They were both young, pretty, had lovers – one in high places – and faced murder charges. Mrs. Jessie Costello was a mum, a fund-raiser…
Murder Most Foul No. 89
They were both young, pretty, had lovers – one in high places – and faced murder charges. Mrs. Jessie Costello was a mum, a fund-raiser, charity collector and all-round do-gooder whose husband Captain William Costello suddenly died of cyanide poisoning. Jessie was deep in debt – she had been overspending at an alarming rate – and her husband knew nothing of this. Further, she had a young lover and made no bones about the fact that she bought the cyanide that killed her husband. By the time she was brought to trial on a murder charge she had built up a battalion of enemies and all of them were willing to put the boot in.
Clara Smith Hamon found herself in a similar situation 12 years earlier following the shooting death of her lover Jake Hamon, a Republican senator who intended to run for the presidency when William G, Harding’s term came to an end. Again there was little ambiguity – Hamon suffered a fatal gunshot wound during a violent quarrel with Clara when the revolver she was pointing at him went off after he tried to hit her with a chair.
So the choice for the jury in both cases was simple: who would they believe? Were the deaths tragic accidents or cold, calculated murders?
Her real name was believed to be Maud Smith but femme fatale would do just as well for she was certainly that, every bewitching inch of her, as Constable George Samuel Cooke was to find out – at great cost to both of them.
* The Killer And The Raven
* Would-Be Suicide Saved – For The Firing Squad
* Policeman hanged for murder at the Scrubs
* Death of a homecoming queen
* In Cold Blood – New Zealand double-killing
* The butcher who boiled his wife in a vat of acid
* Manchester’s sad case of the soldier who could not forget
* Who killed Captain Costello?
* Clue in the old mill stream
* Yorkshire Tragedy: The Rawmarsh murder
* How a dog “detective” solved a murder on Christmas Day
* The man who would be President
* Execution in an onion field
* Nina cut her husband into tiny pieces…and wrapped them as Christmas presents
* Murderer strikes out
* Scottish minister strangled his wife…then preached a sermon
* and still more inside…