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1873 mystery
  • Published
    December 4, 2022

    Chapter 29: Lowell’s last years

  • Published
    November 27, 2022

    Chapter 28: Lowell returns to Lewiston

    After a quarter century behind bars, convicted killer James Lowell discovered a changed world.

  • Published
    November 20, 2022

    Chapter 27: Lowell seeks a pardon

    Arguing he was only guilty of manslaughter, convicted killer James Lowell begged for a pardon that would free him.

  • Published
    November 13, 2022

    Chapter 26: Lowell admits he killed his wife

    In 1885, James Lowell confessed, but insists he didn't mean for Lizzie to die.

  • Published
    November 6, 2022

    Chapter 25: Lizzie alive out west somewhere?

    The Lewiston Evening Journal looked into the issues surrounding the claims and concluded the Michigan woman probably looked something like Lizzie and likely had the same name. In other words, it said, it appeared to be a case of "mistaken identity."

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  • Published
    October 30, 2022

    Chapter 24: Life at the State Prison in Thomaston

    James M. "Jim" Lowell was a quiet, orderly prisoner in Maine's well-regulated prison.

  • Published
    October 23, 2022

    Chapter 23: Death warrant signed by governor

    The gory tumult of the hanging of convicted murderer John Gordon caused then-Gov. Nelson Dingley Jr.’s Executive Board on July 6, 1875, to vote 4-3 to commute Lowell’s sentence to life in prison. With that, Lowell no longer faced the gallows.

  • Published
    October 16, 2022

    Chapter 22: Lowell sentenced to hang

    The public “betook themselves to the courthouse to hear one of the last, and most solemn, of the many scenes which the Switzerland road tragedy has afforded,” the Journal reported an hour later. “There they were, promptly on hand to hear the doom which the law should affix to the guilt it had already decided.”

  • Published
    October 9, 2022

    Chapter 21: The jury delivers a verdict

    One of the many newspapers around the country following the trial, The Brooklyn Daily Eagle, said after all the evidence had been heard — but before the jury’s decision — “there is not, probably, a single trial to be found on the criminal records of this country so marked by dramatic sensationalism as that of James M. Lowell for the murder of his wife, the evidence for which was all completed in the Supreme Court at Auburn, Maine on Monday last.”

  • Published
    October 2, 2022

    Chapter 20: Lowell takes the stand

    The eagerly awaited moment came Monday, Feb. 16, 1874, when Lowell rose from his chair, walked to the witness stand beside Judge Charles Walton and swore to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.