Murder & Mayhem in Essex County

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The idea of a criminal record originated in the early seventeenth century when the magistrates of the Massachusetts Bay Colony began recording dates, places, victims and criminals. Despite, or perhaps because of, the strict code of the Puritans, some early settlers earned quite the rap sheet that landed them either in the stocks or at the end of a noose. With biting wit and an eye for the macabre, local author Robert Wilhelm traces the first documented cases of murder and mayhem in Essex County, Massachusetts. Discover the story of Hannah Duston's revenge on her Abenaki Indian captors, why the witchcraft hysteria hung over Salem and Andover and how Rachel Wall made her living as a pirate. Decide for yourself whether the accused are guilty or if history lends itself to something else entirely.
ISBN: 9781609494001
Format: Paperback
Publisher: The History Press
State: Massachusetts
Series: Murder & Mayhem
Images: 44
Pages: 128
Dimensions: 6 (w) x 9 (h)
Robert Wilhelm writes about historical true crime for the blogs "Murder by Gaslight" ( and the "National Night Stick" ( His interest in historic murders began with the research of traditional American murder ballads, and among the hundred or so murder tales at "Murder by Gaslight" are the true stories behind two dozen murderous folk songs. Together with his wife, Anne, Robert founded, and for fifteen years hosted, the Essex Music Festival, an annual festival of folk and acoustic music on the banks of Chebacco Lake in Essex, Massachusetts.
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