coverage of murder of Robert Imbrie thinking he was a Baha'i in Persia
TELLS HOW PERSIAN MOB STONED CONSUL TO DEATH ON AN OPERATING TABLE NEW YORK, Oct. 22 How Robert Imbrie, American consul to Teheran was stoned to death by natives as he lay unconscious upon an operating table was related today by Joseph F, Kornfeld, United States minister to Persia, just resigned, who returned on the Leviathan with a report of the tragedy which he will submit to the state department at Washington. "In Teheran as in most Persian cities," Mr. Kornfeld related, "There are numerous drinking fountains where are stationed self-constituted attendants, who in the name of a Mohammed, Saint Abbas, solicit alms. At the time of the Imbrie affair, there had gained wide circulation the story of a miracle that was reputed to have occurred at one of these fountains only a few weeks before. "The story was that a native approached this fountain to fill a gourd with water. 'In the name of Abbas? asked the alms solicitor, 'No, in the name of Bahai,' replied the gourd bearer. Straightway he was stricken blind for the blasphemy, then when he dropped to his knees and recanted with a prayer of apology directed to the Saint Abbas his sight was restored. "The fountain became the gathering place of thronged thousands who tied themselves to it and lapped up the trickling water, or fought their way toward it and prayed. , "Imbrie heard of this. One day he strapped on a camera and, with his aide, named Seymour, drove in a barouche to the miracle spot. i Imbrie forced his way through the) crowd to take a photograph. The natives surged around him, clamoring, and he fled to the barouche and drove away. "Behind the carriage the infuriated natives ran shouting 'stop him The infidel has tilled four of the faithful and poisoned the waters of the fountain.' " Although he was not wholly informed of events that immediately followed, the gist of conflicting reports was that the natives believed Imbrie's camera a weapon which silently dispatched death. .They overhauled Seymour in an alley-way where he had taken refuge and mauled him," he continued. "They pursued Imbrie into a tea shop; they clubbed and stoned him until the police rescued him and carried him to a hospital. Even them the outraged natives were not satisfied. They clamored for Imbries life in atonement to their Mohammedan Saint Abbas. They stormed the hospital, battered down the doors and. findins Imbrie unconscious upon an ope-1 rating tahle, tore the tiles from the floor and crushed out his life with them." The state department already was in possession of evidence supporting the story he related, said Mr. Kornfield. As for reports that Imbries' death was the result of a long drawn conflict between oil interests of several nations, he declared it was "fanaticism, not oil", that lay at the bottom of the tragedy. After reporting at Washington, Mr. Kornfeld will go to Toledo, Ohio, to resume charge of a synagogue.