Implicated in a robbery committed by her husband, Paul Holden [Prior to January 25, 1937]
Evaded Chicago police. [1937)
Sold items, as a street merchant, without a license
Evaded authorities and lying to her son, by going under the assumed name of Frederika Lang. [January 25, 1937 - February 1938]
Shot and killed Paul Holden (Conviction overturned) [January 28, 1938]
Many years prior to 1937, a sixteen-year old girl named Frances fell hopelessly in love with the dashing Paul Holden, not realizing that Paul was a fortune hunter only interested in her father's money. Their elopement caused an immediate strain between Frances and her father, and the young couple soon found themselves without funds. Soon after, Frances became pregnant, and when Paul caught wind of his, he took a "job" in Philadelphia and made vague promises to send money. Three years later, Paul showed up at Frances's door and explained that he'd been sent to prison for selling fraudulent oil stocks. Over the next few years Paul made Frances's life hell, though she continually found herself drawn back to Paul, melting into his embraces and stupidly believing he would change. Eventually, Frances got a job as a cashier in a local store and Paul stole the key to the store and committed robbery while Frances was implicated. At that point, Frances decided to leave her eight year old son with the pastor of the Little Church of Five Points, IL, Reverend Doctor John Ruthledge and began a life on the run with her husband. Later, she escaped her husband's clutches by changing her name. Unfortunately, the law caught up with her and she spent time in prison for the robbery that Paul committed.
Ned grew up under the minister's care and by 1937 had falling in love with the Reverend’s daughter, Mary. Growing up with Ned, Mary considered Ned as a brother and fought romantic feelings, but finally gave in to her emotions and the two became engaged. At this point, Ned had become a well-respected writer. Having published a book, he used his hundred-dollar royalty check to buy a brooch for Mary. He bought it from Fredrick Lang, a charming woman he had met through Rev. Dr. Ruthledge. But a fine fraud Fredrika turned out to be: she had added an extra zero to his check and cashed it in for a thousand dollars!
Little did Ned know that Frederika was actually his estranged mother, Frances Holden. Paul had caught up with Fredrika and after he threatened her, Fredrika gave Paul the check to get rid of him. Finally, Ned burst into Fredrika's home and accused her of raising the check. Of course, Paul had done it. Later, Paul returned and told Fredrika that he was going to reveal himself as Ned's father, in hopes that they could live off Ned's substantial book royalties. With that, Fredrika went berserk, pulled out a gun, and shot and killed Paul -- anything to protect Ned.
Fredrika refused to offer any defense at her trial, even though Dr. Ruthledge guessed the truth and urged her to throw herself on the mercy of the court. She refused and was sentenced to die in the electric chair. However, Dr. Ruthledge convinced the governor to give Fredrika a reprieve and the truth came out. Filled with hatred, Ned denounced his mother as a thief and a murderess and then ran away. Eventually, though, Ned would forgive his mother and even take her into his home that he shared with his new wife, Torchy Reynolds Holden. Torchy would soon realize that the love of Ned's life was Mary and divorced him. With that, Ned and Mary married. Tragically, Frances would die soon after.