Believe it or not, there’s an update about the 1903 murder of James Patterson – several, in fact! These updates don’t solve this case, mind you, but they certainly created an interesting new dimension. Here’s a link to the original post that describe the murder and the subsequent conviction of Charley Hall. Update #1 concerns the time just before the murder.
First, Charles Hall and James Patterson appear in the 1903 Columbia city directory, as does Robert Moorman, the magistrate who secured Annie Laurie’s agreement to testify at the trial (by threatening her with a $200 fine if she didn’t do it).
It’s possible this is a different “Charles Hall” because the address in the directory doesn’t match the one on his arrest warrant. Keeping the spelling and penmanship skills of Sheriff Coleman in mind, it is probably best not to be too fastidious:
Surprise #1 is in James Patterson’s entry. Apparently, he was married, and his wife was named Lizzie. Charley Hall didn’t know Patterson, and most likely didn’t know he was married.
Next, in his ante-mortem statement, James Patterson mentioned that Annie Laurie lives in Mr. White’s yard, on Pulaski Street. Mr. White is also in the directory.
Surprise #2: Annie Laurie lived at 1827 Pulaski Street. James Patterson lived at 2000 Pulaski Street.
They were neighbors. In light of that fact, it makes sense they would be walking together since they were neighbors and headed home in the same direction. Sadly, James Patterson was probably murdered for no reason.
Go to Part 2 to find out about the other updates!