This is exactly right. This story contains adult content and language, listener discretion is advised. By the spring of 1871, the gallows had been built, the hood had been sewn, and the people of upstate New York were anxious to see Edward Roloff with a noose around his neck. The civil war had just ended six years earlier, but the nation was still in mourning. Historian Gerald Smith says that many people in Binghamton were angry at the war at the south and at the man in their jail who had murdered at least five people.
At least they just are beginning to acclimate back into peaceful coexistence with life. And rule comes along and breaks it. And I think to them it's their life. They couldn't go and kill all the confederates that killed their young, but they could get ruoff. Edwards execution day was two months away, but he just seemed oblivious that he would soon die. Instead, he spent every moment in that jail cell writing his manuscript. He was determined to finish it before his death.
It was the only thing that mattered at this point.
The news didn't unnerve him, but he was terrified of dying before cementing his academic legacy. And he knew he didn't have much time left. Just days earlier, a jury had convicted Edwards of murdering Frederick Merrick and his defense attorney immediately appealed, journalist Hamilton Freeman even helped. He was becoming more attached to Edward each day. Hamm was actually advocating for him now. The attorney argued that the two clerks had attacked Edward Jarvis and Dexter as they tried to escape.
They filed one appeal after another. Each was denied. There were delays and march passed without a hanging and Binghamton.
And so Edward Rudolph wrote by sunlight and candlelight.
One day, a reporter from the New York Sun newspaper in Manhattan stood near his cell, the journalist understood linguistics. Edward smiled and the pair talked for hours about his complicated theory and how it could help anyone learn a new language. And soon, the reporters started filing sympathetic stories hinting that Edward had been unfairly treated.
He printed excerpts of Edwards manuscript alongside lengthy interviews with the killer, and eventually public opinion seemed to sway Edwards direction, particularly in New York City. Readers offered an opinion on Edward in the city's newspapers. Some thought he was crazy and said executing him would be wrong. Others believe that capital punishment didn't belong in modern society. But the most interesting and controversial argument was that Edwards linguistics work was valuable and so was he. He shouldn't be put to death because the world needed his manuscript.
Craig Scott says the family was shocked and furious.
Once again, they thought he was such a brilliant man that he probably shouldn't be put to death.
It is putting the lives of two women and two children below puts them at a level lower like under him.
Yeah, he did these awful things, but he's so brilliant. We should we shouldn't put him shouldn't hold him accountable for it.
And that's exactly what some influencers in Manhattan thought, the first prominent person to come to Edwards defense was Republican presidential hopeful Horace Greeley. Historian Esther Crane says that he was a savvy politician, but he had an even more important position in Manhattan. He was the owner of the one of the city's biggest newspapers, so he had a big platform.
Greeley owned the New York Tribune, a powerful media company that influenced culture and politics throughout the city. And Greeley's editorial on April 25th seemed to almost praise Edward Ruoff. He wrote in the prison at Binghamton. There is a man awaiting death who is too curious an intellectual problem to be wasted on the gallows. He is one of the most industrious and devoted scholars are busy generation has given birth to. And then the politician made an incredible statement. He murdered the shopkeeper in the interest of philology.
Philology was a subfield of linguistics. Philologists studied the history and adaptations of language, but it really isn't in use now. So Grealy was saying that Frederick Merrick's murder was justified because of Edward's academic research in philology. And then the debate became even stranger when author Mark Twain submitted a satirical piece to the Tribune requesting that someone else take Edward's place on the gallows, he was too intelligent to kill. Twain wrote what miracles this murderer might have wrought and what luster he might have shed upon his country if he had not put a forfeit upon his life so foolishly.
But what if the law could be satisfied and the gifted criminal still be saved? At the end of the piece, Twain suggested that he himself would take Edward's place. While the opinion piece was clearly tongue in cheek, Twain privately felt that Edward's sentence should be commuted to life in prison. The author believed that the killer could still contribute to society. More people wrote in, including high ranking religious leaders, one said. I still think that the lack of evidence of intent to kill ought to weigh strongly on his behalf.
Another reader asked, Have we so many learned men among us that we will see this one hung up like a ham?
A linguistics expert in Washington, D.C., praised Edward for his theory on the origin of languages and said it would be a pity to hang Ruoff. Clearly, the press was helping Edwards case. Some very important people wanted a convicted killer to live even for just a few months longer because of his discovery of a way to effectively teach languages. Historian H.W. Brands says that a stay of execution might have actually been appropriate if Edwards discovery really was remarkable.
That doesn't strike me as unreasonable, although if I were a member of the family, I might feel that that his work was being placed above the lives of my kin. But on the other hand, from the standpoint of if he is in fact going to hang it when he finishes his manuscript, then what really does six months matter?
Of course, the Scouts would hear none of that. Edwards should have no mercy. They insisted. Edward, for his part, was desperate for more time. So he called in his attorney, Ham Freeman, and Edward's lawyer drew up a petition to delay his execution so he could finish the manuscript and then have invited scholars from across the country to Binghamton jail. The scholars would test Edwards depth of knowledge and his theory on human language. It would prove the value of Edwards work and of Edward himself once and for all.
More than a dozen academics arrived over the next few days, including a professor of Greek and German from Amherst College, linguistics professor Michael Weiss says that Richard Henry Mather was astounded by Edwards intelligence.
He said, let's discuss some passages. He started with Xenophon's memorabilia and Rudolph was able to recite large chunks of it by heart. And then he went on to Homer and Sophocles, etc. He was able not only to memorize these things, but also to comment on their interpretation critically in a way which Mathoura professional class. This thought was pretty, pretty impressive. Mather found that Edwards showed a depth of understanding that was remarkable. So he was hoping for validation from the authorities.
At the time, the scholars spent hours with Edward inside the Binghamton jail cell. They quizzed him on languages, philosophy and history. They were in awe of his intelligence and his incredible memory. Edward smiled at each expert. The men read passages from his manuscript, that incredible theory of the origin of language. And as they left his jail cell. Edwards defense attorney handed each one the petition to save Edward Rudolph's life. All they needed to do was sign, each expert replied with the same answer.
Now they refused to sign. One remarked that Edward was incredibly intelligent, brilliant, but his system of unlocking human language was ludicrous. His theory was worthless, according to the real experts in linguistics. Michael Weiss explains exactly where he went wrong, Roof was working in a premodern mode, so he was just completely in a long, long tradition, going all the way back to Plato and beyond. But he hadn't basically kept up with the 19th century. The experts were bewildered by Edward's conclusions.
Most of them did believe there might have been something to his theories, that perhaps they might have had some promise if only he would be willing to collaborate with more experienced academics. Too late for that now. Edward Roloff had spent decades on that manuscript, an idea born inside one of the country's worst prisons. He had created a crime ring just to live near New York City's great libraries. He had escaped the noose numerous times. He had murdered people who threatened to stop him.
And ultimately, it was all for nothing. Edward Roloff was an utter failure, a joke in the media.
It seems not coincidental to me that the guy's name was ruled off with an R and an L that are an L in particular play a kind of key role in his analysis. So I think it really comes back to his kind of narcissism. I mean, he was he was nuts, which was a shame, says Weiss, because Edward did have a brilliant mind. I think he could have actually had an impact. I think he could have been a classicist.
As someone who studies Greek and Latin language and literature, he seems to have been a very talented acquirer of information. But once he got that information, he didn't know what to do with it. When the committee of experts refused to sign the petition, newspaper readers suddenly turned on Edward. They felt cheated and they were outraged because they had been duped. They called him a fraud, a swindler. Esther Crane says that she's not surprised by that reaction because people living in the Gilded Age were quite easily fooled, hoaxes were huge at the time.
I mean, they were always saying that, like, you know, all the Lions got out of Barnum's museum, oh, my God, run for your lives. And it was all just a hoax. It would be in the newspaper, the front page.
But Mark Twain and Horace Greeley weren't your average Americans. They were literati in New York, two of the country's most important people. It seems a little unlikely to me that either would have fallen for fraud.
If you think about someone like Mark Twain or Horace Greeley living at that time, they wouldn't have known what was cutting edge in linguistics. Right?
It basically was very specialized knowledge and mainly in German, they simply can't tell what's genuine versus what's not.
And Esther Crane believes that Horace Greeley might have believed in Edward's work, but there was also likely another motive. It probably sold newspapers. I think that Grealy got taken in. That sounds like the language committee was useless to him. So Hamilton and the defense attorney begged the governor to assign a lunacy committee without Edward's permission. His attorney, George Becker, was hoping to have his client declared insane, sparing him from the gallows. Once again, a committee of experts reported to the Binghamton jail.
But Edward's reaction to this group was quite different from the previous committee. He ignored them. He later berated his attorney for the decision. He didn't want to be declared mentally ill. It would discredit his entire body of research. Edwards still believed in his manuscript. No, he'd rather die than be declared insane. And word continue to furiously write day and night, a New York Tribune editorial begged the governor to delay the execution until Edward could finish his work.
But Governor Hoffman refused. Edwards execution date was set for May 18th, 1871, but before he walked onto the gallows, he was determined to finish his book, to smooth out his theory, to leave a legacy for future generations that he hoped would be a little more astute. That would certainly happen, but it wasn't the legacy he had hoped for.
Three days before his execution date, Edward reflected on his life and he became extremely depressed. His book was complete, but it had been ridiculed by the same scholars he had hoped to impress throughout his career. Edward argued that the experts spent too little time with him and his theories. They were all wrong. He insisted to him he cursed constantly as he paced in his small cell. He told dirty jokes that made even hardened jailers wince. He verbally abused his attorneys and then something made him scoff.
A request from a pair of familiar visitors. His wife's brothers, William and Efram Scott, wanted to see him. Actually, they demanded to see him. This seemed to be the finale of a really long journey for the Scott family. And the brothers still had questions about the fate of Edward's daughter.
I'm sure they wanted to know where she was, why they wanted to talk to him, want to know, you know, if she didn't keep the lake, I'm sure that would have been one of their questions. But he wouldn't talk to them. So I'm sure that would have given them even more closure if they at least could have had an answer. I tend to think there are multiple levels of closure.
Oh, yeah? Yeah. Edward Roloff declined the Scott's request, not surprising, and he refused to tell them anything about his wife, Harriet, or Priscilla. He never again mentioned his sister in law, Amelia, or his niece Emile. As far as he was concerned, they could all go to hell. Three days before the execution, Edward wrote one last letter to his distinguished pen pal, Julius Holley. Seele was now a professor at Amherst College in Massachusetts.
They had exchanged ideas for decades, ever since Edward had been in Auburn State prison. Edwards final letter was pathetic and painful in the whole history of human race.
No more remarkable instance of blind and stupid malignity can anywhere be shown than that, which closes its eyes to the value of my discovery and denies the time necessary to place it in available for. What does that mean? I think he he he believes that his breakthrough is being, you know, suppressed because no one is as brilliant as Rudolf can understand. You know, what a great discovery this is.
Just days before his execution, Mark Twain penned a dedication to Edward in his new manuscript, roughing it for the late Caixin wrote Twain not because of his noble character, but out of a mere humane commiseration for him, in that it was his misfortune to live in a dark age that knew not the beneficent insanity plea. It was clear to some that Edwards should not die as his execution day grew closer, Edward became sullen.
His dream of being a legitimate academic had vanished. There was nothing to live for. Meantime, the townspeople in Binghamton and visitors from Tompkins County were absolutely giddy. The press coverage locally and internationally was enormous of swings, tomorrow was one headline. I mean, you got an engraved invitation to the execution if you were invited, but that's almost like family fare day. Let's have a let's have a picnic on the ground waiting for the body to be dragged out.
But, you know, it's almost it's that need to drive by the car accident.
Reporters chronicled Edwards every movement, men, women, children, everyone gathered outside the gallows. That afternoon, even an escaped prisoner joined the crowd. Journalist David Rynn and historian Gerald Smith say public executions were massive events for small towns with such a tradition. I mean, it was not just here in New York State, but that was sort of the general thing that was done. It was pack a picnic basket and go out and it actually didn't matter. The weather, the execution went off rain or shine and drew huge, huge crowds.
You've got the masses outside. First of all, they want to be inside. They're noisy, they're clamorous. This is not the upper echelons of society huddled around that fenced in area. These are the working classes is lower to lower middle class.
His lawyer suggested filing more appeals, but Edward was resolute. His manuscript was finished and he hoped one day that scholars would validate his theory and prove his critics wrong. He told his attorney, no, let her rip. The sheriff arrived and asked Edward what should be done with his corpse. You can do what you damn please with. It was his curt response. Edward burned all of the papers in his cell except the manuscript. A Tribune reporter visited and the killer left him with foreboding last words, insisting that his theory was valid.
He said, if I could have had more time, he then grabbed his neck and made choking sounds. It was a horrid joke. He still insisted that more time would have allowed him to prove that his theory really wasn't bunk. Visitors looked at him with disgust. Hamilton Freeman was the only person who Edward had confided in over the past few months as the two men sat in Edwards jail cell. The details of his life had spilled out.
He had even confessed to killing his wife, Harriet, in 1844. But now it was time for Hamilton to help him. A few days earlier, Edward had ordered him to do something, now it was time to see how compliant the journalist really was. As Edward prepared to leave his cell for the last time, he embraced the reporter with an intimate, open mouthed kiss. Edward had told him to hide a cyanide pill in his mouth so he could take his own life, death on his own terms.
But the journalist backed out. He refused to help him die. Hamilton was enamored with Edward Ruoff, but not totally seduced when Edward found no pill, he angrily pushed him away. The final scene in their complicated relationship.
This would be the last time Hamilton Freeman would see Edward Rudolph alive. Let me tell you about a brand new show on the abscessed network. It's called Crimes of the Centuries, and it's a new true crime podcast from award winning reporter Amber Hunt. Each week, Amber takes a deep dive into one of these crimes. You know, crime is so commonplace that it takes something really shocking and horrifying to be labeled the crime of the century. But even so, so many of these crimes have been forgotten or lost to history.
Not anymore. This is my kind of podcast. And Amber is actually interviewed me and she was fantastic. You guys are going to love her. Let me tell you about some of these stories. There's one about a 220 year old murder that brought together Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr as lawyers for the defense. You'll learn about Jazz Age, thrill killers, this murdering grandmother, serial killers you've never heard of and so many more crimes of the centuries rediscovers the true crime stories that shocked the nation, cases so unbelievable that we thought we'd never forget them, but somehow did until now.
Hear these stories right now by finding and subscribing to crimes of the centuries, wherever you get your podcasts. The area outside the gallows was chaotic as thousands cheered his arrival, Edward ordered the sheriff to remove any clergymen who might pray for him. He had dedicated his life solely to science. Religion would have no role in his death.
As he stepped onto the platform, Edward looked across the crowd. William and Ephram Scutt stood just below him and peered up. They had been waiting for more than two decades to watch this.
Why do you think that would be important? To know for sure that he was gone and he wasn't a threat to them anymore, so I'm sure it was it was for Haria but also and maybe was kind of for their own peace of mind and their own families, knowing that he was gone and they wanted to see it, you know, for themselves. The hangmen placed the white hood over his head. Edward had his hands in his pockets, a habit he had picked up as he strolled along the banks of the river years earlier.
There are many myths about Edward Rudolph's final words. Historian Gerald Smith told me a few of them. I mean, it's the whole thing about the marching up. And do you want to. Do you have any last words? Now, the apocryphal words which we've all ushered, you know, you have to tell the hangman to hurry up so I can be held in time for lunch or dinner, depending on which meal it was, which I wouldn't doubt he would have said just from his attitude.
But every reliable account says that Edward Rudolph's last words were quite simple.
I cannot stand still. The sheriff gave the signal and a large weight dropped to the ground and Edward was jerked three feet into the air, he was being executed using an upright jerko, a contraption designed to deliver a quick death by swiftly snapping the prisoner's neck.
But in this case, it didn't work and word began to gasp for breath and shrugged his shoulders. The jerk forced his hand from his pocket. The crowd watched, horrified as he shoved it back inside. His neck wasn't broken, only dislocated, so he didn't die immediately. His neck was so thick that he was essentially strangled over more than 20 minutes. It was excruciating, and it even repulsed those townspeople who had begged to see him die.
Of course, they still clamor to see his corpse right afterward, after the execution, they take the body down and lay it out for estimates of five to ten thousand people to come by and look at the body. I think the level of retribution needed here was like closure for the Dryden people, closure for the people here.
Finally, the Scott family could conclude that horrible chapter in their history, her brothers would have felt some closure that they worked on that for, like you said, so many years to finally get him and they went to the execution. So I would only assume it had to give them some sort of closure on it. Edward Rudolph's hanging was the last public execution in New York State. Some thought it was a fitting end to a life filled with brutality. Others thought it was an illustration of the inhumanity of capital punishment.
But Edward wasn't quite through with academia just yet. Thirty six hours after Edward Rudolph's execution, Binghamton pathologist Dr. George Burr unceremoniously sawed off his head. He was going to study his brain and it was pretty difficult because the neck chords were so incredibly thick.
Edwards skull wouldn't crack easily, it was twice the thickness of ordinary skulls, about half an inch. The surgeons struggled for almost an hour. Dr. Barbara Findlay is a psychology professor at Cornell University in Ithaca.
If you're charged with getting a brain out of a very hard skull without hurting it, it's it's not easy. So you haven't got much leverage because it's this nice circular structure with a thing you don't want to damage inside.
Dr. Burr was methodical as he examined Edwards brain. He measured the length and depth of every fissure and fold. He searched for abnormalities like pools of blood or obvious damage. The surgeon's final report was full of data, but it was also peppered with odd statements about a warped mind brain imaging analysis from the 19th century, the report read. An examination of Roelofs brain showed the animal portion of it the cerebellum to be unusually large in proportion to the upper portion, the cerebellum, which is supposed to cause the moral and religious sentiments.
Scientists now know there is no moral section or animal section of the human brain. Burs analysis was similar to phrenology, except instead of examining the bumps on a skull, the surgeon looked at the brain structure. He concluded that the wiring of Edwards brain had doomed him from birth. He wasn't responsible for his crimes, but well regarded alienists disagreed. They believed Edwards was brilliant and troubled, but he was in sound physical health and entirely sane. Yes, his execution was morally just.
Experts in 1871 couldn't agree. Should his abnormal brain have saved him? If alienists had just known about psychopathy, wouldn't an asylum have been a more appropriate option to the noose? And actually, we still ask those questions. For the past 10 years, the brain scan has crept into American criminal courts through a phenomenon called the brain defense. A Duke University study found that between 2005 and 2012, roughly 25 percent of death penalty trials use neurobiological data to argue for life in prison.
Dr. Fredrica Coppola teaches at Columbia University about the intersection between neuroscience and law. Is this an area of frustration for the families of victims?
Well, I am afraid that neuroscience has created a lot of myth of the brain. People really think that the brain can justify behavior and this is totally mistaken. It's worrisome that this kind of information is so overused in criminal trials. In one example, a PET scan of a murder suspect brain showed abnormally low neuron activity in his frontal lobe. Scientists say that often causes an increased risk of aggressive, even violent behavior.
But prosecutors argue that other suffering from that same condition haven't committed crimes. The brain defense is a dangerous precedent because the human brain is still a mystery. It's also incredibly controversial. Even the country's most well respected neuropsychologist can't agree if the brain can predict criminal behavior. Dr. Valerie Renou researches brains and behavior at Cornell University.
It doesn't necessarily add anything good. It can just mislead people if they believe it. Just mentioning the word neuroscience in one study, for example, made people believe the same evidence more without even the pictures. The pictures didn't mean anything. It was just the mention of the word neuroscience, because people have, you know, it's a kind of blind faith.
Coppola says the use of neuroscience in courtrooms as evidence is unlikely to go away any time soon. And that's troubling.
I foresee good things and bad things about neuroscience. And of course, at the social level, I don't know.
Actually, I don't see things I don't see any positive effect of using neuroscience in a courtroom.
After his execution, Edwards brain was sold for 15 dollars to one of the world's foremost brain anatomists Bert Green Wylder at Cornell University, it became, in fact, the very first acquisition in the very first brain collection in America, one of the most important developments in medical science.
Dr Barbara Fennelly is the collections curator. What is the brain collection? Just in the grand scheme of things, it's more than a cabinet of curiosities. What does it represent? This is the first step in understanding cognition and experience and all in physical terms. This is just a world changing difference and point of view about how we think about about brains. This time in science was when these things that seemed so disembodied became embodied. And I think it's right up there with understanding evolution in terms of its significance.
Dr Wilder's brain collection had competition in America. Other anatomists wanted to dissect the brains of well regarded men like themselves, white and elite. They wanted to use the brain to prove the superiority of civilized men. They had no interest in researching intelligence. Surely their brains would be far bigger and much heavier than those of criminals or women or minorities. This was the racist and sexist ideology that dominated 19th century science and developmental neurology. Professor David Price says that scientific racism still exists.
The danger is it feeds into people believing that there are differences between different sets of people. You know, I mean, that's all been discredited because differences between races are so minimal genetically only now that we're sequenced the genome. But I think these ideas are still there and they still persist. People are still still believe these things. These 19th century brain collections marked the beginning of neuroscience. For the first time, neurologists could actually compare brains, their size and structure.
And with Edward Rudolph's help, they came to some shocking conclusions. So we can't say for sure if any abnormality in Edwards brain caused him to kill. We do know that it made history.
In 1871, Dr Burr looked at his lab scale and wrote Weight 59 ounces.
Edward's brain was the heaviest and largest Burr had ever seen, and it was devastating for some of the nation's most respected neurologists when Dr Wilder declared it the second largest on record, more than 30 percent bigger than the average man, it discredited all of those prejudiced theories. Modern scientists say Edwards brain now belongs in the top one percent. Still an incredible mark. But as we now know, and as Dr Waldor soon learned, size doesn't matter. It's no indication of intellect or of belonging to a privileged group with claims on superior intelligence.
Walter discovered that a criminal and a minister can have really similar brains. He was also the first person ever to declare that the brains of people of color, the brains of criminals, the brains of women were not inferior in size or quality to those of elite white men. Edwards brain became one of Wilder's prized specimens, like one of Charles Darwin's finches. The birds used to illustrate his theory of natural selection. And then Dr Wylder drew even more startling conclusions.
He suggested that the structure of Edward's brain was actually similar to that of a gifted white philosopher and mathematician. It was also similar to the brain of a person of a mixed race. The three brains were almost identical. Walter's critics tried to discredit his claims, but it was too late. His findings were documented in medical history books. A murderer had changed everything we knew about human brains. Edward Roloff was Wilder's first case study, the avatar for all criminal brains in the eighteen hundreds and the only one specifically mentioned in American medical journals.
For years, his brain received a full course of French logical, psychological and neurological assessments, a complete first of its kind profile of a genius and a criminal. Dr. Waldor even carried Edwards thick skull to a conference in New York later that year, Edward Rudolph's brain was scanned. At least the hundredth version of scanning his was the very first criminal brain in America to be officially analyzed, studied and publicly presented. That's what modern brain scans do today. Just a few years ago, the welcome center in London declared Edwards brain the most notorious brain in U.S. history.
And it's still being referenced by medical journals today, an exceptional example of genius poisoned by malevolence. If Dr. Bert Wylder had been a modern day neurologist, he might have spotted those same abnormalities within an image of Edward Rudolph's brain. And those results might have been a mitigating factor in his death sentence. But even today, scientists have so much more to discover about our brains. And David Price says that we still wonder why a man with so much potential decided to be a killer.
I mean, our depth of ignorance about how the brain works is staggering. Journalist David Renne says that Edward Roloff story is a cautionary tale and we still have things to learn from him. I think that is one of those things where there's more to be revealed. I can't imagine that we've discovered all the lessons that we could learn from real life, especially when it comes to mental health and personality disorders. And I think that that's one of the reasons that we should invest in mental health in our country.
Craig Scott and I have returned to the cemetery where so many of his family members are buried. John Hannah, William Effron, of course, Harriet's name is listed there, too, even though they never did find her body or Priscilla's.
Still, it's a reminder of how much the scouts valued one another.
Just going to that gravesite and seeing how much it meant. They all meant each other that that all the names around that big headstone, all the children and, you know, others buried right on the family plot there.
But there was still one gravestone missing, the one meant for William's wife and child, Amelia and Emile Craig thinks he might know where it is. We walk down to an underground stone vault inside the hill of the cemetery. There's a steel door with a broken lock.
It feels like a creepy catacomb from an Edgar Allan Poe novel. There are broken headstones frozen to the ground. That's it.
What does it say?
Wife of Scott died June 5th, 1845. That's it. So that's the gravestone. That's the top part of it. And I'm sure on the bottom part, it says something about the child. That's it. Yeah, because it's seven days old. Yeah. I can't believe you found it. That's amazing. Well, to me, it's sad because, you know, now there's. Where are they? There's a marker. Yeah.
When you read about Edward's victims, Amelia and Emil are only briefly mentioned and they've been lost in this cemetery for more than a century. It's such a sad ending. Edward Roelofs body had a similar fate. He was buried in an unmarked grave, but without his head. Of course, Craig Scott believes that his ending was fitting. This guy thought he was so great and look where he ended up.
I mean, why wouldn't you feel that way? Yeah, his brain ended up floating in a container at Cornell and he was a failure. And he was that everything he thought he knew has been proved really to be bogus. Hamilton Freeman was forever haunted by his time with Edward Rohloff, he had been the closest person to Edward, perhaps the one who knew him the best. I see him in my dreams, wrote him. There was a magnetism about the man that irresistibly drew me to him, but he was duped, taken in by a charming psychopath.
And even after the genius killer dismissed him for not helping him, Hamilton was conflicted in him. There was no repentance, Hamm wrote. He petitioned to be saved for the benefit of science. Like Ponce de Leon, he chased a fleeting phantom to the grave.
Edward was fond of quoting poets right before his execution. He quoted James Russell Lowell. Edward, said Wright forever on the scaffold, wrong. Forever on the throne. That means that he could die knowing that he was an honorable man. Edwards confidence bolstered him on the scaffold until his last breath. As Hamilton Freeman remembered the killer's final hours. He thought about what made Edwards a murderer, Ham wrote, if not insane, he was the incarnation of all that, his wicked.
But Michael Weiss believes that Edward was just a man with a misguided theory, and here's something that was surprising to me. He thinks that Edward would have never succeeded at a university because his fixation with the question of meaning led him nowhere.
He was obsessed with the question of meaning, and that was part of his character. I don't think any kind of formal training would have knock that out of him.
Edward Rudolph represented an inherent contradiction in our country. How could a man translate the original language of the Bible but not be swayed by its tenants? Why would God intertwine both evil and genius inside the mind of one man?
It was Edward Rudolph's brain that was the impetus so long ago to explore the criminal mind, and even today, his story draws us into a fascinating, chilling world that will likely never fully understand. His case was the first to make neuroscientists look for biological reasons for why someone kills the mark of Satan was no longer a good enough excuse. And in a way, Edward Rudolph helped create the brain defense for the Scotts. The terrible story of Edward Rudolph now serves mostly as a grim reminder of why they're so proud of their family.
They never gave up.
That says a lot about their parents, how their parents, they had been brought up with that kind of family loyalty and commitment.
You know, just the strength and the perseverance of your family is what I take away from it. Oh, yeah, I think so, too. I mean, they kept their values. They were persistent and, you know, they had losses, but in the end, they got him.
I hope you've enjoyed season one of tenfold more wicked season two starts on January 25th. It's about a pair of serial killers in 19th century Scotland. If you love historical true crime, be sure to order my book, American Sherlock. It's about a real life Sherlock Holmes who solved some of the most gruesome murders in the 1920s. This has been an exactly right and ten fold more media production producers Jason Whaling and Laura Sobell, sound designer. Eric Friend, composer.
Curtis Heath artwork. Nick Todger, executive producers, Georgia Howard Stark, Karen Kilgariff and Danielle Cramer follow us on Instagram and Facebook at tenfold more wicked and on Twitter at tenfold more. If you're an advertiser interested in advertising on our show, go to Miral Dotcom ads and if you know of a historical crime that could use some attention. Email us at info at tenfold more wicked dotcom. So please listen, subscribe leave us a review on Apple podcast, Ditcher or wherever you get your podcasts.