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Anna Wiese - A second trial

August 12, 2012
Sue Eckhoff - Grundy County Heritage Museum , Reinbeck Courier

On September 6, 1894, Emily Bennett's second trial began in Marshalltown. The second trial covered the same ground as the first, with few variations. Once again, the state listed the motive as Emily's jealousy over her son's interest in Anna Wiese. One of the witnesses said Arthur Sherlock (Emily's son) "nudged" Anna at church in a provocative way that invited her attentions.

Several days into the trial, the newspapers were reporting that the trial was tedious, and said that many in the courtroom had dozed off, including Emily Bennett!

The second jury seemed less engaged than the first one, even declining to visit the crime scene.

Again, the hair samples were brought up, but were unproven one way or the other as to whose hair it was.

Emily's son, Arthur Sherlock testified that he attended school with Anna, but had never "nudged" her and that on the night of the murder he went to Green Mountain to get the mail, came home and went upstairs, where he was when Arthur Hill came and announced Anna's murder.

The biggest difference in this trial was that the defendant took the stand. She was questioned for two hours and showed no emotion. She did not contradict herself; she did not get confused, or exhibit any guilt. The prosecution alluded to the possibility that two people committed the crime. He pointed at no one in particular, but implied that Emily Bennett was assisted by either her husband Cyrus, or her son Arthur Sherlock.

The state rested on September 12. The defense provided the same rebuttals as in the first trial and on September 22 the case went to the jury. The jury deliberated for five hours and voted four times and by the fourth vote, all voted for acquittal, and Emily Bennett became a free woman.

Although Emily Bennett had some supporters, most courthouse watchers believed that she was guilty.

After the trial, Emily and Cyrus Bennett returned to their farm and stayed a number of years before moving to Wells County, North Dakota.

In the summer of 1894, near the first anniversary of Anna's death, Marshall County citizens raised enough money to place a granite monument over her grave in the Vienna Cemetery near Beaman. It reads:

In memory of Anna

Wiese

Foully Murdered

August 26, 1893

Ages 20 yrs. 2 mos. 15

days.

Her murder was never

solved.

 
 

 

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