Polly Bodine was charged with the murders of her sister-in-law Emeline Houseman and her infant niece Ann Eliza. Pawnbrokers identified her as the woman who pawned the victims' valuables at their pawnshops on Christmas Day using the alias "Ellen Henderson of Bergen."
George Waite, Polly's lover, was charged as an accessory after the murders. Coral beads worn by the infant victim Ann Eliza were discovered at his apothecary. Waite was in financial trouble, and owed loans to Polly's father, George Houseman, Sr.
On Christmas Day, December 25, 1843, an artisan was riding his horse through Granite Village. He testified that he saw a strange man in a Spanish clock standing in Emeline Houseman's yard, along with a woman. He could not identify either the man or woman.
The defense team argued that a gang from New York traveled to Staten Island to rob the Housemans. Weeks before, Captain George Houseman had carried a thick bag of silver through Manhattan. The judge posited that a gang may have followed him and plotted to rob his wife Emeline of the silver.