The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

History

September 27, 2013

General Sadler and the Black Widow - part 2

Picture: Mary Faye Craft Sadler enters Grant County Courthouse, W.Va., for her arraignment in the slaying of her husband, Major General Robert Sadler.

So… the cause of death was changed to “homicide” and a murder trial was scheduled for mid-summer, 1988. The Sadler siblings also retained counsel, both to access legal documents and in order to force light upon the facts surrounding their brother’s death. They insisted upon knowing the truth.

 

The “in-laws” started to speculate about Mary Faye and the many eccentricities which surfaced during the newlyweds’ brief marriage. -- She rarely if ever had female friends. She was an inveterate story-teller, yet was exceedingly secretive about her work.… often traveling abroad and providing scant details to anyone, including husband Robert. (Conjecture was that this might involve government espionage!) Her schooling was a mystery, save a boast of having studied at the Edgar Cayce Institute. Her “published” poetry was a vanity press affair, with seemingly self-revealing titles like “The Actress” throughout. NO ONE was allowed in her office, and she was known on occasion to confine guests to her kitchen and living room.

 

To review: General Sadler retired from the military in 1979, and lost his beloved wife to cancer in 1984. Lonely, he answered Mary Faye’s want ad in March of 1986 and married her that July. Less than two years later, he died at home from a bullet wound to the head! His wife immediately called 911 and a couple of neighbors but, incredibly, not Robert’s family. First, she alleges he shot himself (inferring suicide)… but later recalled a “scuffle” and accidental discharge. Eventually, she told still a third version.

 

Robert’s family never bought the suicide story. He was too happy. Besides, how could a right-handed man, with a known shoulder injury, self-inflict such a wound? They spoke with authorities and discovered that no one had ever questioned the wife’s story. So, they then contacted the county attorney to pursue an investigation… which eventually culminateed in Mary Faye Sadler’s indictment for first-degree murder.

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