BlackHeart by Wiser Wolves Productions
This short film was made for the 13 Stories Film Competition and is based on the true story of a real life inmate at the Old Idaho Penitentiary. Margaret Hardy, born in Osage Beach, Missouri in 1947, claimed she received no education as a child. In St. Louis, Missouri she ran a “bawdy” house (or brothel) and developed a propensity for thievery. She soon moved to Aspen, Colorado and married. The couple adopted a young African American girl whom they named Henrietta. Margaret moved to Moscow, Idaho in 1890. On February 10, 1895, Margaret attempted to kill Henrietta with an injection of morphine. She then threw carbolic acid onto Henrietta’s face, killing the child. Margaret claimed the poisoning occurred while she was out of the house. After a coroner’s inquest, authorities arrested her. She received a life sentence, to be served at the Idaho State Penitentiary. An Idaho Daily Statesman reporter referred to Margaret as a “Black Hearted Old Hag.” Due to her “status” as the first Caucasian woman to serve time at the prison, staff made many special arrangements to keep Margaret comfortable. Still, she attempted suicide by eating glass on multiple occasions. Guards placed her in the “bughouse,” an early version of solitary confinement, where she started a fire that nearly claimed the life of another prisoner. Despite their early insistence that Margaret faked insanity, they ultimately transferred her to the State Hospital South in Blackfoot, Idaho on October 9, 1895. Annotated to add: “The Old Idaho Penitentiary State Historic Site was a functional prison from 1872 to 1973 in Boise, Idaho.”
2020 ’13 Stories’ Film Playlist from the Old State Pen in Idaho
Ghost Hunting at the Old Idaho Penitentiary
Between 1872 and 1973, the Idaho State Penitentiary housed over 13,000 inmates. Some of Idaho’s most corrupt and cunning criminals resided behind these Boise sandstone walls. Constructed in large part by inmate labor, the “Old Idaho Penitentiary” stands as a reminder of Idaho’s Wild West past. Horse thieves, moonshiners, bank robbers, and assassins alike all called this penitentiary home. Owned and operated by the Idaho State Historical Society, the Old Idaho Penitentiary is one of only four territorial prisons open to the public in the United States.
Interesting Books About the Old Idaho State Penitentiary:
Note: the titles below link to where you can purchase the book, via my affiliate link. If you buy a book, I get a tiny portion of the sale which supports my horror collecting habits! (no obligation implied)⚰️🖤
- Old Idaho Penitentiary (Images of America) by Amber Beierle
- The Warden’s Son: Growing up at the Idaho State Penitentiary by Jerry Clapp
- The Images Of The Penitentiary: A Reminder Of State’s Evolving Ideas Of Social Justice: The Idaho State Historical Society by Quintin Derousselle
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