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Zona Heaster Shue
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Victim
    (1873-January 23, 1897)
    Born in Greenbrier County, West Virginia
    Birth name was Elva Zona Heaster
    Referred to as The Greenbrier Ghost
    Murdered at age 23
    Initially ruled as an accidental death due to 'female trouble,' her mother stated her spirit visited her and implicated her husband
    Husband Erasmus 'Edward' Shue convicted of her murder and sentenced to life in prison (July 11, 1897)
    Roadside marker along West Virginia Route 60 commemorates the event, reading - 'Only known case in which testimony from ghost helped convict a murderer'
    She had a child out of wedlock.
    She married Edward Shue despite her mother's strong objections.
    Her death was first listed as 'everlasting faint,' then later changed to 'childbirth.' (WTF? x 2)
    Though the doctor/coroner noticed some bruising on her neck and cheek, Shue, reacting violently to his preliminary exam, did not pursue a more extensive study of her cause of death.
    Mom saw her ghost four weeks after the funeral (a total of four nights in a row), and claimed she was told Shue was abusive, murdering her by breaking her neck and smashing her windpipe because she didn't cook meat for his dinner.
    Her ghost proceeded to demonstrate this by turning her head backwards 180 degrees.
    Even after Shue's conviction and death in prison three years later, her ghost was never seen or heard from again (maybe she should have looked up 'Ghost Whisperer' Jennifer Love Hewitt).
    She died young.
    After her immediate death, Shue behaved strangely, dressing her in a garment with a high neck and wrapping a scarf around it.
    At her funeral he guarded her, propped her head between a pillow and rolled up sheet, and wouldn't let anyone near her.
    Those who helped carry her casket noticed her head and neck moved too freely, and became suspicious.
    After her mother came forward with the ghost story, she convinced the local prosecutor to have her body exhumed for an official autopsy, and the neck being indeed broken was enough to charge Shue with murder.
    Shue's defense attorney had her mom take the stand with the intent of proving she was a crackpot, but her testimony was solid and never wavered.
    During the trial, it was discovered Shue had been married twice before - the first ending in divorce due to his cruelty and the second ending with the wife's death due to 'mysterious circumstances.'
    Her mother died in 1916 without ever recanting the story of her daughter's ghost, and convinced justice was served.
    In 2002, 'The Greenbrier Ghost' was written as a musical adaptation for the stage.

Credit: Scar Tactics


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