Thursday, February 27, 2020

Mary Lou Llewelyn, “Allotment Annie” War Bride Fraudster – Pennsylvania, 1946


FULL TEXT: A 21-year-old girl arrested in Philadelphia for receiving servicemen’s allotment checks from two soldiers at the same time, is a former resident of this city, The Tribune has learned.

She is Mary Lou Llewelyn, a bank cashier who resides on 34th St. Her lawyer said she originally was from Scranton, The Associated Press reported.

Mary Lou was taken into custody by FBI agents. They testified that she married a South Dakota soldier Feb. 4, 1944, and received an allotment from him until he was discharged in September, 1945.

On October, 1944, according to the FBI, she married a San Pedro, Calif., servicemen without obtaining a divorce from her first husband. She drew allotments from her second husband until he was discharged in November, 1945. She gave birth to a daughter in February, 1945, according, to testimony.

Mary Lou’s attorney, Maurice Marmon, explained to Magistrate John Morlock that the girl is a “victim of circumstances.”

He said Mary Lou received divorce papers in a suit instituted by her first husband before she married the second. Mary Lou thought the papers were final and that her first marriage was dissolved, the attorney claimed.

The second husband didn’t return to Mary Lou after he was discharged and the layer believes he also has filed suit for divorce.

Mary Lou was directed to refund $1,080 to the Government and was released under $300 bail for Court. She earns $35 weekly and when asked how she would make restitution, replied she did not know “but I guess I’ll find a way.”

The Tribune, though telephone calls to Philadelphia Saturday, endeavored to identify the girl further, but was unsuccessful.

[“Report Woman Who Weds GIs Former Resident,” The Scranton Tribune (Pa.), Aug. 26, 1946, p. 3]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/09/war-marriage-vampires-alimony-annies.html

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

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Bette Lee Richards Bowman, “Allotment” Annie War Bride Fraudster – California, 1946


FULL TEXT: A three way matrimonial parlay with a Marine, a Coast Guardsman, and Navy sailor resulted yesterday in charges of fraud against Betty Lee Richards, 2.

Although she had three husbands, she failed to obtain a single divorce and was collecting Navy allotments from all three, claimed by the FBI.

Husband No. 1 was William Richards, Marine corporal, whom she married in August, 1942. (In discussing her dilemma, she said Richards filed divorce proceedings shortly after their marriage, and she thought the action was final.)

~ WED IN 1944 ~

Husband No. 2 was Coast Guard Lt. Richard Hofmaster, whom she wed in April, 1944. (She maintained she filed annulment proceedings against Hofmaster, and assumed the marriage invalid when she wed husband No. 3.)

Husband No. 3 is former Navy man, one time Baker 1/c Robert L. Bowman. They were married in September, 1944, and have been living at 735 San Jose Avenue.

Specifically, the FBI said that while “married” to husband No. 2, the Coast Guard lieutenant, she received $3,000 in outright cash from him and his family. No charges were filed in connection with this, however.

“It sure is a mess,” sighed husband No. 3 – Bowman, the ex-sailor. “We want to see it through, pay back any money that’s owed, and try and forget the whole thing.

“We’ll get married again and start all over.”

[“Girl Held In Nuptial Fraud – Suspect Got Allotments From 3 Servicemen, FBI Says,” San Francisco Examiner (Ca.), Feb. 28, 1946, P. 3]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/09/war-marriage-vampires-alimony-annies.html

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

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Martha Elizabeth Downey, “Allotment Annie” War Bride Fraudster – California, 1945


FULL TEXT: “I have four husbands and I want to give myself up,” a 22-year-old brunette said to Det. Lt. William C. Shurley early yesterday at Seventh and San Pedro Sts.

The woman, Martha Elizabeth Downey of Chattanooga, Tenn., said she is living now at 1016 E. Seventh St. and has been receiving government allotment checks because three of her husbands are servicemen.

Police booked her at Lincoln Heights Jail on suspicion of bigamy and turned the case over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation because government funds and Army and Navy personnel are involved.

“I’m tired of running away,” she told Det. Lt. Shurley, “I guess Uncle Sam always catches up with you.”

Husband No. 1, she told the officer, is Staff-Sgt. Horace Finney, to whom she was married in Chattanooga in 1940. No. 2 is Pvt. Edgar L. Downey, with a ceremony in Rossville, Tenn., dated Dec. 29, 1943.

~ Won’t Name No. 4 ~

No. 3 named as Will Cochran, Cincinnati traveling salesman, last June. No. 4 is a sailor to whom she was married in Santa Barbara three months ago. She would not tell his name.

Mrs. Downey realized the “jig was up” when Husbands No. 1 and 2 both were assigned to Camp Cooke. They apparently met and compared notes, she said, because allotment checks stopped coming from No. 1 about six months ago.

[“Woman Listing Four Husbands Gives Self Up,” Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Jan. 16, 1945, part 2, p. 2]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/09/war-marriage-vampires-alimony-annies.html

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

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Alice Cheatwood, “Allotment Annie” War Bride Hoaxer – Pennsylvania, 1945


FULL TEXT: Philadelphia. Morris Segal, 34, a discharged Army veteran whose blonde wife Alice hailed him into court on a bigamy charge, turned the tables on her so fast that the furniture is still spinning.

Segal told the court that Alice has six undivorced husbands, which includes him and a sailor whom she married two months ago. Furthermore, said the comparatively righteous ex-soldier (he’s accused of committing bigamy only one). Alice has been collecting government allotment checks from three service men.

Alice, who calls herself Mrs. Alice Cheatwood, had accused Morris, who is back at his job of meat cutting, of having a wife, Sarah, and two children.

Segal asserted that Mrs. Cheatwood was married to John K. Smith, Carter County, Tenn., on April 24, 1925; Tom Buchanan, North Carolina, 1933; Robert Cheatwood, Trap Hill, N. C., 1938; Mike Casapi. Johnson City, Tenn., 1941; Avilie T. Baker, Baltimore, Md., May, 1945, and Segal, Philadelphia, November, 1943.

He said she has a 19-year-old daughter and a 15-year-old son by her first two marriages.

By the time Segal got these facts and figures off his chest, he was really warming to the fray. He told the court how his wife had courted him”

~ “That’s All Right.” ~

“She suggested we get married, but I told her I was already married.”

“That’s all right,” Alice, who works at waitressing between marriages, answered. “All we need to get your allotment and insurance is a marriage license.”

They were married, but upon his discharge from the Army, Alice told Segal she no longer loved him. Two months ago, Segal testified, she told him she had married a sailor.

Mrs. Cheatwood was held in $1,000 bail for the grand jury. She is charged with bigamy and perjury. Segal is under $1,500 bail on charges of bigamy and assault and battery.

[“Seems to Be a Little Bigamy in This Family,” Sunday News (New York, N.Y.), Jul. 15, 1945, p. 4]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/09/war-marriage-vampires-alimony-annies.html

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

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Tuesday, February 25, 2020

“Oxford Skeleton Black Widow,” Executed, Murdered 4 of Her 10 Husbands – England, Circa Early 1800s


Although this case was reported in newspapers in 1841 for its curiosity value we cannot assume that the execution was of recent date.

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FULL TEXT: In the anatomy school at Oxford, England, among other curiosities, they show the skeleton of a woman who had had ten husbands, and was hanged at the age of thirty-six, for the murder of four of them.

[The Morning Post (from Evening Paper), Sep. 11, 1841, p. 4]

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NOTE: The Murder Act passed in Great Britain in 1752, which meant that only corpses of executed murderers could be used for dissection.

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For links to other cases of woman who murdered 2 or more husbands (or paramours), see Black Widow Serial Killers.

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Regina Sawyer, Bigamous Military Bride Fraudster – Pennsylvania, 1919


FULL TEXT: Husbands are being called to rally round the courtroom next Friday morning when “Mrs. Regina Sawyer,” whose untimely arrest yesterday halted her fifth marriage to a United States military man within the year, comes up in Municipal Court for hearing.

A Russian sailor in the United States Navy at Newport News, a Yankee of the army in North Carolina, a Frenchman serving in the American navy at Norfolk, and another American soldier at Baltimore, successive husbands of the errant matron, will receive neatly typewritten notices on Municipal Court stationery ,notifying them that the spouse that the spouse each fondly imagined solely his own is in trouble over her fifth matrimonial venture.

Mrs. Sawyer, who coyly declines to reveal her maiden name, perhaps because it is forgotten in the dim distant past, is a Belgian refugee, an army nurse or an English war bride, according to her mood. She has posed as all three, it is said, although she speaks just “plain American,” except sometimes, when she thrillingly relates her refugee experiences, she suddenly acquires an accent.

Mrs. Sawyer’s matrimonial repertoire was brought to light after she had appeared with Private James K. King, an overseas soldier who walks on crutches with a leg shattered by shrapnel, in the Red Cross headquarters, at 1607 Walnut. Private King told Walnut street. Private King told his troubles to Mrs. Blanche Thatcher, a canteen worker. It seemed, according to his tale, that he had met the lady a week before on Market street and that she had approached him, told him she liked his honest face, proposed marriage to him. Somewhat dazed, he had consented; and had come to the Red Cross to borrow money to take him back to Camp Dix.

~Investigation Begun ~

After giving him the money, Mrs. Thatcher decided an investigation might be worth while. It was. First it was found that Private King did not hail from Galveston, Texas, where he said he was from, but from near-by Chester, and there was supposed to be in Rahway Hospital, awaiting amputation of his leg.

Inquiry from the landlady at 1619 Filbert street, which “Mrs. Sawyer” had given as her address, revealed that the young woman, who is twenty-two years old, had not been there since Thursday, having been “jumped” by the landlady for the non-payment of rent. Previous to Thursday, she had been in the house a week, coming from Norfolk with Miss Lois Farley, now employed in a 25-cent store in the city.

Miss Farley, inquiry revealed, had been induced to leave her home in Norfolk by the wandering bride, whom she fondly called “Beljum.” “Beljum,” it seems, told tales of having been a refugee, and displayed a German flag tattooed on her arm, which she said was the “brand of a Hun.” In court yesterday she suddenly admitted that the branding had been at a carnival at Norfolk.

The landlady soon grew dissatisfied with her lodger, when she found her staying out all night, and learned that numerous soldier and sailor friends were calling upon her.

~ Check Starts Inquiry ~

She finally paid her board when a registered letter came, enclosing a $30 allotment check from Reuben Sawyer. It was this check which started the investigators on the trail which unearthed the following career in court yesterday:

“Mrs. Sawyer,” whose more distant past is shrouded in the web of her own conflicting tales, last November married Harvey Spilsky, a Russian serving in the American navy, at Newport News Russian affairs, martial as well as political, seem ever unsettled, and the ussian alliance ended when her sailor spouse deserted her, she says.

Next she essayed entanglement with an American soldier, Reuben Sawyer, whose name she now uses, marrying him at Elizabeth City, N. C., in April. A short month ended this chapter of the romance and in May Mrs. Sawyer was essaying wedlock in Norfolk with a French volunteer in the American Army, Jules Tuskihana. Her past pursued her too closely, though, and she was arrested in Norfolk for bigamy, but released for reasons unknown at present.

Mystery surrounds the departing of the Frenchman, but he was gone by July, when Regina undertook and succeeded in marrying a man named Robert Taftin, who disappeared without regrets, and of whose history Regina seems to know little.

~ Marriage Certificates Destroyed ~

A little later on, Regina contracted a friendship with Lois Farley, in Virginia, and induced her to flee with her to Philadelphia by painting happy pictures of life on four different allotment checks. On the train coming up, Miss Farley says, “Beljun” severed connection with the past by tearing up three of her marriage certificates, though she kept on her dresser table pictures of all her erstwhile military consorts.

Despite her varied allotments, Regina lived by no means well, her landlady says, but dressed raggedly. She must appear before Judge MacNeille on Friday, and King, who was sent back to Dix after being haled before Magistrate Grelis, will be brought to testify against her.

[“Woman, Married 4 Times In Year, Would Wed Again – ‘Mrs. Regina Sawyer’s’ Husbands Called to Rally in Court – Red Cross Halts Latest Matrimonial Venture After Investigation,” The Philadelphia Inquirer (Pa.), Oct. 5, 1919, p. 1]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/09/war-marriage-vampires-alimony-annies.html

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

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Alicia Edith Southall, War Bride Fraudster – California, 1945


FULL TEXT: Hayward, Dec. 24. – Mrs. Alicia Edith Southall, 18, of 9533 A Street, was held in the Alameda County jail today for investigation of bigamy and fraudulently cashing a serviceman’s allotment checks after she admitted, according to deputy sheriffs, she had married a Marine while she still was wed to a sailor.

The alleged double marriage was discovered Saturday night after Highway Patrolmen Tony Enos and Ernest Patrolmen Tony Enos and Ernst Schoening went to the aid of Mrs. Southall as she ran barefoot down A Street near Castro, shouting for help.

Chasing her, the officers said, was Marine Pvt. Richard B. Houston, 20. The girl said he had threatened to beat her.

Under questioning, Enos and Schoening reported, she admitted that she had been married at Treauure Island on May 9, 1944, to Thomas Southall, 23, a Navy gunners mate. Without divorcing him, she admitted further, the officers said, that she had received Goverrnment allotment checks from Southall at the home of her mother, Mrs. Alicia H. Lema, 7857 Plymoth Street, Oakland.

Mrs. Southall was taken to the county jail in Oakland and booked en route to the U. S. Marshal.

[“Girl Held in Allotment Case,” Oakland Tribune (Ca.), Dec. 24, 1945, p. 11]

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http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com/2011/09/war-marriage-vampires-alimony-annies.html

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

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