On June 22, 1897, after five months of firmly believing that her daughter had been a victim of femicide, Mary jane heaster was in a court hearing to give his testimony against his son-in-law Erasmus Trout Shueb in United States.
That day, the prosecutor in the case had heard her affirm that for four nights her deceased firstborn, Elva Zone Heaster Shue He ‘visited’ her to tell her the supposed truth about what happened that fateful day, reports El Tiempo.
According to the mother, the ghost of her daughter confessed that the death had not been the product of an “eternal faint”, as the doctors determined when they found her body in the house, but of a murder at the hands of her husband.
“Are you sure those ‘visits’ weren’t four dreams?” The prosecutor asked Heaster in the local court of Greenbrier County, in the eastern United States. “Yes sir. They were not dreams. I don’t dream when I’m wide awake; without a doubt, and I know that I saw her there with me ”, the woman replied.
Given the little evidence that the deceased had been the victim of a femicide, several doubts about the superstition of the anguished mother came to the fore. However, the woman always remained firm in her version.
After an hour of deliberation, the panel of judges determined that the husband of the late Elva Heaster must be sentenced to life in prison for his murder. Although the verdict did not detail that the ‘revelation’ of the alleged ghost influenced the sentence, the residents over time immortalized what happened as “the strange case that was resolved with the testimony of a ghost.”
Elva Zona Heaster Shue and Erasmus Trout Shue were married in the late 19th century in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, USA. However, he had been twice widowed due to ‘premature deaths’ of his former wives, according to the investigation of the North American author Dennis Deitz, reflected in his book The ghost of Greenbrier and other strange histories.
That is why January 23, 1897, the day Elva Heaster died, was very strange. At that moment, Trout shue He approached the home of Anderson Jones, a minor under 12, to ask for help with his wife, who was in poor health.
When the little boy arrived at the place, he was astonished to see a blood stain on the entrance staircase and the lifeless body of Elva Zona Heaster lying on the ground. Totally terrified, Jones returned home and asked his mother to notify the county doctor.
But when the doctor arrived at Trout and Heaster’s home, there was no longer a trace of blood. The woman was reclining in the house and wearing a tailored suit. When the doctor proceeded to review her, Erasmus Trout at all times held the head of the deceased on his chest without, apparently, allowing it to be fully examined.
The medical opinion established that the woman had died of natural causes, a “Eternal swoon”. On the day of the funeral, according to Deitz’s information, the widower would have placed a sheet on the coffin to keep the deceased’s head firm.
It was at that moment that the mother of the deceased, motivated by uncertainty, decided to remove the sheet from the grave and take it home. It is said that when it was immersed in water, red colorations sprouted from the fabric.
Since then, the idea that her daughter had been murdered settled in her head and, attached to her religious faith, she began to pray insistently. In those ‘heavenly dialogues’ it is assumed that the four revelations in which the deceased explained what happened would have occurred.
According to the account that Mary Jane Heaster gave in court, her deceased daughter would have ‘appeared’ in her room dressed in the same clothes on the day of the murder. “The ghost told him that Trout Shue had become enraged because he did not serve him meat for dinner and grabbed her by the neck, squeezing it until it fractured between the first and second vertebrae,” the Washington Post reported in a 2019 count.
The most curious thing was that, after the revelation that a neck fracture would have triggered the death of Elva Zona Heaster Shue, its veracity was confirmed by a autopsy ordered by the prosecutor in the case after listening to the distraught mother.
After obtaining sufficient evidence, the June 22, 1897 trial was held against Erasmus Trout Shue for the alleged murder of the woman.
“The first time he came he turned his head completely and looked at me like he wanted me to know all about it. And the next time he saw me again, he told me everything. The last night she was there, she told me that she did everything she could, and I’m glad she told me that too, ”Mary Jane Heaster explained during the hearing.
At the end, Trout shue He was sentenced to life imprisonment, but only spent three years in prison, due to his death from an unknown disease.
A century later, the population and popular culture have immortalized the story as ‘The case of the ghost of Greenbrier’. For the investigators, it is unusual that justice valued the testimony “from beyond” that the mother of the deceased related.
This was reflected on a plaque located in the West Virginia municipality, where the murder would have occurred: “The only known case in which a testimony from a ghost helped convict a murderer.”