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A Death at Crooked Creek – The Case of the Cowboy, the Cigarmaker, and the Love Letter - NYU Press Scholarship Online
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A Death at Crooked Creek: The Case of the Cowboy, the Cigarmaker, and the Love Letter

Marianne Wesson


One winter night in 1879, at a lonely Kansas campsite near Crooked Creek, a man was shot to death. The dead man's traveling companion identified him as John Wesley Hillmon, a cowboy from Lawrence who had been attempting to carve out a life on the blustery prairie. The case might have been soon forgotten and the apparent widow, Sarah Quinn Hillmon, left to mourn, except for the $25,000 life insurance policies Hillmon had taken out shortly before his departure. The insurance companies refused to pay on the policies, claiming that the dead man was not John Hillmon, and Sallie was forced to take t ... More

Keywords: life insurance, John Wesley Hillmon, Sarah Quinn Hillmon, Supreme Court, hearsay evidence, forensic investigation, legal theory, love letter, Kansas

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2013 Print ISBN-13: 9780814784563
Published to NYU Press Scholarship Online: March 2016 DOI:10.18574/nyu/9780814784563.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Marianne Wesson, author