California Prepares to Execute Juanita ‘The Duchess’ Spinelli, Nov. 20, 1941

Nov. 20, 1941, Juanita Spinelli
Nov. 20, 1941: California prepares to execute Juanita “The Duchess” Spinelli at San Quentin. Spinelli, her boyfriend Mike Simeone, Gordon Hawkins and Albert Ives were convicted of drugging and drowning Robert Sherrard to keep him from informing on them about another killing.

Spinelli was the first woman to be legally executed in California. She was followed by Louise Peete (1946), Barbara Graham (1955) and Elizabeth “Ma” Duncan (1962). A Mexican woman usually identified as Juanita was lynched in Downieville, Calif., in 1851 for killing a man named Jack Cannon, who is variously described as Scottish or Australian.

Jimmie Fidler says: Lucille Ball left by plane yesterday to join hubby Desi Arnaz in New York, then to Cuba for Christmas.

Also on the jump: The proper headwear for working on an old car – especially if your name is Goober.

Nov. 20, 1941, Juanita Spinelli


About lmharnisch

I am retired from the Los Angeles Times
This entry was posted in 1941, Crime and Courts, Film, Hollywood, Homicide and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to California Prepares to Execute Juanita ‘The Duchess’ Spinelli, Nov. 20, 1941

  1. Sam Flowers says:

    HEY!!! I got one of those. That is my Jug Head hat, my wife cringes when I wear it. If I could find a real Time For Beanie propeller cap she would really cringe.


  2. la peregrina says:

    “Boots Malloy, seriously underweight for years (she tipped scales at only 85 pounds.) has donned 12 pounds in a Santa Barbara clinic..”

    Back before we had a name for or knew about the eating disorder anorexia nervosa. Eighty-five pounds when you are 5’7″ tall would have been painfully thin Or maybe she didn’t have anorexia, according to IMDB she died at age 45 of “chronic throat disease.”


  3. David Spinelli says:

    I just found out that this old bat was my great great aunt!


  4. Pingback: Notorious Women of Death Row by Cicely Richard | Legal Source 360

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