A Dictionary of the Book of Mormon/Kishkumen

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KISHKUMEN. An assassin, and a leading man among the Gadianton robbers at the time of the organization of their marauding bands. In the year B. C. 52, Pahoran, the chief judge of the Nephite commonwealth, died, which event gave rise to serious contentions among the Nephite people. Three of his sons, named Pahoran, Pacumeni and Paanchi, were ambitious to fill the exalted position left vacant by their father's death. Each had his adherents and following, but, according to the national law, the matter was decided by the voice of the people, and Pahoran was chosen.

Pacumeni assented to the decision of the citizens, but Paanchi attempted to raise a rebellion, for which crime he was arrested, tried by the law and condemned to death. Still, the more wicked part of the community supported his unlawful claims. These determined to kill Pahoran, which resolve they carried into effect, and the chief judge was slain by Kishkumen. This foul murder was committed while the chief magistrate was sitting in the judgment seat administering the law, but, through the connivance of the murderer's associates in iniquity, he escaped. Pacumeni, Pahoran's brother, was next elefted chief judge, but he was slain in war with the Lamanites the following year. In B. C. 50, Helaman, the son of Helaman, was chosen to fill the judgment seat. Being a righteous man, his election was very distasteful to the Gadianton robbers. They determined to slay him, as they had slain Pahoran, and the same vile instrument was chosen to do the murderous work.

As Kishkumen was on his way to fulfil his bloody errand, a servant of Helaman, whose name is not recorded, met him and gave him one of the secret signs of the Gadiantons. This admitted him into the confidence of the assassin, who explained his purpose, and asked to be conducted into the judgment hall, where Helaman was then sitting in the performance of his duties. This was agreed upon; the two proceeded to where the murderer expected to find his victim. The strategy of the attendant disarmed Kishkumen's suspicions. At an opportune moment the servant stabbed him, and so adroitly did he perform his work, that the robber fell dead without a groan. The servant immediately ran to the judgment hall, and informed Helaman of all that he had heard, seen and done. Without delay, orders were issued for the arrest of the band, but its members, finding that Kishkumen did not return, fled precipitately into the wilderness, beyond the reach of the officers.