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A Look Back:

Millionaire died in misunderstanding

Oil tycoon may have avoided fatal scuffle with mistaken housekeeper had he known enough Spanish to explain the situation prior.

October 10, 2009|By Brianna Bailey

“She has burst into tears on many occasions when attorneys would reenact a version of the struggle in the kitchen,” the Los Angeles Times reported during Gallardo’s trial on July 6, 1964. “When the prosecution showed colored slides of Bartholomae’s body and its wounds, the brown-haired defendant sat with eyes downcast, weeping silently.”

The jury of six men an six women deliberated for a day and half before finding Gallardo innocent on July 7, 1964.

“Thanks to Almighty God,” Gallardo reportedly murmured in Spanish as the verdict was read.

After a highly publicized family dispute over Bartholomae’s sizable estate, a probate court ordered the oil man’s bay front mansion sold. A group of buyers, B.H. and Marguerite Miller; Willard D. Voit, an executive in the Voit Rubber Co., and Robert Pollin, a businessman from Tucson, Ariz., purchased the house for $650,000 in August 1966, the Los Angeles Times reported.

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As for Gallardo, she took a trans-Atlantic flight back to Spain a week and a half after her acquittal, the Los Angeles Times reported July 16, 1964.

“Eighteen hours after she leaves the United States, Miss Gallardo will be back in her native land,” the Los Angeles Times reported July 16, 1964. “There she will be surrounded by scenes familiar since childhood and a way of life unchanged and unchanging. But will life there ever be the same for Minola Gallardo? She wonders.”


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