Peter Knox - police photo from 1910

MUSIC: Red Nichols - Margie (1928) - YouTube

Margie Cooper was born in 1909 to Mr. Harold Cooper and his dear wife Romona. As a child, Margie Cooper was full of life and a bright light to everyone who had the honor of being in her presence.

Margie and her family moved to Maundbury in 1918. Their home was small and happy. Harold Cooper thrived as an achitect and builder and Romona Cooper was a seamstress for many of the women of Maundbury. Margie dabbled in dance and singing, but her free spirit kept her from settling into anything for too long. Life was perfect.

In 1928, Margie was still living with her mother and father. She worked as a librarian and helped a few of her older neighbors with odd jobs and kept them company when loneliness took hold. She used her lovely singing voice to entertain them.

1928 was also the year she met Peter Knox when she was helping a neighbor with some shopping. Knox followed Cooper from the market and witnesses reported later that Margie Cooper was a perfect, young woman and Knox was acting like a cad, keeping far too close and ignoring her requests for him to stop his pursuit.

Knox had been arrested several times - crimes ranging from petty theft to assault. He insisted on helping her carry her packages and she succumbed.

The facts - confused

This is where the facts of the case of Margie Cooper become unclear. It seems that Knox did, in fact, carry Coopers packages to the home of Elenor Marie Tate. He entered the Tate home with Cooper and closed the door behind himself, locking it as he did according to the postman (name unknown) who tried to assist Cooper.

There were several shouts that came from within the Tate residence. The postman called out for help and several men in the area ran to his aid. Women and children watched as the men first called to Cooper and Tate, then proceeded to break down the door. They were shocked and horrified at what they saw.

Blood covered the floorboards and the front wall and door. Scratches were found on the inside of the front door as if someone tried to claw their way out. Elenor Marie Tate was found locked in a small closet - rattled, but otherwise unharmed.

A search of the house found Peter Knox unconscious and bleeding in the kitchen with a kitchen knife in his lower back. He was laying in a pool of his own blood. His fingers and nails showed signs of damage. It was found later that Knox was the one who was clawing at the door. Broken nail fragments and skin matched the damage on his hands. However, there was no blood between the front door area and the back of the home where the kitchen was.

Knox was rushed to St. Mary's Home and was nursed back to health. Two months later, he was transported to New York State Prison to serve three sentences. He was later killed there in the riot of 1929.

Margie Cooper was found unconscious at the top of the stairs. She was tended to and regained consciousness, but didn't remember any of the events that occurred after Knox entered the Tate home. There was no blood found on her or Tate.

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Margie Cooper with avocados - 1933

When asked about the events of 1929, the bright and alive Margie Cooper would go quiet and claim that she had nothing to say about what happened.

Cooper looked after Elenor Marie Tate until her passing in 1932. In 1933, Cooper took to farming. She married and moved to California in 1934 and returned to Maundbury only once at the time of her parents passing.

Margie Cooper passed away in 1972 and took the events at the Tate home to the grave with her.