Deadlands Reloaded: The Weird West
Author Wanted for Cannibalism!
NEW YORK, NY—Herman Melville, deputy inspector of the United States Customhouse in New York, was no to be found as Union Soldiers under the direction of famous Pinkerton Detective Leonard Pearcy broke down the doors of his modest home with a warrant for his arrest. What they did find were the partially devoured bodies of seven men and women!
Three weeks ago, The New York Times literary critic Sheldon Roberts had been reported missing from his home. Yesterday, Detective Pearcy had a warrant drawn up for Melville’s arrest on suspicion of murder in the first degree.
“The connection was quite elementary, really.” stated Pearcy. “Recently Melville had published a volume of poetry which garnered many poor reviews. Roberts’ review the most scathing, and the two had been known to argue in public for over twenty years. When that was coupled with reports of suspicious sound emanating from his cellar, we had enough to serve the warrant.”
Nothing could have prepared Pearcy for the discovery of the seven bodies within the cellar. A large cooking stone was a macabre centerpiece to the scene complete with a cooling cauldron of human flesh stew. Amongst the dead were Melville’s wife and her parents, Melville’s housekeeper, and Sheldon Roberts. Many of the bones had been polished and carefully arranged in elaborate patterns upon the floor. The faces and hair had all been carefully removed from the skulls and preserved separately, although only four sets were found.
“We really had on idea.” confessed Pearcy to this reporter. “In hindsight, the many reports of people missing in this area should have given us some warning, but their was no indication before we entered his home of this deviancy.”
The remaining bodies not of persons listed above continue to go unidentified. The US Marshals office has issued a $1000 bounty for the capture of Melville.
Melville is well known for his novels about adventure in the South Pacific. He is most famous for Typee: A Peep at Polynesian Life, Omoo: A Narrative of Adventure in the South Seas, and White-Jacket, as well as the lesser known Mardi, Reburn, and Moby Dick.