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Jim Kershner’s this day in history

Mon., Dec. 30, 2013

From our archives, 100 years ago

Mrs. Pearl Roberts, a “pretty brunette of about 23,” told the court a dramatic story about how she had been led into a “life of shame” by a door-to-door salesman named William Jones.

She said that he came to her house one day “to solicit business,” which she refused. But he returned every day to see her. One day he told her a sob story about how he needed $50 to pay a fine for hitting a man. When she said she had no money, “he told me I need not work for money, but he could show me how to make $30 or $40 a day.”

She left her husband and her little tots, and Jones installed her in a hotel room. She soon had earned enough money to pay his fine – and far more. Most of the money she turned over to Jones.

But Jones became grasping. Once, he tore her purse out of her fingers and grabbed $30.

He then moved her around to different hotels. Finally, fed up with her treatment by Jones, she went to the police, where she spilled the whole story.

Jones was on trial for “living off the earnings of a fallen woman.”

Also on this date

(From the Associated Press)

1922: Vladimir I. Lenin proclaimed the establishment of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. … 1994: Gunman John Salvi III walked into a pair of suburban Boston abortion clinics and opened fire, killing two employees.

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