The poor thing died as hardboiled as she had lived: Renting a junky
room in an old house that had been cut up into apartments. The landlord
said she’d been sick for the last week. He was another writer, like
her, and I wonder if he took her in because he felt sorry for her.
She got her long line of names from a long line of husbands: Georgiana
Ann Randolph Fallows Ferguson Lipton De Mott Bishop. She met the last
one, another writer, on her second trip to Camarillo, where her
daughter put her to see if they could boil her out.
Everybody knew her as Craig Rice, author of "Having a Wonderful Crime,"
"Trial by Fury" and "The Lucky Stiff." Sometimes she used another pen
name, Daphne Sanders.
said she had been sick in bed for about a week and had taken a bad fall
earlier in the day. She told him she was having an attack of malaria
and asked him to get some quinine from the drugstore. He told her she
should call a doctor, but she refused.
Two tenants found her sprawled across the bed and frothing at the
mouth. James McNamara, a news editor at a radio station, and Richard
Terry, an ad man, said they tried to revive her after calling an
ambulance but she was dead when it arrived.
The whole place was strewn with cigarette butts and burned-out kitchen
matches, and her purse was in a wicker hamper near the door, spattered
with blood, The Times said. A globe of the world had fallen to the
floor along with a open book: "A Family Treasury of Children’s
Her pink eyeglasses were lying on a copy of her latest book, "Knocked
for a Loop," next to her portable typewriter on a desk cluttered with
more junk: A stuffed rabbit, Madonna and Child, and an empty vodka
bottle. Beneath her ashtray were two bad checks, one for $60, the other
for $410, returned for insufficient funds.
There was a wobbly pile of books on her nightstand and a
painting of her mother on the wall, hanging above a fake mantel. "A somber oil portrait of a lovely woman of
another era," The Times said.
She showed an early flair for drama, having been born in a carriage at
Michigan Avenue and 12th Street in Chicago. She began writing poetry
when she was 9 and got her first newspaper job when she was 18. Along
the way, she wrote songs, publicity, a gardening column (she won a
prize for her petunias), movie scenarios and had three children.
Dr. Frederick Newbarr, the medical examiner, said more tests were
needed to determine the cause of death. The Times never reported on
Ann Randolph Fallows Ferguson Lipton De Mott Bishop, author of "My Kingdom for a Hearse," was 49.