Mail Tribune 100: January 16, 1913

PORTLAND — John Torgerson, who robbed the post offices of the Rogue River Valley, arrived here in custody of federal officers this morning. Torgerson's woman companion, Mrs. Archie Dietz, and the two little children came also, so did Postal Inspector S.H. Morse, Southern Pacific Detective P.E. Kelly and City Marshal P. Fenton of Roseburg. The woman is under official detention as a witness, whether her erstwhile consort is to be tried for burglary in the federal court at Portland or transferred from that city back to Red Bluff, Calif., to answer to the charge of murdering Jim Miller at Vina on the night of December 4 last.

Wanted for Murder

Sheriff Jud W. Boyd of Red Bluff is also endeavoring to have the authorities turn Torgerson over to him for prosecution on the charge of murder. "We have a clear case of first-degree murder against Torgerson" states Boyd "for killing Jim Miller at Vina. His murder of Miller was simply a cold-blooded proposition, nothing more or less. After holding up and robbing a saloon, Torgerson started into a hotel, revolver in hand, just as Miller chanced to be coming out. Miller saw the revolver, turned around and started to run, and Torgerson shot him in the back of the head, killing him almost instantly."

The woman confessed that she is the wife of A.E. Dietz, of Vina, and that she left California with Torgerson.

Woman Tells Her Story

The woman, 22 years old, slender and comely, said she was acquainted with Torgerson for some time before he committed the murder and that Torgerson and her husband were close friends. She said her husband is now under arrest there as an accomplice in the murder for which Torgerson is charged. She accuses her husband of numerous acts of cruelty toward her, and this she declared, was the reason she deserted him and ran away with Torgerson. In some of her various moods, Mrs. Dietz would refer to her husband as "a good, kind-hearted fellow," and is anxious, she says, to get in communication with him because she feels sure he will take her back.

"If I were to go back to California," said Mrs. Dietz, "I could either clear Torgerson of the murder charge or I could at least show up the true facts in such a way that he would not be hung. My husband gave him so much liquor on the night of the killing that he didn't know what he was doing. Torgerson fired two wild shots in the street upon coming out of a store, one of them chanced to hit this man Miller and kill him. Torgerson didn't know what he had done it until my husband told him the next morning in our cabin at the fish camp."

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