Saturday, July 28, 1917
A late night party in the town of Providence ends with the murder of a Schenectady man, followed by the suicide of his apparent killer in a Porters Corners cemetery early this morning.
The party is hosted by Mrs. Libbie Moore to celebrate her husband’s birthday, but the victim, Frederick Schoeffler, and the shooter, George Van Dyke, apparently were rivals for Mrs. Moore’s affections. Both were among “between twenty-five and thirty” people invited to the party.
“Van Dyke, who was a man of a rather quiet disposition, was at the house throughout the evening, but remained outside, refusing to join the party in the dance,” The Saratogian reports. Libbie Moore “talked to his frequently” while bringing him refreshments, apparently arousing Schoeffler’s jealousy, if not Mr. Moore’s.
In a suicide note found at the Hutchings Cemetery, Van Dyke writes that “This man Shaffer [sic] told me last night that I was nothing and nobody. Called me everything, told me he would take this woman to Schenectady to live and was going to take her to New York.”
Schoeffler apparently dared Van Dyke to take a shot at him, claiming that “He wore three links and I could not help myself, nor could I shoot a bullet through them if I went to the devil.”
Investigators believe that Van Dyke hid a rifle in the bushes outside the Moore home before joining the party. It breaks up around 4:30 a.m., with Schoeffler lingering in the pantry while Libbie Moore sees off her guests. Just as the last couple leaves, Libbie hears a shot.
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