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Adele Ritchie murder-suicide... prima donna...



Item # 640436

April 25, 1930

THE NEW YORK TIMES, April 25, 1930

* Adele Ritchie murder-suicide death
* Prima donna - comic opera singer
* Edwardian musical comedies - vaudeville


The top of the front page has a one column heading: "MRS. GUY BATES POST AND HOSTESS FOUND SHOT DEAD IN HOME" with subheads that include: "Believed Former Actress, Adele Ritchie, Killed Friend and Then Herself" (see) First report coverage on American prima donna Adele Ritchie committing suicide.
Other news, sports and advertisements of the day. Complete in 52 pages, this is the rare rag edition that was produced on very high quality newsprint, with a high percentage of cotton & linen content, allowing the issues to remain very white & sturdy into the present. Given the subscription cost, libraries & institutions rather than individuals were the primary subscribers of these high-quality editions. Nice condition.

wikipedia notes: Toward the end of the 1920s Ritchie became director of the amateur theatre group, Community Players, at Laguna Beach in Southern California. During this time she became friends with Doris Miller, a set designer at the Laguna Beach Playhouse. Miller, who was some 23 years Ritchie's junior, came from a prominent Waukegan, Illinois, family and was the former wife of Chicago dentist Dr. Clinton Foster Palmer. For a time the two were often seen together at social events involving the Laguna Beach artist colony, but this began to change when Ritchie was replaced as the group's director after clashes with some of the actors. Ritchie grew increasingly bitter over this, which only escalated after Miller received an invitation to a social event, and she did not.

The two women were observed arguing on the afternoon of August 24, 1930, and that evening their bodies were found in Miller's bungalow apartment by a friend returning a lost dog. Miller had been shot in the back, while Ritchie was shot in the mouth. From the evidence Ritchie apparently made a futile attempt to stem the flow of blood from Miller's wound before cleaning up at a bathroom sink and then ultimately taking her own life.

Category: The 20th Century

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