Discussion Questions

Some book clubs like to have questions to help focus the discussion of a book they are reading. Here are some discussion questions for The Murdered Family:

1) When you read about how the family was murdered (pp. 106-107), what kind of motive do you think could drive someone to such brutality?

2) Who were the key suspects in the case? What might have been their motives?

3) In the published confession, the neighbor farmer said he was upset because Wolf’s dogs had attacked one of his cows. Does that make sense to you? Are there other parts of his confession that do or do not seem reasonable?

4) The neighbor denied his guilt from the beginning and said his confession was made under duress, intimidation and fear. Is there anything that you think supports his claim?

5) Do you think statewide politics were involved in the effort to try to solve the crime quickly?

6) Why was the police chief from Bismarck, which is in another county, so heavily involved in trying to solve the crime (he was given credit for playing the key role in getting the confession/conviction)?

7) Did the “new evidence” found on the farm in November of that year have anything to do with the crime? Was it planted? Why didn’t the court consider it?

8) What did the confessed man mean when he reportedly said: “My eyes have seen but my hands are clean?”

9) Did the neighbor who signed the confession actually do the murders? What would be his motive? If he didn’t commit the murders, then who else do you think might have done it?

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1 Comment

  1. This such a great injustice the so called murder. Was my great great grandfather


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