In June 1929, Lois Pantages, the wife of powerful theater impresario Alexander Pantages, crashed her luxury car into a vehicle driven by Juro Rokumoto and carrying several of his family members. A week later, Rokumoto died and Pantages, purportedly drunk when the accident took place, was charged with second-degree murder. During her trial, as with that of her husband's own sensational case at the same time involving the sexual assault of a young dancer, there were claims of witness intimidation and bribery, while her defense team aggressively claimed that Rokumoto's death was the result of the anesthetic used during surgery. While Pantages was convicted of manslaughter, she was sentenced to pay $78,000 restitution to Rokumoto's family and put on probation for 10 years, though even that was later voided. This talk examines the questions of what role did race and gender play in the Pantages case and did the sentencing fit the crime?
This program is not appropriate for children under 14.