Contributed by Gigimo
Description: The Eureka Tragedy. Why the Grand Jury Found No Indictment Against Mrs. WORKMAN.Date: April 30 1873
Newspaper published in: Cairo, Illinois
(From the El Paso (Il.) Journal.)
The action of the grand jury in not finding a bill against Mrs. WORKMAN is pretty severely commented upon. A juryman informs us that the evidence submitted to them was exceedingly unsatisfactory, and so far from fastening the guilt upon the suspected woman, seemed to clear her.
For example, it was proved that when she went out that evening she wore a black alpaca dress. Mrs. HEDGES' clothes were torn in several places, showing that there must have been a violent struggle; but the dress of Mrs. WORKMAN was not injured in the least. In regard to the bloody dress found in her house, that, when produced, proved to be an old dress-skirt which she used to wear over her other dress. There were stains upon it, but it was shown that four days previous to the murder, she had worn it while killing chickens.
When it was considered that she is a frail, delicate woman, and Mrs. HEDGES was robust, active and strong; that the weaker person showed no signs of the conflict, except a black eye, while the stronger one exhibited all the marks of a violent struggle, - the grand jury felt that an indictment would only subject the county to unnecessary expense, and result in nothing.
In addition, it was proven that an ill-looking fellow had been hanging around the place; that tracks were found leading from the spot where the fatal affray took place to the railroad; that the same fellow was seen the next day in Washington, and his appearance was so suspicious that word was sent to Eureka that he was there, and it was asked if he should be arrested. The coroner's jury with that magnificent imbecility which characterized all their proceedings, took no notice of this information. They were instituting an inquiry into the morals of Brother WORKMAN, and they had no time to be hunting outside evidence. The fellow left Washington, and that clue was forever lost. This is the only satisfactory explanation of the missing $189 which the murdered woman should have had in her pocket.
When the grand jury came to canvass the question of an indictment, only two out of the twenty four were in favor of it, and they determined not to put the county to the expense of a trial for nothing. After they came to this conclusion, they adjourned, and went to the jail. Several members of the jury spoke to Mrs. WORKMAN, but she made them no reply, and maintained the silence which she has kept from the beginning.
Brother WORKMAN was at the trial, and took copious notes. He remained two days after the grand jury had been discharged, and made copious extracts and copies of all the documents. He was stated to have said that, if there was any money to be made out of this thing, he was going to make it, and that, when he put what he knew with what the public already knew, he would have a very respectable book (in size he doubtless meant). It is his intention to publish a full history of the affair and canvass the country for it. We advise him to take for his title: "The Jealous Wife: or Virtue is it's Own Reward. Being a recital of the loves of Rev. Thomas WORKMAN, with scriptural allusions by himself. Full Calt, $1.60.
There was a rumor that the prosecution were about to have Mrs. WORKMAN rearrested, but it lacks confirmation.