Mrs. Clarice Nelson Booth, A Beautiful Murderer

Finding off census year documents is an exhilarating experience, especially if you have an ancestor the died during the 9 years between a census.  On the same note, one rarely expects to find a potentially sordid account of things that their ancestor did.  A search of the Library of Congress' Chronicling America Newspaper Database yielded a colorful account of a trial in Lake Providence, LA that was printed in The Daily Book, a newspaper published in Chicago, IL.

The February 8, 1913 issue contains the story Mrs. Clarice Nelson Booth who was alleged to have "nearly blown the head off of" her husband, Dr. James Fleet Booth on January 23, 1913.  Judge Francis Xavier Ransdell (listed as FI; brother of US Senator Joseph Eugene Ransdell), presided over the trial.  Mr. Booth was alleged to be an abuser who "forced" Mrs. Nelson to marry him only weeks after his first wife had passed away.  The jury ended up convicting the second Mrs. Nelson of manslaughter although Judge Ransdell requested a first degree murder conviction.

For a glimpse into the whole affair, please visit this link

A previous printing of the story, from January 30, 1913, can be found here.


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