You Be the Judge The Hall-Mills Court Case Part 3

About the Hall-Mills case of murder, history of the trial. Read the facts and decide for yourself.


The Hall-Mills Case (1926)

The Defense's Points: The defense was headed by Robert H. McCarter, a former state attorney general and a leading light of the New Jersey bar. He was assisted by attorney Clarence Case, who had little trouble pointing out the many contradictions in Mrs. Gibson's account. He even showed that Mrs. Gibson was confused about her own names and marriages.

Nor did it help Mrs. Gibson when her own mother, who had a frontrow seat in the courtroom, shouted, "She's a liar, a liar, a liar! That's what she is and what she's always been."

But as she was carried from the court, the Pig Woman propped herself up on the stretcher and shouted to the defendants: "I told the truth, so help me God. And you know it, you know it, you know it!"

The rest of the trial was an anticlimax. Henry Stevens testified that he was fishing miles away on the night of the murders, and three witnesses corroborated his account.

On the 19th day of the trial Mrs. Hall took the stand. McCarter asked her point-blank: "Now, Mrs. Hall, did you kill your husband or Mrs. Mills?"

"I did not."

"Did you play any part in that dreadful tragedy?"

"I did not."

"Were you in the neighborhood of De Russey's Lane or that vicinity on the night of Sept. 14, 1922?"

"I was not."

Willie Stevens's previous testimony agreed with his sister's account of their movements on the night of the murders.

Your Verdict: The closing arguments matched each other in vituperation. The defense intimated that many others could have committed the crime--even the Pig Woman herself!--while Simpson called Mrs. Hall "a Messalina," "a Lucretia Borgia," and "a Bloody Mary."

Guilty or not guilty? It's up to you, the reader, to play jury. What is your verdict? And what was the real-life verdict? Look below.

The Real-Life Verdict: On Dec. 3, 1926, after five hours' deliberation, the jury found all three defendants not guilty. The charges against Carpender were subsequently dropped. Gov. A. Harry Moore summed up popular sentiment when he said: "I think the state has gone far enough. It's prosecution, not persecution, we want."

Although new theories have surfaced from time to time, the case of the minister and the choir singer remains unsolved.

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