Daily Newspaper For All Porter County
Friday, March 21, 1941
MOTHER GASSES CHILDREN TO SPARE THEM MISERY
Muncie, Ind., Mar 21 -(UP)- Contents of a nine-page note today revealed the tragic circumstances that led
a 39 year old mother, Mrs. Harriett Dinkins, to asphyxiate herself and her three children.
The farewell message, one of seven left by the woman, said she had committed the deed rather than "run the
risk that my little folk facing the hell I have known here on earth."
Her body and those of her children, Rose Marie, 11; Leroy, 9; and Vivian, 7, were found in their gas filled
home yesterday by neighbors. Coroner Gailon Stephens said they apparently had been dead since Monday night.
Mrs. Dinkins took in washing to support her family. Authorities believed her divorced husband, Dallas Dinkins,
is in Arizona.
Apparently she planned the deaths Monday since she bought a new stove on that day and ordered the gas connected
to the home. A note on the door said the family was away and would not be back until Wednesday.
Six notes were addressed to individuals. Stephens released one addressed "My friends and neighbors" and
written in pencil on school tablet paper.
"I would rather burn in hell that to run the risk of my little folk facing the hell I have known here on
earth," it said.
TIRED OF LIFE
The woman wrote she was "tired in mind and body" and had "bit off more than I can handle."
Apparently she wrote Monday afternoon for the note continued.
"How I'll get through these next few hours, I don't know. Time draws nigh. Vivian is home from school and
I am going to make them candy and cook whatever they want me to and play with them until bedtime."
"The children don't know what I am going to do."
Stephens said Mrs. Dinkins probably turned the gas on Monday evening about bedtime, first stuffing rags
and paper into door and window cracks. Police found her body near the stove, which still jetted deadly gas. The children were
tucked in bed.
(Transcribed by Verna Dinkins)