True or False? A woman killed her husband over a bridge hand while playing cards?
On the evening of September 29, 1929, in Kansas City, Kansas, Mr. John and Myrtle Bennett hosted friends and neighbors, Charles and Myrna Hofman, for a nice game of rubber bridge. But, like most married couples that are silly enough to partner while playing bridge, the Bennetts made less than ideal partners. Actually, their marriage was far from ideal, because John had the nasty habit of slapping his wife around when he became upset.
For the first two hours of playing bridge the Bennetts trounced the Hofmans, but they managed to catch up, and at the time of the fatal hand, even had a small lead. Myrtle believed the dummy she’d laid out added to the values her husband had to have for his opening bid, should have easily produced game, but John failed by two tricks. After he played the hand, his wife called him “a bum bridge player”. Then, according to Myra, “The row got so big, that John grabbed Myrtle’s arm and slapped her several times, as she loudly chanted over and over, ‘Only a bum hits a woman’.”
John went to pack his suitcase. Myrtle went to fetch her mother’s gun. Charles was talking to John before leaving, when Mrytle entered the room. Seeing the gun in her hand, John hid in the bathroom, bolting the door. Mrytle shot through it twice, missing John both times. John left the bathroom through another door, fleeing down a hallway and into the living room. As he was trying to open the front door, Myrtle shot him twice. The police were called, and she was charged with first degree murder. Despite the fact that she had chased her husband through the apartment, shot at him four times, hitting him twice, Myrtle was still acquitted. It was ruled the shooting was accidental, and Myrtle got his $30,000 insurance policy, a huge sum in 1930.