Tag Archives: Stephen Best

the Pocasset murder (1879)




‘The Pocasset Murder’





See attached, downloadable Word document (above).

Plus, see text below (which includes a summary/abstract).

See also










Five year old Edith Burgess Freeman (b. July 27, 1874) was murdered in 1879 by her father in their home on the town of Pocasset on Cape Cod in what has been described as a “ritual killing.”

In this article, I have attempted to uncover the facts about the case. It was well publicized at the time, but seems to have been largely forgotten.

See attached downloadable Word file (above).

I became interested in the case, which I had never heard of until recently, because some of my mother’s distant ancestors and their relatives were involved. The murderer was the son-in-law of my mother’s great-grandmother.  And, my mother’s great-grandmother defended the actions of the son-in-law, Charles F. Freeman (the murderer); and of her daughter Hattie (Ellis) Freeman (my maternal grandfather’s aunt), who initially supported her husband, a religious fanatic, believing that his actions were justified on religious grounds.



– Roger W. Smith

     August 2016







Freenan Pocasset house

The Freeman house in Pocasset, MA. (See text pertaining to in the article, attached as a Word document.)