Henry Bastian was your typical everyday employer who would rather kill his employees than pay them.
For eight years, Bastian made a habit of hiring young men not well known in the area. Many were immigrants just off the boat. He paid them next to nothing upfront and promised a significant sum of money when their year of service was up. Then he killed them instead of paying them.
It was an ingenious scheme and above suspicion, except his last victim was a local boy with a family who suspected something was amiss.
|Henry Bastian committed suicide after killing |
Fred Kuschman at his Milan, Illinois murder farm
in 1896. (The Rock Island Argus. April 7, 1896)
The Bastian farm was the perfect murder house—secluded in the country two and a half miles southeast of Milan, Illinois. It was surrounded by trees and dense underbrush.
Henry Bastian was a respected member of the community. He doted over his wife and infant daughter Mildred, steered clear of alcohol, and attended church regularly.
What undid him was the death of Fred Kuschmann.