Rutherford Exposed: The Story of Berta and Bonnie

by Farkel 739 Replies latest watchtower scandals

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Yeah, checking for the birth and death certificates would be the next logical step. Now I know where she was born in Iowa, hopefully it wouldn't be too hard to get a copy...

    Interestingly, I went to my first meetings and assemblies in DeKalb County, Georgia, in '76 and '77....wonder if I ever crossed paths with Bonnie....I have a memory of an elderly person at the assembly in a wheelchair, it was the first time I ever saw a wheelchair...

    VM44....Actually, I should be able to tell with the passenger lists whether Bonnie and Joseph were travelling alone, or with other ppl from Bethel. All I would need to do is see if anyone else on board had "124 Columbia Heights" as their address... this should be interesting with respect to the 1936 and the May 1937 voyages....(prolly not foolproof tho, cause there could have been branch ppl travelling with Rutherford as well)...

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Well, I tried ordering one online, but the stupid tab-down list for state omitted "Iowa", as if that wasn't a state in the Union....

    Then I looked for info on how to order one by phone or mail, and found this qualification:

    To secure a certified copy of a record from the county-of-event, applicants must have direct or tangible interest in the record. In other words, you must be the
    registrant (person named on the record) or have a lineal relationship to the registrant, such as a legal parent, grandparent, spouse, brother, sister, child, legal guardian, or legal representative. All requests or applications for each certificate must be in writing and include the purpose for the certificate.

    Well, that sucks.

  • MerryMagdalene
    MerryMagdalene

    That does suck.Sorry.

    I'm wondering if anyone knows who the two women in this photo are...Could they be Bonnie and her mom?

    alt

    ~Merry

  • JW_Researcher
    JW_Researcher
    On the 1930 census, Bonnie claimed to be 31 years old, and thus presented herself as born in 1899-1900.

    One caveat is that, at times, census enumerators would call at a home and not everyone (or even no one) would be present. Rather than make a “return visit,” the enumerator might have asked the person who was home (or a neighbor) the name and age of the other, not-at-home, residents.

    Not that the analysis is incorrect, just that we are always uncertain as to who supplied the information to an enumerator.

  • Makena1
    Makena1

    Fascinating thread and great research. Anyone else think Rutherford looks like WC Fields in this pic? lol

  • MerryMagdalene
    MerryMagdalene

    alt

    alt

    ...oh I dunno...maybe LOL

    Merry

  • greendawn
    greendawn

    He really loved alcohol and luxuries in life instead of being a humble self denying servant of the fellow servants, so it will not be surprising if he complemented all that by enjoying a woman or two as the naive JWs thought that he was some kind of pleasure denying saint.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    Merry.....I think that is a very likely guess! And I also suspect that's Berta in the photo posted on the previous page.

    JW_Researcher....You are certainly correct that it could've been a second party that gave the information in the census; however, it is curious that in BOTH locations (at Bethel and Beth Sarim), the census-taker was given the SAME incorrect age.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    So I wanted to share one other passenger list. This one dates to AFTER Berta moved to Bethel and after Bonnie and William Heath got married. The party sailed on the S. S. Queen Mary from Southampton on September 14, 1938. Bonnie married William P. Heath on January 25, 1938, one week after William got a divorce from his wife Dorothy Smith. Here are the relevant portions of the passenger list:

    Note that Berta now has her home address as "124 Columbia Heights," while her marital status was still M. This reflects the fact that she left her husband and moved to Bethel before she got a divorce from her own husband (Alfred Peale). Also interesting is the fact that Bonnie gives her DOB as July 17, 1904, likely the actual date.

  • Leolaia
    Leolaia

    I just checked these voyages to see if anyone else from Bethel was aboard or if Rutherford and Bonnie were traveling alone. In the case of the 1936 trip, I discovered that Matthew A. Howlett (47 years old, and married) was aboard as well. In the case of the May 1937 trip on the S. S. Santa Elena, Rutherford and Bonnie were alone on the ship as far as I can tell. This was a cruise that stopped at Mazatlan, Mexico, then San Jose, Guatemala, then through the Panama Canal to Havana, Cuba, on the way to New York.

    I bet Judge Rutherford enjoyed himself in Havana....

    I'm looking through old Watchtowers for any references to Bonnie. Might this be the earliest mention of her?

    "The American party, composed of Brothers Van Amburgh, Salter, Hughes, Johnson, Hoeveler, and Rutherford, and Sisters Van Amburgh, Hoeveler, Boyd, Blades, and Johnson, bound for the European Conventions, sailed on the French Liner, the Paris, from New York, April 2nd" (Watchtower, 1 July 1924, p. 1).

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