January 14th, 2015

Criminal charges in late 1950s New Jersey - manslaughter vs murder?

I had been searching for information concerning the US - New Jersey court system. As a Canadian I'm a bit out of the know. I managed to find parts of the information I wanted, as in which court this crime should've gone to, and the procedure of how it ought to go from police station to courts, but the events take place in the 1950s. I was hoping to get confirmation on whether I got my details correct or if the time of the story would alter the details in any way.

I also wanted to confirm whether the definition of manslaughter vs. murder would've been different in the 1950s compared to how it is labeled now. I was also trying to find out what would've been the sentencing for the crime in question, manslaughter or murder, and whether my character would've been apply to apply for probation and if he'd receive it. This section of information I was unable to find.

I did some research through Wikipedia (Manslaughter) but it didn't give a history of the sentencing. I searched "history of manslaughter in USA" on google but it gave me news stories rather than an actual history. "murder vs manslaughter US" didn't help me so much either since I'm looking for a label based on a particular set of actions.

The crime in question, step by step.Collapse )

Where/how Victorian-era philanderers would meet their mistresses

Hello everyone!

I have just discovered this wonderful site and am delighted to say the least.

I am in the process of writing a screenplay for a short film I hope to make in the coming months. A fair portion of the story is set in a small village during the Victorian-era, revolving around a philandering bachelor. Coming from a wealthy family background, he is care-free and lives a comfortable life. His eventual downfall occurs after he murders a woman who comes to him and tells him she is pregnant with his child.

The problem I am currently having is writing scenes where philandering bachelors might conceivably meet women. Alongside this, creating a feasible scenario in which the rake would see murdering his eventual victim as the only option available to him is tricky. I have considered the option of the rake impregnating his house maid (however this is mostly due to budgetary constraints of film-making; I would like to keep the amount of locations to a minimum - having his maid become the victim would make the story much more practical to film. This is also the reason for having the film set in a village instead of city). The problem with this scenario however, is the notion that a sexually desirable house maid in a bachelors household would be entirely inappropriate for both employer and employee, given the era that the story is set in.

My knowledge of the Victorian Era is limited to say the least, I have done some googling on Victorian era house-maids and came across a post here that explains the type of house-servants a wealthy bachelor might have had (http://little-details.livejournal.com/3403379.html) yet my story is lost without this element! In order to create a realistic scenario it seems I have to change the female character slightly, who could the rake impregnate in place of the maid?

Finding interesting settings where philanderers might meet promiscuous women has also proven tricky, I googled "gentlemen meeting women victorian era" and came across this article on the topic of relationships during the Victorian Era (http://www.zarcrom.com/users/alzheimers/s150/beauty/love.html) "Women were not allowed to be alone with a man until they were engaged". I cannot seem to find any material illustrating the raunchier side of the 'philandering gentlemen' Victorian Era.

I would greatly appreciate some information about the kind of environment in which a womaniser might search for women to meet essentially.
Many elements of the story are flexible, my chief concern is creating a believable visual story in which a philandering bachelor murders one of his (seemingly) many paramours.

Many thanks!