Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Frances Creighton & Everett Appelgate

I Tried to Resist!

Living conditions at Bryant Place were unpredictable. In addition to their regular jobs, Everett and John were also tied up with Legion meetings and conventions during the evenings. The Creightons and Appelgates frequently had houseguests as well. Visitors consisted mostly of American Legion buddies who would stay long hours into the night, drinking, playing cards and telling war stories. There was no set schedule for meals, sleep time or chores. The children usually disappeared each night into the seclusion of the attic where they could be by themselves.

Ada Appelgate, her obesity confining her to bed for the majority of the day, often screamed orders at Everett, degrading him in front of the Creightons and houseguests. But he was happy to have the company, which took his mind off the distressing image of his rotund wife. He was also glad to be around Frances. Mrs. Creighton was a neat and organized housekeeper. She brought some order into his life. Despite the cramped conditions, at least the little space they did have was neat. And Everett never missed a chance to let Frances know how much he appreciated her.

Mary Frances Creighton
Mary Frances Creighton

"He tried to become familiar," she later told investigators, "I tried to resist and he did not quite succeed." But Everett was very persistent. In January 1935, Frances had sex with Everett for the first time. On the night it happened, Ada was asleep in her bedroom, the kids were at school and John was busy at work. Everett told Frances he loved her and Frances believed it. Over the next six months they maintained a sexual relationship in the household, apparently without the knowledge of Frances' husband.

But Frances noticed the excessive amount of attention that Everett paid to her teenage daughter. Whenever Ruth needed a ride or an errand done, Everett was there. He took the girl to school and picked her up, drove her to the stores and seemed too eager to be Ruth's friend. Whenever Frances brought up the subject, Everett would laugh and say that he loved only her and someday they would be together. This uneasy situation continued into the summer of 1935.

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