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Whoopee Party in Chevy Chase Ends in Tragedy with a Fatal Blow (1929)

A “whoopee” party in Chevy Chase, Virginia in 1929 ended in tragedy with a fatal blow, leaving a mystery shrouding the manner in which the death occurred. Read more to find out what happened.
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We love articles about whoopee parties. Who doesn’t? Here’s one that we came across which had a troubling ending, far worse that the last one that we wrote about. The article was published in the Washington Post on July 8th, 1929.

A drunken brawl, concluding a whoopee party of men and women at Arlington, Va., shortly after midnight Saturday night, resulted in the death of William Francis Mudd, 26 years old, driver of 1101 W street southeast.

Mystery shrouds the manner in which Mudd received the injuries from which he died shortly afterward at his home, where he had been taken by Good, Gable and Crawford, who made a brief statement in surrendering himself at 9 o’clock to Arlington officers with his admission that “I knew you wanted me.” He declared he drove his own truck with the three other men, but disclaimed knowledge of how Mudd was hurt.

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As host to the revelers in his Arlington home at Virginia avenue and Columbia pike, Grover Good, 28 years old, was held for investigation by Arlington County authorities at the jail in Fort Myer Heights with six others, five of whom are Washington residents, who had been transferred there following their arrest by the Eleventh Precinct officers. All admitted their presence at the party.

The group includes May Carlson, 23 years old 719 Sixth street southeast, around constructing their case; Spencer E. Coxen, 27 years old, 539 Ninth street southeast; Olin W. Chisholm, 32 years old, 1100 W street; Margaret M. Scanlan, 15 years old, 219 Twelfth street northeast; Paul W. Gable, of Bolling Field, and George W. Crawford, 25 years old, of Mulhall, Va.

In addition, Mrs. Marlon G. Mudd, 28 years old, wife of the dead man, is being detained at the jail pending the outcome of the investigation, which has made slow progress.

Commonwealth Attorney William C. Cloth, of Arlington County, returning last night from a brief trip, ordered an autopsy of Mudd’s body set for this morning.

The man died from a fracture of the skull, declared Dr. B. H. Swain, Arlington County coroner, in pointing out that “the wound indicated that it was caused by a blow.”

The Carlson woman thus far has furnished officers with the only details of the case which they have accepted as reliable, and the investigation in progress by Sheriff Howard B. Fields and Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney H. Bruce Green has started from her statement.

“I had gone out of Good’s house alone some time between 12 and 12:30 o’clock in the morning, while the party was in full swing, and had sat down in an automobile outside so I could go to sleep,” declared the woman. “I fell asleep, feeling very badly, and was roused a little later to find Mudd his hands around my throat.”

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“I began screaming, and the others rushed out of the house. There was a fight right there by the side of the car and I can’t remember exactly what happened.”

The others in attendance at the party denied any knowledge of the manner in which Mudd was fatally injured but were unanimous in advancing the theory that “he must have fallen off the back of the truck on his way home and hurt himself.”

Mrs. Mudd told police she arrived at her home at 3 o’clock Sunday morning to find her husband in an unconscious condition. She immediately notified Eleventh Precinct policemen, the Fire Rescue Squad and Casualty Hospital. Dr. H. J. Konzelman, of that institution, pronounced Mudd dead and the body was removed to the District Morgue.

Arlington County officers assisting in the case include Ray Cobean, C. W. Carr, Raymond Crack and John R. Burke.

Good was arrested later in the day at his home by Officers Burke and Cobean.

Sketchy. This sounds fishy. Does this sound a little like a Wes Craven movie?

Washington Post headline
Washington Post headline
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