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TABLE OF TRIALS.
The Trial of JOHN BROWN for Treason and Insurrection,
Charlestown, Virginia, 1859
The Trial of EDWIN COPPOC for Treason, Insurrection and
806 The Trial of JOHN ANTHONY COPELAND and SHIELDS
GREEN for Insurrection and Murder, Charlestown, Virginia,
The Trial of JOHN E. COOK for Treason, Insurrection and Murder, Charlestown, Virginia, 1859
The Trial of DAVID D. HOW for the Murder of OTHELLO
865 CHURCH, Angelica, New York, 1824
THE TRIAL OF GEORGE S. TWITCHELL FOR THE MURDER OF MARY E. HILL,
On the corner of Tenth and Pine streets, in the City of Philadelphia, there lived in ease and with all the comforts of wealth, a family of three, George S. Twitchell, Jr., his wife, Camilla, and Mrs. Mary E. Hill. The home had been purchased by Mrs. Hill, who was a wealthy widow, and to whose daughter Twitchell had been married about four years.
On Sunday night, November 22, 1868, Sarah Campbell, a servant girl in the family of Mrs. Hill, returned about nine o'clock from church. She was obliged to ring the bell repeatedly, when finally Mr. Twitchell, but partially dressed, opened the door, and, after remarking that it was a cold night, and saying, "I wonder where mother is," returned to his bedroom. Sarah opened the door leading to the yard, and was horrified to see the dead body of Mrs. Hill on the brick pavement beneath the windows of the sitting-room. She called Mr. Twitchell, who, on seeing the body, exclaimed: "My God, what is this,” and asked, “Will some one assist me in carrying her in?” He and Sarah took up the body and carried it into the kitchen, with Mrs. Twitchell's assistance, who had in the meantime come down stairs in her night clothes. The neighbors were given the alarm and a doctor sent for. They were met at the door by Mrs. Twitchell crying, "Mother has been killed,” and when asked how, she replied, “She fell out of the second story window.” And going into the kitchen they found the husband washing the face of the deceased with a wet cloth. An examination of the upstairs rooms discovered drops of blood on the floor and the window sill and Twitchell's shirt was also found bloodstained. These facts convinced the neighbors that the murder must have been com
mitted in the house and as the only occupants at the time were Twitchell and his wife, they were at once arrested and taken to jail.
In December they were indicted for the murder of Mrs. Hill. The husband was tried first, and the evidence was very strong that both husband and wife had been endeavoring for some time to get hold of the mother's property, and that the former was very much embarrassed financially. The jury in a few minutes returned a verdict of guilty and the prisoner was sentenced to be hanged.
A few days before the day set for his execution, Twitchell made a statement to his attending clergyman that his wife (who had in the meantime been tried and acquitted) in a sudden quarrel with her mother had killed her without his knowledge, and that to save her he had helped to throw Mrs. Hill into the yard so as to make it appear that she was the victim of an accident.
Nobody believed this story and the gallows were ready for the murderer when the night before the day on which he was to be hanged he poisoned himself in his cell with prussic acid.
In the Court of Oyer and Terminer of Philadelphia, December, 1868.
Hon. FREDERICK C. BREWSTER,
Judges. HON JAMES R. Ludlow,
December 29. The courtroom was crowded, even the passage ways, until the police cleared them and drove several hundred spectators
1 Bibliography. *"The Trial and Conviction of George S. Twitchell, Jr., for the Murder of Mrs. Mary E. Hill, his mother-in-law, with the Eloquent Speeches of Counsel on both sides, and Hon. Judge Brewster's Charge to the Jury, in full. To which are added many interesting facts in regard to the Hills and Twitchells never before published. Philadelphia: Published by Barclay & Co., 610 Arch Street."
There are numerous illustrations in the volume, most of which are the fancy of the artist. The outside cover has a portrait of Twitch