While writing this post I kept seeing visions of the Cary Grant movie; "Arsenic and Old Lace."
A madcap black comedy directed by Frank Capra.

Sarah Powers was a 71-year-old widow who took in boarders to make ends meet. She would advertise in the paper for a willing young man to help with the chores. When James Parks, 25, and Earl Manchester, 21, responded to the ad she took in both of them. Six weeks later the body of James Parks was found on the banks of the Ocmulgee river with two bullet holes to the back of his head. The authorities traced the victim back to the boarding house and all of Mrs. Powers devious dealings quickly fell apart. Sarah Powers was definitely not the motherly type. She had a black heart.
When it was revealed that Mrs Powers had taken out a $7,000 life insurance policy on James Parks it did not take long for the authorities to suspect that something foul was afoot. Their suspicion led them directly to Earl Manchester who eventually confessed to committing the murder. Manchester confessed that Mrs Powers had offered him $1,000 which he would receive when when she collected on the policy. As expected, the policy included a double indemnity clause which would play out $14,000 if the victim died a violent death.
In addition to Parks, Claude P. Burham, another boarder at Mrs. Powell's house, disappeared after she had taken out a $5,000 policy on him. His body was never found and the agent who wrote the policy, E. E. Valentine was killed under mysterious circumstances. His death was never solved.
Hollis L. Mullis escaped her plans for him when he failed to pass his physical exam for a $12,000 policy. T. S. Martin, a photographer's assistant, became suspicious when she approached him and offered to pay the premiums on his policy.
Both Sarah Powers and Earl Manchester were convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
One final note: Sarah Powers apparently stiffed Earl Manchester on his payment for the murder. According to him all he received was $10 and her thanks. Think he would have been her next victim if they hadn't got caught?

1 comments:

FNE said...

Wow! $10?!? LOL!

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