We continue with this week's story of . . .

Part 1, 2, and 3.

The narrative now assumes she arranged the murder, in cahoots with Surly Poultry Farmer Willets Beach, who's on the lam. Nothing for a few days. And then . . . SECRETS OF BEACH’S PAST is the front page headline. On a Sunday. Now he’s an expert woodsman who may never been found.

The take on Beach vacilates, as you see. Before he was a poultry fancier; now he's an expert woodsman. And he's everywhere he's everywhere


He can move without disturbing a leaf!

He attempted to "compromise" a 13-year old girl!

He'd been sleeping with a bootlegger's wife!

  And he's bloodthirsty.

OCTOBER 3, 1927 He’d better be found soon, or this story’s going to go cold. There were other interesting murders, you know. This one had promise:

Girl murdered by Auto Sheik is much more lurid and immediate. As it turned out, the story of the Murder Sheik, as he came to be known, would overshadow the Lillenthal-Beach story for the next few days. He was caught fairly quickly.

If you're unfamiliar with the slang of the times, a Sheik was a Romeo, a ladies' man. From then Valentino movie, of course.

He liked them young.

Note: he was an IT-ful sheik.

"IT" being sex appeal, most famously applied to Clara Bow, "The 'It' Girl."

To cut ahead on this one: Yarrow was found guilty. Arrested in October, tried in December, and sentenced to be executed Jan. 1st.

Things moved fast in those days.

He got a stay while his lawyer argued for a new trial. The evasions ran out by spring, and Yarrow was set to die June 1st. At the last minute they attempted to get a commutation from the governor based on new evidence: Yarrow had been kicked in the head by a mule during WW1, and this had affected his mind. They couldn't locate the governor by phone, so Yarrow finished his chicken dinner, said he was sorry, and was tied to a chair and electrocuted.

The Daily News kept the Lillienthal story alive. The day after Auto Sheik they ran a story about Mrs. L refusing to go to the scene of the crime. The cutline refers to Beach as a “barnyard sheik,” which is a much different category.

Still, it’s been two weeks. If they don’t catch Beach in the next few days, the public will move on. And then . . .



OCTOBER 7, 1927

Whaddya know, on Thursday, Beach shows up with his lawyer. Grinning.


He said he'd give himself up if he was indicted, and sure as shooting, he was indicted. So. Man of his word, and all that.

His lawyer, by the way, would go on to defend . . . George Yarrow, the Auto Sheik.


Here's a detail that hadn't been obvious before, something lost in the rather meandering way the news was written. Sometimes facts that seem like they'd be bombshell news just burble up later.

He had a wife.

Tomorrow: the trial, the end result, and the one thing you probably did not expect to see. The thing I found in plain sight.



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