The Goffle Road Murders of Passaic County: The 1850 Van Winkle Killings

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On January 9, 1850, Judge John Van Winkle and his wife, Jane, were brutally stabbed to death by their former farm hand, John Jonston, in their home on Goffle Road in Hawthorne, NJ (which is still standing). Their murder would go down in history as the first in Passaic County. Since the murder in 1850, it inspired the work of New Jersey's greatest poet William Carlos Williams. Williams would go on to inspire the works of Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. In 1850, with the execution of Jonston, it became the first execution in Passaic County. The newspaper accounts of the day go into great depths to describe the day. As recorded in The New York Times in 1882 "the abode of unearthly visitants," there have been documented occurrences of the unexplained occurring, and the current owner, Henry Tuttman is working to bring the house in the 21st Century while retaining the heritage of the house.
ISBN: 9781609493165
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: New Jersey
Series: True Crime
Images: 72
Pages: 176
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
The Goffle Road Murders of Passaic County is the second book for writer Don Everett Smith Jr. His first book, Images of America: Hawthorne (New Jersey), was published by Arcadia Publishing in 2006. Born in Portsmouth, Virginia, and raised in Bergenfield, New Jersey, Don lives in Passaic County, New Jersey, with his wife, Laura, and their three cats. Besides being an author, Don is also an accomplished comic book writer and journalist. His work has appeared in numerous publications, newspapers and magazines and on websites. When not writing, Don pursues an interest in American history and a love of comic books and science fiction (particularly Doctor Who and Green Lantern). He also cohosts the show Write Stream for Parasol Communications on Blog Talk Radio. For more information about Don's next project, visit his website,
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