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Clarksburg History Museum opens a new exhibit about Quiet Dell serial killer, Harry Powers

Clarksburg History Museum's opens a new exhibit about local serial killer, Harry Powers.
Clarksburg History Museum's opens a new exhibit about local serial killer, Harry Powers.(Madeline Edwards)
Published: Oct. 16, 2021 at 6:07 PM EDT
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CLARKSBURG, W.Va (WDTV) - The Clarksburg History Museum opened a new exhibit dedicated to the well-known West Virginia serial killer, Harry Powers.

The Robinson Grand Performing Arts Center and the Clarksburg History Museum partnered to promote the museum’s new exhibit.

Powers was one of the United States’ first known serial killers operating out of his farm in Quiet Dell, West Virginia, in the early 1900′s.

The President of the museum, Michael Spatafore, said they acquired some of Powers’ letters, documents, and other items. This led them to use these artifacts to create the new exhibit.

“Some people thought it was a subject we shouldn’t broach. We feel it is an important part of Clarksburg’s history, back in 1931 and 1932 it was a nationwide story,” he explained.

Powers was known for killing multiple single women during this time period.

He lured his female victims to his farm by putting out ads in Lonely Hearts Magazine looking for love under the name Cornelius O. Pierson. Powers claimed he was wealthy and had high social status When in reality he had neither.

Powers specifically targeted rich widows in order to acquire the one thing, he did want their money.

Romeo Must Hang: The Harry Powers Documentary was shown at the Robinson Grand with a question-and-answer session following the show with the filmmakers of this project.

“I think there is a lot of interest in true crime stories. We thought since this is one of the earliest serial killers and probably one of West Virginia’s most infamous criminals. We thought it would be a good time to tell the story to the younger generations,” Spatafore added.

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