As you can see in the “Her Father Asks for Information” article, the Hopedale connection to this story is that Norma Brighton Millen had lived here for about a year.

The following is from a Boston Globe article about an 87-minute documentary on the case done by a volunteer at Needham Cable. Click here to see the entire article.

Merton Millen’s wife, Norma, was convicted as an accessory. The trial, held in Dedham, was heavily covered by the news media.

“Murton Millen, I think, really was a sociopath, in the sense that it was all about him,” Greis said. “Irving — these days, he’d plead diminished capacity. And Norma seems to have been caught up in it like it was an adventure. The cameras loved her. She was gorgeous. She seems to have been posing as if for modeling shots.”

The Millen brothers and Faber were executed in the electric chair at Charlestown State Prison on June 7, 1935.

“No crime in recent years had so aroused the state,” The Boston Globe wrote on the day they died. “Crowds gathered about them whenever they appeared in custody of detectives to boo, hiss, and deride them.”

After a two month trial, all three men were found guilty and sentenced to death. The men certainly did their best to avoid their fate by attempting several escapes from the Dedham Jail, but by June of 1935, all appeals had been exhausted and the electric chair awaited them at the state prison in Charlestown. After the executions, the drama continued as a mob of onlookers tussled with members of the Millen families at the cemetery during burial services.

Twenty-year old Norma Millen was released from the Dedham Jail two months later, and disappeared into obscurity. Although the case received as much attention in 1934 as the Sacco-Vanzetti trial had a few years earlier, today it remains a little known chapter in Norfolk County legal history. Dedhamtales

1945 – Celebrating the end of the war.

                                                                     Hopedale Selectmen Grateful
                                                                    George Draper Bust Recovered           

HOPEDALE – Selectmen last night voted an award of $25 each to be given to Keith Jordan of Holliston and Cliff McKeage of Blackstone for the safe return of the marble bust of George Draper which was taken from its pedestal on a landing in Town Hall on Jan. 21 of this year.  

It was noted by the board that a reward of $100 had been posted for the arrest and conviction of person or persons responsible for the theft. The reward expired on June 1 however, and because the bust was discovered in woods off Cedar Street in Milford, and because no arrest and conviction followed, the board voted to extend its appreciation to the pair with a small monetary reward.

In a prepared statement on the matter, Selectmen said,  “The Hopedale Board of Selectmen wishes to extend its appreciation to Keith Jordan of Holliston and Cliff McKeage of Blackstone for the safe return of the marble bust of George Draper.  

 “It is most rewarding to us and to the townspeople of Hopedale to know that these two young men realized that they had found something of value, and made the moral and physical effort to bring the bust to the Milford Police Department to try and seek the rightful owner.  

 “We want to also commend the Milford Police Department for identifying the bust and contacting our Police Department for verification.  

 “George Draper gave to the Town of Hopedale the present Town Hall Building in 1886. The marble bust is the Town’s remembrance of him for his generosity. To reproduce a bust of marble at today’s prices would certainly be in excess of $1,000; but it would be impossible to place a monetary value on the original. Within the next few weeks, we will again install Mr. Draper’s bust in a more secure but very prominent location in our Town Hall.

“The Hopedale Board of Selectmen, on behalf of the people of Hopedale, publicly commend Mr. Jordan and Mr. KcKeage and simply, but most sincerely say, ‘Thank you.'”  Milford Daily News, August 19, 1975.

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