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The Body in the ReservoirMurder and Sensationalism in the South$
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Michael Ayers Trotti

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9780807831786

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807899038_trotti

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Sensational Crime Comes of Age

Sensational Crime Comes of Age

The Cluverius Case of 1885

(p.43) 2 Sensational Crime Comes of Age
The Body in the Reservoir

Michael Ayers Trotti

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how Richmonders centered their attention on the makeshift courtroom of Richmond's hustings court, where Thomas Cluverius was on trial for his life throughout May and into June 1885. For almost a month, the lawyers, prisoner, judge, and a crowd of hundreds gathered to find a jury, introduce evidence, and make the final appeals of the defense and prosecution to the jury. The Cluverius case left behind it a rich vein of sources illuminating what occurred in the press, among the broader populace, and in the lives of the accused and the victim. The chapter explores the stories told about Lillian Madison and Thomas Cluverius alongside the broader historical record of them, drawing on court testimony, lawyers' arguments, and press reports as well as evidence from family letters and census records.

Keywords:   Richmonders, hustings court, Thomas Cluverius, Cluverius case, Lillian Madison

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