Thursday, December 23, 2021

"He Won't Get Them" - Mary Frailey's Strategy: Murder the Kids - 1943

FULL TEXT: DALLAS, May 7.—(UP) - Charges of murder were on file Friday against Mrs. Mary K. Frailey, 41, who told police she shot and killed her two children rather than see them go away with their father. Detective Inspector Will Fritz filed a complaint against Mrs. Frailey after she told, him she shot her two children, Watt Martin III, 7, and Louise Martin, 6, on the day that the children planned to go to Miami Beach, Fla., with their father, Walt Martin Jr.

Martin had been awarded six months’ annual custody of the children in a Dallas court Wednesday. Fritz said Mrs. Frailey told him “I did not want to give my children to their father or anyone else.” In a signed statement, Mrs. Frailey told how she went to town, bought a .38 caliber pistol, and returned to the apartment where she lived with the children and A. S. W. Frailey. She said she shot both children in the head, while the boy was sitting on a bed and while the girl was sitting in a chair.

Mrs. Leon Jackson, a neighbor, said that Mrs. Frailey ran downstairs after the shooting and said: “I’ve killed them. Call the detectives or the police.”

“They’re in Heaven now,” she added, according to Mrs. Jackson; “He won’t get them.” Martin, the father of the children, almost collapsed in the lobby of a downtown hotel when he learned of the shooting. He had just made arrangements with Mrs. Frailey to call for the children, and had planned to leave on a late train for Miami Beach.

The shootings climaxed a weeklong court fight over custody of the children, during which it was brought out that Mrs. Frailey’s marriage to Frailey was not legal, since his divorce from a former wife had been set aside. Frailey works as a Dallas radio announcer under the name of Dick Parker. He was formerly a professional boxer under the name of Marty Gallagher.

He and Mrs. Frailey were married at Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., on Aug. 9, 1940.

[“Murder Charged To Mother In Shooting Of Two Children,” syndicated (UP), The Abilene Reporter-News (Tx.), May 7, 1943, p. 14]



FULL TEXT: Dallas, Texas – It may seem a minor point in the life of a woman who has killed her two young children, but it looks as though Mary Kavanaugh Martin Frailey’s second marriage to A. S. Frailey is just as illegal as her first one.

The second marriage is questioned because it took place in the asylum where Mary Frailey was placed after a jury found her insane. She had shot to death her daughter, Louise, 6, and her son, Watt 3rd, 7, a few hours after first husband had obtained their custody.

“I didn’t want to give them to him or to anyone else,” she sobbed. “My little boy was abnormal and couldn’t stand being away from me.”

Mary Kavanaugh of Covington, Ky., and Watt Martin Jr. of Winston-Salem, N. C., were married in 1934 in Miami, where Martin was a printing salesman. Their life together seems to have been unhappy from the beginning, with loud quarrels and sometimes physical violence. Her son’s “abnormality,” nervousness, she attributed to beating by Martin before the child’s birth.

~ She Won Custody of Children. ~

They parted and reconciled for the children’s sake, but Mary eventually obtained a final decree, with custody of the children and $150 a month, in October, 1938.

Shortly afterward Frailey entered the picture. He was at the time a hotel clerk, and had a divorce from Olga Kaldes FraIley of the Bronx in the offing. The final decree was signed in Miami in December, 1939, but was set aside four days later on a technicality.

Mary and Frailey, who was known as Tex, decided they wouldn’t wait, and started living together. Martin, who had been keeping an eye on the children, believed she was married to Frailey, but professed horror at the one-room, drugstore meal life they were leading.

Martin was very pleased when Mary asked him to take the children because Frailey had lost his job. He hired a nurse and, with the aid of a well-to-do mother, gave them a comfortable home. On Aug. 10, 1949, the children disappeared, and a note from Mary was found, saying she had taken them.

~ Swore Out a Warrant. ~

Thereupon Martin sued for custody in Miami, Fla. He won, but Mary and the children were gone from the Frailey apartment when Martin went for them. He started a long search, backing it with warrants for bigamy and adultery.

Martin finally caught up with them in Dallas. They had fled through Macon, Ga., and Mobile, Ala., and Frailey was now a radio announcer.

Frailey, to clear the way for a marriage, had filed another divorce suit against his wife. This, and recognition by a Dallas policeman of Frailey’s picture as sown broadcast by Martin, did the work.

It seemed that Frailey had married Mary, actually, but under the name of Martin Gallagher. He was working in Dallas as Richard Parker, and doing fairly well.

Martin flew to Dallas, swore out a kidnapping warrant to tack on to the bigamy charge against Frailey. A hearing was held and extradition was refused. Mary and Frailey were freed on bond and the children were returned to them. Another date was set for the custody hearing.

~ Compromise Suggested. ~

When the trial came up, Martin won. An appeal reversed the decision, and a new trial was held.

A compromise – split custody – was suggested. Martin was to take the children at once, and return them to Mary at school opening, provided she had either left, or married, Frailey. Id she was still living with Frailey but unwed, Martin was to keep the children. That was on May 5, 1943.

Martin was jubilant. Mary was tearful. She asked to keep the children until 2 P. M. the next day, to get their clothing in order for the transfer to Miami. The request was granted.

The next day, after Frailey had left for work, Mary bought a pistol and shot the two children.

In Texas, a person charged with murder and pleading not guilty by reason of insanity may have a sanity hearing before a jury in criminal court. If the jury finds the defendant sane, the murder trial follows, and the defendant may again plead not guilty by reason of insanity and produce evidence to support the idea.

~ Wed in the Hospital.~

The jury found Mary Frailey insane. She was committed to Terrell State Hospital last July 31. Frauiley was permitted to accompany her to the institution in a sheriff’s car, and he held her hand as they were driven away from the jail.

A few days later, Frailey came to William Thomas, superintendent of the hospital, displayed a marriage license, and said he wanted to marry Mrs. Frailey. Thomas refused to permit the marriage.

Three weeks later, Thomas revealed that Frailey had told him he has married Mrs. Frailey a week before. Frailey said he had brought the Rev. J. C. Hibbard and Mrs. Hibbard with him to visit Mrs. Frailey in the quarters set aside for visitors. The hospital attaches presumed the Hibbards to be friends of Mrs. Frailey. The marriage took place while no one but the visitors was present.

Texas court precedent shows that where a man and woman marry when one is mentally incompetent, the marriage is void. This has been upheld by the Supreme Court. Frailey said he thought the marriage would stand up.

Frailey also said that steps had been taken by which he hopes to obtain Mrs. Frailey’s release from the hospital to him. He expects to ask appointment as her guardian.

Should Mrs. Frailey be released as cured, she will be subject to trial on the murder charges, although new indictments will have to be made, as the old ones have been dismissed.

A procedure on which Mrs. Frailey could be released would be for the superintendent to ask the consent of the governor for a year’s furlough for her. At the end of a year, if the superintendent considered her of sound mind, Mrs. Frailey could apply for a writ of restoration in the court where she adjudged insane. This would mean another sanity trial, and, if she were found sane, a trial on murder charges.

Mrs. Frailey’s former husband has married again and has a nine-year-old stepson.

[“Husband Fights to Uphold Slayer’s Asylum Marriage,” Sunday News (N. Y.), Sep. 19, 1943, p. 4]


SEE: Maternal Filicide: Spousal Revenge Motive for similar cases











SEE:  Maternal Filicide: Spousal Revenge Motive

[623-11/23/21; 2733-7/6/22]

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