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October 22, 2008
Author Thomas Wolf to Visit UD

On Thursday, October 30, author Thomas Wolf will be on campus to read from Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland. The reading will begin at 6:00 p.m. in the Couchman Reading Room, Charles C. Myers Library, followed by a reception and book signing. The event is free and open to the public.

Midnight Assassin takes its readers back to December 1, 1900, when John Hossack, prominent Iowa farmer, was brutally murdered as he slept. Four days later, the victim's wife, Margaret Hossack, was arrested at her husband's funeral and charged with the crime. The vicious assault stunned and divided the close-knit rural community. The accused woman claimed to be innocent, but stories of domestic troubles and abuse provided prosecutors with a motive for the crime. Neighbors and family members were reluctant to talk about what they knew concerning the couple's troubled marriage.

One of the most sensational and puzzling cases in Iowa, it tore apart a community and a family. Covered by young Des Moines Daily News reporter Susan Glaspell, the story has been forever etched in the American psyche through her play Trifles, and short story A Jury of Her Peers.

Thomas Wolf and co-author Patricia L. Bryan researched the Hossack case for almost a decade, combing through the legal records, newspaper accounts, government documents, and unpublished memoirs. The result is a vivid portrait of life in rural America at the turn-of-the century and a chilling step-by-step account of the crime and its aftermath.