Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland
Home
About the Authors
The Hossack Case
Law and Literature
Susan Glaspell
Praise for the Book
Current Projects
Contact Info


Glaspell's Articles


MRS. HOSSACK'S
FEARFUL ORDEAL





LISTENS TO TERRIBLE ARRAIGNMENT ALL DAY, UNMOVED.




Attorney McNeil Presents Closing Arguments For Prosecution--Unlikely to Go to Jury Tonight.



INDIANOLA, April 10.--(Special.)--All day long Margaret Hossack and her children have sat in the court room listening to the terrible arraignment of the defendant by Attorney McNeil, who is closing the argument for the prosecution.

His repeated declaration that the gray haired mother, sitting there with bowed head in the midst of her children, is a murderess, must constitute a fearful ordeal but through it all, neither the defendant nor her children have betrayed the least sign of emotion.

Attorney McNeil stated at 3 o'clock this afternoon that he would probably not complete his argument until tomorrow morning. Judge Gamble will then instruct the jury and Mrs. Hossack's fate will be determined by twelve good men. A verdict is scarcely expected short of twenty-four hours, and if none is reached by that time, a disagreement is probable. The chances of conviction appear stronger, since the argument of Attorney McNeil than at any time before.

He then spoke of the attempt of the defense to throw suspicion upon William Haines and wondered why it was the man had not been in court. He thought their failure to produce him significant. He failed to understand how the dog could have been drugged unless it was done by a member of the household.

He next took up the evidence of the doctors and showed conclusively that in all material matters they agreed; that where, as McCrary and Parr had testified, a man would speak at once after being hurt, they also stated that in their opinion he had never spoken. He wanted to know why it was if the murdered man spoke immediately after being hurt he did not answer Mrs. Hossack's question after she returned to the bedroom from calling the girls the first time.

He then took up the condition of the axe showing that both of the experts testified it had been washed and one of them testified that it had been washed twice before it came into his possession.

Very Suspicious Circumstances.


He asked how it was that Mrs. Hossack knew that the axe had been placed under the granary when Ivan told her he was going to put it in the granary late the night before. He took up the question of Hossack having been struck by a left-handed person and showed that by the position of the head on the pillow the contused blow must have been struck by a right-handed person. In support of this he argued that the incision would have filled with blood and that the deepest portion of the contused wound was below the former, accounting in this way for the large quantity of blood on the north wall, which he said had been thrown out by the contused wound and passed over the foot of the bed.

He humorously pointed to the hair which had been found by Johnson in March under the granary. He said he pitied Johnson and wondered why it was he came to mix up in it anyway, the crime having been committed in December. He stated that from the testimony of experts there was reason to believe that the hair was human hair and that it came from the head of John Hossack. He asked whether or not the conduct of Mrs. Hossack on the night of the murder when her husband lay in bed mortally wounded had been that of a woman who loved the man. He recalled that she said she had taken hold of the dead man's hand and the attorney asked if in the opinion of the jury a woman under those circumstances would not have manifested greater concern.

McNeil Discusses Dog Story.

When court opened this morning at 9 o'clock, Attorney J. W. McNeil, who is assisting County Attorney Clammer in the prosecution, opened the closing address to the jury. He first called the attention of the jury to the barking of the dog. He stated that on the testimony given by the various witnesses, somebody had lied; that the dog, according to one story had been heard to bark after the murder had been committed and that the defendant admitted in her own statement that the dog had barked in the early evening.


[ Back to Articles Listing ]

 
 
Midnight Assassin copyright © 2017; Patricia L. Bryan and Thomas Wolf