Chloe Davis Murder Case: Part 4

Chloe’s neighbors and classmates had gathered on the lawn of the Davis residence to await her arrival. Faces of onlookers fell pale as the police motorcade pulled to the front of the little house and Chloe smiled and gave a casual wave from the car window.

Today, under the company of the famed police psychiatrist, Dr. J. Paul De River, Chloe would lead her law enforcement entourage through rooms that had once held the sounds of laughing children and the hopes and dreams of a family, but now only retained the sickening sour scent of blood and death.

Happily, Chloe led a captive audience room by room though her domicile of horror, completely unaffected by the grotesque scene before her. With a delightful little bounce in her step and a cheerful smile, Chloe padded about the grisly crime scene, with its blood drenched carpets and gore spattered walls - her audience in tow. With a callous coolness of demeanor, she nonchalantly told the story of the frenzied butchery that had taken place, while reenacting the crime scene as though she were playing a bit part in her 6th grade class play.

When asked if she had been frightened during the ordeal she replied, in a very matter of fact manner, “Well, I didn’t cry. If that’s what you mean?

As they entered the bedroom that she had once shared with her siblings a cameraperson, who had accompanied the group to the crime scene, had Chloe pose seated on the edge of her bed, a doll cradled in her arms. Looking distant and wholly uninterested in the notion of being photographed playing with dolls, Chloe paused for a moment and pointed to a bookshelf located in the corner of the room. With a bright smile, she exclaimed, “I’m a real bookworm. I read all the time!

Chloe Davis was, indeed, a brilliant and well read child, despite that she displayed a vernacular overrun with the slang terminology of the 1940’s. Dr. De River would conclude that Chloe was the “coolest-blooded individual” that he had ever met and possessed the intellect of a sixteen year old adolescent with “a mind as clear as a bell.” One that was “distinctly capable of planning and committing the murders.”

Yet despite being as well read as she clearly was, and demonstrating an academic brilliance that was equally impressive, when asked why she locked the door as she left the house after the murders of her family Chloe calmly replied that she believed that those demons her mother spoke of would be able to get in. She had locked the door to make sure to keep them out.

Captain Edwards was unable to accept a version of events which he thought to be wholly “fantastic and unbelievable,” and did not let up on his questioning of the young girl. He was convinced that she and she alone had murdered her family and that the story she had been telling of her mother and demons was nothing more than the makings of an imaginative young murderess who was seeking to get away with the merciless bludgeoning of her family.

Left practically incoherent from shock and near the verge of collapse, Frank Barton Davis was a complete wreck, “Oh God, why can’t I die, too? I’ve nothing to live for,” he exclaimed while at police headquarters.

Brought in to assist in the questioning of his daughter; he listened to the bloody tale spilling from her lips and began to sob. “Oh my poor baby,” he wailed. “You can’t blame her. She’s just as innocent as the other children. She only did what she was told to do.” Chloe cast a sympathetic glance in his direction, “Buck up dad,” she said, “Don’t let it get you down.”

He could give no explanation as to why his wife would suddenly loose her mind, murder three of their youngest children and then implore their oldest to pound her completely senseless. “I didn’t know there was anything wrong with my wife,” he sobbed hysterically, “She was a perfect mother and loved her children.

And by all accounts Lolita Davis had behaved as any other perfectly normal woman would. At least up until the morning of the murders. Although she had been under a doctor’s care for anemia she most certainly had not shown any prior signs of being deranged. She was not a disturbed woman and she had never before spoken of demons. Of that, F. Barton Davis was absolutely sure, “She was as normal as any woman could be,” he stated. And Chloe concurred.

There was also something else that he was sure of. His only surviving daughter would never and could never tell a lie, most assuredly not one to the police.

But as the police captain continued to insist that Barton Davis’ lovely young daughter was the sole slayer of her family the reality of the situation began to sear into his brain, and he began to hysterically defend his child. Then as quickly and as ardently as he avowed that his wife was as sane as any woman could be, he retreated from his declarations and began to paint the scene with an entirely different brush.

He asserted that his wife had an astounding power over her children, Chloe in particular. There was no doubt in his mind that Chloe would follow her mother’s instructions, regardless of what they were. Barton Davis, in defense of his only remaining offspring, declared, “She’s telling the truth, she never lies. Don’t you think she could have done it. How can you be such fools? I tell you, you are wrong. Chloe could not, would not, have done such a thing. She was helpless in her mother’s hands.”

Lolita Davis, alleged her husband, had been perfectly happy until she had come into the possession of a particular book, “Blind Devotion, I think it was called,” he said. The book was about a woman in Michigan who had four children and at some point, he said, his wife had come into the notion that the book had been written about her.

Her mind was tortured,” he conceded, “She was acting peculiar for weeks.” At first, he said, that he thought the strange ideas were occurring because of her anemia.

It was two weeks ago that he woke to find his wife sitting upright in bed having a cigarette. When questioned, “She said that she had a terrible confession. She knew the spirits were going to kill me and turn the children over to white slavers. An evil spirit was creeping up on us and she was waiting for it.“

Realizing that there was something imminently wrong with his wife he immediately took her to a psychiatrist. The doctor and Mrs. Davis visited for a considerable length of time and when both Davises left Lolita remarked that she had felt “as though a terrific burden had been lifted.” However soon after the consultation she, again, began discussing the book and stating that she had seen visions of demons torturing the children. Refusing to seek council with another psychiatrist, Lolita Davis instead agreed to be seen by physicians. It was then that she was diagnosed as being anemic and had been receiving shots for the condition. “I took her to two doctors and to a psychiatrist,” stated her husband, “The psychiatrist told me that there was nothing wrong with her that couldn’t be cured.”

Dr. V. J. Stack, the family physician came forward and confirmed that Barton Davis himself had contacted the good doctor not more than two weeks prior because he feared that his wife was teetering on the brink of insanity.

According to both Chloe and her father, Lolita Davis held to a belief that with the shear power of her mind she could force those around her to succumb to their deaths. When her cousin, Patsy, died a number of years earlier Lolita claimed that it was she who had caused the child to expire and that demons were therefore going to “get” her as retribution. “She had been nervous for several years,” Davis said, “But had apparently become worse. She told me that she was responsible for Patsy’s death. I told her that she had nothing to do with it. Patsy died naturally.”

But that wasn’t the end of her delusional meanderings, according to her husband. He claimed three weeks prior to the murders of his family his wife had come to him and asked where she could purchase chloroform. When questioned as to why she wanted such an item Lolita Davis stated that, “she believed all of us were menaced by some strange demon. She said some unseen power was going to kill the children and she wanted it to pour over their faces so that the pain would be eased.”

He also confessed that his wife wanted him to help her commit suicide. She had implored him to prove his love to her by helping her to die locked inside the family automobile while inhaling the fumes of carbon monoxide piped in through a hose connected to the exhaust. Just the night before the murders, Davis shared with police, while sitting at the dinner table, his wife had asked him, in front of the children, what was the best way to kill a person? “Where was the most mortal spot,” she asked; “I laughed and said, ‘a shot straight through the heart,’ then changed the conversation.

Soon friends and neighbors began to step forward in young Chloe’s defense. Further substantiating the fantastic tale of a mother beset by a belief in demons and obsessed by the notion that she possessed an innate power to kill those around her.

According to friends and neighbors, Lolita Davis frequently spoke of individuals whose lives had come to a violent conclusion. She was fixated on death. At one point during the investigation an attorney came forward, a friend of the Davises, and revealed that three weeks prior to the murder Lolita Davis had asked him not only how she would go about procuring enough chloroform to kill but where the best place on the head would be to hit someone if you wanted to bring about their death.

Chloe had endured two days of questioning by Dr. De River and the hard-boiled homicide investigators of the Los Angeles Police Department, but she never lost her composure. Never once did she shed a tear. During the police interrogations Chloe’s demeanor was of such an even keel that she would calmly intercede to correct her father on certain points of the case.

A policewoman held that Chloe had, “the face of an angel,” but that when she had remarked that the young girl “must try to forget what happened,” the child replied, “My father is the one who needs to forget. He’s nuts.”

She stood up well for one of a family struck by such a crime. She showed little emotion,” Dr. De River remarked to the press, “We must take into consideration the fact that Chloe might have an Electra Complex. This would lead us to believe her capable of such a deed.”

And although Chloe had recalled during questioning that while she was attempting to bash her mother’s brains in Lolita Davis had demanded that she fetch a razor and then used it to slash her own wrists, severing the arteries of each, “There’s one thing I forgot to tell you gentlemen,” she quipped, “Ma asked me for a razor blade and I saw her slash both writes with it,” and indeed a razor blade had been recovered at the crime scene covered with congealed blood and feathers, retrieved near where her mother had breathed her last breath. Other than that one modest little detail, the razor, Chloe never once changed her story.

Unable to shake Chloe in her account, and now with the steadfast support of her father in the claims concerning the mental stability of her mother, and the further assertions of friends of the Davis family to the same, Captain Edwards needed to make a decision. Either Chloe was telling the truth, or she was a cold blooded killer. He knew that if she was found guilty the maximum sentence for annihilating her family would be confinement to a juvenile facility until age twenty-one and then she would be released. Chloe’s father was putting the pressure on, now, too. He wanted his daughter out of state custody and he had hired an attorney to make sure that happened. It was time for Captain Edwards to either charge his young detainee with murder, or release her to the custody of her father.

The clock was ticking, and unfortunately for the LAPD it was strapped to a little stick of dynamite named Chloe Davis. There was going to be an explosion.

Chloe's story will published in 2012 by Gregg Olsen's Crime Rant Classics. I hope you will enjoy the book.

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