Friday, February 26, 2010

The Chicken Hearted Killer - A True Crime Story

"The Chicken-Hearted Killer" from Crime Does Not Pay #50 (Mar. 1947)

Howard “Sonny” Potts loves his chickens. So much so, that he thinks about his chickens at work (“Curse this job which keeps me away from them!”).

He thinks about them on his way to the bus. He thinks about them while on the bus. He thinks about them so much that he starts to get real sweaty.

At home, Howard treats his wife Muriel shabbily, smacking her with a broom and slapping her in the head.

Muriel, for some crazy reason, doesn’t understand the whole chicken thing. She wants money to buy food and a new coat. Howard isn’t keen on either suggestion (“I’ll decide where the money goes in this house – and none of it goes to you!”).

Even though Howard, the genius, doesn’t give his wife money to buy food he demands to be fed so Muriel cooks up Mr. Corn, a favored rooster. This outrage causes Howard to use the business end of an axe on Muriel and bury her body next to the chicken coup.
Big mistake, as the chickens come home to roost and begin to dig Muriel’s body out of her (presumably) shallow grave in front of a wandering cop.

Howard’s goose is cooked (so to speak) and he’s sent to the gas chamber where he utters his final words, “COUGH. I love chickens more than anything else! COUGH.”

(Caution, illustrations are larger than they appear. Click on them with your mouse.)

Pittsburgh Post Gazette, May 23, 1943:

Clerk Admits Killing Wife When Dinner Was LateDenver, May 22, (UP)--District Attorney James Burke said tonight he will file a first degree murder charge against Howard (Sonny) Potts, Denver shipping clerk who told police he beat his wife to death and buried her in their basement because, “I lost my head when dinner wasn’t ready.”

Detective captain James E. Childers said Potts, 39, formerly of Boone, Ia, signed a complete statement that he struck his wife with his fist, jumped on her body in a rage, draffed her by the hair to the basement stairway and hurled her down, when he found a promised chicken dinner hadn’t been prepared.

Potts told police that before he buried his wife he went down into the basement several times a dy, “sometimes just to look at her, but generally to fix the furnace.”


The CDM said...

The only thing missing from this is this guy giving a passage from the bible rationalizing his actions.

The CDM said...

Also, in the cartoon, I did see the hatchet. HOWEVER, it is still possible that she choked his chicken.

I'm just sayin'...

michael.price917 said...

Actually, Howard C "Sonny" Potts was executed on June 22nd, 1945, Denver, Colorado, US, for the murder of his wife Mary (not Muriel). The stuff about chickens was made up. He was gassed, though; they got that bit right.