In 1833 Charles Getter, better known as Carl, was enjoying the good life and especially the company of the ladies. Margaret Lawall, claimed in front of a judge, that Carl was the father of her unborn child. To not marry meant Carl would be sent to prison, so the two were married that day. However, Carl refused to live with Margaret because he was madly in love with another local girl.
A month after the marriage, the body of Margaret was found dumped behind a wall in a field. The most likely cause for her death was said to be strangulation.
The indictment in Easton court charged that Carl Getter: “Feloniously, willfully, and deliberately, had strangled his wife."
The trial was speedy and did not go well for Carl who proclaimed innocence. In August of the same year Carl was marched down Northampton Street, wearing all white clothes to profess his innocence, while shackles bound him.
When the ground was lifted from Getters feet- the first rope broke! And he proclaimed "well that was good for nothing!" To the horror and fascination of the crowd, once again the noose was placed around Carl's neck and he was “hung twice”.
Charles Getters hanging was the last “public" hanging in Easton. After the spectacle of Getters death- it was felt that perhaps the public should not be subjected to such visions of vulgarity
Just south of the city, there is a mountain known as Hexenkopf Rock. Before the colonial settlers arrived, the Lenni Lanape Indians used this place for rituals that would take the evil or sickness out of the human body and transfer it to the rock itself. This spiritual place quickly became popular with the very superstitious Germans and it was used by both doctors and witches for countless rituals. It was believed that all of the "EVIL" that has been collected over the years caused the rock to glow in the moonlight.
A gathering of witches at Hexenkopf would usually result in a tragedy happening to a good, God fearing local farmer, or more likely, to one of their animals. This was such an accepted fact that a woman was charged in Northampton County court for bewitching a farmer’s horse to become so weak he was no longer useful. She was found guilty and sentenced to stand in the pillory in Center Square for six hours four times a year.
Farmers in the area of Hexenkopf would often wake to find their horses bathed in sweat, a sure sign that the witches had borrowed them during the night. Even today, an unusual number of car accidents occur within 100 feet of the entrance to Hexenkoptf proof that modern technology is no match for the “Ancient Arts”.
The hill itself has long lost it's eerie glow. Skeptics speculate that the glow had been caused by a coating of minerals that had eroded away with time. But some say it's because the evil spirits are no longer trapped in the rock --they're out in the woods, roaming free and looking for a new host!
50 years after the Getter’s hanging another terrible tragedy befell Easton.
The Laros murders are arguably the most infamous murders in Easton’s long history. The actual murders took place in a house near Sandt’s Eddy, which is now Forks Township.
In the spring of 1876, a large, respectable family, of nine persons; father, mother, brothers, sisters and boarder, sat down to their pleasant evening meal, little dreaming that there was “death in the pot”
That fateful evening, Allen Laros poisoned his entire family with Arsenic in their coffee.
Why?…….You might ask? WHY ? Why ?
Because they would not pay for him to attend law school!
Reporters were fortunate enough to interview Allen Laros just after the murder. Allen’s own explanation of his actions are so cool, so matter of fact, and just a bit ridiculous- that one might wonder if he was not just a bit insane. In his statement after the murder he was quoted as saying:
We all sat together… Clara complained first. When I saw them all so sick, and heard them screaming, I was very sorry and took two swallows of the coffee, as I wanted to die too… I knew if I took too much it would kill me. I was the first who proposed to send for a doctor. The reason I was not taken sick as soon as the rest, I had eaten all my supper before I drank, while the others ate and drank at the same time.
Ironically, Allen Laros was acquitted on a technicality and soon left town. He was last known to be in Texas.