|Third Bride of Bluffs Sportsman, Capitalist|
Carla Andreason, 22, 226 Benton Street
John B. Keeline Weds Third time - Wealthy Sportsman Elopes to Logan, IA, with Florists' Cashier
1 Nov 1924
John B. Keeline Kills His Wife and Himself -
- Poultry Raiser and Ex-Bank Official Also Wounds Sister-in-Law when he Runs Amuck in Home with Shotgun -
- Turns Home into Shambles After Protracted Drinking; He Dies Instantly, Spouse Lives Short Time. -
- She Planned to Get Divorce, Friends Say.
15 Nov 1936
John B. Keeline, 43, sportsman and chicken farm owner, shortly after 9 Monday morning shot and killed his wife, Carla, 26, wounded his sister-in-law, Mrs. Henry Andreason, and blew out his brains.
Quarrels over a threatened divorce and the supposed refusal of Mrs. Keeline to place a second mortgage on their home, which he had deeded to her, are believed to have precipitated the killings.
The immediate cause of the shootings is said to have been Mrs. Keeline's desire to leave her husband and go with her sister to Gary, IN to live.
Members of Mrs. Keeline's family say that such quarrels have been frequent during the last month and that Keeline had been under the influence of whiskey and on the verge of delirium tremens for weeks.
Half conscious, hysterical and in great pain, Mrs. Andreason, victim of the maniacal shooting, was unable, Monday evening, to give any account of the affair from her bed in Jennie Edmundson hospital.
Sheriff P.A. Lainson, Coroner H. Cutler, and County Attorney Frank F. Northrop have been reconstructing the crime from the evidence of bullet-scarred walls, blood patches and other signs at the Keeline home, 241 Frank Street.
Their reconstruction of the crime disclosed that Keeline attacked his wife while she was preparing to dress in their bedroom. Brandishing a loaded 16-gague shotgun, he advanced upon her and she cowered, totally nude, in the door of a clothes closet with her hand to her face in an attempt to ward off the shot which a second later went crashing through her hand and into her left jaw and neck.
Mrs. Andreason was attracted from her own bedroom where her child, Gloria, 6 months old, lay asleep. She rushed into the hall in time to see Keeline decending the stairs. Mrs. Andreason had been packing her grips preparitory to joining her husband at Gary, IN.
- Sees Dying Woman -
Taking one terrified look into the bedroom, Mrs. Andreason is believed to have notices the nude body of Mrs. Keeline writhing in a pool of blood at the half open closet door, then ran to the stairs, intending to summon aid.
Before she had decended three steps she was met with the other charge from the shotgun in the hands of Keeline and staggered the remainder of the distance downstairs with part of her left shoulder torn away.
Keeline then went downstairs, placed the empty shotgun on a chair, went into the butler's pantry, levelled a .[ ]-20 caliber special police pistol at his head, pulled the trigger and fell over a chair. The edge of the chair showed a clean break where he struck it.
The story of the crime is substantiated, the officers believe, by their findings in the house. They point to the blood in the clothes closet, the torn hand of the murdered woman, the shotgun pellets at the head of the stairway, indicating that the charge had traveled upwards, and the evidence of the broken chair and the position of the lifeless body of the killer.
As the sound of the pistol shot echoed in the narrow pantry, Mrs. Andreason reached the front door. She threw it open with her right hand and staggered to the steps, screaming. Cecil Sampson, mail carrier, approaching the house to deliver the mail, saw the woman and rushed to her aid.
"He has shot her, he has shot her," Sampson says the woman moaned as she fell, half conscious, into his arms.
"He took her to the home of a neighbor, Mrs. Gertrude Clark, 213 Frank Street, where doctors, police and the coroner were summoned.
Dr. Frank Earl Sellinger made a hurried trip to the Keeline home and found Mrs. Keeline still alive, but unconscious.
- Tries to Save Woman -
Lifting her to the bed with the assistance of Sheriff Lainson, Dr. Belinger mad desperate efforts to save the life of the woman. Mrs. Keeline died, however, just as the ambulance from Coroner Cutler's funeral home arrived to take her to the hospital.
City detectives, the chief of police, Dr Bellinger, Sheriff Lainson, Mrs. Keeline's father, A.H. Andreason, and County Attorney Northrop were the first to reach the room in which Mrs. Keeline was shot. Dr. M.E. O'Keefe also was there soon after the shooting.
Mrs. Andreason, mother of the dead woman, and mother-in-law of Mrs. Henry Andreason, said her daughter had talked to her troubles for several days.
Sunday night during a visit to her mother Mrs. Keeline is quoted by members of the family as saying:
"I am afraid of John. He insists on keeping a loaded gun where he can reach it and he has threatened me. Once I hid it, but he made me search it and give it back to him. He is drinking all the time and I am afraid he will do something to me."
The mother advised her daughter as best as she was able, but she seemed almost to be aware of the tragedy which was to take her life less than twenty-four hours afterward, Mrs. Andreason said.
Concerning the mortgage on the homestead, where the tragedy took place, it is understood that Keeline deeded the place to his wife shortly after their marriage and later induced her to place a $3,000 mortgage against it. Repeated efforts to induce the girl to secure another mortgage met with failure, it is understood.
Keeline is said to have been admitted to an Omaha hospital less than six months ago suffering from the effects of excess drinking. He lay between life and death for days, hope being given up on several occasions until he finally rallied and returned to his home.
After being nursed through the period of convalesence which followed the outbreak of what is described by Mrs. A.H. Andreason as delirium [ ], Keeline began drinking again and abusing the wife who had nursed him, his condition gradually becoming worse until it ended in Monday's bloddy tragedy.
Mrs. Carla Keeline was the third wife of John B. Keeline. The first wife was Miss Margaret Coyle, member of a prominent Council Bluffs family who died in a local hospital following injuries which she is said to have received when she fell over a chair in a scuffle with her husband while he was suffering from the effects of drink.
At that time John B. Keeline, heavy stockholder in the Council Bluffs Savings Bank, also was employed in the bank as a cashier. The death of Mrs. Keeline No. 1 left Johnny Keeline, then 2 years old, motherless.
A few years later Keeline married Miss Zelma E. Shellberg, at the time an employee of the Beno store in this city. Four years ago wife No. 2 obtained a divorce from Keeline. The divorce records at the courthouse show that the couple was married Dec 4, 1916 living together until Jan 31, 1922, when she at his suggestion took a trip to the Pacific northwest.
When she returned she filed the divorce procedings asking $50,000 alimony and $5,000 attorney's fees. A decree granted Dec 18, 1922 by Judge O.D. Wheeler gave her $8,500 as alimony and attorney's fees.
- Charged Undue Familiarity -
In her petition the second wife charged Keeline with using intoxicating liquors to excess and associating with other women. Keeline countered with the assertion that he was innocent of her charges, declaring that she knew before she married him that he used intoxicating liquors and claimed that although at one time he had been worth considerable wealth, his property holdings were valued at only $25,000 at the time the divorce action was brought.
Mrs. Keeline No. 2 is alleged to have brought her charges after coming home unexpectedly from the trip to the Pacific coast and surprising Keeline, with two other local men and three women, engaged in a drunken orgy at the Keeline home.
Mrs. Keeline No. 3, killed Monday in the mad attack which turned the old Keeline homestead into a shambles, was married to John B. Keeline two years ago, at which time she worked at the Wilcox flower store. The girl was well known locally.
The boy, Johnny Keeline, son of the first wife, has been cared for during the past year by relatives, Mr. and Mrs. Gus Stephan, Frank Street.
Although one of her babies slept throught the murderous attack in the Keeline home, Mrs. Andreason's other child, slightly older, was safe in the care of relatives. Mrs. Andreason had lived with Mr. and Mrs. Keeline for several weeks, acting as a housekeeper while her husband was working at Gary, IN. She was preparing to join him when she all but lost her life Monday.
Keeline, the son of wealthy parents was born in the old red brick homestead, erected by his father, in which he murdered his wife, injured one woman and killed himself.
Keeline had been known to residents of Council Bluffs as a wealthy sportsman and man-about-town for years. Three years ago he is said to have invested a large sum in the Keeline White Leghorn farm, five miles east of here on the White Pole road.
Purebread fowl from the poultry farm were exhibited with success in all parts of America, bringing fame to the poultry fancier.
- Had Planned Divorce -
Addison Kistle and George Wright, attorneys for Mr. and Mrs. Keeline late Monday supported the report that Mrs. Keeline had planned to sue John B. Keeline for divorce.
On two occasions within six months Mrs. Keeline had made a decision to leave her husband, but later decided that he needed her attention and abandoned her decision to sue for divorce.
"A divorce was in the air and it had been talked about; that is true, but Mrs. Keeline seemed to think that John needed her to mother him and take care of him. Her talks with me always resulted in her deciding to try to live with him longer because he so palpably needed her," they said.
- Son is in Chicago -
Sufficient money to educate and start him in a business or profession at the end of his schooling was rescued from the failing estates of Keeline five years ago for his son, Johnny Keeline, who is at a boarding school at Forest Park, Chicago, it was revealed Monday.
Attorneys for the Keeline estates, realizing that Keeline, having dissipated the fortunes of his father and his mother, was in danger of losing every penny he posessed, requested that the money be set aside.
A sum, reported to be more than $65,000, was set aside for the boy to be used in a trust fund by him until his education is completed.
No word had been sent to the boy as of Monday to inform him of the tragedy. The lad is 12 years old.
|Last Modified 22 Aug 1997||Created 8 Jul 2000 by Reunion for Macintosh|