364.1523: Kaufman, Peter. Skull in the Ashes: Murder, a Gold Rush Manhunt, and the Birth of Circumstantial Evidence. Iowa City, IA: University of Iowa Press, 2013. 227 pp. ISBN 978-1-6093-8188-2.
- 300: Social Sciences
- 360: Social problems, services, and associations
- 364: Criminology
- 364.1: Criminal offenses
- 364.15: Offenses against the person
- 364.152: Homicide
- 364.1523: Murder
On the night of February 3, 1897 in Walford, Iowa, a fire broke out. Frank Novak’s general store was ablaze and everybody thought he was trapped inside. Instead, a night guard, one Edward Murray, was inside and Novak had fled the scene. No evidence could be found of how the building caught fire, why Murray was inside and unable to get out, or what part if anything Novak played in the act. It was left to county prosecutor M. J. Tobin and his hired detectives to chase down the fleeing suspect and get some answers. Peter Kaufman’s Skull in the Ashes tells the tale of how they went about the arrest and trial of Novak and how exactly circumstantial evidence could be used in a trial.