CRIME: Broken Connection

The phone rang peremptorily in the modest Hollywood home of Mrs. Elsie Thomas. Over 2,450 miles, her daughter's voice spoke raggedly in her ear: "Emory is going to kill us. He has a gun. Talk him out of this awful thing." Emory was on the phone. As she heard her daughter's sobs in the background, Mrs. Thomas begged him, with paralyzed inadequacy: "Please—be a good boy." Her son-in-law's tense voice came back: "It's too late, Mama, it's too late."

Emory Holt, an engineer officer in the merchant marine, had met and married pretty, dark-haired Norma Bew six years before. Emory...