Love Crazy

The nurse, the cop, the yegg: Fate brought them together and claimed four lives. Then the newspapers stepped in, and things really got insane.

King was reportedly overcome with emotion at the news, which is probably why her quotes in the Post -- thanking the governor, her many fans and "the loyalty of the Denver Post" -- sound a lot like something Pinky Wayne might say.

And with that, King buried her mother and disappeared. It doesn't appear that she ever talked to a reporter again. She vanished like yesterday's news.

Prohibition was over. So was the Bonfils-Tammen era at the Post. Tammen died in 1924. Bonfils followed him in 1933, after an ear infection "worked its way into the brain," according to his front-page obituary.

With Bonfils's passing, respectability descended on the Postlike a shroud. In 1947, at the age of 77, Frances Wayne quit, was fired, or retired from the newspaper, depending on whose version you believe. She went to work as the editor of the Central City Register Call and kept slinging type until shortly before her death in 1951.

One by one, the other principal players made their way to the obituary columns. Attorney Mowry became a dairy farmer, working a bucolic pasture that later became a congested strip mall; he died in 1965. Clarice Hanson, Farice's twin sister, died in 1975. Evans's widow, Lillian, outlived him by more than fifty years before finally expiring in Texas in 1981.

No obituary for Farice King ever appeared in any Denver daily. Her closest local relative, a 76-year-old nephew living in Lakewood, says he has only the barest childhood memories of his aunt. He lost touch with her long ago, he adds, and doesn't know what became of her.

What little is known about her fate can be found in seven sentences in the September 4, 1969, edition of the Bates County Democrat, published in Butler, Missouri. The item deals with the passing of Mrs. Earl C. McBurney, 79, a former nurse. Mrs. McBurney was "a former resident of the Amsterdam community" before moving to Butler.

Her husband died four years later. There were no children, nobody to correct the cemetery records, which identified her as Francie, not Farice. No one to tell the good folks of Butler about the multiple tragedies in her life before she married Earl and returned to Missouri.

But who's to say that Earl wasn't the great love of her life? She outlasted her obsession with Bob Evans and her flirtation with death. For Farice King, it was possible to survive even an undying, crazy love.

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