Book cover of Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso: A Tale of Race, Sex, and Violence in America by Kali Nicole Grossby Kali Nicole Gross

Shortly after a dismembered torso was discovered by a pond outside Philadelphia in 1887, investigators homed in on two suspects: Hannah Mary Tabbs, a married, working-class, black woman, and George Wilson, a former neighbor whom Tabbs implicated after her arrest.

As details surrounding the shocking case emerged, both the crime and ensuing trial–which spanned several months–were featured in the national press. The trial brought otherwise taboo subjects such as illicit sex, adultery, and domestic violence in the black community to public attention. At the same time, the mixed race of the victim and one of his assailants exacerbated anxieties over the purity of whiteness in the post-Reconstruction era.

Interview with the Author

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Kali Nicole Gross, “Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso” (Oxford UP, 2016)
3/13/18         56 min

Podcast art for PA Books from PCNPA Books on PCN 
“Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Disembodied Torso” with Kali Nicole Gross
4/12/16        57 min

Podcast art for Stuff You Missed in History ClassStuff You Missed in History Class  
Hannah Mary Tabbs and the Dismbodied Torso
4/4/16        41 min

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