|11 November 1940 Home News|
The story begins in April 1940 when Kazlouskas - also sometimes spelled Kazeleski - lost his Three Bridges farm to foreclosure. Apparently, he took to the woods of the Sourland Mountain and vicinity and subsisted for weeks by stealing milk from the doorsteps of houses in Three Bridges and Higginsville. After the house and outbuildings on his former farm were set ablaze in an act of arson, a warrant was issued for his arrest and a posse was formed.
|20 September 1940 Courier News|
One of the young men leading the posse was twenty-year-old Julius Norvich whose family lived on a farm adjoining Kazlouskas. Residents of Higginsville and Three Bridges were terrorized the entire summer by the "mad hermit" as the posse failed to locate their prey. On the evening of September 17, Norvich went out to the pasture to care for some horses and never returned. His pellet-riddled body was found the next day at the bottom of a cistern.
|19 September 1940 Home News|
Early the next morning, while the posse which had now grown to seventy-five men was combing the area, several shotgun blasts were fired through the windows of the Norvich home, narrowly missing still-sleeping family members.
|22 September 1940 Philadelphia Inquirer|
The killer was next heard from again on the evening of September 27 when the car of a Centerville man, Charles Smithana, was fired on as he pulled his car up to the Davis farm. Smithana fell flat on the seat just before the first shot was fired, then got out of the car and shouted "Halt, or I'll shoot you", dropping to the ground before a second blast. After reloading, Kazlouskas fired a third wild shot into the night and ran off toward Three Bridges.
|28 September 1940 Home News|