“Rich Georgian Strangely Shot”

Eugene Grace, “Daisy of the Leopard Spots” and the Great Atlanta Shooting of 1912

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About the Book

In March 1912, Gene Grace, a young Atlanta businessman, was found shot in the locked bedroom of his fashionable home “between the Peachtrees.” Daisy Grace, his flashily dressed Yankee wife from Philadelphia, was soon arrested on a charge of assault with intent to murder. Gene Grace was left paralyzed but, more importantly, he was powerless legally. Under Georgia law, he could not testify against his wife. Prosecutors were forced to rely instead upon the circumstantial evidence of an alleged “diabolical plot.” The Atlanta newspapers—led by the Georgian, under the very new control of Mr. Hearst, that giant of “yellow journalism”—covered the case relentlessly. Papers across the country followed the drama for months, which concluded with a five-day trial held in the searing heat of a Georgia summer. This is the never-before-told story of the tragic romance between “the Adonis of a country town” and the woman known to all as “Daisy of the Leopard Spots.”

About the Author(s)

Long-time Atlanta resident Tom Hughes was a radio news host and journalist for more than 30 years and is a member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame. He is a contributing writer to the London-based Marylebone Journal.

Bibliographic Details

Tom Hughes
Format: softcover (6 x 9)
Pages: 204
Bibliographic Info: 8 photos, 2 maps, notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2012
pISBN: 978-0-7864-7078-5
eISBN: 978-0-7864-9289-3
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1

1. “Rich Georgian Strangely Shot”      5

2. “What have you told these people, Gene?”      11

3. “Adonis from a Country Town”      17

4. The Philadelphia Belle      20

5. “A heart broken man”      25

6. Between the Peachtrees      32

7. Burglar or Butler?      38

8. To the Tower      43

9. “A diabolical plot”      48

10. “Hell, no, I’m not going to die”      53

11. The House of Mystery      58

12. To Philadelphia      67

13. Gene Grace in a Bad Light      76

14. Hearst Stirring Up Atlanta      85

15. An Operation      91

16. “A deathlike stillness”      97

17. The Bloody Bundle Redux      104

18. Mother Hill’s Ordeal      111

19. The Alibi Letters      121

20. A Grocer Calls      127

21. “Gentlemen, I am innocent”      135

22. Inhuman Creature or Persecuted Woman      146

23. “We, the jury”      155

24. Purely Speculation      161

25. The Final Chapter      170

Chapter Notes      179

Bibliography      187

Index      191

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “In this study, Hughes, a member of the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame, examines the local and national newspapers’ sensationalistic coverage of the case and the trial, and explains the mystery of what actually happened between Eugene and Daisy”—Reference & Research Book News
  • “A century-old scandal about an Atlanta woman’s alleged shooting of her husband that became the dominant headline for weeks in al three Atlanta newspapers of the day”—AccessAtlanta.com.

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