On November 3, 1897, John Morgan
murdered Chloe Greene and two of
her three children, James Greene
and Matilda Pfost. Daughter Alice
Pfost managed to escape despite
being wounded during the attack.
G.W. Shamblen captured Morgan who
was tried and convicted of the
triple murder. O.J. Morrison paid
Morgan for an exclusive prison
interview about his life.
While awaiting execution, murderer
John Morgan escaped from jail but
was recaptured in Roane County by
local authorities. On December
16, 1897, thousands of spectators
converged on Ripley, creating a
carnival like scene. As a result
of the spectacle, in 1899, State
Delegate John S. Darst sponsored
legislation that ended executions
in public places in West Virginia.