On September 16th, 1922 the Reverend Edward Wheeler Hall was found murdered beside Mrs. Eleanor Mills in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The details of the case drew national attention: the priest, having assumed the rectorship of the Church of Saint John the Evangelist, had married Frances Noel Stevens--the richest woman in town and an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune. Eleanor Mills had been a choir singer (a soprano) at the church since she was 14 years old. As a married woman, she and Edward Hall seemed to have begun a relationship in or around 1919. At that time, Edward Hall hired her husband to be his sexton, or groundskeeper. Prior to his murder, Edward Hall had been enormously popular around town, known for his gaiety and socializing, his involvement in the Boy Scouts and his liberal attention the Women's Auxilliary.
General Theological Seminary is where Edward Hall received his Master's degree at the turn of the century prior to becoming (eventually) the pastor at St. John’s in New Brunswick. One of the suspects in the crime, Edward's brother-in-law, Willie Stevens, sharply corrected observers of the case that he had been addressed as Mr. Hall, not Dr. Hall. It was a title and class distinction that Mr. Stevens was not willing to let slide.