Rutherford Exposed: The Story of Berta and Bonnie

by Farkel 739 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • coffee_black

    Does anyone know if there are any surviving members of the Russell or Rutherford families? I know Russell had no children, but I think he had siblings...and maybe neices & nephews.... Rutherfords son.....anyone know whatever happened to him? If there are any relatives...are they shareholders? I seem to remember a post somewhere...long ago...maybe not even here, that not all shareholders are jws. Anyone know anything about that?


  • sammielee24

    It appears from what I've read today and from what I can remember, that Rutherfords son is dead and that he had no offspring, however, the census records did indicate that he came from a large family..sw

  • MerryMagdalene

    From Farkel:

    It is therefore notable to mention who took the time to attend his funeral and who did NOT take the time to attend his funeral. A.H. Macmillan stated in disappointment that there were only FOUR people who attended Rutherford's funeral, and NONE of these four included his wife Mary or his son Malcolm. Nor did they include a single other relative of his. His hand-picked successor, Nathan H. Knorr did not even bother to attend. Nor did Fred Franz, his oft-ghostwriter and the one who concocted all the doctrinal lies about Beth-Sarim so Rutherford could indulge himself in his rants and booze far, far away from the Brooklyn Bethel.

    From an interview with WT attorney Hayden Covington:

    Brother Heath had that big house over across the way that his mother had given him money to build. It would cost a half a million dollars to build and duplicate now, or more. We tried to get him buried at that property and the board in San Diego turned us down. They didn't want him buried anywhere out there, there was so much hostility and hatred against the Judge out there. The authorities turned us down, every turn we took. I filed a lawsuit then in the courts out there in San Diego to force them to let us bury him out there on that property. Judge Mundo, who was the judge of the Superior Court, heard it and passed the buck, jumping from one thing to another, from one technicality to another, and finally after looking at the matter in a reasonable way Bill, Bonnie, and Nathan and all of us decided that we have fought enough on this and it looks like its the Lord's will that we take his body back to Brooklyn, and have him buried in Staten Island, which we did. So Bill and Bonnie were on the train with his body. And Fred, Nathan, and I had already come back and were working
  • Leolaia

    Merry....If Walter Salter, former Canadian branch overseer, can be believed, Rutherford ordered his liquor through the liquor presumably came north of the border. As he wrote to Rutherford: "I, at your orders would purchase cases of whiskey at $60.00 a case, and cases of brandy and other liquors, to say nothing of untold cases of beer. A bottle or two of liquor would not do; it was for THE PRESIDENT and nothing was too good for THE PRESIDENT" (Letter to Rutherford, cf. Penton 2004:365).

    sammielee....Welcome on board! The great thing about this thread is the way we follow leads and discover the relationships between people so long ago, verifying or falsifying earlier guesses or earlier claims. The parentage of Princess Bonnie is still a mystery and maybe only a birth certificate could establish it for sure. coffee_black.... I believe Princess Bonnie is still alive, I don't know about anyone else.

  • Leolaia

    Merry....If you're curious about Ross Clemo Treseder, he was born in Ridgeway, Wisconsin on March 31, 1891. He lived with his wife Elizabeth in Denver, Colorado, in 1920, where he worked for "Cocacola Co.", and then they lived with the Blacks in Buckhead, Fulton, Georgia in 1930. Looks like they did a lot of international travel in 1936-1937 (entering the United States six seperate times, from such countries as Sweden and Italy). He died in July 1979 in Indianapolis, Marion, Indiana. Apparently there is an entry on him in the Who's Who in America, Vol. 9 (1989).

  • VM44

    "Bill and Bonnie were on the train with his body"

    It is quite clear that Bill and Bonnie Heath were Rutherford's best friends, along with perhaps larc's aunt, Bertha.

    They appear to have had a closer relationship to Rutheford than even Rutherford's wife, Mary, and son, Malcolm, did.

    I do not recall right now, but are there any close relatives of the Heath's alive still?


  • Leolaia

    VM44....That is such a good point. These people were "tight" with the old Judge. I have not yet discovered exactly what the situation was with Mary and Malcolm. Malcolm followed his father's profession in becoming a lawyer, but apparently had a real falling out with dear dad. There seemed to be some signs that Mary was an invalid and/or continued in the religion, and that she received support from Brooklyn, so I'm a little unsure on what that means as far as her attitude towards her absentee husband is concerned....

    I thought I'd use the information from the 1900 census to help me find more info on Bonnie's family. I searched the 1895 Iowa State Census and found a John K. Boyd, age 27 (i.e. born in 1867-1868), married to Victoria Boyd, 22 years old (i.e. born in 1872-1873), living in First Ward, Black Hawk, Iowa. This appears to be a match with the Boyds from the 1900 census because (1) They are living in pretty much the same area five years later, (2) It is a couple of "John Boyd" married to a "Victoria Boyd", (3) John Boyd was born in May 1867 and Victoria Boyd was born in May 1872 according to the 1900 census. John Boyd's middle initial is somewhat illegible in the 1900 census (see the image on the preceding page), and "R" and "K" are somewhat similar, so John Boyd could have been either "John R. Boyd" or "John K. Boyd". Confirming the identification is the fact that the 1895 census mentions a son named Glen Boyd, age 4 (i.e. born in 1890-1891); this corresponds to the "Gen Boyd" of the 1900 census (who was born in January 1891). Moreover, "Gen" was the oldest child in the 1900 census, and Marjorie and [Bonnie] Jean were born in July 1896 and December 1899 respectively....that is, after the 1895 census was conducted. So this is certainly the same family in the 1900 census, and now we know that Bonnie's father may have been "John K. Boyd" and her brother was named "Glen Boyd" ("Glen" being a more likely name than "Gen").

    Searching the SSDI, I found a Glen Boyd (SSN: 480-05-0105), born on 17 January 1891, who was issued his SSN in Iowa. He died in 1968 in Los Angeles. The same person in the California Death Index is listed as "Glen F. Boyd", born on the same date in Iowa, but interestingly his mother's maiden name was "Mann". Bonnie's mother, according to the 1930 census, was named "Victoria R. Boyd", so I am not sure if this is the right Glen.

    Do we have the info on when Bonnie Boyd Heath died?

  • Leolaia

    Hey, I think I've just made some progress on the Balko front.

    I thought I'd check the California Birth Index, 1905-1995 to see if I could find "Joseph Barak Balko" listed therein. According to The Messenger (30 July 1931, p. 2), Princess Bonnie Balko was 2 years old and Prince Joseph was "six months" old. Now, we already know from the 1930 census that Bonnie Balko was born in 1929 in Texas, and Joseph had not yet been born since he was not mentioned as residing at Beth Sarim at that time. So I searched for "Joseph Balko" and found one hit that fits into the right criteria: Joseph Clark Balko, born on February 16, 1931 in San Diego, California. I don't know if "Clark" is a typo for "Barak" or whether "Barak" was an unofficial middle name, but this "Joseph Balko" was born about the right time (5 1/2 months before August 1, 1930) and in the right place. Now here is the interesting thing: The record says that Joseph's mother's maiden name is Polison. Now, if you might recall from the 1930 census, August Balko's wife was listed as Blanch P. Balko. So would this make her "Blanch Polison Balko"?

    Well, so I thought I'd check the Texas Birth Index, 1903-1997 to see if I could find Princess Bonnie. And there she was, easy to find: Bonnie Caroline Balko, born in Harris County, Texas, on November 18, 1929. Her father was listed as August Henry Balko and her mother was Blanch Poleson Horbole. Here is a copy of Princess Bonnie's listing:

    Since this data presumably comes from birth certificates, this pretty much confirms that Bonnie's natural mother was Blanch. And we now have new info on Blanch's family. I tried checking for more info on the names Poleson/Polison and Horbole but have so far turned up emptyhanded. Now, could it mean that Blanch had an earlier marriage by having "Horbole" as a last name (while "Polison" was her maiden name)? Now, as you may recall, Blanch is from Missouri, and we've wondered if she knew the Judge's family or JF himself when he still lived in Missouri.

    BTW, it seems possible that Prince Joseph is still alive....he is not listed in the SSDI or the CDI....

  • Leolaia

    Anyone knowledgeable about what these people looked like?

    Is that Bonnie to the left of Da Judge, or is that Berta? Apparently that's Knorr on the far left....anyone know who is at the far right? And is there a date for this pic?

  • Kenneson


    This thread is way too long for me to go back and read everything over right now, so I don't remember if this was posted. It is Rutherford's death certificate. I found it at the same site you found the photo above.

    Notice that the informant is Bonnie Heath. However, I can't make out everything in it. She gives her address as 4440 Braeburn Rd. Do you know where that is in relation to Beth Sarim?

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