Saturday, December 17, 2016

May Richards Barr, Badger Game Con Artist – Seattle, Washington, 1911

FULL TEXT Article 1 of 3): Mrs. May Richards Barr, the alleged ‘badger’ girl, broke down and wept bitter tears upon the witness stand late yesterday afternoon, and wept again this morning when Deputy Prosecutor Rundin arraigned the characters of the trio on trial. The same little woman who stood jail life for five months while awaiting her trial, and smiled through it all, could not stand the torment of having her honor and reputation scarred, analyzed and reviewed in public, and broke down so completely that she had to be taken out of the court room.

Her husband started to go with her, but was detained by the bailiff. The breakdown came during the cross examination, when she was put on the rack and questioned about her relations with John C. Robey, the man alleged to be the victim of the ‘badger game,’ and who is said to have given up a 1258 check to the alleged conspirators. Mrs. Barr denied that anything improper occurred between her and Robey.

~ Married Childhood Playmate.

After telling that she ran away with her husband, who was a childhood playmate of hers at Riverside, Cal. She said that they did not get married until 7 o’clock of the same evening, as the alleged ‘badger game’ was played because they never had money enough before to do so. She ran away about a year and a half ago, and was working as a manicurist in the Victoria hotels. She got acquainted with Robey at the Martinique hotel, where she and Mr. Barr were living as Mr. and Mrs. Emmett, when he opened the hall door for her on several occasions.

“He told me he had a daughter reminded him of she said on this particular night she said. Robey had gone out for some whiskey, and was in her room with it and some sandwiches.”

“He drew up two chairs,” she said, and asked me to sit down, and the next act was to try to get me to sit in his lap, and I got up. and he followed, and after I finally got away from him I walked across the room and he came toward me, and he grabbed hold of me, and took me on the bed and sat me down there, and then followed a general wrestling, and I fought with him until I unfastened his collar, and I think left marks on his neck, I had black and blue marks on my arm.

Then I got up and walked across the floor, and told him I was tired, and would like to retire if he would adjourn to his room, and he said he didn't think it was necessary; that he would be all right.”

[“Alleged Badger Girl Breaks Down In Court,”  The Seattle Star (Wa.), Jun. 23, 1911, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 2 of 3): Badly beaten about the face and body, and held a prisoner in his room at the Martinique hotel, Eighth av. and Union st., while two men and a woman attempted to cash a check of $250, which they forced from him, was the experience of John H. Robey, president and manager of the Golden West Baking Company.

Suffering terribly from his beating, Robey was unable to attempt to escape until this morning, when he scribbled a note and dropped it from his window. A passerby picked it up and read: “Notify the First National bank to stop payment on $250 check. Tell the police I am a prisoner in room 431, Martinique hotel.”

The man who found the note hurried down the street and gave it to Sergt. Pence and Patrolman Humphrey. They hurried to the Martinique and alter releasing Robey went to the apartments of a beautiful young woman giving the name if Mrs. Harold Barr, and a young man who claimed to be her husband.

~ All Are Arrested.

The second man who give the name of H. H. Carroll. In the meantime appeared at the bank, but Robey’s check wan refused. Carroll returned to the Martinique only to be placed under arrest. The three are held at the city jail without a charge.

Robey, who la about to sever his connection with the baking company, says the alleged “badger” game was probably inspired by this fact.

“This young woman, whom I knew a Miss May Richards, resided at the Martinique hotel for about a month,” said Mr. Robey this afternoon. “Her apartments were right across the hall from mine. At times she left her key with me.”

“Last night about 9:30 I was suffering from a severe cold and went down the street for a flask of whisky and quinine. When I returned the young woman was standing in her doorway. She asked me what I had and I told her.”

“Come in and give me a drink,” she said I entered her room and she shut the door. No sooner had the drink been drained than the door burst open and in rushed these men, Barr and Carroll, whom I had never seen before.

~ The Beating Follows.

“’What do you mean by assaulting my wife”? demanded Barr. I turned to astonishment to find the woman on the bed with her head buried in the covers, as though weeping Then Carroll took a hand. “I'm her brother, you ———,” he said.

“Then both of them removed their coats, rolled up their sleeves and started to give me an awful licking finally they tired of this and Carroll said, ‘Now, you're a business man and you can’t afford to have this become public. If you will come through with $1,000 we’ll call matters square. I protested that I only had $14 in the bank to my personal account. Carroll said:

“’Well, you sign a check as president of the Golden West Raking, Co.’ I refused to do so until they threatened to throw me out of the fourth story window. Then I compromised and signed a check for $250, which they accepted reluctantly.

“After taking my check they dragged me across the hall and locked me in my room. I was so weak and dazed that I hardly got my senses until this morning, when I wrote the note and dropped it from the window.’

At the police station this afternoon Robey confronted his alleged assailants, but they refused to talk. The check for $250 signed by Robey was taken from Carroll and is held by Prosecutor Murphy as evidence.

Robey is 45 and single. The woman is a brunette, slight, and not more than 22 years old. A marriage certificate was taken from her, indicating that she and Barr were married yesterday.

[“Woman Is Held In Alleged Blackmail Plot – Accused with Two Men of Bold Crime - John T. Robey, Seattle Business Man, Tells of Strange ‘Badger Game’— Says He Was Attacked by Men Posing as Young Woman's Relatives, Then Compelled to Give Up $250.,” The Seattle Star (Wa.), Jan. 28, 1911, p. 1]


FULL TEXT (Article 3 of 3): Guilty of extortion.

That was the verdict against each of the three defendants in the ‘badger game’ conspiracy against John C. Robey, manager of the Golden West Baking company. The verdicts were returned separately against each, though the jury deliberated on them all together.

Mrs. Amy Barr, the young bride whom the jury branded as a ‘badger girl.'' received the verdict calmly, and betrayed no emotion as she was led out of the court room by a deputy sheriff. followed by her husband, Harold Barr, also in the custody of a deputy. The third member of the ‘badger’ conspiracy. Marry M. Carroll, who had been out on bail during the pendency of the trial was remanded to the sheriff's custody. Carroll, who, according to Deputy Prosecutor Lundin was the ‘master mind’ of the conspiracy seemed to be exceedingly peeved when Judge Main ordered him taken to the county jail because his bail of $1,200 was too small after conviction.

It took the jury five hours to arrive at the three verdicts. It is believed that the delay was caused over Mrs. Barr’s verdict alone. She had testified that she took no part in the whispered conversations when Robey was held prisoner in the apartment of the Barrs at the Martinique hotel.

Extortion is punishable by a [missing text, error in original].

The jurors were polled immediately after reading the verdict. Attorney Holzheimer made an oral motion for a new trial

[“Guilty Of ‘Badger Game’ – Girl and Men Companions Convicted on Extortion Charge – All in Jail Awaiting Sentence.” The Seattle Star (Wa.), Jun. 24, 1911, p. 1]


FULL TEXT: May Richards Barr, the pretty bride of one day when she arrested last January, is on trial today on the charge of conspiracy to play a "badger game" on John C. Robey, manager of the Golden West Baking Co. She is la being jointly tried with her husband. Harold Barr, and the third member of the alleged conspiracy, H. M. Carroll.

Mrs. Barr, who has been smiling throughout her five months' confinement in the county jail, was paler this morning than at any time since her arrest. She is a dimpled little woman, about 22, and has a round, pleasant face.

~ How Game Was Worked. ~

Mrs. Barr, notwithstanding her confinement in jail for more than five months, smiles as though she were an unconcerned party to the trial. She is a dimpled little woman, with around, pleasant face.

The alleged "badger game" was worked at the Martinique hotel, Eighth av. and Union st., according to the information, where the Barrs and Robey lived. Robey's story is that she had been asked into Mrs. Barr’s room to give her a drink. The door suddenly opened on them, he says, and Mr. Barr and Carroll charged upon him. Barr told him he was the woman's husband, and had married her that day. Robey had known her as a single woman up to that time, by the name of Miss Richards. Carroll is alleged to have taken a hand in beating up Robey on the ground that he was a brother of Mr. Barr.

The story told to the police la that after they got through pummeling him. Robey was asked for $1,000 to hush the matter up. They finally got him to sign a check for$260 as manager of the Golden West Raking Co., Robey alleges. They then bundled him into his own room and locked the door, he alleged. In this condition he remained all night. He was too dazed to move, he says.

“They kept him in their room all night," said Deputy Prosecutor Lundin in his opening statement to the jury a little before noon today. "In the morning they took him to his own room and locked him up, presumably so that he should remain safe until they had cashed the check."

~ Tossed Note Out of Window. ~

In the morning he scribbled the following note: "Notify the First National Bank to stop payment on$250 check. Tell the police I am a prisoner in room 431, Martinique hotel.” He dropped this out of the window.  A passerby picked it up and turned it over to Sergt. Pearce and Patrolman Humphrey. They released Robey from his own room, and arrested Mr. and Mrs. Barr, who were in their apartments then. Carroll tried to cash the check at the bank, was refused, and was arrested when he got back to the hotel.

~ The Badger Game. ~

The so-called “badger game" is usually operated by a man and a woman. The woman lures a victim, a man who had money, to a room. Here the woman attempts to compromise the victim. At a crucial moment she signals to her male accomplice, who is stationed outside the room. The latter rushes in, plays the part of an outraged husband or brother, and threatens to kill the victim, or else turn him over to the police. A compromise is suggested; the victim is usually only too glad to pay a few hundred or even a few thousand dollars to escape.

The most notorious case of this kind was that worked by Fay Moore and her husband Martin Malon, a rich New York hotel owner, was the victim. He paid $7,500 in cash to escape from Fay Moore's room. Later he complained to the police and Moore was sentenced to a long term in Sing Sing although his wife escaped punishment.

The crime is called the 'badger game" because in England it is the custom to hunt the badger, an animal, with trained dogs, thus giving the badger no chance to escape with its life.

[“Alleged Badger Girl,” The Seattle Star (Wa.), Jun. 21, 1911, p. 1]




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