Virginia Brown was born in 1889 and by the time she was 16, she was wed to Patrick Harris. Their first child was born before she turned 17, and their last child – the eighth – was born on her 33rd birthday. Before, during, and after each pregnancy, Patrick beat her. The reason, he gave to friends and family, was that she needed it, more than any woman he had ever known.
Patrick, with the help of his wife and children, ran a small farm, which rarely did well. More often than not, the family would travel to various churches outside of Cross and beg for handouts. Virginia, in an attempt to feed her large family, became adept at crafting jellies out of any fruit, vegetable, or meat she could put her hands on. Her jellies were soon given to friends and fans, and Patrick built a roadside stand for her to sell her wares.
By 1933, Virginia was supporting the entire family with the sales of her jellies.
In 1934, Patrick vanished.
Many of the people in town felt it was from sheer embarrassment at having his wife provide for him. Others whispered it was because he had found a younger woman.
Regardless as to the reason why, Virginia was alone.
Over the years several of Patrick’s friends sought him out, but they vanished as well, and darker rumors spread about him. People, knowing the ways of Cross, suspected he was killing them off to remain in hiding. He had always been a violent man, and such drastic measures were possible.
On January 15th, 1939, the police stopped by the Brown farm to speak with Virginia about another missing man. Virginia, who had grown deaf over the years, was found in her kitchen, preparing the missing man’s brains to be jellied.
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