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Oct 19, 2021 in 

Has a ghost ever solved their own murder case?

Has a ghost helped solve their own murder? Has this ever happened before in history besides this case? Read on...

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Elizabeth Martinez


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Yes, there was one such case on record. She was known as the “Greenbrier Ghost of Virginia” Her name was Elva Zona Heaster who married Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue. He was a very abusive man and on Jan 23, 1897, she was found dead at the bottom of the staircase by a small boy who was running an errand. Erasmus arrived at home and appeared distraught realizing his wife had died and carried her body upstairs to the bedroom. The coroner was trying to examine the body and Erasmus would weep and sob, covering up her head so the coroner couldn’t examine Elva. Finally, the coroner gave up trying to examine the body when Erasmus became angry and violent. Erasmus dressed his wife’s body, covering up her bruises and broken neck by placing a dress on her with a slightly taller collar that was stiffer to keep her head from showing the wounds. He also placed a dark veil over her face. 


Elva Zona Heaster and Erasmus Stribbling Trout Shue 

No one suspected any foul play. At the funeral the next day he placed a pillow next to her head and tied a scarf around her neck claiming it was her favorite. He wouldn’t allow anyone to approach Elva’s body and became suspicious of everyone at the funeral and in town.

Elva’s mother, Mary Jane, needed no convincing that he did this to her daughter, she just wanted to know how and why it was done and she prayed continuously for Elva to come to her and tell her what had happened. Finally, Elva came to her for four nights in a row in her dreams and explained that Erasmus was an abusive man. He snapped one night after thinking she didn’t have food on the table for him and broke her neck. He then threw her body down the stairs. To prove to her mother her neck was broken she turned her head back to face behind her. 


Elva’s mother, Mary Jane, went and told the local prosecutor. It was unclear if he believed the woman or not but was willing to reopen the case. Elva’s body was exhumed and examined and it was also noted that Erasmus refused to let Elva be examined by the coroner when he came. 


On Feb 22, 1897, it was recorded by law for Erasmus to be at the new autopsy of his wife while the procedure was going on. He complained the entire time that it was being done, but could do nothing to prevent anyone from thoroughly looking at her body this time. After the long 3-hour autopsy was performed in a one-room schoolhouse 3 coroners findings were completed:

  1. The neck was broken and her windpipe was smashed

  2. Fingerprints were present on her throat proving she was choked

  3. The neck was dislocated between the 1st and 2nd vertebrae

  4. The ligaments in the neck were torn and ruptured

  5. The windpipe had been crushed at the point in front of the neck

Within 2 weeks of the autopsy being completed, Erasmus was arrested for the murder of Elva. While waiting for his trial new evidence came to light. His first wife, Allis Cutlip, divorced him for being a horse thief and for the grounds of cruelty. His second wife, Lucy Tritt, died after falling and striking her head on a rock. He let it be known to reporters that no evidence could convict him of the murder of Zona and he wanted to eventually marry seven women. 

On Jul 11, 1897, he was convicted of the murder of his wife Elva and sentenced to life. He never lived that long. 3 years later he died from an epidemic that was going around in the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville and was later buried in an unmarked grave in a cemetery nearby. 



No, I don’t. I believe that the high emf field around makes it easier for spirits/ghosts to manifest. It would not cause people to see the same thing over and over for years on different occasions.

I hope these tips and other information will help you. Enjoy!

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