|Salem, Oregon Capital Journal, 15-September-1921|
District Attorney Matthew Brady made plans to charge Roscoe Arbuckle in the death of actress Virginia Rappe, who died in a San Francisco hospital on 09-September-1921. She had been in critical condition since attending a Labor Day party held by actor Roscoe Arbuckle at the Saint Francis Hotel on 05-November-1921. She died because of a ruptured bladder which became infected. The DA seemed to be trying to stack the deck against Roscoe.
ARBUCKLE MAY GET BAIL
CHARGE; TRIAL SET
Freedom To Be Allowed On $5,000 Deposit If
Prosecution Decides To Sidetrack Two Murder
Charges Pending; District Attorney
Undecided As To Course
San Francisco, Sept. 15. -- A county grand jury indictment charging Roscoe Arbuckle, with manslaughter in connection with the death of Miss Virginia Rappe, motion picture actress, after a party in his rooms in the St. Francis hotel, was returned to Presiding Judge Shortall of the superior court today.
The indictment was voted September 14.
Bail was set at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bonds and the case assigned to the court of Superior Judge Harold Louderback in the Hall of Justice.
"We, the grand jury charge, to wit: That on or about the ninth of September, 1921, Roscoe Arbuckle did then and there willfully, unlawfully and feloniously and without malice aforethought, kill Virginia Rappe, a human being."
Arbuckle was not in court.
District Attorney Brady explained that Arbuckle would not be admitted to ball until two murder charges pending against him had been disposed of. He is to confer with the chief of police and other authorities later in the day as to the exact charge on which Arbuckle shall be tried.
San Francisco, Sept. 15. -- A threat of violence against Roscoe Arbuckle, "If justice is not done" in his case, was contained in an anonymous special delivery letter received from Sacramento today by Harry Kelly, secretary of the county grand jury. The letter was turned over to the police.
Arbuckle bade goodbye to his cellmate, David Bender, who escaped from the Maryland penitentiary. Bender left today in charge of a Maryland official to serve the remainder of his term. Bender wished Arbuckle "good luck" and the film comedian reciprocated the sentiment.
Funeral Plans Laid
San Francisco, Sept. 15. -- Arrangements are being completed today for the funeral of Miss Virginia Rappe, motion picture actress, whose death in a sanitarium here last Friday resulted in four charges against Roscoe C. (Fatty) Arbuckle, two of murder and two of manslaughter. Herman Jaurag, motion picture director of Los Angeles, is expected to arrive today and take charge of the remains for shipment to Hollywood, Miss Rappe's home.
A telegram from Mayor L. C. Hodgson of St. Paul which thanked Brady for his announced intentions that he will prosecute the case without fear or favor, was made public by Brady today. It continued:
"Latest reports Indicate Arbuckle money Is overcoming state testimony. Do not falter. Fight this to a finish. If Arbuckle is not punished the moving picture business is done, for decent people are tired of the eccentricities of genius. Go the limit and win praise of all good people."
Brady replied that "in spite of Arbuckle's money and influence the case will be prosecuted most vigorously."
Another telegram from Henry Lehrman of New York, Miss Rappe's fiance, to Brady also was made public. It said:
Fiancé Asks Justice.
"For the sake of God and justice to men don't let justice be cheated. It brought tears of rage to my eyes when I read your speech that influence and wealth are brought into play to bar justice. I cried because you told the truth in spite of the pressure of gold to stifle it.
"You are convinced from facts and I from knowing him that Arbuckle killed Virginia Rappe as a result of his attack.
"Now don't let them cheat justice -- for God's sake don't."
While the city authorities busied themselves with the case, federal prohibition enforcement officials, under the direction of Robert R. McCormack, assistant United States attorney general in charge of prohibition violations, continued an investigation of charges that a considerable quantity of liquor was served and consumed at the hotel party in Arbuckle's room in which Miss Rappe is alleged to have received her fatal Injuries. McCormack announced that there would be vigorous investigation and a quick hearing on the charge.
Bail Is Possible.
District Attorney Brady announced that he would be present in the court of Presiding Judge Shortall, of the superior court, when the grand jury manslaughter indictment against Arbuckle is returned, and that he might decide later in the day the charge on which he will try Arbuckle.
It was pointed out by Brady that should it be decided to try the film star on a charge of manslaughter, and the murder charge be dismissed, Arbuckle would be admitted to bail. Under the California law a person charged with murder cannot obtain bail.
The coroner's inquest into the death of Miss Rappe was the most important feature of the Arbuckle case yesterday. The coroner's jury recommended a charge of manslaughter. Telegrams were received by District Attorney Brady yesterday asking him to prosecute the case vigorously. Arbuckle too received telegrams, eighteen of them, the contents of which were not made public. The telegrams to Arbuckle were sent in care ot the chief of police and, it was said, many were from women friends.