Serial Killer Harry Powers Executed After Gruesome Crime Uncovered in Quiet Dell, West Virginia

QUIET DELL, W.Va. – In 1932, Harry Powers faced the gallows at the West Virginia Penitentiary, where he was pronounced dead after 11 minutes. Powers, one of America’s first serial killers, kept his thoughts about the violent murders for which he was charged to himself.

In 1910, at 18, Harry Powers emigrated with his family to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and 14 years later, at 32, moved to Quiet Dell near Clarksburg, West Virginia, under the alias Harry Powers. His barbarity inspired books, movies, and podcasts, with the 1953 novel “Night of the Hunter” and the 1955 film of the same name based on his story.

Powers began to correspond with women through personal ads, particularly targeting lonely, wealthy women. In 1931, a police investigation into the disappearance of Asta Eicher and her children led to the discovery of Powers’ atrocities.

Sheriff Wilford Grimm obtained a search warrant, leading to the discovery of a hidden chamber beneath Powers’ garage with evidence of the murders. In 1931, Powers was arrested, found guilty, and put to death for his crimes.

Some believe that Powers may have had more victims than the five identified, and it’s been suggested that he could have killed as many as fifty people. However, only five victims were found buried near his “murder garage”.