Tag Archive for politics

The Senator Signs His Death Warrant

Anna Bradley

When Arthur Brown signed his last will and testament in 1906, he was unknowingly signing his death warrant.
 
Usually when people are killed over the contents of their wills it is because the murderer is impatiently greedy. In the case of Brown, a 63-year-old former U.S. Senator from Utah with exceedingly loose morals and a wandering eye for women, it was the exact opposite: when Brown specifically disinherited Anna Bradley, his mistress and the mother of two of his children — and subsequently refused to marry her — she felt the necessity to shoot him down in the Washington D.C. hotel where he made his home.
 
The senator’s will, signed a few months before his murder, made it quite clear how he felt about the mistress he had “ruined” and provoked to shoot him in the gut with a .32 pistol.

“I do not devise or bequeath anything to the children of Mrs. Anna M. Bradley — I explicitly refuse to give anything to Arthur Brown Bradley, sometimes known as Arthur Brown, Jr., or to the other son of Anna M. Bradley named by her Martin Montgomery Brown, and I refuse to pay or give anything to any child of said Anna M. Bradley. I do not think that either or any child born of said Anna M. Bradley is my child — but whether such child or children is or are mine or not, I expressly provide neither or any of them shall receive anything from my estate, and I will and direct that no child born of Anna Madison Bradley shall receive anything from my estate…
I have never married said Anna M. Bradley, and never intend to. If she should pretend that any relation ever existed between us to justify any such inference, I direct my executors to contest any claim of any kind (so) that she receive nothing from my estate.

After Anna admitted she shot Brown in cold blood, public sentiment was strongly against her. The early press reports described 34-year-old Anna as a divorced madwoman with two legitimate and two illegitimate children who was stalking Brown and that he was some kind of martyr. Once her defense lawyers made his will public, the general sympathy quickly shifted in her favor.
 
They promised to justify the murder by showing Brown was a cad who had strung along his mistress until she was insane.
 
Senator Arthur Brown“The people know now the details of a life story that they never dreamed of before, and there is nothing but absolute sympathy for her and utter contempt of Brown. The will of Brown is a keynote to his character,” the Salt Lake Tribune wrote. “The section relating to Mrs. Bradley and the two children who are named for him was his death warrant.”
 
The will does mention bequests to several of Brown’s children through his two marriages, but also specifically deducts $1,500 from Alice Brown, a daughter from his first marriage. He did so because his father left that amount to her which, Brown declared specifically in his will, “should have belonged to me.”
 
His murder revealed that Brown had an unsavory reputation and had earlier escaped being shot by his first wife in Kalamazoo, Michigan, where he worked as a successful lawyer.
 
His wife, made desperate by Brown’s notorious conduct with Isabel Cameron who kept a stationery stand in the city hall, entered his office with a revolver and threatened his life. He dared her to obtain a divorce, which she did. While his wife obtained a divorce on the grounds of adultery, Brown and Isabel fled to Salt Lake City where they married.
 
Despite not being a Mormon and a divorced man with a disreputable history, Brown and his new wife were welcomed into high society and Republican politics there. Many of the Gentiles in the territory considered him a “jack Mormon.” The term has several connotations. In this sense we mean a non-Mormon who lives among the Saints and supports the church’s beliefs and practices. The term is a pejorative assigned by foes of the Mormons to Gentiles who kowtow to the Church.
 
Brown was selected by the Utah legislature in 1896 to be one of the new state’s first U.S. senators — along with apostate Mormon Frank J. Cannon, whose fascinating critical history of Utah politics under the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints can be found here and in text form at Project Gutenberg.
 
In Washington, the first issue of Brown’s second marriage, a child named Max, was born.
 
Through no fault of her own, Isabel Brown was one of several proximate causes of her future ex-husband’s death.
 
“In 1896 Mrs. Brown, who was charitably inclined, was attracted to Anna Bradley, a brilliant young married woman struggling for an existence in newspaper work and politics,” one article reports. “Her husband was a clerk with a small income and a fondness for drink. Through Mrs. Brown’s influence with her husband Anna Bradley was made secretary of the Republican state convention. She accompanied Senator and Mrs. Brown to the Republican national convention in 1896.”
 
It’s impossible for a zebra to change its stripes, and Brown was no exception. He began an affair with Anna while in the capital city.
 
Anna’s testimony at her trial recalled how Brown had convinced her to begin their affair:

The Senator told me he was very unhappy, very wretched. I had told him that our relationship could only result in grief and sorrow, and he replied that he would stay by me all my life. Finally he came to me and said: “Darling, we are going on together all through life; you can’t avoid me.” Finally, after several months, I consented.

Like her predecessor — but without the gun — Isabel confronted her husband when she learned of the affair and he coolly told her to obtain a divorce as his first wife did. Instead Isabel obtained a warrant and Brown and Anna were arrested, adultery being a crime at the time.
 
The case went to trial but Brown was acquitted, Mormons being very hesitant to convict on these charges. Crimes of infidelity were particularly serious in Utah at the time due to the fight over polygamy. Church leaders with plural wives were being arrested and charged with bigamy or adultery and were being given significant jail terms when convicted. More frequently, however, the polygamous church leaders simply chose to disappear.
 
The marriage was doomed, however, and in 1903 Brown once again showed his mettle by failing to pay Isabel the $150 per month (nearly $4k in 2014 dollars) alimony she was granted, for which he was convicted of contempt of court. He was taken to jail until he made full restitution.
 
Within a year Isabel was dead and Brown, no longer a senator (his term had expired and he was not re-appointed) thanks to how he had embarrassed the Beehive State, was free to pursue his pleasures. Rather than return to Utah, known for its puritanical morals, he remained on the East Coast representing the interests of various Utah industries with Congress.
 
Anna’s husband Ned, shamed by his wife’s notoriety, took solace in the bottle and was eventually convicted of stealing from his employer. He went to prison and divorced his wife. Once he was released from the pen he remarried.
 
After Isabel’s death Anna returned to Brown and demanded that he marry her and legitimize her two children (the legitimate ones she left with her ex-husband’s family). A third pregnancy ended in an abortion, which the press hinted at by using the term “a criminal operation.” There was public speculation that Brown himself performed the procedure.
 
According to letters introduced at her trial, Brown apparently agreed to her request to acknowledge his offspring and planned to legally recognize the two young boys as his children, which had done informally.
 
“This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased,” he wrote in one letter, quoting the Gospel of Matthew from the New Testament (and the words the Mormon prophet Joseph Smith said God told him while Smith was translating the golden plates). He pledged to make their older son, then about 10, chief justice of the Supreme Court.
 
But Brown also had another pen-pal: a well-known actress, Mrs. Annie Adams. Once Anna Bradley found out that not only were Brown’s words hollow, he had another love interest on the side, the ex-senator’s days were numbered.
 
n.b. Annie Adams’s daughter, Maude, was the first woman to play Peter Pan on the stage. Her classic beauty deserves a link here. The woman on the bottom is Ethel Barrymore.
 
It was clear from one letter that Annie Adams was smitten with Brown:

My dearie, My dearie: The world seems to have taken on another hue because, perchance, I have heard from you, which means so much…I spent my Thanksgiving Day giving thanks for you and my very happy state of feeling, which one year ago I never dreamed could be possible. It seems too sweet to even be real…Love, dear heart.

At the same time Anna Bradley was also writing the cad: “I can do nothing but think –yet there is no thought in it. There is a sensation of a whirligig going incessantly — and the din of it is maddening.”
 
Brown had less than two weeks to live.
 
More than a century before a time when philanderers could be tracked by their tweets, texts, or cell phone records, Anna was told by a detective she had hired to spy on Brown about his “infidelity” with Annie Adams.
 
In December 1906, Brown was in Washington to argue a case before the U.S. Supreme Court and had taken rooms at the Raleigh Hotel. When Anna was told by her detective, she immediately set out for D.C. and checked into the Raleigh using the name “Mrs. A. B. Brown,” although she did not identify herself as Brown’s wife. The clerk, assuming it was just a coincidence, assigned her a room on the same floor as her former lover.
 
Almost immediately upon her arrival she went to Brown’s suite and confronted him, demanding that he marry her.
 
“I asked him if he was going to do the right thing by me,” she told reporters later. “His reply was to put on his overcoat and start to leave the room. I shot him. I abhor acts of this character, but in this case it was fully justified.”
 
A maid heard two shots and summoned the hotel manager, who sent for the police and administered a dose of brandy to the injured man. Then he ordered Anna to leave the room, but she refused.
 
“I will remain here,” she said defiantly. “I am the mother of his two children.”
 
Brown’s last recorded words were “She shot me.”
 
Brown was rushed to the hospital and immediately taken to surgery. Physicians found that one bullet had grazed his left hand and the other had lodged in his “pelvic cavity.” Surgeons worked on the ex-senator for more than two hours before deciding that it was best to leave the bullet in situ.
 
At that time the doctors described his condition as critical, but said there was hope for his recovery.
 
“Brown is fighting for his life in the same way he fights a lawsuit,” said Utah Senator George Sutherland to the throng of reporters camped out at the hospital. “He is a man that will never admit defeat as long as there is the slightest hope.”
 
Brown lingered on for two days before he died of a kidney ailment that was aggravated by the gunshot.
 
It took nearly a year for Anna’s case to reach a courtroom, thanks to her initial plea of insanity. Once the alienists declared her sane, in November 1907, she went to trial.
 
The courtroom was packed — mostly with women, the press reported — every day of the trial. Testimony revealed the stormy relationship between Anna and Brown, whom she claimed was an alcoholic:
 
“Do you remember the time you struck him in the mouth with an umbrella and knocked his teeth out?” asked the prosecutor at one point.
 
“I do,” she replied, recounting the details of that fight. “His teeth were a mere shell and easily broken.”
 
Anna was quite emotional during her three hours on the stand and the reporters covering her testimony wrote that at one point members of the all-male jury broke down in tears:

In a thread of a voice, at times inaudible even to the court stenographer, she told a story which has never been equaled in a Washington courtroom…As she told with piteous shrinking the story of her downfall, her voice broke, she bowed her head in her hands, and the bitter tears ran through her thin fingers. Few of the eyes which watched her were dry. The jurymen, leaning forward in their chairs to hear her, wept too.

Despite her admission that she shot him in cold blood, Anna’s defense presented a strong case with witness after witness claiming to have heard Brown admit paternity and make promises to marry Anna.
 
Three witnesses testified that once Brown decided to divorce Isabel, he dictated the following statement: “I say to you that I will make Mrs. Brown get a divorce, and if she does not do it, I will myself get one. I will marry Mrs. Bradley; I will stand by her as long as I live.”
 
The defense was unable to produce any such written statement.
 
In 1903, however, Brown told Anna that he was reconciling with Isabel. When Anna blamed him for sinking her to “the last depths of despair and degradation,” he reversed himself, telling her that he was only trying to avoid going to jail for adultery. According to Anna, he renewed his promise to marry her and acknowledge the children.
 
After a month-long trial it took the jury two days to convince the one holdout who was willing to convict her on manslaughter charges that she should be acquitted.
 
When the jury returned and announced its verdict, the courtroom erupted into cheers of approval and applause.
 
Brown’s illegitimate children attempted in 1910 to break the terms of his will without success. Five years later, Arthur Brown Bradley stabbed his older half-brother to death. According the State of Utah historical society, their dispute was over who would wash the dishes.
 
Anna Bradley returned to Utah where she died in 1950.

The Fall and Rise of Phenix City

Fun fact: This article is consistently in the top four or five visited pages on the Register. Thanks.
Today, by most accounts, Phenix City, Alabama, is a nice place to live and work. Business Week magazine rated the city on the Chattahoochee River near Columbus, Georgia as the “Nation’s Best Affordable Suburb” in which to raise a family in 2007. Located not far from Fort Benning, the city of about 28,000 souls appears to be a quiet, decent, typical American small town.
 
That wasn’t always the case.
 
One of the first communities to reinstate the sale of beer after the repeal of Prohibition, by the mid-1950s Phenix City was known for its gin joints, gambling and bawdy houses, and corrupt government. Anyone who paid attention to it knew the town as “Sin City.”
 
Perhaps it is unfair to include an entire community in the Malefactor’s Register, and even at its worst the vast majority of Phenix City citizens were decent law-abiding folk who just happened to tacitly condone a culture of vice that made Havana pale in comparison. Complicit but not culpable, most of the people who lived there during the worst of times thought themselves too powerless to make a difference.
 
Chances are they were right. Until 1954, when the Alabama National Guard was called in to enforce limited martial law, there was a machine in place in Phenix City that didn’t blur the line between law and crime — it obliterated it.
 
“I saw city policemen openly buying votes for $5 or $10,” one veteran returning from WWII told the press. “I knew I didn’t fight for this.”
 
To get an idea of what the devolution of Phenix City must have been like, recall the movie It’s a Wonderful Life. Bedford Falls with George Bailey was a nice place where people could walk the streets at night and raise kids and all went to the same church. They took soup to sick neighbors and even the girl of questionable virtue had a heart of gold.
 
In contrast, “Potterville,” the same city without George, was filled with bars, nightclubs, dance halls and worse. People walked the streets at night, but they were usually drunk, and if not, they were looking for love in all the wrong places — certainly not in church.
 
People who are opposed to using casinos to inject much-needed capital into foundering municipalities can use Phenix City as a good example of what can go wrong when a community compromises its morals.
 
Like many small towns during the Depression, Phenix City was struggling. The city literally had no money — in 1932 the teachers were paid with valueless scrip. Something had to change, and the city fathers decided that perhaps legalizing beer, selling liquor licenses and taxing the drink might provide the city with the cash it needed.
 
It was a gutsy move because Prohibition had been repealed but Alabama and Russell County were dry. The state turned a blind eye, but for a time the Russell County authorities conducted half-hearted raids and confiscated the 3.2 beer the honky-tonks sold.
 
Eventually the “wets” won out, but it was a case of be careful what you wish for.
 
Phenix City started down a slippery slope. If 3.2 beer was OK, then full-strength alcohol must be OK, too. Soon it was beer, wine, and whiskey. Then came the racketeers who brought gambling and prostitution for the soldiers at nearby Fort Benning.
 
The city itself was addicted to vice. A 1955 article about Phenix City reported that 20 percent of the city’s general fund was made up of income from licenses, fines, and forfeitures. Dirty money in the city coffers corrupted the city officials and soon the gangsters were running things, influencing city hall and infiltrating the police department with bribes and threats.
 
Albert PattersonPhenix City had been a haven for crime almost since its incorporation in the early 19th century.
 
At one point, U.S. Secretary of War Henry Stimson called Phenix City “the wickedest city in America” after receiving a report about how Fort Benning soldiers had been victimized there. According to author Margaret Anne Barnes, who wrote the definitive history of Phenix City, Gen. George Patton once threatened to take his tanks from Fort Benning to “mash Phenix City flat” because of the “atrocities committed against his soldiers.”
 
This is not to suggest that Phenix City was totally lawless. It wasn’t. It was only quasi-lawless. Certain roadhouses and brothels were periodically raided by police when payoffs were slow and when things really got out of hand the Military Police from Fort Benning would show up and roust the drunken soldiers on leave. Occasionally the military authorities would declare a particular joint off-limits to army personnel.
 
The police department did its part, too. It revoked the permits for all the guns within city limits, but when it outlawed guns, only the outlaws had guns.
 
There were attempts by a few brave locals to try and clean things up, but as might be expected, these were easily put down by threats and violence. Most of the time people just held their noses as they raked in the cash.
 
The corruption of Phenix City spread beyond its borders. The city was a safe haven for bootleggers who imported tax-free liquor into Georgia and when confronted by Georgia revenue agents, scurried back across the border to the protective enclave of the city. There, the Georgia agents had no jurisdiction, and they could expect no assistance from either the Russell County Sheriff’s Department, led by Sheriff Ralph Matthews, or the city police.
 
Prostitutes were available for the asking, with prices ranging from $5 to $50, according to testimony at one of the many trials held after the fall of the rackets. Plainclothes state troopers admitted “talking with” the prostitutes — and paying for that privilege.
 
Spiraling out of control almost since its inception, with destruction accelerated by the gangsterism of the early 20th century, Phenix City hit bottom on June 18, 1954.
 
On that night, a killer gunned down the town’s leading anti-vice advocate, Albert Patterson, in cold blood.
 
A former state senator and Purple Heart veteran of the First World War, Patterson, 59, had been more than just a thorn in the side of the local hoodlums. Through the Russell Betterment Association Patterson had raised awareness of the situation in Phenix City and brought it to the attention of the people of Alabama. The Phenix City machine fought back against the RBA. Someone firebombed the house of the Association president, destroying it while his wife and children were inside. They barely escaped. After the police revoked the gun permits, two RBA members were assaulted with lead pipes by a pair of thugs. Patterson’s law office mysteriously went up in flames.
 
Patterson, who could only walk with the help of a cane because of his war wound, was no saint. For a long time he was one of those citizens who gave more-than-tacit approval by working with the corrupt system of Phenix City on legal matters. Unlike those who colluded for the sake of profit, Patterson claimed he did so because of his belief in the rule of law — even for those who did not follow it and seemingly didn’t deserve it.
 
Eventually Patterson could no longer in good conscience provide legal services for the criminals of Phenix City and he was recruited by the Russell Betterment Association to run for state Attorney General. The RBA knew that it would take state muscle to make any significant headway in the city.
 
Patterson’s former clients were stunned by his betrayal and decision to run on an anti-crime platform, so they took steps to make sure he didn’t reach his goal. Ironically, the Phenix City political machine that reached high up into Alabama state government painted Patterson as “the machine candidate.” They used their own notorious history — and Patterson’s role in it — against him, referring to Patterson in campaign literature as “that lawyer from Phenix City.”
 
The May 4, 1954 primary in Phenix City was typically corrupt. Vote buying and tampering was common. People who openly supported Patterson were beaten and chased away from the polls without voting.
 
But Phenix City was only one part of Alabama and when the votes were tallied Albert Patterson won the three-man primary by 70,000 votes. Unfortunately for him that victory only meant a runoff vote a month later against the candidate actually chosen by the machine.
 
In the June runoff Patterson won by less than 1,000 votes. The slim margin necessitated a recount which gave the opposition a last chance to manipulate the totals. When that failed, the racketeers of Phenix City and the entrenched political machine of Alabama state government tossed away the ballots and chose the bullet.
 
The Alabama political cabal did everything it could to defeat Patterson, but in June 1954 Patterson won the Democratic nomination for Attorney General. At the time winning the Democratic primary in Alabama was essentially the same as winning the general election, so the leaders of Phenix City’s underworld realized they had a significant problem.
 
On the night of June 18, 1954, Patterson had just finished some work at his office in Phenix City and was getting into his car when he was shot three times with a .38 pistol. One of the shots was fired while the muzzle of the pistol was pressed against his lips. Patterson stumbled out of the parking lot on to a nearby street about 30 feet from where he was shot before collapsing and dying.
 
Despite occurring on a relatively busy street not far from the gambling houses — and just outside the office of the county Solicitor Arch Ferrell, an arch-nemesis — the sheriff’s investigation revealed that no one heard or saw a thing. The killer escaped easily.
 
Patterson knew that he was playing for the highest stakes possible and that his life was in danger. He declined to carry a gun because he said any attack on him would be ambush-style and he would not have a chance to return fire. Just the day before he died Patterson gave a speech in Phenix City where he expressed his feelings about his future.
 
“I believe I have only one chance out of a hundred of being sworn in,” he told a crowd of supporters.
 
Suspicion quickly fell on the racketeers who stood to lose the most should Patterson take office. The murder had all the earmarks of a standard mob hit, and while Patterson was not the Democratic machine candidate, his only enemies appeared to be the mobsters running Phenix City.
 
Immediately after Patterson’s murder, Governor Gordon Persons called out the Alabama National Guard and imposed limited martial law in Phenix City. The Pentagon declared the city off-limits to all military personnel from Fort Benning.
 
Along with sub-machine gun-toting state troopers, 150 Guardsmen with law enforcement background began patrolling the city streets as the governor announced a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of Patterson’s killer. Local police were disarmed by the Guard, the only time in American history this had happened. Patterson’s son, also an attorney, swore vengeance on the murderer.
 
The National Guard did more than just patrol the streets in place of the police. Shortly after setting up camp, the Guard began raiding gambling dens and whorehouses, making dozens of arrests.
 
“The show is over in Phenix City,” said Adjutant Gen. Walter J. Hanna. “My job here is to preserve law and order and we intend to do just that. If it means closing every honky-tonk in Phenix City, we’ll do that.”
 
Patterson’s murder and the arrival of the National Guard was too much for some honest residents of Phenix City, however.
 
“This has reached the point where I personally cannot endure it any longer,” said Chamber of Commerce manager Alton Foster. “I’m through.”
 
Foster resigned his job, packed up his belongings, and left the city forever.
 
Solicitor Arch Ferrell, who had once been Patterson’s partner but was known as the house counsel for the racketeers, expressed shock and dismay at the murder.
 
“All the people, like myself, are deeply shocked and outraged and extremely hopeful that the vicious murderer will be apprehended at the earliest possible moment and dealt with according to the severest limits of justice.”
 
Sheriff Ralph Mathews, meanwhile, ordered a roundup of “all known criminals” in hopes of finding some clue to the murderer. He appointed his chief deputy, Albert Fuller, to oversee that operation.
 
Within days of the murder, however, the probe took a singular turn. Ferrell and Mathews were removed from the investigation, and Alabama Attorney General Si Garrett announced that he was leaving Alabama for Texas for “reasons of health.” Garrett checked into a Houston sanitarium for a mental breakdown.
 
The Alabama Supreme Court replaced the local judge — who was not implicated in any wrongdoing — and demanded the resignation of the local jury commissioners who were responsible for selecting venirmen for trials. The Court expressed confidence in the judge, but said replacing him would help restore trust in the judicial system. The jury commissioners, however, did not enjoy the same confidence. The Court hinted that all was not kosher with Russell County’s jury selection process, ordering a purging of the jury rolls and a new pool selected.
 
It turns out that before he left the state Si Garrett spent 10 uncomfortable hours testifying before a special grand jury looking into the vote fraud that had occurred during the primary race for Attorney General. At the same time, Ferrell and Mathews were subpoenaed by the panel to testify about their roles in the voter fraud. Patterson himself had received a subpoena to testify about what he knew of the matter.
 
Investigators looking at Albert Patterson’s murder were working under an entirely new theory of the crime. It wasn’t racketeers who killed the self-proclaimed “Man Against Crime,” it was politicians.
 
In reality, it is unusual for organized crime to plot an assassination of a law enforcer, no matter how much of a firebrand that person is. After all it is better to let investigators try to make a case rather than hand them one on a platter. The same mindset likely applied to mobsters from New York who had ultimate say over Phenix City (Since the income was $20 million annually, the Syndicate in New York was doubtless heavily involved in operations, and it was smart enough not to kill an Attorney General-elect). The lack of mob convictions in connection with Patterson’s murder shows this was a rogue operation by a group of desperate men.
 
Two weeks after Patterson’s death, Si Garrett, Arch Ferrell, and Lamar Reid were indicted on vote fraud charges. Reid was the chairman of the Jefferson County Democratic Executive Committee and had taken part in the shifting of votes from Patterson to his opponent.
 
The murder investigators began looking at Arch Ferrell’s activities around the time Albert Patterson was killed. Ferrell was in his office not far from the murder scene but told investigators that he did not hear anything. At the time of the murder Ferrell was on the telephone with Silas Garrett, he said.
 
Investigators located a cab driver who swore he saw Ferrell and Chief Deputy Sheriff Albert Fuller near Patterson’s car shortly before the murder. Another witness was willing to testify that he saw Fuller and Patterson walking toward Patterson’s car together and that he heard shots fired shortly after. This evidence contradicted that of the initial investigation that no one heard or saw anything related to the crime.
 
Equally damning, the witness was ready to swear that he saw Fuller running away from the scene after the killing with another man — Arch Ferrell.
 
Fuller denied any connection with the murder and said that he was working in the sheriff’s office when Patterson was killed. He didn’t know anything of the murder until he was informed by another deputy, he said.
 
Investigators were undeterred by the alibis presented by Ferrell and Fuller. A subsequent search of Fuller’s home revealed .38 bullets made by the same manufacturer as those that killed Patterson.
 
The circumstantial evidence pointing toward the prosecutor and deputy sheriff was sufficient to lead to indictments. In December 1954, Arch Ferrell, Albert Fuller, and Silas Garrett were each charged with the first degree murder of Albert Patterson.
 
Garrett was served with his warrant while still a patient in the mental hospital in Texas. Ferrell was also laid up by a serious back injury and was arrested in his bed and placed under house arrest. Fuller was hale and hearty and jailed.
 
Fuller was the first to go to trial. After 26 days of trial and 6 hours of deliberation, the jury returned a guilty verdict. The prosecution wanted to send Fuller to the chair, but instead he was given a life sentence. Protesting his innocence, Fuller was taken to prison where he served 10 years before being paroled.
 
Ferrell went on trial next and was acquitted. The circumstantial evidence against him just was not strong enough to merit conviction, the jurors said.
 
Garrett was judged mentally incompetent and was never tried for his role in the murder of Albert L. Patterson. He died a broken man.
 
The grand jury looking into the activities of Phenix City returned 740 indictments ranging from murder to vagrancy in the four months it was impaneled. Most of the crimes were minor, but about 400 people would eventually go to jail or pay a fine for their participation in the vice operations in the town.
 
Within a few years Phenix City would be proclaimed “clean” and was considered an “All-American City.”
 
Patterson’s son, John, took his father’s place on the ballot in 1954 and was elected Attorney General. In 1958 he was elected Governor of Alabama. A strict segregationist, he banned any marching bands from African-American high schools from participating in the festivities surrounding his inauguration.