Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Lester Renaudin -- The Downhearted Emcee

Renaudin, a 21-year-old emcee at the Club Plantation in New Orleans, was married to his childhood sweetheart, Mary Lee Roberts, a 19-year-old dancer at the Club Avalon in Metairie Ridge, Louisiana, for two years when their recent estrangement exploded into a murder-suicide on January 26, 1933.  Shortly before midnight, Renaudin waited in his car outside the Club Avalon for Roberts to report to work.  When she arrived, he invited her into the car to talk.  Minutes later, Renaudin pulled out a revolver, shot her through the heart, then fired a bullet into his brain.  Roberts continued to scream, "Please don't let me die," until expiring (with her husband) en route to the hospital.  A letter addressed to his father found on the dead emcee read:  "I can't possibly live without Mary Lee and can do anything living with her.  She is the only girl that could ever enter my life.  I suppose I am crazy -- I must be to do a thing like this.  I would have gone crazy before the day was over.  I never was happy in my life, so don't worry, my poor, good, sweet family.  I loved you more than I could ever express.  I would write more, but you know how I feel.  Your downhearted son, Lester."

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