Sunday, December 11, 2016

Lucille Adams, Mentally Retarded Double Child Murderer – Wisconsin, 1961


FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 2): Milwaukee – A housekeeper’s brutal impulse made a bitter homecoming Friday for Mrs. Betty Jane Craig, mother of two young boys squeezed to death by a woman who said she had a long-suppressed desire “to hurt someone.”

“We were going to try and be happy again,” sobbed Mrs. Craig as she stepped off a train. “I couldn’t wait to see my children again.”

Mrs. Craig had been estranged from her husband, William R. Craig, Jr., and she was coming to Milwaukee to try and effect a reconciliation.

“I think they would have made it all right this time,” said a relative. Mrs. Craig had been married three times previously, but the children were born while she was married to Craig. She is 28.

Mrs. Lucille Adams, 34, admitted suffocating the boys, Donald, 4, and Ronald, 2, early Friday morning. The bodies were found by their father when he returned from work.

Miss Adams said she was troubled by the thought of having to look for another job, difficulty with the children earlier in the day and “unexplained urge to hurt someone.” Thursday was supposed to be her last day on the job, since the boy’s mother was returning yesterday.

~ Burning Sensation In Head, She Said

Dist. Atty. William J. McCauley charged Miss Adams with two counts of first degree murder. She was bound over for trial in Municipal Court under $35,000 bond after her arraignment Friday afternoon.

At first, she said, she thought about killing herself by jumping out a window. She said she had tried to kill her father in St. Louis, Mo., when she was living there.

Obviously confused and speaking in a dull monotone, she said she couldn’t sleep after the boys’ father had left for work Thursday night. She said she went to the boys’ bedroom and picked up Ronald, wanting to “baby him.”

After “playing with him for a while, something told me to hurt him,” she said. “There was a burning sensation in my head.”

~ ‘He Felt Limp’

“I pressed him hard, and he felt limp,” she said.

Scared that the older boy would tell his father what had happened, she killed Donald the same way, she said. Then she went to the bedroom of the father and tried to sleep.

She said she had heard that a sudden shock would bring a person out of deep unconsciousness, and so we went back and burned Ronald’s ears and eyes and fingers with matches. She said she tried to derive Donald by putting a cold towel on his forehead.

Craig had employed the woman since June on the recommendation of his father, who loves in Los Angeles where Miss Adams and worked for him at a nursing home.

After the discovery of the bodies, Craig was hospitalized for a time and Mrs. Craig learned of the killings from him at the hospital.

Craig’s sister-in-law, Mrs. Robert Craig, described Miss Adams as “simple-minded.” She said Miss Adams was disturbed over thoughts of leaving the house if the Craigs were reconciled.

At first police reported she had gotten the idea for the killings from hearing radio reports of an Iowa baby-sitter* who had done the same thing. Police said she later denied them.

* 1961 – Mary Madigan – Dubuque, Iowa, USA

[“Bitter Homecoming for Mother of Slain Boys – On Way to Milwaukee for Reconciliation When Housekeeper Squeezed Sons to Death,” Green Bay Press-Gazette (Wi.), Aug. 19, 1961, p. 1]

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FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 2): Milwaukee, Aug. 26 – A plump, 34-year-old housekeeper who admitted pressing the faces of two young boys into her bosom until they smothered, has been committed to a Wisconsin mental Institution as feeble minded.

Municipal Judge Herbert J. Steffes ordered Lucille Adams sent to a state institution yesterday after three psychiatrists agreed the woman had a mental age of about 8 and was unable to tell right from wrong.

Miss Adams had been charged with first degree murder in the deaths of Donald Craig, 4, and his brother Ronald, 2, while their father, William, was at work.

Craig had hired the housekeeper to take care of his sons while he was separated from his wife. Mrs,. Craig returned to Milwaukee for a reconciliation the day Craig found his sons dead.

[“Housewife [sic] Sent To Institution – Judge Commits Woman in Death of Boys,” The State Journal (Lansing, Mi.), Aug. 27, 1961, p. 65]

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