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Fascinating True Stories from the Flip Side of History

Monthly Archives: July 2017

Her First Husband Was Still Alive

Just twelve days after the wedding between Ann Ross Birdwell and Jack Marshall, the couple received word that Jack’s nephew Gene was alive and was about to be released from a prisoner-of-war camp in Japan.

The problem was that Gene was not only Jack’s nephew, but he was also Ann’s first husband. After receiving word the previous October that her husband had been killed on a flight over Borneo, she decided to marry her late-husband’s uncle. Now she was in quite a pickle.

Eights days after receiving the news – on September 7, 1945 – the newlyweds had their marriage annulled by a judge in Kansas City. Ann was once again the legal wife of her first husband Staff Sergeant Gene D. Birdwell

Staff Sergeant Gene D. Birdwell
Staff Sergeant Gene D. Birdwell awaiting a physical at the Letterman Hospital in San Francisco. Image is on sale on E-Bay. Click on image to see full listing.
 

Sees Dead Husband on Movie Screen

The marriage between Bobette and Joseph Griffin was annulled by Superior Court Judge John C. Lewe on November 20, 1936 in Chicago. The couple had married back in July and split up two weeks later on August 1st, shortly after leaving a movie theater in Washington, DC.

One would think that they must have had a big fight or something similar, but it was nothing like that. While watching the movie “The Great Ziegfeld,” Bobbette was shocked to see her first husband Thomas W. Murray up on the screen. They had married in New York in 1929 and separated in 1931.

“In 1933 the papers carried his name as one of the killed in the Los Angeles quake.” Bobbette continued, “I was shocked. I called Murray in Hollywood. I left Washington that night.”

After the annulment, she planned to divorce her first husband and then remarry Mr. Griffin “If he still wants me.”

The Great Ziegfeld
Movie Poster for The Great Ziegfeld. A check of the Internet Movie Database does not show any credit for Thomas W. Murray. He could have been an uncredited extra or worked under an assumed name.
 

Thought His First Wife Was Dead

Back in 1915, Albert F. Rudesheim married Miss Julia Mocska in Schenectady, New York. Their marriage was a happy one, but after the birth of their second child, Julia suffered a mental breakdown. She was committed to a mental institution in Utica, NY.

Albert opted to head west and landed in Denver, Colorado. While there, he learned through his brother that his wife had passed away, which was confirmed by a newspaper clipping.

In 1924, Albert was married once again to Miss Marie Delores Hertzog. Together, the couple had a baby boy.

Then, in 1928, his mother, who was on her deathbed at the time, revealed that his first wife was still alive.

On October 4, 1929, Albert filed papers to annul his second marriage so that he could take care of his first wife and their two children, now aged 10 and 13.

Of course, one can’t help but wonder why he didn’t stay and care for Julia and the two children the first time. Seems a bit suspicious to me…

Marriage Annulled
 

Le Mars Trilogy: Part 2 – Farmers in Revolt

Useless Information Podcast
The Great Depression was an awful time for farmers in Iowa. It culminated with the near hanging of a judge in Le Mars. It just happens that the farm involved was owned by the T.M. Zink estate, the same man who left his savings for the establishment of a womanless library. Continue Reading