CRIME: Putting the Blame on Mame

To explain to their Detroit neighbors where all their money was coming from, retired Police Sergeant Glenn Averill and his wife Mamie worked out a simple, effective routine. Glenn would tell prying questioners that his wife had inherited a lot of money. Mamie would turn aside the inquisitive by hinting that her husband came from a wealthy family.

Some kind of explanation was needed. Mamie made $25,000 a year as head bookkeeper at the big Detroit architectural engineering firm of Giffels & Vallet (now Giffels & Rossetti). But the Averills lived far beyond the $25,000-a-year scale, with a chauffeured Cadillac,...

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