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Hazel Drew’s Friend Tells of Her Expensive LifeStyle

– Posted in: Murder Mystery Backstory

The Following is from the July 29, 1908 edition of the New York, Evening World.

Hazel Drew - Laura Palmer Mystery - July 29, 1908

Troy, July 29 – Detectives Powers and Unser reported to District Attorney O’Brien today that they had found two new witnesses who were expected to shed light on the mysterious murder of Hazel Drew, whose body was found in Teal’s pond.

Willie Drew – Sowalsky is Big and Naughty

One of the witnesses is known to be Willie Drew, the little brother of the dead girl, who at the time of the murder was staying at the farmhouse of Mrs. Libby Sowalsky, on Bear Road about two miles from Teal’s Pond. The other witness is Mrs. Sowalsky’s son, a big muscular chap of Twenty, who is regarded as being somewhat lacking in intelligence. Young Sowalsky was questioned closely by the detectives last night and will be one of the first witnesses called when the inquest into the girls death is resumed tomorrow afternoon.

The detectives told Mr. O’Brien they had learned enough during their investigations yesterday and last night to convince them that Hazel was bound for the Sowalsky home to see her brother on the night of the murder, July 7.

And that she was intercepted and led to the pond where she was put to death. They said also that they were near he solution of the mystery.

Willie Drew spent part of the summer at the home of his uncle, William Taylor, but left as he and the uncle did not get along well together and took up his abode with the Sowalsky’s. A few days ago he returned to the home of his parents in this city.

The dead girl was devoted to her brother. It is said that she thought more of him than any other member of her family, in the belief now is that on the night she was slain she was on the way to the Sowalsky Farm to tell her brother goodbye, she having decided to leave this part of the state.

When a reporter for the Evening World saw Willie Drew last night he said:

“I went to the officers today and told them all I knew about my sisters murder. That wasn’t much either. I told them I knew Hazel would never have gone away without telling me goodbye. I am sure she was on her way to Mrs. Sowalsky’s when she started up the road that leads pass the pond. She had no other friends in the neighborhood.”

Willie Drew – Hazel’s Seven Year old Brother

“What sort of fellow is Mrs. Sowalsky’s son?” A detective asked the boy. “He’s big and naughty,” the boy answered. Willie then told of Sowalsky’s cruelties to animals on the farm. At the home of the Sowalsky’s it was said that on the night of July 7 young Sowalsky was not off the farm.

From another source however, it was learned that he was away and that he met Frank Smith and had a talk with him, either before or after Smith says he met Hazel Drew on the road.

Sowalsky told the detectives:

I went to Troy on July 6 come but I was not away from home that night or the next. I did not know Hazel Drew’s body had been found until the following Monday, when Willie, who had been staying at our house told me he was going to Troy to help you look for the murderer.”

Michael Sowalsky

Her Chum to Testify

Carrie Weaver, who was Hazel Drew’s chum in this city, will return today from Springfield Ohio, where she has been spending a vacation. The officials of Rensselaer County yesterday received word from Miss Weaver to the effect that Miss Drew undoubtedly had friends who made possible her many social pleasures and diversions. Miss Weaver is he sensually a country girl, despite her six months residents in Troy.

One of Miss Weaver’s first remarks was in regard to Miss Drew’s financial ability. It has been and still is a constant source of wonder to Miss Weaver how her friend managed to live so well, to wear such stylish costumes, to take so many and so extended trips, and to enjoy so many luncheons that’s such expensive hostelries on her wages as a governess.

Miss Weaver was loud in her praise of Miss Drew, and while reciting many of the adventures the latter confided in her of trips up and down the Hudson on first-class boats, and trips by rail to Providence, Boston and other neighboring cities, she protested all the while that Miss Drew explicitly stated that she had no men friends.

She Could Make a Dollar Go Further Than Any Woman I Ever Saw

“I never saw her in the company of a man all the time I was in Troy,” said Miss Weaver, “and she told me on more than one occasion that she had no sweetheart. Really, Hazel. She could make a dollar go further than any woman I ever saw.”

Carrie Weaver – Hazel’s Friend

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