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Quiz about Strange Death of Nell Cropsey
Quiz about Strange Death of Nell Cropsey

Strange Death of Nell Cropsey Trivia Quiz


Step back in time to the night of Nov. 20, 1901, and let's examine the most controversial case in North Carolina history--the strange death of beautiful sixteen-year old Nell Cropsey.

A multiple-choice quiz by Charlie007. Estimated time: 6 mins.
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Author
Charlie007
Time
6 mins
Type
Multiple Choice
Quiz #
93,226
Updated
Mar 09 22
# Qns
15
Difficulty
Difficult
Avg Score
7 / 15
Plays
1906
Awards
Editor's Choice
- -
Question 1 of 15
1. Who was the last known person to see Nell Cropsey alive? Hint


Question 2 of 15
2. What did Ollie Cropsey NOT hear or observe on the night Nell disappeared? Hint


Question 3 of 15
3. On Christmas Eve, 1901, what did William H. Cropsey, Nell's father, receive? Hint


Question 4 of 15
4. How long was it before Nell's body was found? Hint


Question 5 of 15
5. Where was Nell's body found? Hint


Question 6 of 15
6. Who was the first one to find Nell's body? Hint


Question 7 of 15
7. Where was the autopsy on Nell's body performed? Hint


Question 8 of 15
8. Who prevented the lynch mob from hanging Jim Wilcox the night Nell's body was found? Hint


Question 9 of 15
9. How many jury trials did Jim Wilcox have? Hint


Question 10 of 15
10. Which of these occurences did NOT happen before Nell's death? Hint


Question 11 of 15
11. What year was Jim Wilcox pardoned by NC Governor Thomas W. Bickett? Hint


Question 12 of 15
12. Where did Wilcox go, and what did he do after his release from prison? Hint


Question 13 of 15
13. After Wilcox's release from prison, he co-authored a book on the murder of Nell Cropsey.


Question 14 of 15
14. In the eerie aftermath of Nell's murder, several people who knew her committed suicide. Which of the following was the only one NOT to die by their own hand? Hint


Question 15 of 15
15. Two weeks before Jim Wilcox's death, he admitted to being the killer of Nell Cropsey.



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Quiz Answer Key and Fun Facts
1. Who was the last known person to see Nell Cropsey alive?

Answer: Jim Wilcox

Nell and Jim Wilcox had been going together for three years, and she thought it was high time he proposed marriage. After all, Nell Cropsey could have her pick of suitors. Not only was her father wealthy, but she was a very beautiful young lady. Nell had been trying to spur Jim into proposing marriage by engaging in a little harmless flirtation with other men.

This lead to a terrible row between Jim and Nell. On the night of Nov. 20, 1901, the couple made up, but Wilcox had been sullen and strangely quiet all evening. Ollie, Nell's older sister, and her suitor, Roy Crawford, and Carrie Cropsey, Nell's cousin, were present when Jim went out the front door about 11:00 pm, motioning for Nell to follow him out. Nell went out onto her front porch with Wilcox, and that was the last time she was seen alive. Roy Crawford said that when he left at 11:45 pm, there was no sign of either Jim or Nell.
2. What did Ollie Cropsey NOT hear or observe on the night Nell disappeared?

Answer: A blood-curdling scream

Ollie said that right after Nell went out on the porch with Jim Wilcox, she heard something thump against the side of the door. At 11:45 pm , when she went out to check on Nell, Ollie noticed that the screen door had been shoved back so hard that the spring was broken. Seeing no sign of Nell, Ollie went upstairs to see if Nell might be already in bed.

At midnight, the entire family was roused when a neighbor shouted that someone was trying to steal Mr. Cropsey's pig. When Ollie hurried back downstairs, she found the front door standing wide open and the umbrella that Nell had given Jim two years ago had been set just inside the front door.
3. On Christmas Eve, 1901, what did William H. Cropsey, Nell's father, receive?

Answer: A letter detailing the events on the night of her disappearance

He received an anonymous letter postmarked from Utica, NY. The writer stated that after Jim Wilcox left Nell crying on her porch, Nell had heard the family's dog barking and walked out into the yard to investigate. She saw an Elizabeth City man trying to steal her father's pig and threatened to tell on him.

The man then hit Nell on the head with a stick, carried her to a boat, and rowed off with a dead or unconscious Nell. (The Cropsey house was on the bank of the Pasquotank River about two-hundred feet from the water).

The writer of the note also drew a diagram and marked with an X the spot when Nell's body could be found. The police paid little attention to this letter, but Nell's body did eventually turn up floating in the Pasquotank River near the spot shown on the diagram.

Another strange thing about the note was its NY postmark. The Cropsey family had moved to Elizabeth City, NC from Brooklyn, NY in 1898.
4. How long was it before Nell's body was found?

Answer: 37 days

The search for Nell began on Nov. 21, 1901. Police used bloodhounds to track Nell but her scent stopped at the Cropsey's boathouse. Over a hundred houses in and around Elizabeth City were searched and the river was dragged. Thirty-seven days later, her body was seen floating in the water only about 150 yards below the Cropsey's boathouse.
5. Where was Nell's body found?

Answer: Floating in the Pasquotank River

Nell Cropsey's body was discovered floating in the Pasquotank River thirty-seven days after her disappearance.
6. Who was the first one to find Nell's body?

Answer: Her mother

Nell's mother had not been able to sleep since her daughter's disappearance. Night after lonely night Mrs. Cropsey keep her heart-breaking vigil, wandering up and down the banks of the Pasquotank River watching for her daughter's body. Seeing something white floating in the river, about 150 yards from the family's boathouse, she sent a local fisherman to row out to see what it was.

It was the body of Nell Cropsey. Her mother's sad vigil was finally over.
7. Where was the autopsy on Nell's body performed?

Answer: Cropsey family boathouse

Coroner Irving Fearing was aided by two Elizabeth City physicians in performing the autopsy. They found no water in Nell's lungs. There were no marks present on her body except were she had been struck on the temple by an instrument like a blackjack. It was known that Jim Wilcox had owned a blackjack, because he had shown it to some of his friends.
8. Who prevented the lynch mob from hanging Jim Wilcox the night Nell's body was found?

Answer: William H. Cropsey

After Nell's body was found, a lynch mob formed in front of the Pasquotank jail where Jim Wilcox was being held. The mob intended to string Wilcox up from the nearest tree and dispersed only after Nell's father, W. H. Cropsey, and her mother, refused to join the mob. Governor Charles B. Aycock finally had to sent in a naval reserve group to disperse mobs that kept forming in front of the jail.
9. How many jury trials did Jim Wilcox have?

Answer: Two

Wilcox was convicted at the first trial and was sentenced to death. Because of the sensationalism surrounding the case and the disturbances during the trial, a mistrial was declared by the NC Supreme Court. In 1903, Wilcox was retried in another county.

He was found guilty of second-degree murder and sentenced to thirty years in prison. The circumstantial evidence seemed overwhelming, but at neither trial did Wilcox take the stand in his own defense. Nor would he ever tell where he was from 11:15 pm until 1:00 am on the night Nell disappeared.
10. Which of these occurences did NOT happen before Nell's death?

Answer: Her mother had fed breakfast to a tramp on the day Nell disappeared.

Not long before Nell's disappearance, Jim Wilcox had persuaded Nell's cousin, Carrie Cropsey, and one of Nell's sisters, to go out with him on his boat and did not bring them back until after dark. He then shocked the girls when he tried to persuade Nell's sister to let him carry her up to the house wrapped in a blanket like she was dead in order to scare Mrs. Cropsey. Ollie told the family that a few days before Nell's disappearance, Nell had suffered such a terrible nightmare that she was afraid something horrible was about to befall her. Jim Wilcox and Nell had a terrible fight because she had been flirting with other men in an attempt to get Wilcox to propose marriage.

Another strange event that came out, it seems that on the night of her disappearance, Wilcox said if he was going to commit suicide, he would drown himself.
11. What year was Jim Wilcox pardoned by NC Governor Thomas W. Bickett?

Answer: 1920

He was pardoned on Dec. 29, 1920. Gov. Locke Craig had refused to pardon Wilcox, and Bickett previously had turned down a pardon for Wilcox.
12. Where did Wilcox go, and what did he do after his release from prison?

Answer: He returned to Elizabeth City, NC and became a recluse.

Jim Wilcox took the train straight to Elizabeth City, NC from prison. There he remained living as a recluse until his suicide in 1934.
13. After Wilcox's release from prison, he co-authored a book on the murder of Nell Cropsey.

Answer: False

In 1932, he agreed to collaborate with W. O. Saunders, who was the editor of the Elizabeth City newspaper "The Independent", on a book about Nell Cropsey's murder but later changed his mind.
14. In the eerie aftermath of Nell's murder, several people who knew her committed suicide. Which of the following was the only one NOT to die by their own hand?

Answer: Ollie Cropsey

After Jim Wilcox's trial in 1903, Ollie Cropsey became a recluse. Ollie's caller, on the night of Nell's disappearance, Roy Crawford shot himself in 1908. Nell's younger brother, Will Cropsey, Jr. poisoned himself in 1913. Jim Wilcox shot himself in 1934. Two weeks before, he had summoned W. O. Saunders to his room. Saunders would never tell what Jim Wilcox had told him, but Saunders left convinced that Wilcox did not murder Nell. Did he convince Saunders that killing Nell was an accident? That the thump Ollie heard from the porch was Wilcox shoving Nell so hard back into the door that he had unintentionally killed her? Did Wilcox tell Saunders where he had been during the crucial time between 11:15 am and 1:00 am on the night of Nell's disappearance thus finally establishing his alibi? Was the anonymous Christmas Eve letter to Nell's father correct, and Nell was killed by a local man for witnessing him stealing her father's pig? The mystery of Nell Cropsey continues. If you ever visit Elizabeth City, NC, the Cropsey House, and the boathouse where Nell's autopsy was performed, is located on Riverside Avenue on the banks on the Pasquotank River where Nell's body was found floating by her heartbroken mother.
15. Two weeks before Jim Wilcox's death, he admitted to being the killer of Nell Cropsey.

Answer: False

Wilcox always maintained his innocence, but at neither of his trials would he take the stand in his own defense.
Source: Author Charlie007

This quiz was reviewed by FunTrivia editor Lanni before going online.
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