I am from Ina and know about the murder of Jack Sweetin I researched the story of Wilford Sweetin many years ago so my memory is inexact but I have the papers somewhere. My grandmother Nannie Dempsey Taylor was well acquainted with them all and told the story many times. It has also been reported in the Centralia, IL newspaper as well as the Chicago papers. Ina, a village of 300 or so, was called, "Arsenic City" by the media.
Wilford was called "Jack" and worked in the Nason coal mines. He was a distant cousin to my father, Thomas Jefferson Sweeten, from Whittington, Franlin County, IL. There were three or four Sweetins or Sweetens in Ina but I am sure we were all related. Jack was from the Jim Sweetin, Orvel Sweetin line as I remember.
Jack was married to Elsie. She fell in love with a well known evangelist and Methodist Pastor, Lawrence Hite or Height, who ministerd at the Ina Methodist Church.
Preacher Hite did his wife in with rat poison and tomato soup and Elsie returned the favor to Jack after he was hurt in the coal mine. He is buried at Kirk Cemetary north of Ina where my parents now lie as well.
The entire story would make a terrific film. I met Preacher Hite when I was a young boy. He had just gotten out of prison and was sitting in front of a residential hotel in Mt. Vernon. I came one afternoon to hitch a ride to Ina when he asked my name and where I was going. When I replied "Gary Ray Sweeten and I am thumbing to Ina" he said, "I used to know some Sweetins in Ina."
I said, "What is your name and he told me "Lawrence Hite". I replied, "I bet you did know some Sweetins in Ina." I rememberd that story well but he probably did not think I knew who he was. Elsie never went to prison! Despite his turning state's evidence she went scott free. The sheriff put the two together in a cell and listened in while they made love and he begged her to admit they were in the plot together. It was quite a scandal. Scott Peterson can't hold a candle to it.So, you have a very famous, murdered relative.