Linda Burfield Hazzard
was the first doctor in the United States to earn a medical degree as
a "fasting specialist." Fasting had heretofore been considered a quack
medical cure, popular with "health faddists" of the time. In 1908 she
published a book, Fasting For The Cure Of Disease, promoting fasting
as a cure for virtually every ailment, including cancer.
She created a "sanitarium", Wilderness Heights, in
Olalla, Washington, where in-patients fasted for days, weeks or
months, with a diet of small amounts of tomato and asparagus soup and
little else. While some patients survived and publicly sang her
praises, more than 40 patients died under her care, most from
starvation. Local residents knew the place as "Starvation Heights".
In 1912 she was convicted of manslaughter for the
death of Claire Williamson, a wealthy British woman of 33 years, who
weighed less than 50 pounds at the time of her death. At the trial it
was proved that Hazzard had forged Williamson's will and stole most of
her valuables. Claire's sister, Dora, also took the treatment, and
only survived because a family friend showed up in time to remove her
from the compound. She was too weak to leave on her own, weighing less
than 60 pounds. She later testified against Hazzard at trial.
After only 2 years in prison, she reopened her
sanitarium in 1920. Though it burned to the ground shortly thereafter
and was never rebuilt, its legend is still powerful in Olalla, and
visitors to the grounds as recently as a decade ago have still found
remnants of her presence in trash and debris in the underbrush. Her
book continues to influence a small fasting movement to this day, with
proponents claiming it as a true cure-all.
Linda Hazzard (born 1867 in Carver County,
Minnesota, died of self-starvation in 1938) was a fiery orator who ran
a medical clinic in which the main treatment was the starvation,
sometimes to death, of patients. She had some training as an
osteopathic nurse but insisted she be addressed as "Dr Hazzard."
Although she had been convicted of causing the
death of at least one patient, she continued to "heal" others.
It has been suggested that during her lifetime,
particularly her active years, Hazzard suffered from a mental or
emotional illness that has yet to be officially labeled or defined.
Despite her lack of a medical degree, she was
licensed to practice medicine in Washington. A loophole in a licensing
law grandfathered in some practitioners of alternative medicine who
didn’t have medical degrees, including Hazzard.
Fasting had heretofore been considered a quack
medical cure, popular with "health faddists" of the time. In 1908 she
published a book, Fasting For The Cure Of Disease, promoting
fasting as a cure for virtually every ailment, including cancer.
She created a "sanitarium", Wilderness Heights, in
Olalla, Washington, where inpatients fasted for days, weeks or months,
on a diet of small amounts of tomato and asparagus juice and
occasionally, a small teaspoon of orange juice. While some patients
survived and publicly sang her praises, more than 40 patients died
under her care, most from starvation.
Local residents referred to the place as
"Starvation Heights". She assured people that her method was a panacea
for all manner of ills, because she was able to rid the body of toxins
that caused imbalances in the body.
In 1912 she was convicted of manslaughter for the
death of Claire Williamson, a wealthy British woman, who weighed less
than 50 pounds at the time of her death. At the trial it was proved
that Hazzard had forged Williamson's will and stolen most of her
valuables. Williamson's sister, Dorothea, also took the treatment, and
only survived because a family friend showed up in time to remove her
from the compound. She was too weak to leave on her own, weighing less
than 60 pounds. She later testified against Hazzard at trial.
Hazzard was sentenced to 2 to 20 years in prison,
which she served in the Washington State Penitentiary at Walla Walla.
She was released on parole on December 26, 1915 after serving two
years, and the following year Governor Ernest Lister gave her a full
pardon. She and her husband, Samuel Christman Hazzard, moved to New
Zealand, where she practiced as a dietitian and osteopath until 1920.
In 1920 she returned to Olalla, Washington and
opened a new sanitarium, known publicly as a "school of health" since
her medical license had been revoked, and continued to starve patients
until it burned to the ground in 1935; it was never rebuilt.
Linda Burfield Hazzard died in 1938 while
attempting a fasting cure on herself.
The Earl Edward Erdman Diary
On March 28, 1910, Earl Edward Erdman, a City of
Seattle Civil Engineer, died of starvation in the Seattle General
Hospital. He had kept a diary which detailed Hazzard's treatment
during the preceding weeks that provides an insight into the treatment
Hazzard prescribed to her patients. The following are excerpts from
February 1- Saw Dr. Hazzard and began treatment
this date. No breakfast. Mashed soup dinner. Mashed soup supper.
February 5 through 7- One orange breakfast. Mashed soup dinner. Mashed
February 8- One orange breakfast. Mashed soup dinner. Mashed soup
February 9 through 11- One orange breakfast. Strained soup dinner.
Strained soup supper.
February 12- One orange breakfast. One orange dinner. One orange
February 13- Two orange breakfast. No dinner. No supper.
February 14- One cup of strained tomato broth at 6 p.m.
February 15- One cup hot strained tomato soup night and morning.
February 16- One cup hot strained tomato soup a.m. and p.m. Slept
better last night. Head quite dizzy. Eyes yellow streaked and red.
February 17- Ate three oranges today.
February 19- Called on Dr. (Dawson) today at his home. Slept well
February 20- Ate strained juice of two small oranges at 10 a.m. Dizzy
all day. Ate strained juice of two small oranges at 5 p.m.
February 21- Ate one cup settled and strained tomato broth. Backache
today just below ribs.
February 22- Ate juice of two small oranges at 10 a.m. Backache today
in right side just below ribs.
February 23- Slept but little last night. Ate two small oranges at 9
a.m. Went after milk and felt very bad. Ate two small oranges 6 p.m.
February 24- Slept better Wednesday night. Kind of frontal headache in
a.m. Ate two small oranges 10 a.m. Ate on and a half cups hot tomato
soup at 6 p.m. Heart hit up to ninety-five minute and sweat
February 25- Slept pretty well Thursday night. Ate one and a half cups
tomato broth 11 a.m. Ate one and a half cups tomato broth 6 p.m. Pain
in right below ribs.
February 26- Did not sleep so very well Friday night. Pain in right
side just below ribs in back. Pain quit in night. Ate 1 and a half
cups tomato broth at 10:45 a.m. Ate two and a half pump small oranges
at 4:30 p.m. Felt better afternoon than for the last week...
This diet continued more or less unchanged until
his hospitalization on March 28. He died that afternoon, just before
his coworker was to tranfuse blood.
Deaths attributed to Hazzard
Earl Edward Erdman
Lewis Ellsworth Rader
Ida J. Anderson
In popular culture
Hazzard is the subject of a nonfiction book,
Starvation Heights, by Gregg Olsen. The book was adapted for the
stage by Portland, Oregon playwright Ginny Foster. It debuted as a
part of the National New Play Festival in July 2008. It was announced
in January 2009 that the book was optioned by producer Jason Fogelson
and Pulitzer Prize-winner Tracy Letts for a film adaptation. Letts
will write the script.
Dr. Hazzard is profiled through re-enactments and
interviews in the Investigation Discovery Network show, "Deadly Women"
in its first episode entitled "Obsession".
Hazzard, Linda Burfield (1867-1938): Fasting
Proponent and Killer
By Kathrine Beck, October 26, 2006
Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard was a sadistic and
greedy quack who convinced patients that only by starving themselves
for months at a time could they regain their health. Unsurprisingly,
many of her patients died of starvation. Her “sanitarium” in the small
town of Olalla in Kitsap County was nicknamed Starvation Heights by
the locals, who sometimes came across skeletal escapees staggering
down the road begging for food. Hazzard and her husband, Sam, also had
the habit of helping themselves to patients’ assets through fraud,
forgery, and outright theft. When she was tried for murder in January
1912, the prosecutor called her “a financial starvationist” and made
the case that she intentionally starved her patients to death for
Alternative to Healing
Hazzard was author of several books including
Fasting for the Cure of Disease. Although she had only a little
training as an osteopathic nurse, Hazzard didn’t hesitate to call
herself a doctor, snapping at the news reporters covering her trial:
“I have told you time and time again, it is Dr. Hazzard. Mrs.
Hazzard is my mother-in-law.”
Despite her lack of a medical degree, she was
licensed to practice medicine in Washington. A loophole in a licensing
law grandfathered in some practitioners of alternative medicine who
didn’t have medical degrees, including Hazzard.
Hazzard said disease could be cured by fasting,
allowing the digestive system to “rest” and be “cleansed,” removing
“impurities” from the body. Fasting, she maintained, could cure
anything from toothache to tuberculosis. The real source of all
disease was “impure blood” brought on by “impaired digestion.” There
were other popular proponents of fasting around at the time. Hazzard
said she had studied with one of them, Dr. Edward Hooker Dewey, author
of The Gospel of Health.
But Hazzard added some embellishments of her own.
Her regime included daily enemas that went on for hours and involved
up to twelve quarts of water. Patients were heard to cry out in pain
during these procedures. The third part of her therapy was massage
that consisted of Hazzard -- a wiry woman said to be stronger than the
average man -- beating her fists against the patients’ foreheads and
backs. One alarmed witness reported her doing so vigorously while
shouting “Eliminate! Eliminate!”
Early Life and First Death
Hazzard was born in Carver County, Minnesota, in
1867, and at 18 she married and had two children. But in 1898 she left
her husband and children to pursue her career in Minneapolis.
She appears to have killed her first patient there
in 1902, around the time her divorce became final. After the coroner
determined that death was caused by starvation, he tried to get her
prosecuted, but since she wasn’t licensed to practice medicine, she
wasn’t held accountable. When investigators asked what had happened to
the victim’s valuable rings, Hazzard was evasive.
There was more bad publicity after she met and
married the man of her dreams, Samuel Christman Hazzard, a West Point
Graduate who had ruined a promising military career by
misappropriating Army funds. A drunk, lecher, and swindler, he had
married twice before, and hadn’t bothered to divorce at least one of
the wives when he married Linda. There was a highly publicized trial
for bigamy which ended in a two-year prison sentence for Sam.
After Sam finished his sentence in 1906, the couple
set out for Washington state to start over. Linda Hazzard began
practicing in Seattle, commuting by ferry from a 40-acre spread in the
Kitsap County town of Olalla she named Wilderness Heights. She planned
to build a big sanitarium there some day.
Ivar's Mother and Another ...
Locals, including freethinkers and Theosophists,
embraced her medical theories. One of them was Hazzard’s first known
Washington victim, Daisey Maud Haglund (1870-1908), a Norwegian whose
immigrant parents once owned Alki Point. After a 50-day fast under
Hazzard’s direction, she died on February 26, 1908, at the age of 38.
She left behind a 3-year-old son, Ivar. Ivar Haglund would go on to
make his name and fortune feeding millions of people as the owner of
successful seafood restaurants.
Other victims soon followed -- Ida Wilcox in 1908,
and Blanche B. Tindall and Viola Heaton in 1909. Mrs. Maude Whitney
succumbed in 1910. When civil engineer Earl Edward Erdman took the
cure in 1911 and died of starvation three weeks later, The
Seattle Daily Times headline read “Woman ‘M.D’ Kills Another
But patients kept on coming. Frank Southard, a law
partner in the firm of Morris, Southard and Shipley and C. A.
Harrison, publisher of Alaska-Yukon magazine, died under
Hazzard’s care a few months later, along with Ivan Flux, an Englishman
who had come to America to buy a ranch and who had fasted for 53 days.
During his fast, Hazzard got control of some of his cash and property,
and his family was told he died with $70 dollars left to his name.
Authorities tried to step in when Lewis Ellsworth
Rader, a former legislator and publisher of a magazine called
Sound Views, began wasting away. Hazzard treated him at the
Outlook Hotel in 1911, and health inspectors tried to convince him to
leave but he refused. Hazzard spirited him away to a secret location
where the 5-foot, 11-inch tall man died weighing less than a hundred
The health director of Seattle said he couldn’t
intervene, since Dr. Hazzard was licensed and the patients were
willing participants in her deadly therapy. She had many loyal
followers, and a commanding personality. Some of her patients were
afraid of her, and couldn’t bring themselves to disobey her. But the
health director did keep an eye on her in case she treated any
children, at which point he said he would step in.
The pattern was becoming distressingly familiar.
Patients were put up in Seattle hotels or in cabins on Dr. Hazzard’s
Olalla property. Autopsy reports listed starvation as the cause of
death, unless Linda Hazzard performed the autopsy, in which case
anything but starvation would appear as the cause of death.
There was one exception to the pattern. In 1909,
26-year old Eugene Stanley Wakelin’s decomposing body was found on the
Hazzard’s property. This son of a British lord had died as a result of
the bullet in his head, a presumed suicide. Linda Hazzard had power of
attorney over the young man’s estate and she wired his lawyer
complaining she needed more of his funds to pay his bill at the
mortuary. Later, the British vice-consul in Tacoma speculated that he
had been shot by the Hazzards, who were frustrated to learn that
despite his aristocratic family, he wasn’t rich.
Sisters to the Death
Dorothea and Claire Williamson, two sisters in
their early 30s, were rich. The British hypochondriacs had
financial control of a large estate. While visiting Victoria, B.C.,
they read an advertisement for Hazzard’s book in a Seattle newspaper.
They ordered it and also received her brochure promoting her Institute
of Natural Therapeutics in Olalla.
They decided to go and take her fasting cure, but
didn’t tell relatives, as the family was already scornful of their
interest in unorthodox medicine. In February 1911, they visited
Hazzard at her office in the Northern Bank and Trust Building, where
they were told that the sanitarium wasn’t ready yet, but that she
would treat them in Seattle.
The sisters settled in at the Buena Vista
apartments under the care of Dr. Hazzard’s osteopathic nurse. They
survived mostly on a thin vegetable broth. Dr. Hazzard arrived
regularly to provide hours-long enemas and pummeling massage. She also
began to make inquiries about the sisters’ business affairs, and
offered to store the women’s diamond rings and real estate deeds in
her office safe.
By April, the sisters were emaciated and delirious.
They were transferred to Olalla by twin ambulances and a private
launch. Just before the ambulance set out for the dock, Dr Hazzard’s
private attorney obtained a shaky signature from Claire. It was a
codicil to her will leaving a monthly stipend of 25 pounds sterling
per year to the Hazzard’s “Institute,” adding that in case of death
she wanted her body cremated under the charge and direction of Linda
On April 30, the sisters’ childhood nanny, Margaret
Conway, received a cryptic telegram, summoning her to visit them in
Olalla. She set sail from Sydney, Australia, a week later, arriving in
Seattle on June 1.
Sam Hazzard met the boat and took Conway to Linda
Hazzard’s Seattle office. There, Conway was told that Claire was dead
and Dorothea was insane. She was also taken to the E. R. Butterworth &
Sons mortuary and shown an embalmed body she did not recognize as
Claire. Then, she was taken to Olalla for a reunion with Dorothea who
was by now a human skeleton living alone in a rough cabin no better
than a shack.
Dorothea immediately begged to be taken away, but
the next day she withdrew her request and insisted that the cure was
doing her a world of good. Margaret stayed with Dorothea, hoping to
convince her to leave. She tried to sneak some rice or flour into her
main source of nutrition, a broth made from canned tomatoes. Although
the patients were usually separated from each other, they were all let
out for a Fourth of July celebration. Two of them approached Margaret
Conway and begged her to get them out the place, saying they were
Conway also noted that Dr. Hazzard was wearing
Claire’s silk dressing gown and her favorite hat. She learned that
Dorothea had given the Hazzards power of attorney and helped
themselves to some of her funds. When she announced to Dr. Hazzard
that she would be leaving and taking Dorothea with her, Dr. Hazzard
said Dorothea was not free to leave. The Hazzards had obtained a legal
guardianship of Dorothea. They explained that Dorothea would be
spending the rest of her life with them.
Conway sneaked off the property to cable the
sisters’ uncle in Portland, Oregon, and he came to rescue them.
Dorothea now weighed 60 pounds. The Hazzards presented her with a bill
for $2,000 and said they wouldn’t allow her to leave without some
cash. Her uncle negotiated a smaller ransom.
The British vice-consul in Tacoma brought pressure
to bear on Kitsap County to prosecute Hazzard. When they said they
couldn’t afford it, wealthy Dorothea Williamson offered to pay for the
prosecution. In August 1911, Linda Hazzard was arrested. The
Tacoma Daily News headline read: “Officials Expect to Expose
Starvation Atrocities: Dr. Hazzard Depicted as Fiend.”
Dr. Hazzard said that she was being persecuted
because she was a successful woman, and that a cabal of traditional
doctors resented her success and opposed natural cures. She told
reporters “I intend to get on the stand and show up that bunch.
They’ve been playing checkers but it’s my move. I’ll show them a thing
or two when I get on the stand.”
Her lawyer kept her off the stand, but the judge
admonished her for signaling to witnesses. Besides damning medical
testimony, a complete paper trail, including a forged diary entry
saying Claire wanted Linda Hazzard to have her diamonds, made it clear
the Hazzards were crooks.
Dr. Hazzard had her defenders, including loyal
staff members and patients. John Ivar Haglund testified that even
though his wife Daisey had been Hazzard’s first Washington victim, he
had faith in Dr. Hazzard and had taken his little boy, Ivar, to her
for treatment three times a week, even after his wife’s death. The
jury, however, came back with a verdict of manslaughter. The press
theorized that if she had been a man, the verdict would have been
More Killing Treatments
Hazzard managed to kill two more patients while
awaiting sentencing. She eventually served two years in the state
penitentiary at Walla Walla. She and Sam then moved to New Zealand,
where she operated under the titles of physician, dietitian, and
osteopath, published another book, and made a lot of money.
By 1920, she had made enough money to come back to
Olalla and build her dream sanitarium at Starvation Heights. Since the
state of Washington had pulled her medical license, she called it “a
school of health.” The lavish building included a basement autopsy
room. Hazzard continued starving people to death.
The sanitarium burned down in 1935, and three years
later, Dr. Hazzard died. She hadn’t been feeling well and had embarked
on a fasting cure. Today, her books can still be found in natural
healing bookstores and in downloadable form on the Internet. The total
number of her victims is unknown, but she can safely be said to have
starved at least a dozen people to death.
A true history of murder and malice in the woods of
the Pacific Northwest
From the book by Gregg Olsen
In 1911 two wealthy British heiresses came to a
sanitarium near Seattle to undergo the revolutionary fasting treatment
of Linda Burfield Hazzard. It was supposed to be a holiday for the two
sisters. But within a month of arriving at what the locals in Olalla,
Wash., called "Starvation Heights," the women were emaciated shadows
of their former selves, groaning in pain, waiting for death.
Dora and Claire Williamson had fallen into the
hands of Dr. Hazzard, a woman of extraordinary evil and greed who
would stop at nothing to achieve her ambitions.
This is her story.
Some saw Linda Hazzard as a woman ahead of her
time. She stood up for her gender, challenged the medical
establishment and became a leading advocate for natural ways of
healing. Drugs and surgery, she said, were not the best cures. Some
called her a brilliant and gifted healer; some were certain she was a
fiend. The method of the murder was unheard of in the annals of crime.
The ambitious doctor was alleged to have starved Claire Williamson to
death to gain control of her family's considerable fortune.
At her death, Claire Williamson weighed less than
50 pounds, less than half her weight before the fasting cure. Still,
the doctor insisted her patient's weight had nothing to do with her
demise. Her autopsy noted cirrhosis of the liver as the cause of
death. After the autopsy, Claire's diamond rings were slipped from her
emaciated fingers and put into Linda Hazzard's jewelry box. Her gowns
found their way into the doctor's wardrobe. The victim's gold fillings
and crowns were pulled from her teeth and sold to a local dentist.
The doctor told Claire's sister, Dora, that it was
her dead sister's last wish that she spend the rest of her days at the
sanitarium. Dora resisted, but was told she was so unbalanced that she
couldn't possibly care for herself. Within days of Claire's death, Dr.
Hazzard met with county officials seeking guardianship for Dora. The
doctor's scheme, the prosecution would later insist, was to prove Dora
insane and force her to remain in Olalla permanently. Once
accomplished, Linda Hazzard would control the entire Williamson
It was British Vice Consul C.E. Lucien Agassiz's
outrage that sparked an investigation into the sanitarium. The
Williamson sisters had been tricked and manipulated by the American
doctor who wanted their money to complete her ambitious plan for a
world class sanitarium. And it hadn't been the first time. Consul
Agassiz put together a long list of patients who had died while under
Dr. Hazzard's fasting cure. Death certificates of sanitarium patients
issued by doctors other than Linda Hazzard usually noted starvation as
the cause of death. Those made out by Dr. Hazzard, however, offered
various ailments as a cover.
As reporters broke the news of the dead heiress and
the walking skeletons of Olalla, some suggested Dr. Hazzard had
exercised some kind of black magic or mind control over her victims.
A reporter cautioned people to avoid looking onto
the doctor's eyes as she might bewitch them. Another wrote, "Many
accounts of the family's action declare that the woman asserts an iron
will over all with whom she is thrown in contact, her powers ranging
from the weakened patient at the fasting sanitarium to the husband."
Port Orchard, the Kitsap County seat, had never
seen a trial the likes of the Hazzard case. In fact, no place had. The
stakes in the Hazzard case were high for both the "starvation" doctor
and the men who scorned her methods.
The defendant's outspoken nature had inspired women
from across the Northwest and beyond and hundreds flocked to the
trial. One reporter tallied 248 women in the line--the wives of navy
officers, society women, even an odd consortium of female private
detectives. Linda Hazzard played to the crowd like a politician on the
stump. "I am a great believer in women and will defend members of my
sex at all times. I would willingly place my fate in the hands of a
jury of women at any time," she told the press during a court recess.
Prosecuting attorney Thomas Stevenson called
Hazzard a "financial starvationist" and "a serpent who trod sly and
stealthy, yet with all her craft left a trail of slime." After the
judge denied any of the doctor's former patients the opportunity to
testify, it was clear from the outset Dr. Hazzard was in terrible
trouble. The prosecution had ample ammunition. Stevenson proved Dr.
Hazzard had written Claire's will. The last entry of Claire's diary,
written the day she died, had also been forged by Linda Hazzard.
Throughout the three week trial, each day was
marked by some spectacular feature. Dr. Hazzard was admonished
repeatedly by the judge for her brazen coaching and signaling to
defense witnesses. One defense witness was accused of trying to bribe
a former sanitarium nurse. The vice consul's home was burglarized and
Claire's trunk of personal papers was ransacked. Police speculated the
culprit was one of Dr. Hazzard's zealous supporters. In the end, Dr.
Hazzard lost and was convicted of manslaughter. On February 4, 1912,
she was sentenced to the state penitentiary at Walla Walla for two to
twenty years of hard labor. She returned to Olalla in 1920 and built
her great sanitarium. She ran her business as if nothing ever
happened. But it had, and old-time Olallans never forgot the woman
doctor—or Starvation Heights.
State v. Hazzard, 75 Wash. 5, 134 Pac. 514
[No. 10504. Department Two. August 12, 1913.]
THE STATE OF WASHINGTON, Respondent, v. LINDA
BURFIELD HAZZARD, Appellant.
Appeal from a judgment of the superior court for
Kitsap county, Yakey, J., entered February 7, 1912, upon a trial and
conviction of murder in the second degree. Affirmed.
Karr & Gregory and J.H. Buchanan, for appellant.
Thomas Stevenson, for respondent.
MAIN, J. - The defendant in this case was charged
by information, filed by the prosecuting attorney, with the crime of
murder in the first degree. The information, so far as material, is as
"She, the said Linda Burfield Hazzard, in the
county of King and State of Washington, on the 28th day of February,
A.D. 1911, and on divers days between the said 28th day of February,
A.D. 1911, and the 22nd day of April, A.D. 1911, and she, the said
Linda Burfield Hazzard, in the county of Kitsap and State of
Washington, on the 22nd day of April, A.D. 1911, and on divers days
between said 22nd day of April, A.D. 1911, and the 20th day of May,
A.D. 1911, willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and with premeditated
design to effect the death of Claire Williamson, did kill and murder
the said Claire Williamson by depriving and keeping from the said
Claire Williamson all food and sustenance except as follows, to wit:
The juices of fruits in quantity and not to exceed two fluid ounces
daily upon the days and dates aforesaid, and the broth of vegetables
not to exceed eight fluid ounces in quantity daily upon the days and
dates aforesaid, said food not being sufficient in quantity and
quality to sustain life in her, the said Claire Williamson's body, the
said Claire Williamson then and there being a human being in the care,
custody and control of her, the said Linda Burfield Hazzard, the said
Linda Burfield Hazzard then and there having undertaken the duty to
care for, to keep and to provide sufficient food and sustenance to
sustain life in her, the said Claire Williamson's body, the said Linda
Burfield Hazzard then and there having in her possession money,
property and means belonging to the said Claire Williamson sufficient
to obtain sufficient food and sustenance to sustain life in her, the
said Claire Williamson's body, the said Claire Williamson being then
and there weak and afflicted in body and mind and unable to care for
herself and unable to obtain food and sustenance for herself, and the
said Claire Williamson then and there being under the dominion and
subject to the orders and commands of her, the said Linda Burfield
Hazzard; by means of which acts and omissions to act as aforesaid,
willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and with premeditated design to
effect the death of the said Claire Williamson, she, the said Linda
Burfield Hazzard, did then and there mortally deplete and reduce the
body, strength and vitality of her, the said Claire Williamson, by
reason whereof, she, the said Claire Williamson, there on all the days
and times before-mentioned, until the 19th day of May, A.D. 1911,
sickened and languished with a mortal sickness and feebleness of body,
so as aforesaid, by the said Linda Burfield Hazzard created, brought
about and produced willfully, unlawfully, feloniously and with the
premeditated design to effect the death of the said Claire Williamson,
on which last mentioned day, to wit, on the said 19th day of May, A.D.
1911, in the county of Kitsap and State of Washington, she, the said
Claire Williamson, then and there of said mortal sickness and
feebleness of body did die, the said killing being not excusable and
not being committed by accident or misfortune in doing any lawful act
by lawful means, with ordinary caution and without any unlawful
intent, and the said killing not being justifiable, and said Linda
Burfield Hazzard not then and there being a public officer, or person
acting under the command or in the aid of a public officer and the
said killing not being in the lawful defense of the said Linda
Burfield Hazzard, or of her, the said Linda Burfield Hazzard's
husband, parent, child, brother or sister, or of any other person in
her, the said Linda Burfield Hazzard's presence or company, and not
being when there was reasonable ground to apprehend a design on the
part of the said Claire Williamson to commit a felony, or to do some
great personal injury to her, the said Linda Burfield Hazzard, or to
any such person then and there in her presence or company, and there
not being then and there imminent danger of such said design being
accomplished, and the said killing being not then and there in the
actual resistance of an attempt to commit a felony upon the said Linda
Burfield Hazzard, or in the presence of her, the said Linda Burfield
Hazzard, or to commit a felony upon or in a dwelling or other place of
abode in which she, the said Linda Burfield Hazzard, then was,
contrary to the statutes in such case made and provided and against
the peace and dignity of the State of Washington."
To this information, a demurrer was filed, on
various grounds which will be noticed subsequently herein. The
demurrer was overruled, and on January 15, 1912, the cause was called
for trial. Subsequently, and on February 4th, the jury returned a
verdict finding the defendant guilty of manslaughter. Motion for new
trial was made and overruled.
Thereupon the defendant was sentenced to the state
penitentiary at Walla Walla for not more than 20 years and not less
than 2 years. From this judgment and sentence, the appeal is
The facts, as contended for by the state and as
shown by its evidence, may be briefly outlined as follows: During the
month of September, 1910, Dora Williamson and Claire Williamson, two
English young women, the former then 37 years of age and the latter
34, were stopping temporarily at Victoria, B.C. The parents of these
ladies had both died many years before. They had no relatives in this
country, except an uncle in Portland, Oregon, and an aunt at El Toro,
California, and two cousins, daughters of the aunt. Seeing an
advertisement of the defendant in one of the Seattle newspapers,
correspondence was opened with her by Claire Williamson relative to
her system of healing. Dora Williamson was then suffering somewhat
The defendant, in response to a letter, forwarded a
book entitled, "Fasting for the Cure of Disease," written by herself;
and also a pamphlet or booklet giving an account of a sanitarium at
Olalla, Washington, which the defendant operated.
During the month of October, the girls went to
California to spend the winter with the aunt at El Toro. From the
latter place some correspondence continued between the defendant and
one or both of the girls.
During the month of February, 1911, the girls had
concluded that one of them would return to London, England, and the
other to Australia, the latter place being their place of residence.
Before going, however, they concluded to come to Seattle and take a
course of treatment with the defendant. While the girls were in
California and at the time they came to Seattle, they were inapparent
reasonably good health. Dora suffered occasionally from rheumatism and
indigestion, and Claire from a displacement of the uterus which would
readily respond to treatment.
The fact that they were coming to Seattle to take
treatment from the defendant was not disclosed by the girls to any
one. They arrived in Seattle on February 26, 1911, and on the day
following, the 27th, interviewed the defendant at her office. The
girls being strangers in the city, an apartment in the Buena Vista
apartment house was secured for them by the defendant. At this
interview, the girls arranged to take treatment from the defendant
every day except Saturdays and Sundays, for a consideration of $60 per
month each. The treatments consisted of massage or rubbing, the
abstaining from food, except fruit juice, asparagus water, and
vegetable broth with a small bit of butter therein about as large as
the thumb nail; a warm bath every day, or practically every day; and
an enema of from four to six quarts of warm water each day. From the
27th day of February until about the 15th day of March, these
treatments continued, the girls going to the office of the defendant
each day for their rubbing or massage, and conforming in other
respects to the treatments as prescribed by the defendant.
About the 15th of March, the girls being in such a
weakened condition that they were no longer physically able to go to
the office for treatment, a nurse was secured by the defendant to care
for them at their apartment. The defendant, however, called
almost daily other than Saturdays and Sundays, to give the treatments.
Thereafter the same treatments in the way of massage or rubbing,
abstaining from food, bathing, and the enema were adhered to. The
girls constantly grew weaker and more emaciated.
During this time the defendant repeatedly inquired
of the girls concerning their relatives, their property, their
business and income. Upon one occasion while visiting them in their
apartment and discussing business affairs with them, she advised them
that it was unsafe to keep their papers, money, and jewelry in their
apartment; and thereupon induced them to give her their papers and
other articles of value, including the rings from their fingers, in
order that they might be placed in the safe in her office for safe
keeping. During all this time the girls seemed to have implicit
confidence in the defendant, they doing all things which she directed
and abstaining from all which she forbade.
On April 22d, the girls were, by the defendant,
taken from their apartment to Olalla, Washington, where the defendant
claimed to be operating a sanitarium. At this time they were unable to
walk, and were carried from their beds in the apartment upon
stretchers to the ambulances, and by the ambulances conveyed to the
dock where they were to take a special launch to Olalla. While waiting
at the dock and remaining in the ambulances, the defendant's then
attorney appeared, and Claire Williamson there executed a codicil to
her will wherein she bequeathed an annuity to the Hazzard Institute of
Natural Therapeutics; and also at the same time executed an order upon
a small slip of paper apparently torn from a note book, directed to
the Bank of Montreal, at Victoria, B.C., instructing that the balance
of her account there in the sum of $1,005 be paid to the order of
Linda Burfield Hazzard, the defendant, and that it be placed to her
credit in the bank of the Northern Bank & Trust Company of Seattle;
and at the same time executed a direction to the London & Westminster
County Bank, High street, Kensington, London, England, instructing
that they send money or draft to her Seattle address in the care of
Dr. Linda Burfield Hazzard.
This order was made to cover all moneys or credits
then on hand or thereafter received by such bank. From the dock the
girls were taken in a special launch to Olalla, where they remained in
the house occupied by the defendant, and under her direction they
received the same treatment as previously and were is such a condition
as to require a nurse. They constantly grew more emaciated. They were
in such a condition that at times they would become unconscious during
the taking of the bath or the enema.
On May 19th, Claire Williamson died. About a week
before her death, the defendant suggested doubt as to her recovery.
Both girls at this time were living skeletons, their weight being
approximately one-half what it had been when the treatments began
almost three months previous. During the time the girls were in
Seattle, and during the time they were at Olalla prior to Claire's
death, they repeatedly asked for food. Each time they were told by the
defendant that the poison was not yet out of their system; that they
must not take food until their system was entirely clean; that it
would be dangerous to do so and might result fatally. The morning
following the death of Claire, Dora was downstairs upon a porch at one
end of the house near a cliff or precipice. The defendant at this
time, while in conversation with her, suggested that a prior patient
had attempted at one time to commit suicide by leaping over the
precipice. Dora then said that such a matter should not at that time
be called to her attention while she was weak and enfeebled and her
sister dead in the upstairs room. During the time that the girls were
at Olalla and prior to May 19th, the defendant had repeatedly enjoined
Dora from talking business with Claire, and had told her that she
(Dora) was mentally unsound.
Repeatedly, however, the defendant would ask her if
she had any business matter that was troubling her. On May 22d the
uncle at Portland was notified of Claire's death. His address had been
known for sometime prior thereto.
On May 27th, Dora executed a power of attorney to
Samuel C. Hazzard, the husband of the defendant, authorizing him to
receive from the Canadian Bank of Commerce, at Victoria, B.C., any and
all moneys in the saving department thereof, and on the same day
addressed a note directed to the bank requesting it to transfer $583
to Samuel C. Hazzard, or order, and charge the same to her account.
This money was subsequently received by Mr. Hazzard.
On May 27th, the defendant filed a petition in
probate in the probate court alleging that Dora Williamson was an
invalid and for a long time past had experienced great physical
suffering, and was mentally incompetent to manage her own affairs, and
praying that a guardian be appointed. Thereafter, and upon a hearing,
the defendant was appointed guardian of the person and estate of Dora
Williamson. No notice of this hearing or of the filing of the petition
was served on the alleged incompetent person.
About June 1st, a Miss Conway, the nurse of the
girls during their childhood, in response to a cablegram sent her
prior to Claire's death, arrived at Olalla from her home in Australia.
Thereafter Dora was under her care and was given food daily. Her
condition improved, and sometime during the month of July, she was
removed by Miss Conway to Tacoma, Washington.
The foregoing statement is only a brief summary of
the evidence introduced on behalf of the state. The statement of facts
covers approximately twelve hundred pages. In such a case, in the
space allotted in an opinion, a complete statement of the facts is
impossible. Other facts will be noticed as they become germane in
considering the many questions which are presented upon this appeal.
The evidence on behalf of the defendant conflicted in many particulars
with that of the state, and tended to exonerate the defendant from the
charge of wrongdoing. If the evidence of the state is to be believed,
the defendant was guilty; if the evidence introduced by the defendant
is to be believed, no crime was committed.
The errors claimed are: (1) the overruling of the
demurrer to the information; (2) error in admitting evidence of
transactions with Dora Williamson; (3) error arising from the redirect
examination of the witness Mrs. Fields; (4) error in excluding a
letter written by the witness Esther Cameron; (5) error in permitting
evidence as to the treatment given Dora Williamson; (6) error
predicated upon the expert testimony of the medical witnesses; (7)
error arising from the alleged improper use of a work on legal
medicine; (8) error in the cross-examination of the witness Andrew
Hill, touching the business relations of the defendant with E.R.
Butterworth & Sons; (9) misconduct of counsel; (10) error in
permitting Dora Williamson to testify as to the statements made to her
by Claire concerning food; (11) error in refusing to direct a verdict
for the defendant; (12) error in the instructions.
The defendant by the demurrer to the information
challenged its legal sufficiency upon the grounds, (1) for uncertainty
and repugnancy in its allegations as to the time of the offense; (2)
for uncertainty and repugnancy in its allegations as to the venue; (3)
for failure to charge a crime in that it failed to allege a legal duty
on the part of the defendant; and (4) for failure to charge a crime in
that failed to show that the acts set out caused the death of the
deceased. It is contended that an information which avers that the
defendant, on divers or different days, committed an offense is had as
against a demurrer. As a proposition of law, this may be accepted as
correct. It does not, however, apply in this case. The information
here charges a crime by the withholding of food between dates
specified and the date of the death of the deceased. This does not
charge the crime to have been committed on different days, but does
charge continuing conduct between the dates mentioned producing death
at a certain time. Neither is the information uncertain as to the
venue of the offense or failure to show jurisdiction in the court. The
acts constituting the crime began in King county and were later
consummated in Kitsap county. Where a crime is committed partly in one
county and partly in another, the jurisdiction is in either county.
Rem. & Bal. Code, SS 2112 (P.C. 135 SS 1129). In this connection the
appellant cites the case of United States v. Marx, 122 Fed. 964. That
case, in our opinion, is distinguishable from the question here
presented; but if it is not, we think it would not be controlling.
The contention that the information is had for
failure to charge a legal duty upon the defendant to furnish food is
equally not well founded. The defendant is charged with the crime of
murder in the first degree in that, with premeditated design, she did
kill and murder Claire Williamson by the depriving and withholding
from her of food and sustenance, except, etc., which produced death.
This is not the charging of a crime by failure to perform a duty, but
it is the charging that a crime was committed by an affirmative
positive act. Under such a charge, it was not necessary to allege a
duty to furnish food. But if such an allegation were necessary, it is
plainly found in the information wherein it is said that Claire
Williamson was in the care, custody, and control of the defendant who
had undertaken to care for her and to provide sufficient food and
sustenance to sustain life. Subdivision 2, SS 2055, Rem. & Bal. Code,
(P.C. 135 SS 1016), provides, that an information must contain "A
statement of the acts constituting the offense, in ordinary and
concise language, without repetition, and in such a manner as to
enable a person of common understanding to know what was intended."
Section 2057 (P.C. 135 SS 1019), requires that the information be
direct and certain as to the party charged, the crime charged, and the
particular circumstances of the crime when they are necessary to
constitute a complete offense. By SS 2065 (P.C. 135 SS 1035), it is
provided that the information is sufficient if it can be understood
therefrom that the crime was committed within the jurisdiction of the
court, except where, as provided by law, the act, though done without
the county in which the court is held, is triable therein. We think
the information is legally sufficient to charge a crime and that it
adequately shows the venue. The trial court therefore ruled properly
upon the demurrer.
Error is assigned in that evidence was admitted
showing transactions of the defendant with Dora Williamson, the
treatment she received and the effect thereof. It is claimed that this
evidence tended to prove another and distinct crime and was therefore
inadmissible. The general rule is well settled, subject to well
defined exceptions, that the state cannot prove against a
defendant any crime not alleged in the information or indictment for
the purpose of aiding the proofs that a person charged is guilty of
the crime for which he is being prosecuted. Commonwealth v. Jackson,
132 Mass. 16; Shaffner v. Commonwealth, 72 Pa. 60, 13 Am. Rep. 649;
People v. Molineux, 168 N.Y. 264, 61 N.E. 286, 62 L.R.A. 193; State v.
Marselle, 43 Wash. 273, 86 Pac. 586; State v. Ness, 71 Wash. 334, 128
One of the exceptions to this rule is that evidence
of a separate and distinct crime from the one for which the defendant
is being prosecuted may be shown by evidence for the purpose of
showing a plan or system adopted by the defendant for the
accomplishment of the purpose which constitutes the offense, and not
for the purpose of proving independent offenses. State v. Pittman, 32
Wash. 187, 72 Pac. 1042; State v. Craddick, 61 Wash. 425, 112 Pac.
491; State v. Downer, 68 Wash. 672, 123 Pac. 1073.
Under the rule of these cases, the evidence as to
Dora was competent for the purpose of showing a plan or scheme on the
part of the defendant to effect the death of both of the girls. The
proof of such plan or scheme would afford grounds for the inference
that the defendant was actuated by a criminal intent.
The next error assigned is the ruling of the court
in permitting one Mrs. Fields, a witness called by the state, on
redirect examination, to testify as to the appearance of a person who
had died from want of food, who the person was, and that she had met
Mrs. Hazzard at the home of such person. This occurring on redirect
examination, whether it was error must depend upon the
cross-examination which had been previously conducted by the
defendant. This witness had occupied an apartment in the Buena Vista
apartment house near that occupied by the Williamson girls. On direct
examination she had testified as to their appearance during the time
that they remained in the apartment. On cross-examination the witness
was asked whether or not she had ever seen any one afflicted with, or
who had died from, the effects of certain named diseases. On redirect
examination she was then asked whether or not she had ever seen any
one die from starvation, to which she answered that she had seen them
waste away from not eating. Following this, on re-cross examination
she was asked to describe the appearance of the person whom she had
seen die from want of food. At this point, the court suggested to
counsel for the defendant that, if they were going to open up this
question, he would also allow the state to go into it. The question
was not withdrawn and the witness answered. Then, on redirect
examination, she was asked on what she was basing her opinion, and she
said that it was upon the appearance of the person that she saw who
had died from not eating. In response to another question, she gave
the name of the person, and was then asked whether or not it was at
the house of Mrs. Harrison that she first met Mrs. Hazzard, to which
she answered "yes." An objection was then interposed on the ground
that the question was incompetent, irrelevant, and immaterial.
Following the course of the examination of the witness as it appears
in the record, we think no error was committed in permitting the
witness to answer the questions complained of.
One Esther Cameron was a witness on behalf of the
state. During a period of about two weeks while the Williamson girls
were at Olalla, this witness had been employed by the defendant to
assist in their care. In her direct examination she detailed the facts
so far as she knew them relative to what she saw and heard touching
the condition of the girls and their treatment during the time that
she was there employed.
On cross-examination, the defendant sought to show
that this witness had, in a letter to the defendant dated October 14,
1911, made the statement that she knew that the defendant had done
nothing wrong. The letter was offered in evidence and excluded. Error
is predicated upon this ruling. The rule adopted by some authorities
is invoked, which is that, where there is an inconsistency between the
belief of a witness, as indicated by his previous declarations, and
that which would naturally be indicated by his examination in chief,
such previous declarations may be shown. But this rule, we think, is
inapplicable here. The testimony of the witness in chief was simply a
detailing of facts without indicating a general belief on the part of
the witness as to the defendant's guilt or innocence. The statement in
the letter was nothing more than the expression of an opinion. In such
a case, the rule is that previous statements made by the witness as to
a matter of opinion or a conclusion cannot be shown although they may
tend to contradict inferences which might be drawn from the recital of
the facts as given in the testimony of the witness during the
examination in chief. People v. Stackhouse, 49 Mich. 76, 13 N.W. 364;
Saunders v. City & Suburban R. Co., 99 Tenn. 130, 41 S.W. 1031; Drake
State, 29 Tex. App. 265, 15 S.W. 725; Welch v. State, 104 Ind. 347, 3
In the Stackhouse case, it is said:
"The opinion or suspicions of the witness out of
court, although inconsistent with the conclusions which the facts she
testifies to on the trial would warrant, cannot be made the basis of
an impeachment. This is so firmly settled by the authorities that the
question cannot be considered an open one."
Dora Williamson, over the objection of the
defendant, was permitted to testify as to the treatment she received
while in Seattle. In this, we think there was no error. The two girls
were together when the contract for the treatment was made; they
received the same treatment, occupied the same suite of rooms, and
were so intimately associated as to make the treatment the two girls
received substantially one transaction. Where the conduct complained
of constitutes one continuous transaction, evidence of all the facts
and circumstances connected therewith is relevant. State v. Ray, 62
Wash. 582, 114 Pac. 439.
Certain physicians, in answer to hypothetical
questions, were permitted to testify as to the degree of medical skill
and care used by the defendant in treating the deceased. Complaint is
made of this testimony by the defendant because it is contended that
it tends to prove the crime of malpractice, while the defendant was
charged with murder in the first degree by the withholding of food.
The law is unquestioned that the evidence introduced must either
support or tend to support the crime charged in the information. In
this case the defendant was charged with murder in the first degree by
the withholding of food with the premeditated design to produce death.
Within this charge are included two lesser crimes, that of murder in
the second degree and manslaughter.
If the defendant did not withhold food with a
premeditated design, but did withhold food through failure to exercise
that degree of care which the law imposes upon one practicing her
profession, then she would not be guilty of murder in the first
degree, but would be guilty of a lesser crime. The evidence therefore
was admissible under the charge as laid in the information.
During the cross-examination of one Dr. Munn, a
witness called on behalf of the state, the defendant produced a book
apparently entitled, "Draper's Legal Medicine," and inquired of the
witness if he were familiar with it, to which he answered that he was
not. Notwithstanding this fact, the book was further used in
cross-examination by reading to the witness certain portions thereof
in which the author's views were set forth, and then inquiring whether
the witness would
consider that good authority, or probably true; the witness in each
case answering, either that he did not know Draper at all, or that
what the author said was probably true, or that he did not think that
Draper knew all about it as no one did. On redirect examination,
counsel for the state took the same book and read therefrom a
paragraph which was unfavorable to the defendant; and concluded by
asking a question which was germane to a previous subject of inquiry.
To this question the defendant objected because it
was incompetent, irrelevant and immaterial, leading, and not proper
cross-examination, which objection was overruled and the question
answered. It is argued that this use of the book by the state was
prejudicial error. It would appear that the use of the book by both
parties was not in accordance with the accepted standards. But we
think, in view of the course the cross-examination took, that it would
be too rigid a rule to hold that the redirect examination constituted
The next assignment of error arose out of the
cross-examination of one Andrew Hill, a witness who testified on
behalf of the defendant. This witness, on his direct examination,
testified that, at the request of Dr. Hazzard, he had removed the
girls from the apartment to the boat, and gave the details as to their
removal, appearance and weight. On cross-examination, he testified
that the girls were conveyed from the apartment to the dock in
ambulances owned by E.R. Butterworth & Sons, undertakers. He was then
asked whether he was interested in the business of this firm and he
answered: "Interested, yes." The state then sought to cross-examine
him concerning the business relations of the defendant with the
undertaking firm of E.R. Butterworth & Sons. To this objection was
made. The court ruled that the general business relations might be
shown. The witness was then interrogated relative to the amount of
business that the undertaking firm had received during the preceding
three years through the defendant; and it was elicited that, during
that time, the bodies of five or six persons who had been her patients
had been buried through this establishment. There was no suggestion in
the testimony that any of these patients had died from other than
natural causes. On redirect examination, the witness was asked as to
what his interest was in the business of E.R. Butterworth & Sons, and
replied that he was simply an employee. It does not appear that
subsequently any motion was made to strike the cross-examination.
It is now contended that error was committed in the
cross-examination. The purpose of the cross-examination doubtless was
to show the interest or the state of mind of the witness relative to
the defendant, and thereby affect his credibility. The scope of the
cross-examination of a witness is a matter largely within the
discretion of the trial court. Reynolds v. Pacific Car Co., ante p. 1,
134 Pac. 512. However, it would seem to us that the court in this
instance permitted wide latitude to the cross-examiner. But it does
not necessarily follow that reversible error was committed thereby. It
is not every error that calls for a reversal of a cause; only those
that appear to be prejudicial. In Davidson Fruit Co. v. Produce
Distributors Co., 74 Wash. 551, 134 Pac. 510, it is said:
"In reviewing a case on appeal, courts have come to
be more and more inclined to look to the effect of an alleged error
rather than to the fact that an error was committed."
The trial of the cause consumed sixteen or
seventeen days. In such a case, the jury reaches its verdict, not by
reason of any one circumstance appearing during the trial, but by
reason of the general impression which the testimony as a whole had
upon their minds. It would be unreasonable to hold that a circumstance
of this character in a trial consuming the time that this one did
could have had any material effect upon the verdict; of the jury.
The misconduct of one of the attorneys for the
state is assigned as error. During the cross-examination of a witness
for the defendant by Mr. Kelley, the following occurred:
"By Mr. Morford: (One of the attorneys for the
state) We ask that the jury be excused. By Mr. Kelley: What is the
matter? By Mr. Morford: They are signaling witnesses. By Mr. Gregory:
Let the jury stay here. By the Court: am controlling this jury and I
say the jury shall retire to the jury room. By Mr. Gregory: We wish to
object to the court's ruling in this matter."
The jury retired, and Mr. Morford then stated to
the court that the defendant had been signaling to the witnesses; that
that was the reason for his request that the jury be excused.
Thereupon the court stated that he had observed that the defendant had
at times manifested disapproval of what certain witnesses were
testifying to. The court thereupon cautioned the defendant that it was
improper for her to signal witnesses or to attempt to show by motions
the head whether a witness should or should not answer in a particular
way. Mr. Karr, one of the attorneys for the defendant, stated that he
was positive that the defendant had not signaled to the witness. The
jury was then recalled and was instructed by the court to entirely
disregard the circumstance which had occurred in their presence.
Cross-examination of the witness then proceeded. No
exception appears to have been taken. Obviously error cannot be
predicated upon this circumstance. Moreover, even if exceptions had
been preserved, no error could be predicated upon this remark of
counsel where the court promptly and explicitly instructed the jury to
disregard the entire circumstance.
In rebuttal, Dora Williamson, over objection, was
permitted to testify as to certain statements that Claire had made to
her, both while at the Buena Vista apartments and while at Olalla, as
to the food that she was receiving. It is contended that this evidence
was hearsay and, consequently, inadmissible. But certain witnesses for
the defendant had previously testified to statements that Claire had
made to them as to the food that she was receiving. It would seem
that, the defense having gone into a part of the statements of the
deceased person as to the food, it would be a just rule that would
permit the state in rebuttal to show other statements concerning the
quantity of food with which she was furnished. In any event, the
offense, as previously stated, was a continuing one dating from the
time when the treatment began. The rule is that where a transaction is
continuous, the statements and acts accompanying it and so woven into
it by the circumstances as to receive credit from it, are a part of
the res gestae. In 1 Wharton, Criminal Evidence (10th ed.), SS 262,
the rule is stated as follows:
"Res gestae are events speaking for themselves,
through the instinctive words and acts of participants, but are not
the words and acts of the participants when narrating the events. What
is said or done by participants under the immediate spur of a
transaction becomes thus part of the transaction, because it is then
the transaction that thus speaks. In such cases it is not necessary to
examine as witnesses the persons who, as participators in the
transaction, thus instinctively spoke or acted. What they did or said
is res gestae; it is part of the transaction itself.
"As long as the transaction continues, so long do
acts and deeds emanating from it become part of it, so that in
describing it in a court of justice they can be detailed."
In Abbott's Trial Brief, Criminal Causes (2d ed.),
SS 266, the rule is stated thus:
"The rule of the res gestae admits declarations
made under the impulse of the occasion, though somewhat separated in
time and place, if so woven into it by the circumstances as to receive
credit from it."
See, also, to the same effect: Mitchum v. State, 11
Ga. 615; McGowen v. McGowen, 52 Tex. 657; Little Rock, M.R. & T.R. Co.
v. Leverett, 48 Ark. 333, 3 S.W. 50, 3 Am. St. 230. It seems clear to
us that, under the rule announced in these authorities, the evidence
complained of was admissible.
At the conclusion of the state's case in chief, the
appellant moved the court for a directed verdict, claiming that the
evidence was insufficient to carry the cause to the jury. After
reviewing the record and considering the testimony, we think there is
no merit in this contention. The evidence is abundantly sufficient to
sustain the conviction.
Finally it is urged that the court erred, both in
the instructions given and in refusing to give requested instructions.
We have considered the instructions with care, and in our opinion the
instructions given fully, clearly, and accurately cover the law of the
case. This is all that the law requires.
Considering the entire record in this case, it is
clear that the defendant had a fair trial. Her attorneys were alert to
protect her interests. There is substantial evidence to support the
verdict of the jury. The trial court in imposing sentence tempered
justice with mercy. The judgment will therefore be affirmed.
CROW, C.J., ELLIS, FULLERTON, and MORRIS, JJ.,