Law and Legal History from The Lawbook Exchange
Here's an even more shocking case: The Rev. H.H. Hayden: An Autobiography. The Mary Stannard Murder Tried on Circumstantial Evidence. This 1880 book is not really an autobiography. In 1879, the body of Mary Stannard, a 22-year-old servant in Rev. Hayden's Madison, Connecticut, house was discovered, her throat slit, skull smashed, and arsenic in her stomach. Stannard had told several people she was pregnant by Hayden, and that she was going to meet him in a field to discuss their future. He also promised to bring her something to induce an abortion. The Reverend did not specify whether that something might be arsenic, a knife or a hammer. Hayden was not able to account for his whereabouts on the day in question, other than that he was known to have purchased arsenic that day "to kill rats." Though things might look bad, Hayden did have the benefit of a clairvoyant who testified as to his innocence. The result was a hung jury and Hayden's release. We don't know whether Rev. Hayden then spent the remainder of his life looking for Mary's "real killer." Item 104. $200.
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