Ora Lee Murder 1908

A young, 21 year old woman found dead, on a road, the day before her wedding. Four and a half months pregnant, and last seen entering a mysterious buggy after missing a train to her grandparents’ house . Ora Lee’s story, one of love and murder, brought attention from all around the country to the county of Medina, Ohio. During this time, factory workers like Ora Lee worked up to sixty hours a week for a measly twenty cents an hour. Underprivileged, poor, and living with her grandparents for a large portion of her life, Ora Lee and soon to be husband Daniel Guy Rasor’s love became the source of a mysterious murder that left, and still leaves people confused after over a century. The trial of the decade began in February of 1909, and caused mixed opinions and a split jury. Was Ora Lee shot by her husband in an attempt for him to escape their marriage? Or was she killed by a suitor jealous and angry with her upcoming marriage to Rasor? The cousin that wanted to keep Ora lee away from her grandparents? After a month of hearings, emotional family members, and a limited amount of evidence available because of the technological restraints of the time, Rasor ended up spending eight years in prison for the manslaughter of Ora Lee. Whether Rasor killed Ora Lee or spent years in prison for a crime he did not commit, we may never know. The hoof prints found at the crime scene that matched those of a horse in Rasor’s stables, the evidence that suggested he bought a gun the day of her death, and the possible motives that lay behind this murder are unclear. A strong argument on both sides made the verdict unclear. So, the same question remains to this day: What really happened to Ora Lee? Well, the world may never know.

Images

Newspaper Article from Los Angeles

Newspaper Article from Los Angeles

Ora Lee's murder became national news, even gaining a spot in the Los Angeles Herald in California With no enough evidence to confirm that Ora Lee's fiancee, Guy Rasor, killed her, but with the horse hoof prints at the scene connecting to those of a horse in Rasor's stable, he became a definite suspect of police. After hours of interviews at the police station the night of the murder, Guy Rasor held in the Medina Jail, had been put on trial in the Medina County Court House in 1909 for charges of 1st degree murder and a punishment of the electric chair. Image Courtesy of the Los Angeles Herald. Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina Country Library. Medina, Ohio. View File Details Page

Guy Rasor

Guy Rasor

After Guy Rasor supposedly killed Ora Lee, Guy Rasor went to court at the Medina County Courthouse. At first, his punishment, if guilty, may be death. Then, if guilty, it may be twenty years in prison. At the trail between Guy Rasor and the death of Ora Lee, Guy Rasor pleaded himself as not guilty but the judge and Ora Lee's side did not believe him due to the evidence they found while investigating. He then ended up spending only eight years in prison, after a tense and emotional trail at the Medina County Courthouse for a crime that he might not have even committed. Image Courtesy of Roger Havens Rasor Family Collection. Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina Country Library. Medina, Ohio. Who Killed Ora Leez by Linda Buesch. View File Details Page

Ohio Penitentiary

Ohio Penitentiary

After Ora Lee had been killed, the Guy Rasor and Ora Lee court trial happened and some arguments occurred about Guy Rasor being guilty. Therefore, Guy Rasor had been sentenced into the Ohio Penitentiary for being guilty of murdering Ora Lee. Guy Rasor had some clues which led up to people believing that he murdered Ora Lee. Guy Rasor spent eight years in jail for a crime that he might or might not have done. Later on after Guy Rasor had already served his jail time, The Ohio Penitentiary closed in 1984. The Ohio Penitentiary became an abandoned site and later on the rest of the buildings parts had been demolished in 1997. Courtesy of Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina Country Library. Medina, Ohio. Who Killed Ora Leez by Linda Buesch. View File Details Page

Outside of the Medina Country Court House

Outside of the Medina Country Court House

On February 18th 1909, the State of Ohio vs. Daniel Guy Rasor trial brought the attention of families and their children across the country, but also concered many of the local residents of Medina and its' surrounding counties. The trial, held at the Medina County Court House, caused a wave of people to gather in the square and the surrounding area. The trial lasted around three weeks and Guy Rasor ended up being charged with manslaughter, after a split jury finally came to a conclusion. Image Courtesy of Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina County Library. Medina, Ohio. Who Killed Ora Leez By Linda Buesch. View File Details Page

The Road that Connects Guy Rasor to Ora Lee

The Road that Connects Guy Rasor to Ora Lee

The route of both ORa Lee and Guy Rasor shown in the map gives many possible theories of what may have happened on October 8th, 1908. Guy Rasor, immediately held at the jail for suspicion, denied his guilt. The story that he told to the police involved himself working at his friend's farm when he heard the news of Ora Lee and left for his home to change his dirty clothes, before he went to the crime scene. Guy Rasor had been working at a friend's farm, helping harvest their plants when Ora Lee's murder became known to him. Image Courtesy of Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina County Library. Medina, Ohio. Who killed Ora Leez by Linda Buesch. View File Details Page

Crime Scene

Crime Scene

Ora Lee's body had been found near the railroad tracks on Wall Road near Main Street on the night of October 8, 1908. Not until the next day at the crime scene did the police search her body and brought her for an autopsy. Shown also in the map of the suspected plot, the corner where she had been found and where the townspeople heard gunshots. This location was just down the road from Guy Rasor's house. Image courtesy of Reasonable Minds: A Conclusion by Linda Thompson Buesch. Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina County Library. Medina. Ohio. View File Details Page

Ora and Guy's Marriage License

Ora and Guy's Marriage License

The marriage license, originally obtained by Guy Rasor, had been completed one week prior to the wedding that had been planned for the upcoming weekend, on October 10th, 1908. Guy Rasor had filed for the marriage license initially due to their awaited baby. Many questions about the murderer had come solely from the marriage license. For example, newly developed verdicts like "Guy Rasor was just trying to get out of the marriage," or "Ora Lee had been murdered by an unknown lover,"are just a few possibilities of the speculations made during the rial. Ora's family was determined to have Guy Rasor serve his life in prison and tried many more times after the verdict of 8 years in prison was chosen. Image Courtesy of Reasonable Minds: A Conclusion by Linda Thompson Buesch. Franklin Sylvester Room, Medina County Library. Medina, Ohio. View File Details Page

Guy Rasor's Picture in the Newspaper

Guy Rasor's Picture in the Newspaper

Daniel Guy Rasor, born on November 25th, 1882, became the primary suspect of his fiancee's murder, which took place on October 9th, 1908. The reason being that he owned a horse with no hoof on one of it's feet, much like the footprints found at the crime scene. He spent eight years in prison in Columbus after being found guilty, but later marries a girl named Nora. He then died on January 4th, 1973. Image Courtesy of Pittsburgh Press, 12 October 1908. Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina Country Library. Medina, Ohio. View File Details Page

Ora Lee Picture in the Newspaper

Ora Lee Picture in the Newspaper

Ora Lee had been born on October 22nd in 1877, she became known as the twenty-one year old woman who worked in a factory set to marry Daniel Guy Rasor and murdered on October 8th, 1908. Two bullets brought Ora Lee to her end, the day before her wedding. Ora and Guy Rasor could of had a family before she was shot because Ora Lee had been pregnant with their child. Pittsburgh Press, 12 October 1908. Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina Country Library. Medina, Ohio. View File Details Page

Ora Lee Autopsy Sketch

Ora Lee Autopsy Sketch

After the Autopsy of Ora Lee came to a conclusion, several more elements to the case of her death surfaced. The investigation of her injuries gave evidence of two bullet wounds, later finding a third wound on the back side of her head, wheel marks from the buggy she traveled in prior to the murder, and the estimation of her being about four and a half months pregnant. A recognizable belt and bracelet confirmed the victim of the murder, Ora Lee. Image Courtesy of Franklin Sylvester Room. Medina County Library. Medina, Ohio. Who Killed Ora Leez by Linda Buesch. View File Details Page

Cite this Page:

Zowie S.
Vanessa L.
Allie P. , “Ora Lee Murder 1908,” Discover Medina, accessed June 23, 2017, http://discovermedina.org/items/show/216.

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