Thursday, June 9, 2011

Who Was Anna Corbin? One Of The Stories Behind The Preston School of Industry




Photo by: J'aime Rubio


You can look near and far, and search the internet until your heart is content and you will not find as much research about this lady as I have dug up. There have been many sites that speak of Anna Corbin yet no one has revealed anything about her life prior to her death. You see, when I heard about the untimely death of Mrs. Anna Corbin at Preston Castle I noticed one thing. No one could really say who she was or what her life was like. It’s almost as if the ghost stories took on a life of their own and for some apparent reason people seemed to be far more interested in what happened after her death, rather than what happened before her death.


I am a history fanatic and I am also a professional skip tracer, which means I can find out pretty much anything about someone, dead or alive. I was determined to find out the story behind Anna Corbin’s life no matter what.

I emailed a writer from the local newspaper up there in Amador County, but was unable to reach him. I emailed several people who claim to know information about her death, none of which replied as well. That didn’t matter, I would find my own avenues to research Mrs. Corbin, and that is exactly what I did. 


Anna’s Earlier Years


Anna Corbin was born on January 16, 1898 in Kansas as Anna Laura Lawton. She was the daughter of Etta Edna Little (1865-1945) and Wilber Austin Lawton (1857-1936) of Americus, Kansas. Her parents were farmers, although Wilber had been a banker, postmaster, politician, Justice of the Peace, under-Sherrif, and member of the School Board during his lifetime. (See Anna's Family Genealogy Notes). As a child Anna went with her older sister Loverna to live with their aunt and uncle in order to attend school in Emporia, Kansas. In fact, they lived just across the street from the famous author/editor William Allen White.  Loverna used to babysit White's children when he and his wife would travel. White was such a profound influence on Anna's sister that she became a writer herself and published several children's books in her lifetime. It was said that White introduced Loverna (and possibly Anna)  to Theodore Roosevelt.

After graduating from Emporia High School, Anna met and married Robert Travis Corbin in 1918. A year later a son, Harold Jay Corbin was born in 1919. Since Robert T. Corbin was a Truck Driver it seemed to have made them move around quite a bit. They moved to Colorado where their daughter Avis M. Corbin was born in 1924.

The US Census Records for 1930 shows that by that time they had moved to Whittier, California (East Los Angeles). The records show Robert as being 34 years old, Anna being 32, Harold 11, and Avis 6. Sometime later they relocated up to Ione, California sometime around 1935. In 1941, both Robert T. Corbin and his son Harold Jay Corbin were enlisted in the draft of WWII. Sadly, in 1943 Harold Jay Corbin, only 24 years old, was killed in action during the war. His name is featured as one of the first Amador County residents who were killed in action while serving in the military on the recently made War Veterans Memorial in Ione. He was stationed out of Presidio of Monterey, Army Air Force (2LT # 0-666635). Buried March 14, 1950 at Golden Gate National Cemetery in San Bruno, California.


I could not locate records as to when Robert T. Corbin came back from the war but the Social Security Death Index records indicate he had to have come back before 1947 because he died on May 29,1947 at the Veterans Home of California in Napa, California. He is buried at East Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento.

Let’s try to step into Anna’s shoes for a moment, shall we? Now imagine you are a middle aged woman. A wife and mother and both your son and husband had died. Anna's parents had died as well years prior. Now how would you feel inside? Think about it. There she was, the only parent left for her daughter Avis. How do you think she felt? Now imagine it is 1950 and here she was not only grieving for two of the most important men in her life but she also had to work full time as a head housekeeper as her only means of support.


Think about this also, her son Harold died in 1943 and yet the US Air Force had not brought his body back to be buried until 1950. His internment was March 14, 1950 a whole month after Anna’s death. So in her lifetime she was never able to visit her son’s grave or know exactly what happened to his body in order to find closure. That must have been agonizing to say the least. I am a mother and I know for a fact losing a child, at any age would be devastating.


No doubt she was worn out about life, although many say it didn’t stop her from being a loving and nurturing person. Her daughter Avis was at that time married and moved to Sacramento. Anna then became like a second mother to many of the inmates at Preston.

So here it was 1950, and Anna was by then the head housekeeper at Preston School of Industry. She had been working there for 15 years according to the Superintendent's statement (so around 1935).  Anna's husband's draft enlistments state that she was working at Preston at the time the enlistment card was written and that date was 1941.  Another tidbit to add, Anna DID NOT live in an apartment in the building she was murdered in as so many reports and television shows claim. In fact, the newspapers at the time wrote that Mrs. Corbin lived in a 5 bedroom home on Marquette Street in Ione. Well, anyone who knows Ione knows that there is no Marquette St. However, there is a Market Street and a Marlette Street....so either street is a possible choice.


The Day Of The Murder


It was Thursday- February 23, 1950. Many say that just before a staff meeting held by the Superintendent Robert B. Chandler, a ward discovered the body and notified the staff of the grisly finding. According to the Amador Ledger, dated February 24, 1950, it stated that a fellow staff member Lillian McDowell was the one who found Anna. Anna had been killed and left in the basement near the kitchen.**

Many online sites that speak of Anna Corbin's death start to contradict themselves about this point. Some say she was killed in the kitchen, some say she was killed in the basement, known as the “mattress room”. Some say she was stuffed in a cupboard, some say she was left on the floor.

 (One note to add, I am posting what all the newspapers claimed at the time, it doesn't mean each account is accurate, but its the best we have to go on since it was made on record during the time period the event took place. As you will read on in this article, you will see that Anna was  found in the basement as other archives, witness accounts and official reports confirm).

c/o Oakland Tribune 2/24/50
According to the Amador Ledger's article (2/24/1950) it states that Anna was found several hours after her death in a store room, wrapped in a rug and she had been beaten severely on the head and body with a rope wrapped around her neck. What people always leave out in their stories is the fact that the room Anna was found in was locked and the staff member had to unlock the door to access the room in which Anna's body was found. It was also mentioned in the paper that Director of the California Youth Authority Program, Karl Holton stated that not only the inmates would be investigated but also the staff.

Another newspaper article that confirms this (Oakland Tribune dated February 24, 1950) also states,  housekeeper Lillian Lee McDowell and her helper-inmate Robert Hall both noticed a trail of  blood from Anna's office leading into the school store room and into a padlocked closet where Lillian unlocked it to discover Anna's bludgeoned body.

The Head Gardener at Preston, Jeff Machado seemed to be the last person to see her alive as he claimed to have brought her the acacia branches around 9 am. Anna's body was discovered around 2 pm. Another housekeeper, Elizabeth Goodman stated that around 10:23 am she came into Anna's office and left an apple on her desk. That apple was still there upon the discovery of Anna's body.

According to Lillian McDowell, after seeing the blood trail leading to the Store Room/Supply Room her and her helper-ward Hall noticed that a ladder was overturned, mop buckets were tossed around and rugs covered in blood along with a pool of blood on the floor. The Coroner stated that she had been dead for at least 3-4 hours when her body was discovered. That meant she died between 9 am and 10 am that morning.

Another thing I want to point out is that according to other archives, the boy who found Anna's body,  Robert Hall gave a statement that Anna was actually found behind rolls of carpet in the storage room, not a closet, but a padlocked room that was 16 x 35 feet in size in the basement.

A source of mine revealed to me that another ward that was at Preston during that time that Anna was murdered, came to Preston as an adult and spoke about his memory of the event saying that he actually saw Anna's body in the basement, in the larger room when investigators had just got to the scene, which corroborates Hall's statement.  Another employee of Preston who has been interviewed also made a statement that Anna was found in a larger room and not a closet.  No matter where people want to claim she was found, an exact location is left for us only to speculate. One thing is for sure, we know that Anna was found in the basement, covered by carpet.

SUSPECTS?

Initially the Superintendent, along with Sheriff  Lucot and other investigators singled out the 22 wards on "housekeeping detail" before questioning other wards there who had been convicted of assault and sexual crimes. After those groups were questioned, they detained all wards to their rooms to further question and investigate each one. Superintendent Chandler made it very clear that everyone was a suspect, even staff and that they would be investigating thoroughly. Out of the 657 wards questioned only one was pointed out as a suspect, Eugene Monroe. He was a 19 year old African-American inmate who was from Southern California. What some people don't always know is that he was a suspect in a murder of a 17 year old girl, Vesta Belle Sapenter in Southern California just one year prior to Anna’s murder. The details Vesta's murder were eerily “similar” to the details of Anna’s murder as noted in my book, "Behind The Walls". But as I state in my book, due to lack of sufficient evidence, the authorities couldn't hold him on murder charges. How Monroe ended up in Preston was for a separate conviction of burglary charges.

One inmate William J. Mercer, who basically ruined his own reputation on the witness stand, claimed him and Eugene were having a secretive homosexual relationship and that during a time when they were engaging in a sex act that Anna had walked in and witnessed them. He claimed that it infuriated Eugene and he said he was going to kill her for that. Mercer was said to have been caught in many lies on the witness stand and it was ruled his testimony was not “credible.”

Everyone, including the inmates were shocked and infuriated that Anna had been killed. Inmates were even reported to have told the staff that if the assailant was found within Preston, that they better hire more guards because the inmates may "take the law into their own hands" in order to avenge the death of their beloved Housekeeper and motherly friend, Anna Corbin.

I find it rather suspicious that after the three trials ( two of which were hung jury, and the third a final acquittal) that one year later in 1951 Eugene was convicted and confessed to the murder and rape of a pregnant woman, Mrs. Dorothy Waldrop in Tulsa, OK. He was sentenced to life in prison. The profile of his method of crimes and suspected crimes could lead one to think Eugene Monroe was the killer, although he adamantly denied having anything to do with Anna’s murder.   

To learn more in depth information on Eugene Monroe and the other suspects in this case, then you need to read "Behind The Walls."

 
MORE QUESTIONS
Sheriff Lucot with the rope

The fact that Karl Holton's statement that not only the inmates but the staff were going to be investigated can make people think twice about this story. If you do research you will find that there had been several unexplained deaths of the wards at Preston. Some even say that the guards themselves were strict enforcers and even overly so, however if you read my book "Behind The Walls" you will come to the conclusion, as I have, that it was not a staff member who committed the crime.

Sheriff Lucot and other investigators searched the evidence to try and find any clue as to who could have committed this horrible crime.They even called in a fingerprint specialist to go through the room dusting for the killer's prints. Investigators also noticed that the killer used the rugs in the store room to mop up some of the blood on the floor to cover their tracks.

(see photo to the right: Sheriff Lucot holding the very rope that was used to strangle Anna Corbin, bottom: Lucot looking over the bloodstained rug in room where Anna's body was discovered)

Sheriff Lucot investigating


WHERE WERE ANNA'S KEYS?!


According to the Oakland Tribune (2/24/1950, page 25) it states that Anna's keys were found on a desk along with a vase of acacia branches and blossoms without water. The Superintendent explained that he believed she was starting to arrange a bouquet of flowers in a room right off of her office, before she was killed and didn't even have time to put water in the vase.

Regarding Anna's keys being left on the desk,  the Superintendent went on to say that it was a "Cardinal Offense" to leave your keys lying around and that Anna would NEVER in all the years she had worked there, have left her keys out on the desk that way intentionally. There were no clues that any blood had been left on the keys so one would think that the killer did not use her keys to lock her in the supply room and then go on to put Anna's keys back on her desk. I think she was struck from behind in that room by her office and then she either ran away from the assailant ending up in the supply room where the killer followed her, murdered her and then Anna was locked inside.

The day before Anna was killed she appeared in the "Community Fashion Show" in Ione, as one of the models on the cat walk. She was a cheerful and happy person who tried to make the best of her situation. It was obvious by the archives and the way the inmates spoke of her that she was well liked within the community inside and outside of Preston. This terrible tragedy was not only a horrific story but also a sad tale for all who knew her and loved her, including many of the inmates. To this day I have spoken to several people who once served time at Preston (the "Castle" and the newer building) and nearly every one states how sad they were that an innocent woman died on those premises. Even after her death, her motherly reputation lived on through word of mouth over the generations of inmates coming in and out of that place. Anna Corbin's murder is still considered to be unsolved.

To read: When Two Similar Stories Collide- Anna Corbin & Bessie Lewis, click here.


ANNA'S FINAL RESTING PLACE

Anna's body was taken to Daneri Mortuary in Jackson for her viewing and later was buried at East Lawn Cemetery in Sacramento (CLICK HERE TO VISIT ONLINE GRAVE). Anna was survived by her only daughter and last surviving child, Avis Corbin Barone of Sacramento.


IN ENDING, LET US NEVER FORGET WHO ANNA WAS. LET US NOT FOCUS ON JUST HER DEATH, BUT HER LIFE. BECAUSE SHE WAS A PERSON, JUST LIKE YOU AND I.  LET US RESPECT HER ALWAYS AND KEEP HER MEMORY ALIVE.


TO READ A MORE IN DEPTH LOOK AT ANNA CORBIN'S LIFE AND DEATH, INCLUDING MORE TALES FROM PRESTON CASTLE, PICK UP A COPY OF MY BOOK "BEHIND THE WALLS" TODAY!! 

J'aime Rubio at Anna's grave



TO READ MORE ABOUT PRESTON CASTLE'S HISTORY (THE PRESTON SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY) CLICK HERE! 



--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

UPDATE: Thank you to Scott Thomas Anderson for briefly mentioning this article and blog in his article published in the Sierra Lodestar Newspaper JULY 18-24, 2012
Anna Corbin
(photo restored by J. Rubio)


© J'aime Rubio original post 2009-2011 (UPDATED ARTICLE WITH NEW INFORMATION LOCATED THROUGH RESEARCH AS OF 2012)
All the content that is published on this site under my profile DREAMING CASUALLY © is my property and is protected by all applicable Copyright Laws. No part of my work may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means without prior written permission from me, the publisher/author J'aime Rubio.



Sources:
Amador Ledger Archives. - Feb. 24, 1950
Oakland Tribune Archives, -Feb 24, 1950 
Stockton Record- Feb 24, 1950
other various archived newspapers
Ancestry.com
US. Census Records
US Military Enlistment Records
Amador County Records
The Crisis (Magazine) June, 1950

PHOTO SOURCES: 
Top Photo of Anna Corbin's grave in the cemetery is property of J'aime Rubio. 
Newspaper photos of Anna and Sheriff Lucot from Oakland Tribune (2/24/50)
Photo of Anna Corbin  on bottom to the right - I took a photo of a photo, although I restored my copy and saved it in a Sepia tone.




37 comments:

  1. Thank you both Lyricsngray and Sweet Caroline...I am glad you both enjoyed the story. This story is one that is close to my heart and I have done so much research into Anna's life and history, that this will be one of my favorite articles I have ever written. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree this was a great read. Thank you for the insight and research into Anna Corbin. I agree with you and believe her soul is at peace. Perhaps the murderer is who is wandering around Preston Castle?? LOL!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. wow!!YOU DID A VERY GOOD JOB DREAMING CASUALLY!!I WAS VERY INTERESTED IN ANNA CORBIN BECAUSE I WAS A INMATE IN PRESTON FROM 2000-2003.I WAS THE LANDSCAPE CLEANER FOR THE PRESTON CASTLE AN IT JUS HURT ME TO KNOW A NICE WOMAN DIED THE WAY SHE DID AN THE MURDER WAS UNSOLVED.I REALLY THINK THE CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS KILLED HER BECAUSE THE STAFF IN PRESTON WAS THE MOST DANGEROUS GANG THROUGHOUT THE CALIFORNIA YOUTH AUTHORITIES THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE CALIFORNIA.THIS IS EXACTLY WHY 90% OF THE CYA FACILITIES WAS CLOSED DOWN.REST IN PEACE ANNA CORBIN AN SAMUEL GOINS

    ReplyDelete
  4. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  5. thank YOU Dreaming casually!hey..do u have any history or information on the kids in the preston graveyard???

    ReplyDelete
  6. @ Wolfalini- I do not have much on hand other than many died very mysterious deaths. The grave yard is off limits to all visitors unless you have written permission to stray off the beaten path. It is located in an area way in the back so most people don't even know where it is. I do though lol...I lived in Ione for awhile as a teen and lets just say...I have my stories! I most certainly can do some more research. I love Preston Castle and I have some friends up there in Amador County. Perhaps it deserves a trip up there to do a little more investigating just on the graveyard itself....good idea. Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
  7. In reply to "Just me, whether you believe it or not's comment: "Dreaming Casually, this is wonderful and made me really think about Anna. My group and I are planning on making a journey to the castle, and my husband lovingly calls it the xmen castle. You did some wonderful research (I do the history digging for my group) and respect how hard you worked to research this murder mystery! It can be hard pulling up anything online or even in archives. My hat's off to you! And thank you! "

    THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR SUCH A NICE COMMENT. I AM NOT SURE HOW IT WAS DELETED BUT I HAVE REPOSTED THE COMMENT ABOVE. THANK YOU AGAIN FOR TAKING THE TIME TO COMMENT ON THIS STORY AND FOR APPRECIATING THE HARD WORK I PUT INTO THIS STORY. I FEEL A STRONG COMPASSION FOR ANNA CORBIN AND SHE IS NOT JUST ANOTHER STORY TO ME, SHE WAS A PERSON WHO LIVED A LIFE AND WAS BRUTALLY MURDERED SO UNFAIRLY. I WANTED MY READERS TO KNOW HER TRUE STORY OF HER LIFE LEADING UP TO HER INFAMOUS DEATH AND THE TRUE STORY SURROUNDING HER DEATH AS WELL. SO MANY PEOPLE ARE MISINFORMED (INCLUDING PEOPLE WHO CLAIM TO BE EXPERTS) WHEN IF THEY WOULD DO THEIR RESEARCH AND REALLY DIG DEEP THEY WOULD SEE THE REAL STORY THAT WAS. THANKS AGAIN FOR YOUR COMMENT. BEST WISHES TO YOU!- "DREAMING CASUALLY AKA J'AIME RUBIO

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Dreaming, I accidently deleted it, I have a toddler who thinks my computer my computer is the greatest invention since sliced bread! I'm glad you were able to repost it and I am so sorry! I have some information about some of the boys there as well if you ever feel like swapping stories. My goal now is to find a newspaper clipping about the murder. Anna seemed to really care about these kids, shoot she seemed loved! And the conditions of Preston at the time broke my heart! These kids were treated worse than dogs and I would love to find out any information on the guards at the time, how much do you wanna bet, some of them had criminal records?! I have read other "claims" that say Anna hated her job (this was from a physic, which I just shake my head at) and that she only took it to make money. Ummm, I get why she would keep it, especially when you consider she had a family, but as a mother, I couldn't see her being there for as long as she was supposed to be if she hated it! As a mother who had lost a son of her own, I can't see her being anything but compassionate towards these kids! What mother could allow themselves to watch children being tortured? I know I couldn't. And again, I bow down to you LOL Again, I apologize for the deleting of the post, buttons were pressed and I thought it went up. My mistake- Kat

      Delete
    2. If I find anything, would you like to add it? I'm finding out alot about the kids there, including a boy who wrote to a Chicago Newspaper about how wonderful Preston was and if he had been able to stay at Preston, or any other reform school, maybe he wouldn't have ended up on Death Row. Made me really sad.

      Delete
  8. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi again, I will email you what I have on the Goins shooting and I have some other interesting things as well. So keep an eye out. Goins was called some other things in his file, that ticked me off, but I have to remember that it was such a different time than it is now, but it's difficult to remember that. I agree with your theory on Anna's death! Completely agree! So let me email you here in a few as I can help cut down your search a bit or at least help you expand LOL.

      Delete
  9. oh and so you know it's not spam my email is kritterbush@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Sent you the email/novel LOL one last comment. Merle Haggard also tried escaping in 1953. And there was a man who ended up going to Alcatraz and causing a huge riot while there, where he lost his life, Joesph Paul Cretzer. Another inmate at Preston was Ray D. Johnson, he escaped from Preston TWICE and later became the FIRST maximum security inmate to escape from Folsom! So this trend of escaping didn't stop either.

      Delete
  10. Thank you, I just emailed you back. Very interesting stuff...We will definitely keep in touch. When you have time you should check out my other stories too, there are so many mysteries I have uncovered that I think someone like you (a history and truth seeker) would like!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I wanted to write this message for everyone out there reading this blog. THANK YOU to all my loyal readers who stuck up for me on this blog yesterday. Thankfully, everything is resolved now. I hate negativity on my blog so I deleted all the comments (mine included). I appreciate everyone helping defend my writing, but once everything was apologized for I felt it only right to give people the chance to clear the mistakes they make and start over. I would hope that if I had been the one writing a not so nice comment on someone else's blog that the same would apply. Its only right to forgive and forget when someone says they are sorry, so everything is fine now. So with that being said, all is done and over with and I hope everyone continues to read my blog and most importantly, enjoy it! HUGS and THANKS AGAIN to all my loyal readers and friends.- J'aime 4/22/2012

    ReplyDelete
  12. Hi Dreaming, I don't know about all the negative posts, but I appreciate your writing technique! I just happened upon your article doing my own "research" on the Anna Corbin/Preston Castle. I do believe in paranormal activity, but not in the way of these TV shows. I too believe when we pass, we are at peace.
    However, my attention was prompted to the "Castle" by way of Ghost Adventures. I live just North of Sacramento & had never heard of this place until channel surfing. The following day, my husband & I set out to see what this Preston Castle was all about. Unfortunately, a TV crew had been filming a show & all their "props" were still there. It was very difficult to determine what was "real" & what was a prop for the show.
    I truly enjoyed reading your post & thank you for all the hard work in finding as much information as you could. As much "real" information that is. LOL I am an Air Force brat myself & lived in the UK for many years, so I find myself being drawn to historical areas & finding all I can about them. I would love to know more about the wards, guards, and anything else you may find about Preston Castle. Please share, my email is mikenjulie2010@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello Julie,

      So nice of you to stop by my blog and to comment, too. Thank you for such a lovely compliment about my writing. I do believe in the paranormal, I just don't think of it the same way that I think most others assume it to be. (I know it sounds weird). I believe that the spirits that haunt places aren't of the dead but of more sinister origin (but of course that is just my opinion), so I do believe in the paranormal meaning I agree that it exists to an extent. As far as Preston I have 3 articles that tell the history of the Castle here on my blog. If you scroll up to the top of the page on the left hand side there are links to various stories, there are 3 parts that are listed THE TRUE STORY BEHIND THE PRESTON SCHOOL OF INDUSTRY...or you can google that sentence and it should just pop up. I hope you enjoy the read! And thank you again for stopping by. - J'aime

      Delete
  13. She seemed like a lovly women. And i think from reading the statements, that it was one of the people who worked there. If you needed a key to get in and out of that room how could one of the kids have it? Unless they made her open the key and then after they killed her took the key. Whatever the case may be i think someone should reopen it just to give her spirit peace. Maybe that is why she is still there. Because no one has bothered to try to solve what happen to anna. R.I.P Anna Corbin

    ReplyDelete
  14. I don't know how accrate the information is but I found the following link:

    http://celebgalz.com/anna-corbin-anna-corbin-in-preston-castle/

    Also I linked my blog to this page I hope you do not mind. here is the lin to the post:

    http://rickwilliamsphotography.blogspot.com/2012/06/preston-castle.html

    Hope the info helps.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  16. @ Rick thank you for the comment. Thank you so much for linking my story to your blog. I think it is great that you wrote part of the history with photographs to reference it to. very cool! I have another story on this blog that is a very lengthy in-depth article about the history of Preston you may enjoy!

    Just so you know that CELEB GALZ link does not have accurate information regarding Anna. The writer spoke of two completely different Anna Corbin's and it seems to confuse most people searching for answers. I know I have had a ton of people email me trying to understand why that persons blog says entirely different information than mine. I don't know where they got their information but it is not correct.

    The information on my blog was found through records, newspaper archives, genealogy, ancestry and the Census records, not to mention stories I have heard from people who lived there in Ione when it happened or were incarcerated there.

    Take care and thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Dear Dreaming casually, I am only suggesting you should do research on Lillian McDowell due to the fact that I have done research myself and although I have no credible source, Lillian McDowell died in 1940 so therefore it wouldn't be possible for her to have found the body of Anna Corbin. Besides that I greatly appreciate all of the research you have done on Anna. You made it easy for me, so I didnt hhave to do the research myself. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. To BB- Thank you for the comment, however according to the Amador Ledger and the Oakland Tribune, both dated February 24, 1950, both state that a fellow staff member Lillian McDowell was the one who found Anna. Lillian McDowell was interviewed so the Lillian you are referring to must have been a different Lillian. The reporters for both papers obviously didn't pull that name out of thin air. Maybe there were more than one Lillian in Amador County...remember this Lillian may not have been married at the time and later died under a different last name and that is why you can't find her. All I am saying is that if the records show a Lillian McDowell worked there and she found her body, then you have the two Lillian's mixed up. Thank you again for the comment and taking the time to read! Best wishes.

      Delete
  18. LOVE this blog! Thanks for sharing info on Anna. RIP

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Retro Wifey! How kind of you to read my blog and to comment too. I am glad you liked this. Anna's story is one of my favorites I have investigated. I have continued over the years to attempt to find out all there is to know about her and her death, I am still searching too! Please come back again and read more stories....take care- J'aime

      Delete
  19. I just wanted to say I love this blog, and your style of research. I've been into history for a long time now, and even love to research the paranormal. I've always had a connection with Preston Castle since I saw the pictures, then soon after I visited the place at night. I've seen weird stuff before, and heard sounds/voices etc, but Preston was the first place something actually made physical contact with me. So I guess I have a connection to it that makes me yearn to learn more :) It wasn't a bad experience, but it was odd - as a spirit or entity in the Infirmary was mocking me by repeating exactly what I said at the moment. My video camera picked it up on the audio as you see something pass across the screen. It seems a lot of people search out the building online once they've seen one of the paranormal shows on TV. I'm so glad you have researched it and have come up with the true story of Anna Corbin. Those shows have the history all wrong and it sets the wrong tone about the whole incident, and in some cases is disrespectful. I see since my last visit here that you now have your book released! I will soon purchase it :) Keep up the great work! --Wes

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much Wes!! It's comments like yours that make my writing worthwhile. I spent a very long time researching Anna's life and death and so it's wonderful to find people who are sincerely interested in her story. You can read more about her life in my book "Behind The Walls" where I go into her murder more in depth and explain a lot more about who her killer was. Thanks again!

      Delete
  20. Thank you so much for your research on Anna... I am a HUGE history buff and I also do genealogy... I have been trying to find info on her since I heard about Preston and her murder but I couldn't find anything that seemed reliable... it was all barely mentioned or contradictory which just frustrated me... I decided to give your blog a shot... Thank God I did cuz I found the info (and pics) that I was seeking... I enjoyed the way you put facts in and also mixed it with your opinions and feelings but made sure to state that it was your opinion and feelings (it made it more personal rather than dry)... I am a writer (and photographer) myself :) I will roam around your blog and look at your other stories and will bookmark as well... Once again, thank you for your work and for staying with the facts (and being able to back them up) rather than just sensationalizing or being part of the "rumor mill"...

    ~Anastasia~

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Anastasia- Thank you for stopping by. If you read my book "Behind The Walls" you will find much more information in regards to Anna's life, her death and facts surrounding Eugene Monroe as well. Not to mention the many other stories that had been long since forgotten or covered up at Preston. Again, thank you for stopping by.

      Delete
  21. Anna Corbin is my great-grandmother, thank you for the information. Grandma Avis still does not like to talk about the death of her mother.

    Two summers ago we looked through pictures Anna had left behind and did our best to identify them. I have been wondering why Anna went to live with her aunt and uncle. We have a family history book that is hand-written and has the Lawton family's births, marriages and deaths dating back to 1640, it belonged to Anna but there was nothing explaining why she and her sister moved in with her aunt and uncle.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for commenting, please feel free to email me directly at jaimerubio213@gmail.com. I would like to send you some copies of my book to your family. I really took an interest in Anna's story and I visit her grave quite often. She has become more than just a story, she is a person whose name, story and life should be respected and thought of in a good way. I guess after watching all these ghost shows that paint her as an evil ghost at Preston, it upset me. I was even quoted in several newspapers speaking about it. I would really like to talk with you. I found Avis when I was writing my book, but I felt like it would be too much for her in her old age to bring up the past. I didn't want to disturb her. Please contact me when you can. I have done some of your family genealogy as well that I can provide to you. -- J'aime Rubio

      Delete
  22. Hi -

    Thanks for this great article. I'm confused by one thing, though. You say that Anna's body was found in a storage room in the basement near the kitchen. But the kitchen is not in the basement - it's on the first floor.

    A docent at the Castle said that her body was found in the locked pantry in the kitchen.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me clarify this. I stated what many sites claim, including what one newspaper had claimed. However She was NOT found in the kitchen or near the kitchen. According to the boy who found her, Robert Hall, claimed she was found in the padlocked storage room. It's hard to know exactly what the true area was. Storage Room, Supply room/closet? It was in the basement but exactly where is left for speculation. I wrote a book about Preston that tells about about this story, I searched the archives and the newspaper records of the time period. Many sites state incorrect information, but archived records show that Anna's body was found in the basement.-

      Delete

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.