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Killed Strangely: The Death of Rebecca Cornell
"It was Rebecca's son, Thomas, who first realized the victim's identity. His eyes were drawn to the victim's head, and aided by the flickering light of a candle, he 'clapt his hands and cryed out, Oh Lord, it is my mother.' James Moills, a servant of Cornell . . . described Rebecca 'lying on the floore, with fire about Her, from her Lower parts neare to the Armepits.' He r ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 15th 2002 by Cornell University Press
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"Interesting to me because Rebecca Cornell is one of my ancestors. Allegedly murdered by her son in 1673PortsmouthRI. Unusual book because of the amount of detail recorded about the crime and the minutae of family life. Very well researched. But unless you are a history buff it is a little dry.
Some parts of this book were brilliant, but too many times the same tales are told repetitively in several different places in the book. Too much speculation about whodunnit, and an untenable connection made to Rebecca Cornell descendent...Lizzie Borden? Still this is useful to anyone seeking to learn more about the religious communities and social relations of mid-to-late 17th century RI/New England.
This book has very little factual basis and relys mainly on suppositions. If I wanted to listen to someone hypothesize based on no evidence, I would just read the back cover and start spouting off theories. This may have been what the author did? Save yourself!
In 17th century Massachusetts, an old woman ends up in the fireplace and burns to death--using court records, modern forensics and speculation, Crane plays CSI: Salem to determine if it was an accident, elder abuse or (as the locals suspected) demonic possession.