While defending both the rich and the poor, the infamous and the unknown, Gladys married twice and had two children of her own. Average and boring, her first husband couldn’t handle his wife’s colorful personality, the outlandish clothes and the publicity she attracted. They divorced after 11 years of marriage. Gladys’s second husband was as extravagant as she was in dress and personality. He went everywhere with a large parrot on his shoulder.
To all appearances, Gladys did nothing but work, defending more than 1500 cases per year. But there were unknown depths to Gladys. For instance, Gladys raised two fine children, who both became successful adults. Gladys was the first feminist, battling for the rights of women, while refusing to pander to what Gladys considered to be misguided agendas. Gladys never accepted popular theories about crime and punishment. For Gladys, based on her courtroom experiences, knew the truth of the matter. That many ‘victims’ lied for reasons of revenge.
On the other hand, Gladys was not perfect. Shameless self-promotion and opportunism inhabited the dark corners of her soul. Money motivated her to accept cases she had no interest in, where she knew the client was guilty. Rumor had it that Gladys had her own tier of former clients in Folsom prison.
After 52 years of defending criminals, Gladys dropped dead doing just that – in court, where her clients were on trial for major crimes. When she died, she had seen it all – fame, fortune, persecution, personal bankruptcy and the tragic death of her second husband – and had ushered in a new era for women’s rights.
The length of the book will be 120,000 words, and will be completed nine months after receipt of the advance. Queen of L.A. will contain notes, a bibliography, index and photographs. After the book is finished, I will move on to my next project: King of Quacks: Salvation and Snake Oil in the California Desert.
King of Quacks is the true story of Curtis Howe Springer, the man whose audacity knew no limits. He sold miracle cures to America from 12,800 acres of land he claimed he owned in the Mojave Desert.