Thomas Edward West, 1927


This file appears in: Velma West
Thomas Edward West, 1927

On the night of December 6, 1927, Velma West picked up a claw hammer and struck her husband in the head between 6 and 8 times. Blood spatter and wounds suggested the victim fell to the floor early on and made multiple attempts to get up during the initial blows. The murderess then covered her husband's face with a pillowcase and continued her attack with the hammer. She then proceeded to roll the body over and strike her victim's head with a detached wooden table leg. Following his death, Velma tied Eddie's wrists and legs with twine in order to give the impression of a robbery. She then burned her clothes and some of the bedsheets in the cellar, dressed for a night out, and drove to a friend's home to attend a bridge party.

It is not known what prompted the brutal attack. Accounts would later be given of Velma expressing her unhappiness with the marriage prior to that fateful night. She previously had told numerous people that Eddie hit her, and they were know to quarrel on a regular basis.

Photograph courtesy of Cleveland State University Special Collections


This file appears in: Velma West