Handsome and brawny, Louis Wagner was a 28-year old fisherman down on his luck when he arrived at the Isles of Shoals in 1872. He befriended John Hontvet, a Norwegian immigrant who, unlike most local fishermen, was "forehanded" and earning a profit aboard his trawl fishing schooner the Clara Bella. Wagner lodged with the Hontvet family in their duplex apartment on Smuttynose Island in summer. But that fall, when new members of the Hontvet family arrived from Norway, Wagner was forced to move to a cheap rooming house in Portsmouth, NH on the mainland nearby. BY March 1873 Wagner was penniless and reportedly told others that he knew where there was money, but that one might have to commit murder to get it. His personality profile fits the classic elements of a sociopath and he denied his guilt right onto the gallows.