|Date|| March 25, 1871|
|Location(s)||Stonefort, Illinois, United States|
About six months prior to the murders Dakins and his family moved from Jefferson County and settled in a one-room log-hut on the property of a Mr. Jerry Foley, about three miles southeast of Stonefort, where they lived in severe poverty. Dakins was said to have drunk excessively, and while under the influence of alcohol would often speak in derogatory terms of his wife, whom he accused of infidelity and having an affair with a neighbour, which was the cause of frequent arguments between the two. Furthermore he also questioned the paternity of his children.
On the aforementioned night Dakins, who was said to be in his forties, killed his entire family by cutting their throats with a razor, and subsequently fled into the surrounding forest, where he committed suicide about 100 yards from his home by cutting his own throat. The bodies in the hut were discovered the next morning and the interior of the building gave the impression that a serious struggle had taken place. Dakins wife, who was in her mid-thirties, lay on her bed with her head almost severed and numerous cuts on her arms and body, indicating that she had tried to defend herself. Partially lying under the bed was the body of a girl of about three years of age, who was also almost decapitated. Two boys aged five and seven years lay in a pallet and were probably killed in their sleep, while a 12-year-old girl was found near the hearth with her head in the ashes. The youngest child, who was about one year old, was later found in the arms of its father, like all the others with a cut throat.
- ↑ Murder and Suicide in Illinois - A Man Dispatches His Entire Family, Including Himself, The New York Times (April 5, 1871)
- ↑ Illinois - A Suicidal Murderer, The Daily Journal of Commerce (April 5, 1871)
- ↑ Murder of a whole family, Coloinst (June 6, 1871)
- ↑ A Horrible Crime, Philadelphia Evening Telegraph (April 8, 1871)
- ↑ Blood, Blood, Iago, Memphis Daily Appeal (April 9, 1871)
- ↑ A Seven-Fold Crime, The New York Times (April 10, 1871)
- ↑ Terrible tragedy in southern Illinois, Freeport Journal (April 19, 1871)
- ↑ A Seven-Fold Crime, The Daily Phoenix (April 20, 1871)