The Deaths of David and Romie Hodell

 

The Letters

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HODELL INDEX       PHOTOGRAPHS       NEWS ARTICLES      MISCELLANEOUS

 

 

File Name Type Date   Description

Letter54

.pdf

Date unk

 

Unsigned, undated (although notes at the top may indicate sometime in 1944) letter discussing Nellie Reynolds and her relationship with her husband Wallace. Presumably written to Spooner, the letter ends with “Please do not use my name in your article.”

 

 

 

 

 

Letter58

.pdf

Date unk

 

Mrs. ? V. Simmons to Spooner, responding to his request for information regarding Nellie Reynolds.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter94

.pdf

Date unk

 

Unknown to Spooner. Author appears to have been a reporter, editor believes letter written sometime during WWII. (Note: “Hardscrabble” is an area referred to by locals in the north eastern part of the county, in the Walkerville area. ABW) Status of several parties including the Hursts, & Sandersons,  Letter may be incomplete.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter31

.pdf

05-28-

1925

E.S. Hitchcock (prison commissioner) to Judge Dingeman on behalf of Meda Hodell.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter60

.pdf

06-05-

1925

Telegram to (?) Spooner. Unable to read.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter49

.pdf

06-22-

1925

Fred Everett, attorney, to Spooner sending him the original “life letter” written by Meda Hodell. See Hodell16.pdf.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter29

.pdf

02-06-

1926

GR Herald to Spooner re clippings from the case.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter68

.pdf

06-05-

1926

Fred Everett to Spooner regarding Meda Hodell’s story that Romie had helped dispose of a body, his belief that it may have been true, and his reasons for not including it in the case against Mrs. Hodell and her mother Alice Dudgeon. Also mentions a case for the release of Meda Hodell, and a possible suit brought against the State Police.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter50

.pdf

10-15-

1927

Fred Everett, Prosecuting Attorney, Mecosta County, to Spooner re Dudgeon Bros. Case against State Police, and potential of parole for Meda Hodell if appeal were mounted.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter43

.pdf

11-04-

1927

A.A. Worcester, attorney, to Mrs. Campbell, Detroit House of Corrections, on behalf of parole for Meda Hodell.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter41

.pdf

11-09-

1927

Alice Dudgeon to Mrs. Campbell, apparently a commissioner for the Detroit House of Corrections re parole of Meda Hodell. Written in Mrs. Dudgeon’s own hand.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter42

.pdf

11-18-

1927

Harry Royal, Michigan Fruit Belt Associated Weeklies (newspaper chain?) to Meda Hodell re his efforts on her behalf.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter80

.pdf

12-21-

1927

Harry M. Royal to Spooner relating his efforts on behalf of Meda Hodell.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter32

.pdf

01-23-

1928

Spooner(?) to George B. McGuire, Detroit, on behalf of Meda Hodell. Very similar to Letter30.pdf.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter51

.pdf

12-21-

1928

Governor Green to Spooner re Meda Hodell.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter39

.pdf

01-04-

1929

Fred W. Green, Michigan Governor to Spooner re visit by Commissioner of Pardons and Paroles to Big Rapids to investigate Meda Hodell case.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter47

.pdf

08-12-

1929

Governor Green to Spooner re inquiry on behalf of Meda Hodell.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter45

.pdf

08-21-

1929

Arthur D. Wood, Commissioner of Pardons and Paroles to Spooner, re conference with Judge Barton and Governor Green.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter40

.pdf

08-24-

1929

Arthur D. Wood, Commissioner of Pardons and Paroles to Spooner re setting an appointment to Discuss Meda Hodell.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter30

.pdf

07-21-

1933

Spooner to Commissioner of Paroles and Pardons on behalf of Meda Hodell. Very similar to Letter32.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter63

.pdf

10-18-

1943

Harry Hooker, NC County Clerk, to Spooner regarding how to obtain a copy of the trial transcripts.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter56

.pdf

10-23-

1943

Spooner to Winifred Leith requesting information regarding the whereabouts of attorneys Penney, AA Worcester, Fred Everett, and Butler, Mr. & Mrs. George Hurst. Notes, presumably the responses form Mrs. Leith, are written on this letter as well.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter62

.pdf

10-23-

1943

Spooner to Mrs. A.J. McKinley regarding status of Mrs. Neva Crawford, Noble McKinley, and any members of the Hodell family. Mrs. McKinley’s response appears at the bottom.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter44

.pdf

10-26-

1943

A.B. Gillies, Superintendent, Detroit House of Corrections, to Spooner re inquiry on Meda Hodell.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter69

.pdf

10-27-

1943

Chief Clerk of Michigan State Police (JLE) to Spooner regarding status of Officers Karkeet, Palmer, and Ramsay.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter33

.pdf

11-01-

1943

Atty. Fred Everett to Spooner regarding history of case. Note that there may be at least one page missing, as there is no signature from Mr. Everett.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter46

.pdf

11-01-

1943

A.B. Gillies, Superintendent, Detroit House of Corrections, to Spooner confirming Meda Hodell is still incarcerated in the D.O.C.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter61

.pdf

11-06-

1943

Fred Everett to Spooner advising transcripts from trial being loaned to Spooner so that they may be used in an article.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter96

.pdf

12-27-

1943

Fred Everett to Spooner, regarding cases against Dudgeons, Meda Hodell, and others. Disposition of case against State Police (dismissed).  This letter is 3 pages and has been signed twice.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter52

.pdf

12-30-

1943

Frances Wood, Grand Rapids Public Library to Spooner re whereabouts of Henry P. Zuidema and Willis V. Simons. Also enclosed copy of August 2nd (year?) article from GR Herald, and discussed unsuccessful search for information about body of Mrs. Nellie Reynolds.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter95

.pdf

01-20-

1944

Spooner to CE Cooper, requesting he investigate whether Romie Hodell was autopsied, date of death of WB Reed, undertaker. Response on bottom indicates Reed not dead, no information on autopsy.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter59

.pdf

01-21-

1944

Spooner to Amos Frye regarding a Mrs. Reynolds and workers having found a body while widening Frye Road. Many had written notes, presumably from Frye. Alludes to Wallace Reynolds having murdered his father.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter64

.pdf

01-21-

1944

Spooner to Beatrice Sanderson requesting the first name of Mrs. Montague who “used to work for you in the jail”. Note at bottom says “Sarah Montague”.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter65

.pdf

01-21-

1944

Spooner to Mrs. A.J. McKinley asking when the body was found near Frye School, when Mrs. Nellie Reynolds disappeared, if Amos Frye was still alive, and what became of the body that was found. Mrs. McKinley responded on the same letter, acknowledging the discovery of a body and advising Spooner to contact Wilbur Frye in Sand Lake.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter70

.pdf

01-24-

1944

FE Wetmore to Spooner regarding cases against Alice Dudgeon, Lee Dudgeon, and Meda Hodell.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter66

.pdf

01-25-

1944

Spooner to Harry Hooker, NC County Clerk, requesting information on a change of venue request for Meda Hodell’s trial. Also includes Hooker’s response that a motion had been filed but denied.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter55

.pdf

02-09-

1944

Spooner to Wilbur Frye requesting information on Mrs. Reynolds and the discovery of a skeleton during road construction near Frye School. Also contains many hand written notes from Frye. Note: Two questions, 1) Did Spooner misspell the addressee’s name, and it should be Wilbur FREY instead of FRYE? and 2) Does the note along the side referring to a murder in “pioneer days” refer to the “Merritt Case” described in by Wilbur Frey in Letter91? ABW

 

 

 

 

 

Letter67

.pdf

02-14-

1944

Oscar Olander, State Police Commissioner to Spooner regarding the status of photographs used by the officers in the case.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter28

.pdf

02-18-

1944

Spooner to Winifred Gray Leith, inquiring on whereabouts of Frank Priest. Response advises Battle Creek, plus some history.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter93

.pdf

02-24-

1944

Edd(?) to Spooner relating the status of several people, generally first names only. Also indicates that Mrs. Reynolds supposed to leave for Nebraska in the fall of 1910.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter34

.pdf

03-06-

1944

Dorthea Bohn, Registrar, Probate Court, White Cloud to Spooner re whereabouts of Faye Priest, Billy Allers family, Hazel Simmons (Mrs. State Williams), Ward family.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter57

.pdf

03-11-

1944

Billy Allers to Spooner, discussing the status of Robert Bennett and his sons. Mentions Meda Hodell as “the girl that helped her mother do the dirty work”. Also mentions a “ward” whose name or whereabouts he does not know.

 

 

 

 

 

Letter91

.pdf

04-??-

1944

Letter appears to be from Wilbur Frey to Spooner, regarding a Willis Simmons, and the murder of a schoolteacher named Bronson(?). This is referred to as the “Merritt Case”, after one of the murderers. It is unclear what the relationship between this event and the Hodell deaths, if any. Note: I can see three possibilities for this being included in the original Spooner files. Most simply, it may merely have been put in the wrong file by accident. Secondly it may have been misfiled; this seems logical given the proximity of this murder to the discovery of Nellie Reynolds’ body, and the fact that one of the killers was identified as “Dock”. However, the third possibility is a connection to a note along the side of Letter55, briefly commenting on a double murder in “pioneer days”. ABW

 

 

 

 

 

Letter38

.pdf

02-07-

1955

Miss Mary E. Connor, Social Service Supervisor, Detroit House of Correction to Spooner re commutation of sentence, post prison life, and death.

 

 

HODELL INDEX       PHOTOGRAPHS       NEWS ARTICLES      MISCELLANEOUS