Fact or Fiction: A Mostly-True Crime History Podcast

Fact or Fiction Author Series presents Kimberly Tilley

February 07, 2023 MaxMin Labs, LLC Season 3 Episode 5
Fact or Fiction Author Series presents Kimberly Tilley
Fact or Fiction: A Mostly-True Crime History Podcast
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Fact or Fiction: A Mostly-True Crime History Podcast
Fact or Fiction Author Series presents Kimberly Tilley
Feb 07, 2023 Season 3 Episode 5
MaxMin Labs, LLC

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On Christmas Eve of 1900, someone got away with murder. Frank Richardson, wealthy business owner and family man, was shot as he entered his home. Although many people may have wanted him dead, the crime has remained unsolved to this day. Kimberly Tilley, author of Has it Come to This? The Mysterious, Unsolved Murder of Frank Richardson tells us the mostly-true story about Frank Richardson and his murder. She inserts one fiction into this unbelievable story. Try to identify what she made up, but be warned: it's not easy to know if something is fact or fiction.

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Images and resources used in this episode can be found at factorfictionpodcast.com. If you enjoyed this show, please support the pod by giving it a five star rating, writing a complimentary review, or joining the Fact or Fiction Fan Club. Thanks for listening!

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On Christmas Eve of 1900, someone got away with murder. Frank Richardson, wealthy business owner and family man, was shot as he entered his home. Although many people may have wanted him dead, the crime has remained unsolved to this day. Kimberly Tilley, author of Has it Come to This? The Mysterious, Unsolved Murder of Frank Richardson tells us the mostly-true story about Frank Richardson and his murder. She inserts one fiction into this unbelievable story. Try to identify what she made up, but be warned: it's not easy to know if something is fact or fiction.

Support the Show.

Images and resources used in this episode can be found at factorfictionpodcast.com. If you enjoyed this show, please support the pod by giving it a five star rating, writing a complimentary review, or joining the Fact or Fiction Fan Club. Thanks for listening!

Somebody got away with murder on Christmas Eve of 1900 in Savannah, Missouri.

 Frank Richardson, a wealthy merchant who had repented of his wayward past and was determined to make the most of the second chance he was given was shot dead in his home.

His killer had vanished, but investigators were determined to find and punish the murderer. The evidence they discovered exposed Frank's secret life to the world and scandalized the residence of Savannah. Of all the clues they found, none was more fascinating than Frank's enigmatic Last words that he uttered the moment before he was shot, has it come to this suspicion fell at once on Frank's former Paramore, Goldie Whitehead, his charming wife, Addie and Stuart Fife, the suave young clerk of whom he was known to be insanely jealous.

The world may never know who killed Frank Richardson. But in today's show, we will unearth what we know about the crime. I'm your host, Laura, and today I'm back with another installment at the Fact or fiction author series, where a published author shares a little about herself and her book, and then she tells me a mostly true story and challenges me to guess the fiction she inserted into our discussion.

Today's guest, Kimberly Tilley, is the author of four highly rated historical true crime books, and she's here today to discuss what she's uncovered about the fascinating cold case she researched for her book. Has it Come to this, the mysterious, unsolved murder of Frank Richardson. As always, on this show, Kimberly will infuse her factual story with one fictional detail.

Will, I guess the fiction, will you? Listen carefully because it's tricky to know, like what you hear is fact or fiction ready to play? 

Hi Kimberly. Welcome to Factor of Fiction. I'm so excited to have you here today.

Hi. Thank you so much for having me. I'm so excited to be here.

Well, I'm thrilled to have you. I think this story is amazing. And then you've also written some other books. Can you tell me about them?

Sure. I wrote my first book in 2019. It was published in 2019. It was called The Poisoned Glass, and it was about murder of a young girl. She was 17 in Patterson, New Jersey, and her name was Jenny Bo Sheer. And The scandal in that book had to do with the people who murdered her. Shortly after her body was found, they arrested four men in town and they were wealthy, high status, well-known pillars of the community, kind of men.

And it was amazing that they had had murdered this young girl so viciously. And she was a, a poor girl. She worked at a mill. So that was my first book. And then my second book is called Cold Heart, and it had to do with the murder of Ed Burdick in 1903. He was a wealthy man and he kind of, You know, brought himself up by the bootstraps and all of that hard worker and really nice guy, really beloved in the community.

And someone murdered him in his own den while his family was asleep upstairs. And there was very mysterious crime scene. And then once he was murdered, all these things started to come out about his personal life, about how he and his wife were estranged and he had forced her to leave the home and their children.

And big scandal there. And then this book is, has it Come to this? And then my fourth book is coming out in March of this year on March 30th. It's called Grievous Deeds.

oh, grieves. Okay.

Yeah, very excited about that

 Maybe you can come back and talk about that story too.

I would love to .

 Obviously you write true crime and historic and that's what you're interested in. Anything else you wanna share with us about yourself?

Sure. I co-founded a business three years ago called Pivot Discovery. I'm a career coach and I, I do a lot of coaching to help people figure out what their aptitude is in life. You know, what they really enjoy doing. There's lots of assessments and things, and we use them, but a lot of times it's just about having these conversations and helping pull people through the process and helping them discover, you know, like the times in their lives that they were really doing the things that they enjoy doing, the things that they're passionate about and what they really like to do.

And so sometimes that involves a career switch. . A lot of times it does, and other times it's just about looking at the work that they do right now differently and doing it differently. And it's amazing just watching the transformations in people. So I really enjoy doing that too, and that's kind of the work that I do with people versus like, writing is pretty solitary, right?


is very solitary and, if you're dealing with all this true crime stuff, it can be a little disappointing because those people are not that great a lot of times that you're dealing with.

A lot of times not, and I really focus on turn of the century, like 1900 era. And I think in our popular culture, we believe people were like really good around that time. And we just have this idea that human nature became corrupted maybe like in the sixties or seventies or eighties or something.

And that's really not true. People have always just been people. Crimes are usually committed for the same kinds of reasons, you know, for love or money or hatred or something like that. And it's just really interesting because I love the turn of the century and how different things were then, when the world's just kind of collided, like the, the old world in the modern world.

And that's so interesting to me. So those, those are kind of the areas where I focus.

Yeah. Well, I love that era too, but I love that you're looking at some of the darker episodes that happened in the past, and then you're making a positive difference for people today

Oh, you know, I never thought of it like that, but that that actually, that's a really great analogy there. I love

 I think that's really neat.

 So I wanna talk about what drew you to Frank. I mean, obviously you mentioned you liked turn of the Century crimes. This happened then, but what was it that initially interested you in Frank Richardson's story and then his, his murder?

Well, I would say part of it is that I like small towns and how sometimes the craziest things have happened in small towns, and and people in small towns a lot of times have big secrets, right?

And they all know each other. So a lot of times there's a lot of characters who kind of know something about this story, but you wouldn't suspect it until you actually really dug into the details. So that's part of it. And then I also Liked the story because Frank was not what you would call a lovable character.

He wasn't at all faultless and . It was more like, oh, that, yeah, that guy had to come in. Like, who, who would've done it though, is the question ? Cause he had a lot of enemies. But I think what interested me in him specifically was that I think he was really trying to turn his life around. He was at this point a major personal change.

And, and that interested me too because I have a lot of, I have a lot of sympathy for people who are trying to turn things around.

 I can absolutely see that. So tell me about Frank and Addie and their life you know, from the start, if you can.

Sure. Yeah. Frank was born in Virginia, and lived there until he was a young man. He was part of a family. They have farms and stuff, and they were well to do, but not wealthy. He had a brother who was extremely influential in his life and kind of pulled him along through life and protected him and looked out for him and gave him jobs and things like that.

And one of the jobs that he gave Frank was to manage a cattle ranch that he acquired in Texas. and that's where he met Addie. Cuz Addie grew up in Texas and she was like a real Texan woman too. Very independent, a charming kind of person, she could ride horses and shoot, and people really liked her.

 One of her sisters married somebody who had some political connections. So she had hired some Polish through that connection and she lived with them for a few years, but she was quite a bit younger than him. .

They got married, she was 17 and he was 30. So , I don't wanna say it's like a power differential, but he was an adult. And she wasn't. So there was, there was some differences there.

So that actually wasn't that unusual then at that time period. Was it?

No, not at all. And I wanna say her father was a little bit hesitant about it, but it was more because she hadn't known him very long, but he did get married and he was supportive of that. They got married in 1886 and they lived in Texas for almost 10 years after that. And they had three sons together and I think the first 10 years or so of their lives together were, were happy, but, But also they were out in the middle of nowhere in Texas and there weren't a lot of places for Frank to get into the kind of trouble that he later got into when he was like closer to the city and other people .

 They spent the first part of their lives together in Texas and then they moved up to Savannah Missouri because Frank's brother that was so influential in his life was in St. Joseph about 65 miles north of Kansas City But Savannah even still is, is a smaller town.


Yeah. , it's kind of in an isolated area, but not isolated enough to where Frank didn't have a lot of acquaintances and friends and things that he could do that eventually started to create problems in their marriage.

Right. So, so places to get in trouble. Now, when they were in Texas, was there any indication that he had any inclination towards that behavior.

I think there was always some inclination that he liked to drink, 


 There wasn't too much indication about other things. But , I would say the main problems in their marriage had to do with infidelity. They had to do with jealousy. He was extremely jealous of his wife.

He thought everybody was trying to steal his wife away. And maybe they were, we don't know. 

 But you said he was actually guilty of infidelity,. 

He was the person who like we know for sure was unfaithful. Like it, I mean, it could have been her too, but there's not a lot of evidence to suggest that she ever was. There were some stories which we can talk about when we

get there, but, He, he thought everybody was after his wife and for that reason, he didn't have a ton of friends.

 There were men he would drink with and then, , I wanna say like one good friend and his brother. But most men, he was extremely jealous of because he always thought that they were trying to get to his wife. And I, I think that that was a lot of his psychology around that was why he didn't have a lot of friends was because he was like, well, why do you want to come to my house?

Why do you wanna go out? Are you just hoping my wife will be there? Kind of thing. and it's, it was really kind of money. But it probably had to do with her being a lot younger. She was attractive. Like I said, she had some polish because she had, , spent time , in Houston and that was a big city and, , I think she was an attractive person.

 It almost sounds like an abusive spouse where , they just want their partner to be isolated from everybody else.

I don't know that it was like physically abusive, like he would've hit her or anything like that.

But emotionally abusive and mentally abusive for sure. He would frequently, and like this seems crazy even now, but like he would frequently accuse his wife of having affairs with people in front of other people., and he would really embarrass her because she's just, trying to go about her life and she's getting these accusations and and if you think about the time being so much more conservative too, like even now, I think people would be like a little bit taken aback if they heard something like that.

And back then things were a lot more buttoned up, you know what I mean? 

. And especially if they're in that , upper level of society too. I, I would, yeah. So, so this is, I, I assume this is mostly what their life was like in Savannah. What else did they do while they were there? Surely it wasn't just him. Drinking and being jealous. Tell me about their life in Savannah.

Well, I think, I think they managed to squeeze in a few other things, but that was a big part of it. . But they, they moved to Savannah cuz some of his family had settled there. They had mostly left Virginia. And they have followed his brother. His brother was like the center of their family and he was a business genius.

So he was already a millionaire even then, which was really impressive. They moved there and Frank decided he wanted to open a mercantile. . And his brother set him up, and recommended a business partner to him.

And they bought this, this big rambling house in, in Savannah, which is still there.

And, um, yeah, like all the, all the buildings, all the things where these things happened in Savannah are still there.

Oh wow. That's kind of neat.

Yeah, the city or the town, I'm not sure what, what it would be classified as, but it's a, it's a really interesting place and their history is really alive there, I would say.

You know, it's like part of them. So I love that. And they bought this, this big house there, and they had it was a five bedroom house and they had the three sons. So each of the three sons had their own room, and then they hired two girls as like servants or domestics. One was a cook named Bassie.

And then her sister Minnie was like a maid. And they shared a room. So the fifth bedroom, you would think that, you know, Frank and Addie would've been in that bedroom, but there were two parlor areas downstairs, and they converted one of them into a bedroom because of Frank's drinking.

Right. Because he couldn't, he couldn't stumble up the stairs every night,

Oh, he was really a drinker.

Yeah, yeah. Like frequently Addie would have to go to the store and then help walk him home, cuz he couldn't walk. When he would get that drunk, he was like blackout drunk every night.

And I, I have this image that he's a big guy. Is that right?

He was a big guy and she was a petite woman. So I think like physically that was very hard on her. And then also she wants to shield the children from their father and his drunken rages. And he would shout at her about, having these affairs and things like that.

And of course she doesn't want her children to hear it, but she also doesn't want them to think that about her,

you know? 

Yeah. So how, how old are their children at this? Like, let's say in 1900 when this murder happened, how old would they

 They were, they were like seven, nine, and 12 I think were their ages. And they were pretty independent, you know, like the way that little boys would be, especially like in a small town.

So they were allowed to go out and, you know, play around. And I know that they had a shotgun in their house, like a rural family would. Guns are more part of, of the culture, like in, in more rural areas.

So that was normal. But the, the sons had quite a bit of freedom and they were really fond of their mother and, and of their father

Oh, so they did the, the drunken rages, didn't , they still liked their dad. 

That they did. Like, I'm not really sure about The oldest son, so much, but I think the middle son was at the age where after this murder happened, I think he remembered his dad really well. And strangely enough, their oldest son was named after Frank's influential brother, but the middle son was named Frank Junior after his father.

And I think he had like more of a, a closeness to his father. He was really a tragic figure. I feel like his dad's murder was like a seed in him that that grew and it was really tragic.

Oh yeah. I'm sure it would be. , it seems like the older two are definitely at an age where they would remember what happened and, the fallout after the murder .

What else was going on with Frank? You mentioned infidelity. Was that something that happened in Savannah?

Yes. So like I said, Frank didn't have a lot of friends because of him feeling so jealous like everybody was after his wife. He did have, one good friend named George who was a farmer nearby, and George would kind of tolerate his drinking and would drink a little bit with him. Nobody drank like Frank drank, but like he would drink a little bit with him.

And then George's brother-in-law, Charlie. Okay. So those two were , his only real friends.


They were both significantly younger than him, but they both kind of came into play because at some point Frank met another man named Frank. Okay. So this other man named Frank was like a, I don't know if like his profession was a pimp, but he was a pimp, right?

So he introduced Frank Richardson, the subject of the book. He introduced him to this, this girl named Goldie Whitehead. And she was, she was 17 years old and at the time, Frank was 43.



not cool.

not cool at all.

am married with three kids,

married with three. and Goldie was, I think Goldie knew exactly what she was doing though.

Goldie didn't seem to be like a fragile type or anything like that. And I don't think she realized how much money he had at first, but she realized it later. So he had an affair with her and it didn't last very long cuz he got bored with her pretty quickly.

Right. But she lived wanna say it was like a couple hours away by like carriage or horseback, but she lived on a farm so she wasn't close by, but he could manage to go and see her sometimes and then it fizzled pretty quickly. But she immediately started to blackmail him.

of course she did. 


Now was, was Frank the pimp involved in the blackmail too then, 

Mm-hmm. , he was also blackmailing Frank. So together? They were or separately.

I think that they were working together, but they were both in it for themselves, right? , so the pimp would go to Frank and say, Hey, you know what? I think Goldie might say something if she doesn't have some money. And at the same time, Goldie would go to his friend Charlie and be like, you know, I think I might say something if I don't get money.

And so they, they would have to pay them both out, right? They were both blackmailing him 

So Charlie knew about it too. His friend Charlie.

Charlie knew about it. George knew about it because Frank, when he would drink, he would just blurt everything out, you know? And that's kind of how Addie found out. So Frank was very careful in some ways.

Like, for instance, one of the odd things about the Richardson family was, They were wealthy from the store. They were wealthy from Addie's family. She came from a very wealthy family. And then Frank's brother was a millionaire and he was always kind of looking out for him. So they had money coming in from all these different places, and yet they didn't have a telephone in their house.

So most people didn't have telephones in their house in 1900. They use the phone constantly. And I'm not sure if that had to do with like their trust issues or whatever, but Frank worked at , their store, their mercantile. And it was only a few blocks away, but for whatever reason, ADI found the need to call him multiple times every day.

And because they didn't have a telephone, she would go to her neighbor's house. So they had a neighbor who was a doctor and they had a phone in their house. And she would just show up multiple times a day. Could I use the phone, could I call Frank? And that was one of the things that struck me right away is being really weird about this situation because why couldn't they just put a phone in their house?

And I always thought it was probably so he wouldn't get, like, maybe Goldie wouldn't call him at home and be like, oh, he's not home. Let me talk to you then so I, I kind of think that that might have been the reason why they didn't have the phone. But Frank you know, that was kind of what he was trying to do was like hide some of his lifestyle choices from his wife, I guess you could say.

People who drink don't hide secrets very well.

They don't, and that's how it came out. His drinking was causing a lot of problems. Like I said, they would call his wife sometimes and say , you have to come walk him home. Or one of the people that he was very jealous about was Stuart Fife, who comes up quite a bit later, but he was convinced this was his business partner's son and he worked at the store and there was no way Frank could fire him because it was the co-owners son.

 And he would fight with Stewart, he would yell at him. He would accuse him, and he would insist that he knew that he was having an affair with Addie. And that was kind of one of the things that was happening with Frank that was a big subplot, I guess, in their marriage, was like Frank's suspicion of Stewart.

And Stewart was a little bit younger than Addie, but there was less difference between his age and Addie's age than there was between Frank's age and Addie's age. , 

how old was Stewart 

what I wanna say was, like, in his mid twenties, he was like 26 or

 I don't really actually think that Stewart was after Addie. I think he kind of like enjoyed hanging out with her and maybe flirting with her a little bit. But it wasn't anything like this torrid love affair that Frank was imagining was happening, ? And so all of these things were happening at the same time that Frank was trying to hide this affair with Goldie.

But he finally, because all these things were crumbling, he, he started to lose money with the store. , there were some financial problems that were starting to happen. He was getting drunk a lot. He was accusing his wife in public, he was trying to attack his business partner's son. You could see him kind of starting to disintegrate, right?

 But is why didn't she just leave him? You said her family had money. You know, it sounds like a miserable situation.

 I agree with you . Cause I think it was really, it sounds awful and I don't know why she didn't leave. Maybe the social stigma of divorce was a lot worse in 1900. Right? , I think only 2% of of women ever got divorced at that era.

 It could have been something about her own social position. It could have been something about her sons and not wanting to. Make them feel ashamed or, or separate them from their father, 

but basically, going back to your question about how Addie found out, it was, there were all these pressures that were starting to come down on Frank, you know, and everywhere he looked, things were crumbling and it all related back to his drinking and his jealousy. But he finally decided he was gonna just end it with Goldie, you

know, and he, he was bored with her.

He got bored with her really quickly. And she was blackmailing him . But when the business started to suffer a little bit, he didn't have money anymore. He was getting sick of being blackmailed . And he was afraid to face Goldie himself. So he told Charlie go give her this last payment and then we're done.

Tell her, tell her that's it. We can't do anymore. And so that's what they said. But Goldie threatened him and she said, you know what? I'm gonna go over to his house and I'm gonna shoot him in the head with my pistol. And it really scared Frank when he heard about it. And so he got drunk and he went home and he was like, Ugh, this woman I'm having an affair with.

And he just blurted the whole thing out to his wife. And so his wife found out from Frank. He told her, , you asked why she didn't leave. I think that was a little bit too much even for her, for whatever reason she'd been trying to salvage things after he told her that, she said, you know, I'd advise you to fix that, but by the way, the boys and I are leaving tomorrow morning.

We're going to Texas. And she didn't give him a return date or anything like that. , she was just like, done with you? 

She did leave him then.

she did leave? Yeah. She went



you kinda feel like that. Cause it's like, how much more are you gonna just sit there and take from him, you know? But , she did leave.

She went to Texas and I think right around then, I feel like Frank hit the bottom right around then, you know?

When she left it was like, oh, now what do I have left? , like now his business is failing. He's just kind of known as the town drunk. He's trying to fight with this guy who's like half of his age and a 17 year old and her pimp are blackmailing him like anywhere you look like there's not a lot of like bright spots for Frank at that point.

And to his credit, and , this is where I start to have sympathy with Frank, cuz people make mistakes. He made a lot of mistakes. . But I felt some sympathy for him because I think he just looked in the mirror and. And he'd messed up everything. And he knew it. You know, he had these three beautiful sons. He had a beautiful wife, and he had this store. Everything had been given to him. And, and then he had just laid it all to ruin.

And so I think that he had this revelation at that point, like, well, I'm either gonna fix this now, or I'm probably not gonna be here in a couple of years. The writing was on the wall. And so when his wife left him, he decided to go.

It was like kind of an early rehab. Called the Keely Cure. 

Can you tell me about it?

Sure. Was, A program like a rehab where they would go and stay there and they had activities and they would teach them about living a more clean life, but they also, the Keeley Cure was different because they would inject people with these little solutions.

And the solutions had gold chloride in them, I think is what it's called. I have zero knowledge of science, so I'm probably messing this up a little bit, . But it was some solution that had gold in it and they would inject them with it a couple times a day and that was part of the cure. And so while he was there, this was in, I think it was in St.

Joseph where he did this cure, but he wrote Addie this beautiful letter and he. Basically said that he had ruined things with her and it was his fault. It wasn't her fault. And he had accused her of these terrible things. And it, it was just torturous to him to remember all the things that he had done to her and said to her and how he had heard her and embarrassed her and all of these things.

And it was a really beautiful letter. And I have to give credit to my friend, Furman for this because I initially had that, letter at the very end of the book.

And Furman read it and he said, Kimberly , you need to put that letter when he wrote it, not at the end where other people learn about it. Because I didn't care about Frank at all until I read that letter. And then when I read the letter, , I actually cared about what happened to him. Cuz it was a really beautiful letter and you could read how tortured he was by things.

 And she read it and kind of had that reaction and it convinced her to go back to him. So this was in December of 1900 and. . She and the boys returned to Savannah around the same time that Frank did from this Keely Cure, and they all reunited and it was the Christmas season of 1900 and he really seemed determined to turn it all around.

Like he spoke nicely to her. He was attentive to his sons. He'd stop drinking entirely, very industrious. He would go to the store in the morning and work hard all day. And at this point, you kind of feel like, okay, you know what? You really trying, you were in a awful situation that you made, right?

But you tried to turn it around. And so at this point you asked me at the very beginning, what made me interested in Frank. I think it was because of this. I think it was because. , everybody makes mistakes, but he was really trying to turn it around

 And he wanted things to be right and he wanted to have a happy life and he wanted to salvage it and he was trying his best.

And so , that's why I was interested in him. And that was the lead up to the murder. This is where they were when the murder happened.

So it's a Christmas season. They've just reunited everything's fine. Right. I assume like


living a clean life. Okay. Wow. Alright. Well, so, so now I get that. I do feel a little more sympathy for this man. And, I guess maybe if he had that side to him, I guess I can appreciate why Addie would come back to him

 Cuz love makes people do crazy things anyway. But then I'm assuming he wasn't always a drunk and he wasn't always abusive. 

Probably like he was back when they lived in Texas, before he had access to all these things that he hadn't been able to resist . That was probably how she knew him for the first 10 years that they were together. And then he was trying to return to that, you know, and he was older and wiser, but she came back and she kept the letter.

So we have the letter, the letters in the book and the letter kind of touches you,

 Just from you describing it, it's touching me. So yeah. I'm hoping that's not a fiction. I know.

So , everything seems fine. It's Christmas Eve tell me what it was like , that evening when the 

 It was a really nice day. And they were a busy family, they had like the three boys, there're at an active age. They had friends coming in and out and Frank's friend George came over and had dinner with them. And the girls that lived with them that were the servants Bessie and Minnie, they were having dinner in the kitchen I think Bessie's Bow was there.

And they were you know, there were just a lot of people and it was like an exciting night. And they actually had big plans for the evening, the kids were gonna be in a Christmas play at their church. But one thing that struck me as really funny about Savannah was there was apparently a need for Frank to open his store on Christmas Eve, and there were enough people coming in and out, even though it's Christmas, even this little small town, they actually had a lot of employees working and stuff, , and a lot of people are at the church.

Everybody's just out and about all the

well now, so that's interesting. So this is family history, but my dad, every Christmas Eve he would, take us and we'd go shopping for my mom's Christmas present at the last minute. So maybe that's a, you know, my dad grew up in a small town in Missouri too, so maybe that's a small town thing.

Maybe it's that was one thing that I always thought was kind of funny. I was like, , you're the owner of the store and like, do you really need all these people working? But apparently he did. Your dad might have not been the only person who did this, last minute Christmas popping,

 So the boys were gonna do something at church. Frank was working. Where was Addie at this point?

So Addie was at home and she was gonna go to the Christmas show and she said she was gonna go with this woman who lived in the neighborhood that was , kind of new slightly, . And then the plan was for the boys, Addie and Frank all to meet at the Mercantile.

And then they were gonna go to this big concert that was at the concert place in Savannah. So Savannah was just like a hop in town, you know, like there was a lot happening there.

like it. Yeah.

Yeah. There was a big show that night and everybody in town was gonna be there. And it started at nine o'clock, I think that night.

So right after dinner, , the boys leave and they're going to church. And I believe that Bessie and Minnie, the girls that worked for them, I think that they also went to the church. And Addie was gonna follow. And apparently she told Frank and George before they left for the mercantile, that she was gonna meet with her friend and they were gonna walk down there, but 

 She was very slow to leave the house. And then when she finally did leave the house, she stopped, and I don't know, like the church was only like maybe a seven or eight minute walk away, but she got maybe like three minutes walk away. And then she went back to the house. she said I forgot my broach.

And she went to her neighbor's house because she has to call Frank all the time to tell him any kind of slight deviation in her plan. So she called first. At, sometime after seven. And she said, George left his gloves here and she ended up speaking to one of the clerks that was working.

They're like, okay, well, we'll let 'em know. And then the next thing was that she left. She started to the church and then she went back and then she went back again to the neighbor's house and she said, I had a that because I forgot my broach, but I'm coming. I'm still gonna go to the church and then I'll meet you at the store.

And can you imagine how annoying this would've, would've been for the

I know, I,

coming over

I think I would've paid to install a phone in their house.

I always thought like, when I would like read about this, I'm like, how many times was she there? But this was constant, I guess it was an everyday thing, but she called in again and she said, you know I left my broach at home and I was afraid somebody would steal it, so I had to go back and get it.

That seems really strange.

Yeah, everybody was gone from the house and unless break-ins are the normal thing in this little country town, you know? It didn't seem like it, but that was what she said. It was specific that somebody might steal the broach if she didn't go back. But she said, now I'm gonna go.

But then she didn't go. She said she got dressed, she put on her hat and her coat, and then she realized , oh, I forgot to decorate the Christmas tree. So she, yeah, , those are the kinds of things where it makes you kind of suspicious of her because they just seem so random.

Like why would your broach get stolen? And you just now realize at , eight o'clock on Christmas Eve that you forgot to decorate the tree


just stuff like that. She said she worked on the tree for a while and then she got tired and so she sat down, but she's still wearing her hat and her coat.

And it was dark by then, of course, and she said, but I always like to sit in the room with like the lamp, just not quite off, but it's almost off, you know? It looks dark from the outside, but I can still see a little bit inside. So she had all these little weird quirks. Meanwhile back at the store, Frank is working, he's in a great mood, you know, he feels like everything's coming together and he's excited about the concert that night. And then the two youngest boys run into the store and, they're excited to see him. He is, oh, how is the concert?

How is the play? And they're talking with him and he said is your mother on her way? And they're like, oh, we don't know. And he's like, well, she was at church, right? And they were like, no. And so this changes everything. And Frank, immediately, his demeanor totally changes because whether he's going to rehab or not, he's a jealous guy.

And. any kind of, and especially like the way she would check in with him and he thought she was at church. That was the last information that she gave him. And , he pulls his middle son, Frank, junior to the side, and he's questioning, what do you mean she was, are you sure she wasn't a church? And then he first tries to get this little boy to go back to their house to find his mother and little boy's like, no, it's cold and he doesn't wanna do it.

And he's squirming trying to get out of it. His father's like, you know, I'm gonna go myself. And people are like, you're going out Frank, ? It's almost time to leave for this concert, but he wants to go home and find his wife. People who were at the store that night were really surprised by how quickly and how thoroughly his demeanor changed at that moment when he found out his wife had not been at church.

and he just kind of ran out into the night and that was the last time they saw him, but he left the boys at the store, because the plan was still for them to go to this concert. And his oldest son, I guess, had gone ahead to save seats for the family.

That makes sense. 

yeah, he was there and then Frank just went running off into the night, and then that was the last time people saw him in Savannah

So I am, I'm listening to your story and there've been about 15 things that I think would fit for the fiction that you made, . A lot of this just sounds unbelievable. So it's around nine o'clock, I guess, when he leaves the store .

It was like eight 50 ish. I really tried to figure out the exact minute timing because it matters as far as , who could have been there, who could have been going by . So I spent a lot of time on it, but it sounded like maybe a five or six minute , area of time where they might have been at the house and when he ran back to his own home from his store?

And you said that was like a seven minute walk, is that right? From the store,

Yeah. I have like a little map and like walking distances and timing in the book because everybody walked there because, well first they didn't have cars or anything, but secondly, just because the town is not super large and from their home to the mercantile and their home to the church.

all of these things are in the same little area. So trying to figure out where people were at the time was really important to understand the walking distances.

It sounds like it. So, so he rushes out into , the cold weather, and he goes to their house and then what? I assume he encounters her sitting in the darkened room. Partially darkened room. 

Well, so that's a great question.


what happens is he goes running into his house and the house looked dark from the outside, I guess, because Addie has , this little idiosyncrasy about sitting in mostly dark rooms, but not totally dark, but it looked dark from the outside.


 He, he runs into the house through the front door.

And you remember that the room is on the ground floor.


bedrooms in the ground floor, 

yes. And so she said that she heard him coming and she thought he was with his friend George. She's like, I heard him drive up. And the thing was that Frank actually ran up to the house, she always insisted that she heard somebody drive up to the house, but she said, I heard somebody drive up and I heard Frank come in.

So she's sitting in this bedroom off to the side, but right by the hall where he walked in. And she said he ran it and she heard him say, really angrily has it come to this,

Oh, okay. I didn't know how to say that in the intro, but, okay. So has it come to this? 

Yeah. He was really mad. And then as soon as she heard him say it, she hears this crack and it's a pistol and somebody shot him and she hears him fall. and she goes out into the hall and she just finds Frank there. And she said she pulled him and pulled him partway into their bedroom.

But his head was kind of resting on the doorsill. And from this point on, everything is so strange. The way that she was acting, like when she was telling people about it, when they started to come over, she said she thought he had committed suicide or that he was pretending to commit suicide.

And I guess when Frank was really drunk, he would often threaten to commit suicide, but it just seemed like a weird, conclusion for her to leap to. And she also told people that as soon as she heard him enter the house, she turned off the light. She said well, I wanted to jump out of the darkness and just scare 'em and be like, boo 

and this was her plan. And , I'm just thinking about this and this is just me, right? But she was supposed to be at the store, and if I was really late for something and I didn't show up and then, you know, my husband or whoever came to my house to get me, I would think that me leaping out of the darkness to scare him wouldn't make things better.

Right? , we think that that would , make the tension worse. But that was her plan. She wanted to leap out of the darkness and scare him and she thought it would be really funny. And so she sat there in the dark and then when she heard him yell, has it come to this? Then she went out to try to find him and she heard him say that, and she, she went onto the hall, she pulled him in and she's like, are you sick? What's going on in knees? Not answering? 

Didn't realize he'd been shot 

you thought maybe he might have committed suicide or maybe he was sick.

This, this, this was the explanation she was giving people at the time, and it all sounds really fishy.

It does. It really, really, truly does.

So of course they don't have a telephone, and there's not, there's not such a thing as 9 1 1 back then, or she couldn't call an ambulance, ? So she runs back over to her neighbor's house and her neighbor had like locked the door or whatever, and she's pounding on the door, and she said Ugh. You know, so she gets up, she lets Addie in, and Addie says, Frank is dead.

And her neighbor's said no, no, he is not, , I don't know what's wrong, but your husband's not dead. Trust me. Addie says I know Frank is dead, so her neighbor's said all right, I'm gonna call somebody. and you go home and you stay with him because if he's really sick, if he's been hurt, you need to stay with him.

 Calm him down and, comfort him And this is really odd too, because the neighbor was the doctor's wife, so you would assume she knew like some stuff about medical



But she calls the hardware store, that was the phone call that she makes and she said Hey, I think Frank's been hurt.

 I guess her intent was to have people come from the hardware store, maybe pick him up if he had fallen or or whatever she thought that they would do. So she does that and people from the hardware store said, we're on our way. We'll come and help. And then she goes out in the street and starts flagging people down who were happened to be passing, 

and she's like, Hey, something's wrong at the Richardsons. You should go in there. So all these people from all over town, end up walking into the crime scene.


And I guess this is another reason why I like things that happened back then too, because now everything would be prescribed and taped off forensically.

But you couldn't do that back then because there was nobody to do it and you couldn't call an ambulance. And there was like one constable for the town, and I think it was, I don't know if it was this night off or what, but he wasn't available. 

Well, it's Christmas Eve,

Yeah. Yeah, he was celebrating. When people started to come in, they realized , Frank's been shot in the head, and the way that he had been shot was from behind on the right and then it was sort of at the base of his skull from the right, and then the bullet lodged right over his left eye.

So it couldn't be suicide?

it definitely couldn't be. But when she heard the gunshot and she was like, oh, maybe he's either committed suicide or pretended to commit suicide as a joke.

As a joke? 

It was another thing that she thought, , what was her life like? That that would've been a funny thing to do on Christmas Eve?

Maybe she scared him to death. Maybe she jumped out and said Boo, 

I don't know. But all these people came over and back then there was no place to take him really. So he was just laying there. And then all these people, there were dozens of people in the house, just passers by neighbors, people who just happen to, oh, what's going on over there?

. So people were just in the house. and the little boys, their sons were not their oldest son who was still at that concert, but their little boys, Frank Jr. Got a weird feeling. He was sitting there and he saw somebody come up and whisper to his dad's business partner, and he saw, people kinda like look over at them real quick and he picked up that something was wrong and so he and his little brother run out at the moment when the men can least likely catch them and they run home and they get across the street and they're walking and then they know something's wrong.

And the little boy, the littlest one Howell starts to cry and. , Frank Jr's, sees the doctor on the porch. And so they know something's wrong, but they don't know what, and somehow somebody intercepted them and took them to the neighbor's house. So they didn't actually have to see that.

But the people who were looking at the scene start to notice all kinds of weird things, for one thing Hadie said that Frank was in the hall and she repeated this story dozens of times. Like she turned off the light, she was gonna say boo and scare him. And then she heard the gun and she thought maybe he committed suicide or pretended to, and then she dragged him part way into the room and she couldn't wake him up.

So she screamed and went to the neighbor's house. That was the story. And She told it so many times that night, and she was really particular about his last words. , has it come to this? Which I could understand because I think if you have something that's that traumatic that happens, those words would just burn into your brain.

 You would never be able to forget them. And I, I believe that's what he said and how he said it, , but they couldn't find a gun anywhere. There was no trace of anybody who did it. And when they were talking with Addie, they looked around and they found Frank's hat that he was wearing when he left the store.

And the cigar, he was smoking, were in the bedroom on the floor.


They weren't in the hall.


like, I dragged him partway into the bedroom, by his feet. So just his head was resting in the hall, but that still doesn't explain why his hat or his cigar would be in the bedroom on the

at all.

 It was almost like he had been in the bedroom.


do you think maybe he had been there and he was leaving and then

It could be that. Could be. I hadn't really thought about whether he'd been there and was like leaving, but I think he did make it into the bedroom.


think she would've known that because that's where she was sitting

oh so now she heard somebody drive up. Could anybody corroborate that?

for a long time and nobody could say anything about that. And then much later somebody came forward with a story and it was one of the neighbors who's considered to be a pretty trustworthy person. But I almost wondered. because it was so much later when she came up with it, I wondered if it would've been suggested to her and then it became something that she thought she remembered.

 Like the way false confessions sometimes work, it's like you just think that that happened. But at the time, nobody could corroborate this. And there was somebody who was walking outside and heard the gunshot. It was one of their neighbors. And he waited for a few minutes cuz it was weird to hear a gunshot in their neighborhood.

And he looked around and he saw nothing and he heard nothing. But Addie said that she pulled him into the room, she talked to him, shook at him, and then she ran out and she screamed from her house all the way across the street to the neighbor's house. This guy was standing out there for a while and he didn't hear anything.

I mean, he didn't stand out there forever, but it was a few minutes.


That's odd, right? So like there were a few things that didn't match up.


all these people came over, Addie wanted to see him, but it was immediately obvious that there was nothing that could be done. 

It killed him instantly. 


So there were a lot of questions about this and people I think felt right away, a little bit suspicious about Addie for one thing, she was a different kind of person than people in Savannah. I think she was such a, a, a Texan kind of person, she was so independent and, most of the people that she was friends with and was around were small town ladies.

And she just had different experiences in life and I think that they were a little bit more conservative and she was vivacious and sometimes flirtatious with Stuart Fife and I. , we just saw her as a different kind of person. So this weird story comes out and her explanation of it is so bizarre that I think that they were just a little bit suspicious of her right away.

So she was never left alone that night, and there's no murder weapon. So if she did it , because that was immediate question. It would be like with any spouse, right? So if she did it, where's the gun? And nobody could find the gun. Even somebody, and one of the reasons I'm really sure that people were a little bit suspicious is somebody actually helped her undress that night, which was supposedly just taking care of her.

But I think they were trying to see like, does she have the gun

Absolutely. Yeah. That, wow.

So, but she didn't, she had no gun on her.

But there are some other suspects here, right? There are other people who had a motive to kill Frank. And Addie's motive would only be in my mind that she just was done with him. She wanted out of this awful marriage. But was there another motive for Addie? I mean, I, I don't, tell me about some of the suspects and then also, whoa, wait.

Before we do that, why do you think he said, has it come to this?

so great question One I thought about quite a bit. I always thought, like I, I thought about like if it's this person, what would he say? If it's that person, what would he


And what I came up with was the only person that he would say, has it come to this would be somebody that he knew and say that he trusted.

That sounds to me like somebody's betrayed you. If you walk in and it's a stranger, you're like, what are you doing in my bedroom pointing a gun at me? Or something like that. Like that's what you say.

But if he said if it was Addie that did it, why would she say that's what he said. 


then why would she say she was gonna, , scare him by turn out the lights and jumping out 

 I have puzzled over that one a million times cause that just sounds so weird especially just because if he was already angry, that's like the last thing you really wanna do is 


scare somebody. No.

right. So back to like, who were the suspects and how closely did they investigate these people? 

Okay, so three suspects emerged. They immediately. Just disregarded. Some people, like, they never really considered, whether it was say one of the servants or maybe the oldest son or Charlie or, George, like, none of those people were ever even considered. And it could have been because all of those people were known to them, you know, but they immediately land on three people.

It was either Addie, Stewart, or Goldie. . Those were the three people that they thought Yeah. Could have been any one of those. That's all possible. So maybe, right. They investigate all of them. Addie, for what it's worth, Was convinced that Goldie did it because you could kind of see why she would be, especially if she didn't do it and she had nothing to do with it, that would be where her mind would go.

. And she knew Charlie was the go-between cuz. Frank just blurted that out to her too, I guess so she had talked with George and she said, I wanna talk to Charlie. And Charlie came over and she said, I want you to call Goldie because if you remember, Goldie lived a few hours away by carriage or horseback. 

There wasn't a direct train. And she knew that if Goldie had done it, she didn't have enough time to be back. She still would be traveling.


was really urgent about it . And he didn't wanna do it. And he kept , pushing back and George was like, just do it.

Who cares? She's distraught. , Charlie said, well, she's not the kind of person who would do that. And

She threatened to do it multiple times.

yeah, , and the way it was done, even so anyway that was what she had said and Addie knew it because Frank had come home and told her.

. Finally Charlie promised us to call and then he didn't. So he told her he would and he didn't. So there's really no way to know if she was at home or not. But the police briefly and very briefly investigated her and they immediately came to the conclusion that she didn't do it, but they didn't really release any details about why they were so sure it wasn't her.


did have a motive. And from the things that she said, I think she had a pistol or a gun or at least access to one. 

 Especially if she lived on a farm . I'm sure she had access to a gun. But she did have the motive, right, because he was cutting off the money. Right. So that's a, that's a big reason why people get murdered is over money things.

Right. And she'd threatened to shoot him.

And she was really angry at him, . So there was a few things going on here,

Now what about Frank, the pimp? Did they investigate him?

they didn't really investigate him. And he was a traveling salesman, I guess that was a stay job. And they were just kind of like couldn't have been him. He was somewhere else, or at least he said he was somewhere else. It could have been him, but 

Yeah. Okay. And who's investigating this? Just the town 

the town police and, and I feel like investigate is a really strong word for what they did. They didn't really show up on the night of the murder. It was people who were living in the neighborhood who were like, Hey, maybe we should go investigate around the house and look around.

And then the police were asking them afterwards. What did you see ? Finally the head of the police came over later, but he mostly just kind of talked to Addie and left. And he really, he wasn't hands-on. It's nothing you'd see on forensic files these days.

. It was pretty, pretty low-key investigation. I don't know that the police really thought it was Addie, but I think most people in town did. And the other main suspect was, Because they knew Frank had very publicly threatened Stewart. He had shouted at him in the streets. He had shoved him. There was definitely bad feeling between Stewart and Frank and they were both men, 

 And Addie's this petite little thing. She's married to the victim, ? So I think the police were more inclined to suspect Stewart and the town was more inclined to suspect Addie.



. Here's, here's what I think though. One thing that was pretty clear to me was Frank was shot in the back of the head and he yelled, has it come to this? And he was angry. It seems to me he was talking to one person and shot by another.

Oh, oh,

Right. Because if somebody's holding a gun on you, usually you don't turn around and walk away in like a, you know, really dramatic manner. Like usually don't turn back on them.

right. Ooh, wow. Okay.

I always felt like there were two people involved, no matter which two, it could have been Goldie and the bi. Maybe it's Goldie and Charlie, maybe it's Addie and Charlie, who knows. But it was,

ooh, Addie and Charlie. Ooh,

could have been,

This is, this is getting juicy. So, They dismissed goalie. They said she was innocent. They only looked at Stewart. And Addie and I kind of know a little bit about this from like kind of glancing through the book, but they did put Addie on trial.

they did, but not before. A very scandalous report came out. So Bessie, the one of the servants that lived with them gave some salacious interviews with people about Addie's behavior. So she was talking about what would happen when Frank would go out of town on business or whatever he was doing . Betsy said when Frank was away, these men would come over, different men would come over and they would call on Addie and yeah, this is what she said. She said that , their bedroom was on this ground floor and they had their bedroom furniture in there, but they also have like a sofa and stuff.

So occasionally, when people are over, Frank and Addie would just be hanging out in their bedroom talking with somebody. It sounds really strange cuz they did have a formal parlor too, where they could do that. But sometimes they were in their bedroom and , this Bessie said that Addie would go into their bedroom with a man.

She would turn out the lights, lock the door, and she accused George. I think Charlie, there were two other men, Anne. , she said all of these men would come over at different times, like different times when Frank would be away and Addie would be in the bedroom with the lights out, or maybe just like really dimly lid or whatever she liked to do in there.

But she said that that was something that she would do and she would be in her bedroom alone with them, with the door locked. And this really shredded Addie's reputation, ? Because I think it would anyway, even now, but especially then, and people are like, maybe she does have many motives for wanting to get rid of him, that was why I think the town turned against her.

She was different from, I think a lot of the people there. But then that story started to come out and Bessie would talk, , and she would circulate these stories. And everybody heard them. And I think that that really started to change the perception of Addie. So she was indicted and they put her on trial?

Oh, okay. So what happened at at the trial? 

One of the first things that happened was that you know, the night of the murder, she said she was gonna go to church with her friend that was, , lived in town they brought that woman up on the stand and she said I hadn't even talked to her in a while.

, we didn't have plans to go out.

Oh, so Addie is lying.

She was lying for sure. And then she somebody else testified that they saw George Crowley Frank's good friend

walk into the house with her at 8:00 PM

Now he had been there for supper, right?

Get been there for supper left with Frank. Frank went to the store and then George went wherever. But apparently somebody testified that they saw George walking into the house with Addie at eight.

So there were a few things that people started to bring up where it wasn't necessarily proof that she had done something wrong, but it was proof that not everything she was saying was true. And so then the question became, why was Frank so surprised? that she hadn't been at church because apparently the second time she called from the neighbor's house, the neighbor would listen to

Said, the conversation.

And Addie said, you know, I, I came home and I forgot my broach. But I guess she, didn't think she could make it to church, but then she was gonna go to the store and she was gonna meet with them and everything was gonna be fine. And then , why was he so surprised she wasn't at church if she had just called and told him that she had gone back home for the broach?

So there were stories where it just didn't make sense. And then this wagon, nobody else had seen it. She said she went screaming from the house and the neighbor didn't see her or hear anything like that. And he was standing outside looking cuz he heard the gunshot. There

were a few things where you could see she wasn't telling the truth about some things or, or maybe it was like trauma and she was mistaken

It would be traumatic, 

it would be traumatic. But then Addie changed her story about what Frank said, and she said actually, now that I'm thinking about it, he didn't say, has it come to this? He said, come to, and he was coming in and he was really happy. And he was saying , come to like, let's go to the concert.

Come to the concert add. And it was a totally different story than she had told dozens of her neighbors multiple times on the night of the murder. So that wasn't a small discrepancy. That was a big discrepancy.

It sure is but she was acquitted, correct? 

She was acquitted. Yeah. They didn't have a lot of hard evidence on her, they had evidence, , she lied about this and lied about that. 

But it seemed like the state put on a really weak case and they didn't seem to point out the things that mattered the most and. , they started to imply, well then maybe it was just Stewart and he just did it for love of Addie. He wanted to be with her , and he thought he would just shoot Frank and get him out of the way.

 It didn't seem to make sense. Cuz Stewart, you know, like he might have enjoyed flirting with Addie, but , he had a bunch of girls

Oh, okay.

yeah, he , , he was busy. And his, his whole alibi though was that he was, he drank as much as Frank did almost. and he didn't really remember where he was, but he kind of spent all night on the main town square.

And he was really iffy about where he had been. And he knew he had passed out at the club for a while and he didn't have a really strong alibi, but it just didn't seem like he did it , and people saw him at the wrong times, like where he would've had to be running or at the house.

And they just didn't have a strong case against him. But 

oh, I forgot a key detail. The gun was found about five weeks after the murder.

The gun was found. Ooh, okay. All right. And he had a gun, like that gun,

he used to have a gun, like that gun, and he said it had gotten stolen in July, but he didn't report it until the murder. Right. And then he was like, oh yeah, I did have a gun like that. 

 That sounds suspicious. 

It was, it was pretty suspicious. But he was not a good suspect in so many ways it just didn't seem like he really cared a lot about Addie , at least in my opinion, .

It just didn't seem like he cared that much about her. He just seemed to be this guy, living his wild single life . And I don't think that they had a really good case against him. But the, the whole case against Addie was like, either she murdered Frank to be with Stewart or Stuart murdered Frank to be with Addie, but they were both in on it.

And the whole thing was tied to that reasoning. But if you untie it to that reasoning, there's plenty of reasons why Addie might have wanted

Get rid of Frank.


So, all right. So no one was ever found guilty of this.

He didn't find anybody guilty 

. Frank didn't make solving his murder easy

all I'm really sure about is that I am, if I had to bet money on it, I would say two people had to be involved because he was looking at and talking to somebody and somebody else shot him from behind. The one important part too is that the, the trajectory of the bullet was from the base of his right skull.

So it was either somebody who was much smaller than him.


It could be either Goldy or Addie, or it was somebody crouched down, but he was looking and talking to somebody else.

Ooh, man,


one. Well, so all of the story is just almost unbelievable. Before we started recording, I said something about fiction and you're like, oh no, I don't write fiction, but why would you need to make anything? I mean, this is so crazy,

I really, you know, cuz I, I know that I needed to, to weave in a fictional detail and I was really having trouble with it cuz I was like, that sounds kind of bland compared to some of the things that did

That actually did happen. Right. Well, you know what, I think it's time to play our game, but before you give me my four choices, we're gonna pause for a word from our sponsor and then we'll be right back.

All right. Welcome back listeners. I'm here with true crime author Kimberly Tilly, who is discussing her book.

Has it come to this? Kimberly just shared a crazy but mostly true story and now she's agreed to give me four details from that story, one of which is her own invention. All right, Kimberly? Let's see how I do




the first one is that according to Bessie, the lights were out in the bedroom and the door was locked when Addie would have these visitors over


The second one is that the Richardson. Did not, and never had a phone while they lived in Savannah, despite all the phone calls they needed to make, multiple times every day.

Okay. So you made that up, is that what you're saying? That's possibly the fiction. That's something you made.

That's, that's possibly the fiction.

That they didn't have a phone. Okay.


All right.

The third one is that the reason that they had a bedroom on the ground floor was because Frank would drink so much, he couldn't walk up the stairs at night.

Ooh, man. Okay. and the fourth one.

And the fourth one was that Addie forgot to decorate the tree until the night of Christmas Eve.

 Oh, wow. You made this, this is really tricky. I'm not sure. .

 so the idea that they had the bedroom on the ground floor , because Frank drank so much, actually makes a lot of sense to me.

So I'm gonna say that one is actually true. That Addie forgot to decorate the tree. I don't know. The Bessie story. That, that really was her story. I'm gonna say that that really was her story.


And so now I'm down to They didn't have a phone or they really did have a phone. Okay.

Did they have a phone? And then you ruled out, I think the other ones the tree, the locked door, and then why their bedroom was on the ground floor.

 No, I haven't ruled out the tree. I'm still trying to decide between the phone and the tree. It's silly for them not to have the phone. It doesn't make any sense.

Yeah. But they were a little unusual, family in some ways.

Yeah, I don't why, who would forget to decorate the tree? And you said it's an excuse. I'm gonna say that's the one you made up. I think. I think they actually did have a phone because that's ridiculous. Not to

no the reason that they, they actually never gave a reason for why they had the bedroom on the ground floor.

Oh, that's the one you made up.

I have no idea if it was because Frank was too drunk to walk up the stairs. But I was like, yeah, he probably injured himself if he did. You know? So that was the one I made up.

Oh, , so they, they truly did not have a phone,

They didn't have a phone

 She really was going next door to the neighbors. .

multiple times every day.

And then one of her excuses was that she forgot to decorate the tree at Christmas.

That was what she said. And yeah, that was a weird detail, but it was, something that was in the records.

Wow. That's nuts. This is a crazy story. 

 Yeah. This has been so much fun and hopefully you'll come back.

What was your book called? The new one that's coming

the new one is called grievous Deeds


and it is it's about four years of Fury in Chattanooga, Tennessee. It's a different kind of book for me, but. I'm so excited about it. One thing I wanna quickly drop in if I can.

 I do hear from people occasionally, I have a website and my website has a discussion page for each of my books. So a lot of times people will just like write down their theories there and I love hearing from people. So if people wanna do that, they absolutely can visit. My website is called old spirituals.com.

Okay. I will, would it be all right if I put a link to that on my, 

Do, yeah. I love hearing from people.

I love it. Great. Well, thank you so much and I hope we'll talk again.

yes. I, it was great to talk to, 

 I'm excited to read your book, 

Thank you.

this is a crazy story,

Thank you Laura. It was really great to talk with you. I hope we'll talk again

Okay. I hope we will too. Bye Kimberly.