Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Gladys Dunn Was Jealous of Her Baby Boy, So She Shot Him - 1919

FULL TEXT: Pittsfield, Mass., July 28.— Pale, as if all color in her face had been removed by acid, her limbs trembling. Mrs. Gladys C. Dunn. former beautiful society woman of Oakland, walked to the petitioners' rail in court here today on the arm of her attorney and brought her trial for murder to sudden and unexpected end by pleading guilty to killing her three-year-old baby boy.

She was sentenced to one year at hard labor in the Pittsfield house of correction.

The plea brought to a close one of the strangest stories of jealousy that ever was told, a jealousy that was the fruit of long unhappiness crowned with joy at the love of the novelist and editor, J. Allan Dunn, only to be lost when her own baby boy, she thought, was winning from her husband the attention which she wanted for herself alone.


All the love of mother for child fled before this sweep of jealousy, according to the story of Mrs. Dunn; she hated the beautiful boy for whose life she had gone herself close into the valley of death. So she shot the child as he sat in his wicker chair at the Lenox home of her husband. Her effort to kill herself failed.

The husband was in court today and rushed to his wife’s side when she made her plea, and tottered as if on verge of collapse. A writer of fiction, a dealer in emotions. Dunn had found in his own wife an emotionalism beyond the dreams of a fictionist, a nature beyond all reckoning.

Summer resort spectators crowded the court today when the trail was to be resumed after the complete collapse last week of the defendant. These curious ones craned their necks as the woman went forward, haltingly, often seeming as if she would fall before she reached the rail.


The decision to change her plea, after the trial has proceeded for three days, was communicated to Justice Brown shortly after court convened today by John F. Knoxson, leading attorney for the defense.

When he reached the rail, the clerk turned to her.

“Gladys Dunn, do you wish to change your plea?” he asked.

Her voice was barely audible, but she spoke with only a slight pause after the first word:

“Yes – I plead guilty to manslaughter.”

Her husband led her to a chair and district Attorney Ely began a brief review of the case for the prosecution. He told of the state’s theory that the crime was committed as the result of a wild fit of jealousy after a quarrel with her husband.

“This case is one of the most pathetic in the criminal annals of the commonwealth of Massachusetts,” he said.

In pronouncing sentence, Justice Brown explained why he would not inflict a long prison term.

“There are certain things,” he said, “that bespeak an unsound mind on the part of the defendant. But it must be remembered that in the quarrel which preceded the killing of the child she had no weapon. She had to go upstairs and procure a weapon before the deed was committed.”


“In view of what I believe the defendant has suffered and what she will suffer, the court is disposed to leniency. What I could impose would add to the torture she already has suffered. The court therefore accepts the plea of guilty of manslaughter and sentences the defendant to one year in the house of corrections at hard labor.”

Women in the courtroom hurriedly rushed outside and lined up on the courthouse steps, but the sheriff, fearing a repetition of earlier incidents when Mrs. Dunn was reviled, kept her secluded in his office until the women grew weary and went away.

Testimony at the trial showed that after shooting her son, she desired to shoot herself but did not succeed because her husband had removed the bullet clip from the automatic pistol. She seized a bottle of chloroform and took a draught which nearly caused her death.

Her attorney, in summing up the case for the defense, spoke of her intensely affectionate nature and the effect that the quarrel with her husband had upon her.

[“Gladys Dunn Changes Plea To Guilty; Jealousy Is Motive For Grim Tragedy - Is Given One ~ Year For Slaying Her Son – Former Oakland Beauty Stops  Trial on Fourth Day to Admit.Unnatural Crime; Husband Shows His Solicitude - Attorney Makes Impassioned Leniency Plea and the Court Softens Sentence Because of the Suffering Undergone.” Oakland Tribune (Ca.), Jul. 28, 1919, p. 1]


Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ann Williams, Texas Mother Who Murdered and Dismembered Her Two Small Sons - 1955

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 4): Houston, Tx. – Packages holding the dismembered bodies of two small boys were unearthed last night by a 19-year-old youth.

Police say the bodies are those of the 9 and 8-year-old sons of Mrs. Ann Williams, 28-year-old 10-cent store clerk of suburban Pasadena, who had been missing six days.

~ Help Offered. ~

Clayton Johnson Jr. said Mrs. Williams, a friend of the Johnson family had asked permission, to dump packages of spoiled venison behind his father’s garage. He volunteered to bury them.

Johnson said he returned about nine hours later with a friend dug up the packages after learning that Mrs. Williams and the boys had been missing since last Thursday.

Galveston County Deputy Sheriff Curt Monceaux told the Galveston Daily News he planned to file double charges of murder against Mrs. Williams.

~ Murder charged. ~

Justice of the Peace A. M. Hickey returned a verdict of murder in the death of each of the boys./ he said they had been dead three or four days.

Mrs. Williams, a slim, quiet-mannered brunette, has been living at a Pasadena tourist court in suburban Houston with the two boys, Calvin, 9 and Conrad, 8.

Pasadena police said the boys’ father Hoyt J. Williams in serving a three-year sentence in federal prison in Atlanta, Ga., for interstate transportation of a stolen automobile.

[“Houston Mother Charged in Killings – Dismembered Bodies Of Two Boys Found,” syndicated (AP), The Southeast Missourian (Cape Girardeau, Mo.), Feb. 23, 1955, p. 9]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 4): Houston, Tx. – a red-haired mother who strangled, dismembered and helped bury the bodies of her two small sons, is “absolutely insane,” a psychiatrist said today.

Mrs. Ann Williams, 28, “realizes her guilt and expects to be punished,” said Dr. C. A. Dwyer.

He indicated that Mrs. Williams who made an abortive attempt to kill herself with sleeping pills on the same night she killed her sons, was “running from reality.”

He described her as “above average intelligence … she has poise and bearing.”

Mrs. Williams says she had no accomplice in the slayings.

She explained her reason for trying to take her life and the lives of her sons, Calvin, 9, and Conrad, 8, Feb. 17.

“I didn’t want them to live in poverty like me when I was a child.”

Investigators say a bank book found in her apartment showed she had $1,000 in a Pasadena, Tex., bank.

Mrs. Williams was arrested early yesterday,  after a young friend revealed he had unwittingly buried the youngsters’ bodies.

[“Mother Sane, Despite Acts,” syndicated (AP), Prescott Evening Courier (Az.), Feb. 24, 1955, p. 2]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 4): Houston, Tx., Feb. 23 – Slight Mrs. Ann Williams today calmly related how she slew her two young ones, kept their dismembered bodies nearly a week and had them buried as “spoiled venison.”

“I’m ill and my husband’s in prison. I couldn’t take care of them. That’s why I killed my boys, she said.”

The attractive brunette, 28, was known here as a quiet, well-mannered person.

~ Gun Battle Veteran ~

But the FBI knows her as Annie Laurie Hazel Williams, who took about 50 shots at FBI agents and state police near Smithville, Tenn., as officers sought to arrest her husband as an armed deserter.

The shooting occurred Aug. 10, 1946. No disposition of the shooting or desertion charges is noted in FBI files here.

She was arrested about 4 p. m. today after officers kicked in her front door. She was traced through an automobile she purchased Monday.

The boys were Conrad, 8, and Calvin, 9.

~ Packages Buried ~

Clayton A. Johnson, 19, son of an Algoa Tex., garage owner, yesterday buried four packages which Mrs. Williams told him were spoiled venison. But he became suspicious when he learned she and her two sons had been missing six days. He dug up the packages.

Mrs. Williams, at first denying slaying her sons, broke down after four hours of questioning and told this story:

She gave the boys big sleeping pills “I bought in Mexico.” She moved the bodies at night from their trailer home to An apartment she had rented.

~ Put in Bath Tub

“I put the bodies in a bathtub and left them there two or three days, I don’t know exactly. I took a single edged razor blade and dismembered the bodies.”

She wrapped the bodies neatly in four packages and took them to Algoa in adjoining Galveston County yesterday and asked if she could dump then behind the Johnson garage. The younger Johnson buried them for her.

Mrs. Williams said she is a native of Hammond, Ind. Her husband, Ind. Her husband, Hoyt J. Williams, 33, was sentenced to January to three years on federal car theft charges. They had been married ten years.

~ Murder Charge Filed ~

Murder charges were filed against Mrs. Williams today.

Another clerk at the dime store started the search which was climaxed in the predawn hours today.

Mrs. Marie Grimes reported to officers that her friend had been missing since last Thursday.

A week earlier said Mrs. Grimes, her friend had given her a sealed envelope with a request to open it “if anything happens to me.”

Mrs. Grimes said the letter held a blank check signed by Mrs. Williams and instructions to take care of the boys until their grandmother arrived. It also contained keys to Mrs. Williams’ 1950 Cadillac. In the meantime, she purchased another car, which led to her location and arrest today.

Her grandmother lives at Mendota, Ill.

[“Texas Veteran Of Gun Battle With FBI Calmly Describes Murder Of Her 2 Sons,” The Montgomery Advertiser (Al.), Feb. 24, 1955, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 4 of 4): Houston – Pretty Ann Williams, who says she strangled her two young sons and then dismembered their bodies, hopes to end her troubles in the electric chair, she told police.

Should the attractive redhead be executed she would be the first woman to die in Texas’ lethal chair.

“I wish they’s electrocute me and get it over with,” she told Dr. C. A. Dwayer, Harris county psychiatrist Thursday.

Dwyer said two examinations had convinced him the Pasadena, Tex., dime store clerk is “absolutely sane” although “running from reality.”

“She has poise and bearing,” he said, “ … above average intelligence.”

The bodies of her two sons – Calvin, 9, and Conrad, 8 – were found Tuesday night in a shallow grave near Algoa, Tex., in adjoining Galveston county. A young friend of Mrs. Williams unwittingly buried the bodies after she told him the four bundles contained spoined venison.

At present the woman faces four murder charges, two here in Harris county, where she says she killed the boys, and two in Galveston county, where the bodies were found. Prosecutors decided Thursday night, however, that Galveston county would handle the case.

[“Mother Who Slew 2 Sons Wants to Die,” The Casper-Tribune-Herald (Casper, Wy.), Feb. 27, 1955, p. 3]







Thursday, August 25, 2011

"I'll kill them all": Shirley Marie Curry's Murder Spree - 1974

FULL TEXT: A wild, post-midnight shooting spree that reached into Springdale, Lowell, and Farmington left five persons dead and a sixth critically wounded this morning.

Fayetteville police captured a woman identified as Shirley Marie Curry, 37, of Lowell, disarmed her and turned her over to the Springdale police. Prosecutor Mahlon Gibson said he will know by Monday what charges will be filed.

Dead are Jimmy Lee Curry,  43, of 406 Michael St.. Springdale, Mrs. Curry’s former husband; the couple’s three children. Sabrina Marie Curry, 17, Richard Allen Curry, 14, and Jessie Lee Curry, 11; and Miss Jo Ann Brophy, 31, of 1710 South Young St. in Springdale, Jimmy Lee Curry’s step-sister.

James Robert Dotson, 46, of Farmington, was shot and critically wounded about 1:30 a.m. by a woman who knocked at the door of his trailer home and identified herself as “Shirley.”

Dotson was taken first to the Fayetteville Veterans Hospital suffering from wounds in the head and back, then transferred to the VA Hospital at Little Rock.


Police said the three Curry children had been living with Mrs. Curry, but custody was recently awarded to the father. Sabrina had recently left Mrs. Curry’s home in Lowell to live with her father at Springdale.

Springdale police said they were first, notified of the incidents about 12:57 a.m. when they received a call on the shootings at the Jimmy Lee Curry home, where they found Curry and Sabrina dead. Curry’s wife, Mrs. Saundra Mollenhoff Curry, apparently escaped by running out a back door of the residence.

Springdale police broadcast a description of the woman driver of a pickup truck seen leaving the home, and the truck’s license number. Acting on this information Lowell Marshal Marion Foster went to Mrs. Carry’s home, where he found Richard Allen Curry dead and Jessie Lee Curry wounded. Jessie Lee died later at Springdale Memorial Hospital.

Later the body of Miss Brophy was found at her home in Springdale. Police believe her death is related to the other slayings.

Before Miss Brophy’s body was found at 3:J2 a.m., Fayetteville Patrolmen Gen Phillips and Frank Upton spotted the pickup truck described by Springdale authorities. They stopped the truck on Wedington Drive at Sang Avenue and arrested Mrs. Curry.

The two officers said they found a .38 caliber revolver on the seat of the pickup near Mrs. Curry’s right leg.

Police speculated that Richard Allen and Jessie Lee Curry were shot first at Mrs. Curry’s home in Lowell. They believe the next victims were Jimmy Lee and Sabrina Curry, Miss Brophy’s murder is believed to have been the last death, followed by the wounding of Dotson at Farmington. Mrs. Curry was arrested shortly after that final incident.


Fayetteville police found a hand written statement in Mrs. Curry’s possession.

The note attached to the Fayetteville police report on the Dotson shooting was a handwritten statement, but some words in the statement were difficult to discern.


It said:


“Okay, you are reading this or having it read to you, it will mean I did it. Which at this sorrowful hour I mean to. You are the only one that cared enough to even offer to come by. No one will come near me.

“The kids are afraid of me so they say on the stand. I’m nothing, never was. Nor ever will be. So why fight — I quit — nothing is worth it now. Toots, you may have it all. Not that anything is worth a damn.

“There’s a pile of bills, too, but might be some left — over — so what you will. To hell with it. I would have made this more legal and binding for you if I could have, but I don’t have the time to go into all that — So — if I goof up —to Sabrina (damn her lying soul) I leave the legal $1, to Anna Dotson I leave all other worldly possessions I own and those I owe on -- so be it.

“Shirley M. Curry.

“P.S., Yes, sometimes even a crumb means a lot. Give Timke the keys.”


Jimmy Lee Curry was born Jan. 24, 1931 at Springdale, the son of Zack and Ida Ledbetter Curry, A Springdale postman, be was a veteran of the Korean War and a member of the veterans of Foreign Wars and the Independent Order of Odd Fellows. He is survived by the widow, Mrs. Saundra Mollenhoff Curry of the home; two step brothers, Ralph and Russell Brophy of Fayetteville.

Sabrina Marie Curry was born Oct. 15, 1956, at Lynwood, Calif., the daughter of Jimmy Lee and Shirley Marie Curry. She was a student at Springdale High School. Surviving are her mother; two step-brothers, David and John Shorter of the home and the maternal grandmother. Mrs. Letha McBroom of Huntsville.

Richard Allen Curry was born Dec. 29, 1959, at Springdale Jessie Lee Curry was born Nov. 26, 1963, at Springdale. Both children were students in the Springdale schools.

Miss Brophy was born Feb. 23, 1943, Daughter at Springdale, of James and the Ida Ledbetter Brophy. She is survived by two half-brothers Ralph and Russell Brophy of Fayetteville.

Funeral arrangements will be announced by Sisco Funeral Chapel.

[“Lowell Woman Arrested After Five Die In Wild Shooting Spree - Sixth Victim In Serious Condition,” Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville, Ar.), Jul. 20, 1974, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: Fayetteville, Ark. – a woman who police said wanted to “solve all the heartaches and hurts” killed her three children, her former husband and his stepsister Saturday.

Shirley Marie Curry, 37, of Lowell, wounded a former brother-in-law also, police said, and was arrested in Fayetteville less than two hours after the killings. She was held without bond and authorities said they would charge her Monday with five counts of murder and possibly assault with intent to kill.

Sheriff’s Deputy J. D. Snow said Mrs. Curry had lost a custody fight over one of her children Friday, and that “festered in her mind.”

“Apparently she thought this would solve all her problems,” Snow said. He quoted her as telling him. “This, maybe, solves all the heartaches and hurts.”

Police believe Mrs. Curry first shot her sons, Richard A., 14, and Jesse L., 11, at her home in Lowell. Her former husband, Jimmy Lee Curry, 42, their daughter, Sabrina, 17, and Johann Brophy, 27, Curry’s stepsister, were killed in Springdale.

[“Shots Kill 5; ‘All Heartaches, Hurts Solved’,” syndicated (UPI), Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Jul. 21, 1974, part 1, p. 4]


FULL TEXT: Shirley Lee Curry, 37, of Lowell, charged in Washington Circuit Court with the July 29 capital felony murders of her former husband and daughter and in Benton Circuit Court with the murders of her two sons, was dismissed from future trial and committed to the Arkansas State Hospital Wednesday by Circuit Judge Maupin Cummings.

Trial for Mrs. Curry in Benton Circuit Court for the two Benton County murders is still pending. Officials there said that Benton Circuit Court will deliberate on Mrs. Curry’s legal responsibility for the murders upon her release from the state hospital.

The verdicts were decreed as a result of a Tuesday medical report from the Arkansas State Hospital which concluded that Mrs. Curry was schizophrenic and paranoid.

Dr. George W. Johnson, commissioner of mental health services at the hospital, recommended that Mrs. Curry be kept at the hospital for psychiatric treatment.

Mrs. Curry was admitted to the hospital Aug. 20 for a month’s examination by order of Washington Circuit Court.


She was arrested July 20 by Fayetteville police after a midnight shooting spree which spanned three cities and left five people dead and one person critically wounded.

Killed in the shootings were Jimmy Lee Curry, 43, of 406 Michael St., Springdale, her former husband; the couple’s three children, Sabrina Maria Curry, 17, Richard Allen Curry. 14, and Jessie Lee Curry, 11; and Miss Jo Ann Brophy, 31, of 1710 S. Young St., Springdale, Jimmy Lee Curry’s step-sister. James Robert Dotson, 46, of Farmington, a former brother-in- law, was critically wounded when he was shot in the face and neck by Mrs. Curry. He was released from Veteran’s Hospital at Little Rock a month later in good condition.

Police now believe that the motive for the five murders resulted from a July 19 verdict in Washington Chancery Court which awarded the couple’s three children to the custody of Jimmy Lee Curry and his new wife, Sandra Mollenhoff Curry. Mrs. Curry is reported to have said “I’ll kill them all” upon issuance of the custody verdict in chancery courtroom. The couple had been divorced in 1965.


Police say the killing spree began around midnight July 20 when Mrs. Curry shot her two sons, Richard Allen and Jessie Lee, who were still living with her in Lowell.

The two boys were found at the home by Lowell Marshal Marion Foster a short time later. Richard was dead at that time and Jessie, wounded, died soon severely wounded,  after at Springdale Memorial Hospital.

Mrs. Curry is then reported to have gone to the home of her former husband in Springdale.

Mrs. Sandra Curry, in the home at that time, said that Jimmy Lee Curry was shot twice by Mrs. Curry when he answered the doorbell at about 12:30 p.m.

Mrs. Curry then entered the louse and walked to her daughter’s room. Mrs. Sandra Curry said that she heard Sabrina Marie ask who it was and a woman’s voice saying  “It’s your mother.”

Sandra Curry heard two more gunshots as she ran out the jack door of the house to the home of a neighbor so that she could phone police. Sabrina Marie was found dead by Springdale police at about 12:50 a.m. shot twice in the right temple.

Mrs. Sandra Curry told Springdale Patrolman Randy Carmack that Mrs. Curry had driven away in a new Ford truck.

Springdale police then sent out a bulletin to surrounding law enforcement agencies concerning the description and license number of the truck.

Miss Brophy was killed shortly after the two murders at the Jimmy Lee Curry home. Dotsoh was shot at about 1:30 a.m. when he answered a knock at the door of his mobile home in Farmington.

Mrs. Curry was stopped by Fayetteville Patrolmen Gene Phillips and Frank Upton around 1:50 a.m. at the intersection of Wedington Drive and Sang Ave. A .38 caliber pistol was found on the front seat of the pickup truck.

A note was also found in Mrs. Curry’s possession which stated in part: “If you are reading this or having it read to you, it will mean I did it. Which at this sorrowful hour, I mean it. No one will come near me. The kids are afraid of me, so they say on the stand. I’m nothing, never was. So why fight it - I quit - nothing is worth it now.”


A tape recording found at Mrs. Curry’s home July 21 indicated that two more victims were intended for murder the night on which the shooting occurred.

Funeral services for the five persons were held July 23 at the Sisco Funeral Home in Springdale.

Mrs. Curry was not charged with the death of Miss Brophy or the assault of Dotson at the time of the initial charging July 22 in Washington Circuit Court.

She pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity at that time for the two Washington County murders.

Mrs. Curry also pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity for the two Benton County murders July 24 in Benton Circuit Court.

Trial for Mrs. Curry was originally set for Oct. 16 and 17 in Washington Circuit Court.

[“Lowell Woman Charged With Killing Four Committed to State Hospital; Future Trial Dismissed by Cummings,” Northwest Arkansas Times (Fayetteville), Sep. 26, 1974, p. 1]


EXCERPT (from 1998 article): Fayetteville – As far as Washington County Chancellor Tom Butt knew, Shirley Curry was just a person he ruled against in another emotional custody case. On July 20, 1974, the day after the ruling, a detective woke Butt by calling him at 4 a.m. Curry went on a shooting rampage, killing her ex-husband, her ex-sister-in-law and her three children – 17, 14 and 11. She outlined her murderous plans on a cassette tape police found. “We heard the tape,” the detective told Butt. “She said, ‘The next person I’m after is that man in the black robe.’ “ Police arrested Curry before she could follow through with her threat. At 61, she’s serving life without parole in an Arkansas prison.

[Seth Blomeley, “Chancellor Butt has spent nearly 50 years of hard work and no nonsense on the bench,” Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (Little Rock, Ar.), Sep. 21, 1998]







Mother Throws Daughter to Death Under Auto: Marie Marino - 1920

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): Mrs. Marie Marino, 25 years old, hurled her five-year-old daughter, Evangelina, in the path of an automobile at Eastern Parkway and Rockaway Avenue, Brooklyn, yesterday, and attempted to throw herself under the wheels of the car. Her husband, James, a barber, dragged her to safety, but the child’s skull was fractured so that she died.

The impulse to kill herself and her daughter, the woman told Detectives Donelson and Reif and Assistant District Attorney John Hurley, attacked her when her husband refused to return to her. She was locked up in the Brownsville Station charged with homicide.

The couple, who had separated several times recently and took their grievance to the Domestic Relations Court. They were in court yesterday and after they left Marino told his wife he would sue her for divorce. “There’s your child,” cried the woman throwing the girl  in front of the automobile when she heard Marino’s declaration.

Marino was held as a material witness pending the police investigation of the case.

[“Hurls Child in Auto’s Path – Mother Then Attempts Suicide – Says Marital Troubles Caused Act.” The New York Times (N.Y.), Jun. 5, 1920, p. 32]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Brooklyn, N. J. June 19. — Mothers of the human species are noted for excessive love of offspring. For their little ones they sacrifice to the point of suffering, toil without end, and face any danger to protect them. Exceptions to the rule are few. The mother who will harm her child is rare. It is usually believed she is crazy, suddenly gone mad.

Mrs. Mary Marino, of Brooklyn, wife of James Marino, threw her five-year-old daughter, Angelina, under an automobile, while in an argument with her husband. The couple were standing on Eastern Parkway quarreling. They had been separated for some time.

Mrs. Marino says she believed Marino had been attentive to other women and was unwilling to provide for her; that he cared for his children, but not for her, and that he would not buy her a new dress because his interest in her was dead.

Mrs. Marino was arraigned in the New Jersey Avenue Police Court. Creamy of skin, rounded features, tired eyes and smoothly drawn back, pale brown hair, the young mother stood calmly before the Magistrate. Her glance seemed to dwell on something far off as she listened calmly to the arraignment.

More restless was James Marino, her husband, as he sat upon the witness stand. Thin faced, dark and wiry, he made a striking contrast to his wife, who never looked at him.
He was smartly dressed in a dark suit, good shoes—a touch of bright color in his green socks. He held a new Bangkok hat in his lap. Mrs. Marino, because she is rather  stout, looks older than she is to the casual observer. Perhaps that is why her garb appears more careless than that of her dapper mate. She has a simple, kind face.

Why, then, did Mrs. Marino kill her child?

After the arraignment she sat in a chair near the front of the courtroom. During our talk she remained calm enough till someone blunderingly spoke of her three children, forgetting that there are but two now, and that the death of one of them was the whole cause of the proceedings.

“My children,” she sobbed, “there are only two now. If I could start again and live just for them—my children.”

“Why did you do this?”

“I don’t know,” she said wearily.

“I don’t remember everything. I will tell you about my married life.

“My husband is Italian. I am of Polish descent. A difference in nationalities is bad in marriage. It make lots of trouble.”

“Then there was his mother. We lived in her house. I went there when I was a bride. I was used to one sort of thing to eat. She didn’t like what I liked. I couldn’t eat what they had and was not allowed to cook what I wanted. When I would leave the food on my plate his mother would say was not hungry and there was something the matter with me.”

“Nothing I did was right. People from different countries don’t understand each other.”

“No couple should live with the mother of one of them. We moved away before Angelina was born—not so far — we lived next door. That was too near.”

“We separated then. I thought he got tired of me. He liked the children,  I guess, but he didn’t want to do anything for me.”

“If you are not set free, will you live again with your husband?” she was asked. “Do you still love him?”

“I don’t hate him.” she admitted. “I can’t hate him. If he acted right I would get along fine with him.”

“After — after — I can’t remember — the other day when it happened — a woman came up to me and said she saw it and it was an accident, but some detective drove her away. She could tell you it was an accident, and I wish I could find that woman. I wish she would come and tell what she saw. She was a young Jewish woman. I remember that much.”

“Nobody comes to see me but my mother. My husband hasn’t been near me in the jail. Only my mother. She is the only one who stands by me. He never even sent me a note or anything.”

During the arraignment the Magistrate ordered. Marino to give his wife some money, saying she might like something in the way of food besides jail fare. Marino drew a bill out and handed it to the prisoner, who took it listlessly, not looking up at him. Perhaps – if Mrs. Marino is to be believed – this husband would have done better to have handed out more bills at an earlier date.

It is expected that Mrs. Marino will give temporary aphasia or some such plea for her mad act.

Meanwhile the mother who through madness or other cause caused her child’s death is protected and cheered by her own mother, who follows the immemorial habit of her kind. The instinct to guide and protect is maternity’s most admirable phase when it is not overdone, as in the case of a woman who tries to guide her offspring in matrimonial affairs, thereby obstructing desired domestic peace and quiet.

[“Mother Throws Child to Death Under Auto,” syndicated, The Kokomo Daily Tribune (In.), Jun. 19, 1920, p. 6]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3) Mrs. Marie Marino, charged with killing her five-year-old daughter, Evangelina, by throwing her in front of an automobile at Rockaway Avenue and Eastern Parkway, on June 4, was acquitted yesterday afternoon in the County Court, in Brooklyn. The jury took but half an hour in arriving at a verdict. The woman said she was discussing marital troubles with her husband when the child was struck.

[“Mother Acquitted of Killing Child.” The New York Times (N.Y.), Jul. 24, 1920, p. 4]





SEE:  Maternal Filicide: Spousal Revenge Motive


"I hated to kill the boy, but I wanted to make his father wretched.”: Anna Gades' Revenge - 1905

FULL TEXT: New York. July 19. – Believing the loss of his son would be the cruelest blow she could inflict upon her husband. Mrs. Anna Gades, thirty-four years old, of Williamsburg, to-day, in a fit of jealousy and anger, stabbed and killed her nineteen months’ old child, Hans. The woman clapped the child in her arms as she lay on the bed, suffering from heat. Grasping a long knife in her hand, she ran it through the child and it penetrated her own breast, inflicting a wound which was so serious that it was necessary to remove her to the Eastern District Hospital.

For several weeks the woman had acted strangely. She quarreled often with her husband and openly accused him of paying attention to her sister, who lives in Bronx. She imagined that her husband and sister were conspiring to steal her son from her.

When Gades returned home from his work last evening, his wife and child were missing. He searched for them and about midnight found them in a nearby park. He persuaded his wife to return. Gades sat by a window and his wife went to a bedroom in their little flat. He fell asleep and it was nearly morning when he was awakened by groans. Running to the bedroom, he found the woman crouching beside the bed on which lay the body of his only child. Grasping his wife by the arm, Gades attempted to take the knife from her. She turned upon him and in a struggle for the weapon his hands were severely cut.

Gades ran into the street and called for help. Policeman Costello responded and called an ambulance. The babe’s body was taken to the station-house and the mother was locked up. There it was found that she was wounded.

“There was no reason to kill Hans,” she told the sergeant, “but when I could not get a chance to kill my husband, because he watched me so closely, I had to kill his son for revenge. I hated to kill the boy, but I wanted to make his father wretched.”

[“Kills Child For Revenge - “Woman Stabs a Nineteen Months Old Baby to Inflict Pain Upon Husband - Crazed By Jealousy - Knife Driven Through Infant’s Body So Forcibly That Mother Is Wounded,” The Call (San Francisco, Ca.), Jul. 20, 1905, p. 2]


SEE:  Maternal Filicide: Spousal Revenge Motive


“I guess I did it to get revenge": Mrs. Flodstrom's Reason for Murdering Her Baby Son - 1954

3 articles on the Flodstrom case:

FULL TEXT: San Jose, Oct. 13. – “I guess I did it to get revenge on my husband for picking on me.”

That was the reason given by 19-year-old Mrs. Shirley Flodstrom who confessed to police yesterday that she strangled her six months old son by forcing a pajama sleeve down his throat.

The baby, David Andrew, died last Wednesday. At first the death was listed as accidental strangulation, but police officers, headed by Chief of Detectives Bart L. Collins, continued to investigate when Mrs. Flodstrom failed to show any emotion over the baby’s death.

The mother was questioned several times. Collins reported that he questioned her again at length yesterday and she broke down and confessed she had killed the child.

“I was upset,” Collins quoted her as saying. “My husband had been picking on me all morning. The baby was fussy and wouldn’t sleep.”

“Dick had gone to work. Suddenly everything got black. I remember it all. I stuffed the pajama sleeve in his mouth until he stopped breathing.”

“It was to repay my husband. I didn’t think of it long, though. I just popped into my head.”

According to the police reports, the baby died about 11 a. m. last Wednesday. Mrs. Flodstrom called her husband, Richard, 23, a stock clerk at a San Jose paper company, at his place of employment shortly afterwards. He summoned an ambulance and rushed home.

He told police he had been satisfied with his wife’s explanation that the baby had strangled accidentally.

Collins said her started wondering about the death when Mrs. Flodstrom too everything so calmly. After questioning her, he learned that another of the couple’s children had died in Monterey in January.

“The coroner’s office in Monterey says that the death was listed as caused by pneumonia, but that there were certain circumstances about it which made them all suspicious down there,” Collins said.

Monterey police said the child, Richard Jr., 10 months old, was found dead with a corner of a towel stuffed in his mouth.

An autopsy on January 28 showed that the baby had pneumonia, and the matter was dropped. At the time, Richard Flodstrom was stationed at Fort Ord.

Mrs. Flodstrom is being held at the County Jail for investigation of murder.

[“Wife Admits Killing Baby to Get Even With Spouse,” Oakland Tribune (Ca.), Oct. 13, 1954, p. 8]


FULL TEXT: San Jose – The attorney for a 19-year-old. mother charged with strangling her 6-month-old son says she repudiates a confession which police contend she gave them.

Byron Snow, attorney for Mrs. Shirley Lang Flodstrom, said his client didn't know what she was saying when she told police she had stuffed a pajama sleeve down the throat of her baby son, David, last week.

Officers quoted Mrs. Flodstrom as saying she strangled the child “to repay my husband” for two years of nagging and bickering. Snow, however, said Mrs. Flodstrom was worn out by five days of questioning about David's death and the death of another son, 10-month-old Richard, last January in Monterey.

A murder complaint was filed against the young mother yesterday and Municipal Judge Percy O'Connor set Oct, 22 for entering of a plea and preliminary examination.

Snow, dean of the law school at nearby Santa Clara University, said he entered the case at the request of Mrs. Flodstrom's 23-year-old husband, Richard, a paper-company stock clerk. Snow said Flodstrom told him he" and his wife are "still very much in love."

Police said this story conflicted with what Flodstrom told them. Authorities, meanwhile said they have received no report from Monterey about the death of the Flodstrom's other son. A coroner’s report attributed the boy's death to pneumonia. The report said the baby was found dead with the corner of a towel stuffed in his mouth.

[“Attorney Claims Mother Denies Slaying Child,” The Bakersfield Californian (Ca.), Oct. 14, 1954, p. 2]


FULL TEXT: The release of Mrs. Shirley Ann Flodstrom, 18, San Joss mother accused of murdering her six months old child, was ordered today by the State District Court of Appeal in San Francisco.

The court acted on a writ of habeas corpus petition sought by Mrs. Flodstrom’s attorney, Byron J. Snow, and held that there was insufficient evidence introduced at the preliminary hearing to hold her on the murder charge.

Best evidence that the child’s death might have been caused by a “criminal agency,” the court decision said, would have been the testimony of the coroner, which was not taken at the hearing. The court pointed out that if this omission was inadvertent, the coroner's testimony still could be taken. Mrs. Flodstrom, wife of Richard Flodstrom, 23, a paper company worker in San Jose, was charged with murder after allegedly confessing to police that she stuffed a pajama sleeve in the baby’s mouth on Oct. 6. She later repudiated the confession.

[“Court Frees Young Mother Accused of Killing Baby,” Oakland Tribune (Ca.), Dec. 14, 1954, p. 5]








"I Didn’t Want My Husband to Have Them": Rosa Pena's Clearly Stated Goal - 1958

FULL TEXT: “I have just drowned my three children,” said a 29-year-old mother, who stood in line to await her turn at the police complaint desk.

“Lady, you didn’t make this up did you?” asked Sgt. Caesar Bernal.

“I only wish I had,” replied Mrs. Rosa Pena.

Bernal quickly dispatched three squad cars and three ambulances to her small frame home, in a poorer section of San Antonio.

Patrolmen found three small boys dead – David, 6, Alvin, 4, and Richard, 2.

A medical examiner said the youngsters apparently had been drowned, as the mother told Bernal. One body lay in a hallway, the other two in the kitchen.

Bernal said Mrs. Pena became hysterical under questioning and when asked why she killed the children could only sob: “I didn’t want my husband to have them.”

Mrs. Pena, booked at city jail for murder, was placed in a hospital for treatment for shock. A police guard was ordered.

She told police that she and her husband had been having domestic difficulties. She quoted Pena as saying if she left him, he would take the children away from her.

“If I can’t have them, no one can,” she declared.

Police were trying to locate the father, Alfonso Pena, who works at Kelly Air Force Base. His wife said they had been married nine years.

Bernal said she related this sequence of events:

She had started bathing the youngest, Rickie, and the eldest, David, kept asking to take his bath.

To quiet David, she handed a bar of soap through the door, reclosed it, and drowned Rickie.

She admitted David and also drowned him while Alvin was knocking at the door. Then, in turn, she thrust the third child into the water and held him until his struggles ceased.

The mother next drank what she thought was poison from a bottle but it had no apparent effect.

After about an hour she went to the police station. She waited nearly five minutes while the sergeant heard complaints from others ahead of Mrs. Pena.

[“San Antonio Woman, 24, Drowns 3 Children; ‘I Didn’t Want My Husband To Have Them,’ She Tells Police,” The Titusville Herald (Pa.), Aug. 18, 1958, p. 1]




SEE:  Maternal Filicide: Spousal Revenge Motive