Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Argus Observes: Jerry Camminn, a master at teaching high school football

From The Ontario Argus-Observer of August 16, 1954

Jerry Camminn has done it again --- taken a lighter and probably a less talented group of football players and defeated an apparently stronger opponent.

The popular Vale coach was head mentor for the Snake River Valley all-stars who defeated the Boise Valley all-stars 13-7 in a pre-season benefit game under lights here Saturday night.

Praise for Cammann does not reduce the credit due to (the SRV’s assistant coaches) --- Ontario’s Ken Glore or Vale’s “Dutch” Kawasoe (former assistant and now head coach at Vale). They are both thoroughly competent.

The game was widely billed as the valedictory of Cammann’s unique coaching career. He resigned last spring as head coach at Vale after the most successful coaching record I have ever seen in a small high school. I do not know his win-loss record. He has just been the best football coach in this region in many years.

The Boise Valley youngsters who invaded Ontario Saturday night for the first SRV-BV contest were noticeably larger than the Snake River Valley players. And I feel sure that, man for man, they are superior athletes as individuals. But they didn’t measure up to the SRV men as a team.

Although the SRV gridmen won the game by only one touchdown, 13-7, they were relatively stronger than the score indicated. They outplayed the invaders 14 to 4 on first downs and nearly two to one --- 208 to 123 --- on yards gained from scrimmage.

The breaks of the game fell Boise Valley’s way. The visitors’ lone touchdown was set up by an SRV fumble on its own nine yard line. It is doubtful if the Boise Valley lads could have scored by straight play for they were never able to sustain a drive.

Other breaks of the game which are a real factor in football obviously favored Boise Valley; but the SRV eleven had enough strength to overcome the disadvantage.

The SRV team’s superior performance definitely reflected Cammann’s coaching ideas.

He deliberately worked his men in the heat of the day to toughen them up for the contest, trying to get them as hard as possible within the brief, two-week training period.

Boise Valley by contrast practiced in the evening when cooler temperatures made the workouts more pleasant. But it didn’t harden the players like the heat did to the smaller SRV men.

Another advantage for the SRV team lay in the use of the single wing formation behind an unbalanced line, a favorite strategy with the Vale coach through the years.

The advantage is not that the single wing is superior to the T. That’s questionable. It lies, instead, in the element of surprise. Most high school players have had little if any experience against the single wing. Even though they may have been taught the theory of defense against it, they are at a loss for a time, until they get the feel of the play. And by then the game may be lost.

The SRV men made quick gains in the opening minutes marching 65 yards in eight plays for their first touchdown. This same opening pattern of attack has been characteristic of Vale teams. Some of the tricks of catching an opponent off balance at the start of the contest must be credited to Cammann’s different style of attack.

Through the years I have sometimes heard Cammann criticized as being “hard boiled,” such criticism more often originating in Ontario than in Vale. I have heard it said that he was too rough spoken and too rough in manner.

There is a certain metal in Cammann’s manner, but it performs an essential function. High school athletes are not little boys. Many of them are men in physical and emotional development although still boys in knowledge and experience so that they live in a sort of in-between state between boyhood and manhood. They need firm treatment and they have an almost pathetic eagerness to follow strong, well-informed leadership that teaches them what they want to learn under the rigors of rigid discipline.

Underneath Cammann’s authoritative manner lies an understanding heart. If you would talk to him personally about his boys as I have, you would learn that his devotion to them is almost like that of a fond parent, and this affection is understood by the boys. They reciprocate with their own devotion that sees through his firm manner.

Once in a while a great teacher comes along. He seems to have an almost mystic understanding of what goes on in the mind of the student, and with it a super ability to direct the pupil’s learning process. Almost every person has had one such teacher at some time. I had one for a single year in math. She could teach geometry to the slowest student with a magic that amazed the learner, and the kids almost worshipped her.

Cammann is a great football teacher. If his health permitted, he could coach at any university in the Northwest and better than hold his own against most of his competition. For reasons of health he chose to stay in Vale.

Now, because of health handicaps, he has resigned as the coach at Vale, retiring from his chosen work while he is still in his mid-thirties.

He won’t soon be forgotten by his athletes, or his opponents either for that matter. My personal sentiments --- feeling it was a real privilege to watch his teams perform --- must be shared by thousands of football fans throughout the valley.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The 1953 County Fair features: National Guard night attack, bee handling, and the winning race horse Geebung

The Aug. 31, 1953 edition of The Argus Observer described events to be featured at the Malheur County Fair that week as including a National Guard night attack in front of the grandstands, a demonstration how to handle bees without getting stung, and the return of the thoroughbred Geebung, a winner at the Ontario track the year before.

National Guard Lt. James Cable said the night attack staged by his 35 troopers would include pyrotechnics, rifle flares, parachute flares, smoke grenades, and pyro starch explosive buried in the ground.

W. W. Foster, a Nyssa bee handler, promised to demonstrate how to handle the insects so important to farmers without being stung. When he was not handling the honey bees, they were to be encased in glass so that spectators “can see the bees at work.”

Geebung was to race under the colors of Austin Meyer at the 1953 meet. A year earlier he won while racing for owner Don Frazer. Other owners were bringing in horses that had run and won at tracks in Portland and Gresham, Oregon.

Monday, August 25, 2008

The Argus Observes: Why a mother-in-law grows uneasy

Editor’s note: This column starts off innocently enough about a trip our family took to Yellowstone National Park when I was 16. But it ends with a revealing story about the relationship of my parents, a relationship that I’ve fairly accurately represented in my novel Farewell Bend.

From the August 19, 1954 issue of The Argus-Observer

Bright and early tomorrow morning we’ll be off to bear country --- the civilized bear country of Old Faithful Canyon and Fishing Bridge.

It’s been 12 years since we have visited Yellowstone park. At that time, we had one boy, aged 3, and he is 16 and his younger brother nearly 12. These are good ages for visiting the park.

Someone told us that the park waters are now so well stocked and the fishing take so strictly controlled that you can always catch a few fish. Probably just a fish story but we’ll try our luck and hope it is better than it was 13 years ago.

On that occasion I fished in the Yellowstone lake with my father-in-law, who for a man descended from Norwegian sea-going ancestors is the most leery-of-water guy I ever knew. The guide who took us out on the lake told him it was a mile deep and that almost paralyzed him. He held onto the boat with both hands and could hardly let go long enough to handle his fishing pole. We didn’t have much luck fishing but we had a lot of fun.

I wish his health permitted him to make the trip again this year. We’d have some more fun.

At Yellowstone 13 years ago a bear taught me that I was deficient in the natural instinct an animal is supposed to have to for protection of its mate.

Agnes (Mrs. Lynch) and I were carrying the scraps from the evening meal to a large garbage can back of our tent house. It was an armload and she went along to hold a flashlight for me.

We approached the garbage can which was a large one held up in a rack at about table height above the ground.

Agnes asked, “What’s that noise?” It sounded like a hog.

About that time a bear, who had his feet on the rack and his head and shoulders in the garbage can, rose up on his haunches and growled. Standing on that rack he towered above us like King Kong at the movies.

My instincts worked just fine but on an overly practical basis. I dropped the garbage and took off like a rabbit. In nothing flat I popped into the tent house and slammed the door in the face of my dear wife who was about three jumps behind me.

“Where’s Agnes?” exclaimed my mother-in-law. Imagine my utter chagrin, for I had quite forgotten about her.

If I tried a simply honest explanation and told you my spouse is a thoroughly competent person at taking care of herself, you would think I was a poor excuse for a husband indeed.

Take care of old number one first --- that’s what I always say. But I’m afraid my mother-in-law has been a little uneasy about her daughter’s protection since that revealing experience at Yellowstone.

Well, we’ll see what the park holds for us this year.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Local soldier tells of his experience landing at Inchon, Korea in 1951

The Argus-Observer issue of Aug. 17, 1953 carried a detailed account penned by Sgt. Jay R. Draper of his impressions upon landing at Inchon, Korea in the fall of 1951. Draper, who had attended Ontario High School, later served in Japan and studied journalism on the side. He wrote these impressions for one of those courses.

As soon as he arrived on shore, he noted, “a loud-voiced captain formed us into ranks and marched us single file to a waiting fleet of canvas-topped trucks, loading us twenty per truck while he counted heads or noses of bodies, whatever he used for a measure.”

Draper described the scene as the truck entered the city:

“Down muddy, rock-filled streets we went, passing box-like houses, surrounded by high board fences and poorly stocked stores displaying a few cans of dusty C-rations, a meager supply of dried fish and pitifully few fresh vegetables.

“Dirty, ragged people lined the road, stared at us in awe or hate or fear and begged for food in high-pitched, sing-song tones. Bombed buildings with gaping holes, armed guards with big guns, an armless beggar in the tattered remnants of a uniform --- all gave mute evidence of war and hunger and death.”

Draper marveled that only a few short months before he’d been walking down the streets of his home town whistling at the pretty girls while Korea was “only a name.”

Although he conceded his service in Korea“was necessary,” he wondered in print two years later, “what politicians had the God-given right to decide that we, out of the masses available, should come to this distant land and kill and bleed and die?”

Luckier that many of the Americans who served in Korea --- particularly National Guard troops -- Draper served 16 months in Korea before he became eligible to come home. He opted to be transferred to Japan and expected, in the fall of 1953, to be released from the service at the end of the calendar year.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Vale girl raising bobcat kittens

A 15-year-old Vale girl was raising two bobcat kittens, writer Paula Shunn reported in the Aug. 6, 1953 issue of The Argus-Observer.

Shirley Rumsey, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Rumsey, was described as “apparently one of those people whom even wild animals take to instinctively”

The bobcat twins had been found by a nephew of Shirley’s deep in wild horse territory near Council, Idaho. He brought them to his cabin without seeing the mother cat though he thought he heard her prowling around later that night.

After the kittens were taken to her in Vale, Shirley fed them cow’s milk. That didn’t work. Then she fixed up a formula that included raw eggs and they thrived.

At the time of the story the bobcats were frequently set free in the house to play with her large tom cat and her pet Pomeranian dog. But one of the kittens was beginning to scratch Shirley frequently and she conceded she was getting “a little afraid.” That said, the father was reported building a large outside cage for the cats.

The Argus Observes --- August fishing with Zimm near New Meadows, Idaho

From the August 20, 1953 issue of The Argus Observer

Zimm had told me where to fish. And it had worked out all right accorind to my standards, those of a dub who does not require many or very large fish to be happy.

“There’s some dandies right here in the meadow but you have to knowhow to catch them,” he said.

It was his busy season. For two months he had refused the temptation to fish with other summer guests. But he broke down one evening last August and took me fishing in the meadow.

First we worked the pools close to the cabins using a fly and caught half a dozen little squaw fish. They were to be our bait.

Then we drove a couple of miles down the meadow and walked in a little ways to a big deep pool where the water hardly moved.

We skinned the thick meat off the sides of the squaw fish and folded it over our hooks until they were concealed.

We wore tennis shoes instead of boots so we could wade waist deep. We worked opposite sides of the stream. Our lines were pretty well weighted and we threw them in above the deep water letting they work into the holes with the current.

The action started slow. I caught the first two --- nice ten-inch trout.

There was a point and a little brush in my way and the current was wrong. It kept me from getting into the deep hole.

Then after a half hour or so Zimm caught a better one. He motioned for me to come over to his side.

I waded across. My feet found a sand bar and I walked along it close the deep water.

The dusk settled in. I could just barely see my line against the dark water. I thought I had a bite and tried to set the hook. There wasn’t any jerk and I thought the weighted line had just hit a rock or log.

Then it started to move. Clear across the pool, deep. I set the hook a little harder and went to work.

It took all the skill I had. We battled for several minutes before I gained ground and reeled him a little closer slowly.

I didn’t have a landing net and knew I didn’t dare try to lift him. So I walked backward slowly along the bar, and then moved gently to the bank.

Well sir, sliding that boy out onto the grass was a real thrill. He measured just 15 inches but it was the biggest trout I had ever caught and an experience to remember for a long time.

If all goes well, as this is read we will be back in the same region trying to play a repeat performance of the same experience. This coming weekend has been set aside for our summer fishing trip. --- By Don Lynch

Friday, August 15, 2008

Broadhurst attorneys waive right to call witnesses

Editor's Note: Sorry for the long post but it's time to get the rest of this story out there and move on to other things.

In a surprise move, the defense waived its own right to call witnesses, resting its case and starting arguments to the jury Wednesday afternoon, nearly a week sooner than some observers expected.Defense attorneys first waived further cross examination of Alvin Lee Williams. A few minutes later the state rested its case following a short redirect examination of Williams.

Defense attorneys went into a huddle then waived further examination of any other witnesses.

They then appealed to Judge M.A. Biggs for a directed verdict of acquittal on the ground that the state had failed to prove a murder was committed.

Defense Attorney P.J. Gallagher told the court that no evidence of conspiracy had been offered apart from Williams, own testimony which the defense contended showed him to be incompetent, and that Mrs. Broadhurst may have been an accessory after the fact but was not on trial for that offense.

Gallagher added: “It appears from state evidence that there was not a murder by Williams. The most that was shown was an assault by Williams on the doctor, which was terminated when he decided not to go through with the killing. The reason he later killed the doctor was self defense. He inflicted the fatal gunshot wound after he began to fear great bodily harm when the doctor charged him with a jackknife.”

he motion was denied by Judge Biggs and the defense then rested, leaving only the arguments of counsel and instructions by the court before the jury took the case.

DA says Mrs. Broadhurst’s complicity in murder proven “beyond a shadow of a doubt”

Beginning the closing argument for the state, Malheur County District Attorney Charles Swan declared the state had proved Mrs. Broadhurst’s complicity in the murder “beyond the shadow of a doubt” and he asked the jury to impose the death penalty.

Williams was virtually the defendant’s “slave,” Swan charged, adding that she planned, inspired and directed the killing of her wealthy husband. It was her injunction “do not fail me and if you do for God’s sake don’t come back” that kept Williams from losing his nerve and abandoning the ghastly project, the prosecutor declared.

William Langroise delivered the argument for the defense Wednesday afternoon, asserting that there was no direct or indirect evidence of Mrs. Broadhurst’s guilt except Williams’ own testimony. And that, he said, was given with “an axe hanging over his head.”

“What wouldn’t he testify to get what the state through the prosecutors must have promised him?” Langroise asked the jury, renewing the defense charge of a “deal” involving Williams’ testimony, which Williams had denied when asked about it on the stand.

The attorney asked why Williams’ trial was postponed until after Mrs. Broadhurst’s if it was not to force him to testify before his own fate was decided. He could have testified after his own trial and his testimony would have carried some weight, Langroise concluded.

One of four verdicts was possible

The 16-day-old Broadhurst murder case went to the circuit court jury sitting in Vale late in the this afternoon after arguments of state and defense counsel and instructions from Judge M.A. Biggs who presided over the hard fought legal battle.

The jury was instructed that it could return any of four verdicts: 1. Guilty of first degree murder without recommendation, which means death in the lethal gas chamber; 2. Guilty with a recommendation of leniency which means life imprisonment; 3. Guilty of second degree murder also carrying a life sentence and 4. Acquittal.

Special Prosecutor Blaine Halleck completed the state’s closing argument at 3:10 p.m. Thursday. He carefully reviewed the evidence which he said consistently showed a conspiracy between Mrs. Broadhurst and Williams. He answered defense attacks on circumstantial evidence by saying that when a mass of this has been assembled, all pointing in one direction, it is more to be relied upon that direct testimony, which can be false.

Halleck’s only reference to the death penalty that the state is asking for the attractive, several-times-wed defendant came in his closing paragraph in which he quoted the Biblical injunction “whosoever sheddeth man’s blood by man shall his blood be shed.”

Gladys Broadhurst’s defense attorney argues Williams acted alone

P. J. Gallagher delivered the closing for the defense this forenoon, speaking for more than two hours. He attacked the conspiracy evidence as virtually worthless except for Williams’ testimony, which he charged resulted from a deal between the state’s key witness and the prosecutors who have it in their power to save or exact his life.

Gallagher assailed Williams as “hard, cynical and smart” on the stand, as a “sniveling drug store cowboy and a perjurer who sought to save his life by helping send the woman he married to the gas chamber.” Mrs. Broadhurst listened intently but never flinched at the frequent references to the grim death house at Salem. She was using her handkerchief when Gallagher concluded, however.

Gallagher said Williams committed the crime on his own account so he could acquire Mrs. Broadhurst, that his motives were jealousy, frustration and revenge and at the moment of firing the fatal shot, fear.

A crowded, tense court room heard the arguments but there were no crowds outside seeking admission.

Mrs. Broadhurst sentenced to life in prison

VALE – Mrs. Gladys Broadhurst was sentenced this afternoon to life imprisonment in the Oregon state penitentiary by circuit Judge M. A. Biggs.

“This not a pleasant duty for the court to perform,” Judge Biggs said. “I order that you be confined in the Oregon state penitentiary for your life.”

To an offer by the court to hear her statement, Mrs. Broadhurst replied, “I have no statement to make” in a firm voice. The widow’s eyes were swollen with tears but the managed to smile at a small cluster of spectators as she left the court chambers. The session was brief, consuming only about five minutes’ time.

Mrs. Broadhurst wore a black suit and black off-the-face hat as she heard the sentence imposed.

She will be taken to the state penitentiary at Salem as soon as it is convenient to move her, according to a decision made in a hasty conference after the court adjourned.

The life sentence was made mandatory when the jury found Mrs. Broadhurst guilty of first degree murder but recommended leniency, a verdict that in Oregon automatically forces the court to impose a life sentence.

Jurors were divided over Broadhurst’s punishment

In its story on the sentencing of Gladys Broadhurst, the Ontario Argus said it learned that while all jurors favored a verdict of first degree murder when they began deliberations, they were sharply divided over the punishment.

Five favored the death penalty on the first ballot and seven favored life imprisonment. After further discussion a second ballot showed 11 for life and only one for death. On the third ballot the 12 were unanimous,” the newspaper reported.

Broadhurst trial seen as complicated for its era

The recent murder trial of Mrs. Gladys Broadhurst may have been the most complicated criminal case in the history of the Pacific Northwest, an Argus analysis suggested.Circuit judge M.A. Biggs interpreted the law on scores of issues where his decision might be questioned.

The sixty-four dollar question concerned the defendant’s marital status. Was she actually Broadhurst’s widow or the wife of Lincoln (sic) to whom she was still married when she hitched the doctor but whom she had illegally married only two days after a previous divorce or was she the wife of her alleged hatchet-man, Alvin Lee Williams whom she married in Reno a month before the doctor’s untimely end?

Whose wife she was had a definite bearing on the admissibility of important evidence and while the judge may have figured out the answer, it is doubtful if many listeners did.Other questions involved whether to admit evidence taken without a search warrant; whether an Oregon officer remained an officer after crossing the state line; (and) what was the guilt of a conspirator if a planned crime failed to develop according to plan?

Williams also sentenced to a life term; both released before serving no more than ten years

Four days after the April 1947 sentencing of his accomplice, Alvin Lee Williams plead guilty to second degree murder and was sentenced to serve a life term in the Oregon State Penitentiary.

Malheur County District Attorney Charles Swan moved to have the court reduce the charge from first degree to second degree murder in exchange for Williams’ guilty plea.

Williams testified for the prosecution at the Vale trial of Gladys Broadhurst who was convicted of first degree murder in the death of her Willis D. Broadhurst, a retired Caldwell, Idaho, chiropractor killed in the Jordon Valley area of Malheur County Oregon. Williams said he bludgeoned and shot the victim because he was under the thrall of Mrs. Broadhurst, whom testimony indicated coveted her husband’s $200,000 estate.

Judge M. A. Biggs asked Williams if he had a statement to make before the sentencing and Williams responded “no sir.”

Oregon officials have reported subsequently that Mrs. Broadhurst served nine years of her life sentence. Private observers added, in an internet posting, that Williams was seen walking free even before Broadhurst's release although the date of his release was not specified.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Williams describes the killing of Broadhurst

As Williams sat on the witness stand described the killing of Dr. Broadhurst, the widow of the slain rancher, remained outwardly calm.

Testifying in a low monotone and seldom lifting his eyes for a look at the packed and crowded courtroom, or at his alleged partner in lust and murder, the slightly built Parma cowpuncher told details of the scheming which culminated in his waylaying and killing the prominent Oregon rancher on a highway to Jordan Valley during the early hours of October 14.

Williams claimed that at the last minute he tried not to kill the doctor but that he heard the voice of Gladys Broadhurst saying “don’t fail me…don’t fail me” and was driven to the murder.

Even after he had struck Broadhurst a crushing blow on the head he said that he repented and gave the doctor a cloth to hold over the hole in his head.

He said he wanted to flee but that Broadhurst came at him with a pocket knife. Then Williams picked up a 12 gauge shotgun (that was lying at his feet in the courtroom as he gave testimony) and fired a load of buckshot into the Caldwell Chiropractor’s chest.

Williams insisted he was carrying out the instructions given him the night before by Gladys Broadhurst.

As Williams spent a solid day on the stand, his alleged partner in crime often stared fixedly at him, but he paid no attention to her. She gave a helpless gesture as he described the killing, and she sometimes talked in an animated fashion with her lawyers.

Williams also described the preparations for the crime. He told how he and his alleged cohort obtained the murder gun and a bedroll from the home of his parents in Parma. He said that he used the bedroll to cover the body as he moved it from the highway to a place of hiding.

Gladys Broadhurst's greeting: Come to bed but first destory the evidence

The witness told of reporting back to his confederate after hiding the body the night after the killing.

“When I first got back to the Caldwell ranch I knocked at Mrs. Broadhurst’s bedroom window. She unlocked the door. As soon as I got inside, I said, ‘Well, I done it.’ She said’ Good. Come to bed.’ ”

“I said, ‘I haven’t destroyed the evidence.’ ”

“She told me to go do it and come right back.”

Williams related that he threw Dr. Broadhurst’s knife down a hill where he later helped Oregon officers find it, that he tossed away a wrench that he’d used to bludgeon the doctor at a cross road west of Caldwell, and that he burned the bed roll in which he had wrapped the body. He then returned to Mrs. Broadhurst and went to bed.

Williams explains his confession

The young man from Parma said that he confessed in court to the killing of Dr. Broadhurst because his lawyers felt that it might be helpful to his own cause. He had been told he said, “It might help to get the facts out among the people.”

He denied that any deal had been made with the prosecution and said that the only suggestion of being helped that he heard came from his own attorneys.

He said he was surprised when Mrs. Broadhurst first mentioned a “disappearance” for the doctor. But after they talked about it all the time he got used to the idea, he said, although he had tried to get Mrs. Broadhurst to run away with him instead.

Broadhurst wrote the Sweet Pea alibi note

Saturday afternoon, Stanley McDonald, handwriting expert of the Portland police department, declared that Mrs. Broadhurst had written a “sweet pea” note authorities found in her handbag, a note that attempted to establish an alibi for her and for Williams.

The note said: “Your cowboy strong arm didn’t do it, but don’t start anything or I’ll get you the same as I did the doctor. I warned you I need some cash. Sweet Pea.”

Mrs. Broadhurst suggested the note was written by a vicious twin brother of her former husband, Leslie Merle Lincoln. The twin brother proved to be mythical.

MacDonald also testified that Mrs. Broadhurst signed the name “Elaine Hamilton” to a marriage certificate issued at Reno on Sept. 17 to a woman who give that name and to Alvin Lee Williams.

A signature “Mr. and Mrs. Al Williams” at a Sacramento hotel was identified as Williams’ writing.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

They had already committed adultery so why not murder?

The young cowboy from Parma took the stand for the prosecution and described how plotting the murder began after he and Mrs. Broadhurst began living together on a trip to California. The first night of the trip they spent in the car, he said, where she asked to kiss him on the cheek because he looked like a brother of hers. She kissed him again, the second time on the mouth, and they slept together in the car.

They went on to Truckee and Lake Tahoe and spent several nights in which he went from his cabin to her tent to sleep with her because she was “afraid to sleep alone.” They lived together as man and wife staying at hotels in Sacramento and Bakersfield.

During this time as they began conspiring to kill Doctor Broadhurst. Mrs. Broadhurst told him they had already committed adultery and that it would be no worse to murder.

She described Broadhurst as “more animal than man.”

Mrs. Broadhurst and Williams were married in Reno on September 28 on the same trip and he claims she assured him that after Broadhurst had disappeared and had been declared dead they would marry again.

After their return to Caldwell, Broadhurst went on a hunting trip and they discussed Williams going later to shoot him in an apparent hunting accident and decided against such a course in favor of the one later followed.

Cowboy lover adds to his version of the plot

The prosecution brought out some new facts on the case from Mrs. Broadhurst’s accomplice during his second day of testimony.

Williams said he took a letter off Dr. Broadhurst’s body from the Senator Hotel in Sacramento which said that a “Mr. and Mrs. Al Williams” had registered there.

Williams also said Mrs. Broadhurst had complained to him the doctor was unkind to her and had occasionally locked her in a room at the ranch for indefinite periods. She also told him the doctor “didn’t want her around if she had to take a sleeping pill all the time.”

Williams stuck to his story as he went through a day of grueling cross-examination. Defense counsel tried to make him admit that he had a grudge against Dr. Broadhurst, but he refused to do it.Closely questioned about his relations with Dr. Broadhurst, he said he had been well treated and had no ill feeling toward the man he had killed.

“Why did you kill him?” defense attorney Gallagher asked.“That I don’t know,” Williams answered, speaking more clearly than usual.

He went on, “I thought that eventually she would have her freedom. She said that would be the only way she could get her freedom from the doctor.”

“Do you know how many times she has been divorced,” Gallagher snorted.Williams admitted that he was in love with Mrs. Broadhurst.

“You’d do almost anything to get her, wouldn’t you?” asked Gallagher.“Yes,” murmured Williams.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Victim’s friend describes relationship between the accused and her cowboy companion

(Taken from Ontario Argus stories from March 1947)

Relations between Mrs. Gladys Broadhurst – on trial here for the murder of her husband, Dr. Willis Broadhurst – and her alleged accomplice, Alvin Lee Williams, were described in detail by Mrs. Lola Adams of Caldwell, who lived at the Broadhurst ranch near Caldwell during the period.

Mrs. Adams said the two occupied the same bedroom, embraced affectionately and that on one occasion she found Mrs. Broadhurst seated on Williams’ lap. Asked on cross examination why she did not tell Dr. Broadhurst of these goings-on when he returned from (a hunting trip), she answered “because I didn’t want to destroy his happiness when he was trying so hard to make his marriage a success.”

Mrs. Adams said Williams was in the Broadhurst house the morning after the murder though both doors had been locked the night before and that he appeared pale, spilled his coffee at breakfast and couldn’t light a cigarette.

Mrs. Adams also told of finding, in a bureau drawer, a letter from Dr. Broadhurst to the defendant, written before their marriage sometime in the summer of 1945. The letter said in part, “In answer to your letter and your questions, I am not married and have no heirs and no descendants.”

Cowboy quoted as having a problem in bed

Mrs. Adams, who was living with the Broadhursts, testified that she complained one night in the presence of Williams and Mrs. Broadhurst about her feet getting cold during the night, at which statement Mrs. Broadhurst offered her an electric heating pad.Upon Mrs. Adams asking, “Are you sure you won’t need it?”

Williams replied, “No she won’t. She has so many covers on bed now that I can hardly turn over.”

The spectators in the courtroom shouted with laughter before order was restored by Judge Biggs.

Mrs. Adams added that the couple would leave the ranch each morning and stay away until dinner time each evening. She saw them upon several different occasions embracing one another, she said.

They told her that they had made two different trips to Jordan Valley and one day they went to Parma.

Returning home from a movie in Caldwell one night, Gladys asked me if I had seen the show ‘Leave her to Heaven,’ ” Mrs. Adams said. Upon her negative reply, Mrs. Broadhurst outlined the story briefly, and said, “Have you ever felt that for any reason you could take the life of another person?”