- Shubal Coy was a Medina businessman, dealing in livestock.
- He had a wife and a young son.
- Was a well liked family.
- The family was "known to be live happily and peacefully together."(1)
- Shubal routinely kept money from his business dealings in his home.
- He had just earned $1200 from a livestock deal.
- Was a ne'er-do-well.
- Was considered slick.
- Deserted from the Union Army.
- First wife almost died in a fire that many considered was Streeter's attempt to get rid of her.
- Moved to Medina from VT.
- Tried to raise troops for the Union Army. Failed.
- Was a gambler.
- Didn't hold a job
- Married a second wife.
- Wasn't liked.
- Was known to visit the Coy home.
|Photo at Medina Co. Historical Soc.|
Suspicion quickly focused on Streeter, as the only man the townspeople knew who might commit such an atrocious act.
He and his new bride left town shortly after the murders. Medina officials tracked him down in Kenosha, Wisconsin and took him into custody. The money in his possession had stains on it.
Streeter went to trial and four days later, after an hour of deliberation, he was convicted and sentenced to hang.
|Photo at the Medina Library|
He escaped jail but was recaptured, hiding in the hay of a farmer's barn.
He was hung on February 26, 1864.
Did Medina's only hanging execute an innocent man?
- No other suspect was ever considered or investigated.
- The doctor testified that it was indeed blood on the envelope, but also admitted he couldn't tell if it was human blood or an animal's.
- Streeter claimed the money was gambling winnings.
- Streeter also maintained his innocence throughout the proceedings.
What do you think? Did Medina hang an innocent man or was Streeter guilty?
1. Medina Gazette article, July 1863.
2.The Arrest and Trial of Frederick Streeter for the Murder of the Coy Family compiled by Frank Munz.