Sunday, January 26, 2020

Alice Richard, 14-Years Old, Murdered Her Twin Sister – Fresno, 1950

FULL TEXT: A slender, 14-year-old Fresno girl shot and killed her twin sister early yesterday “because,” she told officers, “I hated her.”

“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 before.”

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,
It’s true.”

[“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 penalty.

“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 girl.”

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 asked:

“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, said:

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 psychopathic.

~ ‘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 family.

~ 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 present.

~ 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 present.

~ 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 time.

~ 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. Richard, arrived.

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]









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