On October 25, 1948, Betty Ferreri kills her husband, Jerry, in their Los Angeles, California, home with the help of gardener Alan Adron. When Jerry, a notorious womanizer, brought a young model to the couple's home in the upscale Hancock Park neighborhood, Betty became upset and threatened him with a large wrench. Although Jerry fled, Betty was worried that he would return in a violent state, so she asked for Adron's assistance. When Jerry later returned, he began dragging Betty by her hair and Adron shot him twice, but the gun jammed before she could fire again, so Betty finished off her husband with a meat cleaver, striking him in the head 23 times.
Betty and Jerry met in New Jersey in the early 1940s and although Betty's parents disapproved of Jerry, who was a small-time thief and the son of a well-connected New York politician, they eloped and moved to Los Angeles. Jerry was rarely employed, but his parents gave them enough money to survive and also bought them a 15-room house in Hancock Park. From the very beginning there were problems with the marriage and Jerry was violent with his wife on a regular basis. Despite clear evidence of abuse, prosecutors decided to charge Betty Ferreri and Alan Adron with premeditated first degree murder. At first, the defendants' attorney wanted to claim that Adron was mentally incompetent and unable to stand trial. But Adron refused cooperate and hired his own lawyer, who argued that he was only temporarily insane at the time of the killing. Due to the salacious details about Jerry's personal life, the trial became a media circus. In 1949, both Betty Ferreri and Alan Adron were eventually acquitted.
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: