Nov. 21, 1941: Juanita “The Duchess” Spinelli arrives at San Quentin to be executed in the gas chamber – the first woman legally executed in California’s history.
“No one who is a Christian will kill!” the 52-year-old mother of three cried in a voice as gray as her face, as lifeless as her gaunt, bony frame. “My blood will burn holes into their bodies,” she cried. “Before six months have passed they will be punished.”
Because the killing occurred in Sacramento, The Times only ran occasional wire stories about the case, which is frustrating for the researcher. The execution was covered by Times reporter Tom Cameron, who died in 1982 after retiring from The Times in 1966 as real estate editor.
Jimmie Fidler says: Papa Walter Huston and son, John, are collaborating on a script based on the life of President Ulysses S. Grant, in which Walter will star under John’s direction.