Hymns of a Raving Heart: The True Crime of S. Althea Berrie by Richard O Jones
When Fannie Berrie, the wife of the handsome pastor and famous writer of hymns S. Althea Berrie, died after a long illness and a serious bout of convulsions, no one gave it a second thought. That is, until the 52-year-old widower suddenly wed the his pretty 19-year-old secretary less than two months later, and the siblings of the dead woman paid for an exhumation and autopsy.
The Rev. S. Althea Berrie of Muskogee, Oklahoma, was no stranger to controversy. In 1932, the handsome hymn writer found himself facing charges of heresy after preaching that Santa Claus was an affront to the Child in the manger. Much deeper trouble was in store when his wife wife, Fannie, died after a long illness and a 30-hour streak of convulsions. Two months later, the Rev. Berrie married his pretty young secretary, Ida Bess Bright, which not only set tongues wagging but placed suspicion on the composer of "In Beulah Land" and other popular Presbyterian hymns. After his late wife's siblings paid to have an autopsy done on her exhumed body and the discovery of a stack of love poems written to Ida Bess before his wife's death, the hymnist faced a charge more serious than heresy: Murder. Did he really put strychnine in her aspirin? Did Fannie Berrie die of her own hand? Or was it just the side effects of the herbal remedies prescribed by her doctor? Explore all the intricacies of this love triangle gone awry in A Two-Dollar Terror #6, "Hymns of a Raving Heart."
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- Published: Aug. 31, 2014
- Words: 9,850
- Language: English
- ISBN: 9781310694844