Sunday, December 12, 2004

Who was Mary Alice Meza?

Unless you're a crime buff, you're not likely to know. She was just a 17 year old girl who was raped back in 1948. Shortly thereafter she was institutionalized and remained so to the end of her days.

Who raped her? An innocent man of course - Caryl Chessman. That name might not be well remembered nowadays, but in his time he was an international cause celebre in part because at the time no one had spent more time on Death Row than he. Here's the short version of his story, here's the long version.

In all that time in prison Chessman had time to write and smuggle out three different books. One became a bestseller which is still listed on He used the proceeds in part to pay for legal and investigative help for his innumerable motions and appeals. The accounts linked above do not mention any restitution to his victims.

Not that he could have made it up to Mary Alice Meza.


Anonymous said...

Institutionalized until "the end of her days" (!!??)

Where did you get this information? Sounds like bad fiction to me.

Can you back up this information?

Anonymous said...

look up pix of chessman's execution and one will come up of a newspaper where the girl's mother comments on the execution and the fact that 10 years after the rape the girl was still not recovered from the rape and was in a mental hospital. Screw chessman.