Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Frances Creighton & Everett Appelgate

This Girl Was Very Willing!

On a particularly hot evening in early June of 1935, Everett attended a convention in Long Beach and arrived home late. He apparently had been drinking. Ruth was the only one awake when he walked in the door. Somehow, the teenager joined Everett in his bed. And there, with Ada lying next to them, Everett had sex with the 14-year-old girl for the first time. The very next morning, according to Ruth's later statement to the police, she and Everett were wrestling around on the floor of the bedroom where Ada slept. Everett jokingly remarked that Ruthie was trying to rape him. When Ruth asked Ada what that meant, Everett said he would show her. According to her later statement to police, Everett placed Ruth up on the bed and had sex with her again while Ada watched.

"Uncle Ev," as Ruth called Everett, became obsessed with his new love. Known around the town as a man with a wandering eye, he was frequently seen driving Ruth to stores and taking her to school. At first, Frances was unaware of the sexual relationship, though some accounts of their life at Bryant Place dispute that theory. But by July that same year, Everett told Frances that he was having sex with her daughter. "I told him that if the father found out he would kill him," Frances said to the police, "I asked him if he didn't think it was bad enough the way he was carrying on, without doing a thing like that to a child!" Frances always denied she condoned her daughter's involvement with Everett. "I told him if that was the way he felt, I was never deeply in love with him," she later said, "it was always he who was the aggressor. He could consider himself absolutely finished as far as I was concerned. He needn't bother coming near me again!"

That seemed to be all right with Appelgate. "I became very fond of the daughter of the Creightons," Everett told police, "it caused me to do things that were natural to my desires. In close contact with her and showing her affection and the same being returned, I had a desire for a more close relationship with this girl." And Everett, then 38, worked hard at that close relationship. They had sex in his car, in the home and out back in the woods. Everyone in the town had seen them together and wondered aloud about their relationship. A neighbor told investigators that he "saw Appelgate many times out in the back yard kissing Ruthie, holding her around the waist. Do you think that Mrs. Appelgate did not know all about it?" Apparently nothing could prevent them from having sex, not even the presence of Appelgate's own daughter.

"Around the 24th of September 1935, when my wife was in the South Nassau Hospital," he later told cops, "this girl and my daughter slept with me that night. My daughter was asleep, I presume, and Ruth and I had sexual intercourse then. This was about 9 p.m. or possibly later. This girl was very willing to do this and stated on a number of occasions that she was very much in love with me."

But all the while, Frances' resentment grew. She felt betrayed by Everett and shamed by the actions of her promiscuous daughter. And worst of all, Frances was held up to public ridicule as a failed mother. This intolerable situation had to change. Something had to be done. Luckily, Frances knew how to deal with betrayal and subterfuge.

Categories
Advertisement