Sunday, February 12, 2012

Black Sheep Sunday - Leo W Hall, Bigamist and Scoundrel

Leo W. Hall married my wife's distant cousin, Amelia Lanz in 1911.  They appeared to be happily married and had at least three children between 1911 and 1921.  They lived in Utica, NY.

Leo Hall was a "fireman" for the railroad.  As a fireman, he was in charge of tending and stoking the fire for a steam locomotive.  This role must have had him working some short or intermediate trips working on trains and did take him away from his family from time to time.  

On at least one trip from his family he met and seduced a woman named Kittie Loughrey in Oneida, NY.  He purposefully mislead her to believe that he was single and convinced her to elope with him for a wedding in New York City.  So on January 12, 1921, they were wed.  Of course, the only problem being that he was already married.

But it gets worse....

Unlike some stories about bigamists that you may hear about where the bigamist lives a secret life with multiple wives or families, Leo Hall used his new marriage as an opportunity to abandon his legitimate wife and kids.  Just prior to his disappearance, he returned to Utica for the birth of his third child on January 27 and remained in the city until his wife returned from the hospital on February 12th.  Upon her return home, he left, probably never intending to return.

Leo was busy while his wife was in the hospital.  He cleaned out the family bank account and took with him all the family valuables.  If it wasn't enough to leave his family with nothing, he then proceeded to charge to a store account in his wife's name for two suits and a gold watch.  He gave the gold watch to his new bride as a wedding present.

Leo and his new wife departed by train for a honeymoon in Florida.

Next post:  The Manhunt and "Death" of Leo Hall

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