Monday, April 15, 2013

Carrie Lanahan, The First “Fake War Bride” to be Prosecuted - 1918

FULL TEXT: Four women in hysterics or on the verge of collapse gave United States Marshal Stockham and his deputies plenty to do in resuscitation when Mrs. Carrie Lanahan appeared yesterday before Commissioner Supplee for a hearing on a charge of receiving money from the Government as the wife of a soldier whom she married while she had a husband living.

Mrs. Lanahan was the first one of the quartet to be overcome. She was highly nervous and wept when taken before the Commissioner. Then she fainted, thereupon her cousin, Mrs. Mamie Markland, 1767 North Gay street, screamed and fainted also. This was too much for Mrs. Markland’s sister. Mrs. Ella Knorrs, 1763 North Gay street, and she became hysterical, as did another woman who accompanied them.

Mrs. Lanahan is the wife of Walter W. Lanahan and lived with him at 1618 North Bradford street. Some time last November she became acquainted with Sergt. Virgil W. Hiller, of the Twenty-third Engineers, then stationed at Camp Laurel, and on November 25 they went to Annapolis and were married. As the supposed wife of Sergt. Hiller the accused became entitled to $15 a month of his pay and $15 a month from the Government.

For the purpose of concealing her alleged bigamous marriage, Mrs. Lanahan is charged with having her mail sent in care of Mrs. Markland, 1707 North Gay street. On April 1, it is alleged, she cashed a check for $76 from the Government, and May 23 another check for $30, spending the money. She was arrested by bigamy after an investigation by Headquarters Detectives Kahler and Kratz.

L. Meriweather Smith, solicitor for the War Risk Insurance Board, came from Washington to prosecute the case. He said that there have been reports from all over the country of attempts to defraud by obtaining soldiers’ pay, but this was the first prosecution on that charge.

[“Held On Fraud Charge – Woman Faints When Taken Before Commissioner. – Companions Near Collapse – Alleged War Bigamist To Be Prosecuted On Charge Of Obtaining Money As Wife Of Soldier.” The Sun {Baltimore, Md.), Jun. 1, 1918]


For more cases of this type see: “War-Marriage Vampires”& “Allotment Annies"


1 comment:

  1. Read the several-part "Baby-Farmers" article I believe you linked to in a recent AVFM comment stream. I am astounded. I would like to ask you some questions by e-mail as to how the subject might effectively be incorporated into a novel I've just outlined (whose "theme" is in large part a sister-topic to such "farming" and could easily be widened in that direction). wholebrainarts-at-verizon-dot-net