Alabama · Massacres/Mass Murder · Newspaper clippings

Man kills wife, 5 children, tries to kill self

May 17, 1943
Alabama
Carl Dalrymple murders his wife and 5 children before attempting suicide

Dalrymple (27)’s attack happened in his mother-in-law’s home. During the shootings, his wife Eunice (25) grabbed one of her daughters and tried to run out of the house. Both were shot in the back. The Nashville Tennessean (Nashville TN; Nov 9, 1943) reported testimony of a witness to the murders who stated Dalrymple “stooped down, picked up the child and said, ‘Jimmy, I’ve shot your mother,’ as he shot the boy. Jimmy had his arms around his daddy’s neck and was crying.”

6-year-old Jean managed to flee but Dalrymple pursued her in a car, quickly catching up to her. According to The Troy Record (Troy NY; May 19, 1943), Dalrymple held Jean in his arms as he shot her to death, the bullet passing through her body and wounding his own arm. Dalrymple then attempted suicide by shooting himself near his heart, though he survived.

Dalrymple attempted a plea of not guilty by reason of insanity, but the tactic failed. He was sentenced to life in prison in November of 1943. No motive was reported.

The victims were:
Eunice, 25
Gaynell, 8
Jean, 6
Mary Lou, 5
Jimmy, 3
An unnamed infant girl, 1 month
(Note: newspapers seemed to disagree on the exact age of all victims)

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