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Elizabeth Clark was convicted of murder for poisoning her late husband John Ziolkowski in 1932. Elizabeth Clark proclaims her innocence until the day she dies. There are many questions about this case. Including the fact that Elizabeth Clark claimed that her husband was using the arsenic to cure his syphilis. John Ziolkowski did have syphilis when he died. In the early 1900’s, arsenic was used to treat syphilis. Also some of the newspapers are very misleading. Elizabeth Clark was known as a Hat Maker and a Dress Maker, but never as an Indian priestess that spent her evenings gathering herbs and berries in order to make mystic potions or other concoctions ultimately containing arsenic. The articles indicate that the judge presiding over the case remarked that Elizabeth had killed her second husband the same way. This accusation is not based on any facts of any sort and is simply a statement. There was never any evidence brought forth indicating that John Boston died from arsenic poisoning. The articles also indicate that her first husband died from arsenic poisoning. Her first husband was Oliver Morrow, which I am a descendant, and he lives beyond this conviction, so there is no way he died from arsenic poisoning and certainly not at her hands. In the 1930’s there was great evidence of bias against Native Americans and people of Métis background. Hence the terms “half breed”…”Indian priestess” etc. It was the classic misunderstanding of Native culture that led to the newspapers basically treating her as a witch of sorts. By the 1960’s, society was in the process of change and the governor commuted her life sentence and she won her freedom. I find this very interesting. Elizabeth Clark wouldn’t have been the first person to die in prison of old age!!!! Why was her sentence commuted? Because anyone looking at this case can clearly see that she was convicted without any evidence and by a judge who may have been biased. Did Elizabeth Clark commit murder in 1932? I don’t know, but there certainly wasn’t enough evidence presented in order to convict her. A police officer saying that she admitted to it, isn’t good enough for me. It is very common for the police and the prosecution to do whatever it takes in order to get a conviction….now and especially back then. I cannot say that she didn’t do it…but this case definitely deserves a more thorough investigation.
Perhaps I am a little biased because I am a direct descendant. It is definitely a topic open for discussion.