Outrage in Ohio
A Rural Murder, Lynching, and Mystery
Published by: Indiana University Press
On a hot and dusty Sunday in June 1872, 13-year-old Mary Secaur set off on her two-mile walk home from church. She never arrived. The horrific death of this young girl inspired an illegal interstate pursuit-and-arrest, courtroom dramatics, conflicting confessions, and the daylight lynching of a traveling tin peddler and an intellectually disabled teenager. Who killed Mary Secaur? Were the accused actually guilty? What drove the citizens of Mercer County to lynch the suspects?
David Kimmel seeks answers to these provoking questions and deftly recounts what actually happened in the fateful summer of 1872, imagining the inner workings of the small rural community, reconstructing the personal relationships of those involved, and restoring humanity to this gripping story. Using a unique blend of historical research and contemporary accounts, Outrage in Ohio explores how a terrible crime ripped an Ohio farming community apart and asks us to question what really happened to Mary Secaur.
Part One: Murder
Part Two: Understanding
Part Three: Lynching
Part Four: Aftermath
Part Five: Grieving