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Ella Maud "Nell" Cropsey
Birth: Jul., 1882
New York, USA
Death: Nov. 20, 1901
Elizabeth City
Pasquotank County
North Carolina, USA

She was known as Nell Cropsey, and there have been books written about her murder under this name. She was less than 20 years of age when she disappeared from the home of her father, William H. Cropsey, on Riverside Ave. in Elizabeth City, NC. She had had an argument one evening with a suitor, Jim Wilcox, son of the Republican county sheriff. She disappeared on Nov. 20th., 1901, and was found floating in the Pasquotank River 37 days later. An autopsy/examination was performed in the outbuilding of her family home. It appears that she had died of blunt force trauma to the head. Wilcox was arrested and jailed for her murder, yet Nell's own father dispersed a crowd at the jail that wanted to lynch Wilcox. Wilcox was found guilty in 1902 and sentenced to be hanged, but a mistrial was declared due to courtroom disturbances. In 1903 Wilcox was again tried, but in Perquimans County instead of Pasquotank Co., , and was found guilty of 2nd degree murder and sentenced to 30 years in prison. In 1918, he was visited in prison by the governor of North Carolina at the time, who a few weeks later pardoned him. Wilcox returned to Elizabeth City on Christmas Eve of that year. In 1932 Wilcox had discussions with the editor of an Eliz. City paper, W. O. Saunders of The Indedependent, on collaborating on a book about the case, but Wilcox decided against the idea. In 1934, Wilcox asked Saunders to come to his room for a meeting. Two weeks later, Wilcox took his own life using a shotgun. There was also some other strange behavior on the part of other Cropsey family members and associates which add to the mystery. In 1903, Ollie, Nell's older sister, became a recluse. In 1908, Roy Crawford, who called on Ollie the night of Nell's disappearance, took his own life with a gun. In 1913, Will Cropsey Jr. took his own life by poison in Norfolk, Va. In the early 1940's, W. O. Saunders was driving along the road next to the Dismal Swamp Canal when his car went off the road and into the canal, drowning him.

Those interested in reading more on this real "unsolved mystery" may want to read 'The Mystery of Beautiful Nell Cropsey: A Nonfiction Novel" by Bland Simpson. Also, here is a link to an article on Nell Cropsey and the Elizabeth City Ghost Walk:

Family links: 
  Willam Hardy Cropsey (1851 - 1938)
  Mary Louise Ryder Cropsey (1858 - 1948)
  Ella Maud Cropsey (1882 - 1901)
  Ella Maud (Nell) Cropsey (1882 - 1901)*
  Olive Cecile Cropsey (1885 - 1944)*
  Andrew Douglas Cropsey (1892 - 1950)*
*Calculated relationship
New Utrecht Cemetery
Kings County (Brooklyn)
New York, USA
Created by: Robert B. Pool II
Record added: Oct 14, 2011
Find A Grave Memorial# 78417550
Ella Maud Nell Cropsey
Added by: Bob "Cookie" VanDuren
Ella Maud Nell Cropsey
Added by: Bob "Cookie" VanDuren
Ella Maud Nell Cropsey
Added by: Robert B. Pool II
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- DMLeForce
 Added: Aug. 4, 2015
May she find peace.
- Shasta Seagle
 Added: Oct. 15, 2014

- Lance
 Added: Aug. 9, 2014
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This page is sponsored by: Bob "Cookie" VanDuren

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