On This West Virginia Morning: Politicians And Public Hangings


On this West Virginia Morning, we learn about an outspoken candidate running for the 19th District of the House of Delegates who has picked up a surprising endorsement. Also, in this show, we explore the storied history of West Virginia’s last public hanging.

Republican Derrick Evans is a candidate for the 19th District of the House of Delegates. Evans gained local notoriety by filming himself yelling at workers and patients outside West Virginia’s only abortion clinic last year. Evans targeted workers, leading to one worker being granted a restraining order against him. As Kyle Vass reports, an organization that’s endorsed Evans now says they didn’t know he had an active restraining order against him. A warning to our listeners: this story includes inflammatory language related to abortion that some might find disturbing.

On Nov. 3, 1897, John Morgan murdered three members of the Post-Greene family in Grass Lick, Jackson County, near the town of Ripley, West Virginia with a hatchet. Within six weeks, he was hanged in the last public execution in the state. National newspapers descended on the Mountain State and reported the story across the country. Morgan’s story made changes to West Virginia law and it has lived on in song for more than 100 years. Eric Douglas spoke with Merilee Fisher Matheny by Zoom about her book “Swift Justice: The Story of John Ferguson Morgan and the Last Public Hanging in West Virginia.”

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