A lucky break in the case…evidence that convicts the real killer…solid proof of the killer…these are the things all police and government agencies long to have happen when doing investigations. To have solid positive proof that someone did in fact commit a heinous crime no ifs and or buts. Law enforcement agencies would kill for this truth and sometimes they go as far as to make that truth up, but in this case we will see there is nothing made up about this. This is a bizarre and yet happy story about a woman whose spirit actually helped catch her killer. Now I know it sounds extremely far fetched, but I was skeptical about this at first and have no begun to wonder if this really didn’t happen.
Now we have all read and heard storied about psychics who help the police catch criminals because they tapped into spirits or they can see into the future or whatever parlor tricks they use…that is a rant for another day. Let’s begin with the back story of this woman who tragically met her demise.
Her name is Elva Zona Heaster, she lived in Greenbrier County located in West Virginia and beyond that not much is known about her or her life. In the year of 1897 a man by the name Erasmus Stribbling, whom they also called Edward, this drifter whom she had fallen in love with would take her life…although it wouldn’t be known for a brief amount of time.
Her body was found at the house by a boy running errands and the body was reported to the coroner and arrived around an hour later. Within that hour Edward moved her body, cleaned her and dressed her, which is normally womanly duties for that time. Her original death was deemed “everlasting faint” but the changed to “childbirth”, now for an autopsy that last only a few minutes how the heck can you seriously rule this as a cause of death. Mind you it was reported that bruise were noticed on her neck and when the coroner when to examine them Edward cried violently and got in the way so the coroner stopped….seriously wtf. If that wasn’t the first red flag regarding the possibility of him killing his wife I don’t know what is…way to go doc.
Now at the funeral he initially seemed overcome with grief, but then he started to get antsy and irritable…especially when anyone wanted to come close to the coffin. Oh also he would get violently upset at people who wanted to look at her face/head area…gee I wonder why that could be, what was he hiding I bet…how about how he killed…lets thank that coroner again. And keep in mind the mother of Zona always thought Edward killed her daughter…mothers always know.
Now here is where it gets paranormal…after four weeks of intense praying the legend goes that Zona appeared to her mother in a dream. She explained all the bad things Edward had done to her and that he was in killed her by breaking her neck…gee doc guess you should’ve check those neck injuries a little bit more. This apparently happened of the course of four nights.
With this knowledge she went to a lawyer and through doubt that was already in people’s minds regarding Edward and the death of Zona they got a court order to exhume her body. The coroner also came forward and said he did not give a full examination like he should have…no shit. Once the took the body to the one room school house for examination, and I only got to dissect frogs in my school, it was found that her neck had indeed been broken. Edward was arrested instantly on the spot..do not pass go do not collect $200.
At the trial of Edward the defense tried to make Zona’s mother seem like she was crazy by making her repeat the story about her daughter’s ghostly visits. It’s not like it mattered because they had plenty of evidence to convict the bastard. However because she never wavered in her testimony it backfired on the defense and her testimony was taken as truth. Her testimony became the first instance in the history of law that paranormal testimony was taken into the case as fact and helped convict her daughter’s killer.
Now do I believe this happened??? I sort of do because look at what happened with the case and the true killer was caught. Could it have been from the mothers imagination of nightmares about the death of her daughter and the weird way Edward acted in regards to watching over the head and neck are of the deceased??? Who knows and frankly who cares, this is a great story and the killer was brought to justice…although this calls into question if someone says Satan made me do it could it really have been the devil himself??? Let’s go into that at another time and date…because we will guaranteed.
Be safe and support the local ghost police ball,