May 10, 1915

by Richard van Pelt, WWI Correspondent

Contradicting earlier reports that the Lusitania was armed, The Capital Journal reported the results of the coroner’s jury:

WILLFUL AND WHOLESALE MURDER SAYS VERDICT OF CORONER’S JURY
Kaiser and German Crew Of Submarines Bitterly Scored – –
Captain Turner Says No Munitions Of War Carried – –
“Good Is Good” Says American Army Officer Who Lost But Two Of His Family – –
1149 Lost By Late Reports

Kinsale, Ireland, May 10. – “Willful and wholesale murder,” was the verdict returned here today against the kaiser, the German government and the officers and crew of the submarine which sank the liner Lusitania, following an inquest into the deaths of five of the liner’s victims who were brought ashore here.

Captain Turner, of the Lusitania was the principal witness to testify before the coroner’s jury before whom the inquest was conducted. He said he received information that an attempt was to be made to torpedo the Lusitania and had swung out the lifeboats as the danger zone approached.

He denied the Lusitania carried guns.

The captain said he was on the bridge as his ship was approaching the Irish coast.

“Was the Lusitania armed?” he was asked.

“She was not.”

“What precautions did you take when you learned that an attempt was to be made to sink your ship.”

“We swung out the lifeboats as we came within the danger zone. They remained out from the time we passed Fastnet to the time of the accident.”

Captain Turner said there was not the slightest doubt that the Lusitania was torpedoed. The first torpedo struck the liner forward between the first and second funnels, he said.

The coroner declared he was satisfied that responsibility for the catastrophe lay not with the German government alone, but with the entire German people.

“I propose to ask the jury to return the only verdict possible, that the officers and crew of the submarine were were guilty of willful murder,” he declared. When the verdict was returned it was even more sweeping in its charge.

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About whclarc

We are devoted to providing information fresh from the Archives, Library and Collections of the Willamette Heritage Center in Salem, Oregon. We specialize in the history of Marion County and the greater Salem area.
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