THE STRANGE CASE OF CONSTANCE FLOOD by Willa Okker Iverson

THE STRANGE CASE OF CONSTANCE FLOOD

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KIRKUS REVIEW

A documentary account of as strange a will case as ever could have occurred comes to us from the woman who first followed the case as a young newspaper reporter and who lived with it through the years. She sets forth for the reader's verdict the history and known facts of the case as they appeared in court testimony and transcripts and in out-of-court interviews and situations. When James Flood of Sen Francisco died, leaving his estate of $18,000,000 to his second wife and children by her, a Constance Gavin contested the will, claiming to be the child of Flood by his first wife, a former burlesque queen and sister to the second wife. At five, Constance had been taken from her father's house and placed in a convent, where she was given another name, and there she had remained until she was eighteen, all bills paid. The courtroom drama was played out by such people as Mrs. Willette, who first asserted that she was the mother of Constance with Flood the father, then recanted and called Cannon the father; by Aunt Maud, who claimed to know nothing of Constance' incarceration and disclaimed her Flood relationship. When Judge Buck ordered the jury to find for the respondents, the public, who were convinced that Constance was an illegitimate Flood and legitimate heiress, stormed him through citizens' committees. Ultimately the family settled with Constance out of court -- but the underlying tragedy remained: despite the million dollar settlement, Constance did not know her identity... or did she? A long, careful investigation for case addicts.

Pub Date: Nov. 23rd, 1956
Publisher: Putnam