I write Christian supernatural thrillers – the traditional thriller, grounded in Christian truths and with a splash of the macabre. I came across this article and thought, “Well now, here’s a true life mix of a paranormal murder mystery and thriller.” Truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
On January 23, 1897, 23-year-old Zona Heaster Shue died under mysterious circumstances at her home in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. Strangely, by the time a doctor arrived, Zona’s husband, Erasmus “Trout” Shue, had already moved her body from the downstairs area to the bed and dressed her. Throughout the next few days, Trout displayed some bizarre behavior over his wife’s passing, but since the cause of Zona’s death was initially believed to be heart failure, no one suspected foul play. However, weeks after Zona internment in the cemetery, her mother, Mary Jane Heaster, paid a visit to the local prosecutor to ask for her daughter’s body to be exhumed. This decision was motivated by alleged visits from Zona’s ghost.
Mary Jane claimed that Zona’s ghost had visited her for four nights and revealed that Trout was an abusive husband who had broken her neck by strangling her in a fit of rage. The authorities agreed to Mary Jane’s request and exhumed her daughter. An autopsy revealed that a broken neck caused Zona’s death. Trout was arrested and charged with his wife’s murder, even though the evidence against him was purely circumstantial. On the witness stand, Trout’s defense attorney challenged Mary Jane’s story about her supposed encounters with the “Greenbrier Ghost.” Mary Jane never wavered from her original story, and her testimony proved so convincing and believable that the jury could not disregard it. In the end, they found Trout Shue guilty. He was given a life sentence at Moundsville Penitentiary, where he died three years later.
Source: Listverse. The author is Robin Warder.