The Russian Arch Priest of this City Slain.




No Attention Paid to Stupid "Drunks" in Prison – A Document which Disappeared Mysteriously.


The Coroner held an inquest yesterday on the body of Paul J. Kedrolivansky, who was found on a Kearny-street doorstep on the night of June 17tth and brought to the City Prison Hospital under the supposition that he was intoxicated. Wladimir Welitsky, Consul-General of Russia at this port, testified that the deceased was 42 years of age, a native of Russia and Archpriest of the Greek Church of this city. Officer Brickley related that his attention had been called by a Chronicle reporter to a man apparently intoxicated who was seated on a doorstep on Kearny street, and he conveyed him to the City Prison. He appeared to be very drunk, and Prison-keeper Lindheimer and the trusties testified that his breath was strongly scented with liquor. The prison authorities appear to be under the impression that the deceased was a respectable "drunk." He was decently attired, and had also a silk hat, which was placed on the desk with a tag indicating the owner. It appeared, incidentally, that in the loose administration of City Prison affairs the hat belonging to the deceased disappeared and was not to be found. He was


In the prison with other less respectable and more demonstrative drunkards, and a kind-hearted trusty rested his head on a blanket in the corner of the cell. The Prison-keeper, Lindheimer, recognized him as a man who had been brought in once or twice before on a similar charge, and although he was evidently in a helpless condition, almost if not entirely insensible, he was put down in the minds of the prison officials as a chronic inebriate, and no further attention was paid to him until 5 o’clock the following morning, at which time the cells are washed out. The trusty who had taken him around the body in his arms and dragged him to the cell visited the cell at that hour to hustle him out with the rest, so that the cell might be cleaned. The man was still insensible, but a circumstance so very frequent in occurrence as that did not excite any alarm and he was conveyed in his helpless condition to the adjoining cell until the drunks’ cell was cleaned out, when he was returned, still insensible. There were eight or ten drunks in the cell at that time, but none insensible except the deceased. At 8 o’clock the drunks who had not paid their $5 fine were sent up stairs to Court to receive sentence. It was discovered at that late hour that the deceased was unable to go up. He was unconscious and breathing heavily. The trusty who examined him was struck with the fact that a drunken man should not remain in a stupor so long, and summoned


Who is also a "trusty," but who knows as much about illness as the man in the moon. After a brief inspection he delivered the assuring opinion that the man was "stupid drunk." At the inquest the steward added incidentally that he had felt the head of deceased, and discovered some kind of dent in it; nothing, however, to excite the curiosity of a hospital steward. It transpired that the "dent" was a fatal fraction of the skull. The man was allowed to remain in the cell in his woful condition for some further time, and all those hours he was dying. At 12 o’clock the prison-keeper was relieved and his successor, Mr. Melody, inspected the unconscious "drunk" in the cell. He endeavored to rouse him, but failed, and singularly enough he conceived the idea that he was a proper subject for medical examination. He was thereupon conveyed from the cell, where he had been in a comatose condition for about ten hours, to the City Prison Hospital. Dr. Stivers was summoned, who examined him shortly after noon. About 1 o’clock the doctors bled him, but the relief had come


And later in the afternoon the unfortunate man died. The death was considered "sudden." It was not remembered that the man had been in a cell for ten hours and there was no apparent cause of death. Drunken men rarely die in prison. So the case was reported to the Coroner, and Dr. Stivers was called upon to make an autopsy. The Doctor found the organs healthy, but was amazed to find the cause of death in the head. The scalp was not abraded, and hence there was no external mark of violence. The skull was fractured however. The man had been struck with one of those death-dealing instruments, which do their horrible work cleanly without blood or noise – blunt weapons which crush the skull and leave the scalp entire, with perhaps a slight bruise. The doctor found a large diagonal section of skull which had been driven in upon the brain. The injury was such that it was impossible to have committed it by falling. He must have been


The motive for the deed is unknown. The deceased was one of the mildest and most peaceable of men, whose only failing was an occasional indulgence in intoxicating liquor. He was arch-priest of the Russian or Greek Church in this city, and commanded the respect and veneration of the entire flock. He had two priests beneath him, Father Kovrigin and Deacon Kryzanowski, and the three controlled and managed the affairs of the Greek Church for this city. The name of Father Kovrigin has been mentioned in connection with the mysterious death of the arch-priest. He and the deceased were rivals, although in the same church. One of the witnesses at the inquest yesterday attempted to throw some suspicion on the good Father in connection with the disappearance of an important document. Mr. Rosenthal, a tobacco dealer on Washington street, related that the deceased had talked with him previous to the night on which he died, and had communicated the fact that he was afraid to be out late at nights. He had an important paper on his person which he was going to send to D. V. Petersburg, and


Referring to his clerical assistant, would give $10,000 to have it from him. The witness remembered that the dead priest had exhibited the document exteriorly. It was an impressive-looking document, long, and folded peculiarly in the center. The priest was somewhat under the influence of liquor at that time, as indeed, it appeared he was most of the time. Prisonkeeper Lindheimer remembered that when the man was brought into the Prison he had, among other papers, some document of that description, but there all account of it ceases. It appears to have vanished immediately, and a search among the Prison records failed to discover it. It appears, however, from further testimony that the document was not of such vital importance, and Wladimir Welitsky, Consul, testified that he translated it from English to Russian, and had returned it to the deceased for transmission to Russia. It was no document, said the Consul, for which any man might be suspected of doing injury to the arch-priest. Of the movements of the deceased on


Nothing can be heard, except that he went to the Tivoli Garden with D. Mindeleff, his room mate, and indulged in drinking beer for some time, but left without a warning to his companion. He turned up next in a saloon on Kearny street where, according to the evidence of the proprietor, he was comparatively sober. He left there about 11 o’clock, and nothing of his subsequent movements until he was arrested is known. These facts were all developed before the Coroner’s Jury last evening. The jurors were greatly exercised over the manner in which the affairs of the prison were conducted and questioned the Keepers closely. The said that they had received instructions to send for the doctor in cases where a man was stupidly drunk for six hours. The doctor said that he had given such instructions. When a man is unconscious for six hours he is a proper subject for examination. The Keepers were also questioned as to


The priest’s silk hat had disappeared. One of the keepers remembered having given a silk hat to one of the discharged prisoners who said he had come in with a silk hat. The jury returned a verdict that death had been caused by a blow given by some unknown person, and concluded with the following:

We censure the method of keeping the prison records, which gives but little idea of where prisoners are arrested, the loose manner of keeping property of prisoners, the rough manner of handling prisoners who are in a questionable condition, the neglect by prison-keepers in not examining prisoners and not complying with the customs and instructions for reporting persons who may be sick to the Police Surgeon, and we utterly condemn the present custom of employing trusties in responsible positions.


A Chronicle reporter questioned Mr. Welitsky, the Consul, last evening, as to the character of the missing document to which so much importance was attached. He stated that some time ago an American gentleman had been divorced from his wife, who was a Russian lady and a follower of the Russian Church in this city, on the ground of adultery. It appeared that she had visited the deceased and his deacon, and had written out a long explanation in English to the Home Government explaining the matter, and reflecting on Father Kovrigin, whom she accused of giving her pernicious advice in reference to married life. The matter was brought to the Consul for translation and it was translated. He endeavored to induce the priests not to send the document home and to refrain from indulging in such gossip, but they refused, and the paper was given to the deceased. The Consul retains the English copy. He stated that there was nothing in the document which could injure Mr. Kovrigin in the estimation of the home Government. He admitted that there had been some ill-feeling between the priests. He could conceive of no motive for the murder.

The funeral of the murdered priest will take place from Greek Church on Greenwich street, near Stockton, this morning, at half-past ten, when the ceremonies will be very impressive. There will also be a mass celebrated at eight o’clock.

The San Francisco Sunday Chronicle, June 23, 1878