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Writing History & Mysteries

When I'm not delving into historical research, I'm planning a character's demise.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

I is for Inquest

In 1856, in the rural town of Alabama, NY one woman's family suffered from multiple unexplained deaths. The town folk grew suspicious of the now remarried Polly Frisch. An investigation commenced, bodies were exhumed, an affair—exposed. Polly would be arrested for the murders of her first husband and daughters. Her fourteen-year-old son would testify against her. If found guilty, the punishment for such a crime was the gallows. Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch is the true story of Polly Frisch who poisoned her family with arsenic and the five trials it took to convict her.

Although the house has been extensively remodeled since the 1850s, this is the home of Polly's father, Schubel Franklin, in Alabama Center where one of the inquests were held on the death of one of Polly's children.


Testimony having been given by Starkweather and Horning, as well as others, the following decision was arrived at by the coroner’s jury:

State of New York }
County of Genesee}

An inquisition intended and taken for the People of the State of New York at the house of Shubel Franklin in the town of Alabama in said county of Genesee on the 22nd day of October 1857. A.D. before me Robert Baker one of the Coroners in and for said county upon the view of the body of Eliza Jane Hoag  and there lying dead upon the oaths of Stanley E. Filkins, Eli P. Vail, Alden Curtis, George H. Potter, Henry Preston, Aaron Barrett, & Alfred Losee; good and lawful men of the said county and being duly sworn to inquire on the part of the people of the State of New York into all the circumstances attending the death of the said Eliza J. Hoag and by where the same was produced and in what manner and when and where the said Eliza Jane Hoag came to her death do say upon the same oaths as aforesaid that Eliza Jane Hoag came to her death under suspicious circumstances and from some cause unknown to the jury.
On witness whereof, as well as the said coroner, as the jurors aforesaid have to this inquisition set their hands and seals on the day of the date of inquisition.

Alfred Losee, R. Baker coroner

Eli P. Vail, Stanley E. Filkins foreman

Henry Preston, Aaron Barrett

Alden Curtis, George Potter


The hardcovers went live last week, and the paperbacks over the weekend on Amazon. I am hoping the ebooks will be up by the end of the week! Exciting times!
The list to the other A-Z bloggers is here.
If your user name in comments doesn't lead to your A-Z blog, leave the URL so I can find you!
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For J, I will pull a different case from my files to keep you intrigued.


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Available in paperback and eBook formats

Available in paperback and eBook formats

Now Available At:

Barnes & Noble
The History Press

Carried by over 20 college/university libraries across the county, according to daily updates by worldcat.org, including Columbia University, Oklahoma State, Texas A & M, and Yale University Law Library.


APRIL 2nd,11-1 PM
The Book Shoppe - Medina, NY

APRIL 16th, 2 PM
Barnes & Noble - Pittsfield, MA

APRIL 19th, 7 PM
Tonawanda Indian Reservation Historical Society,
Tonawanda Indian Community Center- Akron, NY

MAY 14th, 1 PM
Seneca Iroquois National Museum - Salamanca, NY

May 17th, 6 PM Warsaw Public Library - Warsaw, NY

AUG 9TH, 7 pm Hoss's Country Corner -2016 Author's Night- Long Lake, NY

AUG 25TH 6 PM Akwesasne Cultural Center - Hogansburg, NY

More to announce as they are confirmed.

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Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch

Bread & Butter the Murders of Polly Frisch
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