The University of the West Indies Press
JCH Vol. 57 No. 2 Rev. 3 | Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, Once tesis sobre un crimen de 1899
Cristóbal S. Berry-Cabán
JCH Vol. 57 No. 2 Rev. 3 | Arcadio Díaz Quiñones, Once tesis sobre un crimen de 1899
US$ 10.00
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On 24 February 1899, just four months after the United States military took control of Puerto Rico, because of the Spanish American War, a tragic incident took place in the small town of Caguas. Private John Burke, a 28-year-old Irish immigrant and soldier with the 47th New York Volunteer Infantry Regiment, was brutally murdered at the Workmen’s Club. Rafael Ortiz, a local coachman, approached Burke from behind and swiftly slit his throat with a razor, nearly decapitating him. Despite several witnesses, Ortiz managed to escape into the nearby mountains, eluding the American Army and the newly formed insular police force for three weeks. Ortiz, 23 years old at the time, was engaged to Inés Sandoval. There was a dispute between Ortiz and Burke, who were pre-viously friends, sparked by comments Burke made about either winning or ruining Inés’ reputation. In the presence of Inés, Burke had slapped Ortiz across the face, and on another occasion, he struck Ortiz’s nose with a cane. Burke’s murder by Ortiz is the subject of Arcadio Díaz Quiñones’ book Once Tesis Sobre un Crimen de 1899.

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