View Full Version: Chillingworth, Majorie 6-14-1955

Porchlight International for the Missing & Unidentified > Missing Persons Cases 1950 - 1959 > Chillingworth, Majorie 6-14-1955


Title: Chillingworth, Majorie 6-14-1955
Description: West Palm Beach, Florida


Ell - February 17, 2008 12:33 AM (GMT)
user posted image

Missing Since: June 14, 1955 from West Palm Beach, Florida
Classification: Endangered Missing
Age: 56 years old
Distinguishing Characteristics: Caucasian female. Marjorie's nickname is Margie.
Clothing/Jewelry Description: Possibly a nightgown, a robe and slippers.


Details of Disappearance

Marjorie was last seen with her husband, Curtis Chillingworth, at a dinner in West Palm Beach, Florida on June 14, 1955. They left the dinner approximately 10 p.m. to return to their home in the 200 block of Dyer Road in Manalapan, Florida. Neither of the Chillingworths have been heard from again.
Curtis and Marjorie had hired a carpenter to build a playground for their grandchildren at their home. The carpenter arrived as scheduled at 8:00 a.m. on June 15 and found the house deserted and the door open. Curtis was scheduled to preside over a hearing in West Palm Beach at 10:00 a.m., but never arrived. Authorities went to search the Chillingworth residence at noon. The porch light was shattered and there were blood drops on the walkway to the beach. Two used spools of adhesive tape were located, one on the beach and one in the living room. The Chillingworths' swimming suits were left behind, as was some cash. Curtis's Plymouth was located at the residence with the keys still it in the ingnition.

An extensive search turned up no sign of either Curtis or Marjorie. They were declared legally dead in 1957 and were given a headstone in Oak Lawn Cemetery in West Palm Beach.

In 1960, Joseph Alexander Peel Jr. was charged with murdering the Chillingworths. He was the municipal judge for West Palm Beach in 1955 an was corrupt and incompetent. Curtis was the senior circuit judge of Palm Beach County and Peel's superior; he had gotten the job at age 26, the youngest person in Florida history to do so. Curtis had warned Peel several times about his judicial misconduct. In 1953, after Peel represented both sides in a divorce case, Curtis told him it was his last chance and he would face disciplinary action next time. In retaliation, Peel allegedly ordered Floyd Albert "Lucky" Holzapfel to kill the Chillingworths. Photographs of Peel and Holzapfel are posted below this case summary.

Holzapfel confessed to the Chillingworths' murders in 1960. He stated he and a friend, George David "Bobby" Lincoln, had killed Curtis and Marjorie together. A photograph of Lincoln is posted below this case summary. Holzapfel and Peel were both arrested after the confession. Lincoln was already incarcerated in a federal prison on unrelated charges by 1960. He was granted immunity from prosecution for the murders in return for agreeing to testify as a witness. Holzapfel pleaded guilty to both murders and agreed to testify against Peel. He was sentenced to death.

At Peel's trial, Lincoln and Holzapfel stated they had taken Curtis and Marjorie out into the ocean on a boat, taped their hands, strapped lead weights to their bodies and threw them overboard, still alive. Peel was convicted of being an accessory to Curtis's murder and pleaded no contest to his role in Marjorie's death. He served eighteen years in a Florida state prison, then was released in 1979 to serve a federal sentence in Missouri for an unrelated mail fraud conviction. He was paroled in 1981. Peel was suffering from cancer by this time and died only nine days after his release from prison. Days before his death, he gave a newspaper interview wherein he stated he had not ordered the Chillingworths' murders, but he had been aware of them and had done nothing to stop them.

Holzapfel's death sentence was commuted to life in prison in 1966. He was a model prisoner and died in 1996, still incarcerated. Lincoln finished his federal prison term in 1962. He died in 2004.

Marjorie belonged to the local Garden Club in 1955 and had won awards for her gerbera flowers. She and Curtis had three children together. Although their bodies were never recovered, foul play is suspected in their cases due to the circumstances involved.
Source: charlie Project

Ell - February 17, 2008 12:34 AM (GMT)
Winnona daily News 1955

user posted image

Ell - February 17, 2008 12:38 AM (GMT)

monkalup - June 26, 2010 06:36 PM (GMT)
Judge Joe Peel and the Chillingworth Murders Share this articleThe CrimeThe Key FiguresThe ArrestThe TrialTimelineThe Crime
Joseph Alexander Peel was born in West Palm Beach and was married with two children. He became a lawyer in 1949 and three years later was named the city’s only municipal judge.

But he was a crooked official. Peel granted warrants to investigating officers so they could raid a gambling den, but as soon as the police had left he would call the crooks and tip them off. Each operator gave Peel $500 in protection money.

“Scared of being struck off Peel recruited two ex-criminals and moonshiners, Floyd ‘Lucky’ Holzapfel and George ‘Bobby’ Lincoln, to dispose of Chillingworth.”

He continued practicing law as well as being a judge. When he represented both the husband and the wife in a divorce in 1953 his superior, Judge Curtis E. Chillingworth, publicly reprimanded him, warning that any further misconduct would result in disbarment.

Judge Chillingworth was widely regarded as an outstanding legal mind from a respected family and had married the daughter of his father’s closest friend, Marjorie. At 26 he was the youngest circuit judge in Florida history and had served in both World Wars.

In 1955, Peel told a client that her divorce was finalised when in fact it wasn’t. When the woman remarried and had a baby she then learned that she was a bigamist because Peel had never finished her case. Scared of being struck off Peel recruited two ex-criminals and moonshiners, Floyd ‘Lucky’ Holzapfel and George ‘Bobby’ Lincoln, to dispose of Chillingworth.

Lincoln was a poolroom operator who paired up with the contradictory Holzapfel. Holzapfel had earned a Purple Heart as a paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge and after the war had became a fingerprint technician for Oklahoma City police and an organiser of a West Palm Beach Young Republican Club. He’d also served time for bookmaking and armed robbery and had been arrested for attempted rape

The Crimes
On 14th June 1955, the Judge Chillingworth and his wife had dinner with friends and returned to their Manalapan beach cottage at roughly 10pm. Around 1am Holzapfel and Lincoln sailed to Manalapan in a skiff and landed on the beach behind the house. Lincoln crouched in the bushes as Holzapfel woke the Judge saying he was a stranded boater.

The two men overpowered the Judge and his wife and marched them out of the cottage at gunpoint, fastened nooses around their necks, bound their arms behind them and gagged them with adhesive tape. Forced aboard the boat, the couple were taken out to sea and weighted with chains.

Saying “Ladies first” Holzapfel threw Marjorie into the sea, but when the two men went for Chillingworth he jumped overboard. Despite bound wrists, weights and an anchor tied around his neck, the Judge managed to stay afloat until Lincoln hit him over the head with a shotgun so hard the barrel broke.
http://www.crimeandinvestigation.co.uk/cri...ders/crime.html


monkalup - June 26, 2010 06:36 PM (GMT)
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...,711938,00.html
On the night of June 15, 1955, Circuit Judge Curtis E. Chillingworth and his wife spent the evening at the home of friends. At 10 p.m. they drove to their oceanfront home south of Palm Beach and disappeared. On the night of Nov. 3, 1958, a smalltime bootlegger, Lew Gene Harvey, 21, left his home with a mysterious companion. He, too, vanished in the night. Harvey's body, weighted with chains and with a bullet hole in the head, was fished out of a canal near Palm Beach a few days later, but the Chillingworths were never found. Last week, after years of painstaking detective work, Florida police marked both cases as solved: the Chillingworths and young Harvey, announced Sheriff John Kirk, had all been killed by the same hired assassin.

Lethal Rendezvous. The first break in the case came when Harvey's widow recalled that the name of her husband's companion on the night of his death was "John Lynch." The name was also an alias frequently used by Floyd Albert Holzapfel, 36, a man with a curiously black-and-white background. A handsome, intelligent man, Holzapfel had been a wartime paratrooper who was wounded at Bastogne, a member of the Oklahoma City police department, a house detective at Miami's lush Deauville Hotel, an organizer of a West Palm Beach Young Republican Club and an assistant scoutmaster. He had also served time for bookmaking and armed robbery, had been arrested for attempted rape.

In December 1956, Holzapfel and Joseph A. Peel Jr., a West Palm Beach lawyer and a former judge, were arrested for attempted murder. Peel had driven his law partner, Harold Gray, to a tavern, where Holzapfel was waiting. The partner was given a brutal beating but survived. The motive, police charged, was a $100,000 insurance policy on Gray's life. After years of trials, the case was dropped when Peel agreed to resign from the bar.

Deep-Sea Grave. Backtracking diligently, the cops discovered that Judge Chillingworth had once rebuked Lawyer Peel for representing both sides in a divorce case, after which Peel's promising political fortunes had slumped. Had Peel hired Holzapfel to wreak his revenge for the courtroom embarrassment? Were the Chillingworths murdered in the same fashion as the young bootlegger? With the evidence gradually falling into place, the police lured Holzapfel into a trap last October. In a Titusville motel room, two of his friends met the ex-convict, poured him several drinks and told him that Peel had hired one of them to kill him. Shaken and drunk, Holzapfel spilled out a gruesome story, which the "friends"—both undercover agents for the police—were careful to record on tape.

He and a Negro companion had been hired by Peel, Holzapfel said, to kill Judge Chillingworth for $2,000. Mrs. Chillingworth was an accidental victim because she witnessed the assault on her husband. The two were taken from their home to a waiting boat on the beach and taken four miles offshore. There, trussed in chains and 30-lb. weights, they were quietly dropped over the side. Mrs. Chillingworth was the first to die: "Ladies first," said Holzapfel politely, as he pushed her overboard. The judge, a strong swimmer, struggled in the water and nearly managed to escape, but a blow from a shotgun butt sent him to the bottom.
Arrested and jailed, Holzapfel slashed his wrists, nearly died in his, cell. Peel was also arrested on the charge of conspiring to kill his hired killer, but jumped bail and disappeared. The police trapped him in a Chattanooga hotel last week. Said Peel: "I was shocked and surprised." Said Sheriff Kirk: "The case has now been broken." But there was some doubt that it would ever be brought to trial. Holzapfel's taped account of the murders is inadmissible in court, and the bodies of the Chillingworths have never been found.
http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/...11938-2,00.html

monkalup - June 26, 2010 06:37 PM (GMT)
http://87.106.69.60/famous_crime/58/the_cr...rth_Murders.htm

Joseph Alexander Peel was born in West Palm Beach and was married with two children. He became a lawyer in 1949 and three years later was named the city’s only municipal judge.

But he was a crooked official. Peel granted warrants to investigating officers so they could raid a gambling den, but as soon as the police had left he would call the crooks and tip them off. Each operator gave Peel $500 in protection money.



Scared of being struck off Peel recruited two ex-criminals and moonshiners, Floyd “Lucky” Holzapfel and George “Bobby” Lincoln, to dispose of Chillingworth.


He continued practicing law as well as being a judge. When he represented both the husband and the wife in a divorce in 1953 his superior, Judge Curtis E. Chillingworth, publicly reprimanded him, warning that any further misconduct would result in disbarment.

Judge Chillingworth was widely regarded as an outstanding legal mind from a respected family and had married the daughter of his father’s closest friend, Marjorie. At 26 he was the youngest circuit judge in Florida history and had served in both World Wars.

In 1955, Peel told a client that her divorce was finalised when in fact it wasn’t. When the woman remarried and had a baby she then learned that she was a bigamist because Peel had never finished her case. Scared of being struck off Peel recruited two ex-criminals and moonshiners, Floyd “Lucky” Holzapfel and George “Bobby” Lincoln, to dispose of Chillingworth.

Lincoln was a poolroom operator who paired up with the contradictory Holzapfel. Holzapfel had earned a Purple Heart as a paratrooper in the Battle of the Bulge and after the war had became a fingerprint technician for Oklahoma City police and an organiser of a West Palm Beach Young Republican Club. He’d also served time for bookmaking and armed robbery and had been arrested for attempted rape
The Crimes
On 14th June 1955, the Judge Chillingworth and his wife had dinner with friends and returned to their Manalapan beach cottage at roughly 10pm. Around 1am Holzapfel and Lincoln sailed to Manalapan in a skiff and landed on the beach behind the house. Lincoln crouched in the bushes as Holzapfel woke the Judge saying he was a stranded boater.

The two men overpowered the Judge and his wife and marched them out of the cottage at gunpoint, fastened nooses around their necks, bound their arms behind them and gagged them with adhesive tape. Forced aboard the boat, the couple were taken out to sea and weighted with chains.


Saying “Ladies first” Holzapfel threw Marjorie into the sea, but when the two men went for Chillingworth he jumped overboard. Despite bound wrists, weights and an anchor tied around his neck, the Judge managed to stay afloat until Lincoln hit him over the head with a shotgun so hard the barrel broke.

monkalup - June 26, 2010 06:37 PM (GMT)
Author: The History of Florida: Past & Present, The Lewis Publishing Co., 1923, Vol. III pg.84

CHILLINGWORTH, Hon. CURTIS E. One of the most distinctive features of
public life at present is the extreme youth of the men occupying the most
important offices, and yet this is logical and proper, for the ones so honored
by popular vote are, without exception, those who served during the World war,
and are regarded by their fellow citizens as entitled to particular notice. A
man patriotic enough to fight for the preservation of his country’s honor
should receive every consideration at the hands of those benefiting from his
action, and to the credit of the American people they have always returned
their country’s heroes to office following the termination of each war.
Florida is no exception to this almost general rule, and each section of the
state is rendering to its returned service men public honors, and finding
their choice a wise one, for these young men have been taught discipline, self-
sacrifice and service, and are setting an example for the older generation to
profit by and emulate. One of these veterans above mentioned who is a
prominent figure in the affairs of Palm Beach County is Judge CURTIS E.
CHILLINGWORTH, County Judge of Palm Beach County, candidate on the democratic
ticket for circuit judge, and member of the dependable legal firm of C. C. &
C. E. CHILLINGWORTH, of which his father is the head.
Judge CHILLINGWORTH was born at West Palm Beach, where he still maintains
his residence, in 1896. He is a son of CHARLES C. and JENNIE (DIETZ)
CHILLINGWORTH. CHARLES C. CHILLINGWORTH has been for years one of the leading
attorneys of West Palm Beach, where he has resided since 1893, having come
here long prior to the development of the railroad junction into the present
modern and wide-awake city, one of the most flourishing on the Florida East
Coast. He is a man of the highest standing, both at the bar and as a
citizen. With his son’s admission to the bar CHARLES C. CHILLINGWORTH took
him into partnership, and the two form a very strong legal combination, and
are connected with some very important jurisprudence.
Judge CHILLINGWORTH graduated from the University of Florida in 1917, and
was admitted to the bar that same year. During the country’s participation in
the World war he served in the regular United States Navy as an ensign on duty
on the U.S.S. Minneapolis, which was engaged in convoy duty with the troop
transport service. He received naval training at the United States Naval
Academy at Annapolis, Maryland, in a naval class instructed by a commission of
regular naval officers. The date of his enlistment was in the summer of 1917,
and that of his discharge, July, 1919.
Returning to West Palm Beach, Judge CHILLINGWORTH resumed his practice of
the law. In the regular November election of 1920 he was elected county judge
of Palm Beach County, assuming the duties of that office January 1, 1921. In
this office he has not only civil cases, but a large number of criminal ones
as well, and the usual Probate Court and Juvenile Court work. In the spring
of 1922 Judge CHILLINGWORTH announced his candidacy for the democratic
nomination for the office of circuit judge of the fifteenth Judicial Circuit,
composed of the counties of Palm Beach, Broward, Okeechobee and Saint Lucie,
and he received the nomination by almost a majority over three other
candidates. His candidacy received the endorsement and recommendation of the
Palm Beach County Bar Association. In speaking of his action in coming before
the people for the nomination Judge CHILLINGWORTH said in part:
“Having been recommended and endorsed by the Palm Beach Count Bar
Association, I am announcing my candidacy for the office of circuit judge. I
believe, and it seems the most of the lawyers also believe, that matters
before the court can be handled with greater dispatch and more justice to all
parties if the business of the court could be conducted as has been the
business of the County Court of Palm Beach County since my term of office. I
am no politician and know nothing of politics, although I am, always have been
and will continue to be, a democrat.”
Judge CHILLINGWORTH is a well-known figure in his native and surrounding
counties. He is a member of the American Legion, and is a Mason, a Shriner,
an Elk, and belongs to the Chamber of Commerce, the Rotary Club, the Palm
Beach County Bar Association, the Florida State Bar Association and the
American Bar Association. Although still a young man, Judge CHILLINGWORTH is
eminently fitted for the responsibilities and honors of the bench, for he
possesses the judicial mind and is able to weigh impartially and judge fairly,
and his decisions are marvels of conciseness, clearness and sound law.
Personally he is very popular with all classes, and has formed especially
strong friendships with other members of his profession in this part of the
state.


Photo: http://www.usgwarchives.org/fl/palmbeach/p...illing46nbs.jpg

File at: http://files.usgwarchives.org/fl/palmbeach...illing46nbs.txt

This file has been created by a form at http://www.genrecords.net/flfiles/
http://files.usgwarchives.org/fl/palmbeach...illing46nbs.txt


monkalup - June 26, 2010 06:37 PM (GMT)
CRIME HISTORY - Florida judge, wife murdered
By: Scott McCabe
Examiner Staff Writer
June 15, 2010 On this day, June 15, in 1955, Palm Beach County Judge Curtis Chillingworth and his wife, Marjorie, were forced from their home into a boat and thrown overboard with lead weights strapped to their legs.

The hitmen were hired by another judge, Joseph Peel, after Chillingworth warned Peel about protecting gambling moonshining operations.

The murder investigation hit a standstill until five years later. Police taped one of the hitmen, Floyd "Lucky" Holzapfel, drunkenly bragging to cronies about taking care of the judge and his wife.

Holzapfel described the entire crime, including Judge Chillingworth's last words to Marjorie, "Remember, I love you." And his wife's reply "I love you, too," before she was shoved into the ocean.

Peel received two life sentences



Read more at the Washington Examiner: http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/local/cr...l#ixzz0rvcRcQbB



monkalup - June 26, 2010 06:38 PM (GMT)
Evil Under The Sun
RICK STONE SQUARE ONEOctober 31, 2004|RICK STONE

Today for Halloween, a horror tale from the news archives. There are no ghosts in it, just a supernatural wickedness that makes it a natural for the day.

It's a story of two judges, two murders and evil temporarily triumphant.

Most of the local old-timers know this one already. It was our crime of the 20th century.

Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Curtis E. Chillingworth was a good judge, maybe even a great judge. He'd been on the bench since he was 24 and by 1955, at 58, he was the circuit's senior jurist. Stern, correct and given to the right thing, Chillingworth always showed up as expected and on time. But on June 15, he didn't come to work. His wife, Marjorie, was missing, too.

Police went to his beach house in Manalapan. There was blood on the wooden staircase to the beach. There were footprints leading to and from the water.


Curtis Chillingworth was an exception in a time of casual corruption and retail justice. But West Palm Beach Municipal Judge Joseph A. Peel blended right in. Short, flashy and painfully overdressed, he took payoffs and sold protection to bookies and moonshiners. Wealth and power flowed naturally to Joseph Peel. He thought he'd be governor one day.

Chillingworth probably thought so, too, and that's why he tried so hard to see Joseph Peel bounced from the bench and disbarred.

But now, Chillingworth's crusade was at a standstill. He and his wife were missing, and they stayed missing.

Years passed. Peel continued his career. In 1960, a couple of thugs named Floyd "Lucky" Holzapfel and George Lincoln were arrested for an unrelated murder in Miami Beach. During the investigation, Holzapfel was overheard talking about killing a judge and his wife.

Quickly, it all came out: Hired by Peel to remove the obstacles to his ambition, Holzapfel and Lincoln went to the Chillingworth beach cottage, knocked on the door, overpowered the couple, wrapped them in chains and dragged them to a boat, beating them all the way.

They sailed into the Gulf Stream. According to Holzapfel's testimony, the Chillingworths knew what was coming.

"Remember I love you," said Curtis to his wife.

"I love you, too," said Marjorie.

It was the Chillingworths' last conversation. Holzapfel pushed Marjorie in her heavy chains into the water. Curtis was chained and weighted, but he jumped in to save her. Holzapfel clubbed him with a rifle and the killers dragged him back aboard, tied the anchor to him and then watched as he sank.

At their trial in 1961, Holzapfel and Lincoln fared differently. Holzapfel was convicted of the two murders and sentenced to death. The sentence was commuted, and he died in prison in 1996. Lincoln cut an immunity deal and went free after testifying against Holzapfel and Peel. After changing his name to David A. Karrim, he died May 14 in West Palm Beach.

As for Judge Joseph Peel, he was found guilty of being an accessory to the murder and sentenced to life. He was paroled 21 years later but, already ill with cancer, he died a week after his release.

The bodies of Judge Chillingworth and his beloved Marjorie were never found.

And on a Florida Halloween, the story still haunts.

Rick Stone can be reached at 561-243-6577 or rstone@sun-sentinel.com.
http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2004-10-3...-murders-chains

monkalup - June 26, 2010 06:38 PM (GMT)
http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_8163...2/ai_n51838348/
PLAYER IN CHILLINGWORTH SLAYINGS DIES
0 Comments | Palm Beach Post, May 22, 2004 | by ELIOT KLEINBERG Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The last surviving key player in the most sensational murder in Palm Beach County history has died. George "Bobby" Lincoln, 80, one of the two killers of Palm Beach County Circuit Judge Curtis Eugene Chillingworth, 58, and his wife Marjorie, 57, died May 14, his family said. He had lived in obscurity for four decades.

On June 15, 1955, Lincoln and Floyd "Lucky" Holzapfel forced the Chillingworths from their seaside Manalapan bungalow, took them 2 miles out at sea, bundled them and threw them overboard.

Judge Joseph Alexander Peel, Jr., had hired the two for $2,500 to kill Chillingworth, who was closing in on Peel's corrupt ways. Peel allegedly was accepting $500 a month to protect bolita operators and moonshiners.


The case was unsolved for five years, until Holzapfel was tricked by a friend into confessing. Lincoln had been in federal prison on a moonshine-related conviction when prosecutors offered him immunity. Because no bodies were ever found, Lincoln's testimony was the key.

Holzapfel got the death sentence, later commuted to a life term. Diminished by a stroke, he died in prison in 1996. Peel was paroled in 1982 and died nine days later.

Lincoln finished his federal prison term in 1962 and left Florida for Chicago. He converted to Islam and changed his name to David Karrim. He later moved to Riviera Beach. In 1996, he declined an interview, saying he feared for the jobs and reputations of his children.

"You don't know what people hold in their hearts," he said.

The slayings are still considered the crime of the century, despite - - or perhaps because of - Chillingworth's legacy. Chillingworth's grandfather had moved to the region in 1893 and was a mayor of West Palm Beach and the sheriff of Dade County, which then included present-day Palm Beach County. His father had been the first city attorney. Curtis Chillingworth was the youngest circuit judge in Florida history, elected in 1920 at age 26. He served on the bench for 32 years.

Relatives of the Chillingworths could not be reached Friday. Lincoln's relatives would not comment.

Services for Lincoln are set for today at Pleasant Heights Missionary Baptist Church in Riviera Beach. He is survived by his wife, Floreta Lincoln; sons David and Daniel Lincoln; daughters Wanda Jordan, Rita Hill, Cindy Allen, Carolyn L. Harris, Sheila Woodbury, LAtiauna Preston and Barbara Lincoln; sisters Elizabeth Hughes and Elesha Miles; 19 grandchildren and 15 great- grandchildren.

eliot_kleinberg@pbpost.com





* Hosted for free by zIFBoards