Mug shot of Rudolph Wetter from Idaho State Penitentiary File


Click HERE to view the entire prison file for Rudolph Wetter 

(this is a link to the Idaho State Historical Society pdf file)



JULY 21, 1904


Idaho County was again shocked by the news that two men had been shot down in cold blood at their mining camp on Grouse Creek in Secesh Meadows.  Bob Wetter, a prospector did the shooting and the cause is supposed to be trouble over mining claims.  The victims, Claud Wahn and Christ Long are also miners and have been in the vicinity for two years past.  The 14 year old son of Long was slightly wounded in the leg, as he ran from the scene with "Harmonica Jack" Clair into the darkness.

Wetter went to the Golden Rule mine not far away and told Milard Hubbard and James Stevens that he had "got part of the . . ." and gave himself up.  They immediately started with their prisoner to Grangeville, the feeling against Wetter is intense and it was feared that had he not been removed he would in probability have been lynched.



JULY 28, 1904

An inquest was held at Resort to inquire into the deaths of Christ L. Long and L.D. Wahn, who were shot by Rudolph Wetter.

Testimony heard was that Wetter had tried to get his partners to go with him but both had refused.  Wahn was found to have been killed by the first shot fired while sitting outside the cabin. Long had gone to bed and was taken with three shots and evidently struck on his head with the butt of the gun.  The shots were fired from a gun of 45-60 calibre held in the hands of Wetter.  The preliminary trial is next Monday, being charged with premeditated murder.



AUGUST 4, 1904

Quite an audience assembled to hear the evidence, but on the opening of court all spectators and newspaper men were excluded.  A number of witnesses were examined and all the evidence produced went to show that Wetter and some of those interested in mining properties with him had an altercation about a year ago and at different times since his threats that he would clean out the whole bunch were not taken seriously.

It is conclusive that Wetter intended to make a complete job of the killing and Claire and young Long undoubtedly owe their lives to the darkness which prevented more accurate marksmanship.

The preliminary lasted two days and the prisoner is being held without bonds.  The decision of the court meets the approval of the entire country.

APRIL 27, 1905

About the middle of last July, Bob Wetter committed his bloody and brutal double murder in Jack Clark’s camp, about six miles up the Hathaway Avenue on California creek.  He was convicted and the judge sentenced him to be hanged on the first of December last.The men killed were peaceable and harmless.  Wahn an old frontiersman and Indian scout; Long a German who had fought and been sent up from Walla Walla by one of Wetter’s partners;  A.L. Lorensen to look after his interests.The lawyer appointed by the court to defend Wetter saw fit to appeal, and he was kept over for the spring term of the supreme court, at Lewiston; and now the rumor comes through some technicality he is to be kept over to the next term of court in the fall; and yet some people hold that thee is nothing in luck.


NOVEMBER 30, 1905

Rudolph Wetter, who was convicted of the murder of Christ Long and Claud Waln, in July, 1904, will have to pay the death penalty.  The case was appealed and last week the Supreme Court affirmed the decision.  Whether or not he will be brought from Boise to Grangeville for re-sentence is not known.


OCTOBER 13, 1910

Seeking Pardon

Rudolph Wetter is seeking a pardon from the pardon board.  He has been confined to the state penitentiary.  The murders occurred in 1904 when Wetter crawled through the brush in the evening and put his rifle against Claud Waln’s head and blew his brains out.  He then went into the cabin and fired three bullets into the body of Christ Long and clubbed his head to a jelly.  Before going into the cabin he shot Lon’s boy who was sitting near the campfire with Waln, striking him in the leg and then fired at Clare, another man who was near the fire, but missed him.  The Long boy escaped into the brush and lay out all night.  He was found the next day almost dead and was confined to the hospital for two to three months before he was able to walk. 

The men were placer mining in Secesh and Wetter and Long has quarreled over some claims near where Waln and Long were working.

Wetter was convicted and sentenced to be hanged but commuted by the governor.



Rudolph Wetter, who was found guilty of killing two men and crippling a young boy who will go through life with one leg shorter than the other, was twice sentenced to be hanged by this court.  The board of pardons commuted his sentence to life and the people are expecting that he will soon be released.






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