On October 28, 1961, the second so-called "Apache trial" begins for rock-and-roll legend Chuck Berry. Although his earlier conviction for transporting a minor across state lines for immoral purposes in violation of the Mann Act was thrown out on appeal, the prosecution decided to retry Berry.
Chuck Berry was one of the biggest pop stars of the late 1950s when he began to have legal problems. While charges in yet another Mann Act violation were pending (which were dismissed in 1960), Berry met Janice Escalante, a Native American with roots in the Apache tribe, in a bar near El Paso, Texas. According to Berry, who took the young woman on his concert tour, Escalante claimed she was 21 years old, but after a falling out, Escalante went to law enforcement. During his second trial, Berry was convicted and sentenced to three years in prison. After a short stretch in Leavenworth Federal Prison, he was transferred to a Missouri jail, where he spent his time studying accounting and writing songs. Among the songs he wrote before his release from prison in October 1963 were "No Particular Place to Go" and "You Never Can Tell," later memorialized in the film Pulp Fiction.
Michael Thomas Barry is the author of Murder & Mayhem 52 Crimes that Shocked Early California 1849-1949. The book can be purchased from Amazon through the following link: