by Ann M. Colford & r & THE VICTIM: Frank Steunenberg, former governor of Idaho, assassinated on December 30, 1905.
THE MURDERER-TURNED-WITNESS: Harry Orchard, a laborer and union miner who confessed to killing Steunenberg but said he was paid for the deed by officials of the Western Federation of Miners (WFM). In return for his testimony, Orchard's death sentence was reduced to life in prison; he lived longer than anyone else involved in the trial and died in the Idaho State Penitentiary in 1954 at age 88.
THE DEFENDANT: William "Big Bill" Haywood, secretary of the WFM and founder of the International Workers of the World (the "Wobblies"), kidnapped from his home by Colorado authorities in cooperation with Pinkerton detectives hired by the state of Idaho and brought by train to Boise to stand trial.
THE DEFENSE: Edmund Richardson, a Denver attorney, and Clarence Darrow, highly regarded defense attorney and ardent opponent of the death penalty who would gain national fame 18 years later for his defense of teacher John Scopes, accused of teaching Darwin's theory of evolution in a Tennessee school.
THE PROSECUTION: James Hawley and William Borah, who would soon be elected to the U.S. Senate from Idaho and serve more than 30 years.
THE CO-DEFENDANTS: Charles Moyer, president of the WFM, and George Pettibone, a former miner prosecuted for his role in 1892 labor unrest in the Coeur d'Alenes and whose Denver store was home to the WFM at the time of Steunenberg's death.
THE DETECTIVE: James McParland of Pinkerton's National Detective Agency, credited with extracting a confession from Harry Orchard; he also coordinated the forcible removal of Haywood, Moyer and Pettibone from Colorado to Idaho.
THE CELEBRITY: Ethel Barrymore, in Boise for a single performance of the play Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines, attended one day of the trial to see defense attorney Darrow in action; Judge Fremont Wood suspended proceedings and held a reception in her honor. She later charmed her way into a visit with confessed murderer Harry Orchard.
THE ACTIVIST: Eugene Debs covered the trial for the Socialist journal, Appeal to Reason. He later ran for president five times under the banner of the Socialist party.
Supporting Players: & r & THE JUDGE: Fremont Wood & r & THE PRESIDENT: Teddy Roosevelt & r & THE GOVERNOR: Frank Gooding & r & THE JURY: 12 men from Boise