Detectives, Historians Solve Murder By Priest From 1894

Local 12

[with video]

An Irish family is thanking Cincinnati Police for helping them find peace more than a hundred years after the murder of one of their ancestors. A priest murdered Mary “Mollie” Gilmartin on a Cincinnati street in 1894. The Gilmartin family never knew the details of the murder, until Cincinnati detectives and local historians recently got involved. Local 12’s Deborah Dixon tells us how the Gilmartin family finally got their answers.

The Cincinnati Enquirer headlines screamed “Ghastly.. Father O’Grady Kills.. Pursued the Girl He Had Sworn to Cherish. The girl was Mollie Gilmartin. She was sent to live with relatives here in on Chestnut Street. And near the home is where 20 year old Mollie was killed on April 25th 1894.

She was trying to start a new life without Father Dominick O’Grady, the priest from her hometown parish who left the church to marry Mollie. Her brother, a priest in Chicago, intervened and sent her to Cincinnati to live with family.

That April morning as Mollie walked to her clerking job at Pulvermachers Galvanic Belt Company on East Sixth Street. She saw a glimpse of Father O’Grady and tried to make her way back home. What happened next are in police and newspaper reports. “The lifeless body sank to the ground, face powder burned, auburn hair singed by the flame.”

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