Saturday, September 10, 2011

Leonard Boelhauff, California Child Torturer - 1938



FULL TEXT: San Diego, Dec. 6. – Leonard Boelhauff, 6, died early today at the Mercy Hospital from a fractured skull and severe bruises suffered from what authorities said was a beating administered by the child's foster mother.

Police held Mrs. Dorothy Boelhauff, 29, Chula Vista, in connection with the boy’s death. Mrs. Boelhauff, who said she planned to adopt Leonard, is under $2500 bond ordered yesterday in Municipal Court, where she was charged with assault to do great bodily harm.

Deputy Sheriff A. B. Mason said Mrs. Boelhauff whipped the child with a ruler Saturday, because “he wouldn't button his coat and tie his shoes.” She said she then locked him in a closet.

Mrs. Boelhauff told deputies the boy struck his head in the bathtub when she later released him from the closet. The child was removed to the hospital by her husband, Elmer Boelhauff, 30, chief boatswain’s mate attached to the U.S.S. Balch, who found him lying naked and unconscious in the tub.

Hospital attendants said Leonard died of a skull fracture and multiple fractures. He was the son of Leonard Skillham, former shipmate of. Boehauff.

[“Boy, 6, Dies From Beating; Woman Held,” syndicated (UP), Oakland Tribune (Ca.), Dec. 8, 1938, p. 2]

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For more cases, see: Women Who Like to Torture

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