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Friday, August 23, 2019  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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100 years ago in Spokane: Prosecutors allege Babe Langer killed bouncer to avoid debt

Prosecutors told jurors that Babe Langer killed her lover, Edmond Haley, to avoid paying him back a debt. Langer argued the fatal shooting was in self-defense.
Prosecutors told jurors that Babe Langer killed her lover, Edmond Haley, to avoid paying him back a debt. Langer argued the fatal shooting was in self-defense.

The prosecution had a far different theory of why Bessie “Babe” Langer, 28, shot former “dance hall bouncer” Edmond Haley.

The prosecutors said that Babe Langer had to “bump him off” in order to go back to her husband, Gene Langer (formerly identified as Jim Langer).

Babe Langer and her defense attorneys contended that she shot Haley in self-defense after he threatened her in a murderous rage.

The prosecution claimed that Babe Langer had been living with Haley while her husband was in the military and Haley had given her a great deal of money. She said she needed to “bump him off” in order to go back to her husband without paying back the money.

Babe Langer (who also went by the name Leta Langer) tearfully denied this on the stand. She said that when she told Haley she was going back to her husband, Haley said, “If you do, I’ll murder you.” Not long after, Haley tried to do just that.

She said she took a gun out of her trunk and when Haley came to her room and threatened to “beat her brains out,” she shot him.

“You got me in the guts,” she quoted Haley as saying right before he died.

The defense attorneys admitted that Babe Langer had been Haley’s lover. The prosecution produced a letter in her hand in which she called him her “big loving boy.” On the stand, Langer first admitted, then denied, then re-admitted that she wrote the letter.

Gene Langer, home on furlough, testified that he still respected his wife and would take her back if she were cleared of the murder charge. If she weren’t cleared, “I will do all in my power to clear her afterward.”

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