THE TRIAL OF 'INDIAN JOE'. Race and Justice in the Nineteenth-Century West

Author: McKenna Jr (Clare V.)
Year: 2003
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
First Edition
Edition Details: 1st US edn.
Book Condition: F/F
ISBN: 9780803232280
Price: 15.00
Hardback. On the night of October 16, 1892, a double murder occurred on Otay Mesa in San Diego County near the Mexican border. The 2 victims were an elderly couple, John and Wilhelmina Geyser, who lived on a farm on the edge of the mesa. Within minutes of discovering the crime, neighbours subdued and tied up the alleged killer, Jose Gabriel, a 60yr. old itinerant Native American handyman from El Rosario, California, who worked for the couple. Since Gabriel was apprehended at the scene, most presumed his guilt. The local press, prosecutors, witnesses, and jurors called him by the epithet "Indian Joe." The sensational murder trial of Gabriel highlights the legal injustices committed against Native Americans in the 19th century. During this time, California Native Americans could not vote or serve on juries, so from the outset Gabriel was unlikely to receive a fair trial. No motive for murder was established, and the evidence against Gabriel was inconclusive. Nonetheless, the case went forward. Drawing on court testimony and newspaper accounts, the author traces the murder trial: the handling of the case by the prosecution, the defence, the jury, and the judge; an examination of the crime scene; and the imaging of "Indian Joe." Through his considerable research, the author sheds light on a dark time in the American legal system. Illus., Appendix,, Notes, Select Bibliog. and Index. 155pp. small 8vo. h/back. From the library of true crime writer, Wilfred Gregg, with his personal b/plate. F. in f. dw.


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