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Re: Interesting article - Cordelia Botkin (murder)
Posted by: Janet Therkildsen (ID *****1982) Date: March 25, 2007 at 12:57:31
In Reply to: Interesting article - Cordelia Botkin (murder) by Pierre of 413

Some interesting Cordelia Brown Botkin (murderess) articles I've found and transcribed are below.

Washington Post, The (Washington, D.C.) March 9, 1910
Expires at San Quentin, Where She Was Serving Life Term
Special to the Washington Post
San Francisco Mar 8 -- Mrs. Cornelia (sic) Botkin convicted of murdering Mrs. John P. Dunning, by sending poisoned candy across the continent to Dover Del died in San Quentin Prison Monday night. The crime was committed August 4, 1898. Mrs. Botkin fell in love with John P. Dunning then head of Associated Press of this city. She wanted to marry him and she conceived the plan of removing his wife so as to leave him free. The poisoned candy was mailed by her to Mrs. Dunning who ate it with fatal effects. Mrs. Botkin was convicted of murder and sentenced to hang but got a new trial. Then the earthquake came and she was transferred to San Quentin, her sentence being commuted to life imprisonment. Dunning died some time ago in Philadelphia.

Daily Press (Sheboygan, Wisconsin) May 21, 1910
Mrs. Cornelia (sic) Botkin died in the California penitentiary the other day. And the day after she died they took her body up to the village in the green hills of California and buried it. There was a funeral at the little old house where her parents lived and her mother and father sat together at the head of her coffin and the neighbors came and brought flowers and the preacher from the little county church preached a simple, kindly sermon and the village choir sang "In the Sweet Bye and Bye" and "Come Ye Disconsolate" quite as if the woman whose body lay in the coffin had been a good woman all her life and had never been tried and sent to the penitentiary for murder. For Mrs. Botkin's father and mother did not know that she had died in prison. They did not know that she had ever seen the inside of a prison anywhere and they never heard of the Botkin case, which was one of the most famous criminal cases ever tried on the Pacific Coast. There is a little paper in the village where Mrs. Botkin's old father and mother lived and the paper printed every day accounts of the trial when it was going on. But they called it the Dunning case and spoke always of Mrs. Botkin as the accused and the old man and the old woman read the paper and talked the famous murder case over together and never even dreamed that "the accused" was their own daughter. And all the little village took hold of hands and formed around the old people a cordon of silence, and woe to anyone who dared to try to break through. We are prone to think of heaven as a place far removed from everything we know here on this earth. But, oh that little village out there, nestling in the green, green hills of smiling California! I wonder if the angels do not look down upon it and smile.

Oakland Tribune (Oakland, California) May 1, 1905
San Francisco May 1 - Mrs. Cordelia Botkin, convicted murderess, begged a favor today from the judge before whom she was convicted. She asked permission to view the dead body of her son Beverly B. Botkin, who died yesterday in Byron Springs. Just one year to the day from the death of his father Welcome Botkin, Beverly B. Botkin died. His mother is awaiting sentence in the county jail for poisoning Mrs. John P. Dunning and Mrs. Dean at their home in Wilmington Del, and although refused permission to attend the funeral of her divorced husband, Superior Judge Cook has advised the Sheriff to allow her to view the body of her son at the undertaking parlors in this city and to follow his remains to the grave. Mrs. Florence Robertson of 315 Leavenworth Street, who is identified with Beth Adriel Mission in San Jose, who has been a friend of Mrs. Botkin ever since her arrest, and who has stood by her during her long seige in the County Jail has taken charge of the arrangements for the funeral of Beverly Botkin. It was she who called up on Judge Cook when a permit was wanted for the convicted murderess to attend the funeral of the divorced husband Welcome Botkin, and it was she who saw the magistrate in chambers at an early hour this morning and secured the necessary permission for the woman to attend the funeral services.
Judge Cook did not instruct the Sheriff to allow Mrs. Botkin to visit the undertaking parlors and attend the funeral. He had no power to do that. He did advise the official to use his discretion in the matter, however, and if Sheriff Curtis sees fit, Mrs. Botkin will be out of her prison cell for a time at least. She will be always in the custody of a deputy, and will not be permitted to get out of his sight.
"I refused to grant a permit when Mrs. Botkin wanted to attend the funeral services of her husband," said Judge Cook this morning. "They had been divorced and I could see no reason why she should be allowed to go to his funeral. In this case, the situation is different. Beverly Botkin was an only son, she appeared to be greatly attached to him, and it was but natural that she should want to follow his body to the grave. I made no order in the matter, but if the Sheriff sees fit, there will be no objection on the part of the court to Mrs. Botkin going out in the custody of an officer."
Beverly B. Botkin was an only son of Mrs. Cordelia Botkin, the convicted murderess, and the late Welcome Botkin, her divorced husband. He was a native son, 31 years of age, and has lived in this state all his life. When his mother was arrested for sending the poisoned candy through the mails which caused the death of two innocent victims in Delaware, the son stood with the Mother as against his father, and up to the time of his death he was loyal to her interests.
His death was caused by valvular disease of the heart, the same affliction that carried off his father. He had been a sufferer for a long time and only recently went to Byron Springs for his health. Word of his death reached his mother in prison last night.
        (NOTE: Article says Beverly lived in California his entire life; however, family was in Missouri in 1880 census, and Beverly was noted as being born in Missouri)

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