Writing Their Stories...
Researching the lives of the past.
On August 30, 1867, on a New Jersey gallows, convicted murderer Bridget Durgan was hanged before a crowd of over five hundred men, women, and children who behaved as though they were attending a carnival. She remained suspended until the cheering crowd was satisfied that justice had been done.
But had it? In Bridget’s Hanging, Sheila Duane looks carefully at the evidence and concludes that justice was not done: Bridget was tried, condemned, and executed for a murder she didn’t commit.
Tried by a media not unlike today’s and condemned by mob mentality, Bridget and her sensationalized story eclipsed the murder victim herself as well as a more likely suspect.
For those of you who are interested, I did locate Bridget's resting place. She was buried outside a Catholic Cemetery in unconsecrated ground. However, the Catholic Church that oversees the cemetery later consecrated the outer grounds and expanded its acreage.
Thus, Bridget is buried in Catholic soil but is without a headstone or marker.
My goal is the provide a headstone for her with the words, Not Guilty, under her name.