Rablen, Carroll

Murder victim
Late deafened by a German shell that exploded in his dugout while he was serving in France during World War I. Postwar, returned home to Standard, CA. Married, but it lasted less than a year in part because she could not stand his domineering father. Lonely, he began writing to women whose names he bought from a marriage agency. After many nonresponses and other disappointments, he finally found one woman, Eva Young (hearing) who had also been married before and had an 11 year old son. They met and married despite his father's and the community's intense disapproval and dislike. She very much enjoyed attending weekly dances in another town a few miles away, although Carroll Rablen did not participate due to his deafness. Instead, he would sit outside in the car, waiting for the dance to end to take her home. It is likely that he also didn't trust other men to take her home, since they had an eye for her and she for them too. On one such night, Eva brought sandwiches and coffee out to Carroll in the car. Soon after, he was noticed writhing with agony in his car seat, and he died before anyone could help, but not before complaining of bitterness in the coffee. Suspicion immediately fell on Eva for poisoning Carroll, but an autopsy showed no poison in Carroll's stomach and no other evidence strong enough to charge her with his death. Suicide could not be ruled out either, since Carroll had been in depression several times before and had talked about committing suicide. A preliminary inquest into Carroll's death brought a huge crowd of spectators, forcing the judge to hold it outdoors since no available room was large enough. The local sheriff then secretly brought in an expert forensic investigator, and the two of them working together finally built an intricate chain of proof, establishing Eva's guilt in poisoning Carroll. Confronted with the evidence, Eva confessed, eliminating the need for a trial, and was sentenced to life in prison without possibility of parole or commutation.
Deaf Target, p.23-48.
?-26 April 1929