BITTER LUMPS

Wife made headlines in husband’s suspicious death

Story by Larry Chabot • Illustrations by Mike McKinney
This much is known: Charles Stannard was dead in his bed. As two neighbors kept watch, he passed away in the second floor bedroom of his Greenland home after suffering through 15 convulsions in the last hour of his life. Because of the prominence of Charles and his wife Laura and the gruesome circumstances of his death, his story earned national coverage of a murder trial in the county seat of Ontonagon. Even the august New York Times covered the event. The burning question was: what, or who, killed him?
It was March 26, 1911. Neighbor Samuel Goard had been called in as the 38-year-old Stannard lay dying. It was Goard who was counting the convulsions. Charles took a last drink of water from Goard after refusing one from his wife. Family doctor A. K. Larned had come and gone, leaving Goard with instructions on when to administer some medicine. Then came the almost continuous convulsions. Before a dose could be given or the doctor called back, Charles Stannard was gone…

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