Murdering Holiness: Trials of Franz Creffield and George Mitchell

Murdering Holiness: Trials of Franz Creffield and George Mitchell

by Jim Phillips, Rosemary Gartner
     
 

ISBN-10: 077480906X

ISBN-13: 9780774809061

Pub. Date: 09/28/2003

Publisher: University of Washington Press

Murdering Holiness explores the story of the "Holy Roller" sect led by Franz Creffield in the early twentieth century. Creffield, a charismatic, self-styled messiah, taught his followers to forsake the worldliness of material goods and their families and seek only salvation. As his teachings became more extreme, the local community reacted by tarring and

Overview

Murdering Holiness explores the story of the "Holy Roller" sect led by Franz Creffield in the early twentieth century. Creffield, a charismatic, self-styled messiah, taught his followers to forsake the worldliness of material goods and their families and seek only salvation. As his teachings became more extreme, the local community reacted by tarring and feathering him and incarcerating his mainly female followers in the asylum and other institutions. Creffield himself was imprisoned after a conviction for adultery, but shortly after his release he revived the sect. George Mitchell, the brother of two of Creffield’s female followers, pursued him to Seattle and shot him dead. In a trial that made headlines across America, Mitchell was acquitted, ostensibly on the basis of insanity but in reality because of the "unwritten law" that justified killing in defense of a female relative who had been sexually "wronged." Mitchell himself was murdered two days after his acquittal by his own sister, Esther, whom he had claimed to be defending. In the final twist to this gripping story, Esther did not stand trial for the murder of her brother but was placed in the asylum, ultimately taking her own life by poison a few years later.

In this fascinating micro-history, Phillips and Gartner explore the relationships among formal and informal law, gender relations, and religious repression. It will interest scholars and general readers in law, religion, and gender, as well as anybody interested in the history of Oregon and Washington in the early twentieth century.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780774809061
Publisher:
University of Washington Press
Publication date:
09/28/2003
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
360
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 1.22(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Table of Contents

AcknowledgmentsCast of Principal Characters1. Introduction2. The Creffield Sect in Corvallis, 19033. Driving Out the Sect: The Triumph of the White Caps, 1903-19044. "Sensualist Practices Prescribed and Ordained as Coming from Heaven": Sex and the Creffield Sect5. Disciplining the Sect: Invoking Insanity Law, 19046. Revival and Revenge, January to May 19067. Seattle Prepares for Trial, May and June 19068. Justifiable Homocide and the Unwritten Law: Seattle Debates the Mitchell Case9. The Trial of George Mitchell, Part 1: Jury Selection and the Case for the Prosecution10. The Trial of George Mitchell, Part 2: The Unwritten Law11. "And the Evil That Men Do Lives After Them": The Death of George Mitchell12. The Law, Maud Creffield, and Esther MitchellEpilogueAppendix: The Creffield Sect MembershipNotesBibliographyIndex

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