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Voices -- Christine Collins, Jan. 4, 1928

The Christine Collins letters

The woman whose tragedy inspired the Clint Eastwood movie "Changeling" tells her story in her own words.

From the California State Archives
  Los Angeles, Calif.
  Jan 4, 1928
1928_0104_christine_collins_page2Dear Mr. Neumiller,
I am writing to you in behalf of my husband, Walter J. Collins (No. 12824) imprisoned at Reprisa, Calif.
When Mr. Collins was taken from us we were left destitute as he was our only means of support. I was compelled to earn our son's and my livelihood by securing a position in a telephone exchange and for over four long years I have worked under great difficulties to make a living.
Our son is nine years old now and I find it very hard to support the two of us on the small salary I receive and my health is not good at all. I am on the verge of a nervous breakdown and the doctor said I needed a rest.
Mr. Neumiller, will you please sanction a parole for my husband so as he may come home and take care of his family? We really need his support and I am very sincere in stating the fact. I know you will not refuse me this appeal for the sake of our son as well as my health.
1928_0104_christine_collins_page3Mr. Collins is a good man and always was a good provider until he made his mistake thru worry and sickness. He is sorry for what he has done and begs forgiveness.
Please make this a happy New Year for us by granting him a release so as he may take care of us. I will more than appreciate your kind act for our sakes.
Hoping for a favorable reply and wishing you a very bright and happy New Year, I am
    Very respectfully
    Mrs. Walter J. Collins
    Please grant him a parole.

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Comments (3)

Very interesting. I see that we have fast-forwarded to January 1928. a few months before Walter Jr. disappeared. I suspect the tone of the letters will become more urgent and interesting after Walter Jr's disappearance.

I hate to say it but after reading all of her personal correspondence I wish that TES and Tim Miller could search her old property to see if his body is somewhere there. This woman clearly was struggling with trying to provide for herself and this child.
And, as we see so often with cases parents do kill their own. It DOES happen.
So I think that after all these years, a precursory check of her old home address would suffice. With all the technology we have today this is now possible, maybe little JR could be laid to rest. Maybe he has been there all along?

I feel so bad for her. She was a true woman who never gave up. I truly respect her and am so sorry for her losses.

Changeling was a amazing movie!!!!!!!


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