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June 6, 2016 / Joanne Yeck

The Famous Forbes Case of Buckingham County: Part XI


A Woman in the Case?

Once again, on May 29, 1904, The Famous Forbes Case made the front page of Richmond’s The Times-Dispatch, this time with the truly sensational statement that footprints at the scene of the crime indicated a woman was involved the night of the burning of John S. Forbes’ house and outbuildings. What detectives and others deduced from the prints exceeded the talents of Sherlock Holmes!

The newspaper explained:

It is evident to the many who visited the scene of the burning shortly after it occurred that there were three persons who were directly connected with the crime. Three distinct tracks were found around and about the buildings: three persons crossed the field while the houses were burning and stopped and turned back to see the blaze, and three broke into a run probably when it was suspected that the fire would draw neighbors to the scene. And one of the three was a woman. This was evident from the track.

And it is the well-nigh unanimous opinion that the woman was white and of some degree of prominence in her community. Officers have had in contemplation several who were strongly suspected, but no arrest has as yet been made. A number of names have been mentioned, but of course nothing definite can be reported to the press until the arrest is made. Then will come the real sensation of the case.

The woman was Caucasian and socially prominent? This could be deduced from her shoe print?

Coming Next: The Preliminary Trial

Need to catch up? Click here for The Famous Forbes Case of Buckingham County: Part I

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