Episode 540: Anna George and the Murder of George Saxton

Morbid

Feb 22 2024 • 1 hr 22 mins

On the evening of October 6, 1898, forty-eight-year-old George Saxton, brother of First Lady Ida McKinley, was riding his bike to the home of his lady friend Eva Althouse when an assailant dressed in black emerged from the shadows and fired two shots. Wounded, George crawled towards Eva’s house and had just reached the front steps when the shooter approached and fired two more shots, killing him almost instantly.

Within hours of Saxton’s death, his former mistress, Anna George, was arrested and charged with first-degree murder. For more than a decade, Saxton and George had been carrying on a scandalous relationship that began as an illicit affair until Saxton successfully convinced George to divorce her husband, supposedly with promises to marry her. However, once she was a single woman again, Saxton’s enthusiasm for marriage had cooled and over time his interest in Anna waned.

Anna George’s sensational arrest and trial dominated headlines for months and, as Saxton was extremely unpopular, many people sympathized with the accused woman and even reveled in Saxton’s death. After an intense and closely watched three-week trial, Anna George was acquitted of the murder and soon after she faded out of the spotlight, leaving the murder of George Saxton officially unsolved to this day.


Thank you to the glorious David White, of the Bring Me The Axe Podcast, for research!


References

Akron Beacon Journal. 1906. "Former Akron man suicided in Ravenna." Akron Beacon Journal, July 23: 8.

Bellamy, John Stark. 2011. A Woman Scorned: The Murder of George Saxton. Cleveland, OH: Independent.

Boston Daily Globe. 1899. "Mintz on Saxton." Boston Daily Globe, April 23: 2.

—. 1898. "Public sympathy with Mrs. George." Boston Daily Globe, October 9: 1.

Cincinnati Post. 1898. "Before bar of justice." Cincinnati Post, October 10: 1.

—. 1898. "Charged with murder of G.D. Saxton." Cincinnati Post, October 11: 1.

Clinton County Democrat. 1898. "The good people of Canton rejoice that he has been removed." Clinton County Democrat, November 10: 1.

Coe, Jonathan. 2012. Canton's Great Tragedy the Murder of George D. Saxton, Together with a History of the Arrest and Trial of Annie E. George Charged with the Murder. Detroit, MI: Gale.

Dayton Daily News. 1899. "Loved to the hour of death." Dayton Daily News, April 8: 1.

Dayton Herald. 1899. "Relations of Mrs. George and Saxton are told to the jury." Dayton Herald, April 8: 1.

—. 1899. "Youth claims to have seen the killing of Saxton." Dayton Herald, July 25: 1.

New York Times. 1899. "Belated evidence heard at Chicago against Mrs. George." New York Times, July 25: 4.

Scripps-McRae Telegram. 1898. "Out of court noted alienation case was settled." Cincinnati Post, October 5: 7.

Stark County Democrat. 1899. "Sterling were the remarks of the attorney by the same name." Stark County Democrat, April 27: 1.

—. 1899. "Testimony being heard at a rapid and exceedingly gratifying pace." Stark County Democvrat, April 13: 1.


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