The Stranger in the Crowd

In 1959, Elmer David Brunner was scheduled to be the ninth and final man to die in this electric chair at the West Virginia Penitentiary in Moundsville, West Virginia.

 Brunner was a petty thief who was charged with using a claw hammer to kill Ruby Miller, a wealthy Huntington socialite, who surprised him during a burglary.

 Brunner was arrested by the Huntington Police Department on the night of the crime and was indicted, tried, convicted and sentenced – all within 67 days.

 The speed of the trial and the manner in which a confession was extracted from Brunner – which would be unconstitutional today – begs the question, “Did he really do it?”

 Hi, my name is Emily Capehart and I am a senior film student at Pepperdine University. I would like to tell Elmer Brunner’s story in a short film I’m producing and directing called “The Stranger in the Crowd.”

 There are several reasons I want take on this exciting project…

 First, I feel it’s a compelling story – a human drama – full of tension and intrigue that should be shared.

Second, it’s a true story – based upon the actual events that occurred in the last twelve hours leading up to the time Elmer Brunner was scheduled to be the last man to die in the electric chair in West Virginia.

 Third, I’ve been recommended for admission next year to a great graduate film studies program

Part of my admissions process is submitting a film that I personally directed.

 To date, I have put together a great production team with an experienced co-producer and an extremely talented cast that includes television and film star, Terry Kiser, and West Virginia’s own, Kevin Sizemore.

But to bring this compelling story to life, I need your help. The budget to film a period piece like this can be pricey.  I have set a financial goal to raise $30,000 by September 30th.

 Nearly 60% of my budget will go into assuring that we have a remarkable cast that can tell this important story and give it the justice it deserves. 

 30% of the raise will go towards hiring a proven production company that can provide the project with the highest degree of audio and visual quality.

 I am committed to producing a high quality film worthy of your backing. I have listed a series of benefits you can receive by pledging certain amounts.  For instance – for $100, you can appear as an extra in the film.  I encourage you to check out those offering on this website.

 I truly appreciate your help and support as I take this next step in fulfilling my dream as a movie director.   

 And with your help, we can get this story -- and this film -- officially “locked down.” 

Thank you.




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Emily Capehart 
Wheeling, WV
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