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Under the Crab Apple Tree

The Famous Trials Series
Narrated by: Edgar Lustgarten
Length: 56 mins
4 out of 5 stars (10 ratings)

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Editor reviews

Under the Crab Apple Tree is based on a true story: Edward Wheeler Hall, a handsome clergyman in New Jersey, and his lover Eleanor Mills, the singer in the church choir, were found together murdered in 1926. The torn-up remains of love letters were left at their feet.

The police investigation led to the arrest of the minister’s wife, Frances Noel Stevens, and two of her brothers. The details of their ensuing trial fascinated the entire country.

Edgar Lustgarten’s dramatization of this sensational case comes with actors performing court transcripts, including an especially riveting portrayal of the case’s star witness, the pig farmer Jane Gibson. The courtroom is evoked by crowd sounds and reverb-soaked dialogue meant to suggest a large hall.

Summary

This 1926 case involved a married clergyman who had a secret affair with a singer in his church choir. They were both found shot, and the clergyman's wife and her brothers stood trial.
©1976 Edgar Lustgarten (P)1976 Ivan and Inge Berg

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Wonderful Lustgarten

No one else sounds like Edgar Lustgarten. His voice is so evocative of 1950's radio and TV. Very enjoyable.