The Murder of Elva Heaster





(My comment: This story always fascinated me. )

The Greenbrier Ghost is the name popularly given to the alleged ghost of a young woman in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, United States, who was murdered in 1897. Initially judged a death by natural causes, the court later declared that the woman had been murdered by her husband following testimony by the victim’s mother, in which the latter claimed that her daughter’s spirit revealed the true cause of death.

Armed with the story allegedly told to her by the ghost, Mary Jane Heaster visited the local prosecutor, John Alfred Preston, and spent several hours in his office convincing him to reopen the matter of her daughter’s death. Whether he believed her story of the ghost is unknown, but he did have enough doubt to dispatch deputies to re-interview several people of interest in the case, including Dr. Knapp. He was likely responding to public sentiment, as numerous locals had begun suggesting that Zona had been murdered.

The autopsy lasted three hours, and found that Zona’s neck had indeed been broken. According to the report, published on March 9, 1897, “the discovery was made that the neck was broken and the windpipe mashed.

(My comment: This story always fascinated me. )


This is a great murder mystery

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