October 3, 1952
Dorothy Krueger Smith stabs her husband in the chest with a knife
Mrs. Smith used a 10-inch hunting knife to stab her husband as he slept. Col. Aubrey Smith attempted to stop the blood loss and called his in-home maid to assist. The maid, Shigeko Tani, found Mrs. Smith in her underwear and holding the knife which Tani took before summoning authorities at Col. Smith’s request. Lieutenant Colonel Joseph S. Hardin arrived at the scene to find Mrs. Smith trying to light a pair of cigarettes. She told Lt. Col. Hardin “I’m sorry I didn’t get him in the heart.” Though Col. Smith was hospitalized, he died of his injuries the following morning.
Psychiatric evaluations were performed to determine if Mrs. Smith was competent to stand trial and/or be acquitted due to insanity. Brig. Gen. Rawley Chambers, the US Army’s chief neuro-psychiatrist, stated he believed Mrs. Smith “would be able to tell right from wrong but I don’t believe she had any ability whatsoever to adhere to the right.” Both the prosecution and defense called upon Mrs. Smith’s abuse of narcotics and alcohol to prove their own point.
In the end, Mrs. Smith was found guilty and sentenced to hard labor for the remainder of her natural life. She was released early after the Supreme Court overturned the conviction, stating a military tribunal would not have the authority to put a civilian on trial.
Article from the Honolulu Star-Bulletin, January 8 1953