Remember I said I found something? Today we find out what.
Oh, the above image? You might well remember it and say "oh, really? Well, that explains it." You'll find out on Monday.
We now conclude . . .
Both Beach and the Missus were indicted. Trial was set for November 28th, 1927.
A jury was seated in an hour and a half (!) and on the first day the prosecution dropped a bomb:
Beach had confessed to a friend that he did the murder. He also, according to the next day’s paper, had a heart attack that night, but was right as rain by the time court resumed the next day. Testimony concerned the blood spots on some money found on Mrs. Lilliendahl, which she said came from swatting mosquitos.
What a tale; what a trial. Sometimes it seems as if people were just different back then. we certainly don't have barnyard sheiks nowadays.
The coverage was extensive, but they had room; the Sunday Daily News had over 400 pages.
Triumph for the defense the next day:
The man who was called to testify that he’d seen Beach at the scene recanted, and said he couldn’t identify him. Harrumps of perjury charges. The state rested after three days.
Bombshells when the defense took up the case: they produced a witness, an “unshaven farm hand,” who says he saw the car turn into the woods with a “Colored man” on the riding board. The prosecution ripped them up and down.
Mrs. L took the stand on Monday, and did not do herself any favors. Constant denials, lapses of memories, moments of playing the victim. She wailed that she’d been framed. It was regarded as an unconvincing performance.
The case went to the jury on Wednesday, Dec. 8.
What? One day to ten years? That’s because the judge had discretion. They weren’t convicted of premeditated murder. The jury had been asked to decide first-degree, and the first ballot was 7 to 5 in favor of acquittal. One lone hold-out would not relent, and so they split the difference and went for guilty on “Voluntary manslaughter.”
Both got ten years. Mrs. L’s last photo shows her smiling broadly as she begins her sentence.
Beach died in stir three years into his sentence.
Mrs. L was released in 1934, due to having contracted “an incurable disease.”
The obit of boy who saw his parents fight. The one who told police that Mama had a pistol. It matched the caliber of the murder weapon, a fact the Daily News may have buried somewhere in a story I didn't see.
He died but four years ago. He was 99, and left 27 great-grandchildren.
Here he is, reminiscing about his home town. I've cut to the relevant moment. It's short.
Put yourself in his shoes. What would you have done? Explained it, or let it be?
That ends the story, and the Hiatus. See you Monday!