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Roscoe Arbuckle reading the latest issue of La Vie Parisienne, dated 17 January 1920. The front cover illustrations shows an older male skater pulling a young female into a hole in the ice while tearing off her clothes. The rear cover depicts two streetwalkers having a conversation in which one asks the other if she believes in the end of the world (monde). The other responds how could she know since they are both of the demimonde. (Library of Congress)

The contents of the casting director’s wallet, October 1921

The mysterious death of Al Stein in the early hours of October 9, 1921, raised eyebrows a century ago in the weeks leading up to the first Arbuckle trial. The following passage is another from our work-in-progress that highlights several “sideshows.” This one, we feel, deserves a sidelong look, so to speak, for the way … Continue reading The contents of the casting director’s wallet, October 1921

Gestational cystitis and Rappe’s Baby Girl: Nurse Roth speaks out, October 28, 1921

The work-in-progress features a chapter on October 1921. During this time, Arbuckle’s defense team and strategy changed. Frank Dominguez, the comedian’s lead counsel in September, allegedly resigned to pursue his own interests in Los Angeles. But his departure had more to do with his strategy of insinuating that Maude Delmont and Al Semnacher had tried … Continue reading Gestational cystitis and Rappe’s Baby Girl: Nurse Roth speaks out, October 28, 1921

A new legend about Virginia Rappe: Anna Mariania

At this writing, we are revising the part of the manuscript dealing with Arbuckle’s first trial venue, the Police Court preliminary investigation that would determine whether to charge him with murder or manslaughter before referring the case to the Superior Court of San Francisco. There is an extant court transcript for us to reference. And … Continue reading A new legend about Virginia Rappe: Anna Mariania

Dr. Charles E. Barnes, the quack whose heroic measures saved Arbuckle?

Our unconventional narrative leads in with the life or legend of Virginia Rappe. It leads out with an epilogue that follows some of the figures from the Arbuckle trial and the so-called “Rappe curse.” Practically all members of the jury declared that the most important piece of evidence in their minds was the testimony of … Continue reading Dr. Charles E. Barnes, the quack whose heroic measures saved Arbuckle?

100 years ago today: The closing arguments, April 12, 1922

On the hundredth anniversary of Roscoe Arbuckle’s acquittal we present the following transcription of the closing arguments delivered on April 12, 1922. Originally published in 1924, “The Trial of Roscoe Arbuckle” is all that is left of thousands of pages of testimony from the three Arbuckle trials—which would all be in the public domain—save for … Continue reading 100 years ago today: The closing arguments, April 12, 1922

Arbuckle’s lawyers as witnesses . . . for the prosecution?

On Saturday, April 8, which was a short session for the third and final Arbuckle trial now entering its third week, Assistant District Attorney Leo Friedman called Gavin McNab, Arbuckle’s lead attorney, to take the stand. According to the Associated Press reporter, McNab “absentmindedly” did so without being sworn in.[1] More accustomed to examining witnesses … Continue reading Arbuckle’s lawyers as witnesses . . . for the prosecution?

100 years ago today: How to make Virginia Rappe’s favorite cocktail on the stand

Mrs. Winifred M. Burkholder appeared as a prosecution witness on April 6, 1922, during the final Arbuckle trial. After the defense announced that it had closed its case, she took the stand to rebut the parade of witnesses who testified in support of the defense contention that Rappe had suffered from a chronic ailment that … Continue reading 100 years ago today: How to make Virginia Rappe’s favorite cocktail on the stand

Another lost opportunity: Arbuckle in the January 2022 issue of Retro magazine

Readers of Retro magazine’s feature article on the Arbuckle case were cheated of learning anything new about the case. Presumably the freelance writer didn’t reference this site. You can tell by the first few paragraphs that the information we have gathered from primary sources has had no impact on his research, along with everything else … Continue reading Another lost opportunity: Arbuckle in the January 2022 issue of Retro magazine

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