A man on his way home from work on the evening of Dec. 3, 1894, discovered the body of Katherine “Kitty” Ging on Excelsior Boulevard in Minneapolis. Ging’s head had been crushed and she appeared to be a victim of the horse that had been pulling the buggy she was riding in. However, the coroner who examined the body discovered a bullet hole behind Ging’s ear.
Ging, 29, was a known associate of Harry Hayward, a local socialite whose parents owned the Ozark Flats apartment building where Ging lived. Hayward had an alibi for the evening; he’d been at the opera with another woman. But when it was revealed Ging recently had taken out two $5,000 life insurance policies that named Hayward as the beneficiary, he became the prime suspect. Hayward was a known gambler who had been borrowing money from Ging for months. He’d coerced Claus Blixt, the man who took care of the furnace at the Ozark Flats, to murder Ging, which is he did when the two went for a carriage ride on the evening of Dec. 3.
Hayward’s brother, Adry Hayward, was the one who turned him into police and a primary witness in his trial. During the trial, Minneapolis newspapers dubbed Hayward the “Minneapolis Svengali” for his ability to manipulate people into doing what he wanted. He was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to hang. Prior to his execution, Hayward told a cousin he had murdered three other people. Those killings were never confirmed. Hayward was hung on Dec. 11, 1895.