59 School Street, Box 1310, Edgartown MA 02539 - 508.627.4441
Martha's Vineyard Museum MV Museum

EOD2015

probably late nineteenth to early twentieth century

Colt Firearms Company

Hartford, Connecticut

Steel

Gift of William Dias


"RECLUSE ADMITS HE KILLED BROKER," ran the headline of the September 14, 1935, story in the New York Times.

The recluse was Harold C. Look, described as a mild-mannered handyman and carver of children's boats on Martha's Vineyard. His victim was Knight B. Owen, "retired Boston broker and World War aviator." There was never any doubt that Look killed Owen on September 13. The mystery was why. When asked, Look responded, "Check his past for the last fifteen years and check my past, and you will have the answer." Though never clear, the answer had something to do with Lydia Hyde, a divorced mother of four, who rented a cottage near Look's house.

Look shot Owen in his car, in full view of a witness in the yard of a house near the entrance to Lake Tashmoo in Vineyard Haven. After firing four shots, he threw the gun away. The weapon was not recovered, even though Look helped the police search for it. When the herring creek was dredged in 1952, workers found the rusted remains of a Wells Fargo Colt revolver, the probable murder weapon.

Harold Look was committed to the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane in Bridgewater after he was judged mentally incompetent. In 1955 he was pronounced sane and tried in Fall River for the murder he had committed twenty years earlier. At the trial he was found not guilty by reason of insanity and was once again committed to the Bridgewater State Hospital.

With thanks to the following individuals who have adopted this object for one year: Kristen Kingsbury Henshaw