Back in 1964 Candace Mossler was getting tired of her husband Jacques. An ex toothpaste model who once ran her own Finishing School for Southern Belles, she’d married the much older financier when she was 22.
Sometime in the intervening years she invited her sister’s son, Melvin to move in with them and their children. Melvin quickly replaced Jacques in Candace’s affections and before too long Jacques found himself living alone with his dog on Key Biscayne. In June he was found bludgeoned to death and with thirty nine stab wounds to his body. Foul play by Candace and Melvin was quickly suspected…..
Legendary Texas attorney Percy Foreman was imported to head the powerful defense team. He maintained that Jacques Mossier’s sexual appetites—”transvestitism, homosexuality, voyeurism and every conceivable type of perversion, masochism, sadism,”—had caused his own death; he was murdered, said Foreman, by a slighted homosexual lover.
In the end, it may have been Candy’s charm that carried the day more than Foreman’s defense. She made herself endlessly available to the press, always wearing a glamorous smile, and public opinion turned in her favor. She and Melvin Powers were both found not guilty of murder charges. No killer was ever found, nor even sought, because the police knew they had their perps and didn’t bother looking elsewhere, acquittal notwithstanding.
Five years after the trial, she married Barnett Garrison, a Houston electrician. He was 33 and she 52. They lived together briefly in the old Mossler mansion in Houston.
Thirteen months after the marriage, Garrison was crippled in a fall from the room of the house. The couple had been fighting that night and Garrison went out drinking alone. He returned late without keys and apparently tried to climb up to Candy’s third-floor bedroom. Candy divorced him.
Barnett Garrison was severely brain damaged and, after the death of his devoted protector and mother, he looked set to end his days in Sugar Land Oaks Guest Home, a facility not unlike the Gimcrack. And then he met care worker, 73 year old Niecee Wolcik.
They began to have conversations at her desk. Nearly everyone had learned of Barnett’s crush, if only from the way he ogled Niecee. Her feelings for him, however, were not widely known until the dance on Valentine’s Day, when Niecee slowly waltzed with Barnett to “Let Me Call You Sweetheart,” the staff watching in awe.
Every Saturday, Niecee began meeting Barnett at Viking Archery but they didn’t spend much time at the range. Niecee would help him into her car, and then they would go parking at Richmond State Park.
Being a sensible 73-year-old woman, Niecee never let things get too out of hand. Before long, Niecee was telling Barnett that she was not a plaything and was not here to play games. It was either marriage or nothing.
Niecee quit her job at the rest home. She returned a few days later and signed the register “Niecee Garrison,” and took her man home.
Barnett’s family were shocked by this development and took steps to annul the marriage.
The court was swayed by Dr. Steiner, who said Barnett could never have understood the marriage ceremony. Niecee even heard that Barnett didn’t know what he was doing when he consummated their union. But she had been there: she knew that if there was one thing Barnett understood, it was that.
So things did not end well for the two lovers. Barnett returned to life at Sugar Land Oaks and Niecee got a new job at another facility. I hope it was one where the band played “Let Me Call You Sweetheart”…..