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Jane Noponen Perinacci

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Not Guilty
By Jane Noponen Perinacci   
Rated "G" by the Author.
Last edited: Tuesday, May 08, 2012
Posted: Monday, May 07, 2012

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There is a gravestone in Evergreen Cemetery in Painesville, Ohio which bears the name of Joseph Linhart, the dates, 1867-1922, and the epitaph "Not Guilty." Apparently, Linhart was arrested in the summer of 1921, after the battered body of his wife Anna was found at the bottom of the Linhart well in a place called Hell's Hollow. Joseph Linhart was arrested and indicted on a charge of first degree murder, but before he could stand trial he was found dead in his cell with his wrists slashed. Linhart's attorney, Homer Harper, paid for his tombstone and it's odd inscription. Apparently, some folklore has grown up around this tombstone, including the idea that there was money hidden on the farm, or that Linhart's son-in-law had actually committed the crime. Some also say that the attorney, Harper, had the inscription done because he'd "never lost a case and he was damed if he'd lose this one." At any rate, it's an interesting gravestone.



Linhart was laid to rest under the infamous “Not Guilty” grave, featured on the television show, “Ripley’s ‘Believe it or Not.’” After arguing over a cow, Linhart’s wife disappeared. He was later accused of his wife’s murder after she was found dead in a well. Linhart hired a hot-shot lawyer, Homer Harper, who was said to have never lost a case. Before Linhart could be tried, however, he slashed his wrists with a razor. Many speculated that Linhart’s suicide was an affirmation of his guilt which meant that Harper had “lost” his first case. However, Harper had the words “Not Guilty,” along with an inaccurate date of death, engraved on Linhart’s tombstone. Because Linhart’s death prevented him from being found guilty or innocent, Harper claimed that he still had not lost a case.

I go to Evergreen Cemetery to water flowers I've planted on my sister's grave. I've seen the gravestone with the odd inscription, "Not Guilty", many times. It's there!


There's a place that's called
Hell's Hollow
In north eastern Ohio
Said a ghost walks 'round
Each evening
In a pale blue dress that flows

She is lookin' for her man
He had done her wrong
Beat her up and let her drown
At the bottom of a well
In Hell's Hollow

When the law caught up
With Joseph
He was wild eyed and confused
Wasn't quite sure what
He'd done now
Only he and heaven knows

Oh the cliff is so damn high
In that back woods town
Two hundred sixty two steps
Takin' him down to his hell
In Hell's Hollow

Well, it's told Joe took
His own life
Cut his wrists to hide his shame
But his lawyer was
So proud now
Bought a stone to save his name

The stone reads  "Not Guilty", Ha!
Anna knows that's wrong
She will walk Hell's Hollow's ground
Till Joes spirit rests in hell
In Hell's Hollow

Now, if you go down 
Hell's Hollow
Better leave your fear behind
'Cause if you run into Joseph
You will surely lose your mind

He's as evil as he was
He will lead you on
He is dead he's not alive
Damn his life and damn his song
In Hell's Hollow

Yeah................

Hell's hollow.............................



 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Reviewed by Gary Varner 2/28/2015
Thanks for a great story Jane! Seems that every gravestone has a story if we but take the time to look. Must say that the inscription is certainly different which makes it even more interesting.
Reviewed by JMS Bell 2/28/2014
M O V I E T I M E!!!!!!! BUT REALLY, HIS LAWYER WAS RIGHT SINCE HE WASN'T PROVEN GUILTY, HE'S 'NOT GUILTY'. 'CAUSE YOU KNOW WHAT THEY SAY... EVERY MAN IS INNOCENT UNTIL PROVEN GUILTY. THANKS FOR SHARING THIS INTERESTING C-H-I-L-L-I-N-G INFORMATION AND ALWAYS WEAR YOUR RUNNING SHOES WHEN YOU GO TO THAT CEMETARY(SMILE). LOVE, BLESSINGS AND FAITH...JOYCE * HIS INSPIRATIONS
Reviewed by Regis Auffray 6/13/2012
Thank you for sharing this interesting historical event, Jane. Your article and verses certainly have awakened my imagination. Love and best wishes,

Regis
Reviewed by Ronald Hull 5/9/2012
Now that's an interesting story. And right at the same cemetery where your sister is buried.

I'm editing a novel about the author's great-great-grandfather, Ben Drake, who was in the Calvary in the Civil War. Anyway, he lived in Monroe County Ohio, Not far from where you are writing about.

Ron

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Jane Noponen Perinacci



Toad On A Toadstool

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Magical (co-authored with Jerry Bolton)





Halloween and the Macabre

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Poems About Different Things

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A Monumental Journey - first edition cover by richard cederberg

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