William Joseph Donovan
Major General United States Army
at Buffalo, New York, January 1, 1883, he earned the Medal of Honor for
service in World War I, where he earned the nickname "Wild Bill."
He is the ONLY American to have received our nation's FOUR highest awards, The Medal of Honor, the Distinguished Service Cross, the Distinguished Service Medal and the National Security Medal.
During World War II, he founded, and then led, the OSS (Office of Strategic Services - the predecessor of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA).
Following the war, he served as an Assistant to Robert Jackson, Chief American Prosecutor at the Nuremberg War Crimes Trials. He also served as United States Ambassador to Thailand in 1953.
He died at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Washington, D.C. on February 8, 1959 and was buried among other family members in Section 2 of Arlington National Cemetery.
Faithful to the end, Ruth was at his bedside in the Pershing Suite when Donovan was "born into eternity" -- in the phrase of the priest -- at 1:55 PM on Sunday, February 8, 1959. His brother, Vincent, in the robes of a Dominican, gave Donovan the last rites. When he heard the news, President Eisenhower remarked: "What a man! We have lost the last hero."
Dressed in his General's uniform, Donovan was buried three days later beside Patricia in Arlington National Cemetery amid a thunder of guns, trumpet calls and hymns. Many of those at the graveside would remember thinking: "We shall not see his like again."
DONOVAN, WILLIAM JOSEPH
Rank and organization: Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army, 165th Infantry, 42d Division. Place and date: Near Landres-et-St. Georges, France, 14-15 October 1918. Entered service at: Buffalo, New York. Born: 1 January 1883, Buffalo, New York. G.O., No.: 56, W.D., 1922.
Lieutenant Colonel Donovan personally led the assaulting wave in an attack upon a very strongly organized position, and when our troops were suffering heavy casualties he encouraged all near him by his example, moving among his men in exposed positions, reorganizing decimated platoons, and accompanying them forward in attacks. When he was wounded in the leg by machine-gun bullets, he refused to be evacuated and continued with his unit until it withdrew to a less exposed position.
Gravesite photo courtesy of Ron Williams
NOTE: The following family members are buried with him:
Mary G. Donovan, the first wife of David R. Donovan (the son of the General). April 14, 1917-July 25, 1953. Section 2 Grave 4874-A-Left Half.
For years, Donovan's daughter-in-law, Mary, had been accepted as a daughter, almost as a substitute for Patricia. Frequently she had acted as Donovan's official hostess, accompanying him on journeys throughout the world. But when Sheliah died from the poison in the silver polish, Mary seemed to come unhinged. She had great difficulty in sleeping and a doctor prescribed sedatives, which she used carelessly.
On July 25, 1955, Ruth went to Mary's bedroom
at Nonquitt and found her dead. Police and pathologists' inquiries
showed that the cause of death was an excessive dose of barbiturates.
It was believed that before retiring, she had taken liquor and then pills,
as usual in the hope that she would sleep more soundly. On several
occasions in the middle of the night she must have awakened and in her
befuddled state taken more pills in the belief that she had forgotten to
take them earlier. As a result, she had taken a lethal dose and had
died in her sleep.
VIRGINIA CRASH FATAL TOPATRICIA DONOVAN
Daughterof the Colonel Dies After Auto Skids Into Tree
FREDERICKBURG, Virginia - April 8, 1940 - Miss Patricia Donovan, 23 years old, daughter of Colonel William J. Donovan of Buffalo, New York, former UnitedStates Assistant Attorney General, died in Mary Washington Hospital at 6 o'clock this evening of injuries suffered in an automobile accident about five hours earlier.
She was found lying unconscious on U. S. Route 1, thirty-fivemiles south of Fredericksburg, by a motorist a few minutes after her automobile skidded from the wet highway and crashed into a tree.
Miss Donovan, brought to the hospital here by ambulance, died without regaining consciousness. She was traveling along in the direction of Washington.
Born in Buffalo, Miss Patricia Donovan was baptized by the Rev. Francis P. Duffy, Chaplain of the 165th Infantry, at Camp Mills just before her father sailed for France witht he old "Fighting 69th" and she was known as the daughter of the regiment.
While Colonel Donovan was overseas the girl and her mother, the former Ruth Rumsey, lived at the Buffalo home of her grandmother, Mrs. Rexter P. Rumsey Sr.
Miss Donovan prepared at the Potomac School, Washington, and at Rosemary Hall, Greenwich, Connecticut, for Wellesley College, which she attended for two years. She was completing her work for a degree in June at George Washington University.
Three years ago, with her motherand brother, David, she made a South Seas cruise on the schooner the Yankee. Her mother is now aboard the Yankee on another cruise and it was hoped to reach her by radio somewhere west of Pitcairn Island. David Donovan, going from his farm at Berryville, Virginia, was with his sister when she died.
Notified of the accident yesterday afternoon,
Colonel Donovan left his office at 2 Wall Street for Washington, but arrived
after his daughter's death. Hecommanded the 165th Infantry in theWorld
War and was Republican candidate for Governor in 1922. His New York
City home is at 1 Beekman Place.
Miss Donovan, daughter of Colonel William J. Donovan of New York and Buffalo, lawyer and World War commander of the 165th Regiment, and Mrs. Donovan, died on Monday at Fredericksburg, Virginia, after injuries received earlier that day in a motor accident thirty-five miles south of Fredericksburg. Her age was 23.
David Rumsey Donovan
David R. Donovan, 84, of Chapel Hill Farm, Berryville, died Wednesday, September 8, 1999, at his home.
David Donovan was the son of the General.
David R. Donovan, Lieutenant Commander, United States Navy, July 7, 1915 September 8, 1999. Section , Grave 4874A-RH (Buried 6 October 1999).
David Rumsey Donovan (Harvard '38), of Berryville,
Virginia, died September 8, 1999. A World War II naval hero, he commanded
an advanced amphibious group in the invasion at Oran, helped in planning
of the invasion of Sicily, and served on the Ancon, Admiral Hall's flagship,
during the landing on Omaha Beach. En route home, he asked for and was
given command of a salvage tug and pulled in four crippled warships, ending
his service with four campaign medals. After resettling in Virginia as
a cattle farmer, he sat on the Clarke County board of supervisors and served
as county zoning administrator for nearly 20 years. He leaves his wife,
Tippaparin, three daughters, Patricia Gilbert, Deirdre, and Mary Hudson,
a son, David, and a stepdaughter, Diane Peavey.
Sheliah Donovan, the daughter of David R. Donovan and granddaughter of William Joseph Donovan.
During the afternoon of December 31, 1951, the vehicles came and went from the long, narrow drive that led from the main road to the main house -- the handsome 18th century Federal-style gentleman's residence that Ruth had made from a ruin -- at Chapel Hill Farm. Ruth and Mary were preparing a dinner party for sixty people, who were to see the New Year in and celebrate the General's 69th birthday.
As part of the preparations for those celebrations, one of the servants sent a cup of silver polish to Ruth's house, to enable her to polish some silverware. The cup was placed in a bathroom. There it was found by the General's youngest grandchild, Sheliah. Sheliah drank the polish without anyone noticing until she walked into the kitchen, where Ruth and Mary were working. She asked for some water, and Ruth gave it to her. Within a moment or two Sheliah had collapsed on the kitchen floor.
Soon Sheliah stopped breathing, and Ruth and Mary gave her artificial respiration until a doctor arrived. He sent Sheliah to the hospital where she was pronounced dead on arrival, producing a scene of terrible sadness in the family similar to that experienced in 1939 when Patricia was killed.
Section 2, Grave 4874-A-Left Half.
Updated: 25 September 2000 Updated: 13 July 2001 Updated: 20 April 2002 Updated: 15 March 2003 Updated: 12 January 2004 Updated: 17 September 2005 Updated: 26 March 2006 Updated: 20 May 2007 Updated: 25 August 2007
Murder Trial Underway in Berryville
Prosecution Claims Defendant Killed Wife of 3 Months;
Defense Asserts She Took Her Own Life
Did Mary “Mimi” Donovan Hudson die on September 20, 1999, as a result of murder or suicide?
That was the central question posed by prosecution and defense attorneys Wednesday in Clarke County Circuit Court during their opening statements in the murder trial of the 50-year-old Berryville woman’s husband of about three months.
Louis Scott Hudson, 44, of Augusta, West Virginia, is accused of murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony.
After a lengthy jury selection process, opening statements began in the case shortly before 4 p.m. in front of a jury of eight women and four men.
Clarke County Commonwealth's Attorney Suzanne M. Perka used a chalkboard to outline the commonwealth's case against Hudson.
Perka said that although Mary Donovan Hudson was to attend her father's memorial service on September 20 (the woman’s father, David R. Donovan, died September 8 after a long battle with cancer), she started the day in good spirits. Mary Donovan Hudson went fox hunting in the morning, and later attended the memorial service at Grace Episcopal Church in Berryville wearing a new dress.
Following the service, Mary Donovan Hudson left a gathering at her father's home at around 2:30 p.m. “That would be the last time her family would see her alive,” Perka said.
Perka said sometime during the evening of September 20, Louis Scott Hudson placed the muzzle of a .22-caliber Magnum revolver in his wife's left ear and pulled the trigger, killing the woman he had lived with for around seven years.
According to Perka’s timeline, these are the events that occurred on the night of Mary Donovan Hudson’s death:
At 6:40 p.m., Mary Donovan Hudson’s brother, David Donovan, calls his sister's
home and no one answers the phone.
Perka said the scene of the crime, especially the placement of the gun in Mary Donovan Hudson’s right hand, made Clarke County investigators suspicious.
She also said upcoming testimony from forensic, firearms, and DNA experts will support her assertion that Mary Donovan Hudson’s death was the result of murder, and that Louis Scott Hudson attempted to make the death look like a suicide.
Hudson co-counsel Timothy S. Coyne of Winchester stated the defense case to the jury.
“Simple and tragic” is how Coyne characterized the case — both because Mary Donovan Hudson committed suicide and because his client loved a woman who took her own life.
Coyne said the commonwealth has no eyewitnesses to the crime and no confession of guilt from Louis Scott Hudson, and that the state’s scientific evidence will eventually lead back to a conclusion of suicide.
The issue of Mary Donovan Hudson’s limited mental abilities and her financial situation were also addressed by the attorneys. Perka and Coyne said that Mary Donovan Hudson was provided for by a trust set up by her father, which essentially held title to everything she owned.
Coyne said Mary Donovan Hudson had some “dark sides” to her life and, prior to her death, she had attempted suicide. He also said she suffered from physical pain and was depressed about her father’s death and her treatment by some family members.
Mary Donovan Hudson also abused prescription medications and alcohol, Coyne said. At the time of her death, a narcotic called propoxyphene (Darvoset) was found in her system, Coyne said, and she had a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.
Coyne told the jury that Hudson would not benefit financially from his wife’s death because everything owned by her trust — including their home — reverted to her family, not her husband, upon her death.
of the evidence in the case is expected to be heard today, and the trial
is scheduled to end Friday.
Gunshot Residue, DNA Tests Highlight Hudson Trial
Gunshot residue test evidence proved a central issue in the second day of the trial of a former Berryville man charged with the murder of his wife of three months.
Clarke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Suzanne M. Perka contends Louis Scott Hudson, 44, of Augusta, W.Va., killed his wife on the evening of Sept. 20, 1999, with a .22-caliber Magnum revolver.
In opening statements Wednesday, Hudson defense co-counsel Timothy S. Coyne of Winchester termed the death of Mary “Mimi” Donovan Hudson, 50, a suicide.
On Thursday, Louis Scott Hudson was in Clarke County Circuit Court with Coyne and co-counsel David Savasten of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., as Perka introduced evidence from Mary Donovan Hudson’s friends and family, Clarke County Sheriff’s Office deputies, and Virginia Division of Forensic Science experts.
Under questioning from Coyne, Eugene Ray Harrison of the Division of Forensic Science admitted the gunshot residue profiles of the casings fired from the .22-caliber gun were inconsistent with the residue found on the hands of Louis Scott Hudson.
Harrison testified that only two elements from a portion of the residue, called primer residue, appeared in the casings and on the right hand of Mary Donovan Hudson.
Louis Scott Hudson’s hands revealed the presence of three elements, Harrison said. He added that gunshot residue can be transferred to a person by handling a dirty gun.
The final witness called Thursday, Carol Palmer of the state Division of Forensic Science, testified in response to Coyne’s questioning that although she found blood identified as Mary Donovan Hudson’s on the shirt her husband wore the night of her death, she could not pinpoint the age of a stain on the left sleeve of the garment.
Palmer also said that material from fingernail clippings from Mary Donovan Hudson produced no DNA differing from that of Mary Donovan Hudson.
Earlier in the proceedings, the first law enforcement officials on the scene, Clarke County Sheriff’s Office deputies Tom Jones, Mike McWilliams, and Scott Small, offered similar testimony about what they found at the scene when they arrived separately at the Hudson’s home on Va. 7, near the Triple J convenience store, just before 8 p.m. Sept. 20.
All three said Louis Scott Hudson was not present, but his mother, Ann, who testified she received a call from her son in which he said his wife had committed suicide, was on the scene with a young couple.
The deputies said shattered glass lay on the floor of the kitchen and adjoining deck, while a shovel sat on the kitchen floor.
Additionally, Jones and McWilliams said as Mary Donovan Hudson lay dead on a living room sofa with a .22-caliber Magnum single action revolver in her right hand, a bloody hand print was visible on a cushion near her head.
According to testimony from Virginia Division of Forensic Science Assistant Chief Medical Examiner Carolyn Revercomb, who performed the autopsy on Mary Donovan Hudson, the woman’s death was caused by a bullet that entered her left ear.
The bullet moved from right to left, upward and slightly toward the back of Mary Donovan Hudson’s head, Revercomb said. The bullet was later recovered from her brain.
Revercomb also testified that the gun used would have been pressed close to Mary Donovan Hudson’s ear, and that such a wound would most likely cause profuse bleeding, almost immediate unconsciousness, and death within minutes.
McWilliams testified that only a trace of blood — small amounts on the thumb and middle finger — was present on Mary Donovan Hudson’s hands.
Clarke County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Jim Coumes and R.K. Shirley of Enders and Shirley Funeral Home in Berryville testified that when Mary Donovan Hudson’s body was moved from the couch to be taken to the funeral home, a two-shot derringer — a short-barreled pistol — was discovered on a cushion beneath the body.
Coumes also said ammunition of various types, including .22-caliber cartridges, was present in other areas of the home.
Louis Scott Hudson was taken into police custody at his father’s Russell Road home on a drunk in public charge Sept. 20, after his father called police at 9:17 p.m. to inform them his son had reappeared. Jones said a search of Louis Scott Hudson at the Regional Jail resulted in the seizure of a .22-caliber bullet from the man’s jacket.
No blood, weapons, or alcohol were discovered in a Sept. 21 search of Louis Scott Hudson’s car, Coumes said.
jury trial, presided over by Clarke County Circuit Court John R. Prosser,
is scheduled to conclude today.
Defense Motions Heard In Clarke Murder Case
An Augusta, W.Va., man accused of killing his wife of three months in September 1999 was back in Clarke County Circuit Court Wednesday.
The defense team for Louis Scott Hudson, 44, argued a number of motions in the case before Circuit Court Judge John R. Prosser.
According to Clarke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Suzanne M. Perka, the death of Mary “Mimi” Donovan Hudson, 50, was caused by a gunshot wound to the head with a .22-caliber Magnum single-action revolver.
Winchester attorney Timothy S. Coyne, who is serving as co-counsel for Hudson along with David H. Savasten of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., asked Prosser to grant a motion removing a portion of a state medical examiner’s report dealing with what type of death Hudson’s wife suffered (for example, accident or illness.)
Perka did not object to the motion, which was subsequently granted by Prosser.
Prosser also ruled in favor of two requests included in a defense motion for the disclosure of exculpatory evidence from the prosecution.
Prosser said that much of the material requested in the motion is part of routine evidence disclosure, but that the defense team could have access to information about the criminal histories of any of the prosecution’s witnesses and the criminal history of the victim.
Prosser also ruled in response to a motion from the prosecution that Perka’s office may copy, inspect, or view any scientific reports that the defense intends to use in the case.
As the hearing concluded, Perka mentioned a concern about the case, stating that she understood Savasten had been Mary Donovan Hudson’s lawyer regarding trust documents prior to her marriage to Louis Hudson.
Perka also said the commonwealth has contemplated issuing a subpoena for Savasten to testify in the case.
Coyne admitted that Savasten did consult with Donovan in early 1999.
Prosser made no decision on Savasten and his earlier contact with Donovan because neither side was prepared to argue the issue on Wednesday. Prosser did comment that people “can’t be witnesses and lawyers at the same time.”
will appear again Tuesday in Clarke County Circuit Court in relation to
another defense motion — one which seeks a delay of his Jan. 10, 2001,
Hudson Verdict: Guilty
A jury of eight women and four men found a former Berryville man guilty of killing his wife of three months.
The jury deliberated for more than 31/2 hours Friday night before finding Louis Scott Hudson, 44, of Augusta, W.Va., guilty of second-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a murder.
Following a full day of testimony and jury deliberation, Hudson displayed little emotion in the hushed courtroom when Clarke County Circuit Court Judge John R. Prosser read the verdict shortly after 11 p.m.
The sentencing phase of the trial will begin at 9 a.m. today in Clarke County Circuit Court. Hudson faces up to 40 years in prison.
Hudson is accused of using a .22-caliber Magnum revolver to commit the murder of Mary “Mimi” Donovan Hudson, 50, on the evening of Sept. 20, 1999.
“On that day and time, she did not deserve to die,” Clarke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Suzanne M. Perka said in her closing argument Friday.
Perka told the jury that the case against Louis Scott Hudson was circumstantial, but the circumstances equaled those of murder.
Timothy S. Coyne of Winchester, who represented Louis Scott Hudson with David Savasten of Berkeley Springs, W.Va., handled the closing argument for the defense. Coyne said the evidence presented by the prosecution led to a conclusion of suicide as the cause of Mary Donovan Hudson’s death.
According to Perka’s argument, early on Sept. 20, Mary Donovan Hudson was in good spirits. Around 7:45 p.m., Mary Donovan Hudson called a friend, but Louis Scott Hudson got on the phone and swore at the man, causing the friend to hang up, Perka said.
By 7:52 p.m., Louis Scott Hudson’s father, Louis M. Hudson, had called 911 with a report of Mary Donovan Hudson’s death.
During that seven-minute period, Perka said Louis Scott Hudson grabbed his wife’s head and fired a bullet from a .22-caliber Magnum revolver into her left ear. She said Louis Scott Hudson got blood on his hands and steadied himself on the couch on which his wife sat, leaving a bloody hand print on a back cushion.
Bloody “transfer stains,” like the one on the couch, were also on Mary Donovan Hudson’s jeans and on a telephone book underneath the woman’s right hand — the hand that held the gun in what Perka called a “ridiculous position.”
Marjorie Harris of the state Division of Forensic Science testified Friday that the blood from the hand print on the couch, jeans, and telephone book did not flow directly from Mary Donovan Hudson’s head wound.
Perka argued the stains appeared because Louis Scott Hudson positioned his wife’s body so it would appear she committed suicide.
After handling his wife’s body, Perka said Louis Scott Hudson washed his hands with an outdoor garden hose and left the scene. At some point, Louis Scott Hudson called his mother, Ann Hudson, and told her, “Mimi blew her head off.”
By the time Ann Hudson and her husband arrived at the scene, their son could not be found, according to testimony from Louis Scott Hudson’s parents.
Louis Scott Hudson appeared at his parents’ home after 9 p.m. in a drunken state, and his father called 911 to notify police of his son’s whereabouts. The call came into the Clarke County Sheriff’s Office dispatch center at 9:17 p.m.
When Louis Scott Hudson exited his car at his parents’ home, he drank an entire beer, according to testimony Friday from his brother, Steve Hudson.
Shortly thereafter, Louis M. Hudson removed a rifle from his son’s car before police arrived, the father testified.
Under questioning by Clarke County Sheriff’s Office Investigator Anthony Roper on Sept. 21 and by Virginia State Police Investigator Stan Gregg in November 1999, Louis Scott Hudson said he didn’t know why he didn’t call 911 upon his wife’s death.
According to testimony from both investigators, Louis Scott Hudson said he heard the gunshot that resulted in Mary Donovan Hudson’s death as he stood in a nearby bathroom. He also said he didn’t recall where he went during his disappearance, the investigators said.
Gregg testified Louis Scott Hudson told him that he couldn’t recall whether he touched his wife’s body, although Roper testified the defendant told him in September that he did not touch his wife’s body.
Coyne stated in his closing argument that Mary Donovan Hudson’s body could have moved on its own in the throes of death. Coyne said that although Louis Scott Hudson did not recall touching his wife’s body, his level of intoxication could have led to his memory problems.
The presence of a small amount of Mary Donovan Hudson’s blood on Louis Scott Hudson’s shirt that night was not compelling enough for a finding of guilt, Coyne said.
According to Coyne, evidence presented Thursday that the gunshot residue on Louis Scott Hudson’s hands did not match up with residue left either on .22-caliber casings from the gun or on Mary Donovan Hudson’s hands were enough to exonerate his client.
Perka said the presence of a rifle found in Louis Scott Hudson’s car could explain the different gunshot residue.
A number of defense witnesses also testified Friday about Mary Donovan Hudson’s state of mind in the weeks leading up to her death. They said she was upset about the lack of provisions for her in her father’s will. However, a number of prosecution witnesses testified the woman was in high spirits earlier in the day.
Her father, David Rumsey Donovan, died in September 1999. A memorial service was held on Sept. 20, the day his daughter was killed.
Perka said it had been established that Mary Donovan Hudson — a woman with the mental age of 12, according to Friday’s testimony from Dr. Beverly Chambers, one of her doctors — abused alcohol and painkillers, but she would not shoot herself because she hated pain.
stated that the events of Sept. 20 were a “tragedy,” not a crime. Perka
said it was a crime, but “not the perfect crime."
MARCH 21, 2001
Hudson to Spend 15 Years in Prison
The Augusta, W.Va., man convicted in January of murdering his wife at their home near Berryvilleon Sept. 20, 1999, will spend 15 years in prison.
Clarke County Circuit Court Judge John R. Prosser sentenced Louis Scott Hudson, 45, to 17 years for the second-degree murder conviction of his wife, Mary “Mimi” Donovan Hudson.
Additionally, Prosser sentenced Hudson to three years for his conviction on the charge of use of a firearm (in the commission of the murder).
Five years of the 20 year sentence were suspended by Prosser.
When Hudson is released from jail, he faces four years of supervised probation.
Before issuing a sentence, Prosser heard arguments from Clarke County Commonwealth’s Attorney Suzanne Perka and Hudson’s defense attorney Timothy Coyne.
Coyne made a motion to set aside the jury’s verdict and convict Hudson of voluntary manslaughter based on the fact that the Commonwealth’s evidence, he said, was not sufficient to support the second-degree murder conviction.
“There simply wasn’t sufficient time for any malice to be formed,” Coyne said, referring to the approximate seven-minute period during which Hudson would have murdered his wife.
Perka rebutted, “Shooting somebody in the head,” she paused, “is mean . . . That is malice.”
Throughout Hudson’s three-day trial, the defense maintained that Mary Donovan Hudson’s death, which was caused by a gunshot wound to the head, was a suicide.
offered a brief statement before he was sentenced. “I lost my wife, my
home, and my freedom for a crime I am not guilty of.”
PRESENT: Hassell, C.J., Lacy, Keenan, Koontz, Kinser, and Lemons, JJ., and Compton, S.J.
THE COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
v. Nebraska, 511 U.S. 1, 5 (1994) (internal citations omitted).
The evidence as a whole must exclude every reasonable theory of innocence.
such an instruction properly paraphrases our case law, the instruction,
properly understood, does not add to the burden of proof placed upon the
Commonwealth in a criminal case. The statement that circumstantial
evidence must exclude every reasonable theory of innocence is simply another
way of stating that the Commonwealth has the burden of proof beyond a reasonable
doubt. See Cox v. Commonwealth, 140 Va. 513, 517, 125 S.E. 139, 141