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When Carl W. Wickman showed up at the Albuquerque, New Mexico, police station on November 25, he was distraught. His wife was dead, he said between sobs.

Described as a pudgy, little man, Wickman looked older than his 34 years. (The first article below describes him as 45 years old.) He told police he and his wife had been married only a month. They had been out for a drive, he said, and had car trouble. When they got out of the car to inspect the vehicle, Mrs. Wickman was struck by a passing automobile. The driver did not stop.

Police were sympathetic with the nerdy looking newlywed who had flagged down another vehicle, this one driven by a man who agreed to take Wickman and the body of his wife to Albuquerque, about ten miles away.

Wickman said he was a druggist, moving to New Mexico from Denver. Police didn't press him with many questions, allowing Wickman to spend the night at the station, where he dozed off in a chair.

The next morning, Wickman was taken to a hotel, while police looked for the driver of the hit-and-run car. It was at the hotel that Wickman made his first mistake —he asked the receptionist for a pen and paper; he wanted to write to the Federal Insurance Company in Chicago to begin the process of collecting on a $1,000 policy he had taken out on his wife's life.

When the story of the fatal accident reached newspapers around the country, it was read by some folks who were certain Wickman was lying.

Two of those people were George and Frank Keith, in Denver, who went to the district attorney's office to say their mother, Mrs. Rhode Keith, had married Carl Wickman four years earlier, and a short time later, in July, 1930, she died, mysteriously, after drinking an orangeade prepared by her husband, who worked in a drug store in suburban Brighton, Colorado. Wickman had insured this wife's life for $2,000.

And in the tiny town of Vici, Oklahoma, Dewey County Attorney Ralph Gilchrist thought about Marie Burns, a local girl who had married Carl Wickman in 1931, and died shortly thereafter in Holbrook, Arizona that November.

Three wives in four years — all dead.

When confronted, Wickman acknowledged the deaths of the three women, but claimed he was not responsible. He claimed he was simply unlucky with his wives. He even mentioned another wife — his first, Mina Mohr — and said she was dead, too. Not his fault, he added.

But Mina Mohr Wickman wasn't dead. She was alive and well in Edmond, Oklahoma, where she had been abandoned by her husband in 1927, just after the birth of their son, Fred. At the time Mrs. Wickman didn't realize how lucky she was.

What happened next to Wickman was inevitable.

Buffalo Courier-Express, December 3, 1933
ALBUQUERQUE, N. M., December 2 (AP) — Carl. W. Wickman, 45-year-old pharmacist, was charged with murder today after he confessed, police said, that he killed his fourth wife a week ago. Preparations were made in Denver to disinter the body of his second wife

T. J. Mabry, district attorney, reported Wickman signed a confession that he beat his fourth wife, Mrs. Donalda Chicoine Wickman, to death with a tire tool, while on their honeymoon.

In Denver, Ray Humphreys, chief investigator for the district attorney, said he had obtained permission from two sons of Wickman’s second wife, Mrs. Rhoda Keith Wickman, who died in Denver in 1930, to disinter her body.

The pharmacist’s third wife, Mrs. Marie Burns Wickman, died in Holbrook, Arizona, in 1931, and, according to authorities, Wickman collected insurance money after her death, as well as that of his second wife.

Meanwhile, in Edmond, Oklahoma, Wickman’s first wife, Mrs. Mina Mohr Wickman, who was divorced from him, said she “had been waiting a long time for this because I knew something would catch up with Carl sooner of later.”

The blonde first wife said Wickman never had done anything to make her think he might harm her, but asserted she felt resentful because he left me within a few hours of the birth of our child, Frederick.” The child is now six-years-old.

Denver authorities said they had found a large quantity of poison in effects Wickman had left in storage there. From letters they found and photographs of Wickman with women, the Denver officers said they learned Wickman formerly had been employed in Boston and Waverly, Massachusetts.

Wickman’s purported confession to slaying his fourth wife was said by Mabry and Albuquerque police to have come after he had been taken to the scene of the alleged killing on a highway near here. At first, when questioned, Wickman had insisted his wife incurred fatal injuries when she was struck by a hit-run motorist.

Perhaps to prevent, or, at least, delay police connecting all three murders, Wickman stuck to his story about striking wife number four with a tire iron. Prosecutors believed the truth of the matter was Wickman had poisoned her, just as he had wives two and three. He then placed Donalda Chicoine's body in the road, after dragging it to damage her clothes and her face to make them look as though the woman had been hit by a car. The final touch was the blow on the head from the tire iron.

Buffalo Courier-Express,April 2, 1934
ALBUQUERQUE, New Mexico, April 1 (AP) — Carl Wickman, Denver druggist, was convicted tonight of murdering his fourth wife, Donalda Chicoine Wickman, and sentenced to die in the electric chair June 8.

The former Waverly, Massachusetts, nurse received the jury’s verdict calmly until Judge M. A. Otero Jr., after a scathing rebuke to the defendant, sentenced him to die in the electric chair. Wickman swayed as he gripped the edge of the table.

“Yes, sir,” he replied to the judge’s question as to whether he had anything to say. “I am not guilty.”

He will be taken to the state penitentiary at Santa Fe.

His counsel contended the former Donalda Chicoine, herself a nurse, met death through accident rather than from a tire tool in the hands of Wickman.

The state pleaded the woman’s death had been premeditated and charged a desire to collect insurance on his wife had caused Wickman to plot her death.

The jury reached its verdict in 40 minutes.

Wickman received a stay of execution, pending an unsuccessful appeal. However, he was not executed. According to the 1940 U. S. census, he was still an inmate at the state penitentiary in Santa Fe.

One of the strangest findings of investigators was a stash of love letters Wickman had received from women over the past few years. He seemed a man unlikely to appeal to many women, but one of his pen pals called him, "You glorious sheik!"

Another wrote, "Just give me a month with you, sweetheart, and I could make you love me forever."

The letter-writer had no clue that one month is about all Carl Wickman gave any woman after he walked out on his first wife.

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