Mary Jane Robinson Heaster

Photo Of The Day

Photo:Top, Wedding photo of Zona and Trout Shue. Botton Left hand side, Elva Zona Heaster; Bottom right hand side, Mary Jane Heaster, Zona's mother.

Photo: Top, Wedding photo of Zona and Trout Shue. Bottom?Left hand side, Elva Zona Heaster; Bottom right hand side, Mary Jane Heaster, Zona’s mother.

The Witness that Testified from Beyond the Grave!

They say dead men tell no tales ? but what about dead women?

January 23, 1897, the body of a young woman named Zona Heaster Shue was discovered in her home in Greenbrier County, West Virginia. It seemed to be a rather ordinary case of perhaps domestic discord gone wrong, but in the end, the case turned out to be anything but ordinary. In fact, it went on to become one of the most unusual stories in the history of crime. ?It remains a one-of-a-kind event: the only case in which the word of a ghost helped to solve a crime and convict a murderer!

Zona Heaster was born in Greenbrier County, West Virginia, around 1873. Little is known about her life, growing up in the Richlands region of the county but in October 1896, she met a man named Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue. He was a drifter who came to Greenbrier County to work as a blacksmith and to start a new life for himself. He began working in the shop of James Crookshanks, which was located just off of the old Midland Trail. A blacksmith could find plenty of work along this rough, unpaved trail, and throughout the county, and Shue became well-known for his work.

Zona became acquainted with Shue a short time after he arrived in town. The two of them were attracted to each other and soon were married, despite the animosity felt towards Shue by Zona?s mother, Mary Jane Robinson Heaster. She had taken an instant dislike to him and often told her daughter that she felt there was something the otherwise amiable man was hiding.

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