Murder at Harvard: John Webster Story - Preface

This illustration depicts Dr. George Parkman, a Boston physician, as he appeared when last seen on the 23rd of November, 1849. It is from the Trial of Professor John W. Webster, for the Murder of Doctor George Parkman.  Reported Exclusively for the N.Y. Daily Globe.  New York:  Stringer & Townsend, 1850. The image is online via Maryland State Archives.


The evidence must establish the corpus delicti,
as it is termed, or the offence committed as charged

Lemuel Shaw 
Webster Trial Judge

It was George Parkman's protruding jaw that did in John Webster. The jaw, plus an unusual set of false teeth made specially to fit it.
Both men were faculty members at Harvard Medical College. Both socialized in the rarefied world of Boston's elite.
But ... George Parkman, medical doctor, was also a true "Boston Brahmin" with inherited money to fund his lifestyle. John Webster, chemist and mineralogist, lived from paycheck to paycheck.
As a college professor, he didn't have the needed funds to keep up the pretense.
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Author: Carole D. Bos, J.D. 5190stories and lessons created

Original Release: Oct 01, 1999

Updated Last Revision: May 05, 2019

To cite this story (For MLA citation guidance see easybib or OWL ):

"Murder at Harvard: John Webster Story" AwesomeStories.com. Oct 01, 1999. Feb 23, 2020.
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