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

Discussion in 'Cold Cases' started by Kanawha City Frank, Feb 23, 2013.

  1. Kanawha City Frank

    Kanawha City Frank New Member

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    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!
     
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  3. Backwoods

    Backwoods New Member

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    :Welcome1:

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

    Kanawha City Frank New Member

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    Thank you, Backwoods!
     
  5. believe09

    believe09 Active Member

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    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?
     
  6. Kanawha City Frank

    Kanawha City Frank New Member

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    believe,

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

    OkieGranny New Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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  8. OkieGranny

    OkieGranny New Member Staff Member Forum Coordinators

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    http://bonpasseexonerationservices.com/documents/0RobertBallardBaileycombo.pdf

     
  9. STANDREID

    STANDREID A slacker when slacker wasn't cool

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    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.
     

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