CRIME: Stumblers

One day in the spring of 1936 the Travelers' Insurance Co. in St. Louis, Mo. received an agitated telephone call from one John Womack. His voice trembling, Mr. Womack related that his wife, Bertha Mae, had been sideswiped by a dairy truck in East St. Louis, knocked to the pavement where she gave premature birth to a dead child. Mr. Womack added that he would settle his claim immediately for $2,000. Preferring to investigate, a company representative found plump Bertha Mae bedded in a local hospital. Physicians decided she had given birth...

Want the full story?

Subscribe Now


Get TIME the way you want it

  • One Week Digital Pass — $4.99
  • Monthly Pay-As-You-Go DIGITAL ACCESS$2.99
  • One Year ALL ACCESSJust $30!   Best Deal!
    Print Magazine + Digital Edition + Subscriber-only Content on

Learn more about the benefits of being a TIME subscriber

If you are already a subscriber sign up — registration is free!