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Tuesday, December 27, 2011

[CA] 1948. Temple City Sheriff's Deputy Eggers was executed for the murder of his wife Dorothy

Dorothy Rosmond Eggers

Temple City Sheriff's Deputy Arthur Eggers changed his story enough that nothing he says or tells us about Dorothy Rosmond Eggers is worth believing. I've tried to find anything personal about Dorothy written by others. I wasn't successful.

EGGERS ADMITS HE SLEW WIFE: Coast Sheriff's Deputy
The Milwaukee Journal
Jan 27, 1946
Los  Angeles.  Calif. - Arthur Eggers. 52. has signed a confession admitting the slaying of his wife. Dorothy. 42... The woman's   nude, headless and handless body was found near a mountain highway East Jan. 2... Sheriff Eugene Biscailuz, accompanied by several deputies and [Capt. Gordon] Bowers, left Saturday night with Eggers to renew a search for the missing parts of the body... Eggers, a sheriff's deputy in near-by Temple City for 22 years, was arrested last Tuesday. A charge of suspicion of murder was then filed against him, but he had steadfastly denied any knowledge of the woman's death. He reported his wife missing Jan. 2„ the day her torso was found in a ravine near the Rim of the World highway, east of San Bernardino.

CALIFORNIAN DEPUTY SHERIFF IS HELD IN MUTILATION SLAYING OF HIS WIFE, The Niagara Falls Gazette, Wednesday, January 23, 1946, Page 22
(More at above link)

Oct. 3, 1947.
[Excerpts] Arthur R. Eggers has been convicted of the crime of murder of the first degree and sentenced to death. The proceedings to be reviewed include not only the trial upon the merits, but also the hearing in regard to the issue presented by his plea of not guilty by reason of insanity and the motion for a new trial... the jury found that Eggers was sane at the time of the commission of the crime. The judgment is challenged upon four grounds... The judgment and the order denying a new trial are affirmed...  [Full article here]

Arthur Eggers, who was convicted of killing his wife, Dorothy, because of her alleged promiscuity, is executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin Prison. He probably would have gotten away with the crime had the investigators not received a few lucky breaks...

Los Angeles County, California Death Certificate Transcription
Dorothy Rosmond Eggers d. 1/1/1946
Female Cauc. b. 3/23/1903 ND
Age: 42 yrs 9mos 9dys
Residence/Deathplace: 202 N Rosemead Blvd, Temple City, Los Angeles County, California
SS# unknown
Lived in community 10 years and state 23 years
Occupation: Housewife
Married Spouse: Arthur Eggers, 52 years of age
Father. Percy David Lee, England
Mother. Mary Couch, Buffalo, NY
Burial: 8/5/1946 Valhalla Cemetery
Funeral Director: Mater & Simone, 2814 N Broadway, Los Angeles
Cause: Gunshot wound of the heart
Other condition: Post-mortem desmemberment of body
Coroner Investigation
Homicide 1/1/1946 Temple City, Los Angeles County, CA; @ home as above

The Casebook of Forensic Detection

By Colin Evans

[First published in 1949 as a criminology/sexology textbook for law enforcement personnel]
[Excerpts] ...Two of Arthur Eggers’ friends – Robert Z. Jones, a retired deputy sheriff, and John C. Rotchford, his attorney – visited Eggers in jail on the morning of January 26. Jones told Eggers during their visit, “Art, I believe you are guilty. I believe you will have a better chance if you confess. Get it off your chest and lay it on the line.” Eggers waited a beat and then replied, “All right, I did it.” Deputy D.A. Barnes and Captain Gordon Bowers, chief of the sheriff’s bureau of investigation, were immediately brought in to take down Eggers’ confession, in which he said: "I killed her at 1 a.m. December 30. I was coming home from work and..."  The next day Eggers changed his story again and stated: "It all happened on Friday, December 28, about 9 o’clock at night. Dorothy told me she was going to leave me for a man named Bob..."  His new story wasn’t believed either... The Evening Herald and Express published an article by de River on February 12 in which the “noted psychiatrist and Los Angeles Police Department alienist” applied the technique of “depth psychology” to analyze the face of Eggers... Eggers’ murder trial began on May 5, 1946. He entered a double plea of not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity, and a jury of ten women... Eggers took the witness stand on May 21 and offered yet another story of his wife’s murder... Eggers resigned from his job in a letter to Sheriff Biscailuz on May 29, and the jury found him guilty of first-degree murder on May 30. A trial to judge Eggers’ sanity started shortly afterward with a new jury of eleven women and one man... It was also reported by the newspaper that Eggers’ sister testified during the sanity hearing about “how their father, Frederick Eggers, former Sheriff of San Francisco County, had hallucinations that the late Gov. Friend Richardson was about to appoint him Warden of San Quentin Prison. Eggers leaped to his feet and shouted, ‘Let his spirit rest...The witness then told how Arthur had suffered several bad falls as a child, one of them leaving him unconscious for seven or eight hours.” The new jury found Eggers sane on June 28. On July 10, 1946, Eggers was sentenced to die in San Quentin’s gas chamber. Eggers told reporters as he was being led away from the courtroom, “Someday, somewhere, she’ll show up and make fools of all the prosecutors. She’s probably waiting to hear what happens to me and is probably laughing at my predicament.” After his appeals and a rejected appeal for clemency by Governor Earl Warren, Eggers received a stay of execution on February 5, 1948, less than one hour before his planned execution.... After a new series of stays, reprieves and sanity hearings, Eggers was executed on October 15, 1948...

Volume XV, No.  41
October 10,1962
[Excerpts] ...Most of the condemned individuals were known to [former warden of San Quentin prison, Clinton] Duffy — known, as we discover from the tone of his text, without negative bias and without maudlin sympathy.  Particularly effective are the author's arguments that "the deterrent theory" of the threat of death for capital crime does not work.  A good example is Duffy's account of one Arthur Eggers, who killed his wife while serving as a deputy sheriff.  Eggers had seen several men condemned to death.  After Duffy had gotten to know Eggers well, he asked him the crucial question.  The conversation began:
"Arthur," I said, "what in the world ever made you think you could get away with this?  You must have known that anyone who commits murder, even a cop, might end up here."
"I didn't think about it until after it was all over," he said.
"Why didn't the possibility of the gas chamber stop you from grabbing the gun in the first place?" I asked.
"That wouldn't stop anyone if he was mad enough," Eggers said.  "And I blew my top completely.  I caught my wife cheating, and I was going to kill her so she could never cheat again.  I didn't have another thought."
"Including the gas chamber?"
"The gas chamber!" Eggers spat the words contemptuously as he looked through the bars of his cell.  Then he said, "Why hell, warden, the gas chamber does only one thing—it kills people.  But I'll bet it never prevented a murder.  I used to believe in capital punishment because I figured if a guy killed a cop, for example, he ought to be executed to keep other guys from killing cops.  But it doesn't work that way.  Gas chamber or no gas chamber, guys will always be killing cops.  People will always he killing people.  You can't control anger, or passion, or greed, or jealousy, or fright, and that's what causes most murders.  Only crackpots and the state kill in cold blood.  Everybody else has a reason."
"Are you sorry you killed your wife?" I asked.
"Sure I'm sorry," he said, "I loved her."
"Would you kill her again under the same circumstances, even if you knew you'd go to the gas chamber for it?"
Eggers looked earnestly at me.
"Warden," he said, "the gas chamber would have nothing to do with it"...
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  1. she was my great aunt and a good women

    1. Thank you for commenting and anything you want to say about her is okay. I'm so sorry that anyone has to lose someone through violence but there is some statement for life in trying to be sure they are not forgotten. Dorothy is remembered


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