CONNER, Marlow - Fountain County INGenWeb Project

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CONNER, Marlow

Source: NY Daily News Sunday 19 May 1946 p 3

Madison, Wis – What Mrs. Lavera B. Conner heard through the door of Mrs. Marion Aasen she has never revealed, but “it made me wild,” and now she is facing trial on charges of third-degree manslaughter for killing her husband, Marlow Conner. Conner was 43 and had been manager of a movie theater here. Mrs. Aanson, a 32-year-old divorcee had been his assistant. Both were fired three weeks before the shooting because of their carrying on.  On the night of Washington’s birthday, Mrs. Conner drover her husband 30 blocks to Mrs. Ansen’s apartment. She knew he was having an affair with her. He was going to take the family car but his wife wanted it and that’s the reason she drove him. That was at 9 o’clock. When he had not come home at one, Mrs. Conner took the car out again and went back to the Ansen apartment. She had a gun with her. She listened at the apartment door for an hour. The conversation on the other side of the door finally aroused her to the point of opening it. Through the partly opened door she fired five shots at Conner, who was sitting on a davenport. Neighbors, awakened by the shots found Mrs. Conner and Mrs. Ansen struggling over the gun, with which Mrs. Cnner said she wanted to shoot herself. When the police got there, she was sitting on a hallway step.  “I heard so much I went wild, I didn’t mean to shoot,” she told the policemen. They took Conner’s body away, arrested Mrs. Ansen as a witness and sent Mrs. Conner to the hospital suffering from shock and a heart ailment. After a preliminary hearing which had been postponed because of Mrs. Conner’s health. A trial date was set. She pleaded not guilty and not guilty by reason of insanity at the hearing.  Her attorney then requested the court to appoint psychiatrists to examine her which will dealy the trial. Her two sons, Charles 20 an Army veteran and William, 16 attended her at the hearing. Mrs. Conner is at liberty under $2500 bail. Mrs. Ansen has been ordered tried on a morale charge but the district attorney wishing to postpone the trial, has appealed to the state’s highest court for delay.

Source: 1940s obituaries collected by Rose Marie Sutherlin provided to kbz via Betty Dotson (thanks sweetie)

Madison, Wisc – Mrs. LaVera B. Conner, brought from a hospital to face arraignment on a charge of third degree manslaughter, fainted on the arm of Mrs. Mabel Houlan, mother of her slain husband, Marlow, after two pleas of innocent had been entered on her behalf in his gunshot death in a divorcee’s apartment Saturday.  Mrs. Conner’s attorney, Darrell MacIntyre, entered pleas of innocent and innocent because of insanity at the time of the act in Superior Court before Judge Roy Proctor while Mrs. Conner stood mute, supported by the Conner’s son, Charles 20. After leaving the court room, Mrs. Conner fainted but was revived and driven away at Charles. Judge Proctor fixed bone at $2500 and set preliminary hearing for March 5. Mrs Conner was charged with killing her husband, “in the heat of passion without a design to effect death.” Police Capt. Harry L. Milsteadsaid Conner was found dead in the apartment of Mrs Marion Aasen after police had received a report of a disturbance in the apartment. Conner’s body was pierced by three shots, Milstead said. The Conner’s were reared in Covington, Ind and were married in that city. Conner’s body is to be brought to Covington for burial Wednesday, relatives said.  A sister, Mrs. EA Smith resides there. A brother (sic), Mrs. Mable Harrington resides in Chicago.

Wisconsin State Journal Thu 6 June 1946 p 1

By June Dieckman – Despite her repeated objections, Mrs. Marion E. Aasen, the “other woman” in the triangle-love slaying of Marlowe Conner was forced to testify today before a packed circuit courtroom in the third degree manslaughter trial of the dead man’s wife. Mrs. LaVera B. Conner, the 47-year-old widow on trial, stared angrily at Mrs. Aasen on the witness stand shaking her head negatively as Mrs. Aasen, a 32-year-old divorcee, testified that the wife had shot her husband as he started walking toward her calling, “Oh, Mommie.”  Mrs. Aasen, who has been charged with a morals offense as a result of Conner’s killing in her apartment, voiced her objections to testifying by reading a statement prepared by her attorney, Laurence W. Hall, who sat at the courtroom but was not permitted to act openly as counsel for her today.
“I have been advised by my lawyers that I cannot be compelled to answer to give evidence that might be used against me or tend to incriminate me,” Mrs. Aasen read from her notes. “I now personally claim my rights and privileges under the constitution of this state against answering any question, the answer to which either by itself or by a successive series of answers might be used against me. I respectfully request the court to protect me in lawful exercise of my rights in that I may fully comply with the law and at the same time to protect myself in my claim to be free from answering or giving evidence which will violate my right.  “You have properly quoted the law, “Circuit Judge Herman Sachtien agreed, “but now the law will interpret the law for you,.”  He ordered Dist. Atty Norris Maloney and the defense attorney, Darrell MacIntyre to quest Mrs. Aasen only concerning the actual “shooting scene,” and instructed Mrs. Aasen that she would be forced to answer those questions.
MacIntyre objected to the judge’s decision, asking that either the district attorney be forced to dismiss the charge against Mrs. Aasen or that the court grant her immunity.  
“I don’t know what interest Mr. MacIntyre has in her (Mrs. Aasen’s) case. She has her own attorney,” Maloney argued. “This is purely a question of law and the court can use its own discretion in ordering Mrs. Aasen to testify.”
Mrs. Aasen, neatly dressed in a grey suit and off-the-face black hat, took the witness stand and carefully answered Maloney’s and MacIntyre’s questions by reading from a typewritten sheet she carried in her purse.  She testified she opened the door of her apartment after she heard “one knock” the night of the shooting and that Mrs. Conner fired immediately on the opening of the door, just as Mr. Conner stood up from the davenport and started toward her. She said there was no night chain on the door which is contrary to a statement given the district attorney by Mrs. Conner.  “On the first shot, he (Mr. Conner) fell and then there were two more shots,” Mrs. Aasen told the jury, avoiding looking at Mrs. Conner. “She (Mrs Conner) seemed to have both hands on the gun to steady it and I grabbed her wrists.  I only tried to hold the gun and did not try to take it from her because she had her finger on the trigger.  Mrs. Conner said, “Let me have the gun. I want to commit suicide, but I didn’t want any more killing regardless of who it was. I had complete control of the direction the gun was pointing during the entire struggle with her and she never turned it on herself or on me.”
On cross-examination by MacIntyre, Mrs. Aasen repeatedly asked Judge Sachtjen if she had to answer his questions. Several times, the judge upheld Mrs. Aasen’s refusal to answer because MacIntyre’s questions referred to events before the shooting. The jury was sent from the courtroom, while MacIntyre and Maloney argued the “laws of self-incrimination.”  MacIntyre claimed that the judge was discriminating between the district attorneys and his questions by ordering her not to answer on cross-examination. “You let her step in with one foot, and then say that’s all the farther I’m going,” MacIntyre charged the judge. Sachtjen refused to grant the defense attorney “any more leeway and recalled the jury.”
Mrs. Aasen denied that she had called Mrs. Conner a “mental case.” I might have thought that, but I’m positive I never stomped my foot and said that t o her as you claim,” she declared. Four other witnesses were called by the DA this morning as he prepared to close the state’s case early this afternoon. They were MD Bragee, Wisconsin district manage rof the Warner Bros. theaters; Dr. Lester McGary, pathologist at Madison General hospital; Policewoman Hilda Clark and Walter A. Lipke, Madison funeral director who had Mr. Conner’s Funeral. Brazee testified that he had been called last July by Mrs. Conner who told him that her husband and Mrs. Aasen were “having an affair.” At that time, both the husband and Mrs. Aasen denied any relationship, he said. Shortly before last Christmas, he said Mr. Conner called him and confessed having had sexual relations with Mrs. Aasen. He said the former manager of the Capitol theater was in a “jealous rage because he had learned Mrs. Aasen manger of the Majestic theater was associating with other men. Mrs. Aasen was immediately dismissed, he said. Because Mr. Conner had been their employee for 13 years he was given a change to resign which he did in January, Brazee told the jury.
Dr. McGary testified that the first shot fired struck Mr. Conner in the back, traveled through the chest severing the aorta artery which caused death “almost instantaneously.”  He said in his opinion, Mr. Conner had been standing with his back to the door in a crouched position as if ducking a blow, when that shot was fired. Two later shots struck him in the buttocks, Dr. McGary told the jurors. Lipke testified Mr. Conner’s body was fully clothed except for a suit coat when he obtained it at the death scene. Mrs. Clark who was to be cross-examined this afternoon by MacIntyre, told the court that Mrs. Conner related to her and the district attorney the night of the shooting that she had overhead her husband talking about sexual perversion in Mrs. Aasen’s apartment.  Mrs. Conner’s statement, read Wednesday afternoon by Maloney and his secretary, Mrs. Georgia Meyers, revealed that the 47-year-old widow believed there was an intimate relationship between her husband and Mrs. Aasen but that she refused to give him up because she “never believed he loved her (Mrs. Aasen).”
“If you’re happy with her, that’s all I need to know. I’ll get a divorce or kill myself. If you’re not, I’ll fight for you to the last,” Mrs. Conner’s statement said she told her husband.  He wouldn’t say a word. He neer answered whether he loved her or me .. I love Martle (Mrs. Conner’s pet name for her husband) more than my own life and every so often he’d ask me never to leave him,” the widow’s statement continued.  The statement revealed that Mrs. Conner had contacted Darrell MacIntyre, her present counsel in January to start a divorce action against her husband but that MacIntyre advised her to go home and work out your troubles. After that, Mrs. Conner said her husband stayed away from Mrs. Aasen for two weeks. “You see, he is fair, he is good,” she wept the night he was killed.  On the death night, Mrs. Conner said she rode with him to a corner near Mrs. Aasen’s apartment where he kissed her and got out of the car. She said she knew he was going to the Aasen’s apartment but tought that it was to be a “final breakup meeting between the two. She said she asked for the car that night and many other nights because she was afraid Martle would go away in it.
When her husband failed to return home by 12:30 a.m. she said she drove to Mrs. Aasen’s apartment, listened at the door and heard things which made her go wild, went to her car to get a loaded automatic pistol which she had purchased two days earlier to take on a trip, and returned to the door of Mrs. Aasen’s apartment. “At first I just heard whipersing but I recognized Martle’s voice,” Mrs. Conner said in her statement give the district attorney. “I stood at the door long enough to hear more .. then I knocked twice before she (Mrs. Aasen) opened the door the length of the chain (night chain).  I don’t remember seeing his face, but I knew it was Martle. I recognized his shirt and tie. The gun was aimed at where he was sitting on the davenport. He didn’t get up because he was sitting.  “I just pulled the trigger. I don’t know how to aim. All I know is that I just shot. It’s the only time I ever had a gun in my hand except at a carnival. I did it just as fast as I could I don’t know how many shot there were in the gun. I thought there would be one left for me.  “I didn’t want to kill her (Mrs. Aasen). He was the one who wronged me. I didn’t want to shoot her, because that wouldn’t accomplish what I wanted. I wanted only to kill myself, too.  If Martle was going, I wanted to go. “Nobody spoke when I shot.  She (Mrs. Aasen) just screamed and took the door chain and grabbed for the gun. We wrestled in the kitchen and back out in the hall.  I knew I had done wrong and started yelling for help!”  Mrs. Conner’s statement was broken consistently by court reporter’s notations that she was crying. When Maloney attempted to learn what she had heard at the door of Mrs. Aasen’s apartment which made her “go wild,” Mrs. Conner repeatedly answered that she would not tell anybody unless she was sure her husband was dead, “because it was so rotten.”  Maloney did not inform Mrs. Conner that her husband was dead until about two hours after he started questioning her the night of the shooting, the statement revealed. She then told the district attorney that she heard her husband talking about “unnatural sexual relations.” When she learned her husband was dead, Mrs. Conner cried, “My God what have I done? What will God do to her? She knows what she’s done to him!”
Heat today started to be a big factor in circuit court as Mrs. LaVera B. Conner’s third degree manslaughter trial moved into its fourth day.

Source: Wisconsin Sate Journal Tue 10 Spet 1946 p 1

Mrs. LaVera Conner, Madison woman serving a two-year-term in the Wisconsin Prison for Women for the passion-slaying of her husband, will be taken from the prison at Taycheedah to a Madison hospital in October for medical treatment it was revealed today – lots of other articles about this sad situation but did not type them all.  Newspapers. Com has many  -- kbz (Whew, wild story)

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