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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Kanawha County, West Virginia
    Posts
    37

    WV - Rosina Fazio, 56, Charleston, 25 October 1949

    Hello, Websleuths of WV!

    I am writing an article for Goldenseal Magazine, the WV State Folklore quarterly. It is called "Capital Crimes." The two VERY cold cases I'm featuring are the October 1949 murder of West Side restaurant owner Rosina Fazio, and the August 1953 murder of Juliet Staunton Clark, the owner and Publisher of the Charleston Daily Mail newspaper. Both are unsolved.

    In the Fazio murder, Robert Ballard Bailey was convicted and sentenced to be the first person executed in the Moundsville electric chair. The sentencing judge, Judge Savage, was in tears as he pronounced the death sentence. He did not believe Bailey was guilty but his hands were tied. The warden of the MSP also believed Bailey was innocent and contacted the famous Earl Stanley Gardner, creator of the Perry Mason novels, who gave Bailey a polygraph (that he passed) only 48 hours prior to his date with the chair. Governor Pattison (sic) was contacted by Gardner who convinced him Bailey was innocent and he commuted the death sentence to life in prison. Governor Underwood gave Bailey a "conditional" pardon which Governor Smith then made "unconditional." The son of Rosina, Joe Fazio, put out a contract on Bailey, and he wisely left the state. The crime is unsolved, but in a Friday conversation with the COD at CPD, the finger was put on Joe Fazio (reputed to be mobbed up) as the killer of his mother.

    The second case, Juliet Staunton Clark's murder, is even more bizarre, but also features money (lots of it), status, famous Charleston figures, mystery, innuendo, gossip and no arrest. Mrs. Clark, widow of the Governor of Alaska, was last seen alive around 9 p.m., August 21, 1953, by her son in law, Archibald Alexander II. The next morning, her body was discovered by her maid. She's been beaten about the head so hard it looked as though she'd been shot. Only a wallet was missing. Her sons (by her first husband) were the Clay brothers who started the Clay Center in Charleston. At the time of her murder, Lyle B. Clay was actually City Solicitor of Charleston. The chief suspect, never arrested, was the son in law.

    I'm a historian, not a crime writer. I need your input on these two cases!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    central Georgia, USA
    Posts
    4,658
    Quote Originally Posted by Kanawha City Frank View Post
    Hello, Websleuths of WV!

    I am writing an article for Goldenseal Magazine, the WV State Folklore quarterly. It is called "Capital Crimes." The two VERY cold cases I'm featuring are the October 1949 murder of West Side restaurant owner Rosina Fazio, and the August 1953 murder of Juliet Staunton Clark, the owner and Publisher of the Charleston Daily Mail newspaper. Both are unsolved.

    In the Fazio murder, Robert Ballard Bailey was convicted and sentenced to be the first person executed in the Moundsville electric chair. The sentencing judge, Judge Savage, was in tears as he pronounced the death sentence. He did not believe Bailey was guilty but his hands were tied. The warden of the MSP also believed Bailey was innocent and contacted the famous Earl Stanley Gardner, creator of the Perry Mason novels, who gave Bailey a polygraph (that he passed) only 48 hours prior to his date with the chair. Governor Pattison (sic) was contacted by Gardner who convinced him Bailey was innocent and he commuted the death sentence to life in prison. Governor Underwood gave Bailey a "conditional" pardon which Governor Smith then made "unconditional." The son of Rosina, Joe Fazio, put out a contract on Bailey, and he wisely left the state. The crime is unsolved, but in a Friday conversation with the COD at CPD, the finger was put on Joe Fazio (reputed to be mobbed up) as the killer of his mother.

    The second case, Juliet Staunton Clark's murder, is even more bizarre, but also features money (lots of it), status, famous Charleston figures, mystery, innuendo, gossip and no arrest. Mrs. Clark, widow of the Governor of Alaska, was last seen alive around 9 p.m., August 21, 1953, by her son in law, Archibald Alexander II. The next morning, her body was discovered by her maid. She's been beaten about the head so hard it looked as though she'd been shot. Only a wallet was missing. Her sons (by her first husband) were the Clay brothers who started the Clay Center in Charleston. At the time of her murder, Lyle B. Clay was actually City Solicitor of Charleston. The chief suspect, never arrested, was the son in law.

    I'm a historian, not a crime writer. I need your input on these two cases!



    I'm not a West Virginian, Kanawha City Frank -- but welcome to Websleuths!

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Kanawha County, West Virginia
    Posts
    37
    Thank you, Backwoods!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Oh Captain, My Captain
    Posts
    28,119
    Kanawha City Frank, why dont you set up separate threads for these two cases so that the information doesnt get confusing for you as people start to sleuth. What do you think?
    email me


    Long Lost Love: The Bob Harrod Story Disappeared/ID Network
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    Bob Harrod SAR


    “The first time someone shows you who they are, believe them.”
    ― Maya Angelou

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Kanawha County, West Virginia
    Posts
    37
    believe,

    That's the kind of critical thinking I need help with! A great suggestion and I'll get on it right now.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    21,431
    Juliet's thread is here:

    http://www.websleuths.com/forums/sho...953&p=11691317

    Book excerpt with info about Rosina's case:

    https://books.google.com/books?id=kV...201949&f=false

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    21,431
    http://bonpasseexonerationservices.c...aileycombo.pdf

    On October 22, 1949, 56-year-old Rosina Fazio was robbed of cash and diamond jewelry, badly beaten, and left for dead in high weeds beside a street in Charleston. She was found unconscious and taken to a local hospital, where she died on October 25. Before she died, according to her son, Joseph Fazio, she identified her assailant as “Bob, the glass cutter.” Based on that allegation a warrant was issued for Robert Ballard Bailey, a 35-year-old Charleston glazier, who had hurriedly left town the day of the murder. Ballard was arrested on October 28 in Palatka, Florida, and charged with the crime...

    On March 9, 1950, Bailey was convicted of first-degree murder, mandating an automatic death sentence under the West Virginia law then in force. The trial judge, Jackson Savage, not convinced of Bailey’s guilt, was in tears as he pronounced the mandatory death sentence...

    Upon review, the West Virginia Department of Probation and Parole concluded that Bailey indeed was innocent and recommended that he be pardoned. In 1951, Patterson commuted the sentence to life in prison. In 1960, Governor Cecil H. Underwood granted Bailey a conditional pardon, and six years later Governor Hulett C. Smith dropped the conditions.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    McWopetaz Metroplex, Illinois U. S. of A.
    Posts
    4,562
    Was Bailey officially declared innocent or the conviction reversed? As I understand it, in most, if not all, places, a pardon is only a forgiveness and not the same as a "not guilty"; thus a pardon technically leaves the conviction in place. Some jurisdictions don't want to declare a convicted person innocent because they fear it might open them up to a lawsuit.
    This my opinion and to the best of my knowledge, that is, if I'm not joking.


    Stan Reid



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