A murder took place in Clarks Valley, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, in late February 1937. It was committed by Clair Guy Wingert, a trapper and hunter from that area. After staying overnight at the home of William H. McElwee, Wingert was convinced that McElwee and his wife Dorothy [Stricker] McElwee had poisoned his toe and he opened fire on them at the breakfast table. William McElwee was fatally wounded and died about six hours later in a Harrisburg hospital. Dorothy McElwee was seriously wounded and struggled for her life for days afterward. Clair Guy Wingert was charged with the murder but declared legally insane, only to die several hours after the diagnosis was made at the Dauphin County Prison. The story had several interesting twists including that the murderer may have become unhinged as a result of the tragic death of his brother and nephew at a colliery in Williamstown just two weeks earlier; Wingert had previously served time in jail for attempting to kill two of his brothers about twenty years earlier; it was not know if he had a permit for the gun; and, although he was a self-proclaimed caretaker of the Y.M.C.A. camp near Dauphin Borough, Dauphin County, and was frequently seen with the young boys there, the camp management claimed he was not there in any official capacity.
The portrait shown here is of C. Guy Wingert and is from a local newspaper at the time of the murder.
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