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Facts Behind the Fiction
The author will be posting
NOVEL FACTS BEHIND THE FICTION
every week or so
to offer additional background
and perspective on the mystery
of the Wolf family murders.
Novel Fact #46: LAWYER MORRIS. After meeting twice with Governor Frazier for advice on how to proceed with an appeal for a change of plea, the convicted man’s family hired two lawyers from Carrington. The junior partner, James Morris, went on to be Foster County State’s Attorney and then served four years (1928-1932) as the North Dakota Attorney General before being elected to the State Supreme Court in 1935, where he served until 1964. During his first 15 years on the court, he served with Justice Nuessle, who was the district court judge that sentenced his client to life in prison for the Wolf family murders and who later denied Morris’ petition for a change of plea. Morris took a year’s leave of absence from the Supreme Court after World War II when President Truman appointed him to serve as a trial judge for the War Crimes Tribunal in Germany. He later came to know a nephew of the hired boy who was killed along with the Wolf family, and the nephew later reported that Morris told him that he never believed that their client was guilty of the Wolf family murders.
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