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Monday, May 14, 2007

A Long-Lasting Libel

A gravestone in Albrightsville, Pennsylvania, tells the story of a man's unhappy end.

The text is brief and small in comparison to the illustration. It reads, "AQUILA A. HENNING, BORN JUNE 7, 1892, SHOT NOV. 24 1932. AN INNOCENT SOUL SENT TO ETERNITY." [Link]
It was established in court that Aquila had shot at one-armed school teacher Harry Wilkinson, and then was gunned down by his intended victim's brother. The "not guilty" verdict didn't sit well with Aquila's widow, which might explain why his stone depicts an ambush.
The stone shows a man, Aquila, walking through the woods with his hunting rifle. In the background there are trees and bushes, and standing in those bushes is a man holding a pistol. The man has only one arm. Also seen in the bushes behind Aquila are six or seven faces peering out at him.
Harry Wilkinson didn't care for the illustration. He filed a $50,000 lawsuit against the monument company for portraying him as a villain.

Janice

Chris,

Who won the lawsuit, do you know?

J

Chris

I haven't found any mention of the outcome online. Notice, however, that no retraction was carved into the headstone.

Kyle Henning

Aquila was my great great grandfather. Im begining to study my ancestory, and have alot of information so far. Kyle Henning

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