Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland (Bur Oak Book)

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9781587296055: Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland (Bur Oak Book)

On the night of December 1,1900, Iowa farmer John Hossack was attacked and killed while he slept at home beside his wife, Margaret. On April 11, 1901, after five days of testimony before an all-male jury, Margaret Hossack was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One year later, she was released on bail to await a retrial; jurors at this second trial could not reach a decision, and she was freed. She died August 25, 1916, leaving the mystery of her husband's death unsolved.

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Book Description:

In 1900, Margaret Hossack, the wife of a prominent Iowa farmer, was arrested for bludgeoning her husband to death with an ax while their children slept upstairs. The community was outraged: How could a woman commit such an act of violence? Firsthand accounts describe the victim, John Hossack, as a cruel and unstable man. Perhaps Margaret Hossack was acting out of fear. Or perhaps the story she told was true—that an intruder broke into the house, killed her husband while she slept soundly beside him, and was still on the loose. Newspapers across the country carried the story, and community sentiment was divided over her guilt. At trial, Margaret was convicted of murder, but later was released on appeal. Ultimately, neither her innocence nor her guilt was ever proved.

Patricia Bryan and Thomas Wolf examine the harsh realities of farm life at the turn of the century and look at the plight of women—legally, socially, and politically—during that period. What also emerges is the story of early feminist Susan Glaspell, who covered the Hossack case as a young reporter and later used it as the basis for her acclaimed work “ A Jury of Her Peers.”

Midnight Assassin expertly renders the American character and experience: our obsession with crime, how justice is achieved, and the powerful influence of the media.

From the Inside Flap:

On a moonlit night in December 1900, a prosperous Iowa farmer was murdered in his bed—killed by two blows of an ax to his head. Four days later, the victim's wife, Margaret Hossack, was arrested and charged with the crime.

The vicious assault stunned and divided the close-knit rural community. The accused woman claimed to be innocent, and some in the community supported her, refusing to believe that a woman could be capable of such a violent act. Others thought she was guilty, because she didn't cry or show emotion—her overall lack of femininity suggested to many that she was capable of violent murder. And when neighbors spoke of abuse within the Hossack home, the prosecutors had what they needed: evidence that Margaret Hossack had a motive to kill her husband.

Midnight Assassin takes us back in time—to the murder, the investigation, and the trials of Margaret Hossack. The book introduces us to Susan Glaspell, a young journalist who reported the story for the Des Moines Daily News and, fifteen years later, transformed the events into the acclaimed short story, "A Jury of Her Peers."

Patricia L. Bryan and Thomas Wolf researched the Hossack case for almost a decade, combing through the legal record, newspaper accounts, government documents, and unpublished memoirs. The result is a vivid portrait of life in rural America at the turn of the century and a chilling step-by-step account of the crime and its aftermath.

Midnight Assassin is about the ways that prejudice and fear can influence justice and how people's preconceptions inform the legal process. It is about a woman tried for a crime but punished for her character.

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Book Description University of Iowa Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperbacktion.. Language: English . Brand New Book. On the night of December 1, 1900, Iowa farmer John Hossack was attacked and killed while he slept at home beside his wife, Margaret. On April 11, 1901, after five days of testimony before an all-male jury, Margaret Hossack was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One year later, she was released on bail to await a retrial; jurors at this second trial could not reach a decision, and she was freed. She died August 25, 1916, leaving the mystery of her husband s death unsolved. The Hossack tragedy is a compelling one and the issues surrounding their domestic problems are still relevant today. Margaret Hossack s composure and stoicism, developed during years of spousal abuse, were seen as evidence of unfeminine behavior, while John Hossack - known to be a cruel and dangerous man - was hailed as a respectable husband and father. Midnight Assassin also introduces us to Susan Glaspell, a journalist who reported on the Hossack murder for the Des Moines Daily. Later these same events were used as the basis for her classic short story, A Jury of Her Peers, and the famous play Trifles. Based on almost a decade of research, Midnight Assassin is a riveting story of loneliness, fear, and suffering in the rural Midwest. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781587296055

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Book Description University of Iowa Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperbacktion.. Language: English . This book usually ship within 10-15 business days and we will endeavor to dispatch orders quicker than this where possible. Brand New Book. On the night of December 1, 1900, Iowa farmer John Hossack was attacked and killed while he slept at home beside his wife, Margaret. On April 11, 1901, after five days of testimony before an all-male jury, Margaret Hossack was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One year later, she was released on bail to await a retrial; jurors at this second trial could not reach a decision, and she was freed. She died August 25, 1916, leaving the mystery of her husband s death unsolved. The Hossack tragedy is a compelling one and the issues surrounding their domestic problems are still relevant today. Margaret Hossack s composure and stoicism, developed during years of spousal abuse, were seen as evidence of unfeminine behavior, while John Hossack - known to be a cruel and dangerous man - was hailed as a respectable husband and father. Midnight Assassin also introduces us to Susan Glaspell, a journalist who reported on the Hossack murder for the Des Moines Daily. Later these same events were used as the basis for her classic short story, A Jury of Her Peers, and the famous play Trifles. Based on almost a decade of research, Midnight Assassin is a riveting story of loneliness, fear, and suffering in the rural Midwest. Bookseller Inventory # BTE9781587296055

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Book Description University of Iowa Press, United States, 2007. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Paperbacktion.. Language: English . Brand New Book. On the night of December 1, 1900, Iowa farmer John Hossack was attacked and killed while he slept at home beside his wife, Margaret. On April 11, 1901, after five days of testimony before an all-male jury, Margaret Hossack was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One year later, she was released on bail to await a retrial; jurors at this second trial could not reach a decision, and she was freed. She died August 25, 1916, leaving the mystery of her husband s death unsolved. The Hossack tragedy is a compelling one and the issues surrounding their domestic problems are still relevant today. Margaret Hossack s composure and stoicism, developed during years of spousal abuse, were seen as evidence of unfeminine behavior, while John Hossack - known to be a cruel and dangerous man - was hailed as a respectable husband and father. Midnight Assassin also introduces us to Susan Glaspell, a journalist who reported on the Hossack murder for the Des Moines Daily. Later these same events were used as the basis for her classic short story, A Jury of Her Peers, and the famous play Trifles. Based on almost a decade of research, Midnight Assassin is a riveting story of loneliness, fear, and suffering in the rural Midwest. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9781587296055

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