Thank you for your interest in the Free James Titus Project!
This page is dedicated to Freeing James Titus, a Janitor at a Methodist Seminary in Hackettstown, New Jersey, when an 18 year old kitchen worker named Tillie Smith was raped and murdered on April 8, 1886. The Prosecutor and the Pinkerton Detectives ran out of leads after only a week, but the Yellow Journalists decided that the Janitor did it.
James Titus, an industrious janitor, beloved husband and father to a baby girl, served 19 years for a crime he did not commit because James Creelman and Joseph Pulitzer wanted to sell newspapers.
Even today, publications like "Weird NJ" and groups like TAPS encourage people to come to Hackettstown and hunt for the ghost of Tillie Smith. The townspeople of Hackettstown today are reminded of this year round, but especially in October. The historic society sells "Got Ghosts?" T-shirts to raise funs.
Janitor Titus's family has been wiped out. His wife died a month before he got out of prison. His last remaining descendant, a granddaughter, died in 1997. Tillie's murderer was never caught.
The Free James Project is dedicated to obtaining the first posthumous pardon in state history for old Janitor Titus.
We need all the help we can get. Please join.