Dying for Chocolate

Cordelia Botkin and the 1898 Poisoned Candy Murders

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SKU: 9781476683621 Categories: , , Tag:
Imprint or Series:Exposit Books

About the Book

On a summer day in 1898, a family in Dover, Delaware, shared a box of chocolates they received in the mail from an anonymous sender. Within days, two of the seven family members were dead; the other five became ill but recovered. The search for the perpetrator soon moved from Delaware to California, where a suspect was quickly identified: Cordelia Botkin, lover of the husband of one of the poisoned women. This book chronicles the shoddy investigation that led to Botkin’s indictment and the two sensational trials, adjudicated in the press, that found her guilty. National attention was drawn by the cross-country nature of the crime and the fact that the supposed perpetrator had never been in Delaware in her life. It was also a trial over what was viewed as the moral and sexual depravity of the two main participants, Botkin and Dunning (the husband), with most of that criticism directed at Botkin.

About the Author(s)

Cultural historian Kerry Segrave is the author of dozens of books on such diverse topics as drive-in theaters, ticket-scalping, lie detectors, jukeboxes, smoking and shoplifting. He lives in British Columbia.

Bibliographic Details

Kerry Segrave

Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 192
Bibliographic Info: 57 photos, notes, index
Copyright Date: 2021
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8362-1
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4215-4
Imprint: Exposit

Table of Contents

Preface 1
Introduction 2
1. The Murders and the Background 5
2. The Investigation and the Arrest 20
3. The Investigation Falters 30
4. Extradition Fails and California Indicts 54
5. The Trial 80
6. Legal Maneuvers and a New Trial 112
7. The Second Trial 133
8. The Aftermath 163
Chapter Notes 177
Index 183