|Hoag Family Plot - Alabama Center Cemetery, Alabama, NY|
Supposedly Julia was present during a conversation between Henry and Polly concerning what he wanted her to do after his death. Julia claimed in testimony, “Henry called Polly up to bed and told her to get Matthew Bardwell and have him attend the shop and make up the leather; he said it would be the only way she could get a living. Polly objected, as people would talk. Henry said if Matthew did not like to board at the house he could board at the tavern. He did not think he would get well; while he still had his sense he would tell her what she ought to do. He told her to sell her crops to pay the rent with.”
The fact that Henry would come up with the idea to have Bardwell in the shop, after all that had happened, is ludicrous. To think that Polly would care if people would talk, based on what she had already said and done, is equally unbelievable. This plan was not of Henry’s making. It was contrived by Polly and backed up by Julia in defense of her sister.
In 1856, in the rural town of Alabama, NY one woman's family suffered from multiple unexplained deaths. The town folk grew suspicious of the now remarried Polly Frisch. An investigation commenced, bodies were exhumed, an affair—exposed. Polly would be arrested for the murders of her first husband and daughters. Her fourteen-year-old son would testify against her. If found guilty, the punishment for such a crime was the gallows. Bread & Butter is the true story of Polly Frisch who poisoned her family with arsenic and the five trials it took to convict her.
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****The above excerpt is from Bread & Butter: The Murders of Polly Frisch, a book I co-authored with my friend, Ellen Bachorski in 2000. We are re-releasing it into the modern world of POD and Kindle, etc. with a new cover, fresh edits and new info. Due for release in February 2014.