Thursday, September 25, 2014
Research Can Lead You to a Murder
I had just been searching FindAGrave.com, so I was curious to know where she was buried. Since Pennsylvania death certificates for the years 1906-1944 are on Ancestry.com, I decided to search for Lena there. Her death certificate popped up on my computer screen. She was born in Germany, was the daughter of Joseph & Mary Lang, and was buried in St. Michael's Cemetery on the South Side of Pittsburgh. Several of my Stenglein ancestors are there, too.
But are you ready for a shock? It says on her death certificate that she had burns but died of stab wounds. Apparently, someone started the fire to cover up the crime.
The article above from Newspapers.com appeared in The Indiana Gazette on January 8, 1906. I browsed The Pittsburgh Press in the Google archive and found more details. Her husband, Andrew, was detained because the story of his morning activities didn't add up. Also, a man who roomed at the Abel house indicated that they argued a lot.
The 1910 census shows Andrew J. Abel was an inmate in the Western Penitentiary of Pennsylvania in Allegheny County, so he must have been convicted of her murder. R.I.P. Lena Lang Abel.