Freaky Flint History with Joe Schipani: The Jealous Wife July 14th, 1917

Flint is well known for its modern violent crimes but Flint's history is filled with little known stories that read stranger than fiction. Gruesome murders, weird accidents, and violent deaths. Join us every Thursday as Joe Schipani details some of the odd but true deaths he found in Flint's archives.

The Jealous Wife July 14th, 1917

Mr. and Mrs. Fred Shanaghan moved to their downtown Flint apartment on Union Street from New Lothrop in 1915.

City life had made Mrs. Shanaghan a jealous wife.

When they first moved to Flint Fred Shanaghan worked for James Goodwin on Saginaw Street. Then he got a job as the manager of the Harry W Watson Cigar store on Saginaw Street.

A woman living in an apartment building across from the Shanaghan’s, said she would see Mrs. Shanaghan sitting at the window all day watching the cigar store. 

When Mr. Shanaghan would arrive home from work, the neighbor claimed she could hear Mrs. Shanaghan screaming at Fred and accusing him of being unfaithful and gambling.

When the police asked friends of the couple if the accusations were true, the friends would say he never had time because he was either at work or by her side to keep her happy.

One morning during a Shanaghan screaming match, Mrs. Shanaghan threatened to kill Fred then kill herself. 

Fred screamed that she would never have the chance to say something like that to him again because he was leaving.

Fred stormed out of the apartment. Just as he turned to close the door Mrs. Shanaghan grabbed the gun, fired a shot and hit him in the eye.

She fired a second shot that went straight through his heart.

Fred staggered back about fifteen feet and fell at the top of the stairway.  She fired a third shot and missed.

She ran back to the apartment, locked herself in the bedroom, put the gun below her breast and fired.

A few minutes later the police arrived.

Then the ambulance arrived. Both Mr. and Mrs. Shanaghan were still alive and rushed to Hurley hospital.

Mr. Shanaghan died before reaching the hospital.

Mrs. Shanaghan was raced to the operating room.

She died in the middle of surgery. 

~ Joe Schipani is the Executive Director of the Flint Public Art Project and the FFAR Project Assistant at the Community Foundation of Greater Flint.  Find him on Facebook at 

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