TSGS Cruiser Blog

Saturday, June 27, 2009

"Evansville Suicide Attempt Reported in Oregon"

On a recent trip to Portland, Oregon, I spent a few hours in the public library, the Multnomah County Central Library (http://www.multcolib.org/). It was a gorgeous library and I spent time looking through some of the old historical newspapers. While there, I also took some time to search the Oregon Newspapers Index (http://libweb.uoregon.edu/govdocs/indexing/index.html) for any Evansville-related stories and found this one from the April 29th, 1929 issue of the Oregonain.

Divorcee Shoots Friend & Self

Evansville, Ind., April 28. – Mrs. Josephine Green Conrad, 27 year-old wealthy divorcee, who wound up an evening of entertaining some of Indiana’s well-known political lights by shooting her girl friend, Margaret Maley, 25, and herself, early Saturday morning, will be charged with criminal assault in an affidavit to be filed against her by the county prosecuting attorney.

Mrs. Conrad, who is the mother of a 2 year-old girl, was reported at the hospital tonight to have a fighting chance for recovery. Due to the nature of her wounds little hope is held out however. When and if she recovers the affidavit will be served. Miss Maley, who was shot in the thigh, is reported out of danger.

The evening started out politely enough, according to reports. Miss Maley and Mrs. Conrad, who have been living together for some time, invited several friends to their home after a political rally Friday night. F. Harold Van Orman and his wife, the latter a candidate for the republican nomination for mayor, for whom the rally was given, were there. So were State senator John H. Hewitt, Jessica Greene, cousin of Mrs. Conrad; Mrs. Van Orman’s political secretary, and several others. There was some drinking, it was said, though not much, for these personages are politically dry. The party broke up about 2 a.m. and the girls decided to take an automobile ride to cool off.

They returned and when Miss Maley entered Mrs. Conrad’s bedroom she found her toying with a revolver, according to her story. She attempted to take it away from the divorcee and in the scuffle that followed was shot in the thigh. Mrs. Conrad, upon seeing what had happened, turned the revolver on herself and sent a bullet through her right breast. It penetrated the liver, lung and stomach and left the body near the left hip.

Mrs. Conrad confirmed the statement of Miss Maley that Mrs. Conrad did the shooting. Miss Maley stated later that Mrs. Conrad was threatening suicide. Mrs. Conrad did not say however, that the shooting of Miss Maley was accidental. She repeated over and over “I did it. Oh, I did and I don’t know why. I’m sorry.”

- Submitted by Taneya Koonce

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