Raymonde Allain, 15 year old Miss France 1928
In 1923, aspiring Miss America Charlotte Nash, was only seventeen. She was reported as saying her impressive dimples were insured for a cool one hundred grand. She only managed to come fourth but theatre magnate, Fred G Nixon-Nordlinger, was suitably impressed by her beauty.
Dolly Dimples found here
She was a “diamond of purest water,” he said, just needing “a touch of polishing here and there.” Charlotte was trotted off to finishing school at Nixon-Nirdlinger’s expense, where she learned the niceties of deportment; to rise, sit, and carry herself with dignity. A few months into Charlotte’s polishing regimen, Fred withdrew her from finishing school and married the 18-year-old beauty in a sensational ceremony in Hagerstown, Maryland. Alas, he neglected to tell his young bride the not insignificant fact that he was already married to someone else.
In fact, Fred Nixon-Nirdlinger had been married for the better part of twenty years which came to light while Charlotte and Fred were on their Paris honeymoon. Once she recovered from the dizzying bad news, Charlotte left him and returned to the United States.
Fast forward to 1931; after numerous reconciliations, a divorce, remarriage and two children, the couple were living in Nice.
Fred was drinking. Charlotte was sitting, studying Italian. Fred asked her what she was doing and from her answer he surmised that Charlotte must be interested in an Italian fellow, and he said so. She denied this. He accused her of trafficking with gigolos. Fred’s last words to her were, “I will kill you rather than let you have an Italian lover.” Charlotte beat him to it, and as she lay on the bed she retrieved her pistol and fired. The first bullet entered just under his left eye, a second bullet hit him in the chest. Two other shots went wild. Fred crumpled in a pool of blood.
The shooting death of the American millionaire became an overnight news sensation. As she came to court, the reporters noted that she “was attired in a smart tight-fitting, low-cut frock and wore a black coat with the collar turned up… a black cloche hat also shaded her face.”
image (of Bette Davis)
On cross-examination, Charlotte denied the prosecutor’s accusations that she danced and flirted with other men. She denied rumors of an affair with a swimming instructor. When all was said and done, the prosecutor came up with just two pieces of evidence that she was a wandering wife. One, he had a photograph of her in a fashionable bathing suit. Two, he read from a letter Charlotte wrote to a friend in which the unhappy young lady said — “There are nothing but constant rows. But I’ll be damned if I’ll stay home and sit in a corner reading. I am still young. Maybe when I’m his age I’ll do that.”
Her lawyers were adamant. “It’s a clear case of self-defense,” said her lead defense attorney. “The fact that my client bought two months ago the revolver with which she shot and killed her husband does not indicate premeditation…. She simply purchased the weapon for use in case of extreme emergency to defend her life. How prudent this action was.” Her lawyer summed up his closing argument with the now famous declaration that “she is too beautiful to be bad.” The jurors — seven of whom were bachelors — apparently agreed; they acquitted Charlotte in nine minutes.