The Fourth Woman: Chapter 7

Bungy Jim and his wife Paiute Susie, both former patients of Winnescheika’s, were directed to execute the suspected witch. On April 30, 1891, Paiute Susie, laying in her campoodie, pretended to be sick and Winnescheika responded to her late night call for her help.

When she arrived she found Susie in great distress attended by Jim and three Paiute women including Jennie Messa. As she bent over to make her examination Susie called to Jennie, “Strike her now!”

Jennie charged, drawing an ax from beneath a blanket she held, and swung it at Winnescheika’s head. The fatal blow nearly chopped her head in two and as she fell in a rush of blood and brains, a second blow was leveled.

The glancing blow bounced off the side of her head, nearly severing Winnescheika’s ear. Bungy Jim stepped in and finished the job by pulling out a knife and slitting her throat while dragging her body into the yard so the blood could drain off into the soil and not further stain the inside of the wickiup.

“Go get the horses and hitch up the wagon,” Paiute Susie ordered Bungy Jim.

Once he left, the four women hacked Winnescheika’s body into several pieces and stuffed them into barley bags to prevent her spirit from returning to the place of her death. Then they loaded the grisly cargo onto the buckboard and with blood seeping through cracks in the bed of the wagon, headed for Medicine Rock, slightly north of Leonard Rockshelter, some ten miles southeast of the town.

There, they buried the pieces of her body in a five foot deep grave, then hurried back to their village before the sun came up. However, the suspected witch would not stay in the ground for long.


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