Oct. 11, 1983: Patt Morrison has the story of Ginny Foat, the former head of the state chapter of the National Organization for Women, who was charged with helping her ex-husband beat a man to death with a tire iron.
According to Morrison’s story, Foat (then Virginia Galluzzo) was married to John J. Sidote who at the time of the allegations was serving a sentence in Nevada for voluntary manslaughter and robbery.
Foat and Sidote met in upstate New York, Morrison says, and ran away together, getting jobs at a bar in New Orleans called the Ponderosa, where she was a go-go dancer and he tended bar.
They came to California and married in 1967, separating the next year, when Sidote “was jailed for involuntary manslaughter after shooting a Samoan youth who had caused trouble at the couple’s No Regrets bar in Torrance,” Morrison says.
In 1977, however, Sidote made a claim that he and Foat victimized an Argentine businessman named Moises Chayo, who was visiting New Orleans. In 1965, Chayo’s body had been found in Metairie, La., along the Napoleon Canal, beaten to death with a tire iron and robbed of about $1,400.
According to Morrison, Sidote alleged that Foat picked up Chayo at a Bourbon Street bar and drove out of town while he hid in the trunk of the car. During the robbery, Sidote alleged, Chayo fought back and Foat hit the businessman in the head.
On Nov. 16, 1983, Foat was found not guilty of murder by a Louisiana jury after less than two hours of deliberations.
In 1985, Foat wrote an autobiography titled “Never Guilty, Never Free: The Ginny Foat Story.” She is currently a councilwoman in Palm Springs.