October 15

This Day in History

Crime

Oct 15, 1948:

A murderous husband is executed

Arthur Eggers, who was convicted of killing his wife, Dorothy, because of her alleged promiscuity, is executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin Prison. He probably would have gotten away with the crime had the investigators not received a few lucky breaks.

In January 1946, hikers came across a woman's body, wrapped in a blanket, in a very remote area of the San Bernardino Mountains in California. The head and hands had been chopped off—making identification very difficult—but the body had only been lying there for less than a day, so there was still hope.

When investigators noticed that Dorothy Eggers had been reported missing by her husband around the time that the corpse was found, they decided to follow through on the lead, despite the fact that the initial report described her as being thinner and taller than the unidentified body. Upon talking with her doctors, detectives discovered that Eggers had been treated for a bunion on her foot, which matched the one on the body.

Although investigators knew the identity of the body and had good reason to be suspicious of Arthur Eggers, they had no evidence to connect him to the crime. But when Eggers happened to sell his car to a police officer, the cop noticed that there were spots of dried blood in the trunk, and, in 1946, Eggers was arrested. A subsequent search turned up pieces of his wife's flesh, a gun and a handsaw in Eggers' home. Pieces of tissue, bone and fat were found on the gun.

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