Saturday, 3 August 2013

Elizabeth Duncan - Monster-in-Law

Elizabeth Duncan was the perfect example of a "Monster-in-Law" who wielded much psychotic hatred towards her daughter-in-law, Olga.  Her crime?  She had the audacity to marry her son.  Duncan did not want to share her son with anybody, let alone a woman he loved.  Her consuming hatred led her and two young men to a triple execution in the Gas Chamber.  Despite her appearance of an aging, bespectacled lady, she held a very dubious past.  She had lost count of how many marriages she had had.  Estimates put it as high as twenty!  Most of these were bigamous.

    The object of her life was her lawyer son, Frank, whom she followed everywhere he went on a case.  This would have been declared a Freudian situation in which Psychiatrist Sigmund Freud wrote about relationships which were extremely close between mother and son, and father and daughter.  Usually sexual or very close to it.  But at the age of 29, Frank Duncan decided that he wanted to strike out on his own and even to settle down with a wife.  This infuriated Duncan who then took an overdose as a form of emotional blackmail.  Frank dropped his plans when she did this but she was not to know that this would lead her and two young men to the Death Chamber.  Frank Duncan dutifully went to visit his mother in hospital but he met a pretty young nurse named Olga Kupczyk, and began dating her in secret.  After some time, Olga discovered she was pregnant, and Frank, being in love with her, decided that it was marriage.  

    However, his mother did not and went into a violent rage at this.  Frank backed off but decided to marry Olga in secret.  Duncan soon discovered her son`s "deception" and started planning to kill her daughter-in-law, talking it over with an elderly friend Emma Short.  One plan was to invite Olga to Emma`s home where Duncan could attack her and kill her.  Short only objected to having a corpse in her house!  Duncan travelled to Santa Barbara in California, to a cafe owned by a family that Frank had defended in court.  Two men there, Gus Baldonado & Luis Moya agreed to kill Olga for $6000.  Duncan did not have the money but persuaded them to take a deposit and the rest upon completion.

   November 1958.  Olga heard a knock on the door.  Moya told her Frank was in the car, drunk.  She went to the car where Moya struck her with a gun and Baldonado dragged her inside.  She fought them both but when she was immobile, both were soaked in blood.  They dumped at a roadside but discovered she was still alive.  The gun jammed when they tried to shoot her but then bludgeoned her with a rock.  Police searched for the missing Olga but then heard about threats Duncan had made to her.  Questions were asked and details were given by Emma Short, who had gone to the cafe with Duncan.  All three were arrested and charged with capital murder.  Frank Duncan could not understand why his mother hated Olga so much who was very nonchalant in court.  At least no woman had her claws in her son now!  All three were condemned and were eventually executed side by side in the Gas Chamber in 1962.