THREE CHILD AXE VICTIMS BURIES SATURDAY
Three child victims, hacked to death last Wednesday [12 July 1932] in their home at Lykens, by an apparently drink-crazed father were buried in St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Trevorton last Saturday. Interment was made in the Catholic Cemetery at that place.
The services were attended by the mother, Mrs. Bernard Godleskie and her ten year old daughter, Helen Godleskie, who was spared the fate that befell her sisters, Lillian Godleskie, 6, and Alberta Godleskie, 4, and her brother Paul Godleskie, 8. Her parents, Mr. and Mrs. Frank Sienkewicz, farmers of near Dornsife were also in attendance. The father meanwhile sat in the Dauphin County Jail at Harrisburg to await his fate at the hands of the court.
The Godleskies had been married more than twelve years. According to police, the couple had encountered marital troubles and had been separated several times during the past few years, one separation having been made a short time before the father’s rash deed. It is believed the father brooded over these troubles, an in an alleged confession to police, said he had drank a small quantity of wine last Tuesday. It is thought probable, Godleskie feared his wife might take the children with her, and to prevent it, took the lives of the three.
Sometime between midnight and early Wednesday morning he is alleged to have told police, he took the sleeping children from their beds into the cellar, where he snuffed out their lives with an axe. Helen was spared, it is thought, because she was a favorite and “mothered” the children in the absence of Mrs. Godleskie.
After sending her to ask James Helt, Lykens undertaker to come to the house, Godleskie attempted to take his own life by cutting his throat. Upon his arrival, the undertaker was told by Godleskie of his act and that he would find the children in the cellar. Helt advised borough authorities and State Police were later called into the case.
Godleskie was removed to the county jail at Harrisburg after making an alleged confession.
Lykens Father Bound For Court on Three Murder Charges
At a combined inquest and preliminary hearing before Justice of the Peace James Golden in Lykens yesterday morning, Bernard Godleskie, was held on three charges of murder in the deaths of his three children. His case will come before the September session of Court.
In an alleged confession to police officers, Godleskie confessed to slaying his three children, Lillian, Paul, and Alberta in the cellar of his home at Lykens last Wednesday morning.
A coroner’s jury decided that the three children had met death at the hands of their father. Following the inquest, Godleskie was arraigned before Justice Golden in a preliminary hearing.
D. M. Hughes, Mt. Carmel attorney, and member of the Northumberland County Bar represented Godleskie at the hearing. As the information was brought against the accused man, entered a plea of “not guilty.” He was returned to the county jail immediately after the hearing to await a court trial. It is believed his counsel is planning an insanity defense for him at that time.
Godleskie made a second unsuccessful attempt to take his life in a cell of the county prison yesterday morning. He had fashioned a noose with his trouser belt, but as he stepped from his cot, the leather broke and he fell to the floor. He received contusions of the head and face, and the wound of his neck, slashed by a knife in his first attempt, was opened.
These news articles appeared in a local newspaper at the time of the murders.
Corrections and additional information should be added as comments to this post.