By the early 1930’s, Nell Donnelly had it all. Women everywhere loved Nell Donnelly’s stylish, well-made, and inexpensive dresses. But she didn’t just make great dresses. She made a great work environment, too. Unlike a lot of factory owners at the time, Nell paid well. She offered her employees medical care and a pension plan. She even paid for them to go to school. Nell’s hard work paid off. Fortune Magazine called her possibly the most successful businesswoman in America. She was rich, stylish and classy. But she was also a target.
On December 16, 1931, Nell and her chauffeur, George, were kidnapped and driven to a nasty old cabin. The eventual trials of Nell’s kidnappers captured the nation’s attention and involved some of Kansas City’s most prominent citizens.
Then Brandi frustrates the hell out of us with the story of Lisa Techel’s murder. When Lisa was discovered shot to death in her Iowa home, everyone knew exactly who’d done it — her neighbor. The man had a bad history with Lisa and her husband Seth. Police were sure they had their guy. But when they went to question him, he wasn’t quite the cold-blooded murderer they expected him to be. Hold on tight, folks. This one has so many twists and turns that it could be a two-hour episode of Dateline. Oh, wait. It is.
And now for a note about our process. For each episode, Kristin reads a bunch of articles, then spits them back out in her very limited vocabulary. Brandi copies and pastes from the best sources on the web. And sometimes Wikipedia. (No shade, Wikipedia. We love you.) We owe a huge debt of gratitude to the real experts who covered these cases.
In this episode, Kristin pulled from:
The book, “James A. Reed: Legendary Lawyer; Marplot in the United States Senate,” by Michael Cronan
The book, “Called to Courage: Four Women in Missouri History,” by Heather Roberson and Margot McMillen
The book, “The Devil’s Tickets: A Vengeful Wife, a Fatal Hand, and a New American Age,” by Gary M. Pomerantz
“Strange bedfellows,” KChistory.org
“Nell Donnelly Reed, 102, Pioneer In Manufacture of Women’s Attire,” New York Times
In this episode, Brandi pulled from:
“Before Dawn” Dateline ep.
“Techel Trial: Opening Arguments Heard” by Stephanie Moore, whotv.com
“Court upholds man’s conviction in slaying of pregnant wife” by Ryan J. Foley, Associated Press