The Small-Town Murder of Marjorie Winn

A 17-year-old homecoming queen from Redlands, California, shot to death by an unknown bandit turned murderer

Heather Monroe

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The Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles, California
09 Feb 1948, Mon • Page 1

Lucky. That’s how James Sloan Jr of Redlands, California must have felt when the object of his affections agreed to go with him to a Palm Springs Rodeo as his date on February 7, 1948. Her name was Marjorie Lee Winn. Margie was a 17-year-old high school senior. She was stunning, with raven hair and piercing dark eyes. Margie was a notable contender for Redlands High School homecoming queen. James, a young veteran and budding photographer, thought he might use the opportunity to photograph the beautiful girl.

Like James, Margie came from a well-to-do San Bernardino County family. Her father was a successful pharmacist, and his family found their fortune in southern tobacco and the California citrus industries. A union between them would have almost certainly been a fairy tale. Unfortunately, Margie’s joie de vivre wouldn’t carry into a marriage. Instead, her minister would recall it during her eulogy in a few short days, as a stranger’s gunshot ended her life before the lovers made it home.

A Shot in the Dark

After a full night of dancing, drinking, and people-watching, James drove west on California State Highway…

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Heather Monroe

Welcome readers! Heather Monroe is a genealogist and writer who resides in California with her partner and their nine children. •True Crime• History• Memoir•