Madeline Laurent






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Identity   Interpreter
Maiden name : Capwell

Date of death : April 04, 1986

Father : Grant Capwell


Sister : Courtney Capwell

Married to : David Laurent (1980-1986)

Former known boyfriend : Keith Timmons (1986)


Terry Davis :
March 12 1986 (# 412) to
April 07 1986 (# 430), April 30 1986 (# 447), May 07 1986 (# 452), June 25 1986 (# 487), October 01 1986 (# 554), October 21 1986 (# 568), October 23 1986 (# 570), October 29 1986 (# 574), December 18 1986 (# 608)


Madeline Capwell arrives at Santa Barbara accompanied with her sister Courtney in spring 1986, to visit the family branch of the west coast that they did not see for years. Native of Boston, Madeline is the personification of evil : haughty, contemptuous, she considers all the persons who pass with her as being at her service. Only her sister seems to be used to her mischief and to accept her excesses. Her arrival in California is not anodyne, because her objective is to reconquer the goods lost by her father for the benefit of C.C. Capwell. For that purpose, Madeline gets associated with Lionel Lockridge. This association is all the more curious as it is because of a Lockridge that Grant was disinherited for the benefit of C.C..

Her main scapegoat is to be Pearl Bradford, then the Capwell chauffeur. Madeline however has to resort to his services to be regularly driven in a small motel. She finds there an unknown man with whom she clearly seems to have an affair, while her husband is supposed to be abroad for business. It is in this bungalow that Madeline is one day found inanimate by Pearl, the head smashed by a hammer blow. Brain-dead, Madeline realizes then a gesture which she would never have made in her lifetime : she donates her heart to Kirk Cranston, victim of a heart attack.

The investigation on Madeline's death begins then, the false suspects coming the one after the other for a late and unsatisfactory resolution. The first one to be suspected is no other one than Pearl, since he was on the scene of the crime and since he was known to be mistreated by the victim. Courtney, the first one, accuses Pearl of the murder. He is however quickly pushed aside from the suspects list when arrives in town David Laurent, Madeline's husband, and when it is discovered that his alibi is not correct (he already was in Santa Barbara the day before Madeline's death) and that his cufflinks carry some of his wife's blood. A trial begins then, during which David is acquitted because of a doubt created by his mistress, Sheila Carlyle, also one time suspected then acquitted.

Courtney and Pearl resume then the investigation and discover in Madeline's diary references to Lionel Lockridge. If this latter well met Madeline in secret repeatedly before her death, it was exclusively for business meetings connected to her father, Grant Capwell.

It is necessary to wait several months so that the Madeline case knows a new development. This time, Courtney turns out in possession of photos proving an affair between her sister and the district attorney Keith Timmons. Courtney then accuses him of having killed her sister, what Keith defends himself of.

It is in this period that Courtney begins to make recurring nightmares in which she sees herself with the hands covered by Madeline's blood, then Madeline accusing her of having killed her. The intervention of Brian Bradford, Pearl's brother, is needed, so that the light is made. Writer of police novels, he brings up to date Courtney's tortured psychology and understands that she is her sister's murderer. He reconstitutes the evening of Madeline's death at the bungalow and Courtney cracks under the guilt weight : she admits to have accidentally killed her sister. She explains that it is Madeline who wanted to kill her with her revolver because she wanted to be the only one to inherit one day of her parents. While fighting, a blow left, killing Madeline.

The outcome of this affair is particularly frustrating : how to accept the confession of Courtney which is confirmed by no proof ? Who gave the hammer blow to the head which really killed Madeline, the autopsy having found no gunshot injury ? Finally, even foul, the character of Madeline seemed to love her sister and to make it a sororicide remains very doubtful. Everything lets believe that the circumstances of Madeline's death will remain for ever a mystery...

Read also : Madeline Laurent's death

The photos of Madeline
Terry Davis