Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Margie Zeglen Killed Two Husbands With the Same Gun - 1952

FULL TEXT (Article 1 of 3): Houston, June 30 – Mrs. Margie Zeglen, 34, sister of one of Texas’ notorious desperadoes of the 1930s, was jailed yesterday on a charge of murdering her 28-year-old husband Saturday night following a family argument.

Mrs. Zeglen was charged in Dallas in 1946 with killing Andy Robinson, her first husband. She told homicide detectives here a grand jury no-billed her on that charge. Mrs. Zeglen is the sister of Raymond Hamilton, a running mate of notorious Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker, who terrorized the Southwest during the 1930s. Hamilton was electrocuted at Huntsville State Penitentiary in 1935 for murder after once escaping from the death house there, the only man ever to do so. Police said they believed Mrs. Zeglen fired her Belgian-made automatic from the dining room of the couple’s house here.

The shot went out an open window in the rear bedroom and hit her running husband in the head. Police said the one shot went accurately through the open door into the bedroom and on out through the window.

[“Husband Shot - Desperado’s Sister Held In Slaying,” syndicated (IP), Corpus Christi Times (Tx.), Jun. 30, 1952, p. 5]


(Article 2 of 3): Houston, Nov. 11. – The sister of a dead outlaw was sentenced to five years in poison Monday after telling a jury she killed two husbands with the same gun.

She is red-haired Mrs. Marie Zeglen, 34, her brother, Raymond Hamilton, was electrocuted in 1935 after becoming one of the most notorious badmen in Texas history.

Mrs. Zeglen shot her husband Michael, through the head outside their home June 28. She said she Was just trying to scare him after he threatened to “beat her to death.”

“Did you shoot with that pistol in Fort Worth in 1946?” Prosecutor R. H. Gallier asked.

She replied. “I used it to kill my first husband.” He was Andy Robinson. A grand jury refused to indict her in that case.

[“Husband-Killer Given Five Years,” syndicated (AP), Corsicana Daily Sun (Tx.), Nov. 11, 1952, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): Houston, Jan. 17. – The red-headed, trigger-happy sister of the late gunman Raymond Hamilton said today a customer in her bar insisted on finding out how tough she is. She shot him.

It was the third time Margie Zeglen, 35, had brought down her man with a gun.

She killed the first two, her husbands. But Jessie Donald Muirhead, of Baytown, hung on today in critical condition from three bullet wounds. She said she only wanted to scare him.

About the same time Muirhead was being shot late last night, Mrs. Zeglen’s son was caught carrying on in the Hamilton tradition by trying to rob a Wichita Falls drug store.

He is 20-year-old Raymond Fairris (first name in honor of his uncle Ray, a running mate of Clyde Barrow and Bonnie Parker in the ‘30s.)

Fairris and Henderson Weldon Wyatt, 29, a man well known by Houston, Galveston and Wichita Falls police, were charged with burglary.

Mrs. Zeglen was charged here with assault to murder.

Her version of the shooting differed considerably from Muirhead’s.

He said: “I was in the tavern with a buddy. We had a few beers. The woman who ran the joint wanted me to set up the drinks on the house. This brought on an argument. She shot me.”

With her attorney standing by, Mrs. Zeglen told reporters:

“Muirhead was drunk when he came in the place. He brought a bottle of whisky [sic] with him and wanted set ups, but I refused to serve him.”

She quoted Muirhead as saying: “I know who you are. You’re Raymond Hamilton’s sister. I’m going to find out how tough you are. I’ve always wanted to whip a Hamilton.”

She continued her story:

“The man with him led Muirhead out of the door. When he tried to get back in the place I fired once at the ceiling. Later, when he insisted on coming back in, I fired twice at the floor.”

Her attorney interrupted:

“The bullets must have ricocheted from the concrete floor and struck Muirhead.”

Mrs. Zerglen said she called police.

Mrs. Zeglen was out of jail on appeal bond after having been convicted on the pistol slaying of her second husband, Mike Zeglen, and given five years in prison. She was never tried for the shooting of her first husband in Fort Worth in 1946.

~ Freed on Bond ~

She was released today on $1000 bond in the shooting of Muirhead.

Young Fairris was freed on bond recently after a grand jury indicted him in the recent $10,500 robbery of a Houston jewelry store. He was on parole then from a burglary sentence in Kansas.

Wichita Falls Chief Detective Chris Jensen said Fairris and Wyatt were “caught red-handed.”

Hamilton grew up in rough, tough and dirt-poor West Dallas. As a member of the notorious Clyde Barrow-Bonnie Parker gang he won infamy in a series of bloody bank robberies.

He was the only man ever to escape from death row in the Texas state prison but was recaptured and executed in 1935.

[“Third Man Brought Down by Trigger-Happy Woman,”  syndicated (AP), Spokane Daily Chronicle (Wa.), Jan. 17, 1953, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: HOUSTON, Tex. – In Texas the law is inclined to make excuses for a lady who uses a pistol to terminate a difficulty with a man, husband or otherwise. Sympathetic grand jurors traditionally adopt an attitude that can be described like this: “Well, maybe she did shoot him, but the so-and-so was no good anyway.” Too, there’s no point in holding a lady for a trial which has every chance of ending in her acquittal.”

Now, however, the feeling is growing her that a thin-lipped strawberry blonde named Margie Zeglen, 35, may have fired the last shot under the old tradition of leniency to pistol-prone women.

The oldest and most gallant of the curbstone lawyers around the courthouse aree that Margie, with two dead husbands testifying to her marksmanship, was running a good thing-, into the ground when he shot r. perfect stranger.

~ He Escaped With His Life ~

Luckilv, her third victim, Jesse D. Muirhead, 32, dragged himself out of Margie's waterfront honky-tonk before her bullets found a mortal spot. As it was, he was hit in the stomach, the left leg and the right toot, and will be a long time mending. Margie, unperturbed, put her pistol behind the bar (in Texas a gun is standard saloon equipment, like the cash register) and phoned the police.

"This is Margie Zeglen, she said. "I just shot another man."

Her announcement didn't surprise the cops, who assumed a long time ago that Margie's inclination to sudden gunfire was something she came by naturally. Her brother, outlaw Raymond Hamilton, expended considerable ammunition himself in the desperado days of the 1930s when he was vice president of the bank-robbing firm headed by Clyde Barrow and his cigar-puffing doxy, Bonnie Parker.

A Ranger-led posse liquidated the organization by machine gun-Bing Clyde and Bonnie on a country road in 1934, and a year later Raymond was electrocuted for murdering a guard in a temporarily successful break-out from the death cells of a Texas state prison. Although Margie never shot a cop in her life, her marked resemblance to the sinister Raymond has caused more than one old-timer on the force to recoil apprehensively.

Margie's own career, professionally if not domestically, has been entirely law-abiding. (She has had at least three husbands, the two dead by her hand and another who achieved the security of a prison in which he is whiling away a term for burglary.)  A one-time beautician and country rodeo manager, Margie was just getting established as a beer-parlor hostess when the hapless Muirhead somehow ignited her Hamilton temper.

His case against her, one of assault to murder, is up for action by the grand jury. Unfortunately, when Margie shot Muirhead she owed the state five years in prison, and still does, for killing husband Mike Zeglen, 23, last Summer. This lack of discretion might deprive her of some sympathy on the part of the grand jurors.

Margie is appealing the mild sentence she got on the ground that Mike's death was more or less an accident he ran into a bullet and District Attorney William H. Scott has made no move to revoke her $5,000 appeal bond. She was convicted of murder without ma lice, and may beat the rap yet.

Mike, to whom Margie was married three years, met his end in curious fashion. They had been arguing bitterly for three days, as the cops got the story, and Mike purportedly threatened her life. The upshot of the quarrel was that Mike dashed out the front door, trying to evade a bullet that whizzed on across the street.

~ Margie Sat On Her Hubby, Too ~

He sprinted around the side of the house and headed for the back yard, picking up a stick and a rock on the fly. Margie, inside, followed his progress by glancing through the windows as she herself ran for the back door, apparently to intercept him. Her second shot, fired in the instant that Mike's running figure was framed in a bedroom window, caught him neatly in the bark of the head.

Margie was seated on her dying husband when the cops got there, and they had to pull her off.

At her trial Marcie claimed she didn't shoot at Mike from the window, but through the back door when he tried to get in the house again. The weapon, a .38 caliber automatic of Belgian make, lay on a railing before her as Assistant District Attorney K. H. Gallier asked her when she had last fired it, and at whom.

"In Fort Worth in September, 1948 at my ex-husband," she answered almost inaudibly.

The ex-husband was Andy Robinson, and the record shows that Margie was arrested Oct. 6, 1915, for shooting him. Robinson died a couple of days later, and Margie was no-hilled by a grand jury on her defense that he had menaced her with a pocket knife. The events leading up to this quarrel were not brought out.

Then, last Jan. 16, Margie brought down her third man. It's possible she was a little edgy when customer Muirhead dropped in. An hour or so before, she'd been informed that sallow-faced Raymond Fairris, 20, one of her two sons by the convict ex-husband, had been caught in a Wichita Falls, Tex., drug store, burglar tools in hand.

Margie was already down in the dumps because of her younger son, Herbie Fairris Jr., who two days earlier had drawn five years in the Kansas State Reformatory for obstructing justice. Herbie, apparently, was suspected of being a potential hijacker and was shot in the leg by a Kansas deputy sheriff when he decided to run instead of arguing the point.

So, if Margie was irritable it's understandable. The witnesses to Muirhead's shooting, confused by beer and gunfire and possibly influenced by Margie's reputation, gave conflicting versions of what happened. One story is that Muirhead announced loudly that he knew she was Raymond Hamilton's sister, and demanded that she prove how tough she was.

Margie, a consistent woman. claims self-defense, alleging that Muirhead was belligerently drunk and shied a bottle of beer at her head. Muirhead contends that Margie urged him to buy beer for the house, then shot him in a fury when he made so bold as to deny that he was a cheapskate. Justice, of the Peace Tom Maes, confronted with Margie's preliminary hearing, sighed and referred the whole affair directly to the grand jury.

Texas went Republican last year, which may be a sign that other traditions are crumbling, too.

[“Blam! Margie Lives up to Family Tradition,” Sunday News (New York, N.Y.), Feb. 15, 1953, P. 3]










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

[33,150-3/30/20; 35,104-9/29/22]


  1. This was one bad ass women. I think she was probably pretty cool. Just not gonna let some man run over her. I like her

  2. You are very chivalrous. You will probable enjoy these articles which can be found on The Unknown History of MISANDRY:

    Chicago Murderesses Express Their Preference For All-Male Juries: Much Easier To Manipulate - 1912

    Josephine Tzany, Hungarian Misandric Predator & Serial Killer – 1926

    History is full of such "cool" women, despite the fact that most of them are forgotten following the advent of gender ideology as an official State religion.

  3. Saw her on Deadly Women.She is no-nonsense and wouldn't mind killing you with her pistol.

  4. I have read of her and I just watched the Deadly Women episode containing her story. She was as ruthless as can be. The fact that she ran a bar as a woman in 1950's TEXAS only shows a small bit of how self-motivated and fearless she was. The unfortunate part is she would do anything to preserve her sense of self. Never question this woman's self-belief! Cold-hearted as they come.

  5. Given the environment in which she grew up, Margie HAD to be tough. You would just have to know the entire story regarding the family. Once her brothers became infamous, there was no end to the constant problems for the entire family. �� Sweetest Mother you could ever hope to know. Margie was my Great Aunt. Her sister was my grandmother.

    1. Hi Cheryl! I to am related to Raymond, Floyd and Margie. I’m just not sure how. My great grandfather was Frank Hamilton and my grandfather was Preston Hamilton. My grandfather Preston had stories and a picture of himself with Raymond and Floyd, my grandfather was younger than they were. I’m putting a family tree together and can’t figure out how they all fit in. I know we’re related just not sure how. I don’t know if they were cousins to my grandfather or Uncles. Unfortunately, my grandfather passed away many years ago. Any information you might have would be extremely appreciated.

  6. She also was my aunt , she married my uncle Bethal Raymond Farriss , my grandmothers brother , my great uncle ..

    1. She is a part of history and then legacy of Bonnie and Clyed and that I am proud of ...doesnt mean im proud of what she did ...

    2. Bethel Raymond Fairris was her son. She was first married to Herbie Franklin Fairris Sr. Their second son, Herbie Jr., went to the electric chair in 1956.