FULL TEXT: A slender, 14-year-old Fresno girl shot and
killed her twin sister early yesterday “because,” she told officers, “I hated
“I have wanted to kill her for a long time,” Alice Richard
told Dep. Dist. Atty. Dan Eymann in a statement, “but I never had the nerve
Alice, held in the Fresno County Detention Home, told of getting out of bed in the
darkened house, finding her brother’s 22-caliber rifle, loading it and firing a
bullet into the brain of her sleeping sister Sally.
Then she matter-of-factly telephoned the Sheriff’s office
and told them to come and get her.
~ Hated Her Long Time ~
But for hours, although reading admitted that she killed her
sister, the girl refused to tell why.
Finally, she told Eymann: “I killed her because I hated her.
I made up my mind to killer her. I made up my mind to kill her after we had a
fight over using the telephone. I have hated her for a long, long time. And I had
it in the back of my mind for a long time. And I had it in the back of my mind
for a long time to kill her.
“My sister was stupid and loud and always acting like a nut.”
~ Fancied Slights ~
Sheriff’s Dep. J. W. Ripperdan said the girl apparently was
jealous because of fancied slights.
The argument over the telephone came the evening before the
shooting. Alice and Sally, two of eight children in the family of Mr. and Mrs.
Edgard V. Richard, both wanted to call girl friends.
The entire family heard Alice scream at Sally, “I’ll kill
you,” when Sally reached the telephone first.
Later, Sally left to baby-sit at a neighbor’s home. About 10:30
p. m. Alice went to the home “to see how Sally was getting along.”
When the baby’s parents, Mr. and Mrs. Zerlin Robinson, returned
home at 2 a. m., the sisters walked home and went to bed.
However, Alice did not go to sleep. About 40 minutes later,
she got up, put on her jeans and, barefooted, walked across the house to the
closest where the rifle was, she told officers.
~ Shot in Bed ~
Returning to the bedroom she placed the muzzle behind Sally’s
left ear and fired, she continued.
The shot did not awaken the parents, sleeping on a sun porch
of their modest East Fresno home, but when Alice picked up the telephone and
began dialing, the noise awoke Mrs. Mary Richard.
Mrs. Richard said she lifted up the extension phone on the
porch and heard Alice say to a Sheriff’s deputy, “Come to 4721 Harvey Ave.
There’s been a murder.”
“Don’t get too hasty.” Mrs. Richard said she interrupted. “This
girl walk in her sleep once in a while. She’s having a nightmare now.”
Moments later, when Mrs. Richard discovered Sally’s body,
she called the deputy again and said,
[“Girl Kills Twin Sister She ‘Hated’; Fires Bullet Into
Brain as She Sleeps; Then Calls Police and Tells of Murder,” Los Angeles Times (Ca.),
Mar. 20, 1950, p. 1]
FULL TEXT: Fresno, March 20 – A pretty 14-year-old student, arraigned
for murdering her sleeping twin sister in a fit of jealousy, tonight said she
felt “happy as a lark.”
Alice Richard actually appeared to be enjoying herself today
as she was charged with “willfully and deliberately” shooting her twin sister
Sally with a 22 caliber rifle Sunday morning.
~ ‘I’m Not ‘Sorry’ ~
As she was led from a courtroom, ordered held without bond,
she told County Prosecutor Dandel Eymann:
“Last night I got the first good night’s sleep I’ve had in
six years. I’m as happy as a lark and very relieved that it’s all over at last.”
“I’m not sorry Sally is dead
. . . I’d do the same thing over
again, but I didn’t want to hurt my parents and family,” she said.
Alice confessed, according to Eymann, that she shot her
sleeping sister behind her ear, after carefully feeling for the vital spot in
the predawn darkness Sunday.
Authorities said she admitted she hated her sister because
she felt Sally – a cheerful, happy-go-lucky girl – got more attention than she
did. Alice was described as the opposite of her twin – “moody and morose.”
After her arraignment today, County Probation Officer John
Asjian asked her whether she realized what might be done to her.
“I guess they’ll put me away in an institution for awhile
and then execute me, she said airily. Actually her age will spare her the death
“She was stupid and noisy and acted like a nut in school,”
Alice told Eymann. “She aggravated me for a long time. I thought about killing
her several times in the past, but I never had the guts.”
~ Says Mind Made Up ~
She said she made up her mind to kill her sister Saturday
after the quarreled over the use of the telephone. At the climax of the
argument, Alice yelled:
“I’m going to kill you sometime.”
Superior Judge Arthur C. Sheard, who will hear her case in
Juvenile Court, said: “Our first step will be to determine the sanity of the
During her 10-minute arraignment today, she smiled continuously.
She sat in an empty jury box with a matron and two deputy sheriffs.
Judge Leonard Meyer read the complaint against her. Then she
“And how old are you?”
Alice hesitated, cocked her head to one side, blew a strand
of blond hair out of her face, and said:
“Fourteen.” Then she slumped in the chair.
~ Poses for Pictures ~
Later she asked a photographer:
“You’re one of those big city cameramen, aren’t you? Do you
want me to smile?” she posed for eight pictures.
Mr. and Mrs. Edgard Richard, parents of the girls, said
Alice had “severe headaches” in recent months. They have six other children.
“We’ll do all we can for Alice,” the father said.
Edgard Richard Jr., brother and schoolmate of the twins,
Dr. John F. Murray, the Richard family physician, disclosed that
he investigated Alice’s headaches last November. He said he gave her a complete
examination, including laboratory tests and X rays of the skull.
The cause of the headaches was not established definitely,
he said, and nothing pointed to any brain disease at the time. It was felt the
headaches were unusual for a girl of 14, he added.
Prosecutor Eymann said the girl freely told of her hate for “my
loud and noisy sister” through six long years. He said she is definitely
~ ‘Acted Nervous’ ~
Alice and Sally were sophomores at the San Joaquin Velley
Memorial High School, a co-educational parochial school.
Sister Peola, dean of girls at the school, said Alice “acted
nervous and depressed for weeks.” The students liked both girls, she said.
“We were all stunned. I have asked the boys and girls to
pray for the one snuffed out and the one who has everything upon her now.”
[“’I’m happy as a Lark,’ Twin Slayer Says – 14-Year-Old Fresno
Girl Smiles Constantly During Arraignment on Charge of Murder,” Los Angeles
Times (Ca.), Mar. 21, 1950, p. 1]
FULL TEXT: Fresno, March 21 – Alice Richard, 14, confessed
slayer of her twin sister, underwent a preliminary hearing today with casual
aloofness and said she will not attend Sally’s funeral if she can help it.
“No, I don’t want to go to my sister’s funeral.” Alice told
County Probation Officer John Asjian.
Unrepentant, Alice shunned her mother’s embrace at a session
in the chambers of Juvenile Court Judge Arthur C. Shepard. She tossed quips at
newsmen afterward on the Courthouse steps.
“Aw, go on home,” she told reporters who clustered around the
~ Not Premeditated ~
Alice’s mother, Mrs. Mary Richard, said she does not believe
the slaying was premeditated. Alice, she said, was worried only about classes
and a clean pair of stockings to wear to church the day before before the murder.
Mrs. Richard said she is not sorry for the slain child.
“Sally was always a lot of fun and a good little girl. But we
do not feel sorry for her. She is in heaven now and had no more worries.”
~ Loses Two Daughters ~
Edgard Richard, the father, who has seven surviving sons and
daughters ranging from 1 to 17 years of age, said:
“It is bad enough to lose one daughter, but in this case I actually
lost two. I only hope they do something for Alice to make her healthy and
normal again so she can live out the rest of her life as a peaceful individual.”
Judge Shepard ordered a prompt psychiatric examination at the
Fresno State College clinic for the younger who put a 22-caliber rifle bullet
through her sister’s head as she slept.
Seventy parochial schoolmates of the twins said a rosary
today for the dead twin. Sally will be buried tomorrow at Holy Cross Cemetery.
In the judge’s chambers, Alice hardly acknowledged the
presence of her mother.
~ Mother Collapses ~
Mrs. Richard collapsed in
tears during the hearing.
Officers said the girl was “still
cool and calculating.” She is spending most of her time in County Detention
Home reading magazines and novels.
At least two mental experts
will question Alice. The psychiatrists will probe one medical fact that has
come to light: Alice was a victim of headaches, unusual for a girl of her age. That
was disclosed by the Richards’ family pphysician, Dr. John F. Murray.
Dr. Murray said he had given
Alice a complete medical examination last fall in an effort to locate the cause
of the headaches. No cause was ever established, he said, but there was nothing
to indicate any brain disease.
[“Girl Won’t Attend Rites for Her Slain Twin Sister; Fresnan
Undergoes Preliminary Hearing in Murder Case With Casual Aloofness,” Los
Angeles Times (Ca.), Mar. 22, 1950, p. 2]
FULL TEXT: Fresno, March 30 – Alice Richard, 14, unrepentant
bobby-soxer who admittedly shot to death her sleeping twin sister Sally,
completed an examination today.
Dr. Jackson C. Dillon, director of the State Mental Hygiene
Clinic here, said he found Alice, who has been confined to Juvenile Home since
the murder March 19, “completely co-operative.”
~ Court to Get Findings ~
The psychiatrist, who worked with two other court-appointed
physicians, presented his findings to John Ashjian, county probation officer.
The doctors’ report and a probation office recommendation will
be forwarded to Juvenile Court Judge Arthur C. Shepard.
“There is a good possibility she (Alice) may go to a State
hospital for further observation,” Shepard said. “The case may drag on and on,
but on the other hand,” Shepard added, “it may be concluded before April 7 if
the doctors’ report is conclusive.”
~ Clings to Hate Motive ~
Detention home authorities revealed Alice, “still morose and
showing no signs of regret,” clung steadfastly to her hate motive which she
said she nursed against her “popular and boisterous,” twin for years.
[“Psychiatry Test Completed on Twin’s Slayer,” Los Angeles
Times (Ca.), Mar. 31, 1950, p. 21]
FULL TEXT: Fresno, April 1 – Alice Richard, 14, who
confessed the “hate” slaying of her twin sister, was committed to a State
mental hospital today.
Juvenile Judge Arthur C. Shepard after hearing a psychiatrists’
and probation court report announced:
“The psychiatric findings make it advisable to commit her to
a State hospital.”
It was Alice’s second appearance at Juvenile Court since she
shot her sleeping twin, Sally, in their bedroom March 19. Alice had told
authorities she hated “my loud and stupid sister” since the sixth grade.
~ Mental Illness Found ~
The court said Alice would be confined “for some months at
an unnamed institution.” Shepard added, “Alice has undergone a large number of
physical and mental examinations and tests and a fairly clear picture of mental
illness is now presented.”
He said the girl will be placed under clinical observation
and returned to Juvenile Court here for final disposition of the case.
~ Relationship No Factor ~
“The fact of her being a twin sister was neither primary nor
a contributory cause of the killing,” the jurist said. “Parents should drop
this phrase of the matter from their minds . . . What happened to her was that
a mentally sick girl killed another girl killed another girl with whom she was
closely associated – the sisterhood was purely incidental.”
He said “hundreds of letters have been received” from
parents of twins expressing concern over the strange murder.
Alice appeared calm and unconcerned when she entered the
court with Dr. Jackson C. Dillon, director of the State Mental Hygeine Clinic
here, and Chief Probation Officer John M. Ashjian.
Her father, Edgard V. Richard, father of seven, was also
~ Examined by Experts ~
She was examined exhaustively by Dr. Dillon, Dr. Jackson C.
Dillon, director of the State Mental Hygeine Clinic here, and Chief Probation
officer John M. Ashjian.
Her father, Edgard V. Richard, father of seven, was also
~ Examined by Experts ~
She was examined exhaustively by Dr. Dillon, DR. Mark
Zeifert, neuropsychiatrist, and Child Expert Dr. R. J. Van Wagenen. They were
ordered by the court to refrain from “public comment.”
Unrepentant and showing no remorse, Alice was returned to
county detention home by Matron Mrs. Ethel Weisert. “She just stared straight
ahead and didn’t seem the least disturbed by the hearing,” Ashjian said.
The girl reportedly spent her time reading juvenile novels
and magazines at the home. She had elaborated little on her “hate” motive since
she fired a single 22-caliber rifle into Sally’s head two weeks ago.
~ ‘Acted Like Prima Donna’ ~
“Sally was always noisy and acted like a prima donna . . .
just like a stupid maniac . . . she was better off dead,” she told authorities.
Only to the family attorney, A. A. George, did she throw
further light on her action. “I really loved Sally,” she said, “but she was
going insane . . . something was telling me over and over again to kill Sally
and put her out of her misery.”
[“Slayer of Sister Sent to Hospital,” Los Angeles Times
(Ca.), Apr. 2, 1950, p. 1]
FULL TEXT: Fresno, Aug. 6 – Alice Elisabeth Richard, 14, who
killed her twin sister Sally in their home here last March, escaped yesterday
from the Napa State Hospital while her parents were on their way to visit her.
She turned herself in to San Francisco police several hours
later and was held in Juvenile Detention Home pending return to Napa.
Why did she leave? Alice replied with a question, “Were you
ever locked up?”
Lloyd B. Stanger, Asst. County Probation Officer, reported
that the girl left a note which said she had been planning the escape for some
~ Committed After Shooting ~
She fled the mental institution in the company of Millicent
Graham, 13, of Fortuna, a ward mate.
Authorities of the hospital said the pair climbed the fence
only a few minutes before the mother and father, Mr. and Mrs. Bigard V.
The blue-eyed Richard girl caught the attention of the
nation when she calmly called the Sheriff’s office here to report shooting her
sister to death in their home March 19.
After a series of hearings she was adjusted mentally ill by
Superior Judge Arthur C. Shepard and committed to the Napa institution. She was
recommitted for an indefinite period last month.
The note left by Alice did not disclose her destination. She
wrote she was not fleeing in order to “be mean” or “make trouble” and added she
did not want to see her parents.
A physician at the institution said the Richard girl knew
her parents were on their way to see her. He declared she had been behaving
well since she had been committed and had made no previous efforts to escape.
When Alice was sentenced to the hospital her mental illness
was identified as schizophrenia.
At the time of the slaying she told investigating officers
that she killed her sister because she hated her.
[“Fresno Girl Who Killed Her Twin Sister Escapes;
Split-Personality Slayer Flees Napa Hospital With Wardmate but Later Gave
Herself Up,” Los Angeles Times (Ca.), Aug. 7, 1950, p. 9]