A shocking tragedy of a most remarkable character is reported from Vilna,
Ivan Klakwitz, a Customs officer of highly respectable connections, became convinced that his wife was in league with a neighbour to aid the latter in a law suit which was pending against him. There was apparently no justification for the charge.
The law suit was tried in the local courts last week and Klakwitz lost the case. He addressed the judge in an excited manner, and after making a rambling statement implicating his wife in an intrigue against him he left the court-room.
Later in the day, however, he professed regret to his wife for his baseless insinuations and hasty temper, and asked his neighbour to dine with him.
Thinking it better that a reconciliation should take place the neighbour accepted, and a social evening was arranged for.
At dinner there were present Klakwitz, his wife, his two daughters, aged 19 and 17 respectively, a young son, aged 11, his wife’s mother, and his neighbour and his wife.
The dinner passed off very pleasantly until the third course, when Klakwitz rose, and ordering some more champagne to be opened, said he wished all present to drink a toast to a special dish he had prepared as a surprise for this agreeable occasion.
He then left the room, and within two minutes returned, having in his arms a large dish covered with a dinner cover, and placing it quickly on the table, he lifted his glass on high and shouted, “To our next meeting.”
He had scarcely spoken these words when a dynamite bomb which had been hidden under the cover exploded, and instantly killed everyone in the room, with the exception of the servant girl and the youngest daughter, the latter living, however, only long enough to tell exactly what had happened. The servant died within two hours.
The unfortunate people were simply blown to pieces, and the walls of the room in which they were sitting were partly blown out. The explosion was heard for half a mile.
The Sheffield Evening Telegraph, January 4, 1894