SOLSC – Day 27
Are you familiar with the story of the blue-eyed six? Chances are that if you are not from Lebanon and the surrounding counties you don’t know their story. I knew they existed but didn’t know the details. On Thursday I found out.
Kathy and I attended a brunch organized by the Dauphin and Lebanon Counties School Retirees. The guest speaker was the great-grandson of one of the blue-eyed six. He had written a book about the event and we bought it, but I haven’t read it yet. All six men had blue eyes, thus the name the Blue-Eyed Six..
Anyway in case you don’t know the story here goes. In 1878 four men took out an $8000 insurance policy on another man, Joseph Raber, promising to look after the pauper. The men got Joe to sign the policies with promises of keeping him provided with food This was legal back then. Times were hard, the men had families to support, and not much money coming in. The didn’t want to wait for Joseph’s natural death so they conspired with two other men to kill Joseph and collect the insurance money. Although six conspired, only two did the actual killing, one being this man’s great grandfather.
Someone saw them and reported the incident to the sheriff. The six men were arrested, tried, and all but one were convicted and sentenced to be hung until death. The speaker told us the story of each man and where each is buried and yes, you can visit the grave sites of the six men as well as the victim.
“Apart from the actual murder trial, the whole proceeding turned out to be an indictment of the murky business of assessment life insurance, which led to major changes in insurance law, particularly with regard to the practice of insuring people in whom one had no legal interest.”…https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blue_Eyed_Six
I am now anxious to read the book and find out more about this notorious, at least in this area, group of men.