The initial construction of the Federal-style house at no. 8 Walnut Street in Boston was completed by 1811. The building was enlarged later (possibly around 1850) and has since been converted into condominiums. In the early nineteenth century, it was the home of Dr. George Parkman, a pioneer in the field of mental health and member of a prominent Boston family. In 1849, Dr. Parkman disappeared after a visit to collect debts owed to him by Dr. John Webster, a professor of chemistry and mineralogy at Harvard Medical College. After parts of Dr. Parkman’s body were found in Dr. Webster’s laboratory, Webster was arrested for murder. The 1850 trial was a sensational event which prompted much media attention and public interest. Webster was convicted and hanged for the famous murder. In the twentieth century, interest in the case and debates about Webster’s guilt have continued.
Doctor George Parkman murder link: