Train Travel

We’re on the train to New York. We stopped at Utica, and on the other side of the platform were the tracks up to the Adirondacks. Having just finished “Murder in the Adirondacks”,  which discussed the Chester Gillette/Grace Brown case (1906 drowning that was the basis for Theodore Dreiser’s “An American Tragedy”),  this was particularly meaningful. It was at Utica that Gillette met his pregnant girlfriend (Brown) to travel up to Great Moose Lake where she died. Did Gillette murder her or did she throw herself off the boat? A jury in Herkimer convicted him of 1st degree murder and the judge sent him to the electric chair (1908), but Gillette probably couldn’t be convicted of anything more than “leaving the scene of an accident” today based on the evidence.  The book also examined the part the media (newspapers) played in molding public opinion and historical memory, so relevant today.

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