Murder conviction of Billie Hamm arou...

Murder conviction of Billie Hamm around 1973

Posted in the Custer Forum

Bill McCook


#1 Aug 12, 2006
to find some history on a Custer SD murder trial and sentencing around 1973, of a lady
named Billie Hamm.
It is also quite interesting, and I know you will like this! I believe her maiden name was Jean Patterson which was referenced several times as well in the letter. She served 18 years in prison prior to her death there.
I collect old plilatelic covers, coins and everything alse that strikes my fancy. I recently found lots letters and misc paper items about this case at an estate sale where I live. It totally caught my interest, and apparent interest of many others in, and around your town over 30 years. I am trying to find some history on
this case to satisfy my intense curiosity, because the sum of my readings left me feeling like I had just read 3 chapters of a Grisham novel and was left kidding. The covers, articles, documents, notes, postage, postmarks, etc. caught my eye at an estate sale earlier this summer while looking through boxes of Vietnam War items which I also collect. This kind of thing always happens to me!
I cannot figure the connection to the sentencing of this lady, the crime, and the correspondence letters, etc. from the serviceman in Vietnam. I had to start someplace!, and after reading your blog I sensed you all are very knowledgeable and longtime residents there. The one thing that was obvious, is many felt a terrible injustice had occured back then and the more official stuff thought this lady was a murderer. As an avid novel reader & collector/antique dealer, I knew all were writing about the same murder/trial/sentencing/politi cal implications/prostition business/corruption/police corruption/Homestake Mine/loose women, cover ups, town sherif, rich man etc...etc. The (shut her up) line really got me GOING because it was handwritten on offical type stationary, by some town official who was either totally uneducated or totally drunk when writing this letter.
It looked like my daughter's printing in third grade, actually worse. Finally, thinking recently about this lot I bought a few months ago, I keep asking myself, who accumulated so much info & letters about this case, that it must be something really cool or very scandalous, or both, that happened back then.
Any info whatsoever, or where I might start to piece my puzzle together would be TOTALLY APPRECIATED!
Thanks! and have a great weekend...Bill McCook

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