Minnesota Tales

The St. Paul Pioneer Press, June 3, 1908, p. 7



Her Husband Proves to be Native of St. Paul With a Notorious World-wide Reputation and Was Arrested With Pal and Woman While on Alleged Shoplifting Tour.

Legal proceedings in the Hennepin county district court yesterday unfolded the dramatic story of a woman's life, which as the dashing young wife of Richard Fahr, alias Hines, a native of St. Paul, carried her around the globe and at last landed her before a Minneapolis judge to face the charge of grand larceny and later to see her fate transferred to the hands of a jury, which after several hours' deliberation is still undecided whether or not to send "Edythe Smythe," who is really Mrs Fahr, to prison.

She is the woman arrested May 7 after a wild chase by detectives and police through the downtown streets of Minneapolis. At the same time her male companions, Fahr and Robert Wilson, were captured. It is alleged that the trio had been on a shoplifting tour. To save the woman the two men pleaded guilty to grand larceny, at the same time swearing that "Edythe" was innocent.

On Grand Larceny Charge.

The woman had been indicted on a charge of grand larceny, and yesterday her trial was held. It was testified that as a child wife she had been taken from the home of respectable parents to become a globe trotter with Fahr, who, it is said, is known in every civilized continent as an expert pickpocket and general all around crook. She is now nineteen years old.

M. C. Brady acted as her attorney, and the case was tried before Judge David F. Simpson.

The young woman answered the questions of her attorney in a rich contralto voice. She said she knew nothing of any wrong-doing. She had been living with her husband in St. Paul, and on the day the arrests were made had come to Minneapolis to pick out a new spring hat, as she could find none in St. Paul that suited her. They visited several stores, but she saw no stealing. She swore that she was married in Cleveland, Ohio, July 22, 1904, when fifteen years old.

On cross-examination Mrs. Fahr admitted that she had traveled extensively abroad with her husband, and that they had toured South America. She had no knowledge that her husband had jumped bail in Marshall and Dallas, Tex., and in Shreveport, La.

Were in London and Paris.

The young woman stated that after some time spent in London and Paris she had returned with her husband to a certain hotel in St. Paul.

"Isn't that where crooks meet to lay plans for catching victims in Minneapolis?" asked Attorney Berghagen for the state.

"Well, I certainly didn't know it," was the reply.

The woman's husband went on the stand and admitted everything so far as he was concerned and refused to admit that his wife knew anything about his wrong-doing. He nodded assent when accused of formulating the plans for thefts and smiled when the county attorney said:

"You know Wilson couldn't pick a pocket, don't you? You have said that Wilson couldn't get his hand in a flour barrel without scratching it?"

Decides to Answer.

When cross-examined by Mr. Bernhagen as to his various convictions the witness kept silent. Ordered by Judge Sherman to answer the questions, he said nothing.

"Do you intend to answer?" asked the court.

"If there are enough people in this room to make me," replied the witness curtly.

He was sent to jail and given a little of the dungeon treatment, and finally said he would answer. When questioned, however, as to various places where he had been convicted his invariable answer was that he couldn't remember.

The case went to the jury in the afternoon and no verdict has been returned.

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