Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

NC's most fascinating stories

Posted July 12, 2010 11:10 a.m. EDT

It has been called one of the most fascinating stories in North Carolina history. Let’s go back on this day in history 177 years ago. Frankie Silver becomes the first North Carolina woman executed by hanging. Her crime was murder. A jury in Burke County ruled Frankie used the family ax to chop up her husband, Charles, into little pieces. The jury concluded that Frankie burned the body bits in a fireplace. Prosecutors argued that Frankie killed her husband in a jealous rage three days before Christmas.

Numerous books and songs have been written about this mountain tragedy. Author Sharyn McCrumb wrote a novel about Frankie Silver in 1998. I think it is one of the best.

What do you think? Was Frankie Silver wrongly or justly convicted?

And what are the other most fascinating stories in NC history?