From the Santa Ana Register (Santa Ana, California)
Published August 27, 1938
John Bellinger shoots his girlfriend when she refuses his marriage proposal again
Bellinger and Marie Joyce (25) had known each other for a year and reportedly had casually dated. Berlinger had proposed to Joyce on multiple occasions in the past and feared another rejection, so he hid a sawed off shotgun in his briefcase in case he was spurned again. Bellinger later mentioned he believed Joyce was avoiding him for several days leading up to her death but agreed to meet him for a date. The two spent the night dancing and dining and, at the end of the evening, as they reached her apartment, Bellinger asked Joyce again to marry him. Again she declined so Bellinger drew his concealed shotgun and shot her in the back of the head, leaving her body in the hallway.
After the murder, Bellinger took a cap home, concealed 2 razor blades in his shoes, and visited the home of a priest to confess. The priest suggested he confess to police, which Bellinger agreed to. Bellinger brought police to the scene where Joyce’s body remained. Her roommate had not been awaken by the shot but promptly fainted upon seeing the body after police rang her doorbell.
While in a patrol wagon on the way back to the police station, a detective noticed Bellinger reaching for one of his concealed razor blades. The detective grabbed his wrist, disarming Bellinger. A search revealed the second hidden blade. Whether Bellinger indented to use the razor in himself or attack police is unclear.
Bellinger called the murder a “serious mistake” and lamented their friendship stating “we could have been the best of friends, but I wanted to marry her and she would not have it.” He also said he deserved to die for the murder and hoped he’d be “put in the electric chair soon.” Despite nation-wide reporting on the murder and arrest, no further information could be found regarding Bellinger’s fate.
Other sources: Philadelphia Inquirer (Philadelphia, PA) August 20, 1938
Horrific history from today:
1905: Crime scene photo, Paris 1905 (2017)
1934: Unidentified woman’s body found burned (2017)
1938: Convicts scalded to death (2017)
1938: Ex-con crucified (2017)
1887: The Illustrated Police News: an execution; man watches as sharks eat the bodies of his wife and children; man kills children, self after losing job; a bee attack leads to death of woman (2018)
1934: Several cases of misfortune, including a hornet-assisted suicide and two babies burned after brother plays with matches (2018)
2003: Woman kills son, sets body on fire to cover tracks (2018)
Today in Horror History: August 27