History

Tragic Happenings

Pamela Rand Dodson

12814 Lake Shore Boulevard

At 6:50 a.m. Thursday morning, on November 18, 1965, Lieutenant Andrews of the Bratenahl Police Department received a call from Donald Dodson that his wife had tried to commit suicide. Andrews immediately dispatched patrolmen Banko, Preto, and Wallo, who arrived at 12814 Lake Shore Boulevard to find Donald Dodson administering mouth to mouth resuscitation to his wife, who was lying in a hallway at the rear of the house. The woman was fully clothed with one brown loafer missing and showed no signs of violence.

Patrolman Wallo, believing the woman was dead, radioed the station at 6:55 a.m. requesting an ambulance. He then administered oxygen, and officer Preto applied heart massage. Officer Banko waited in the driveway to guide the ambulance. The ambulance arrived at 7:08 a.m. and took the victim accompanied by her husband to Euclid Glenville Hospital.

The patrolmen found a 1965 Volkswagen sedan in the garage with the key in the ignition switched to the “on” position. A brown loafer was between the partially opened car door and the body of the automobile. They found a pair of eyeglasses on the garage floor.

Donald Dodson stated that he had gone to John Carroll University for night school and later met his wife at about 10:00 p.m. at the Play-Mor Bowling Lanes. After a few drinks, they left around midnight and went to Mickey Flis’ Melody Inn on East 140th Street and had about five more drinks. Pamela paid the baby sitter, and Donald took the sitter home. On returning home, Pamela was lying in bed while he washed and shaved before coming to bed. At 6:30 a.m. on November 18, Donald awoke for work, and Pamela was not in bed. After searching the house, he found her in the garage behind the wheel of her car. He then carried her into the house.

While writing his statement, his father-in-law, James Rand, requested that he come to his home at 12725 Lake Shore Boulevard so the lawyer could check his statement before signing. Dodson further stated that his wife had attempted suicide on four previous occasions.

The coroner ruled the cause of death to be suicide from asphyxia by carbon monoxide (auto exhaust). She was 23 years old. Her sister, Miriam Dunn, lived at 10216 Burton Avenue. She stated that Pamela had been in good health for the last five or six weeks.

Pamela Dodson was born on April 12, 1942, in New York City to James and Mary Rand, who lived at 12725 Lake Shore Boulevard at the time of her death. She attended Hathaway Brown School, the Graham-Ecks School in Palm Beach, Florida, and graduated from Wheelock College in Boston.

She married Donald shortly after graduation. Three children were from a previous marriage: Donald A. Jr. born on February 21, 1958, Thomas born on July 31, 1959, and Karen. Both Donald and Thomas attended Bratenahl School. Pamela and Donald had two children: James and Susan.