In a fit of protective rage, Minola Gallardo lunged at Newport Beach millionaire William Bartholomae when she saw him standing in his bathrobe with a knife over her half-sister, who lay crumpled on the floor of the oil baron’s bayfront mansion the morning of Jan. 5, 1963.
Gallardo wrested the knife from the 70-year-old millionaire’s hands and stabbed him twice in the abdomen.
Bartholomae, a well-known sailing champion and oil tycoon, would die on the kitchen floor of his mansion at 2100 E. Balboa Boulevard that day because of a tragic misunderstanding.
A jury would eventually find Gallardo not guilty of manslaughter in Bartholomae’s death.
Gallardo, 31, a penniless Spanish housekeeper, could speak no English.
If Bartholomae had been able to speak a few words of Spanish, he might have been able to tell Gallardo that her sister, Carmen, had fallen in the kitchen seconds earlier while chopping up some mushrooms for breakfast.