Jennifer E. Vincenty
On 15 December 1859, on the near West Side of Cleveland known as the Flats down by the Cuyahoga River, at one time called "Irishtown" or the "Angle," there occurred a violent incident where two persons, William and Margaret Kelley, brutally attacked their neighbor, Rosa O'Malia. The woman lingered for six days in her own home, but she eventually died from the deep head wounds which were the result of the attack. Both Kelleys were arrested and brought to trial, and within three months were sentenced to life imprisonment at the Ohio Penitentiary in Columbus, Ohio. Coroner Charles A. Hartman recorded statements from fourteen witnesses in his report of the trial. These depositions recount varied, occasionally conflicting, viewpoints and provide colorful images of the residents of lrishtown Bend and their lives. The one witness to the events of that fatal day who never had any say was the victim herself. Herein is her statement regarding those last few days of her life, as she has returned from the grave in spectral form to finally make her account known, as told to Jennifer E. Vincenty:
Editor's Note: This is a fictionalized
account which draws on the historical record. It looks at O'Malia's
life and predicament from her perspective. It is, of course, a work of fiction.