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Book Talk: Murder in a Mill Town / Meeting Room

Monday October 16, 2023
6:30 PM until 7:15 PM

Bruce Dorsey, author of Murder in a Mill Town, will discuss his new book, published this year by Oxford University Press. Murder in a Mill Town is a gripping narrative that brings readers to the courtroom and media circus of America's first "crime of the century" and celebrity trial, when Reverend Ephraim Avery was accused of the murder of Sarah Maria Cornell, whose body was discovered hanging on a farm in Tiverton (currently part of Fall River) in 1832.

Murder in a Mill Town

Cornell, a 30-year-old mill worker, was pregnant at the time of her death, and a note found in her room read: “If I am missing, inquire of Rev. Mr. Avery of Bristol, he will know where I am.” The sensational trial that followed would be Fall River's most famous murder case until the Borden murders 60 years later. 

When news spread that Methodist preacher Ephraim Avery was accused of seducing and then murdering Sarah Maria Cornell, the case gave the public everything they found irresistible: sexually charged violence, adultery, the hypocrisy of a church leader, secrecy and mystery, and suspicions of insanity. Murder in a Mill Town tells the story of how a local crime quickly turned into a national scandal that became America's first "trial of the century."

Copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing at the event. This program is free and is sponsored by the Friends of the Fall River Public Library.

Murder in a Mill Town

Location: Main Library (104 North Main Street) -Meeting Room
Click here to go to the Fall River Public Library calendar.

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This page last updated : EK/TK KIWI : 2023.11.21 - 8:40 PM
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