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Who Killed Betty Gail Brown?

Tuesday, November 21, 2017: 6:00 PM - 7:00 PM

Venue: The Filson Historical Society

Add To Calendar   21/11/2017 18:00:00 21/11/2017 19:00:00 America/Anguilla Who Killed Betty Gail Brown? Tuesday, November 21, 6:00-7:00 p.m. | Robert G. Lawson, the attorney asked to help defend Alex Arnold Jr., will provide an invaluable record of one of Kentucky's most famous cold cases in this presentation. The Filson Historical Society, 1310 South 3rd Street, Louisville, Kentucky, 40208 The Filson Historical Society info@filsonhistorical.org false DD/MM/YYYY


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On October 26, 1961, after an evening of studying with friends on the campus of Transylvania University, nineteen-year-old student Betty Gail Brown got into her car around midnight—presumably headed for home. But she would never arrive. Three hours later, Brown was found dead in a driveway near the center of campus, strangled to death with her own brassiere. Kentuckians from across the state became engrossed in the proceedings as lead after lead went nowhere. Four years later, the police investigation completely stalled. In 1965, a drifter named Alex Arnold Jr. confessed to the killing while in jail on other charges in Oregon. Arnold was brought to Lexington, indicted for the murder of Betty Gail Brown, and put on trial, where he entered a plea of not guilty.

Robert G. Lawson was a young attorney at a local firm when a senior member asked him to help defend Arnold, and he offers a meticulous record of the case in Who Killed Betty Gail Brown? During the trial, the courtroom was packed daily, but witnesses failed to produce any concrete evidence. Arnold was an alcoholic whose memory was unreliable, and his confused, inconsistent answers to questions about the night of the homicide did not add up.  Since the trial, new leads have come and gone, but Betty Gail Brown’s murder remains unsolved. A written transcript of the court proceedings does not exist; and thus Lawson, drawing upon police and court records, newspaper articles, personal files, and his own notes, provides an invaluable record of one of Kentucky’s most famous cold cases.

Robert G. Lawson has been a law professor for fifty years at the University of Kentucky, where he served twice as dean of the college of law. He is the author of The Kentucky Evidence Law Handbook and Beverly Hills: The Anatomy of a Nightclub Fire.


Who Killed Betty Gail Brown?

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