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Murder Mystery Femme Fatale

1952 U.S.A. Wife Murders Husband

9 August 1952 : Dan Webster Shattles was an ex-Marine with a femme fatale for a wife. On more than one occasion Mrs. Mary Helen Shattles shot at her husband. In 1949 she shot him on a street corner and caused superficial wounds. However, there were other occasions when she tried to shoot him as well. By October, 1951 Mr. Shattles complained to police that his wife, who was a pretty brunette, had it in for him. The tame woman had shot at him three times in three years.  The third shot was fatal.  As her husband lay sleeping on the couch Mrs. Shattles shot him in the head.  The 35 year old has been arrested and charged with murder.  Her husband was the plant manager of a coffee company.
Source: The People History.com

QUESTION: What happened to Mary Helen Shattles?  Was she sentenced to jail time?  If so, how long?  Where did she serve her sentence?  Are there court records?  Did she confess?  What was her motive?
Born: August 1, 1917
Died: April 5, 1995

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Helen Shattles was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison. Although she had stated to the judge in court that if she ever got out she would kill all of Dan Shattles children and his exwife, she was paroled after serving only seven years. Dan Shattles was my father and I was 3 years old when he was murdered. He also had 2 other children. What a travesty that she got to live a long life while he was taken in the prime of his. May she rot in hell!

The story that was told in the area at the time of the murder was that Mrs. Shattles came home from work one night and found her husband Mr. Shattles in bed with another women and she snapped.  It was a crime of passion.

The story that was told in the area at the time of the murder was that Mrs. Shattles came home from work one night and found her husband Mr. Shattles in bed with another women and she snapped.  It was a crime of passion.

That is not true. He had visited his children that afternoon and when he got home he went to sleep on the couch and she shot him in his head as he slept. His new wife was very jealous and she thought that anytime he went to see his kids he was there to see his exwife ( my mother). If she had caught him in the bed with someone she couldn't have put the gun against his head and shot him. Where are you getting your information?

I'm curious! Did you know any of the people involved in this case? Did you live in the same area? I would love to talk to someone who knew the woman who shot my dad just to find out a little about her. I know there are always two sides to every story, but please believe that she didn't catch him with another woman. Please respond.

I knew the woman - she was my grandmother

However, I never knew about the murder until I was an adult.  It was quite shocking to think that my grandmother had killed someone and served time in prison for it.

My mom's father died when she was 5.  Mr. Shattles was my grandmother's 2nd husband.  I am not sure how long they were married, but I think my mom must have been 7 or 8 when he was killed.  She and her brother went to live with their grandparents.

This was never talked about in the family so I don't have alot of answers for you.  My mom died in 2002 at the age of 63 and she is the one that told me what little bit she knew. 

I am sorry for your loss and hope you have been able to live a happy life.

Thank you so much for answering me. I guess this terrible thing has affected your family as well as mine. I didn't even know that she had children. As I said I was only 3 when this happened, but my brother and sister were older and remember a lot and my mother also talked to me quite a bit about what happened. Did your family live in this area when this occurred? I had heard that she had gone to live in New York after she was paroled. Did you know your grandmother? And if so please tell me what kind of person she was. I am also sorry that this happened to your family.

My mother and her brother lived in the Atlanta area with their father's parents.

When my mother was 15 she met my dad who was stationed at the Army base outside of Atlanta.  They married when she was 16 and when my dad was honorably discharged from the service, they moved to upstate NY to live.

When my grandmother was released from prison, she moved to upstate NY as well to be near my mother.

I knew my grandmother from the time I was about 5.    At that time, I did not know why I had not seen her before then - I guess as a kid I would not have wondered.  I just thought she had moved to our area from Georgia.

She was very nice to me and my sibblings.  Some weekends we would get together at our house and she would play the piano and we would all sing hymns together.

When my mom finally told me about the past, she told me that my grandmother had learned to play the piano in prison and found God there.  She had a picture of Jesus that hung on the wall in her house and my mom told me that someone in prison had painted that for her.

I believe she made her peace with God. 

I can't fathom the grandmother I knew committing such as evil crime that harmed so many people.  I never spoke once to her about it - she never knew I knew of it.

I don't know if this helps you at all but I sure hope you can find peace with it.  I am sure it was hard to lose your father at such a young age.

May God bless your life with abundance.





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