Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Thriller Thursday - Some People Just Can't Be Good, Part II

Williamsport News 17NOV1949
"Mrs. Bronsavage Faints On Stand In Murder Trial

WILKES-BARRE (AP) - Mrs. Helen E. Bronsavage of West Hazleton fainted Wednesday during her trial on charges of murdering her common-law-husband, Louis Broton.

The 39-year-old woman told the jury Broton beat her "unmercifully" the night before he died from a shotgun blast.

She related how she went to his room and saw a gun beside him.  She said he was asleep and she reached for the gun.  But then he took hold of it and it went off, killing Broton, Mrs. Bronsavage testified."

Now it sounds a bit more like Roxy Hart Chicago style drama.  

As I mentioned last Thriller Thursday, Mrs. Bronsavage is my great-uncle, Anthony Bronsavage's, wife.  I don't know exactly when they were married (not my direct line so I didn't shell out the $$ for the record, but this is all pretty interesting so I may have to do that). Sadly, I have discovered since last Thriller Thursday the court records were lost in the flood brought on in 1972 by Hurricane Agnes, and that the courts at that time didn't keep the minutes from the trials. 

So Helen is on trial for murder.  The man she murdered is referred to as her "common-law-husband".  Hmm...I'll have to check into that one since I was fairly certain that she needed to be divorced before that reference could be used.  Perhaps it was just easier than to call her a trampy chick that was sleazing about, living with another man while married...anyway, outcome of the trial:

The Gettysburg Times, 18NOV1949
"Acquit Woman in Murder Case

Wilkes-Barre, Pa., Nov. 18 (AP) - Mrs Helen Bronsavage, 39, was acquitted last night in the shot-gun slaying of her common-law husband Louis Broton, 34, in a two-room cabin on the outskirts of Freeland.

A jury of nine women and three men brought in the verdict after receiving the case from Judge Thomas M Lewis shortly after noon.

The commonwealth sought a first degree murder verdict District Attorney Leon Schwartz built the state's case largely on five statements which police claimed Mrs Bronsavage made shortly after Broton was found dead last May 1.

Broton's skull had been shattered by a blast from a shotgun which lay near him in the shack.

Mrs Bronsavage said on the witness stand that Broton beat her "unmercifully" the night before he was slain.

She said she went to Broton's room and saw a gun beside him.  She testified Broton was asleep but as she reached for the gun he awakened and took hold of the weapon."

Seriously, I'm waiting to hear Richard Gere sing, "We Both Reached For The Gun"!  I'm a bit suspicious of the number of women on the jury as well.  I mean 3/4 of the jury was women who would be more empathic to an abusive partner.  In my opinion she quite literally got away with murder.  Not saying that she wasn't abused, but she's no angel either, which I will touch on in next week's conclusion, because as the title implies, "Some people just can't be good"...and she wasn't...TO BE CONTINUED...


  1. I read the article you posted before I read your post and the first thing I thought was Chicago! How interesting!

  2. Little Betty gets her comeuppance within a year! And it won't be the sweet ending of Chicago! ;)

  3. My head was not screwed on right and I forgot to post the conclusion to this tale of a naughty lady. I will set to it ASAP so it is ready to go next Thursday!