True crime podcast | “Fatal Grove: The story of Jason Fairbanks and Elizabeth Fales”

Kevin Sawyer
2 min readMar 12, 2022

Originally published on October 16, 2020

On a spring day in May 1801, Jason Fairbanks appeared at the doorstep of his sweetheart’s home, covered in a crimson stain of their blood.


This is not a happy story.

It’s a story about young lovers; teenagers, really.

There’s a little of everything here.

Unrequited love. Bitter family feuds. A suicide pact. A daring midnight jailbreak. A cross-country cat-and-mouse chase. And a sensational trial that held the public’s attention for years.


At the heart of this story is a bizarre, grisly mystery.

One that sent tremors throughout a harmonious farming community of Puritan peasants.


  • Surrender — Dan Lebowitz
  • Court and Page — Silent Partner
  • Allegro — Emmit Fenn
  • №2 Remember Her — Esther Abrami
  • Tragic Story — Myuu
  • Elegy — Asher Fulero
  • The Awakening — Patrick Patrikios
  • On Foot — Underbelly & Ty Maye
  • Lazy Boy Blues — Unicorn Heads
  • Wistful Harp — Andrew Huang
  • On the Hunt — Andrew Langdon


  • Anonymous, Report on the Trial of Jason Fairbanks, on an Indictment for the Murder of Elizabeth Fales, 1801.
  • Cohen, Daniel A. Pillars of Salt, Monuments of Grace. Liverpool University Press, 2006.
  • Compiled by the The Fairbanks House, Dedham, MA; the Dedham Historical Society, A Massachusetts Mystery: The 1801 Tragedy of Jason Fairbanks & Elizabeth Fales, Applewood Books, 2009.
  • Freeman, Dale H. “Melancholy Catastrophe!” The Story of Jason Fairbanks and Elizabeth Fales in Public and Private Writings. Historical Journal of Massachusetts Volume 26, No 1 (Winter 1998).
  • Parno, Travis Gordon. “With the Quiet Sturdy Strength of the Folk of an Older Time”: An Archaeological Approach to Time, Place-Making, and Heritage Construction at the Fairbanks House, Dedham, Massachusetts. Boston University, 2013.