Obituary Details

Bessie Curtis

(08/01/1905 - 07/31/1927)
Courtesy of The Lusk Herald, 08/04/1927

Former Local Woman is Slain by Casper Man

Mrs. Betty (should be Bessie) Curtis Falls Victim of Gilbert Wiley at Casper Dance Hall. 

Mrs. Bessie Curtis, 23 years old, formerly of Lusk, was shot and instantly killed by Gilbert Wiley, at the Washington dance hall, in Casper at about 11 o'clock last Sunday night, July 31. Wiley they turned the gun on himself and inflicted a wound which was at first thought to be fatal, but he his now said to be on the road to recovery at a Casper hospital.

The tragedy was enacted on the south side of the hall, and in full view of the many dancers who crowded the floor. Few, however, at first believed that such a tragedy was taking place, believing the sound of the gun came from some one shooting firecrackers. Several couples from Lusk who had been attending the Northwestern picnic were in the hall at the time.

Hortense Christopher, a 16-year-old girl was struck in the foot by a stray bullet, but not seriously injured.

Jealousy over Mrs. Curtis is said to have been the cause of the tragedy. It is said that Wiley had forced his attentions upon Mrs. Curtis on several occasions, and that she had always spurned him. Her husband, Albert Curtis, left for some place in Texas about July 1, and nothing has been heard from him since.

Mrs. Curtis, who before her marriage was Bessie Tudder, spent a number if years in Lusk and vicinity as a child and grew to young womanhood here. She was born August 1, 1905, at Douglas, and was married to Albert Curtis at Douglas on December 10, 1930. To the union one daughter was born, Norma Bessie, who is now 5 years old.

Funeral services were held at the Muck funeral home in Casper, and at the Universal Funeral Parlors here, burial being made in the Lusk cemetery Tuesday evening. In the absence of a minister, Prof.Ford B. Kuns officiated at the burial here, with a short service.

Besides her husband and daughter, the deceased is survived by her father, Joseph Tudder of Casper; three brothers, Joyce Tudder of Lusk, Clint and Delbert Tudder of Casper, and one sister, Mrs. Evelyn Jackson of Salt Creek.

The pallbearers at the funeral here were Jack McFarlane, Leslie McCarthy, Will Miller, Tom McGinnis, Al Rundquist and Boyd Minter.

At an inquest held in Casper following the tragedy, the coroner's jury found that the young woman came to her death from a gunshot wound and placed entire responsibility on Wiley, who, according to the county attorney of Natrona county, will be tried for murder. The rumors that the shot which killed Mrs. Curtis was fired from the outside of the building by a third party were upon investigation found to be without foundation. 


Red Wiley Gets Life for Murder of Girl

Changes Plea in Order to Escape the Death Penalty for Murder in First Degree

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Related/Linked Records

Record Type Name
Obituary Tudder, Elgin (09/18/1895 - 12/16/1918) View Record
Obituary Tudder, Emma (02/27/1870 - 03/22/1954) View Record
Cemetery Record CURTIS, BESSIE (TUDDER) View Record