The Explanation
(for those who require one)

And, of course, that is what all of this is -- all of this: the one song, ever changing, ever reincarnated, that speaks somehow from and to and for that which is ineffable within us and without us, that is both prayer and deliverance, folly and wisdom, that inspires us to dance or smile or simply to go on, senselessly, incomprehensibly, beatifically, in the face of mortality and the truth that our lives are more ill-writ, ill-rhymed and fleeting than any song, except perhaps those songs -- that song, endlesly reincarnated -- born of that truth, be it the moon and June of that truth, or the wordless blue moan, or the rotgut or the elegant poetry of it. That nameless black-hulled ship of Ulysses, that long black train, that Terraplane, that mystery train, that Rocket '88', that Buick 6 -- same journey, same miracle, same end and endlessness."
-- Nick Tosches, Where Dead Voices Gather

Annals of Crime #49


Original Caption:

Newark -- Mrs. Laura Bell Devlin, 72, who murdered her 75-year-old husband, Thomas Devlin, then dismembered his body with a hacksaw and scattered the parts in the backyard, today professed her dislike for jail. She protested vehemently when officials tried to fingerprint her saying "that ink will make my hands dirty," and again when she was placed before the camera, "No," she asserted. She kept repeating "Can I go home now?', unmoved and in no way penitent for the alleged crime. (1947)

10 comments :

Robert Fiore said...

They know how to take a spooky picture in Jersey, I'll give them that, but the Picasso of trunk murderers will always be Winnie Ruth Judd. Knew her way out of a minimum security prison, too.

Robert Fiore said...

Wrong Newark, sorry.

Tim Lucas said...

You sure can pick 'em!

PC said...

Wow! She looks like Bela Lugosi's mother, high on something or other... Scary!

WEISSMAN™ said...

Most horrible! Reading the original caption confirms everything her face already tells you.

David said...

to paraphrase Churchill, if I were her husband, I'd WANT to be murdered...

Squidgy said...

mad as cheese

Elissa said...

John Chapman did say that when he imagined hell, he imagined it being similar to Newark, Ohio. I'm from Newark and I'd never heard of this lady!! Amazing. I wonder where I can find more information, perhaps my friendly local librarian.

Tommy O'C said...

Her earthly punishment was brief. The Columbus Sunday Dispatch, March 30, 1947:

Husband Slayer Succumbs at Lima
NEWARK, OHIO, MARCH 29-
(INS)—Newark authorities were informed today that Mrs. Laura
Belle Devlin, 72, of Newark, accused of the mutilation slaying of her husband, died this morning in Lima State Hospital .for the criminal [sic] insane.
Mrs. Devlin died of pneumonia that followed an attack of influenza.
Her body will be returned to Newark for burial.

Tommy O'C said...

The Newark (O.) Advocate and American Tribune 1/6/1947 covers the murder on pages 1 and 2. I got mine from www.newspaperarchive.com.