NJ NJ - Edward Hall, 41, & Eleanor Mills, 34, New Brunswick, 14 Sept 1922

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by MaryLiz, Dec 17, 2008.

  1. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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  3. littlehorn

    littlehorn Inactive

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    Maybe I missed something, but why was HER husband never considered a suspect?
     
  4. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    That's a good point. I thought of that. I did read one of the books about the case, the one by attorney William Kuntsler. It's been several years since I read it but from what I can remember, James Mills wasn't the brightest bulb on the tree. In fact, I seem to remember even the papers making comments about how clueless he was about everything. Of course, that doesn't mean he wasn't capable of murder. He could have just been playing dumb. I think he was questioned but I don't think they ever considered him a serious suspect.

    My money is on the Reverend's family. I think they did get away with murder. Just the "personal" nature of the murders points to his wife and brothers, in my opinion, or at least someone who knew them. The fact that there was one of his calling cards left there placed at his feet, Eleanor Mills' hand placed on his thigh, torn up love letters scattered around them. And the fact that Eleanor definitely got the worst end of it, with her throat slashed and her tongue cut out besides being shot, to me that just sounds like something very personal that was originating from the Reverend's wife or family. It could have been her husband but after I read that book I just didn't see him as a viable suspect.

    Now that I'm interested in the case again I might get the other book that was written called Fatal Tryst and see what conclusions that author comes up with.
     
  5. littlehorn

    littlehorn Inactive

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    It was very personal, that's for sure. That's what made me think perhaps hubby did it.

    When I hear also that he was that "simple" for some reason it makes me think of Sling Blade. Lack of reasoning, pure emotional response.
     
  6. Stella

    Stella Member

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    Fatal Tryst and the Kunstler book are both good reads and come to very different conclusions. As I remember, James Mills had a very noisy alibi for the time of the murders; he was hammering away at some windowboxes so long and loud that his neighbors complained. It's really a mystery to me who did it. I've even entertained the improbable choice of murder-suicide. She brings the love letters to blackmail Rev. Hall into leaving his wife, he kills her in a rage (this guy had a lot to lose over a floozy), then sets the letters and card where they are found and shoots himself. No gun was found at the scene; it's speculated that the couple who found the bodies stole it from the crime scene before calling police. No shortage of suspects in this story.
     
  7. littlehorn

    littlehorn Inactive

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    The murder-suicide thing would be tough because weren't the bodies posed slightly? I guess it's possible but...?
     
  8. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    I agree the murder-suicide theory is a long shot. It says in everthing I've read that their bodies were posed after death; her hand placed on his thigh and his hand on her shoulder all occurred after death. I'm anxious to read the Fatal Tryst book now to see what conclusion the author comes to. I didn't agree at all with Kunstler's theory, in fact, I thought it was somewhat ridiculous even though he made a strong argument for it.

    Stella, do you know anything about a man that Eleanor Mills supposedly was seeing before her affair with Rev. Hall? When I went to order the Fatal Tryst book from Amazon, someone had written a review and mentioned something about a man that was bitterly dumped by Eleanor Mills who was around on the night of the murders and whose car went up in flames shortly thereafter? I don't think I have ever read about her having an affair with anyone else, unless Kunstler mentioned it in his book and I forgot about it. Like I said, it's been several years since I read it. The person writing the review didn't agree with Tomlinson's conclusions in Fatal Tryst but thought the book was a pretty good read. She/He called this person "Iago of the Vestry" and thought Tomlinson should have paid more attention to him.
     
  9. gaia227

    gaia227 I have never taken any exercise except sleeping an

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    Thanks for posting MaryBeth. Another oldie but goodie.

    Did Eleanor bring the love letters with her and why or did the killer bring them with them because it was a revenge, jealous murder. My money is on the Rev's family. Ms. Hall found the letters, told her brothers about the affair, they killed the couple, posed their bodies and ripped up the letters around their bodies. My guess is things got out of hand. Perhaps they did not mean to kill them just confront them at the lovers lane. Willie got too excited and shot Mr. Hall so then of course they had to shot Ms. Mills. Willie still in a state of excitement cuts her throat and cuts out her tongue and larnyx.
     
  10. Stella

    Stella Member

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    I think the man that Mrs. Mills was having an affair with before the Rev. was Ralph Gorsline? I'm not sure; I no longer have the books. He attended the same church. I was under the impression that HE dumped HER because she wanted him to leave his wife and he wasn't having any of that. I think Mrs. Mills was trying to snare herself a rich husband; she certainly had no respect for her own. Mr. Mills made probably what we call minimum wage today and she wanted more for herself. The murder-suicide thing is just way out speculation on my part. Who knows.....:confused:
     
  11. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    Thanks, gaia. I was surprised this case wasn't on here because I've always found it fascinating.

    I'm not sure about the love letters. I think Eleanor brought them but I could be wrong. If she did bring them, I don't know why. It's been years since I've read one of the books. Unless there was someone jilted by Eleanor before she started seeing Rev. Hall, then I also think it was the Rev's family who was responsible. I do want to read the other book about the case, Fatal Tryst, and see who that author thinks did it. There are certainly no shortage of characters in this case!
     
  12. MaryLiz

    MaryLiz New Member

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    Interesting...thanks, Stella. I still want to get the Fatal Tryst book because in the reviews people say that Gerald Tomlinson has more facts about the case than William Kunstler did in his book.
     
  13. Stella

    Stella Member

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    At the 1926 trial, Charlotte Mills testified that she had seen the letters before, which her mother had kept in a bag that hung behind a door in their house.
     
  14. Roselvr

    Roselvr Ask me how to get your loved one in NamUs

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    Rare Exhibit of 1920s Murder Trial Evidence to be Unveiled in Jury Assembly Room SOMERVILLE – In the 1920s, a grisly double murder led to a sensational real-life courtroom drama that became Somerset County’s “Trial of the Century.”

    Relics from that long-ago murder investigation and trial will be on display in the Jury Assembly Room, thanks to a cooperative effort between the judiciary and the county Cultural & Heritage Commission.

    The public is invited to the unveiling of the artifacts on Friday, Oct. 10, from 2 to 5 p.m. Visitors should enter through the main entrance of the Somerset County Courthouse at 20 N. Bridge Street. Free parking will be available in the Bernie Field Parking Deck, one block east of the Courthouse behind the county administration building.
     

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