cover of book

Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland
by Patricia L. Bryan and Thomas Wolf
University of Iowa Press, 2007
Paper: 978-1-58729-605-5
Library of Congress Classification HV6533.I8B79 2007
Dewey Decimal Classification 364.1523092


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'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, who used these events 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.

See other books on: Iowa | Murder | Press coverage | Trials (Murder) | True Crime
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