Creffield and the Holy Rollers made page one headlines from 1903 to 1907. When I was researching Holy Rollers: Murder and Madness in Oregon’s Love Cult I spent months transcribing hundreds of articles. I’m not sure why I was so obsessive. Maybe it was my way of immersing my self into a cult without joining one. Anyway, I’m posting them all for those who are really interested in the story, or are interested the history of journalism, or are interested in how a scandalous story played out in the "media" in a by gone era. Since I no doubt made typos and unconsciously corrected papers' typos, these web pages should not be cited in anything serious (e.g. your dissertation). For such projects they should only be used as starting points and you should refer to the original sources. If you want a shorter version of the story, buy my book. Enjoy.

July 30, 1906: Esther Will Deny Committing Murder In The 1st Degree


Seattle Star 7/30/1906 p1


Esther Mitchell Pleads Tomorrow

Will Deny Committing Murder In The First Degree And Will Put Up An Insanity Defense When The Case Comes To Trial.


Esther Mitchell, charged with the murder of her brother, George, will appear before Judge Frater tomorrow morning and enter her plea of not guilty. Her lawyers will put up the defense of insanity when the case comes to trial next October.


Attorney A. E. Clark, Miss Mitchell’s chief counsel, arrived in this city from Portland yesterday. Although Mr. Clark would not be quoted as saying that insanity would be the defense, when seen by a reporter for the Star this morning, his inference was to this effect.


“The trial will probably last two weeks,” said Mr. Clark. “Our plans are far from completed as yet, but it is safe to say that there will be much expert testimony employed. Some of the witnesses who were on the trial of George Mitchell will also testify in this case. We will also bring up witnesses from Oregon to testify that during much of the time Esther was in Oregon she was under the morbid influence of religious fanatics.”

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