On the evening of Sunday, September 29, 1929, the Bennetts were losing to the Hoffmans late in the evening. The breaking point occurred when John declared
While John packed, Myrtle grabbed his .32 Colt automatic from a bedroom dresser and fired four shots, killing him. The subsequent investigation led to a charge of first-degree murder.
The trial made national headlines. Bridge was a sensation at the time, and the beautiful young housewife was an incredible scandal. Myrtle and her prominent attorney James A. Reed both wept dramatically while addressing the judge and jury. The defense argued that the shooting was an accident, that the couple struggled over the gun before it discharged.
After 8 hours of deliberation, the jury declared Myrtle Bennett innocent of murder. It has been argued that Myrtle's good looks and tearful state swayed the jury into making a serious mistake. It probably did not help public opinion that Myrtle thereafter qualified for a $30,000 life insurance payout.
In later years Myrtle continued to play bridge, without any further notable incidents. She passed away in 1992 at the age of 97.
|Charles Hofman||4||Mayme Hofman|
As the story goes, John Bennett opened
Charles Hofman began by leading the
1 Gary M. Pomerantz (2009). The Devil's Tickets.
"Nobody but a bum would hit a woman."
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