June 10, 1947
Superior Court Judge Charles W. Fricke today denied confessed killer Gerald Snow Welch, 19, his fondest wish, and sentenced him to life in prison for the April 19 killing of Delores Fewkes, a student at Montebello High School who family members say had broken up with Welch repeatedly due to his peculiar philosophy, Further, she did not believe in suicide.
According to the depressive Welch, Fewkes said she couldn’t live without him; they had attempted suicide together on two occasions prior to their April assignation at the Horse Flats picnic grounds in Angeles National Forest. She broke a date with another boy to join Welch, who told her he had a surprise for her. “This is the time,” he said. “It’s all right with me,” she supposedly replied. So he waited until morning, when it was warmer and his hands stopped shaking, and botched the murder-suicide, later carrying the girl’s body down the mountain to police.
After the verdict, which he described as a “dirty trick,” Welch told the court that he would promptly rectify its failure to sentence him to death by killing himself, so he and Dolores could be happy together.