Doe Network

2122DFFL - Marjorie Croude McKinley Chillingworth


Name: Marjorie Croude McKinley Chillingworth
Case Classification: Endangered Missing
Missing Since: June 14, 1955
Location Last Seen: West Palm Beach, Palm Beach County, Florida

Physical Description

Date of Birth: October 16, 1898
Age: 56 years old
Race: White
Gender: Female
Height: Unknown
Weight: Unknown
Hair Color: Unknown
Eye Color: Unknown
Distinguishing Marks/Features: Unknown


Dentals: Not Available
Fingerprints: Not Available
DNA: Not Available

Clothing & Personal Items

Clothing: A nightgown and a pairs of slippers
Jewelry: Unknown
Additional Personal Items: Unknown

Circumstances of Disappearance

Marjorie Chillingworth was last seen with her husband,Judge Curtis Chillingworth, at a dinner in West Palm Beach, Florida on June 14, 1955. They left the dinner about 22.00, for their Manapalan home. They had hired a carpenter to come the morning of June 15 to build a playground for the grandchildren. The carpenter arrived at 8.00. The door was open and the home was empty. Chillingworth didn't show up for a 10.00 hearing at the courthouse in West Palm Beach.

Police found a shattered porch light, drops of blood on the walkway to the beach, and two used spools of adhesive tape, one in the sand and one in the living room. Also found was dry swim suits, discounting the idea of accidental drowning during a morning swim. Money still in the judge's billfold and $40 still in Marjorie's pocketbook ruled out robbery. The keys were still in the ignition of Chillingworth's Plymouth.

An extensive search turned up no clues. In 1957, Curtis and Marjorie Chillingworth were declared dead.

Judge Joseph Peel was the city's only municipal judge. Peel was protecting bolita operators and moonshiners. In 1953, he represented both sides in a divorce. His superior, Chillingworth, gave him only a reprimand, with the warning that this was his last chance.

In June 1955, with Judge Chillingworth possibly about to end Peel's career over the non-divorce fiasco, Peel had been in a panic. Lucky Holzapfel, a carpenter's apprentice, a service station attendant and a bartender bought a skiff, and a second anchor. On the night of June 14, he and accomplice Bobby Lincoln went to Manalapan and landed on the beach behind the house around 1.00. Bobby Lincoln crouched in the bushes as Lucky knocked on the door. The judge answered in his pajamas. Lucky pulled a pistol from under his shirt and forced the Judge and his wife into the boat. After the boat drifted for about an hour, the couple were thrown overboard with lead weights strapped to their legs.

On December 12, Lucky pleaded guilty to both murders and was sent to Death Row. On March 30, 1961, Peel was found guilty of accessory to murder. He received two life sentences. The accomplice to the murder, Bobby Lincoln, finished his federal prison term in Michigan in 1962.

Investigating Agency(s)

Agency Name: Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office
Agency Contact Person: N/A
Agency Phone Number: 561-688-3000
Agency E-Mail: N/A
Agency Case Number: N/A

NCIC Case Number: Unknown
NamUs Case Number: Unknown

Information Source(s)

Palm Beach Post
Find a Grave

Admin Notes

Added: 10/5/06; Last Updated: 10/26/17

Questions or comments? Please contact appropriate member of the Area Team

** Listed information is from the time of disappearance.

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