WILSON, Billy and Lena
Mariposa Gazette, May 16, 1930
El Portal Indian and Wife
Meet With Tragic Deaths
Billy Wilson and his wife, Mrs. Lena Wilson, two well known Indians of
El Portal and Yosemite Valley, were found dead near their parked car at
the old Hennessey apple orchard on the Yosemite all-year highway early
last Wednesday morning. Wilson was shot through the head and Mrs. Wilson
died from a blow or blows on the head. Joe Rube, a brother of the dead
woman, was taken into custody by Sheriff J. J. Castagnetto and
Undersheriff J. H. Ellingham, who rushed to the scene of the killing.
Rube is being held in the county jail.
Wilson's own gun, a .25 automatic, was found near his body. The woman's
wrists were bruised and on one of the wrists was a piece of wire which
appeared to have been used to bind her hands and drag her.
The three Indians left Mariposa about midnight last Tuesday and it is
stated they carried a gallon jug of liquor in the car. Rube admits
having quarreled and fought with Wilson and his sister, but says he left
them about three o'clock Wednesday morning at the Hennessey orchard and
that both were then alive.
The theories of murder, accident and suicide have all been mentioned as
causes of the death of the two.
Rube claims that he went to El Portal to secure food and was returning
when intercepted by the officers. His clothing was smeared with blood
and he was bruised and cut.
The bodies of the two were brought to Mariposa by Coroner D. E. Bertken
who held an inquest at the scene of the killing on Wednesday afternoon.
At the morgue here a post-mortem examination of the bodies was made by
Dr. A. M. Gregory. The woman's stomach was removed on suspicion of
containing poison liquor.
The officers are working on the case and it is hoped tha some light may
be thrown on the mysterious killing.
submitted by Tom Hilk
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