Andover Townsman, Andover, MA

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January 13, 2011

Andover Stories: Loony 'crime' a crying shame

(Note: the following article, which appeared in the Feb. 12, 1942 issue of The Andover Townsman, was not attributed to any one writer, but was deemed too good a story to pass up by those at the Andover Historical Society who create this weekly column. The article gives a nostalgic glimpse into life in Andover nearly 70 years ago.)

Three men who were fishing through the ice down at Foster's Pond last Thursday night had an experience the likes of which they won't have again for a long time.

Just at dusk as they were gathering up their tackle, the cry of a woman, either drowning or being murdered, brought them to their feet in a hurry. They stood "frozen to the ice." Again came that mournful, moaning call, followed by a hysterical laugh. They pulled themselves together as best they could and started in the direction from whence the call for help came.

They tracked it down to Bill Davis' camp. Bill is a well-known Boston newspaperman, sportsman, and legal resident in Andover who lives about eight months of the year with Mrs. Davis and son Dick in their snug camp on the edge of the pond. On this particular occasion Mrs. Davis was away and son Dick is with the Marines with Bill Pomeroy, another Foster's Pond resident, at Parris Island, South Carolina.

In the Foster's Pond camp with Bill was his friend of many years, Chief Needahbeh, who for the last 14 years has been Master of Ceremonies at the Sportsmen's Show. For all the years Mr. Davis has lived on the pond, the Chief has made the Davis camp his headquarters. He is widely known in Andover, having lectured at most of the schools.

Well, to get back to the "murdered woman": the three fishermen approached the camp stealthly. Bill and the Chief could see them coming. They were peeking out a camp window. Finally one (of the fishermen) got up enough courage to come up on the porch and knock hard on the door.

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