Louise Peete

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Lofie Louise Preslar [1] (September 20, 1880 [2] in Bienville, Louisiana – April 11, 1947 in San Quentin State Prison, California) was a convicted American serial killer. She was one of only four women executed in the California gas chamber.

Louise Peete at her first murder trial in Los Angeles

Contents

Early life

Peete's family was relatively wealthy, and she received an expensive education, but was expelled from school for inappropriate behavior. In 1903, she married a traveling salesman named Henry Bosley; he committed suicide after discovering his wife with another man. She then spent time in Boston, working as a high-class prostitute and stealing from her clients.

Murders

She later moved to Waco, Texas, where she became involved with wealthy oil baron Joe Appel; he was later found murdered, with his jewelry missing. She was accused of his murder, but convinced a grand jury that she had defended herself from rape. In 1913, she married a hotel clerk, Harry Faurote. He later committed suicide after finding her with another man.

In 1915, in Denver, she married salesman Richard Peete. They had a daughter, but Peete abandoned them and moved to Los Angeles. There, she lived with Jacob C. Denton, another oil magnate. Denton disappeared in 1920. By the time his lawyer had police search his house, Peete had returned to her husband in Denver. Denton's body was found, and Peete was charged with his murder. She was sentenced to life imprisonment, but was released after serving 18 years. During her time in prison, her husband killed himself.

Peete took a position as a housekeeper for a woman named Jessie Marcy, who died not long afterwards. An elderly co-worker also died under suspicious circumstances. Peete then worked for Emily Dwight Latham, who had helped to secure her parole. Latham also died. The deaths of Marcy and Latham were attributed to natural causes. Peete then became a housekeeper in Pacific Palisades, California, for Arthur C. Logan and his wife Margaret, and married a man named Lee Borden Judson. Margaret Logan then disappeared. Suspicion was aroused by poor forgeries of her signature that Peete presented on checks and letters to her parole officer. Judson was acquitted of any involvement, but committed suicide the day after he spoke to police.

Death

Louise Peete was found guilty of murder and was executed in the gas chamber at San Quentin State Prison at age 66. She is interred in Angelus-Rosedale Cemetery, Los Angeles.

References in popular culture

Peete's final spree was dramatized in the Dragnet radio episode "The Big Thank-You," originally aired March 9, 1950. (Listen to episode)

Footnotes

External links