This is the first of a multi part series.

There's a true crime story from yesteryear that to this day locals continue to be obsessed with. It's a story of mayhem, murder, insurance payouts, and possibly hauntings too.

This is the story of Eva Coo, The Mallet Murderer of Otsego County.

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Origin Story

Born Eva Curry in Haliburton, Ontario, Canada in 1889, she moved while young to Toronto. She eventually met and married William Coo, she emigrated to the United States ad settled in Upstate New York sometime around 1921.

During prohibition, she owned a brothel and speakeasy in Oneonta, New York. Eventually, she purchased the Woodbine Inn, described as a sketchy roadhouse on Crumhorn Mountain in Maryland, New York.

If You Grew Up In Oneonta NY, You May Remember... via Facebook
If You Grew Up In Oneonta NY, You May Remember... via Facebook

The Mallet Murderer Emerges

On June 13th, 1934, Eva Coo placed a call to the police to inform them that the property's handyman, an elder drunkard named Harry Wright hadn't shown up to the inn for work, which despite his drunkenness was out of character. Coo was calling under the guise of concern over whether he may have been jailed or in an accident. The police had no record of Wright's whereabouts and headed to the property to see if he could be found in the area. A state trooper talked with Coo onsite, and she stated that me must be on a bender and got lost somewhere.

The trooper went looking for wright, and lo and behold, his body was discovered just a stone's throw from the inn, splayed out in a roadside ditch. It appeared as though he was hit by a passing car. But appearances can be deceiving.

The Investigation

The state trooper and a medical examiner looked closer at the body, and details began to emerge. The initial exam revealed that Wright was hit by a passing car, and had laid dead in the ditch for a couple of hours. There was a gray colored hat found nearby that an associate said that Wright had never worn.

Curiously, no evidence of a hit and run was found at the supposed crash site. No skid marks, debris, or anything else that would indicate a vehicles involvement. The medical examiner dug deeper and found that Wright's injuries were not consistent with a simple hit and run accident. The death appeared to be sinister, and foul play appeared to be involved.

Who killed Harry Wright, and why?

Find out tomorrow in the stunning continuation of the story of murderess Eva Coo!

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