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 Madalynne Donna Conner

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Madalynne Donna Conner

Birth
Superior, Douglas County, Wisconsin, USA
Death
22 Feb 1962 (aged 70)
Orange County, California, USA
Burial
Burial Details Unknown
Memorial ID
204831947 View Source

As Madalynne Obenchain, she became notorious when she went on trial for the murder of John Belton Kennedy five separate times, but each trial ended in a hung jury. Rumor had it that enough of the male jurors became enamored of Madalynne to ensure hopeless deadlock. The case fascinated the nation for many months in 1921-1922.

After the trials ended, Madalynne proclaimed that she planned to serve in a leper colony in the South Seas. Instead, she settled down in Los Angeles to study acting and took back her maiden name. She never married again and had no children.

Born Madeline D. Conner, she apparently changed the spelling of her name as a young adult. She was the daughter of John M. Conner, a hotel owner, and Emma Ellen Barnard (later Smart), who divorced when she was young. She had an older brother, James A. Conner, born c. 1889. Her father was born c. 1851 in New York, according to the 1910 census, in which she is living with him in North Dakota. Her mother, whose second husband was Charles Augustus Smart, was born 28 Oct 1861 in Wisconsin and died 18 Mar 1942 in Los Angeles. Emma and Charles Smart were married 29 Jun 1902 in Owatonna, MN, and are listed together in the 1905 Minnesota state census; Madeline is living with them, along with a baby daughter named Glenys, born 1904. Minnesota birth records give Glenys Inez Smart's birth date as 28 Sep 1903 in St. Paul, Ramsey County. In the 1920 census, Emma is listed as "widow", living in Los Angeles with Glenys -- but Charles is alive and well in St. Paul with a new wife, Minnie. Glenys (later Glenyse) married twice, and died 30 Mar 1975 in Los Angeles.

In later life, Madalynne gave her birth year as 1895, 1897, and other dates, but kept the September 6 date consistent. The birth and death dates given above are from the California Death Index 1940-1997. She married and divorced Ralph R. Obenchain.

As Madalynne Obenchain, she became notorious when she went on trial for the murder of John Belton Kennedy five separate times, but each trial ended in a hung jury. Rumor had it that enough of the male jurors became enamored of Madalynne to ensure hopeless deadlock. The case fascinated the nation for many months in 1921-1922.

After the trials ended, Madalynne proclaimed that she planned to serve in a leper colony in the South Seas. Instead, she settled down in Los Angeles to study acting and took back her maiden name. She never married again and had no children.

Born Madeline D. Conner, she apparently changed the spelling of her name as a young adult. She was the daughter of John M. Conner, a hotel owner, and Emma Ellen Barnard (later Smart), who divorced when she was young. She had an older brother, James A. Conner, born c. 1889. Her father was born c. 1851 in New York, according to the 1910 census, in which she is living with him in North Dakota. Her mother, whose second husband was Charles Augustus Smart, was born 28 Oct 1861 in Wisconsin and died 18 Mar 1942 in Los Angeles. Emma and Charles Smart were married 29 Jun 1902 in Owatonna, MN, and are listed together in the 1905 Minnesota state census; Madeline is living with them, along with a baby daughter named Glenys, born 1904. Minnesota birth records give Glenys Inez Smart's birth date as 28 Sep 1903 in St. Paul, Ramsey County. In the 1920 census, Emma is listed as "widow", living in Los Angeles with Glenys -- but Charles is alive and well in St. Paul with a new wife, Minnie. Glenys (later Glenyse) married twice, and died 30 Mar 1975 in Los Angeles.

In later life, Madalynne gave her birth year as 1895, 1897, and other dates, but kept the September 6 date consistent. The birth and death dates given above are from the California Death Index 1940-1997. She married and divorced Ralph R. Obenchain.


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