As Close to Crime: The Other Trunk Murderess


Whether your preferred search engine is Google, Bing or Yahoo!, if you type in “trunk murderess” you’ll quickly receive hundreds of links to information about Winnie Ruth Judd (1905-1988). She killed two of her friends in 1931.

Scroll down a little further along the results and you may find Emma LeDoux (1875-1941). She killed her third husband in 1906.

Marjorie Andrews
Jet magazine
(March 20, 1958)

As regularly readers of this blog will already know, I tend to shy away from the obvious. You can look elsewhere for particulars on those aforementioned crimes because this entry is about Marjorie B. Andrews, who does not have her own Wikipedia page, and the 1958 death of Eddie Lee “Jack” Jenkins.

The common link between these three women is that they all placed the bodies of their victims in pieces of luggage and shipped the trunks out of town via the railroad.

The major difference between them is that, although the prosecution had solid evidence pointing towards Marjorie’s guilt, she walked out of the courtroom a free woman. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

On February 12, 1958, Mrs. Ernestine Whitfield, aged 25, filed a missing persons report with the Chicago Police Department. She was worried that something had happened to her brother Eddie Lee “Jack” Jenkins, aged 31.

Nobody had seen or heard from Eddie since February 9th, a Sunday. Eddie had worked his shift as a used car salesman that day and he’d told several coworkers that his plans for the evening included seeing his girlfriend Marjorie “Margie” Andrews.

On February 10th, Ernestine’s husband Everett was told by Marjorie that Eddie was “going to be out of town for the next two days.” 

This trip came as a surprise to the Whitfields since there was no mention of it the last time they’d all gotten together on February 7th, 1958. 

On that day, a car driven by Eddie Jenkins had been involved in a minor traffic accident which required paperwork. The car, a 1954 Buick, had Georgia plates and was registered to “Marjorie Sailor.” 

It was reported that at the time of the accident, that Marjorie Sailor’s Chicago address was the same as that of Eddie Lee Jenkins. 

The Chicago Tribune reported on Eddie’s death in their March 8, 1958
newspaper, Eddie Lee Jenkins is said to have been living at 4943 Lake
Park Ave.

This doesn’t necessarily mean Eddie and Marjorie were living together because every newspaper report states Marjorie Andrews lived in an apartment building. 

Only the St. Joseph News-Press (a St. Louis, Missouri-based newspaper) goes so far as to say the two were living together. This ‘fact’ appeared in their March 8, 1958 edition. So, did the St. Joseph News-Press get it right or did they not realize that 4943 Lake Park Ave was an apartment building?

One of the ten civilian witnesses later called to testify before a Grand Jury was Mrs. Mary Wyatt, Marjorie’s landlady. Mrs. Wyatt’s address, according to the subpoena, was 4943 Lake Park Ave.

This address matches that of a building which was once the East View Hotel.

Chicago Tribune (Jan 28, 1954)


A selling point for apartment rentals at 4943 Lake Park Avenue was that the building was roughly 10 minutes from The Loop.  

Although, I haven’t found any reference to the East View Hotel at that address beyond July 1954, this is the location the crime occurred. If the apartment building had a different name in 1958, I haven’t found it.

When Eddie didn’t return from his unexpected out-of-town trip, Ernestine phoned her father Harvey Jenkins, Sr., down in Memphis, TN.

Harvey had no idea where his eldest son was. 

Ernestine, suspecting foul play, filed that missing persons report. 

Also missing by February 12, 1958 was Eddie’s 31-year-old girlfriend “Margie.”

On the surface, it was surprising that Marjorie Andrews, a nurse with a good job at the University of Chicago’s Billings Hospital, would leave town so suddenly but that’s exactly what she did. On February 10th, Marjorie abruptly cleaned out her apartment and left town. 

According to Marjorie’s landlady, Mary Wyatt, a large dark green trunk had been delivered to the apartment shortly before the move.

Police would later learn the trunk was transported to the apartment building by Marjorie’s friend Willie Haynes, Jr.. 

Willie had met Marjorie in a Loop department store on February 10th and he was with her when she bought the trunk. Although Willie brought the trunk to Marjorie’s building, she wouldn’t allow him into her apartment.

Marjorie’s landlady also saw the trunk on it’s way out of the building. Mrs. Wyatt described seeing a short man struggling to lift the trunk on his own and she said that her nephew stepped in to help.

Several days after Eddie’s disappearance, Marjorie called the Whitfields and, when asked, told them she didn’t know what happened to Eddie. She also refused to say where she was calling from. 

Flash forward to February 27, 1958 and the Central Railroad Station in Memphis, Tennessee. 

There was a horrible odor coming from a piece of unclaimed luggage – a large dark green trunk.

The trunk had been shipped from Chicago’s Wabash Station on February 10th and it had arrived in Memphis on February 11th. The claim check indicated the trunk would be picked up.

Sixteen days after it’s arrival, the trunk was still unclaimed and there were no valid contact details.

The street address listed as the final destination was fictitious. 


The address of origin, 627 East 22nd Street Chicago, was also bogus. Unless “Josephine Harrison,” who checked the trunk in, lived under the water in Lake Michigan.

Suspicious baggage handlers forced the lid open. Then they called the police.

Belleville News Democrat (March 1, 1958)  


Inside was the body of a neatly-dressed black man who had been shot in the chest. 

The man was wearing an overcoat, a suit (either brown or grey, reports vary) and a bright red sports shirt. Beige gloves and a hat rested neatly in his lap. There were keys and some change in his pockets but no identification papers.

The body was transported to John Gaston Hospital in an R.S. Lewis ambulance. 

It was initially assumed that identification was going to prove difficult. 

Memphis Homicide Captain W.W. Wilkinson told reporters:

“The only way we can identify him now is through fingerprints. The man’s parents wouldn’t recognize the face.”

The Memphis Press-Scimitar reported on February 28th that the man’s head “was twice it’s normal size.” “The body was standing on its head 16 days because of the position of the trunk.”

The Commercial Appeal (Feb 28, 1958)

 According to a February 28, 1958 article in The Commercial Appeal:

Captain Wilkinson reported the grisly find to homicide officers in Chicago, who told him, “We’re starting from scratch, just like you did.” No missing persons complaints were on file in Chicago that could be connected with the corpse.

Although the body is disfigured, Captain Wilkinson said it appeared to be that of a man 25 to 35 years old. He was very dark skinned.

Detective Chief M.A. Hinds said the Federal Bureau of Investigation was notified – because the trunk crossed several state lines – but FBI officers in Memphis said they had no interest in the matter.

Odd that Chicago police couldn’t match this dead man with the man reported missing by Ernestine Whitfield only 15 days early.

News of the grim discovery reached the Jenkins family in Memphis and the Whitfields in Chicago. 

Harvey Jenkins, who until recently operated the Cozy Kitchen cafe on Eighth Street in West Memphis, contacted the Memphis police to let them know his son Eddie had gone missing from Chicago around the time the trunk was shipped.

Ernestine called her father at 3:30 AM on February 28th to ask if the dead man was Eddie. 

couldn’t confirm or deny because a formal viewing of the body was
scheduled for later that day, at the morgue in at John Gaston Hospital,
but Harvey clearly suspected it was his son because he and his wife
Beanonia (the step-mother to Harvey’s four children – Eddie Lee,
Ernestine, Bennie and Harvey, Jr.) had already begun making funeral

It’s never specified exactly what Harvey saw at the morgue, how horrifying it must have been or if he was able to identify the dead man as his son.

Harvey’s first wife and the mother of his children, Annie Mae Jenkins, had died on June 8, 1936. At the time of Annie Mae’s death, her children were 6, 4, 2, 1.

Cause of death for the 26-year-old woman was an abdominal abscess coupled with bronchopneumonia. Annie Mae died at the Memphis General Hospital and, according to her death certificate, she’d been under a doctor’s care since May 12, 1936.

Her body was shipped to Hernando, Mississippi for burial. Unfortunately, Annie’s death certificate lists the funeral home but not the cemetery. Perhaps she was cremated?

It’s possible Harvey Jenkins struggled a bit after the death of his wife Annie Mae and before his (1939?) marriage to Beanonia.

On January 8, 1938, Harvey Jenkins, then 30-years-old, was arrested on charges of driving while intoxicated, reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Police arrested him at the John Gaston Hospital where he was being treated for a lacerated forehead.

The man whose car Harvey had collided with, James Thomas Best, also aged 30, claimed that Harvey was fleeing the scene of the accident so he and a passing motorist gave chase. Best claimed that their pursuit ended when Harvey had pulled a knife and threatened to kill them. 

Newspaper accounts from the time make a point of telling readers that Harvey Jenkins is a negro, so we have to assume James Thomas Best is a white man.

Harvey Jenkins was fined $75 and lost his driver’s license for a year.

It’s irrelevant but interesting to note that ten years after this incident, on the morning of June 1948, James Thomas Best lost control of his truck and crashed into a pole. Mr. Best received chest and head injuries and was charged with reckless driving.

Ten years after that, in January 1958, James Thomas Best would be arrested for drunk and reckless driving. He pleaded guilty to that charge on April 7, 1958 and was fined $200.00.

These facts regarding James Thomas Best are interesting, as I say, but they have no relevance to the unidentified corpse in the trunk. I’m including them in narrative only because I discovered them.

Memphis police reported the dead man in the trunk had only one eye. 

According to Harvey Jenkins, his son Eddie had lost an eye when he was 12-years-old. Eddie was born on October 22, 1929, so this would have been in 1941. Unfortunately, newspapers don’t report how this loss occurred.  

The census records for 1930 show 2-year-old Eddie Lee Jenkins living with in Mississippi with his 70-year-old, widowed maternal grandmother, Patsy Davis. 

In 1940, Eddie’s 44-year-old uncle Isiah Davis is listed as head of the household but 80-year-old Patsy is still in the picture.

Harvey Jenkins, Sr. served in the US Army from January 20, 1944 to December 1,  1945. Harvey was attached to the Engineer Light Pontoon Company and left with the rank of PFC.

Harvey Jenkins told reporters that Eddie had moved to Memphis from the place of his birth, Hernando, Mississippi, in 1945.

not sure when the other members of the Jenkins family moved from
Hernando to Memphis but only the youngest child, Harvey, Jr., was born
in Tennessee, in May of 1935. Everyone else, including second wife Beanonia, had been born in Mississippi.

According to the 1950 census, Eddie was living with Harvey, Beanonia, Benny Lee and Harvey, Jr. at 1392 Kennedy Ave, Memphis, Tennessee. 

Eddie was 22-years-old and listed his job as “digging holes for pipe” for “building construction.” This is the first census record in which we find Eddie Lee Jenkins using the name “Jack” to identify himself.

Daughter Ernestine
had married by 1950 and, although still in Memphis, she was now living with
her in-laws, along with husband Everett Whitfield and their 1-year-old son.

Eddie had a fender bender on May 7, 1951; he was charged an $11 fine for failure to yield the right of way after pulling away from a stop sign. There were no injuries.

It was an arrest in 1952 for petit larceny that resulted in Eddie being fingerprinted. This would be good news for homicide detectives in 6 years time.

circa 1956

Police detectives from Memphis and Chicago might be able to positively identify the deceased as Eddie Lee “Jack” Jenkins if they could successfully lift prints from the corpse and match them to Eddie’s prison record.

But would the Shelby County coroner, Dr. Robert Teabeaut, be able to fingerprint a man in this state of decomposition?

the March 2, 1953 edition of The Commercial Appeal, Tennessee’s Shelby
County coroner Dr. Teabeaut described the difficulty in lifting prints
from the deceased. It was
a combination of the drying of the fingers and the extreme cold
temperatures since the man’s death.

trunk had been stored in an open baggage area, where the temperatures
since the trunk’s arrival had been below freezing most of the time.  

Central Station, Memphis – baggage room (1964)


Dr. Teabeaut said they’d worked for 48 hours trying to make the fingers
more supple but to no avail. “We tried this morning either to make contact
prints or to photograph them, but we were unsuccessful.”

The steamer trunk, the victim’s clothing and the lead bullet were crated up and shipped to the Chicago investigators.

While waiting for the physical evidence to arrive, the Chicago Police used laundry marks on the victim’s clothes, as described
to them by the Memphis police, to make a tentative confirmation that
the deceased was Eddie Jenkins. 

By now, they
strongly suspected Eddie had been killed in his girlfriend Margie’s
Chicago apartment and his body shipped to Memphis in that green

I find it curious that Marjorie could have shipped the body anywhere but chose Memphis – Eddie’s former hometown.

Chicago police reportedly had found two witnesses who said they’d heard noises coming from Marjorie’s apartment on the night of February 9th, including the sound of a gun being fired.

circa 1951

A breakthrough in the investigation was revealed on March 3, 1958 in the Memphis Press Scimitar. 

Inspector H.L. McAden, head of the police identification bureau, had used a fingerprinting method not previously tried on a body in such a state of decomposition. 

According to the newspaper:

was put all over the fingers until it was almost dry. Then the fingers
were wiped and the dark ink which stayed in the whorls of the fingers
was photographed.”

These photographs were compared to prints taken when Eddie Jenkins had been arrested in 1952. 

There are slightly inconsistent stories regarding Eddie Jenkins’ misdeeds and subsequent incarceration, especially in the early days following the discovery of his body.

On March 1, 1958, Memphis newspaper The Commercial Appeal reported:

Jenkins was sentenced to six months for larceny at the Penal Farm in 1953 and escaped after serving one day. His father said yesterday he hadn’t seen him since.

“That boy left here,” Harvey Jenkins said. “He hasn’t scratched a line to me since. The only word I ever heard of him was through his sister, who lives in Chicago.”

In the March 7, 1958 edition of the Alabama Tribune, the reporter elaborated a little on the reason for Eddie’s arrest but now the timeline had shifted:

Harvey Jenkins said his son Eddie “went to Chicago sometime between 1951-52” after escaping “from the workhouse where he had been sent in connection with some missing paint at the Best Lumber Company where he was employed at the time. 

(I, unsurprisingly, wasn’t able to find any newspaper reports about a paint theft from Best Lumber in Memphis for the years 1951 or 1952. My husband questioned whether “Best Lumber” might have any direct connection to James Thomas Best, who in 1938 was involved in that traffic accident with Harvey Jenkins which resulted in Harvey being arrested. Just in case my husband was on to something, I pulled up the 1940 and 1950 census records for Mr. Best. James Thomas Best was the owner of a mattress company. The proprietor for Best Lumber was William G. Best, Jr.)

In the March 11, 1952 edition of the Memphis Press-Scimitar, I found this information

Jack Jenkins, 23, negro, of 1392 Kennedy, pleaded guilty to two charges of petit larceny theft of radios – and got two sentences, each of 11 months 29 days in the Shelby County Penal Farm. Jenkins will serve both sentences at the same time. 

1946 promotional brochure

I don’t believe Eddie escaped from the Penal Farm in 1952 but if he did, he wasn’t the only one. 

I checked twelve months of newspapers for that year and I found 24 inmates who had escaped, none of them were Eddie Lee “Jack” Jenkins. 

Those that hadn’t simply walked away from a work crew, managed to saw through their prison bars with hacksaw blades, which were routinely smuggled into the prison.

For a few of these prisoners, this would be their 2nd, 3rd or 4th successful escape. News of some of these escapes only came to light after the prisoner had been found and arrested.

Press-Scimitar (July 2, 1952)

In December 1952, County Commissioner Rudolph Jones, who was in charge of the Shelby County Penal Farm, discussed the problem with a reporter from the Press-Scimitar. 

In an article called “The Hacksaw Mystery At Penal Farm,” Jones said a prisoner (who was not named) is rumored as having “a racket in the blades.” 

Jones conceded that because Shelby County Penal Farm is a minimum security facility, with some prisoners simply working out City Court fines, that it was almost impossible to keep contraband such as hacksaw blades from being smuggled in.

“We have prisoners who are trustees going about, some driving trucks,” Jones said. “We would have to strip every prisoner when he comes in from outside the prison buildings in order to stop that, and we don’t want to. We believe it is more advantageous to maintain a minimum-security prison and have a small percentage of escapes.”

It seems likely to me that Eddie “Jack” Jenkins served his 1952 sentence and was back on the street in 1953 but he was also back in trouble.

August 4, 1953, the Memphis Press-Scimitar reported that the police
were still trying to identify the rightful owners of four radios stolen
by Jack Jenkins, negro, of 1290 Florida Street. 

(Yes, this is a different address from a year and a half earlier but, according to the March 7, 1958 Alabama Tribune, before leaving Memphis, Eddie Lee Jenkins lived on Florida Street near Trigg.)

Here are some particulars regarding the stolen radios, from the August 4, 1953 article:

Jenkins, who was arrested trying to pawn the radios, admits they are stolen, but doesn’t remember where he stole them.

unclaimed radios were a cabinet Admiral, a Motorola and a Mitchell and a
RCA portable radio. Jenkins has been charged with larceny in connection
with other stolen radios that have been identified by the owners. 

On August 18, 1953, a Shelby County Grand Jury indicted Jack Jenkins on three charges of larceny.

While I couldn’t find a 1953 newspaper article chronicling Jenkins’ escape, I did find the names of 18 other prisoners who made a bid for freedom that year. 

And if anyone in Shelby County law enforcement was looking for Eddie Lee “Jack” Jenkins after his escape in 1953, it’s doubtful they were looking for him in Chicago. That’s a distance of roughly 600 miles. 

In Chicago, Eddie had found legitimate employment, an apartment and he was staying in contact with at least one member of his family, his sister Ernestine.

Now that Chicago police detectives were sure their missing person was the dead man from the railroad baggage room, they began investigating a homicide and made Marjorie Andrews their chief person of interest. And they weren’t shy about telling reporters that they were looking for her.

Unfortunately for the police, Marjorie had left town in a hurry. 

Fortunately for the police, when Willie Haynes, Jr. delivered that green trunk to Marjorie’s apartment on February 9th, she told him she was leaving for Cincinnati the next day. And this was not some bit of false information Marjorie hoped Willie would pass along to the police to forestall her arrest. She really was in Cincinnati.

Since her arrival in Ohio, Marjorie Andrews had found a nursing job at St. Mary’s Hospital. 

Marjorie was staying with (unnamed) friends at 1931 Clarion Avenue when Cincinnati homicide detectives came to arrest her on the evening of March 6, 1958.

The police now had Marjorie in custody and they also had the murder weapon. But not because Marjorie had the gun in her possession at the time of her arrest.

Three days earlier, on March 3rd, a friend of Marjorie’s surrendered to police a gun that had been given to him by Marjorie for “safekeeping” before she left town. The man was not named in any newspaper article. 

By process of elimination, there is a good chance it was one of these three men who were later called to testify before the Grand Jury:

Mr. Willie Haynes, Jr. – or – Mr. Fenton C. Morton – or – Mr. Alderwin Jordan

Police said the gun, a .38 revolver, had been purchased by Marjorie Andrews.

Chicago detectives also thought they had a motive, contained in a piece of evidence discovered in the victim’s coat pocket. A fact which didn’t appear in any newspaper before March 14, 1958, a week after Marjorie Andrews’ arrest.

The Alabama Tribune reported that Chicago police had found a handwritten note in Eddie’s coat pocket signed “Margie.” The note warned Eddie not to see “Velma” again. It was never revealed in any newspapers I read who “Velma” was. 

When arrested, Marjorie declared she was a happily married woman and she told Cincinnati Police Detective Wilbur Stagenhorst, “I will be glad when Chicago detectives arrive here and I can ask them some questions. I know nothing about a murder or the shipping of a body to Tennessee.”

The Jackson Sun (March 7, 1958)


I wish some newspaper reporter had bothered to track down Marjorie’s husband’s name. I certainly can’t find it. 

Is she is the same “Marjorie Sailor” who had that car with Georgia plates? Probably. Is “Sailor” her maiden name? Was Marjorie born in Georgia? Married in Georgia? Did she move to Chicago because she landed a nursing job at the Billings Hospital?

There is very little personal information available about the accused. 

We don’t know where she came from, who her people are, when or where she was married, what her complete date of birth is.  

Newspapers report Marjorie’s age as anywhere between 25 and 32 years.  

Official paperwork at the time of Marjorie’s indictment (March 10, 1958) gives her age as 31 years. Another court document dated May 19, 1958, lists her age as 32 years. So, perhaps she was born in 1926 and celebrated her birthday in prison?

According to The Birmingham News (March 7, 1958):

Mrs. Andrews said she is a graduate of an Atlanta, Ga. school of nursing.

Could she have gone to the prestigious Grady Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in Atlanta? 


I have found a website with photos of Grady’s graduating classes from 1900-1981. However, the reporter didn’t provide readers with the year Marjorie graduated and there are too many nameless faces in these group shots. And I’m not even sure she was in training at Grady.

At that time, a woman could earn a nursing degree in three years. However, I don’t know if Marjorie went into nursing school straight from high school. And what high school would that be?

As a researcher, it’s frustrating but a challenge. And it’s one of the reasons why it has taken me so long to write this story.

In an attempt to learn more about Marjorie B. Andrews, I submitted a request for any surviving court documents related to this case. 

The cost of a search of the archives by the Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County was $6.00. The cost of the scanned documents was $32.16.

I received six .pdf files, containing a total of 121 scanned images. 

This was exciting … until I realized the bulk of what I received was copies of both the front and back sides of 43 subpoenas, for 15 witnesses. This left 34 images and one of those was the front of file folder. I knew in advance that there would be no trial transcript or photos of evidence.

I’ll be weaving the information I gleaned from those documents into the narrative but I learned very little about Marjorie Andrews other than her I.Q., which was 106.

On March 7th, one day after Marjorie’s arrest, the Memphis Police Department released Eddie’s body to his family.

At 10:45 PM that same evening, after repeated questioning by the police, Marjorie confessed to detectives from both Chicago and Cincinnati that she was guilty of ending Eddie Jenkins’ life and shipping his body to Memphis. 

The funeral for Eddie Lee “Jack” Jenkins was held at Pleasant Grove M.E. Church in Eudora, Mississippi
on March 9, 1958. 

The tightly-sealed, copper-tone steel casket was
buried in the church’s cemetery. 

Other Jenkins family members buried
there include Eddie’s fraternal grandparents – LaFayette Jenkins (1875-1915) and  Melvina Chalmers Jenkins (1880-1950).

Cincinnati Enquirer
(March 8, 1958)

On March 10, 1958, Marjorie B. Andrews was indicted for murder.  

In her five-page signed statement, Marjorie Andrews said she and Eddie were arguing inside of her apartment on the night of February 9th. Things escalated. Eddie hit her several times and choked her. During the struggle Marjorie was knocked onto bed and she grabbed the gun she kept under her pillow. She fired one shot, in self-defense – into Eddie chest.

Marjorie said she sat in a chair all night, wide awake. On February 10th, she hid Eddie’s body behind the bed and went shopping for a steamer trunk.

She worked the body into the trunk and wrote a fictitious address down as it’s destination. She called a delivery truck and had the trunk sent to the freight department at the Wabash railroad station.

Cincinnati detectives John Huber and George Fritz said Marjorie Andrews showed no emotion as she made her confession.

Marjorie stayed in a Cincinnati county jail until her return to Chicago to face a murder charge. Criminal Court Judge Otis R. Hess signed the extradition paperwork on March 24th.

Jet magazine
(July 3, 1958)

Marjorie’s arraignment, in the Criminal Court of Cook County, before the Honorable Harold P. O’Connell, was held on April 3, 1958. Representing Marjorie was Chicago’s former Assistant State’s Attorney Euclid L. Taylor.

Marjorie was confined to the Cook County Jail as she awaited the trial. 

On May 6, 1958, Judge Grover C. Niemeyer, who would be hearing the case, approved the defense’s request for a psychological examination.

The examination was to be conducted by William H. Haines of the Behavior Clinic of the Criminal Court of Cook County, or one of his authorized assistants.

The paperwork listed four possible reasons for the examination to be conducted, with instructions that one of them be checked as the reason for the assessment:

-Under consideration for probation

-Question of sanity

-Question of feeblemindedness

-Other reasons

None of the above reasons was singled out.

William H. Haines submitted his report to the Judge on May 20, 1958.

I present it here for your perusal:

Psychological assessment of Marjorie B. Andrews (1958)

A bench trial was held on June 16, 1958 with Judge Grover C. Niemeyer presiding.

Marjorie was charged with a single count – “Murder With Malice Aforethought.”

After the State presented it’s evidence and witnesses, Marjorie’s attorney, Euclid L. Taylor, swiftly filed a “Motion to Find the Defendant Not Guilty” by reason of insufficient evidence “as a matter of law to prove the defendant guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.”

Euclid Taylor never presented Marjorie’s side of the story to the Judge because he felt it wasn’t necessary.

Judge Niemeyer agreed with Mr. Taylor and he ruled in favor of the defense. The Motion was granted and Marjorie Andrews was free to go.

Those who heard the ruling were stunned. Marjorie had admitted to shooting Eddie Jenkins. She’s a nurse yet she didn’t render aid or call for help afterwards. She did not report the incident to police but spirited the dead body away in a steamer trunk then left town. How is it Marjorie Andrews was acquitted?

Harvey Jenkins, who had traveled from Memphis to testify, was reimbursed $61.00 by the State of Illinois, for travel expenses.

The public’s lingering outrage was such that nearly two weeks after the verdict Marjorie’s attorney felt compelled to explain the ruling to those unfamiliar with the rules of law.

The following is from the June 27, 1958 issue of The Alabama Tribune:

Euclid L. Taylor, attorney for Mrs. Andrews, explained that while it seemed like his client should face a stiff sentence, she was only being tried for “murder of Jenkins with ‘malice aforethought’ while he was at peace with the people of the state of Illinois.”

But Atty. Taylor said “no evidence or testimony was ever produced to show that she ‘planned’ the murder of Jenkins. In fact, her confession stated she killed him while he was in the act of choking her.”

Taylor said this meant two things, “Jenkins was not at peace with the people at the time of his death and she acted in self-defense. The public should remember that the nurse was not on trial for fleeing to Cincinnati, neither was the court concerned about the last time Jenkins had been seen alive by his sister. She wasn’t being tried for putting Jenkins’ body in a trunk and shipping it to Memphis.

“With a self-defense plea, it was the responsibility of the state to prove that she acted other than in self-defense as she claimed. No one at the trial challenged her claim of self-defense, so the judge had no alternative but to free her,” Taylor concluded.

Marjorie B. Reynolds was free to go but where did she go? I haven’t a clue and it’s a great source of frustration. 

One would assume that she has passed on by now. If not, Marjorie would be celebrating her 97th birthday this year. Perhaps when the 1960 census is released, in 1932, I’ll circle back to this story and see if I can find Marjorie Andrews.

As for Harvey Jenkins, Sr., he returned home and appeared only twice more in the newspapers.  

Harvey Jenkins, 54, had been arrested in Memphis on June 2, 1962, along with four other men, following a criminal complaint made by Freeman Montaque.

Freeman Montaque, 42, told police he was shooting dice at Lucille Perry’s Cafe, located at 113 S. Eighth Street in West
Memphis when a fight broke out. During the fight, Montaque had been robbed of $100.

Although the possible victim of theft, Freeman Montaque had just admitted to police he’d been engaged in illegal gambling. Montaque was fined $50 and cost for gambling.  

Also arrested in connection to that complaint were:

Walter Jude, 36, fined $50 and costs for gambling.

Willie Hines, 27, fined $50 and costs for disturbing the peace.

Harvey Jenkins, 54, fined $50 and cost for having an interest in gaming devices. Witnesses identified him as the “stick man.” (The craps stick man handles the bets, calls out the rolls and gives the dice back to the shooter.)

Aaron Perry, 59, husband of the cafe’s owner, was charged with operating a gaming house. Bond for Perry was set at $1000. 

Ben Thompson, West Memphis assistant police chief, said their investigation did not find any gambling devices in operation.

Aaron Perry received a 3 year suspended sentence on the gaming charge. 

In 1963, Aaron Perry and his wife Lucille testified as government witnesses in an anti-gambling trial in Arkansas. 

In February 1964, Aaron Perry and his wife Lucille would be charged with tax evasion. 

By April 1964, Lucille and Aaron were divorced. Lucille plead guilty to the charges of tax evasion; Aaron plead “no contest.” They each received a sentence of a year and a day in prison.

Harvey Jenkins died on August 6, 1965 at the age of 58. This marked his next appearance in the newspapers – on the obituary page. Cause of death was rectal cancer. image
uploaded by Family Hunter

A veteran of WWII, Harvey was buried in the Memphis National Cemetery.

Beanonia Jenkins joined her husband in the cemetery following her death on March 6, 1988 at the age of 85.

Ernestine Whitfield nee’ Jenkins, who played a big part in this story, died on April 11, 1999, at the age of 66.

Her husband, Everett Whitfield, died, I think, in 1970, at the age of 40 or 41.

Marjorie Andrews’ attorney, Euclid L. Taylor, died April 10, 1970, at the age of 64. He had suffered two strokes prior to his death.


I’ve tried to find a photo of Eddie Lee Jenkins and, like the police in 1958, I turned to his criminal record. I made two phone calls to Tennessee hoping to strike gold. 

My first call was to the Shelby County Criminal History Records & Identification Bureau. 

The good-natured woman at the other end of the line checked her microfilm records but came up empty. We both agreed that even if she had Eddie Lee “Jack” Jenkins on file, microfilmed photos are of the poorest quality. She then referred me to Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

I was surprised when the T.B.I. employee told me that prison intake photos or mugshots are not made available to the public. And once I told her the individual in question had died in 1958, she responded by telling me that after a prisoner has died, the records are shredded. Such a shame, IMO. I thanked her for the information but there’s no denying I’m disappointed. 

I also had no luck at all with a photo of Eddie’s headstone. In fact, I’m not even sure there is one. 

Here are some Googlemaps satellite and streetview images of the Pleasant Grove CME Church cemetery where Eddie is buried as well as a brief description of the cemetery, courtesy of

African American cemetery on MS Hwy 301 about 4 miles south of
Interstate 69. Cemetery and church on on a hill on the east side of Hwy
301. Church and cemetery are both active.

From the intersection of MS-304 E & I-55, in Hernando, travel
west on MS-304 W/Commerce St. for 9.9 mi.; turning south (left) onto
MS-301 S, going 2.5 mi.; turning east (left) into the parking lot of the
Pleasant Grove CME Church & to the cemetery in front.

One final bit of business – for anyone wondering why I bothered to include the fact that Eddie Jenkins’ body was transported to John Gaston Hospital in an R.S. Lewis ambulance, here’s an interesting Shelby County Historical Roadside Marker:


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