Midnight Assassin: A Murder in America's Heartland
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The Hossack Case

James DeKalb Gamble (Judge)

A native of Ohio, where he was born in 1836, James Gamble moved with his family to Iowa in 1849. He began the practice of law in 1860 in Knoxville, Iowa, but soon enlisted in the Iowa Infantry and fought at the battle of Vicksburg. During the siege, he was stricken with typhoid fever and nearly died. Upon his recovery and return to Iowa, he served in various legal and political capacities. He was elected a district court judge in 1896, replacing Judge John Henderson, who had resigned to return to private practice in Indianola. Gamble served fourteen years on the bench. He was sixty-four years old and well versed in criminal law at the time of the Hossack trial. Recognizing the sensational nature of the case, he added extra bailiffs and increased the size of the jury pool before the trial opened. Judge Gamble maintained order and judicial authority during the proceedings, though his rulings set the stage for an eventual retrial. He died at the age of ninety in 1926.

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Midnight Assassin copyright © 2017; Patricia L. Bryan and Thomas Wolf