Christine Collins mystery solved

From the mailbag:

Mr Girardot,

Just wanted to let you know that the fate of Christine Collins has been solved.  Collins is listed in the death index under Christin Collins.  This linked her name to a Kathleen Collins in the social security death index.  Collins indicated that this was an alias she used after the high profile trial.  The time period fits and I’m fairly certain it is her.  Collins died on 12/8/1964.  There is also an interesting back story.  At one point in time, she was staying with James C. Borton in 1930.  Borton took in Collins because he and her father were members of the Knights of Pythias.  She also spent sometime in Oakland Californa in the early 1930′s, with friends they met when the family was in Hawaii.  At one point in time she took a telephone number under an assumed name as well. As it turns out, her sister, at  one point in time, was listed on a passenger manifest as visiting Hong Kong in 1930, in the midst of the events involving her son.  She is listed under race as Octoroon.  Even in my work as an Archivist, I have never come acrossed that term.  It’s a guess, but I believe that Aimee Dunne was of Chinese Origin, which I also thought was an interesting note. 
 
I’m planning on taking the research further and write a book.  I’ve spent too much time learning about this family, so I need to justify it somehow!

Best,

Chris Garmire
Archivist
California State Archives

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Grocery store head has connection to Wineville case

Another local connection  to the Christine Collins, Gordon Stewart Northcott case:

Standing nearly 7 feet tall when clad in his signature white Stetson cowboy hat and cowboy boots, Jack H. Brown was a feared and respected lawman while serving as San Bernardino County Sheriff Walter Shay’s top investigator in the 1920s.

An expert marksman, Brown was known for his ability to fire a bullet at a wooden matchstick from 30 feet away and ignite it. He was also an expert tracker, a skill he acquired from the local Indian tribes while growing up in Kingman, Ariz.

His investigative skills were of such repute that he was recruited in 1928 by Riverside County Sheriff Clem Sweeters to help bring a serial child murderer to justice.

The case, dubbed the “Wineville chicken-coop murders,” is one of the most

Jack Brown Jr., CEO of Stater Bros., wears the diamond-studded gold badge his father, a deputy sheriff, was given for his work in solving a series of murders in Riverside County in the late 1920s. (Eric Reed/Staff Photographer)

gruesome and horrific in Riverside County history in what today is Mira Loma.

With director Clint Eastwood’s film “Changeling” appearing in theaters nationwide, Stater Bros. Chairman and CEO Jack Brown Jr. reflected on the role his father played in the case.

The movie, which has grossed more than $20 million since opening in late October, tells the true story of the plight of the mother of one of the murdered boys.

Coincidentally, the younger Brown sent Eastwood’s production company, Malpaso Productions, a copy of his 16-page book “The Badge,” which chronicles his father’s role in the Northcott case, about three years ago in hopes of sparking interest in a film.

“I could see Clint Eastwood playing my dad,” Brown said.

But it wasn’t Brown’s story that would be translated to the big screen.

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Wineville murders part II; the pursuit of Gordon Stuart Northcott

This comes from an old newspaper article. It was published on Sept. 16, 1928:

Gordon Stuart Northcott, alleged to have murdered four boys on the chicken ranch of his father Cyrus Northcott, near Wineville, and his mother, Louise Northcott, today are confronted with a first degree murder charge and Canadian police and detectives are close on their trail in Vancouver.

The Murder complaint was issued from the office of District Attorney Albert Ford this morning, with Jim Quinn, district attorney investigator as the complaining witness.

HAVE STRONG CASE

Quinn believes the state has sufficient evidence to convict both Gordon Stuart Northcott and his mother of first degree murder.

He says the statement made by Sanford Clark to the Los Angeles operators, and the statement alleged to have been made by Gordon Stuart Northcott to his father Cyrus Northcott, are sufficient upon which to base a murder charge.

The physical evidence in the hands of Riverside county officers strengthens the case, Quinn statesm and proves that a human life has been taken. This evidence includes a toenail, two  

 

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