Murder out Yonder: An Informal Study of Certain Classic Crimes in Back-Country America

Murder out Yonder: An Informal Study of Certain Classic Crimes in Back-Country America

Murder out Yonder: An Informal Study of Certain Classic Crimes in Back-Country America

Murder out Yonder: An Informal Study of Certain Classic Crimes in Back-Country America

Excerpt

On what date a shaft of divine light transformed Franz Edmund Creffield from an obscure rural evangelist into Prophet Joshua the Second in all his glory is not known. Neither is the exact spot where the visitation took place. But the time is certain. It was 1903, and the neighborhood of the miracle was Corvallis, Oregon.

Troubles follow in the wake of a prophet as naturally as water runs downhill. If the prophet has a set of Old Testament whiskers and a chronic case of satyriasis, then the troubles are sure to be multiplied and likewise interesting.

This particular backwoods Joshua had both the whiskers and the affliction. And when he raised his voice in holy anger, as he did on one remembered occasion, the vast city of San Francisco shook horribly in the grip of an Act of God, then went down, writhing and smoking, in one of the greatest disasters within the memory of living men.

Driving up the lush green Willamette Valley from Portland to Corvallis, one scarcely wonders that this land once produced a veritable prophet. It is amazing there have not been more of them. Here was the Promised Land where the creaking covered . . .

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