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Athalia Ponsell Lindsley


Athalia Ponsell Lindsley Biography

Athalia Ponsell Lindsley (July 25, 1917 " January 23, 1974) was a former American model, Broadway dancer, political activist and television personality on the show Winner Take All.

Lindsley was murdered with a machete by an unknown assailant on the front steps of her home in St. Augustine, Florida. Her murder remains unsolved.

Early life

Lindsley was born to a wealthy family in Toledo, Ohio and was raised on the Isle of Pines, an island possession of Cuba in the Caribbean Sea. She spent 20 years in New York as a model, chorus line dancer and hostess on Bud Collier's television game show "Winner Take All". She was at one time engaged to Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., who died while on active duty during World War II.

She had married a former mayor of St. Augustine, James "Jinx" Lindsley, a successful real estate agent, four months prior to her murder. Despite being newly married, they resided in different homes, with her living at 124 Marine St. on the Matanzas River that she owned and he used the historic family home at 214 St. George St., the Lindsley House, as a mailing address but lived on Lew St. on Anastasia Island.

She was considered to be a controversial figure who had made unsuccessful bid for state senator and had plans to run for a seat on the St. Johns County Commission.

Death

Between 5:30 p.m. and 6:00 pm on January 23, 1974, Lindsley was attacked on the front steps of her home at 124 Marine St. by a white middle-aged male wearing a white dress shirt and dark dress pants. According to the medical examiner Dr. Arthur Schwartz, who performed the autopsy, she was struck nine times by the machete on her hand, arm and in the head. One of her fingers was severed and she was nearly decapitated.

Toward the end of the attack, Locke McCormick, 18, of 122 Marine St., heard the sounds of a commotion and went outside to look. He is alleged to have yelled to his mother that "Mr. Stanford is hitting Mrs. Ponsell." Alan Griffin Stanford Jr was the 46-year-old next door neighbor of Lindsley, He lived at 126 Marine St. After the perpetrator left, the McCormicks went next door and saw Lindsley lying in a pool of blood on her porch and called 911.

There had been an ongoing feud between Lindsley and County Manager Stanford for a variety of reasons, one of which was the six stray dogs she took in who were said to bark incessantly. Recorded in a transcript of an October 1973 county meeting, Lindsley made a complaint on record about Stanford's salary hike to $20,000. One of the commissioners replied; "I am aware you are a neighbor of the Stanfords and that y'all have had neighbor problems." to which she answered, "That's true. (But) my life has been threatened. You mention personal things, he threatened my life."

Stanford was indicted and brought to trial which lasted for two hours with an acquittal. Critics accused the police of botching the investigation and tainting evidence.

In media

In 1998 Bloody Sunset in St. Augustine, a work of fiction intermixed with facts from the case, was locally published by Jim Mast and Nancy Powell, friends of Lindsley's. In 2000, the cable channel A&E aired an hour-long documentary on the case in its City Confidential series titled St. Augustine: The Socialite and the Politician.

Second attack

On November 3, 1974, Ponsell Lindsley's friend and neighbor Frances Bemis went out for her evening walk and never returned, she was found the next day in a vacant lot on the corner of Bridge and Marine streets with her skull bashed in. Having been a professional newspaper writer, amongst other professions, she may have been gathering material for a book on Lindsley's murder; she had alluded to having certain information. Her murder, like Lindsley's, was never solved.




This webpage uses material from the Wikipedia article "Athalia_Ponsell_Lindsley" and is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. Reality TV World is not responsible for any errors or omissions the Wikipedia article may contain.
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