Home » Murdering Holiness: The Trials of Franz Creffield and George Mitchell by Jim Phillips
Murdering Holiness: The Trials of Franz Creffield and George Mitchell Jim Phillips

Murdering Holiness: The Trials of Franz Creffield and George Mitchell

Jim Phillips

Published September 1st 2003
ISBN : 9780774809061
Hardcover
347 pages
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 About the Book 

Murdering Holiness explores the story of the Holy Roller sect led by Franz Creffield in the early years of the twentieth century. In the opening chapters, the authors introduce us to the community of Corvallis, Oregon, where Creffield, aMoreMurdering Holiness explores the story of the Holy Roller sect led by Franz Creffield in the early years of the twentieth century. In the opening chapters, the authors introduce us to the community of Corvallis, Oregon, where Creffield, a charismatic, self-styled messiah, taught his followers to forsake their families and worldly possessions and to seek salvation through him. As his teachings became more extreme, the local community reacted: Creffield was tarred and feathered and his followers were incarcerated in the state asylum. Creffield himself was later imprisoned for adultery, but shortly after his release he revived the sect. This proved too much for some of the adherents families, and in May 1906 George Mitchell, the brother of two women in the sect, pursued Creffield to Seattle and shot him dead.The authors take us into the courtroom for the trial that made headlines across North America, as Mitchell was acquitted of murder. Though the formal plea was insanity, the defence built its case on the unwritten law that justified killing to protect or avenge family honour. Based on court records and archival sources, this case study includes a detailed examination of the trial, the medias response to it, and the dramatic aftermath, and sheds light on the rise of ardent religion in the Pacific Northwest, the justice system in Seattle, and the role of the press in influencing public opinion.