On the night of December 1, 1900, Iowa farmer John Hossack was attacked and killed while he slept at home beside his wife, Margaret. On April 11, 1901, after five days of testimony before an all-male jury, Margaret Hossack was found guilty of his murder and sentenced to life in prison. One year later, she was released on bail to await a retrial; jurors at this second trial could not reach a decision, and she was freed. She died August 25, 1916, leaving the mystery of her husband's death unsolved. The Hossack tragedy is a compelling one and the issues surrounding their domestic problems are still relevant today. Margaret Hossack's composure and stoicism, developed during years of spousal abuse, were seen as evidence of unfeminine behavior, while John Hossack - known to be a cruel and dangerous man - was hailed as a respectable husband and father. "Midnight Assassin" also introduces us to Susan Glaspell, a journalist who reported on the Hossack murder for the Des Moines Daily. Later these same events were used as the basis for her classic short story, "A Jury of Her Peers," and the famous play Trifles.
Based on almost a decade of research, "Midnight Assassin" is a riveting story of loneliness, fear, and suffering in the rural Midwest.
Buy Midnight Assassin book by Patricia L. Bryan from Australia's Online Independent Bookstore, Boomerang Books.
(216mm x 140mm x 20mm)
University of Iowa Press
Publisher: University of Iowa Press
Country of Publication:
Author Biography - Patricia L. Bryan
Patricia Bryan is professor of law at the University of North Carolina. She is the author of Stories in Fiction and in Fact: Susan Glaspell's "A Jury of Her Peers" and the 1901 Murder Trial of Margaret Hossack. Thomas Wolf received his MFA in creative writing from the Iowa Writers' Workshop; he is now a writing consultant for the Association of American Medical Colleges. They live in Chapel Hill with their three sons.