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Edith Murray

According to Whittaker Chambers, Murray was, for a while, his family's maid. She was a surprise rebuttal witness for the prosecution at the end of the second trial. Murray testified that she had seen the Hisses and the Chambers together at the Chambers' apartment in Baltimore. In Hiss's motion for a new trial, the defense turned up two people, William Reed Fowler and Louis Leisman, who claimed Chambers never had a maid in the building where Murray claimed she worked. 

Hiss's coram nobis petition contained FBI documents which showed that Murray could identify Alger Hiss only with help from the FBI and Chambers (she spent an afternoon at the Chambers' farm before she made the identificaton at trial). Her first comment, when shown a photo of the Hisses, was that they looked like people she had seen in the movies. She testified that the FBI never told her that the picture she was shown was of the Hisses. In an FBI document obtained in 1975, however, Murray says in a signed statement, "The agents have shown me a photograph of a person they have told me is Alger Hiss, and the person looks something like the slender man who accompanied the Lady from Washington on the above mentioned visit to the Cantwells [Chambers]." This was unlike the definitive identification she offered in court.