|Winchester Press 12 December 1918|
Murder Most Foul.
Two Austrians quarrel when in liquor, and one shoots the other dead.
Sad tragedy at Winchester station on Tuesday night.
A murder most foul was committed at the C. P. R. Depot here on Tuesday night when one Worzye Tomaszewski, was shot in the abdomen by his companion, John Wegryniuck. As the names indicate both are Austrians. They were working with the track repair gang who have been located here for some weeks past. There were three cars on the siding in which the workmen lived and slept, one car, was occupied by the two Austrians mentioned, the car next was occupied by four Austrians, and a third car by the foreman and the other men. According to the evidence at the inquest, and after the preliminary trial before the Magistrate Wegryniuck and Tomaszewski were in Montreal last Friday and returned with liquor and a gun and a revolver. On Tuesday night the men were drinking, and the shooting, according to the evidence of Mike, another Austrian who occupied the next car, took place about midnight. After the shootingWegryniuck came to his car and on being admitted said he had shot Tomaszewski, and would shoot any devil like him. He had a gun in his hands, and while in the car put a new cartridge in it. He then left the car and shortly after the men again heard the report of a gun. Wegryniuck again returned to the car, and remained there for some time. Then he asked his companions to go and tell the boss that Tomaszewski was dead and that he had shot himself. They refused to do so so he went himself and told the foreman that Tomaszewski was drunk and wanted him to shoot him, but he refused to do so, and Tomaszewski had shot himself and was laying by the car dead.
The men who occupied to the adjoining car were Mike Olysuk, Frank Sarka, Mike Nakonesnyi. These men all swore that about midnight they heard a gunshot, and also a noise like a man groaning. They did not go out to investigate because they were afraid of Wegryniuck, who had been drinking. Olysuk swore that he had gone out after the shooting and saw the man lying face-downward!. He turned him over and saw where he had been shot. He also saw the prisoner place the gun near the dead man.
Wihen found the murdered man lay at the side of the track on his face and there was a gaping wound in his abdomen from which his ?? protruded. A gun was lying ??, but the exploded cartridge was found under the car. In brief the evidence shows that Wegryniuck deliberately killed his companion, and in a most clumsy way endeavoured to create an impression that his companion had taken his own life. Constable Steinberg was notified of what had taken place, and he and Dr. McLaughlin went out. The doctor examined the man and he was quite dead, and his body was then placed in the boxcar. Wegryniuck was then taken in charge by Constable Steinberg, and placed in the lock up in the town hall.
Coroner Ellis of Chesterville and Crown Attorney Harkness of Cornwall were at once notified, and they came to Winchester yesterday morning. The following jury was sworn in, Chris. Irving, foreman, Herb Empey, Ed. Payne, R. Elliott, Ed. Shaver, W. Hitsman, Geo. Boyd, Karl Helmer, G. Faderr and Geo. Fusee.
The jury with the Coroner and Crown attorney visited the scene of the tragedy, viewed the remains, and then adjourned to the town hall where the evidence of those who had any knowledge of the affair was taken. This occupied the whole afternoon, and at the conclusion the jury brought in a unanimous verdict that "Tomaszewski had come to his death by a gunshot wound, and that they believe the shot was fired by the prisoner Wegryniuck. The trial before Magistrate Hart occupied the whole evening up till nearly midnight, when the evidence was all gone over. The prisoner was then committed to stand trial at the next assizes at Cornwall. He was taken to Cornwall this morning by Constable Steinberg. Tomaszewski is a married man and his wife lives in Montreal. The prisoner Wegryniuck has a wife and one child in Austria.
There can be no doubt as to the cause of the crime. It was liquor, as both were peaceable men and apparently good friends.
Montreal Gazette 13 December 1918
MURDER AT WINCHESTER
Foreigner Brought To Cornwall Charged With Crime
Cornwall, December 12.-. John Vegryniuk, an Austrian Pole, was brougnt to the Cornwall jail toduy from Winchester, having been committed to stand his trial at the next court of competent jurisdiction on a churge of murder. The prisoner was a menber of a C.P.R. repair gang doing work along the track near Winchester, Dundas county. Two workmen were housed in freight cars, the prisoner and another Austrian, Worzye (Bill) Tomaszewski, occupying one car. An Austrian trom another car was visiting Tomaszewski and Vegryniuk and they appeared to be disputing over something.
They had a bottle of liquor and were drinking. About 11.45 o'clock a gunshot was heard, and a minute later yelling or moaning outside the car. The prisoner went to the door of the other car. and entered and said he had killed a man. He went back to his own car and was seen to take more cartridges and put one in . the gun. Another Austrian went out and saw the body of a man under the car. It is stated that Vegryniuk said he was going out to finish the job, and shot under the car, after which he placed the gun across the left arm and shoulder of the dead man and told his fellow-countryman that if the police asked anything about it to say the man had shot himself.
It was brought out at the hearing that the prisoner and the victim went to Montreal together last Friday and brought liquor back with them. The prisoner told his companions that he had bought a gun in Montreal, paying $9 for it, giving an old gun to boot, and, being an Austrian, he could not buy the gun himself, but had got an Italian to do the purchasing. The prisoner is able to talk very little English.
Ottawa Journal 13 December 1918
AN AUSTRIAN POLE FACES MURDER CHARGE
Shooting Among a Railway Gang at Winchester.
CORNWALL Ont. Dec. 13. John Vegryniuk. an Austrian Pole, was brought to Cornwall Jail yesterday from Winchester having been committed to stand his trial on a charge of murder. It appears that the prisoner was a member of C.P.R. repair gang doing work along the track near Winchester, Dundas County. The workmen were housed in freight cars, the prisoner and another Austrian named Worzye Bill Tomaszewaki occupying one car. The next car was occupied by four other Austrians and a third car by Adelard Dubois, foreman of the gang. .
An Austrian from the other car was in visiting Tomaszewski and Vegryniuk and they appeared to be disputing over something. They had a bottle of liquor and were drinking. About 11.45 o'clock a gunshot was heard and a minute later moaning outside the car.
The prisoner went to the other car and said he had killed a man. He went back to his own car and was seen to take more cartridges and put one in the gun. Another Austrian went out and saw the body of a man under the car.
It is stated that Vegryniuk had said he was going out to finish the job and shot under the car after which he placed the gun across the left arm and shoulder of the dead man and told his fellow-countryman that if the police asked anything about it to say that the man had shot himself.
The alarm was not given until about three hours later when the prisoner himself went to the car of Dubois and told him there was a man dead or asleep under the car. Dubois went and found that the man was dead..