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Investigators interviewed the people closest to Pearl Bryan, and they learned about Scott Jackson. He was arrested on February 5, and Alonzo Walling was arrested the following day. Initially, as reported by Medium, the two men provided an alibi that had been disproven. They then attempted to minimize their involvement by accusing the other of murdering Pearl Bryan. Authorities theorized that the two men killed Bryan after a failed abortion, and they severed her head to hide her identity. Witnesses testified as well, which further convinced the jury that Jackson and Walling were guilty. They were sentenced to death by hanging.
The two perpetrators were questioned about the location of Bryan’s head, and Jackson said it was thrown into the river. Walling, on the other hand, said that Jackson told him he threw it in a sewer. Per Gutenberg, the perpetrators gave several different accounts regarding what happened to the severed head. It was never found, and Bryan’s body was buried headless in Forest Hill Cemetery in Greencastle. Often, visitors who go to her grave leave pennies with heads up to honor the young woman who lost her head in her tragic murder.