One morning in mid November of 1917 the busy mining community of Virginia, Minnesota had its peace shattered by the discovery of the grisly murders of local inhabitants.   What would become known as the " Alar-Trepich Axe Murders" would stir to new life old prejudices, nearly forgotten fears of other slaughters, and destroy the fragile sense of community struggling to emerge from ethnic enclaves and racial fears.

It was the early days of WW1 and the Austrian born victims were walking a tightwire in the community with Anti-Germanic sentiment on one hand and Pro-Austria elements on the other.  The local news paper quickly drew the line in the sand by noting the victims had shown their support of the American war effort by buying liberty bonds. Mr. and Mrs. Alar and Peter Trepich, a boarder, were murder Nov. 16, 1917 by ax blows and knife wounds. The murderer apparently paused in washing up in the kitchen to write a note warning of similar death to any who supported liberty bounds or the red cross.

Like so many of these mysterious ax rampages across the nations landscape, it started when someone found the bodies...but it has yet to come to a solid conclusion.  It joins the corpus of  lingering and mysterious crimes done by ax-wielding murderers.

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