However, a trip to the hospital would likely result in a visit by the police, and there was no time to clean up evidence of illegal alcohol. It’s been nearly 100 years since the death of Virginia Rappe, and we as a society, still can’t get it right. She fell on the floor, and he picked her up. The first order of business from the defense was to discredit any possible witnesses. A little more than ten years later, on June 29, 1933, he had a heart attack and died in his hotel room. Virginia Rappe was born in Chicago to an unwed mother, Mabel Rappe, who died when Virginia was 11. She even received an award as the “Best Dressed Girl in Pictures.”. Virginia needed more help than they could offer. When Virginia reached the age of majority, she set sail west to San Francisco, California. His book Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawn of a New America won the Pulitzer Prize in 2013. They were all drunk. When Virginia was 11, her mother passed away, and she went to live with her grandmother. We wish him success and hope that the American people will take the judgment of fourteen men and women that Roscoe Arbuckle is entirely innocent and free from all blame. Virginia was then raised by her grandmother. The prosecution took the same ugly course of action by attempting to defame Fatty. 17th Annual Photo Contest Finalists Announced. Fatty and his pals checked out of the hotel early and sailed down California’s central coast to Los Angeles. Dr. This is what she told the police: After Arbuckle and Rappe had had a few drinks together, he pulled her actress into an adjoining room, saying, “I’ve waited for you five years, and now I’ve got you.” After a half-hour or so, Delmont heard Rappe screaming, so she knocked on and then kicked at the locked door. “Arbuckle did it,” the actress said, according to Delmont.
Beardslee admitted that Virginia appeared to be suffering from an internal injury, and likely needed surgery. Still, Fatty was released the same day on his own recognizance. Keep up-to-date on: © 2020 Smithsonian Magazine. Fred procured a bootleg case of gin and reserved rooms 1219,1220, and 1221 at the St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco. Why is the knee-jerk reaction to slut-shame and victim blame women into silence? 12 on “felony row” at the San Francisco Hall of Justice, held without bail in the slaying of a 25-year-old actress named Virginia Rappe.
Those who couldn’t be discredited mysteriously forgot what happened by the time they got on the witness stand. sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFHallett2013 (, "The Fourteenth Census of the United States: 1920", "Sausalito News 12 November 1921 — California Digital Newspaper Collection", "Fatty Arbuckle and the Death of Virginia Rappe", Crime Library Article on the Rappe/Arbuckle case, Film researcher discusses the Fatty Arbuckle trial, Allan Ellenberger blog entry on Virginia Rappe, 'Fatty' Arbuckle and Hollywood's first scandal, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Virginia_Rappe&oldid=975141903, Articles with unsourced statements from April 2020, Articles with German-language sources (de), Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 26 August 2020, at 23:28. Theaters owners and moviegoers alike boycotted Fatty’s movies. Al and Maude gave Virginia an ice bath, but it only made her pain worse, and her screams louder. It was alleged that Rappe had died as a result of a violent sexual assault by Arbuckle. At least what he wrote down despite Dr. Beardslee’s findings. He hurt me!” The dying woman had no reason to lie. Strange mentions that Virginia had a distended bladder before experiencing “Some external trauma.” Maybe an abortion did cause that before she yelled, “He did this! She died four days later on September 9 from a ruptured bladder and secondary peritonitis. He was a social pariah, unable to work under his own name. These rumors were proven false by autopsy.
Fatty Arbuckle was making $1 million per year in 1921 with Paramount Pictures. Paramount recognized Fatty’s earning potential as the chubby funny guy, and by 1914 they paid Fatty $1,000 for each day of work plus royalties to the tune of 25%. “The Case Against Arbuckle,” “Arbuckle Answers to Girl’s Murder Charge” www.callmefatty.com. Smithsonian Institution. She stayed at the hotel for a few days before she was taken to a hospital—where she died, on September 9, of a ruptured bladder. We feel that a great injustice has been done to him … there was not the slightest proof adduced to connect him in any way with the commission of a crime. Riverside Daily Press, Volume XXXVI, Number 223, 19 September 1921. The newspapers never questioned Delmont’s version of events, and they kept flogging Arbuckle. Maude, to be clear, accused Fatty of the rape and murder of her friend, Virginia Rappe.
Still, those events would end the career of America’s favorite comedy actor, and Virginia would be dead.