The true story of a crime that shocked and disturbed the New England coastal communities of Maine and New Hampshire in 1873. The circumstances and confluence of events that resulted in the murders of two Norwegian women were bizarre and highly unusual The trial and execution that followed were events that received national attention. More than a century later, what happened on the night of March 6, 1873 at the Isles of Shoals, continues to stir controversy among New Englanders.
In the winter of 1873, three women were alone on a small island, ten miles off the coast of Maine. The men in their family, fishermen, were in Portsmouth, NH that evening, awaiting a shipment of bait. A desperate man, who overheard this information, decided to row to Smuttynose Island on a bitter cold night intent on robbery. What followed was the brutal killings of two women and the daring escape of a third who survived to testify. Her exciting story is documented in this fast moving and true account
"Her mind searched for rational explanations that would explain his unexpected behavior. What were his reasons? Maybe he thought she felt safe with her sister and sister in law there. That must be it. What else would explain why he left them alone?"
"In David Faxon's Cold Water Crossing,... the well known story of the Smuttynose murders is turned into a riveting tick-tock account that takes you from the grisly night on the island to the capture of Wagner, through his trial and finally to the hanging."
Barbara Coles- New Hampshire Magazine --New Hampshire Magazine, September, 2009
"David Faxon's paperback "Cold Water Crossing" is a strong effort. For the first time someone has successfully told the basic murder story from beginning to end in clear, plain English...his reporting can be crisp and effective...well structured narrative." Dennis Robinson --www.seacoastnh.com