Frederick and May – Divorce Trial #3

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The Maid - Agnes

While May and Freddie lived at the Plaza Hotel in 1909, May took a liking to the hotel maid, Agnes Oberg.  When the Roaches moved out of the hotel to their own house, May asked Agnes to go with them and be her personal maid.  May asked Agnes to be a witness for her and “swear that she had never seen any men visiting Mrs. Roach”.  Agnes refused.  May thought that Agnes was too modest to testify. 

May’s face turned white when Attorney Weymouth Kirkland, Freddie’s attorney called Agnes as the first witness.  It occurred to May that as soon as she had left the apartment that morning, Agnes got on the phone and talked to Freddie.  As Agnes began naming names and incidents, May fainted.  Dr. William Krohn, who was in the courtroom, administered first aid and sent May home in a taxi. 

Under testimony Agnes agreed that she was getting revenge for not having been paid in three months.  Agnes testimony also showed that Freddie cut off May’s support in February when he left the house and that May had been surviving on contributions made by men friends.  Agnes testified that she had been promised a trip to California and a bungalow to stick with May. 

Agnes named 14 men, tactfully called affinities in the trial,  that had visited May at the apartment.  Some had spent the night she testified, and some had given May money.  Many of the men Agnes talked about were under assumed names.  “Mrs. Roach told me”, she testified “That Waterfall was a good fellow, but had no money.  At 2 o’clock one morning I was summoned to Mrs. Roach’s room to rub Dave Henry’s breast with antiphlogistine.  They both laughed and said I would make a good nurse.  Mr. Hyman tore a $10 bill in halves.  I saw him give Mrs. Roach one of the pieces, and when he departed after breakfast Mrs. Roach had both pieces.  Hyman gave me $2 but Mrs. Roach later took it away from me.  When Mr. Roach returned on one occasion, I refused to let him in on orders from Mrs. Roach. I refused because the Frenchman was in the house and I wanted to give him a chance to escape. “

The Chauffeur - Jackson

Harry Jackson, the chauffeur, was set to testify.  Brady objected since May was not in court, feeling ill after the testimony of Agnes the day before. 

Kirkland’s response was “She might as well come and face it.  If that testimony yesterday made her sick, I have some more for today that will make her sicker”. 

Jackson testified to the automobile trip from Louisville to Chicago where May picked up 5 “affinities” in relays.  He stated that he had driven the Roaches from West Baden, IN to Louisville, KY in May, 1911.  He then stated that Mrs. Roach left Louisville suddenly with Tim Murphy.  Jackson drove them to a hotel in Madison, IN where they checked in. 

Kirkland then produced a photograph of containing the signature of Tim Murphy as” J.P. Ross and wife and driver”.

Jackson stated, “From Madison we went to Columbus, OH and next to Indianapolis, IN.  Mrs. Roach with Mr. Murphy and a Dr. Hill, whom they met in Indianapolis and spent more than an hour in a house there, where Mrs. Roach smoked with the others.  Mr. Murphy stopped with Mrs. Roach at the Denison Hotel in Indianapolis. 

When I was leaving Indianapolis with Mrs. Roach, Murphy, handed her a check and said ‘If you need any money on the way to Chicago, use this.’  I drove her alone to Lafayette, IN and to Remington, IN , and finally to Crown Pointe, IN.  At Crown Pointe, we picked up a doctor whom Mrs. Roach knew, and he rode with us to Chicago when we arrived on May 27.  I heard Mrs. Roach tell the doctor at the 12th Street Station, of the South Side elevated that she was afraid to go to the New Southern hotel so early in the morning.  It was then about 3:00 o’clock. ” He testified that during the road trip that she smoked, drank, and visited notorious resorts with her escorts.

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