Sheffey’s Lurid Past Revealed

For the most part, Sheffey proved to be remarkably unshakeable when cross-examination began the next morning, August 26.  Attorney General Peace seemed intent on rattling Sheffey by first bringing up scandalous details from his past. The Johnson City Chronicle outlined how the “bespeckled young man” openly, though “not gladly,” shared tales of his romantic adventuresContinue reading “Sheffey’s Lurid Past Revealed”

Sheffey’s Day in Court

At 3 p.m. on Tuesday, August 25th1925,  William D. Sheffey stood up to be sworn in as the first witness in his own defense. As he seated himself in the witness chair, Sheffey folded his arms across his chest but otherwise looked unruffled. The courtroom seemed to become electrified. Men and women filled every possibleContinue reading “Sheffey’s Day in Court”

The Mysterious Dr. Cusick and a Confused Mrs. Reagan

In a rare victory for Sheffey’s defense team, Judge John J. Blair agreed that the jury should not hear the testimony of Dr. Chad Cusick. With the jury out of the room, the state asked Dr. Cusick to describe his encounter with a strange man on horseback many years earlier. Readers may recall the CusickContinue reading “The Mysterious Dr. Cusick and a Confused Mrs. Reagan”

The State’s Case

Attorney General Peace had set a lot of weight on the identification of Sheffey by Ada Wells and the handwriting expert’s conclusion that Sheffey had written the taunting Emery Letter. However, with both of those pieces of evidence facing serious challenges by the defense team, the prosecution had to call on every possible witness toContinue reading “The State’s Case”

The Writing on the Wall

The prosecution in the case against Will Sheffey sought to introduce evidence on the Night Marauder attacks that had taken place in Knox and Blount counties. The defense, naturally, were determined to keep such testimony out of the trial. Attorney General Peace argued that he felt the other cases would support the investigation into theContinue reading “The Writing on the Wall”

The State of TN vs. William D. Sheffey, opening day

As the August 1925, session of the Circuit Court in Blount County, TN, approached, the town was abuzz. The earliest reports were that the Sheffey defense team was hard put to get the state to reveal their evidence prior to its presentation at trial. There was no preliminary hearing. By August 11, it had beenContinue reading “The State of TN vs. William D. Sheffey, opening day”

A Trap is Set

This post is based on a chapter written by N. Locklin and was edited by Trey Hampton (MC ’24) In the months after he had received the anonymous letter, Sheriff John C. McCampbell did not stop looking for the Night Marauder. Two people who had seen the letter—the Sheriff’s sister-in-law and old Dr. Cusick fromContinue reading “A Trap is Set”

Luther and Ada Wells

This post is based on a piece written by N. Locklin, edited by Andy Kelly (MC ’23) and Sydnee Hansraj (MC ’23). At eighteen years old, the young couple had only been married eight months when the terrifying Night Marauder landed on their doorstep and changed their lives forever. On the night of December 10,Continue reading “Luther and Ada Wells”

Who was Will Sheffey?

Written by Scotty Leach (MC ’23) based on research compiled by N. Locklin. Within the quiet, peaceful town of Maryville lay the College Hill Historic District. From Goddard to Waller Avenue, this humble area of Blount County lies along with all of its historic memories of its past. The land across from the district isContinue reading “Who was Will Sheffey?”

The Crime Wave shifts to Blount County

Based on a piece written by Nancy Locklin, edited by Cooper Harrison (’22). The Blount Country crimewave began on June 15, 1922, when Miss Mary McCampbell awoke to a man with a pistol and a flashlight in hand. She was the matron of the Blount County Children’s Home and was checking on the residents. TheContinue reading “The Crime Wave shifts to Blount County”