Featured Murder...

3. The Sleepwalking Defense

The morning of October 27, 1845, the body of Maria Bickford, a beautiful young prostitute, was found murdered in her room in Boston’s Beacon Hill. Her throat had been cut from ear to ear and her bed had been set on fire. The prime suspect was Albert Tirrell who had been keeping Maria and who was seen arguing with her the day before. Tirrell was represented in court by prominent attorney and former US Senator, Rufus Choate, who used a three pronged defense: Maybe Maria Bickford had cut her own throat, maybe someone else killed her, or maybe Albert Tirrell killed her while sleepwalking and was not responsible for his actions.

Date: October 27, 1845
Location: Boston, Massachusetts
Victim: Maria Bickford
Cause of Death: Slashing
Accused: Albert Tirrell
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