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Anne Bradley Trial: 1907

The Final Showdown

Bradley arrived in Washington on Saturday morning, December 8. She immediately went to the Hotel Raleigh, asked about Brown, and then took a room for herself. A maid let her into the senator's room. Bradley did not know yet what she was going to do when Brown arrived. While waiting, she saw a letter on the table and read it. It was from Annie Adams, a famous actress, and it gave Bradley the impression that Adams and Brown were soon to be married.

Brown and the 58-year-old entertainer had known each other for about 20 years. Bradley knew they were once an item, but thought their affair had ended long ago. Extremely upset, Bradley aimlessly walked the streets of Washington for hours and frequently returned to the hotel. Then, lying in her room, she heard the senator's footsteps. Bradley went to his door and knocked.

"Come in," said Brown and when he saw Bradley, he asked, "What are you doing here?" Bradley replied, "I have come to ask you to keep your promise to me." Exactly what happened next is unknown. After her arrest, Bradley claimed that "he said he wouldn't keep his promises, so I shot him." However, once told by her lawyers that Brown had completely disowned her and their children in a new will written four months earlier, Bradley said that she didn't remember what happened in the senator's room. And it is possible that the shooting was an accident. There were powder burns on Brown's hand. The bullet that hit the senator entered his stomach and went downward into his body. Finally, letters were found by the police in Bradley's room which her attorneys interpreted as suicide notes. This all led Bradley's lawyers to believe that after Brown said he would not marry her, Bradley drew out the pistol to kill herself, but as the senator rushed to take the weapon away from her, they struggled and Brown pulled the trigger and shot himself.

The senator was rushed to the hospital and operated on, but the bullet was tightly lodged in his pelvic bone and could not be removed. He lingered a few days, but died on December 13. Following an inquest, Bradley was held for murder.

Bradley spent nearly a year in jail awaiting her trial. During that time, her health deteriorated even more. At one point, she had surgery for "a badly lacerated cervix." By the time her trial began, her physical condition was so poor that some thought she had contracted tuberculosis.

Additional topics

Law Library - American Law and Legal InformationNotable Trials and Court Cases - 1883 to 1917Anne Bradley Trial: 1907 - A Woman Ahead Of The Times, Brown And Bradley Arrested For Adultery, The Final Showdown