Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Marie Hilley

Frank and Marie

Frank Hilley was from an Anniston family whose men worked in the area's other big industry, pipe making. Clarence and Carrie Hilley had a close, warm family, and what Frank and his two sisters (Freeda and Jewel) may have lacked in material things they more than made up for in love. Though Frank had a bit of a temper, he was loyal and reliable, and while he wouldn't turn away from the occasional scrap, he actually preferred not to get dirty. He met Marie when she was twelve and he was a junior in high school, and by the time he graduated he was smitten with her.

Newly married Frank and Marie Hilley (Anniston Star)
Newly married Frank and Marie Hilley
(Anniston Star)

Marie, against her parents' wishes, returned his affection. Though he wasn't from one of Anniston's moneyed families, Frank treated her like royalty. He was jealous of other boys' attentions toward her and did his best to keep his temperamental girl happy. Like most young couples they had intense, dramatic arguments, but they always made up. When Frank went into the Navy after high school, he pined for Marie and counted the days until they could be together again. He had been assigned to Guam, and the distance and time away were unbearable. Afraid of losing Marie, he married her while he was on leave in May, 1951.

Marie stayed behind in Anniston to finish high school while Frank went to Long Beach, California to finish out his stint in the Navy. Marie joined him there after her graduation and later accompanied him when he was reassigned to Boston in 1952. At the end of his tour of duty they discovered Marie was pregnant, and when he was discharged they moved back home to Anniston, where they bought a small home. Frank got a job in the shipping department of Standard Foundry while Marie worked as a secretary. Their first child, Michael Hilley, was born on November 11, 1952.

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