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Murder & Madness



75 Years of Crime and Punishment in Renville County by Patricia Lubeck. Paperback & autographed, non-fiction.

The list of serious crimes in Renville county’s early history was brief, but the fact remains—poisonings, rapes, robberies, shootings, stabbings, suicides and other crimes of madness took place in Renville county. Murder trials were more fully reported than other crimes because they excited so much public interest. If one killed another, there was a good chance that he would hang for it, regardless of his intent, or even of his mental capacity. While insanity has always been a valid defense to a charge of a crime, the question of what constituted insanity was once quite different from what it is today. Insanity was a legal, rather than a medical concept, and could be determined by applying certain legal tests. But a hundred years ago, many a madman was hanged after he had slaughtered his whole family under the belief that he had been instructed by God to do it. This is a collection of true stories that tell us what happened in Renville County from 1868 to 1940. Some of these crimes remain unsolved, and a murder victim has never been identified to this day.

Additional information

Weight .8 lbs
Dimensions 9 × 6 × .25 in