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Ann Woodward
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    (December 12, 1915-October 9, 1975)
    Born in Pittsburg, Kansas
    Birth name was Angeline Lucille Crowell
    Model, showgirl and radio actress
    Married banking heir William ‘Billy’ Woodward, Jr. (1943)
    She allegedly had been the mistress of William Woodward, Sr., who passed her along to his son.
    When she married into high society, she cut off all contact with her past.
    In her wedding announcement, she listed her father as ‘the late Colonel J.C. Crowell.’ A dozen years later, a reporter tracked down her still living father, a former streetcar conductor, who, along with most of the rest of the residents of her hometown, was convinced she had gone to Hollywood and become Eve Arden.
    She and her husband hired private detectives to trail each other.
    She fatally shot her husband outside his bedroom door (October 30, 1955).
    After the shooting, she called for an ambulance, the police – and her attorney.
    She was taken to a hospital in hysterics and sedated at her lawyer’s insistence, resulting in her being unavailable for questioning for 48 hours.
    She said she had thought her husband was a burglar who had broken into their house, but her mother-in-law Elsie believed she had killed Billy on purpose to prevent him from divorcing her.
    There were rumors that Elsie, in order to prevent a public scandal, paid Paul Wirths to testify in Ann’s favor.
    She committed suicide by taking cyanide.
    She was voted ‘Most Beautiful Girl in Radio.’ (1940)
    The night of the shooting, the Woodwards had attended a party in honor of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Guests testified that they had heard the couple talking about tracking down a prowler who they suspected was hiding on their estate and had stolen food and ammo two nights earlier.
    Police arrested burglar Paul Wirths, who confessed to having broken into the Woodwards’ home, only to run off when he heard gunfire.
    Police found a deep footprint at the base of a tree that Wirths said he had slid down while fleeing the house.
    A grand jury investigating the shooting concluded no crime had been committed.
    She was said to have killed herself over Truman Capote including in ‘Answered Prayers’ a thinly-fictionalized version of her, who is described as a ‘cold-blooded murderess.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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