Hers was one of the nineteenth century's most sensational murder trials. The snippet at right, via NewspaperArchive, hints at some of the shocking details reported by special cable to students of human nature the world over. And it manages to relay the highlights of the case in only three (delightfully long) sentences.
The case has been dubbed a "truly extraordinary story of human strangeness." The beautiful Adelaide cuckolded her husband with his consent. Even so, many learned men were convinced that she was absolutely innocent of killing her husband with chloroform and was put on trial in London solely for her lifestyle.
Twelve decades after the controversial defense verdict, some folks are still wondering what became of her.
Says Keith, a CLEWS correspondent who grew up near a home where the unhappily married Bartletts once lived (and who believes she was entirely innocent): "It would be interesting to know what happened to Adelaide after the trial. Some say she ended up in America. But my search, as indeed it has been for others who have tried, came to an end with the trial."
Some do indeed say that Adelaide ended up in the USA - but everyone who was ever found not guilty of anything in Europe was invariably said to have ended up in America, as though the plaque declares, "Give us your tired, your poor, your acquitted...." (If convicted, it was Australia, eh.) It was also said Adelaide received no less than seventeen offers of marriage immediately after the trial. Beyond that, I can find no trace, no hint of her fate.
Did she accept one of the offers she received from a fearless beau? Did she emigrate? Conquer the stage? Put her head in an oven? Take up housewifery in Montana? Did she leave a diary, or any descendants as lovely as herself? Do they have opinions on the enigmatic beauty?
Does anyone know?
(To see her photo and those of her pretty sisters in crime, see this post.)