The Murder of Melvey McNeill

As reported in the Riverside Enterprise, 14 August 1936


Mrs. Melvey McNeill, 53, Dies at Hospital Here From Brutal Beating

Succumbing to a brutal beating, thought to have been administered yesterday by a prowler in her Temecula home, Mrs. Melvey McNeill, 53, wife of John McNeill, blacksmith and deputy constable of the community near the Riverside-San Diego county line, died at the Riverside County hospital last night. 

The body of Mrs. McNeill was removed to the mortuary of Acheson & Graham, Inc., where arrangements are being made to hold an inquest.  Deputy Coroner Seymer Cash stated last night that the investigation by Sheriff Carl F. Rayburn, Undersheriff S.F. Lynch and deputies, now in progress, is expected to bring out testimony at the inquest which will help in solving the murder mystery. 

Found by Husband 

According to Investigator Lloyd J. Boller of the sheriff’s department, Mr. McNeill last night told officers that he came home about 1 p.m. yesterday and discovered his wife lying on the kitchen floor.  She was unconscious, he is reported to have said, and lying nearby was the bludgeon with which she had been beaten over the head and about the body – a roller from a clothes-wringer. 

McNeill also was quoted by the officers, who last night continued their questioning regarding the slaying of the Temecula housewife, as saying that a prowler had been seen leaving the home.  In this belief, officers said, he was upheld by his son, who aided in the investigation.  Two daughters also are left by Mrs. McNeill. 

First word of the tragedy reached the office of the sheriff in a telephone call, and Deputies F.F. Labrum and Paul Pierce immediately rushed to Temecula.  It was stated last night that the call came from Mr. McNeill. 

Brought to Hospital 

Mrs. McNeill was brought to the county hospital in an ambulance hastily summoned from Elsinore, arriving about 3:30 p.m.  Despite the efforts of attending physicians and nurses, however, she failed to survive the four brutal blows which had been struck by her assailant, dying at 7:45 p.m. 

She is reported to have partially recovered consciousness before the end came, and to have made a statement in regard to the attack, but this could not be substantiated last night. 

Photographs of the body were taken by investigators last night at the morgue, to be used in connection with the inquest.

Published in: on August 16, 2010 at 8:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

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