TV show to cover 19th-century murder confession found during Colorado home renovation

A murder confession that was found on the back side of a window sill in a Fountain home. Photo Credit: Jerilee Bennett.

Sometimes secrets taken to the grave still have a way of coming out.

Such was true in 1986, when a man discovered a 120-year-old murder confession hidden in the walls of his Fountain, Colorado home. 

According to a report from the Los Angeles Times in 1987, the incriminating note was found written on the board of a windowsill, uncovered when the home owner decided to remodel. 

The note is a personal confession from a man named John Spicer, who admits to brutally clubbing a man to death in 1893.

“To whoever may happen to find the confession, I, John W. Spicer of the City of Fountain, State of Colorado, being about to shuffle off this mortal act to make this my full confession in the hope that when I am gone it may be found and at last clear up the darkest mystery that ever embraced one in human murder," the note, per Colorado Public Radio, reads. 

Spicer continues to admit that he killed the victim, John J Sebastian, for about $5,000 worth of money and jewelry. He reportedly carried out the murder at the foot of Cheyenne Mountain, located northwest of Fountain. 

"I did kill and willfully murder with a club one John J. Sebastian for his money and jewelry to the value of $5,000.00 and did drag the mutilated body into a deep ravine some 500 yds distance from the point already mentioned in my confession and then (illegible) its lonely last (illegible) bring about to die, and (illegible) find the retribution that awaits here in the world to come are spending my last moments in prayer for the partial salvation of my soul," the confession reads.  

In 1987, the board was given to a reporter for the Gazette Telegraph, who turned it over to the Colorado Bureau of Investigations. Investigators were able to confirm that the board was authentic. According to a report from the Gazette, officials found that Spicer eventually moved to Florida, dying in the 1940s. 

Today, the confession is displayed at the Fountain Valley Historical Society Museum, as a brutal piece of the town's past.

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Larry Martin, 4th Judicial District Attorney’s Office investigator, with a piece of molding pulled out of a Fountain house. The confession on it was ruled authentic to the late 1800s by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Photo by (JERILEE BENNETT, THE GAZETTE)

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