Too Pretty for Prison

A young white murderess underscored Virginia’s penal and media disparities.

“The heavy iron gates of the Virginia Penitentiary closed August 11, 1892 on perhaps the prettiest prisoner who has over been confined in the institution,” cooed the Washington Post on the admittance to the penitentiary of 19-year-old Octavia Hodges. The Rocky Mount woman was sentenced to six years…



Lessons from History is a platform for writers who share ideas and inspirational stories from world history. The objective is to promote history on Medium and demonstrate the value of historical writing.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Dale M. Brumfield

Anti-death penalty advocate, cultural archaeologist, “American Grotesk” historyteller and author of 12 books. More at