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Martha Haney - 186

Martha Haney. Williamston, MI. Back in 1897, a man returns home from work to eat some lunch. He will make a gruesome discovery involving his mother. Her head has been removed and has been placed on a platter at the dinner table. She had been murdered with an axe. Her murderer would turn out to be his own wife, Martha. What would provoke such an attack? Joining us was author Rod Sadler whose book, To Hell I Must Go, provides the details on Michigan's own version of Lizzie Borden. His genealogical research brought this story to his attention as his great-great-grandfather was the sheriff in Williamston at the time and handled the case until its conclusion. Today's sponsor is Audible.com. With an unmatched selection of audiobooks and audio entertainment, audible has what you are looking for. Get a free audiobook and a free 30-day trial by visiting: http://audible.com/gwp     See Privacy Policy at https://art19.com/privacy and California Privacy Notice at https://art19.com/privacy#do-not-sell-my-info.
This is an unofficial transcript meant for reference. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
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This is with the generation like podcast joining meets an eye. Is rod sadler the author of two? How I must go rod, please introduce yourself I think you are- and I appreciate you have me on your podcast cast my aim for samurai may retired police officer from the state of Michigan. I served a third years and law enforcement.
And after retiring in twenty twelve, I decided to do some odd genealogy products and I came up with this book. which actually documents a murder case. In the town where I spent my childhood, and it was a case that was investigated by my great great grandfather, who served as the sheriff at the time in eighteen. Ninety seven so that's a little bit about me. I am a retired long for when officer and I enjoy writing in my retirement-
mentioned genealogy by have family members that have done quite a bit of genealogical research and its really fascinating, because you get all these names from the past, but sometimes you get more than just names. Sometimes you get stories and for those that haven't done it they made on understand just how interesting your past might be. It is extremely interesting, especially if you focus on one aspect of it. I obviously I am a, I don't know a ban with my great great grandfather in that he was the ship. If, in the colony, where I grew up, and that drew me to to do the research and every time. I found something more about him more than just a family ties. I would search newspaper articles about
crimes during the time, and I would look for his name in the newspaper articles and that's how this whole project developed into a book. So from the start, you didn't know about this particular case. You just knew that he was a sheriff, and so you wanted to look back, perhaps at the public library and other places and see if you could find out more about his law enforcement career. That is exactly what I did. I went to the local library they hand original What about newspapers from the eighty nineties and I simply started looking through them, and this was yet- and this was about twenty five thirty years ago, when I was first starting in law enforcement and I just came across, one article. It was so bizarre and I said
his name in the article and it when I finished. I just thought to myself. This would make a great book. I'm gonna have to write a book about this. Ah, and then I put it off for several years, mainly about twenty five years, and I picked up again and I went to the state library continued. My research just found just a treasure trove of documents that that contributed to this. Now in the book you mentioned that you started off as a reserve officer. Was there a change at some point due to learning more about your great great grandfather that inspired you to make a career out of law enforcement. No, I had already decided that I was gonna, be a police officer. I had known that since I was a young kid I'd, always to be a cop. I did start
the reserve off sir, when I was going to college the way instant police department shouldn't had a reserve officer programme and I was able to to volunteer my Time is a reserve of sir I'll. While I was going to college boy, on that. I knew that that I wouldn't be certified in law enforcement and get a job it wasn't somethin then that you know a while. This is really cool thing. I think I'll change my mind and become a cop. Now it was it was already in the cards so to speak, so in other words, it just made your great great grandfather that much cooler that is doing what you wanted to do. Oh, absolutely, absolutely because we wore the same badge. It well not the same badge, but I when, when I first started in lawn for when I worked for a campus police department, lancing community college, and we derived are police authority from the
ingham county sheriff's office, which is where my Great grandfather was the sheriff in eighteen. Ninety seven, and so my badge said in county sheriff deputy on it, and that to me was was very unique thing to know that my great grandfather was the sheriff. Well, one hundred years ago- and here I was wearing a deputy sheriff badge in the same county now that county to give people an idea where it is in the state of michigan and I'm sure many people are holding up their left hands right now. But where would you say it's situated so that people understand the area where you're talking about well Ingham a colony is the as where the state capital chicken is lancing. Michigan is located in. county. It's basically in the center of the lower portion of the lower,
and if you will, the mitten portion for those that debt. identifying Michigan as mitten the lord portion of the of the lower peninsula right in the center is a ingham county, very good and this town of Williamston. How would you describe it as a small town? It's a very small town, I say very small and it averages between two and three thousand people. I think today it it sits in the eastern portion of bingham county, ah where I grew up is where my lay dad grew up. My my dad was born in used in William stand then, and I spent virtually my entire life- there went I school air, grand waited. There actually work there and as a result of offshore just prior to go into the police academy, it's a great small town.
there was a time literally and maybe the It was like decision in every small town in america, but there was a time when everybody knew your name in town. I n As a kid you couldn't get away with anything, you said you did a lot of research for this book and to learn more about your great great grandfather. How much did your father know about him? Did he have The personal knowledge, the only personal knowledge that that I am aware of their that he shared with me when I was young and and going into police work was everyone he would remind me hey. You your great great grandfather was the sheriff of nottingham colony and I always thought it kind of cool. That's gonna need, and then he'd, you know I'd forget about it for a couple of years and he'd remind me again: hey your great great grandfather was a share of funding and pony, and I thought yeah. It's really cool and
he did have some knowledge about some of the the items that my great grandfather had more specifically his badge his gun, his hand cops. Those were all in the possession of a of a cousin, and so we went down to the detroit area where my cousin lived at the time, and I was able to to actually see the badge and the gun and the handcuffs and some other items and put my badge next to my grandfather's and take a photo of It- and then now dad shared with me shovel years later he said you know your cousin John, is is getting all these he's thinking about, don't, in those items to the Ingham county sheriff's office and I said, maybe I'll write him a letter and she appeal give those to me. So we can keep him in the family so
I did and, and he agreed to do it, and so today I have those items and they're a family treasure. There is a case at the heart of this conversation and your book is titled too. How I must go. Can you give us the particulars on the players in this story, most notably alfie hany, the husband, Martha Hany, his wife and his mother, who is Maria ass, actually annette nurse forming players in the book and obviously that the most notable one is my great great grandfather, though the other three people that you mentioned, Alfred who went by the name of alfie. Ah, he was ace a
poorer? If you will street labourer, basically a peasant he and his wife of three or four years, a martha, she was about five years younger than him. They lived in a shack and the only way that that new can describe it, a shack on the outskirts of town on next to the road traction williamson near the train depot and alfred's mother, elsie's, mother, Maria lived with them. She was at her eighties and more
I am and martha I'd never got along, they hated each other and Martha was mentally ill judged hand that subsequently led to marine demise. If you will, yes, Maria, didn't trust, Martha and their worth is about marthas pass that were questionable. She was married at a young age and had three children, but the whereabouts of the children were in question for a little while whether or not they were in question- and this came out after after the murder of the newspaper suggest that Martha had disappeared one day with her youngest child, who was just old enough to, as the paper put it set up
so slow leads me to believe the child was about two years old and the newspaper indicated that she disappeared for a couple days and when she returned she was without the child. And she told whoever asked her about it. That she had given the child away, and the newspaper implied at the time that perhaps she put the child out of existence, meaning that maybe she killed her own child. She did him out to other children at the time but the newspaper release centred on the missing child
and it was later found that she in fact went to the two were orphanage in lancing and gave the child up for adoption. So as it turned out, she did not kill her own child, but all three of her children she had given up for adoption and the youngest was george and she gave him over to HU, the reverend wingfield S, sly, that's correct, yeah, reverence lie ran a an orphanage east michigan avenue and lancing? Ah- and it was called the rocky beach benevolent association and he would take in an orphan, children or children that couldn't be cared for by their parents and would find them a good home. He was very well known around the state for what he did. So what do we learn from this,
is: is this a young woman who does care for her children and understood that she couldn't care for them so did the best she could in no circumstances, or did she really just not want children at the time room or what did we learn from this? Well, I think what we learned in my research is that I think that her family, new of her mental illness and in the documents that I located in the archives at the state of michigan library. Ah, the rocky beach- novel and association records show
That her sister of florence signed the adoption book. If you will for her she signed as a witness, and then you could tell that her sisters, her sister, actually signed the book for her. Also. I think that that her family realized, hey she's, got some problems. We don't think that that she can care for these kids appropriately and that's why they were given up. I have to tell you know: that's pure speculation. On my part,
I think what leads me to believe. That is the fact that her sister signed the book not only as a witness. Obviously she was with her but signed her name. Also, there was a mention that Martha wasn't very good at writing. So I didn't know if that played a role on this or, as you stated, the sister was there and made sure that the adoption went through. I think it's more that the sister was there to make sure that that the adoption went through. I don't think that that Martha ever finished school I know that she had problems her entire life, according to her family, when when they were interviewed, for the murder and such so it's it's really difficult to say some of the book had to speculate on some of that in an eye,
to use common sense when I was trying to peace this all together you, nor does it make sense that her sister cider name for it could be. It could mean two things. You D, Martha, can't write or her sister one to make sure that this adoption went through now, alfie and martha live with maria and Maria is living with them is its because she's older. she's in her eighties correct. Yes, she had grown up a farm woman and they had a a farm outside of williamstown and her, husband, who was a civil war, Bertrand passed away about twenty years prior to this end, at what point she moved in with with alfie and Martha. I dont know why naval to determine that. I just know that at the time
At the time of the murder, she was currently living with Alfred and Martha. And that she and Martin did not get along. Alfie was stuck in a real spot. He was having trouble getting along with Martha himself and then he had trouble dealing with the animosity between his mother, and his wife, and so there were times where he was afraid to leave them alone, but then there are other times where he was happy to go out and work for the day because he could get away from the craziness Absolutely you know he had to make a wage they had to survive. They were living on what I guess you could call the local welfare system back then the newspapers indicated that they were living and I'm trying to think how they put They were, they were living on the city, so to speak. They were receiving you know
I don't know food or money or what are from the city because they were so poor. You, I think you said something about the generosity of the local citizens or something like that. Yeah yeah they they were poor, folks and I got a believed that the that the house that they lived in was probably given to them to stay in. That's what it seem like if at least from the book, and then it was over by the depot, so it could get very noisy over there. Oh yeah, they were a hundred feet from the railroad tracks. I really wish the house still existed, there's a kind about unique twist to the whole research of this, and I dont know caught it in the preface. But when I was researching this book and I found out where the house actually used to to stand
I realised that early in my police career I had been in that house. You can actually say that you ve been there where oh yeah, no one else can go there now, no, no, it does it's been torn down. Actually it was donated to the Williams fire department to to burn and as a practice burn back in the late nineties, and so that's not that long ago, it it actually stood for quite some time. Oh yes, it did. It did so skip to the murder because, as we already set up the mother of alfie and Alpheus wife, Martha they are not getting along, and there is it a on April, twenty third eighteen, ninety seven, he goes out to work for the day
and little does he know that something terrible is about to happen right here. He has found a job for the day, maybe for the weak, whatever working on the streets and williamson and prior to this, he had already set up an appointment with the local town doctor he knew tat. His wife had some mental issues and he had set up disappointment, and so he headed off to work thing. in that you know maybe she's getting a little better. Today she seems better will go to will go the doktor tomorrow because he knew that he had to go out. Learn a day's wage, so he leaves the house and martha and Maria, because embroiled in an argument over a picture frame.
I had a picture in the living room that had a photo of her deceased husband in It- Martha took the picture, tore it out and put a picture of her three children inside the frame which led to a very violent argument and that's when it escalated to the poor where Martha had killed her mother in law. I understand there are men working near by At the same time, there are sort of noticing that their output coming from the house and martha we'll storm out of the house, but Maria will lock her out, yes, which I think is probably what really set her off right next to the house. Is the williamson stave factory and what they do is they make barrels from barrels and they ship those all over the united states and its out. It's a major
industry and william stan and eighty ninety seven. They They ship barrels everywhere and is very very close to the house within a hundred feet, I'm gonna say and their use to see in riah and Martha argue their use. Did the yelling there used to hearing she and am argue- and so it's kind of like Oh yeah, there added again big deal and they watch as Martha gets locked out of the house. They see what's going on and they're just they there taken away.
cells. It's just another day, and they ignore it. They don't see what happens next were martha goes around to the backside of the house and she grabs an axe and she goes back to the front door and she begins to pound on it with the act, eventually breaking through. This is something out of like the shining. yeah. It really could be. If you think about it, you get this petite twentysomething female, and she's bashing at this front wooden door on the shack with an axe inside her age to forget exactly how old she was Maria, but- inside is this eighty, some, your old woman
standing there, their wondering what's gonna happen. Next, will she ends getting through the door and she hits her mother in law in the face with e? What would you say that it is that the blunt side of the acts Well, I think that it is in and the reason that I say that is in the research articles that I read it describes the bridge using maria s face there, very graphic about it, they're very detailed about the injuries. It wasn't just a a quick swing with the axe and to killer she was beat up pretty bad. She had bruising about her face. Her face was bloodied and some of her hair was tore out, and so the theory is that she hit her first.
with the action knocked her down and then in there there was obviously evidence of the struggle within the house and that's when it became too that's when Martha reached the point where she chose to kill her rather than just knock her down. She chose to killer while this may be speculation, but it's based on evidence which is at this point in time. Martha may be. I guess you could say conversing with her deceased mother. Well it it is to a degree it's specular vision as too maybe what was said on her part. But the newspaper articles again that I researched all describe
the interviews that happened at the jail after the murder and she specifically told the doctors who interviewed her, that she had spoken with her dead mother and that her dead mother told her to kill mariah? It was almost like She had reached the point of no return. Yes, she had to see this through to the end right right, who's, the first person to reach the house after this murder, the first person is alfie alfie's coming home for lunch and he gets to the front door and he walks in
and there's smoke in the house because what he does a realise. What he's about to find out is is his mother's body is on fire on the kitchen floor and as he walks through this smoked starting term to fill the house. He discovers that not only is his mother's body is on the floor and has been set a blaze, but that her head has been chopped off and is sitting on the kitchen table at his place, setting pretty unnerving to think about what would be going through his mind what he seeing at that point in time, certain not what he'd have expected, even with the tensions in the house. No stop and think about this for just a second, you walk into your own house and you find your mother's had set on a plate,
can imagine the blood I can't imagine the horror, I cannot there the headless corpse Smouldering on the kitchen floor, I can imagine what he saw. I can only try to describe what newspapers described and it was a horrific scene- was horrible Now her body was set ablaze with kerosene from a lamp and there are people from around the area who show up to help with the fire out. Yes, there, the workers at the state factory they hear they hear maria yell murder and, of course, there thinking,
they're just stand and again well, in fact, their hearing maria s last words murder she's about to be killed. Ah once they see the smoke start, out of the house. Three of them run over tool them start term tub throw water through the the bedroom window, which faces the state factory third guy. Mr Robinson goes around to the front of the house, and he sees the the door has been bashed and he goes in and he he cuts through the smoke and he finds maria's his head on a plate. He sees it sitting there. He sees the body on the floor. These are all I actually was able to locate in the archives here in the state of michigan and actual hand, written statement from him describing exactly what he saw
the original document in his handwriting and he describes her head- is sitting on a plate right in front of him? He's really an important character in the story and doesn't he have an encounter with Martha in the house? He does after he finds the the head on the plate- he finds the body on the floor, smouldering Martha walks out in the bedroom in her undergarments and they make ike contact and she bends down. On the floor, where there's some some small potatoes laying in a pool of blood- and she- play around with the potatoes for a minute. Now imagine Mr Robinson, he's gonna be an absolute shock. Trying to his mind, is trying to grasp what he's looking at here and she's plan with some potato.
It does and she ends up going into the to the living room and get man the sulphur, the couch and starts to peel wallpaper off the wall, and it's about that time and he says I think I'm gonna get out of here and he does. He does that's a good call. I think, yeah. I think I'd leave too. take a moment to get away from her sponsor racket and ragged tenants smartest and most rewarding way to shop and save earn cash back over thirty five hundred stores and every single category like fashion beauty, electronics, homosexuals travelled, dining subscription services and much more membership is free and it's really easy to sign up racket. deposits, your cash directly in your paypal account, or they can send you a check, it's no brainer you can earn cash back for what you already are shopping for rocketing has
fifteen million members who are already saving store all your shopping, rackets and outcome or get the rackets an app to start saving. Today, that's racket in our aid. hey! U t e n dot com, the always really want this holiday at amazon stuff that is discounted in the south. This is where your great grandfather comes in. He ends up getting notified that he needs to go to this residents right, but what happens is william stint at the time in eighty? Ninety seven there's a depth
mean that works in williamstown inside the village, deputy le ranger and alfie, when he first discovers that his mom has been killed and better had has been chopped off in a sitting at at his dinner. He leaves to go, find the law he goes in and he gets deputy le ranger. They come back to the house and by that robinson has retreated he's waiting outside and here ranger approach, Martha who's, who has since left the house, is digging furiously in the ground with her hands and in the back, and go up and deputy arrange your handcuff sir, and they take her down tat the city hall in williamstown, which.
Just a small building, but they had a jail cell there and they lock her in there and they quickly by wire notify my great great grandfather whose in mason mason michigan, is the county, seat for income county and that's where the sheriffs department was the sheriff's office, along with the courts and They wire him and he has to grab a train automation rain- has to go north form twenty or thirty miles. lancing, he has to grab a different train and take that east another twenty five thirty miles to williamstown. So it's quite a journey for him
and when he gets there, she's already locked up at the city hall, and they try to speak with her at that point and where do they get out of her? Is she ready to admit which he's done or is she even coherent? Well, she's, coherent to a degree and the first thing there, that my grandfather did was try to speak with her and couldn't get anything out of her. He could tell she was not of sound mind. So he asked one of the deputies to get a couple of the town. Doctors to come, speak with her and then ill sell because they he wanted their opinion as to whether or not she might be insane after he when he first got to town. He was given a tour of the house saw the I saw the carnage saw, the the head set on the plate saw the smoldering body
I went to the jail, and so he knew based on what he saw at the crime scene, that this woman obviously had some issues, and so he calls for a couple of doctors and a couple. Doctors enter the celebration, peak with her in their able to get out of her that yeah she did kill her mother in law that she stopped honor with her feet. did she then took an axe and she caught her head off and she admitted that she had spoken with her dead mother and her dead mother.
Who died. Seven years before her before this had told her to do it. That sounds pretty insane to me. I gotta believe yeah. I I have to believe that that this was something that she had suffered with her entire life. So we come to what's known as a coroner's request. Can you give us a brief overview of what exactly that is and why it's necessary while coroner's inquest, ah it back in eighteen. Ninety seven was simply a hearing it. It was much like I'll watch known as a preliminary examination in in today's world and that is it eighteen. Ninety seven, they had have a hearing it up in front of the dead body before it could be moved. a hearing had to be held in front of the body
where it laid and had to have six good, indecent men as they was described in the law and they were to be jurors, so to speak, and testimony was given to the justice of the peace. and a determination was made that termination had to be made whether or not a crime has been committed. and whether or not there was reason to believe that the person they hadn't custody committed the crime and in it a long hearing by any means. But that's what was required by law was called a corners and and so they rounded up six townsfolk and they
I too will stand there in front of this smoldering corpse, which had been extinguished a headless corpse and in front of this kitchen table with this woman's head on it, and they had to listen to testimony from Mr Robinson and my great great grandfather about what what had occurred. so there in this house where this gruesome murder occurred and, as you said, it's it's an unbelievable, seeing their confronted with confronted with, and not only that, but the smell must be awful. Ah yeah, I can only billion that after thirty years and law enforcement, if he, if you haven't smelled a burning flash, it's something that you'll never forget an.
Two to actually see that it's it's a hundred times worse than just smell in it, so here six, six townsfolk! If you will smelling that see in it, I have to believe that that was something that they never forgot for the rest of their lives. So what conclusions did they reach at this corners? Inquest. Well, it was pretty evident that a crime has been committed. I think they were able to determine that Maria hany didn't chop own head off, and then they, had the the statements from from Mr Robinson, who heard her say, tell ranger that that she had killed her mother. So
all they had what they needed to be able to turn to continue the the legal process. If you will and that was for the sheriff to remove her from from the village lock up and take her back over to the jail in may.
imagine where he would eventually file a complaint and warrant a few days later and take her before the the justice of the peace and mason for her arraignment. So once the inquest is over, that's when the undertaker can perform his duties and he's fred rockwell right I had to. I had to check with some of the the local morticians in my research, because you have to think you know how would they handle something like that and the the responses I were were not very specific. They were, they were similar to well. They just would do the best. They could well that didn't tell me anything: so what I had that I had to do was think about this. What what would a corner do in eighteen, ninety, seven? Well, they wouldn't put her body on display
they probably would wrapper up much like they do today and nail thing shot and just tat was a service for the following day. and so some of that part that part of the book I have to tell you was speculation as to as to how she was removed and what was done, there. I do know that her service was that the following day at the baptist church, but is far is displaying her in the home, which was normal practice in the in the eighteen. Hundreds before funeral homes per se they would actually draper room in black and display a body that this was something that they can do so show the part about the removal was speculation. I do no friend rockwell was the undertaker lamson and the furniture store honour, and that is that's typical
We were the undertakers, were they were? They were furniture, furniture store owners back an aging hundreds and you have john Robinson helping fred rockwell to clean up the scene. If you will know we ve heard about crime scene clean up, but back then it was. It was this common, The undertaker had a hand in that or how's it determined or who cleans up well, the only reason that I know that that Mr Robinson state is because in his written statement and I found in the archives he specifically stated danny's. He said that he stayed till I think it was like seven p m or something and helped. Ah fred rockwell clean up the scene,
Beyond that how they did it and pure speculation. I can't believe that they kept the the table or anything. I have to believe that they probably took it out and destroyed it, and so so what happened to the actual table that the head was sitting on. I don't really know I had to kind of guess on that one, but I do know that Mr Robinson state and he helped the undertaker clean up the scene and removed the body. That's something that I found throughout the book. That was that John Robinson was incredibly helpful. He he was very helpful, yet you know he's the the first witness inside the house. he sees her. He seized the carnage he hears. What she says he's there when she's arrested,
was a huge part in this and in that's why he was asked to do the written state which is is still available for him, for anyone That wants to go to the archives and see it. I have to tell you it's a between that and the document that my great great grandfather, hand rode out as to what he saw. Those two things were instrumental in this book. They offered so much information to this. And yet you are exactly right. John Robinson was a huge part in this is this is the strength of the small town that records like this can be kept because they don't have many instances like this many situ. Since many murders I dont know is it is. It was something that that developed because it was in williamstown or was in a small town.
It really was. It was the court record that I found? in the archives I want, up there in and I knew that they had court records for the eighteen nineties, and I asked if, if no. If I could see him- and I told him when I was looking for- and I described this in the book in the profits- and they sent me at this huge table- it's like being at the national archives, and they give me some white with some white gloves in case there's some photos. although there wasn't any and there they roll out this cart with this box on it, and this guy starts thumb and through it, and he goes, he says, people first,
martha hany- and I said yes and he set down in front of me- and I have to tell you I felt like Indiana jones when I open that- and I found the original court records the hand written statements from my great great grandfather, the handwritten statement from John robinson, ah the the hand written sentence. From the judge and entire page, the doctors that evaluated her her mental stability When she was in jail, they had a taped written a letter with there, three original signatures on it. I have to tell you I just felt like I did it. I felt like Indiana Jones. I could discovered some great treasure, and I literally held my hand on my great great grandfather, signature thinking. This is this is something that nobody gets to do this. It was so cool.
it was so cool and I'll, never forget it. So Martha's taken to the jail and her odd behaviour continues in the jail. In fact, your great great grandfather expresses concern that she might commit suicide. Yes, yeah led the newspaper articles indicated that when he got her back to jail, he was concerned that she might harm herself and he actually put a cod outside her jail cell and slept on that caught for the first night that she was there and you she wasn't there very long. I have to tell you she wasn't there for three or four days before she was declared insane, but he did she. He was fearful that she would harm herself back. Then they gave prisoners of war
seem to calm them, and he had given her some of that, and he must have eventually felt that that she had come down to the point where he didn't have to sleep there, whether but or sleep outside or sell. So she had been. some morphine. She would in the cell. She would sing, she would pray, she would cry, It was a very unusual site. I imagine I have to believe very unusual site and that's actually that's how I e the title of the book came about that one of the newspaper articles that I read described a ditty a song, Did she sang inside the jail cell and it was? There were four lines that were cold and in the newspaper, and it was too late
Damn I can't go to Heaven to Hell. I must go. Murderers, don't go to Heaven. So that's where I have to go and as soon as I read that I thought that is the perfect title for the blood to Hell. I must go this all came about because she was visited by her brother and he was known his dick bet. He had visited her and she claim not to know him. Yes, she started acting more we're in more manic, and she wanted them to pray with her and they didn't seem to want to pray with her and she would collapse and and of course she sang that song in a in the book. You have. Oh, I can't go to Heaven to Hell. I must go murderous now go to Heaven, and that is where I am bound to go. It is creepy, it's like something out of our horror, film. It is key, imagine or sing in that song and then
King, my grandfather and her brother, who she does. Recognize, as you stated, to pray and I have to believe they're looking at her going seriously and it describes her falling to the floor into another one of her her fits and they discredit the family described, There is as having seizures further mature ready of her life, so I suspect, maybe when they describe her falling to the floor into another, whenever fit? Maybe she had begun having another seizure at that point in You know you wonder if, if back then, if maybe somebody hadn't seen a seizure before you know, maybe they thought she was possessed or somethin who knows, but that must have been a horrible site horrible site,
She's, obviously going to have to face trial and there's a judge, appointed correct judge, rollin person. Only he's thinking wait a minute. I need a point, some people, a committee of sorts, evaluate her, because, if she's insane she's not really fit for trial right, he appoints three doctors to assess her sanity. If you will, and- and it's done rather quickly and in today's society, that would take months. I think if anybody follows headlines where a prisoner is is and for a mental evaluation, their sent away for three or four months to have that happen. This happened in a day or two. If that The three doctors interviewed my girl.
and father they interviewed her family. They interviewed anybody that they could and they even tried to talk to her, and it was pretty evident based on her her. Oh, what's the word for her attitude and her emotions at the jail that she wasn't saying the end, so they typed up a letter and all three of them signed it and they said. Based on what we found. We think that she's insane they Describe her childhood. Some of the things that are family said that she had suffered from her entire life and I think, base on that and the evidence of the crime it was. It was clear to them that she was insane. There was no doubt now it's interesting, because if she's found to be insane,
they have to send her to an asylum only when she had gone before probate judge. He had said that they really didn't have any room right right and by that time it was beyond his. It was beyond his jurisdiction, so to speak and bite by the time that she had committed the crime it passed beyond his ability to declare her insane prior to the crime. If you follow me, if her family had taken her in to see the probate judge before she had murder her mother in law, they clearly could have said yeah. She needs some help, let's, let's put her away, but he didn't have you know that he didn't have room to put her in in an institution.
The institutions were so full back then, and I'd found that in the late eighteen nineties, if a husband couldn't afford to provide for his wife, he could ever put in the insane asylum. It was crazy. It was just that people were in there for being poor. It was just so. Strange back then, but beyond that you're right, they didn't have room to put her in private that, but when she committed the crime, they didn't every choice she had to go in. The manhattan homicide central streaming? On short time, I have attempted to format for the east side. Sewer tunnels notify the medical examiner crime scene and almost
like a large animal, which was the right one in new episode streaming now only on show time well getting back to your great great grandfather throughout his involvement. In this case, it really struck me that he was really keeping an eye on her and I dont know if he felt great empathy for because she was mentally ill
or if he was just trying to see that justice was served. In other words, if she needs to go see a judge or if she going to asylum, he's going to make sure that she is alive for that and that she makes it through every step of the process. Do you have any idea of his motivation at all, or is this speculation again it'll be speculation, but I'll tell you what I base it on. Ah, I think obviously my my grandfather had a duty as law enforcement officer to see that that she was taken through the criminal justice in afforded every right. If you well back then, but beyond that, from what I found about my great great grandfather is that he was a very highly respected man and even his political opponents spoke highly oven, and I allude to some of that in the
look, and so I have to believe that there was a certain amount of empathy no. She killed her mother in law and even though she doktor head off and was going to serve it to her husband for dinner. I think that there was a certain amount of empathy on his part, based on what I found out about him and the rich back that that he had garnered from not only the people is supported him, but from his political foes. Also, yes, even makes mention that he's concerned about her going to the asylum, because he knows a bit about what goes on in asylums, rent and I'll tell you the part about that. It is so difficult under michigan law, even ah case files for the probate in and people with mental ill.
I guess it doesn't matter how long ago it was their files are kept confidential and rightfully so, So I had no idea what went on inside the de home. For the criminally insane which is located in ionia. It's about forty miles, north west lancing. and so I had to research through some other books. What life was like inside and asylum, and so the christians, that that I use describing another book written about some insane asylums in new york, I had to kind of allude that that's what he was thinking about when he was taken.
or to the to the asylum here in michigan beyond dropping her off, I dunno what went on there and other then I know kind of how the doctor that ran the place- and I talk about him briefly in the book. Ah, what some of his techniques were, but what she actually experienced in there I don't know em. I would love to know, but I don't I would love to know because it's quite obvious she was insane and you imagine if they're there, to treat her. Wow. What will they be subjecting her two once she reaches the facility exactly exactly. Interestingly enough, I did was able to determine that she was able to two, like all the other inmates there They were able to walk around freely and their floor
unless they were a trouble they were able to really rome about their floor, I'm certain that there was some supervision involved. Obviously, but she wasn't locked up in a room as far as I can tell, which is a little odd to me, but given the crime, what. Happened with your great grandfather: did he have any other notable cases, or is this really the one that stood out well? This is the one that stood out because it was the most heinous I have to tell you thirty years and law enforcement. I've never seen anything like that. He did have another case that I I talk about briefly in the book. Where he ends up sending a farmer off to la off to the asylum package shot his brother. They had gotten embroiled in an argument and he went away
raising any shot his brother in and so He was sent off to the asylum maghreb, great grandfather was only the sheriff of Nottingham county for eighteen, ninety, seven and eighty ninety eight, he was defeated in the next election back. Then it was a two year cycle for a sheriffs and when he left office. I had heard through some relatives that part of the reason that that he was defeated was because a big deal was made that he was a german ancestry. He had come and he had come to the united states when he was three years old in eighteen. Fifty and had come from germany and had never been, never received. His citizenship So a big deal was made out of that in the elections of eighteen. Ninety eight any was defeated.
He went back to farming briefly and basically, just retired. There was nothing that that stood out as far as further law enforcement or anything like that. His wife had a brief moment of notoriety for some heroism she displayed. She did my great great grandmother. Sarah. My grandfather had gone off. I don't know if it was on a case or he was out of town for something and a prisoner by the name of AL stone attempted to escape and she held him at bay with a gun threat. The shoot him if he moved until another
but he came in and they were able to reach a cure him on that particular incident is described in detail and I've included a photo of it in the national police gazette in october matey. Ninety seven, it was a featured story in the Detroit free press- and I also found it mentioned in the new york times in eighty- ninety seven so it surely I don't. I don't know how to newspapers worked back then, but it got picked up by somebody and made it all the way to new york, its kind about a cute little story. Yeah, that's pretty impressive, that it was recognised in new york, is well yeah, absolutely very cool,
So this is where I say: if you haven't heard of this book, if you haven't read it, I definitely recommend it. There's so much more detail, more historical information, that's really really interesting throughout the book. I very much recommend this to anybody who hasn't picked it up. Yet it's a it's an interesting book. It offers a lot of detail about Nineteenth century law enforcement it offers a glimpse into the criminal justice system. Back then, in who, how quickly people were judged insane. It offers graphic detail based on numerous reports, a graphic details about the murder. The beheading of this eighty, some your old woman by her daughter in law, and I tried to make it too. I liked it
around with the guys that I used to work with I like to Tom, I put in lots of pictures I made it in big font because I knew cops would be reading it, so I always get a chuckle out of that. I grew up in Michigan and it's odd, but I don't really know the true crime history of Michigan. You know I can't just rattle off a bunch of cases from there. So that's one of the reasons why you made it out of the program I found it. You know somebody contacted me about your book and about yourself, and I thought yes, we should cover something for michigan that I don't think we had yet. So I'm glad that you made it onto the program. Well, it truly is and I use this this little phrase on on the on the back cover. It truly is the story of michigan's one lizzie, borden or a woman that some might refer to. As MR it's all as important. This was see it was signed
three years after the boredom murders in massachusetts. It It's it's gruesome. Unfortunately, people love that sort of stuff that wasn't I intend originally, the intent was a geological project, but it an abandoned does something bigger than that sort, you working on another book now that you can share any information on. I am as a matter of fact, I had such a great time doing my first book, and it and realized how much I enjoyed writing than I am working on another true crime book is another murder. In m coney in nineteen fifty five it's a double murder. It was committed by an escaped convict. and I won't go into any more detail than that other than to say. I have a lot
more information than I ever had for my first book. I can guarantee that my next book will be bigger and likely a lot better. Well, I'd like to thank you for joining the podcast rot. well. Thank you aaron. I I can't tell you how much I enjoyed talking with you tonight and I hope your listeners ah pick it up and- and I hope they enjoy it as much as you did, do you have a website you can give them now. Have a facebook page rod, sadler author? Ah, There is a regular page and then there's my author page on facebook and then shambled a twitter account tat, our emma s, author. Aw you can find me either one of those places them. The book itself is available on amazon, its saleable through barnes and noble it's available through schuller books in michigan, and it's all so in addition to, the paper bag version, there's a kindle version
available also, so you can download it electronically. While we look forward to seeing your next book launch sometime in the future, then while I hope to have that out in the spring of of next year, so I will keep you posted absolutely alright key rod. Thank you earn. This episode was brought to you by audible, dot com. If you want to listen to it, audible, has it with unmatched selection of audio books, original audio shows news, comedy and more get a free audio book with a thirty two trial by signing up Debbie, Debbie, you dont, audible, dot com forward, slash J, w thanks for listening,
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Transcript generated on 2022-10-16.