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July 16, 1951: Actress Madge Meredith celebrates her 30th birthday with her release from Tehachapi Prison.

California Gov. Earl Warren pardoned Meredith after 2 1/2 years behind bars because of questions about the evidence in her trial for kidnapping her business manager Nicholas D. Gianaclis.

In 1947, Meredith, whose legal name is Marjorie May Massow, was convicted of  kidnapping. But in March 1951, the California Assembly Interim Committee on Crime and Corrections issued a report stating Meredith was “framed” by her former business manager.

According to a Los Angeles Times story on March 27, 1951, the Assembly committee stated: “Had Miss Meredith been properly defended in a court free of prejudice she would have undoubtedly been proven innocent of the crime. … There is shocking evidence of perjury, suppression of evidence and an almost unbelievable reluctance on the part of defense counsel to investigate the cause of defendant Meredith.”

After her release, Meredith sued Gianaclis, winning back her home lost after her conviction.  She returned to television acting in the 1950s before retiring in the early 1960s.

scott.harrison@latimes.com

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2 Comments

  1. September 22, 2010, 9:17 am

    July 16, 1951 what a creepy time. Minorities didn't have any civil or human rights. The Klan was terrorizing the south, and people were evil to the core.

    By: Theyhateme
  2. May 16, 2015, 8:44 am

    A teen could wander the LA without fear. Crime was mostly political. Some of the Japanese neighbors come back to restart their businesses. It was a good time ..

    By: jimewins@comcast.net

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