Woman Slain; Husband Kills Self

I have avoided putting Aunt Bertie’s murder out there for many years, mainly to not bring up old, painful feelings. It is family history though, and understandably interesting to those that knew her. It has been 60 years ago today, so here is a story I have been sitting on for some time, put together from several articles from the time.


Two Middletown residents are dead today as the result of a murder-suicide, shattering a romance that began in childhood.

Mrs. Loberta (Blevins) Hatton, 53, of 3223 Seneca St., was found dead in her bed late yesterday afternoon.

Dr. Garret J. Boone, Butler County coroner, said she had been beaten repeatedly, probably more than a dozen times, on the right side of the head with a crowbar.

Her husband, William Taylor Hatton, 54, whom she married four weeks ago today, fatally shot himself late last night at Versailles, Ky., police tried to arrest him in connection with Mrs. Hatton’s death.

The two deaths were the 9th and 10th violent deaths in the Middletown area or involving Middletown residents since October. In that period, there have been two traffic deaths, five homicides, two suicides and one traffic homicide.

Attention was attracted to the Hatton home yesterday afternoon when Mrs. Hatton’s daughter, Marilyn, was seen on the porch by a neighbor.  Mrs. Carl Childers, 3224 Seneca St.

Marilyn, about 20, is an invalid and unable to speak. Mrs. Childers reportedly had acted as a babysitter for the girl before and, seeing her on the porch, thought the family might be away from home.

She ran to the house to take the girl inside and was led into the bedroom by the girl. Mrs. Childers called Albert McQuinn, 3219 Seneca St., and together they notified police.

Dr. Boone said that Hatton’s clothes and car were missing and one of the license plates from Mrs. Hatton’s car removed. An attempt had been made to remove the second plate.

Knowing that Hatton had relatives in Versailles, Ky., police were contacted there.

Law enforcement officers went to the home of Hatton’s brother, Johnny, Near Versailles around 10;30 PM., Dr. Boone said.

William Hatton came out of the house and ran, then used a .22 caliber pistol to shoot himself three times. One of the bullets entered the jawbone and emerged from the top of his head.

He was taken to Woodford County Hospital, Versailles, then transferred to Good Samaritan Hospital, Lexington, where he died about 2:30 AM today without regaining consciousness.

Dr. Boone said he didn’t think the murder was planned, but that Hatton was probably ”mentally disturbed”.

He said Mrs. Hatton reportedly had told relatives her husband suffered from “moody spells and temper tantrums” and had been discharged from the U. S. navy because of a “problem of this type.” Hatton was said to have been depressed Monday.

The couple were childhood sweethearts and had attended school together in Kentucky. Hatton reportedly had wanted to marry her years ago, but she married someone else.

Her husband, Clarence Blevins, died here in 1956. Hatton was recently divorced from his first wife. He and Mrs. Hatton were married Jan. 9 by the Rev. Henry Howard, assistant pastor of the Grand Avenue Church of God.

Mrs. Hatton, however, was a charter member (1945) of Grace Baptist Church and was very active there until the death of her first husband, who had been a deacon.

Mrs. Hatton had lived at the Seneca Street address “at least 18 years,” according to a neighbor.

Both the crowbar and the pistol were kept in her room for self-protection.

The crowbar was found in the back yard. ( Les Note: Aunt Janice said Uncle Densil was the one that found the crowbar) Dr. Boone said there was clay, hair and traces of blood on the end of it.

Crowbar Densil found.

Dr. Boone said Mrs. Hatton’s daughter, whom he described as “highly mentally deficient,” is  in Hughes Hospital, Hamilton, now. She was taken to the Children’s Home in Hamilton, then transferred to the hospital.

He said there was no way of knowing whether she understood what had happened to her mother.

Dr. Boone estimated Mrs. Hatton’s death as occurring at 4 a.m. yesterday.

Neighbors saw Hatton leave the house early, but Dr. Boone said he apparently returned for his clothes and personal belongings because a Poasttown Heights relative saw him at the house around 1 p.m. yesterday.

Hatton reportedly had been employed a few days by the Miles Moving & Storage Co.

Penciled signs were found on the front and back of the Hatton home saying that the family would not be back until Friday. Dr. Boone said these were an apparent effort to avoid having Mrs. Hatton’s body discovered.

Investigating officers included Clifton Hyde and James Maxwell from the Butler County sheriff’s department, officers from Versailles, Ky. and Det. Harold Gray of the Middletown Police Department.

Mrs. Hatton was a former employee of the old P. Lorillard Co. here. She was born in Frenchburg, Ky.

Surviving are two daughters. Mrs. Norma Jackson of Franklin and Marilyn; two brothers, Grant Egelston of Frenchburg, Ky., and Cash Egelston of Mariba, Ky.; three sisters, Mrs. Oliver Day of Frenchburg, Ky., Mrs. Nannie Profitt of Dayton, and Mrs. Sylvia Proffitt of Dayton; and two grandchildren.

Services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday at the Grace Baptist Church, with Rev. Howard Sears officiating. Burial will be in Woodside Cemetery.

Friends may call at the McCoy – Leffler Funeral Home tomorrow from 2 to 5 and 7 to 9 p.m., and at the church Friday after 1 p.m.

Mr. Hatton will be buried in Kentucky.

His immediate survivors include two sisters, Mrs. Dora Mae Amburgey of Middletown and Mrs. Angie Hatton of Jackson, Ky.; a brother, Johnny; a daughter, Pearlie Mae, and two sons, Carl and Eugene, all of Kentucky.

William Taylor Hatton and Bertie Egelston Blevins Hatton

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