The Huron Public Library will be hosting a program by Wayne Fanebust, author of the book, “No Justice for Agnes: The strange death of Agnes Polreis and the sensational South Dakota murder trials of Emma Kaufmann.” The event will be held Tuesday, Dec. 6, at 6:30 p.m. at the library.
“No Justice for Agnes” describes the tragic death of Agnes Polreis in 1906. The 16-year-old immigrant girl was hired as a live-in servant for Emma Kaufmann, the wife of a Sioux Falls millionaire businessman. Six months later, Agnes was dead and her body showed signs of horrific abuse.
The subsequent court trials of Emma Kaufmann, accused of the murder, lasted for three years. More repulsive than Agnes’ death were the outrageous antics of the attorneys, the shifting testimony of witnesses, and the sensationalizing newspaper coverage. At the close of the trial, the strange verdict was met with disapproval by local and national newspapers, causing widespread disbelief in the legal system.
Copies of the book are available to check out at the Huron Public Library. This program is made possible by a grant from the South Dakota State Humanities Council, an affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.