Iconic Photos

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Framed By A Burned Tyre

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Forty five years ago, a housewife named Lucille Miller, who just turned 35, came to trial in San Bernardino for the murder of her husband, a dentist Gordon “Cork” Miller. It was a sensation, and not only because Lucille Miller was pregnant when it began, but also because she admitted that “at one time” she wanted to marry Attorney Arthwell Hayton, who in previous testimony admitted to secret motel meetings with her.

Cork Miller burned to death in the back seat of a 1964 Volkswagen. Lucile intended to make the murder look as if the car had rolled over an embankment and burst into flames. She would have had time in that deserted neighborhood to get home before the accident was reported. Instead, the car got stuck in the sand in low gear, and burst into flames. Mrs. Miller was convicted of first degree murder and sentenced to life imprisonment, but released after seven years.

Above, Lucille Miller and her attorney Edward Foley go over transcript of her murder trial on February 17, 1965–the second day of the trial. Her defense claimed that the accident was caused by the burnt tire seen above. The photo was taken by John Malmin for LA Times.

Written by Alex Selwyn-Holmes

January 10, 2010 at 11:34 pm

Posted in Society

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5 Responses

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  1. Great story with a ton of high quality content and easy to follow.

    Grace Assembly

    January 11, 2010 at 2:14 am

  2. Mrs miller so go the rumours killed art haytons wife by smothering her and spraying hair spray up her nose but you know how rumors can be


    July 17, 2010 at 7:14 pm

    • Elaine Hayton, was most likely murdered. She was smothered with a pillow to the extent of my knowledge. Her four children were left motherless.


      November 12, 2010 at 6:26 pm

  3. She did it. Cars don’t just burst into flames. Her children also had/have doubts. At least that’s how I hear in from their interviews. She thought it would be a perfect crime. Women were given the benefit of the doubt back then and a jury convicted a white woman with children and pregnant to boot. That says a lot – about the evidence presented. The fact that she was out in a mere seven years says a lot, too. If she was innocent, then she spent only seven years for being a cheating wife. If she did it, she got off pretty damned light.


    January 18, 2016 at 7:48 pm

  4. She should have gotten life without parole because the murder was planned out. She was looking for a way out of her marriage so that she could have the life she had been so craving for. She is scum.ppH


    August 2, 2016 at 8:55 pm

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