnessed the Awful Tragedy.

Alcatraz Island, occupied as the military prison of the Division of the Pacific, was the scene yesterday morning of the most horrible homicide that ever occurred in army circles on this Coast. Captain William D. Dietz, Post Surgeon, shot and killed his wife Ella, with a double-barreled shotgun and then ended his own life with the same weapon. If there was any other motive for the murder and suicide than temporary insanity it was not disclosed by the rigid inquiry so promptly made by the proper officials.

Captain Dietz was one of the most popular young officers in the army, and during the three years he has acted as Post Surgeon at Alcatraz he made many friends. Refined, intellectual and high accomplished he was at once a favorite with all he became associated with, both in military and civil life. His wife was an attractive young woman, and among her many accomplishments was that of being a superior musician. She also was a favorite among her acquaintances. Why then had the lives of this happy couple been so suddenly ended and in such a shocking manner?

While his wife slept placidly on Tuesday night, Dr. Dietz was actively engaged in administering to the wants of his patients on the island. Several times during the night he made the rounds at the hospital, and was last seen in that institution at 6:30 o'clock yesterday morning. Then he retired to his office and quarters on the pinnacle of the island. He remained in his office a few moments, passed through the parlors adjoining, and ascended to the two rooms above, occupied as sleeping apartments.

A Babe in His Cradle. Nestled in a cradle in a corner of the first room lay his three-year-old son, Watson. In the adjoining bed-room slept Mrs. Dietz. Exactly what occurred after his entrance will never be known. There were no witnesses to the tragic scenes that ensued and no suspicion even of them was entertained before the corpses were found cold in the embrace of death. The Chinese servant employed by Dr. Dietz prepared breakfast for the family at the usual hour yesterday morning, but waited until 11 o'clock and then went upstairs to awaken his master and mistress.

He knocked several times at their bedroom door, and receiving no answer, called Dr. Dietz by name. Becoming alarmed, the servant ran to Lieutenant Gallup and informed him of the circumstance. The officer hurried to the house and went upstairs. His raps and calls received no answer. Pushing open the door, a terrible scene … [quite graphic details of the wounds, and the convening of a jury for inquest. The jury, after due deliberation found that Ella was killed by her husband William, and William died by his own hand, with use of a shotgun].

… Telegrams were sent to the parents of the deceased in reference to the disposition of the remains. William D. Dietz was a native of Georgia, aged 30 years, a physician. The father of the deceased physician is a piano merchant in residing in New York City. Ella Dietz, aged 23, was the daughter of Lieutenant W.W. Tyler of the Thirteenth Infantry Regiment. It was while the regiment was serving in New Mexico four years ago that the young couple were married.

San Francisco Call, Volume 69, Number 59, January 29, 1891, page 2, col 1-2: Joined in Life, United in Death. Surgeon Dietz Kills His Wife and Commits Suicide. "Take Good Care of Little Watty." Ghastly Work Accomplished With a Shotgun. Insanity Said to Have Been the Moving Cause – The Relations of the Couple Were the Happiest – None Witnessed the Awful Tragedy.

Alcatraz Island, occupied as the military prison of the Division of the Pacific, was the scene yesterday morning of the most horrible homicide that ever occurred in army circles on this Coast. Captain William D. Dietz, Post Surgeon, shot and killed his wife Ella, with a double-barreled shotgun and then ended his own life with the same weapon. If there was any other motive for the murder and suicide than temporary insanity it was not disclosed by the rigid inquiry so promptly made by the proper officials.

Captain Dietz was one of the most popular young officers in the army, and during the three years he has acted as Post Surgeon at Alcatraz he made many friends. Refined, intellectual and high accomplished he was at once a favorite with all he became associated with, both in military and civil life. His wife was an attractive young woman, and among her many accomplishments was that of being a superior musician. She also was a favorite among her acquaintances. Why then had the lives of this happy couple been so suddenly ended and in such a shocking manner?

While his wife slept placidly on Tuesday night, Dr. Dietz was actively engaged in administering to the wants of his patients on the island. Several times during the night he made the rounds at the hospital, and was last seen in that institution at 6:30 o'clock yesterday morning. Then he retired to his office and quarters on the pinnacle of the island. He remained in his office a few moments, passed through the parlors adjoining, and ascended to the two rooms above, occupied as sleeping apartments.

A Babe in His Cradle. Nestled in a cradle in a corner of the first room lay his three-year-old son, Watson. In the adjoining bed-room slept Mrs. Dietz. Exactly what occurred after his entrance will never be known. There were no witnesses to the tragic scenes that ensued and no suspicion even of them was entertained before the corpses were found cold in the embrace of death. The Chinese servant employed by Dr. Dietz prepared breakfast for the family at the usual hour yesterday morning, but waited until 11 o'clock and then went upstairs to awaken his master and mistress.

He knocked several times at their bedroom door, and receiving no answer, called Dr. Dietz by name. Becoming alarmed, the servant ran to Lieutenant Gallup and informed him of the circumstance. The officer hurried to the house and went upstairs. His raps and calls received no answer. Pushing open the door, a terrible scene … [quite graphic details of the wounds, and the convening of a jury for inquest. The jury, after due deliberation found that Ella was killed by her husband William, and William died by his own hand, with use of a shotgun].

… Telegrams were sent to the parents of the deceased in reference to the disposition of the remains. William D. Dietz was a native of Georgia, aged 30 years, a physician. The father of the deceased physician is a piano merchant in residing in New York City. Ella Dietz, aged 23, was the daughter of Lieutenant W.W. Tyler of the Thirteenth Infantry Regiment. It was while the regiment was serving in New Mexico four years ago that the young couple were married.


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Assistant Surgeon
U.S. Army


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