The Champion

January-February 2012 , Page 56 

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Book Review: Murder in Muncy Creek

By Maureen Rowland

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Murder in Muncy Creek

By William Bailey and Peggy Bailey
Special Publications Inc. (2011)
Reviewed by Maureen Rowland 

This is a true account of the 1836 trial and execution of John Earls for the murder of his wife by poisoning. The incident took place in a small Pennsylvania town. The book consists of a series of historical documents, including summaries of the trial testimony of all the witnesses. This made it a difficult read. It does not flow like a novel and the language is cumbersome.

That being said, it is a fascinating look at the early American criminal justice system. The authors, descendants of John Earls, meticulously researched the subject matter and collected all possible source material to include in the book. The story itself has some sex appeal. Catherine, the wife of John Earls, had just delivered their seventh child when she became violently ill. Several witnesses testified to the abuse Mrs. Earls suffered at the hands of her husband. He was having a rather p

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