Jody Hadlock’s historical novel about a 19th-century murder in Texas with ties to the north country began for her about 30 years ago with a simple proposition.

“Let’s drive over to Jefferson for the day,” said the man, a Marshall, Texas native, who would become Ms. Hadlock’s husband.

Old murder, new intrigue

“The Lives of Diamond Bessie” novel is inspired by a true story of a 19th-century woman born in Canton. SparkPress

Old murder, new intrigue

The 68th annual “Diamond Bessie Murder Trial” is upcoming in Jefferson, Texas, as part of the community’s annual Historic Pilgrimage. It’s presented by the Jessie Allen Wise Garden Club. /

Old murder, new intrigue

Jody Hadlock visits a barn at the birthplace of “Diamond Bessie” in 2018 in County Cork, Ireland.

Old murder, new intrigue

An artist’s depiction of “Diamond Bessie,” a.k.a., Canton native Annie Moore.

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