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Paul Coates, Feb. 17, 1961

February 17, 2011 |  1:21 pm


  Feb. 17, 1961, Mirror Cover  

Feb. 17, 1961: The death of Burdette E. Lowery, 67, was an accident – or was it? Lowery, a retired engineer, was tenant in a home at 514 Via De La Paz occupied by Turner Ashby Martin, 41, and his wife, Julie.

The Martins told police that Lowery had fallen and hit his head. However, psychologist Dr. Elias Porter  told the coroner’s inquest that Turner Martin had admitted during a counseling session “I crushed his head like an egg shell and I haven't been able to sleep since.” This made the investigation doubly complex because not only was the admission made during what was supposedly a confidential counseling session, but Porter was Julie Martin’s ex-husband.

The deputy coroner eventually testified that Lowery died of a condition caused by an old injury, and murder charges against Turner Martin were dropped.

And Paul Coates has some pointers for novice columnists like Al Capp: A columnist who wants to keep his readers must never malign, criticize, ridicule or write harshly about:

Dogs, Debbie Reynolds, Clifton's Cafeteria, Norman Vincent Peale, the Alamo, Toots Shor, Knott's Berry Farm, the Reader's Digest, Carl Sandburg, Whittier, Irene Dunne, Knute Rockne, Lady Bird Johnson, "What's My Line?", Roy Rogers and Dale Evans.

  Feb. 17, 1961, Paul Coates