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It’s been 90 years since the conviction and execution of Ada LeBoeuf. While time has moved on, it still has a grip on some, especially Ada’s family. We sat with Ada LeBoeuf’s great-granddaughter and grandnephew as they tell us about the effects it’s had and how the family has come to terms with it.
I’m Lynette Roy-Davis, and my grandfather was Ernest LeBoeuf, who is the son of Ada LeBoeuf.
My name is Marcus Montet. My mother was Virginia Blakeman Montet. Her mother was Clara Bonner Blakeman, who was a sister to Ada Bonner LeBoeuf. My grandfather Blakeman was Louis Reid Blakeman, who was chief of police at the time of the murder, and actually had to bring his sister-in-law in.
The hanging was never discussed in our family. My mother didn’t find out about it until she was a little girl in elementary school, where she was taunted by another student. And she went home to go and ask about the hanging, and my grandmother told her that it was not to be discussed in this family.
There was one way they handled it, and it could be described in three words: silence, silence, silence. I did not know about this until I was 28 years old. There was a series on the “5 Worst Crimes in Louisiana History,” done by the New Orleans States-Item in the spring of 1979. And the first one crime that was discussed was the Ada LeBoeuf/Dr. Dreher your murder case. And I did not know up until that time that Ada Bonner LeBoeuf existed.
When I was 15, and I was working, a lady that I worked for mentioned it to me. And she thought I knew about it, and we discussed it. So, I went home at lunch and asked my mother about it, and she did not want to discuss it, and she said she was very upset with the lady for telling me about it. So, she went and got a book at the library that had an article about it. So, she let me read it, and then she told my brothers and sister about it also.
I start reading the article, and I see Morgan City Louisiana Chief of Police Louis Blakeman, my grandfather. I start seeing all these familiar names, Ada Bonner LeBouef. I knew my grandmother was a Bonner. So, all these words are jumping off the page at me. So, I bring it up to my mother, and my mother was Ada’s godchild. And she was close to Ada; spent a lot of time at the house. And when I brought it up to her in 1979, she welled up with tears. And that was 50 years after the executions.
There was a news story that was going to come on a channel in Baton Rouge that my grandfather watched every evening. And we knew they were going to be talking about Ada, the hanging, because it was an anniversary. So, my mother asked me to go to my grandfather’s house and make sure the TV is not on so he doesn’t get to see it. And I went to change the channel, and my grandfather said, “What are you doing?” And I told him I was changing the channel. And he said, “It’s because they’re going to have an article about my mother and father.” So, I figured if I was going to ask anything about it, I should. So, I asked if there was anything he remembered about his mother and father, and he said his mother was very loving. She was a loving mother. His father had a very bad temper, and he said that he remembered that his father would get violently ill after every meal. And he suspected his mother was poisoning his father. That was basically all he told me, and I didn’t push too much more of that because I could tell he was getting a little upset to talk about it.
So, that’s how everything was handled. And it was silence—it was a culture of silence for generations, actually, is what it was.
Thank you for watching. I’m Digger Earls, and I’m David Laborde. We’ll see you next time right here on The Verdict.
This presentation of The Verdict on News 15 was brought to you by Laborde Earls Injury Lawyers.