Thomas Keith Marshall 1870-1931. Moffet photo
Thomas Keith Marshall 1870-1931. Moffet photo

Just after midnight on April 27,1931, Louise Marshall shot her husband four times with a small caliber pistol. Law enforcement officials arrived immediately and Tom was taken to the nearby hospital. No one was more surprised by this turn of events than Ivan and Wilma Peters.

When questioned, Louise reported that she did not intend to kill him, only to warn him. She was afraid for her life because she was being poisoned. As facts emerged in the trial, the defense presented medical proof that Mrs. Marshall had been systematically poisoned with arsenic. They also presented evidence that the wounds inflicted on Tom Marshall did not result in his demise. He was well on the way to recovery before a postoperative infection set in after an unsuccessful operation to remove one of the bullets. He died in a Los Angeles hospital on May 20,1931.

In spite of pleas by the prosecutor, Tom had refused to sign a complaint against his wife. He even had told his nurse, "she was a good woman and always fair to me." With the urging of J. S. Bayliss, his friend from the University Club days, Tom signed his $5,000 life insurance policy over to Trinity Presbyterian Church.

The local newspapers had a field day with affair which resulted in a change of venue. The Santa Cruz County Courthouse in Nogales ultimately served as the site for the trial. After hearing the evidence and attorney's arguments, the jury took 20 minutes of deliberation before returning with a verdict of not guilty.

Thus ended an often stormy relationship between a husband and wife. She then returned to her very private life, continued to support charitable efforts, and lived to the age of 92. She passed away on July 10, 1956. The Marshall Foundation continues the work she started and Tom Marshall represented for such a short time before his death.

Tom Marshall did not prove to be a successful businessman, newspaperman, or politician. He flitted from project to project, never putting in the fullest measure of effort needed to bring the project to successful conclusion. He held strong convictions, but often failed to carry an argument because he lacked corroborating information. His omissions mark him a failure, but he nevertheless had a keen eye for his surroundings and the good sense to record those visions for future. The images contained within this book are part of his legacy and for our benefit.

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